Madeleine Bunting writes a frighteningly accurate portrait of Tory leader David Cameron in the Guardian, giving insight into the vastly complex workings of the British upper classes and how the future rulers of the world are groomed. The article resonated with me because Cameron is much like many of the people I went to school with – incredibly self assured and conditioned from childhood to believe that they are owed the heights of financial and political power:
Cameron was seven when sent to Heatherdown to rub shoulders with
Prince Edward and John Paul Getty’s grandson. It is how godparents are
selected, how weekend entertaining is organised. Every job Cameron has
had has entailed the intervention of some connection or another.
Conservative central office straight down from Oxford? A mysterious
caller from no less than Buckingham Palace. Carlton Communications? A
discreet intervention from Samantha’s mother.Cameron is bright
enough to get these jobs on his own merits, but didn’t need to. Every
step has been eased by the well-oiled wheels of the British class
Cameron does seem like a genuinely decent and compassionate chap, but his shtick about understanding the problems of regular people is utter nonsense. I won’t even pretend to understand how awful it must feel not to know whether you can pay rent or buy groceries from one month to the next. I was born with immense privilege (comparative to most), and could never fully understand it. Cameron, on the other hand, was raised in a world of incomprehensible advantage, a world so far removed from the reality of most people that it is plain insulting to pretend to understand their daily lives.
The fact is, if Cameron truly understood the needs of working and middle class people, he wouldn’t be a Tory. His philosophy conveniently promotes policy that favor his social class over everyone else, and aims to perpetuate the deeply entrenched class system that keeps people like him in power regardless of merit. How that fits in with helping the working poor is anyone’s guess, but that’s what Cameron would have you believe.
(photo by conservativeparty)
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.