Old Etonians and the Rest of Us


I was once very keen on her but she pronounced that she could only contemplate marrying an Old Etonian. It was keenly felt. It was said the the rulers of the British Empire were fashioned on the playing fields of Eton as was her daddy. Was that it? I was reminded of the explanation of the high suicide rate at Bailiol. It was said that Bailiol’s finest mounted the tower and contemplated the world below. It was beneath them. They hurled themselves to the ground. Could it be that there was no ground beneath me or was it more subtle than that. Once in a ‘civil-service’ capacity, so despised today I was asked to give an opinion on the disappointing performance of a person now reigning as a current and distinguised Tory frontbencher. Was he up to the job? I concluded that he wasn’t. He was able and charming, intelligent and enquiring but that he felt the job was demeaning to him and he chose to engage himself in what amused him more. All of which leads me to the current Tory leadership under David Cameron. They are now engaged in what their social position and education has trained them for – they are governing the rest of us. They have to be careful for there is vast range of us with some at least of the characteristics they claim as their own; not public school, not Oxbrdge but some of it and some-elsewhere. The proletariat are uppity these days and have their own curious and effective ways. Old Etonians have difficulty in considering us but they try. It is not our fault-sometimes- that we are underlings. But they fail and they are failing as we watch them now. As we witness David Cameron under the harsh light of constant scrutiny what do we see: rudeness, arrogance, ruthlessness (always a useful quality in a ruler), over-confidence, bad judgement unmitigated by self-examination, ignorance (there are more things than are dreamt of in the night-time of an OId Etonian). What has that to do with The Coalition? Well in any man, we see the past and the future. Have you noticed, David Cameron is balding? As time passess he has a developed a worried look which causes a certain narrowing of the eyes and pursing of the lips. Already we tire of the harrowing and insistent sound of his voice. We switch off easily these days. Surely there must be someone else we can listen too. Of course there is a Nick Clegg: a likeable fellow with a good-average education. Could this be the next leader of the Liberal Conservative Party? You think I exagerate? Time will tell – even for a Westminster boy.

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