Other bloggers are up the minute so I spurn the zowee powee nowee . I am having a rumination on the state of stuff in general. In particular the Conservative Party and the emergence of a new Priestly caste. There was a prompt today , the ditching of the A list ,which I picked on the Blog Boss Iain Dale`s post. I have never exactly known what it stood for but have guessed
1 Apple shiner List
2 Advertising List
3 Aggravating List
It was predicted in the DT ,a while ago, that Cameron would offer this sop to the suffering Party, and also that it would be at a point when its work was done . So it has been , so no-one should care much . It appears that CPHQ will still be ensuring “female quotas”, are delivered to the Commissar’s on time and Iain Dale is greatly pleased. He will not of course be offering to trade his own , richly deserved A list spot .with a woman of less talent .No hypocrisy there then…….
Actually , I don’t blame him for attaching himself to a clever marketing ruse ,and it has certainly worked at the polls . David Cameron has attracted swooning women in their droves with his nebulous caring and there’s nothing wrong with that. Why then has the A list ,and its Benneton Ad. fake inclusiveness ,caused such affront to the party and increasingly to everyone else ?
To understand this you have to put it in the context of the New Priestly Caste. Lets start with a brute fact , 95% and more of the adult population ,men or women ,are entirely excluded from any important role in the political process. Immediately we see that we are polishing the bonnet and ignoring the engine, but I want to make it a bit more personal. I want to talk about me …what else!
This was “My Great Struggle “ into political activism . It went through the following gears pretty smoothly ,three years ago.
1 The Council removed my Parking Space
2 I wrote several deeply embarrassing Pooterish letters
3 I received several meretricious slabs of verbiage in return
4 I realised noone was listening , the Consultation was farce and if I didn’t like it I would have to get involved
5 I joined the Conservative party, wrote to the Gazette and started to wonder what the hell we were doing in Europe actually anyway…..etc.
So you see the sort of normal person some pretend to be , I actually am . I spent my twenties drinking and worrying about girls not networking and I have wondered into this strange land like a ingénue seeing things , to some extent , afresh .What I found amazed me,. Young lads of 25 were already experienced politicians ..whatever that means and a whole conveyor belt existing to deliver them to power. The process goes like this. Public School , Oxford, Muck around in Local Politics , Join Policy group of some sort ,get a job as an MP`s gopher and then “Robert est Votre Oncle” you are onto the list . These are not bad people but there is another more sinister side to it . Anyone engaged in normal employment , ie taxpayers , almost all of them have less than no chance of grabbing the train once it has left the station..
What can we expect from such system . Public School Boys who are lifetime Politicians who know nothing of our lives. In other words David Cameron and , lets not forget , Tony Blair .
This micro exclusion reflect one that is growing in the country . It is largely caused by the abject failure of the Comprehensive System, means tested benefits and Housing Policy , but for whatever reason our Society is changing swiftly into a world of priests and worshippers. Some more facts…..
1 Half the senior Journalists in the country are from Public School (Including Guido). They come from a pool of 7% of the country. Did the A list address this . Oh no!
2 OECD studies show that our Independent schools are about as good as they get but the gulf between them and the rest is greater than anywhere else in the Western World
3 Despite rigorous reverse discrimination the proportion of students from under privileged backgrounds entering Oxbridge is declining annually
4 Only 20% of White working class boys get five CGCSE`s at a satisfactory level and you are aware that means they can hardly spell their names
5 OECD studies find this country the least meritocratic in the Western World
So systemic exclusion at the top is accentuating exclusion throughout society. It has got to the point where what was a living democracy has become the oligarchic rule of hermetically sealed specialists and this is why I call them Priests .I am thinking of the pagan priests of the Egyptian religion.
What does Priest do ?Well these priest (and there are echoes in many religions), were Janus like. On a trip to Egypt Mrs. N and I were told to imagine modern Hinduism. It exists at a highly cerebral level for some initiates ,but to most followers it is all superstition ,signs and cheap tricks. There was a baby crocodile that spoke to women needing reassurance about fertility. The priest would crawl down a tunnel and talk in a crocodile way , as it sat in an adjacent cage . The Priest did not take it seriously but assumed that it filled a need .In any case they with their higher grasp were looking out for the lower classes.That is the relatioship they think they have with us. The truth would just upset our little minds.
This sort of thing can only work when you have a separation between the masses and the inner sanctum and that of course is exactly what we have . Back to the real world . I have to admit David Cameron doesn’t frighten the horses but look at the underlying trends for political engagement . Members of the Conservative party number 250000 down from 350000 in 1997 , hardly the finest hour. Its worse still for the Labour Party ( but I don’t care).In the last election no party poled more than 10,000,000 votes . This was the first time this had happened since 1929.
One of the things a mysteriously powerful group of quasi Priests must have is a secret Language. Well that hasn’t been long coming . You will see the young novices practising theirs on Conservative Home they probably believe it is so they can show a grasp of this or that , but we know from working that it is hardly ever relevant to be so specialised. Its main purpose is to exclude those who are unable to spend 15 years learning the codes and symbols . Even such a brilliant man as David Davies was unable to catch up .
There is no need to blame the incumbents excessively, I have the distinct feeling that David Cameron is aware of the problem he does occasionally talk to Conservatives so it would be hard for him not to be . It is not something we can trust the beneficiaries to put right though. I`ll throw out a couple of telling quotes ..
“..More concerned with looking down with pity than with enabling the objects of this pity to look up with hope ..”( George walden)
“The French man is constantly looking above him with anxiety. The Englishman lowers his gaze to those below with satisfaction “ ( De Toqueville)
We have to do it ourselves.
Strange collisions occur in this word where the Parties are so alike at the top that they are the Pigs and Farmers at the end of Animal Farm to the activists.
Suddenly we are friends with Polly Toynbee,and Cameron wishes us to jump aboard he caravan. As wonderful Boris pointed out , why not ? She sends her children to the best Public school in the country and has the most delightful Italian Bolt hole, which to get to, she regularly leaves her muddy carbon prints all over the place . Boris could only gleefully anticipate his invitation …marvellous isn’t he .
What are we to make of this typically fatuous piece of essaying for teacher “The chances of a modern Britain escaping from the circumstances in which they are born are falling fast”..yes do go on Nic whats the answer …,”Mr. Cameron needs to make it an overriding mission..” ,uh oh..he`s waffling ,“to give the poorest families an alternative to failing schools “..oh I see just charitable do gooding ..”and to encourage the best teachers to offer their inspiration..” OH SHUT UP!!!. Not a mention of course about the vast majority treated like cattle a who do all he work. There wouldn’t be . How would an Etonian Policy Wonk know anything of the country he lives in. Only by reading books about it.
Incidentally I am pretty sure this epitome of the problem is posing as Atreides on Conservative Home and trying out this speeches for the next few weeks . Do go and tell him its no good if you get it from a book. Apart from anything lese it’s the last thing David Cameron needs .It would be like Stan and …um Stan..we need an Olly.
THE BIG CONCLUSION
I have tried to show a picture of a political class dangerously divided from the voters and the people . I have suggested they make ex cathedra pronouncements often by image and icon and have floated free of any engagement with other groups . The bicycle with the Bentley behind was a reductio ad absurdum and the A list a mockery of a gesture. It is my hope that the growth of new groups on the web may make a contribution to reengaging our lives with the power that guides us.
We must all do what we can to pull the Priests out of their temple and make them see what their gestures mean in the light of day. Often it is very little . We cannot however disengage with the reality of the present. There is still a vital need to remove Gordon brown and only David Cameron can do it .
( which one would you vote for ?)