In the US, they worship cash; in the UK, it’s class, writes Suzanne Harrington
England, according to the Sleaford Mods’ new album, is being Eton Alive. Not Scotland, not Wales — just England. Swallowing itself feet first, consumed by its own class system.
Soon to be headed, after the kind of popularity contest that would afford Love Island an intellectual dignity, by someone whose entitlement has been groomed since prep school, and whose political convictions are based wholly on the personal conviction that he should be in charge.
We know all about Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson — piccaninnies, watermelon smiles, letterboxes, bank robbers — and more recently, ‘get off me’, ‘get out of my flat’; about the Muslim MP, a member of Johnson’s own party, who was kicked out for suggesting Johnson is not fit to lead it; about the imaginary £350m that he claimed Britain sent to the EU every week; about a personal life of cheating, lying, and duplicity.
The fawning, glorifying media chummily call these ‘gaffes’, but the rest of us call them racism, political ignorance, and lies. There aren’t enough column inches to outline his comments about Ireland. But this isn’t about Ireland.
It’s about the fatal deference that makes England fall to its knees in the face of posh. Posh can comb its hair with a lollipop and lie on record and drop racist bombs as casually as its US doppelganger almost dropped real bombs on Iran, but none of it matters, because it’s posh.
In the US, they worship cash; in the UK, it’s class. Posh can be monstrous and still enjoy the unquestioning deference of all those eejits who equate someone quacking in Latin with basic political competence.
Because of posh, there has never been a revolution in the UK — that is, not until 2016, when all the angry people rebelled against the wrong institution, mistaking the EU as the source of crushing austerity, when it was their own posh government all along. Hence, the turkeys-voting-for-Christmas anomaly of working class conservatism. But that’s another story.
If Boris Johnson becomes the next British prime minister, a job he’s coveted since he was in nappies, he’ll be the 11th post-war PM to have got there via Oxford. And what do future politicians learn at Oxford, other than disdain and complicated cutlery usage? How to debate.
Not how to negotiate, or do policy, or use economic strategy for the greater good, or see the bigger political picture internationally. No. They learn how to bray at each other, which is why the House of Commons is such a misnomer — it’s the House of Posh, shouting each other down like public schoolboys at a debating society. ‘Ra ra ra. Boo hiss’.
And now, the biggest public schoolboy of them all looks set to take over. If Johnson ascends the throne, he will have been elected by Conservative party members, who make up 0.34% of the overall population, and are almost all posh, white, middle-aged men.
Jolly good show, chaps. Where’s a French Revolution when you need one?