Debate Lost on Playing Fields of Eton 68


There was a reason for Cameron’s pisspoor performance in the first debate, and that reason will be repeated in the second. Cameron is being coached for the debates by the Hon. Anthony Charles Gordon-Lennox, son of Lord Sir (sic) Nicholas Charles Gordon-Lennox, grandson of the Duke of Richmond. The Hon. Anthony Charles Gordon-Lennox is the Tories’ communications guru. Tax dodger in chief Lord Ashcroft presumably thinks the Hon. Anthony is worth the £322,196 pa the Tories pay him.

The Hon. Anthony is, naturally, an old Etonian. This is no laughing matter. Cameron evidently has a visceral need to be surrounded only by people of precisely his own caste. Do we really need an 18th century government? Hence his obsession with tax breaks for the ultra rich. Hence also his inability to communicate anything to anyone who doesn’t think yes is pronounced yaaah.

Thatcher, Major, Tebbit and Clarke actually knew what everyday life for ordinary people was, whatever their peculiar political beliefs. Today Cameron. Osborne and Gordon-Lennox will be knitting their noble brows to work out why forelocks are not being tugged.

They are about to get a pitchfork up the arse.


68 thoughts on “Debate Lost on Playing Fields of Eton

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  • Alastair Ross

    Cameron’s Old Etonian status is irrelevant. The whole business of running an election like a schoolboy debating society project is inane. In a serious (and successful)country like Singapore no such infantile nonsense is permitted.

    Democracy – Two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. (HL Mencken?)

  • Craig

    Alastair

    In what sense is Singapore succesful. nasty authoritarian miserable little place.

  • Alex T

    If GB had any of TB’s flair for the self serving political stunt he would be sending Royal Navy amphibious assault ships to Dunkirk to pick up stranded holidaymakers from the beaches. He could get some great shots of himself on the flight deck of HMS Ocean, HMS Bulwark or HMS Albion handing out steaming mugs of tea to grudgingly thankful Brit holidaymakers who don’t have the imagination or resourcefulness to get themselves home. It’s not as if these ships are doing anything important right now as we are currently only assaulting brown people in landlocked countries.

  • Richard T

    I thought that his comment that his wife was quite unorthodox since she went to a day school said it all really.

  • PhilW

    Alastair – and the alternative you’re suggesting is? Just let the wolves eat the sheep without bothering to vote first?

  • John D. Monkey

    Craig

    Whether Cameron (and many of the Labour Cabinet) went to public schools is irrelevant and by playing on you demean yourself. It’s also hypocritical – Nick Clegg went to Westminster, ffs.

    What about judging people on “the content of their character”? And it’s the policies of Labour and Conservatives I worry about, not their individual and collective family background.

    How about some more grown up analysis of why the current LD surge matters?

    As a long-standing LD voter, what I really fear from all this is that all we will get is more LD votes without many more MPS as we’ll be second in almost every seat. Brown will then get back in through the back door, courtesy of the electoral arithmetic. Labour has had 13 years of gerrymandering the Boundary Commission (as the Tories did before), so that there are disproportionate numbers of seats in the Labour heartlands with smaller electorates than elsewhere.

    If the national vote share was 29:29:29:13 Labour would have many more seats than any other party.

    Call that democracy? Well I DON’T

  • Ruth

    Have you thought, Craig, that in fact Cameron’s performance might be exactly what was intended. If, as I am sure, the whole election processs is being manipulated into bringing in a coalition government, which, when the public are told how dire our economy really is, will transform into a government of National Unity. Everything is now in place to deal with public discontent with massive surveillance, censorship and of course the 28 day detention.

    So Cameron in his ‘loser’ role did very well; the parties are getting closer and closer. Just what those who really pull the strings want.

  • Ed Davies

    John D. Monkey: “And it’s the policies of Labour and Conservatives I worry about, not their individual and collective family background.”

    Yes, but the family backgrounds tell you something about the relationship between their stated policies and what they’d actually implement. In particular, it tells you who will have most influence over those differences.

  • Craig

    Ruth

    Err, no, I haven’t thought that.

    John D Monkey

    Everyone has a right to be forgiven and overcome their background. But Cameron cannot. It is not just the odd Old Etonian, it is the fact that we stand to be governed by a entire exclusive cabal of Old Etonians, and that is ow he wants it.

  • Anonymous

    Ed Davies

    “Yes, but the family backgrounds tell you something about the relationship between their stated policies and what they’d actually implement. In particular, it tells you who will have most influence over those differences.”

    It tells you nothing of the sort. It merely confirms your prejudices about them. By their deeds ye shall know them.

    In any case, most MPs are nowadays from pretty privileged backgrounds. Where are the Mick Claphams and dennis Skinners of yesteryear? All the parties choose disproportionate numbers of well-heeleed, Oxbridge types. The Labour party has recently parachuted The Hon Tristram Hunt (son of Lord Hunt of Chesterton) into Stoke on Trent Central.

    Nick Clegg is Westminster and Cambridge. Chris Huhne Westminster, the Sorbonne and Oxford. Vince Cable, grammar school and Cambridge. So does this “tell you who will have most influence over those differences”? Like hell it does!

    Playing the “toff” card won’t work, and is disreputable even if it did.

  • John D. Monkey

    Craig

    More playing the man not the ball.

    Leaving the typos aside, what evidence is there for saying “we stand to be governed by a entire exclusive cabal of Old Etonians, and that is ow he wants it.”

    Despicable and a lie! So William Hague, Ken Clarke, Liam Fox (brought up in a council house) all went to Eton, did they?

    When you’re in a hole, stop digging!

    I will never vote for the Tories. But ir’s because of their policies, not who their parents were.

  • John D. Monkey

    PS

    Can someone explain the visceral hatred evident in the media and the blogsphere for the products of Eton over those of all other schools for the rich and privileged?

    As a mere grammar school 60s lefty, I still don’t understand. Is it the uniform, the accent, the arrogance bordering on serenity, or what?

    Or is it just lazy shorthand?

  • Ed Davies

    ‘:’ at 12:12 PM “It tells you nothing of the sort. It merely confirms your prejudices about them. By their deeds ye shall know them.”

    You are right, I didn’t put it well. Craig did much better at 12:04. It’s not their backgrounds as such, it’s their current associates which need consideration. I was confusing the two as it doesn’t seem like there’s much distinction in, say, Cameron’s case. From the little I know about him, it seems there’s much more in Clegg’s.

  • Anonymous

    Were you buggered by an Etonian, Craig? Your new boss, NC, is just as posh. His fag was Louis Theroux, who hand-delivered Nick his copy of the Telegraph everyday.

    PS you sound posher than both of them.

  • Abe Rene

    I recall a scene from the excellent series “The West Wing” where a political campaigner says that to win the presidency, the candidate has to believe that he has been Chosen, which is what gives him the ability to make decisions that affect other people’s welfare in a big way. I believe that Blair had more of this than Brown, but he compromised it by wanting too much to be a sop to the Americans. Thatcher was at least her own lady.

    Thus what matters is a true sense of destiny, and I wonder whether any of the three major leaders have it. Desire for power is not the same thing.

  • Dan Jones

    I would point out that George Orwell went to Eton. It may be a posh school but it is probably quite a good school as well and in any case attendance at the place should not automatically disqualify you as a person who may have sound political views and judgements. Nor should ‘Eton’ be used automatically as a kind of insult.

    Your new leader when to Westminister, why is this any different?

    Craig, the posts on this blog in recent days have been rather intemperate and they undermine arguments that you might wish to make on this or any other topic.

  • jason

    Ruth is on the money again. It’s about manufacturing a government of National Unity, there really is no other way to explain the overboard headlines over Clegg, with the latest, in The Times, being that he is now ‘the most popular leader’ since Churchill… you’d think ‘leader’ would be limited to leaders of countries rather than of a political faction that would fit into 5 telephone boxes

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/aug/19/sillyseason.media

    But still.

  • jason

    I fully appreciate that if the Lib Dems perform spectacularly at the election that they may need 1 or 2 extra phone boxes.

  • technicolour

    This may sound foolish, but what is a government of National Unity, exactly?

    Do people mean a hung parliament? If so, I can’t see it would be worse to have a moderate force in the centre of this. How could it be?

  • technicolour

    Just tried to post, but it vanished, so apologies if it appears twice. Quite a few posts seem to be vanishing.

    Anyway, I wanted to know, what is this ‘government of National Unity’ of which people speak so gloomily?

    Do they mean a hung parliament? If so, what could be worse about having a moderate force in the centre?

  • MJ

    “what is this ‘government of National Unity’ of which people speak so gloomily? Do they mean a hung parliament?”

    technicolor: it starts with a hung parliament, ie no party with an overall majority. Then instead of having another election the parties put their heads together and (with a little discreet encouragemnet from above) and agree to a multi-party government.

    The reason some of us are gloomy about this is that opposition effectively disappears and it becomes a platform to push through swingeing austerity measures and other undesirable things which we would have no power to do anything about. It might be a kind of backdoor route to a one-party state.

  • jason

    “Do people mean a hung parliament? If so, I can’t see it would be worse to have a moderate force in the centre of this. How could it be?”

    The problem with your reasoning is to suppose that a moderate set of policies would emerge from a hung parliament that decided against the simple expedient of fresh elections and engaged on a Government of National Unity.

    The idea is to share the pain out equally, thereby avoiding one party becoming tarred for however long with implementing the necessary cuts, but the real clincher is that the Establishment is reaching a dead end where policy is a direct response to fundamental economic issues regarding energy resources. We’re already entering One Party State territory over the Afghan war, 77% of the British public against and all three main parties in favour. A Government of National Unity would just be the rollout of open One Party Rule with the added bonus of closing off all routes to representation of the BNP, UKIP etc as public desperation for any other political course crystallises.

  • Craig

    Dan,

    The style of this blog is polemical – always has been, I think. It is not meant to be balanced.

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