Sunday, 10 October 2010

Letter in 'The Guardian' October 9 2010

They did leave the last bit out about George Osborne's chums from St Paul's the 'Wodehousian aristocratic drones'. But, hey, it's 'The Guardian'.

Full text

As Simon Head pointed out in 'Children of the sun' a public school educated elite still dominate politics, the judiciary, journalism, the army and diplomatic corps. Fifty years ago Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Dougla-Home looked, spoke and dressed as though they had just come off the grouse moor. Today public school boys use Estuary English or even Mockney.

With David Cameron what we are observing is a carefully orhestrated, well-designed, public relations campaign to present him as an 'ordinary bloke'. There's Davecam where Cameron does the washing up and other household chores, off duty the casual clothes with nary any tweed or a tie in sight and cycling to Parliament - slightly tarnished when the 'Daily Mirror' revealed that a chauffeur driven limousine was following on.

George Bush is the scion of one of the wealthiest and best connected families in America, yet he perfected a Texas drawl and made sure he was filmed clearing scrub and driving a pick up truck like any good ol' boy. The main test that the Republican spin-doctors used was whether people would invite a candidate to a barbeque and share a Bud - a test that Al Gore failed because he looked and spoke like a policy wonk. Due to this ability to 'connect' with the voters George Bush was chosen in preference to his older siblings who had more political experience.

The English ruling elite move seamlessly through a cloistered environment - public school, Oxbridge and the City - without any knowledge or experience of the lives of the common people. Maybe that is why George Osborne made the remark about scroungers who made a 'lifestyle choice' not to engage in gainful employment. Or possible he was referring to his school chums at St Paul's, the sort of Wodehousian, aristocratic drones who will never need to do a day's work in their lives.

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