Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Ruling Class

OK, it's Tuesday and I'm still ranting. David Cameron. Isn't he a nice man? Doesn't he speak well? Isn't it nice that he knows all the correct etiquette, like which spoon to use for the soup and how a gentleman always removes his hat before before striking a woman? Doesn't he make a good impression of foreign leaders? Gosh, I know he's only been in office two months, but, like, isn't he quite possibly the best Prime Minister of the modern era? Not my opinion, you'll be relieved to know, but a fairly accurate summing up of a recent article by Martin Kettle in The Guardian. I know that The Guardian's writers have been all over the place since the election, not really knowing what tack to take after the paper endorsed the Lib Dems, thereby helping to usher in a Tory government which is anathema to them and their core readership, but really, this particular article really took the biscuit. Leaving aside the possibility that Kettle has some kind of homoerotic fixation on Cameron and that his article constitutes a love letter, one has to assume that it is actually another crude attempt to justify the paper's colossal error of judgement in supporting Clegg and his illiberals. That said, there's always been a worrying tendency amongst those on the left to look up to toffs like Cameron. They seem to be dazzled by the accent and the fact that they went to the 'right schools'. Perhaps they find it reassuring. Maybe, after centuries of being oppressed, their self-confidence has been so eroded that they have no faith in their own ability to govern - they feel safer if those nice public school types take charge, as usual. It's a class thing.

But, of course, class doesn't matter anymore, does it? Unless you are John Prescott, obviously. Really, the tone of the press coverage accompanying his elevation to the House of Lords was like a throwback to the 1930s, with him being portrayed as some kind of uncouth working class oaf, completely unsuited to having a peerage. Not that there's anything new in that. It's really quite depressing the way the fact that he was once a steward on cruise liners is brought up every time Prescott is mentioned in the media. For God's sake, what's so bad about the fact that he once did a real job? Indeed, the very fact this man managed to go from being an unskilled worker to being Deputy Prime Minister is an incredible achievement? Regardless of anything else Prescott may or may not have done, that fact alone surely makes him a shining example to the rest of us? But hell, he was a waiter, for goodness sake! There's an element of this snobbishness in Kettle's article about Cameron, in which he compares Brown - who he clearly views as being too uncouth and lower class to have been Prime Minister - unfavourably with Posh Boy. Apparently the staff at Chequers are happy to let Dave use the good crockery - they were always afraid that Brown might smash it in one of his rages, according to unsubstantiated tittle-tattle related as fact by Kettle. That's another problem with the left - it includes too many middle class liberals who actually loathe the lower classes they purport to want to help. Whilst the poor might be deserving of relief, but they don't deserve to actually hold power, apparently. They should leave that to nice, privately educated, middle class types, who know what's best for them.

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