The most famous example of the disconnect between the upper and lower classes in a society is when Marie Antoinette, in response to being told that the starving poor had no bread, is alleged to have said: "let them eat brioche". Whether this really happened or not many of us know upper class people who could easily say such things.In the UK today there are food banks so we really can say "let them eat tinned peaches". But rather than being satisfied with the possibility that starvation can be averted in the UK we should be worried. There has not been food need in the UK for at least 50 years before the Great Recession of 2008.The lower classes are an eyesore for the upper classes. Only last weekend I sold a rowing boat and one of the families who came to buy it was a picture. The
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In the UK today there are food banks so we really can say "let them eat tinned peaches". But rather than being satisfied with the possibility that starvation can be averted in the UK we should be worried. There has not been food need in the UK for at least 50 years before the Great Recession of 2008.
The lower classes are an eyesore for the upper classes. Only last weekend I sold a rowing boat and one of the families who came to buy it was a picture. The father had tattoos all over his arms and the mother looked like she could deliver a nasty uppercut if you offended her. I could imagine my upper class neighbours raising eyebrows. The grandmother had skin like tanned leather and between coughs provoked by the cigarette stuck to her lower lip chatted about other boats she had had. They knocked the price down a bit but I sold the boat to them because they knew about boats and I could see that it would go to a good home. Being upper class it also saved me getting up early on Sunday for another round of sales.
I was born among people like them. The mother reminded me of girls I had known.
My upper class friends and neighbours never talk about the lower classes but they are full of sympathy for "little black people" whether overseas or not. They seldom socialise with the lower classes and never socialise with the Black British. Black British people are like white British people, some deal drugs and live in flats with milk rotting in the cartons, some are solicitors and send their children to private schools but in the South West of England there are few opportunities to meet any of these so they can be avoided and become the objects of sympathy. Prior to living in the South West I lived and worked in South London so this is all like fantasy land.
Today I went to our local market town. The bookshop had the theme of "Black Lives Matter" for its window display. I looked down the street and there was not even an Asian let alone a Black face to be seen. There were plenty of people who looked economically challenged. What is going on? This really is like fantasy land.
Of course, I know what is happening. If you have loads of cash the uppity British lower classes look at you as if you are a posh twat, especially when you show that slight edge of fear from when you had to dodge the rough boys (like I had been) when you went from boarding school to town. You don't like them. Disgusting people with tattoos and rough manners. Secretly you wouldn't feel too bad if they were taken down a peg or two, perhaps even, given that they have brought poverty on themselves and are not hard working like you, perhaps even, not too bothered about them not having enough food. Now, black people on the other hand, they are obviously the victims of these uncouth working class louts so deserve a great deal of sympathy. What is more, solving racism doesn't mean higher taxes whereas solving poverty and classism might mean a direct attack on your wealth and class.
The academic and upper classes find that anti-racism kills three birds with one stone: it makes them look good, lets the media caricature the lower classes as racist thugs and diverts everyone from poverty and class. Justin or Rupert who work for the Media can look like saints on telly and be patted on the back by Corporate patrons. It is as if Marie Antoinette is alive and well and this time round is winning the revolution, "Let them eat dirt, the racist louts".
(The Postmodernists worked all this out years ago and hoped it would not end well for society).