Friday, May 16, 2008

Joan Bakewell fans the politics of envy flames

According to Joan Bakewell the reason that "toffs" are not unfashionable anymore is because we all like to wear lots of bling as status symbols. Ergo, being rich is acceptable. However, read on in her column which is about nothing more than envy politics.

She argues that being a "toff" (a perjorative term of course) does not exclude you from being the right person to carry out a job. Nor does going to Eton. However, if everyone around you went to Eton then it is bad. She then says in closing,
David Cameron is rightly credited with charm and understanding. But he comes from a tiny elite. As I hope Crewe will tell him, it's time he looked further afield.
Yes, he does come from a small circle, but one look at the guys diary and travelling around the country suggests that he already is looking much further afield.

What school someone goes to is utterly meaingless. I bet Bakewell would not deploy the same logic if there was a small circle of influential politicians that all went to the same comprehensive.


Letters From A Tory said...

Agreed. It's not the concentration of politicians from a particular background that concerns her - it's just another attempt to wage a class war against Etonians.

kinglear said...

It may be the politics of envy, but I can't help but think that eg the BBC is also elitist and run by people who regard themselves as a cut above the average.
The thing a " good" public school gives you is training in leadership.It also ( at its best) makes you a decent human being without envy or jealousy.
Can the same be said for the class warriors of the Left?

Anonymous said...

"...if there was a small circle of influential politicians that all went to the same comprehensive..."

What are the chances of that happening, eh?

None at all if they were in my P.O.S. comprehensive.

Anonymous said...

Is she still regarded as the thinking man's crumpet?

Anonymous said...

Ok, you probably weren't listening but from Woman's Hour 13 October 2003.

"Once described by Frank Muir as The Thinking Man's Crumpet, writer and broadcaster, Joan Bakewell's new autobiography The Centre of the Bed, describes her strict upbringing in a respectable working class northern family and her urge to break away to a different world."

Didn't make it very far did she?

Anonymous said...

Hmm - I agree with you on the politics of envy - but there were certainly a concentration of a certain type of person on the A-list, and there seems to be quite a lot of people from certain backgrounds in jobs at CCHQ and with the shadow cabinet.

This wouldn't have been a problem had we held our old line about the best person for the job, but because we've recognised we need more female candidates, for example, to be more representative of society, we open ourselves to being asked why we aren't representative in another way. After all, a much higher proportion of society went to state school than are women!

But perhaps this comprehensive school alumni is just grumpy about not being able to get a job in the party!

Anonymous said...

I bet Bakewell would not deploy the same logic if there was a small circle of influential politicians that all went to the same comprehensive.

Indeed, or come from the same racial group or religion.

Alex said...

Speaking with the prejudice of an alumnus of an older, smaller and equally distinguished school which was used as a model for the foundation of Eton, Eton does not have a monopoly of talent, even among toffs. It follows that if there is a heavy concentration of Etonians amongst opposition MP's (Cameron, Johnson, Maude, Letwin and many more), perhaps there is some bias in selection. Did any Old Etonian MPs vote against Cameron in the leadership election?