Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
I know my place, I just don't know where it is
Anyone who has studied British politics in the last 15 years will know that the fundamental difference between the Labour party and the Conservatives is that - ever since being trained by the Blair administration - 'Labour' politicians always drop their 'T's when talking in public. That's pretty much it, as far as I can see.
Liberal Democrats do their best to sound 'reasonable', but not very convincingly, and UKIP simply sound like the bad-tempered old bigots who they aspire to represent. Conservatives do their best to instill a sense of tradition and authority with their cut-glass, Eton-taught pronunciation, but let themselves down badly when calling working-class policemen who are paid to keep them safe, 'plebs'.
'New' Labour - who have cannily worked out that well over half of the voting population in the country are made up of plebs - spend months or years practicing the art of dropping their 'T's, so that they become instantly accepted like cuckoos in the nests of every working-class household in the country... or so they think.
Nobody listens to the famous old Socialist, Tony Benn, any more, because he has droned on for about 60 years now and the young blades are getting a bit fed up with it - he just makes too much sense.
Tony Benn was born into an aristocratic family as Anthony Wedgewood-Benn (along with a handful of other names), but dropped his title (Viscount something or other) for the sake of his principals, along with the 'Ant' and 'Wedgewood' bits, so they could hardly have created a peerage for him in his dotage, even if they had wanted to.
What Tone did not drop, however, was his upper-class accent. He was simply too principled to do that. Too honest and principled - unlike this latest batch of nauseatingly ambitious and ruthless war-mongers who cannot afford to wage them any longer.
Being brought up by a combination of East-End London father and upper middle-class mother who had aspirations to minor grandeur, my accent has finally settled down to a sort of BBC neutrality which could not be pin-pointed to any area more specific than 'Home Counties', but when I was at school and surrounded by genuine plebs, I was always thought of as 'posh'. It didn't help that we were brought up in a wealthy area of Surrey, albeit in straitened circumstances.
My first few jobs on building sites meant that I was a bit of an outcast amongst the rest of the plebs, but I learned two things very quickly. You do not gain any respect by trying to mimic the accents of those around you by changing your natural one to 'suit' whoever you happen to be talking to - just the opposite.
You do gain respect by being yourself and being good at your job. Maybe 'New' Labour's advisors should concentrate on this truth rather than aiming for the lowest common denominator before every election.
I understand that Barak Obama is currently on the TV every night right now, telling US plebs about how he prefers to squeeze toothpaste, rather than giving any views on real issues which may alienate them from the Democrats. His Republican opponent has already done just that, by saying he has no interest in representing 41% of the entire population who might be voting Democrat. There's no point in wasting valuable air-time, is there?
Talking of wasting valuable air-time, I had better get to 'work'.