Originally posted on The Plastic Hippo:
There was a time when class distinction and the social order was a much simpler affair. Correctly indentifying the “March of the Swiss Soldiers” from Rossini`s William Tell Overture made you middle class and correctly indentifying the theme tune to The Lone Ranger made you working class.
In those far-off heady days before the word “mayonnaise” entered the popular lexicon, a bottle of salad cream on the table was evidence of uncultured peasantry; posh people had dinner at tea-time and the lower orders had dinner at lunch time. Offspring of the gentry went to Eton and were groomed for a life of privilege and power in banking or politics. Thank goodness the era of influence by old school tie and the great unwashed knowing their place has gone and the memory of only two black and white television channels and no internet thingy is as distant and ghostly as Gilbert Harding and Lady Isobel Barnet deducing jobs performed by amusing artisans on What`s My Line. Okay, the bit about posh sprogs being groomed at Eton might still actually be true but even crusty old Harold Macmillan might be rotating in his plot at what Dave and his mates are up too.
Supermac espoused the Keynesian notion of encouraging growth, employment and prosperity by using public investment to create a mixed economy thereby harmonising supply and demand in the manufacturing and retail and service sectors. Achieving a very healthy balance of payments and an increase in living standards across British society, this posh old Etonian established social reforms, not least the 1957 Housing Act, the 1961 Factories Act and a graduated pension scheme currently being trashed by the Cameron regime. Who was that masked man? Sadly for Macmillan, he never quite shrugged of his disastrous involvement in the Suez Crisis and hawk monetarists in allegiance with the free market greedy brigade on his own back benches seized their “et tu, brute” moment over the Profumo Scandal. How delicious that a salacious indiscretion exposed by the News of the World should grow into a scandal that brought down a government. Mr Cameron might wish to reflect that history has a habit of repeating itself and that deception and cover-up might not be the best strategy particularly when involved with the News of the World or with powerful men who display a basic and rather vile weakness.