This is a response to an item on tonight’s The One Show (http://bbc.co.uk/i/pymmg/):
Does class still matter? My rational side would argue not, especially as we are born into a background and therefore have no choice over it. However the Labour Party and the media – this time the BBC in the form of Kaye Adams – have made it matter. Is being posh Cameron’s Achilles Heel?
I really don’t see how the Labour Party can indulge in “toff-bashing” when Tony Blair himself was a boarder at Fettes College, also known as “The Eton of the North”. Adams highlighted in this programme that a third of ALL Members of Parliament elected at the last election – not just Tories – were privately educated (and therefore, according to the correspondent, toffs). So why has the Labour Party made being a toff a Tory trait? It makes no sense and is ever so slightly hypocritical, is it not?
So, inevitably, Adams goes on to interview the public – does their supposed “toffishness” weaken the Tories’ position going into the General Election? One lady, very sensibly, stated that it should be the policies that matter. I whole heartedly agree. Others said that it made the Tories seem out of touch. I obviously understand that those with money don’t feel the pinch as much as most people perhaps but they undoubtedly must realise that there is a credit crunch all the same. As long as their proposed policies fit the issues facing this country at the moment then what is the problem? One man said that he liked the fact that some people are proud of where they’ve come from and this, to me personally, has always been close to my heart. Why should Cameron be made to feel like he has to shy away from his family, his heritage? Another commentator said that Cameron actively tries to distract from the fact he’s a Sloane Ranger.
A clip is then shown of Gordon Brown when he referred to the Tories’ inheritance tax proposals as being “dreamed up on the playing fields of Eton”. Forgive me for having a rant but why should we have to pay to inherit what our parents worked so hard to achieve? I admit that putting the threshold up to £1million doesn’t make much sense in a recession but taxing the rich is a bit too Robin Hood for my liking.
Stanley Johnson – father of my favourite mayor (!) – is then interviewed and quite rightly states that generally, the Conservative MPs likely to be elected this year will form an middle to upper-middle class group, just like the Labour MPs elected in 1997.
However the best part of this short item was a quote given by Adrian Chiles at the end; that posh was getting out of the bath to have a wee. By that definition I hope that all of you are indeed posh!
N.B. I apologise for the number of rhetorical questions but after many debates about class with my housemates I just don’t know the answers anymore! I’m sure some of you will provide me with some…