Eleanor McHugh (feyeleanor) wrote,
Eleanor McHugh

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Class War - it just doesn't work in England

I get an interesting collection of daily political news snippets in my email thanks to the lovely folks at ConservativeHome and when I'm in the mood for procrastination (like I am this afternoon, stealing ten minutes on the computer whilst Tom takes a nap) much fun is had following them up.

Yesterday there was some chatter about the Channel 4 decision to broadcast a docu-drama (i.e. badly scripted fiction) about David Cameron's time in the Bullingdon Club this autumn. For those not familiar with the institution - and this primarily applies to my foreign friends - it's a dining club at Oxford University with a membership at any one time of twelve students who meet to dine, drink, and cause mayhem: the club uniform of tailcoats apparently offends the class warrior fraternity, as does the fact that membership is restricted to those from privileged backgrounds. That's Brit-speak for a family with good breeding and oodles of cash.

The Bullingdon is only one of a number of student societies where acting like a yob is an intrinsic part of the culture, albeit a more formal one than many, and its main distinguishig trait is that it offers members a chance to set aside the discipline and restrictions experienced during a public school education. Much is made of the bad behaviour of individual members, not because it is so much more extreme than the norms of British society - I dare anyone who's been out drinking on a Friday night in your average seaside town to claim such outbreaks of yobdom are rare - but because they will one day likely end up prominent in public life.

Personally I don't think that's particularly relevent. So what if the children of the upper classes are capable of being just as bestial as those of every other group in society?

Unfortunately it seems that having spent twelve years turning their backs on their core values, New Labour's catastrophic collapse in the opinion polls has them scurrying back to that Old Labour standby: Class War. Expect the Bullingdon Club to be a running issue right up to and through the next election. Because that's so much more important than the fact that a government elected on the mantra 'Education! Education! Education!' has presided over a failed education system which has left an estimated five million adults functionally illiterate.

Frankly even if Cameron &co were still regularly pillaging the restaurants of Oxford - or Nottinghill - they would still be preferable in many people's eyes to Brooding Brown and his troupe of performing political poodles.
Tags: meme

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