Wednesday, 14 August 2013
In response to the so-called Go Home Bus, bearing a billboard advertisement offering assistance for illegal immigrants to voluntarily give themselves up, a wag has photo-shopped a van bearing the legend “Fuck off back to Eton”. Funny because it reflects the generally held view that the generally held view of our ruling elite is far out of touch with the rest of us. And funny as hell because they used the word ‘fuck’. Even the ordinarily prissy can get behind a good fuck if it is levelled at unearned advantage.
There is a natural envy of those born into privilege. It doesn’t matter what good they do with it; from most people’s perspective it is easy to be good if it costs you little. It is also so easy to be seen as nasty if you don’t ostentatiously use your power and wealth to help others. That seems to be the stance of those on the left – we should share it out. But of course it simply doesn’t work that way. You could give it a try but within a generation the imbalance would be back because once you have gained an advantage you will naturally pass it on to your own.
We are all born with equal (that is, zero) inherent knowledge, but we are also born with unequal abilities to acquire knowledge and character both in quality and quantity. A council house kid could easily outperform a silver-spooned toff and go on to do great things – as the Grammar School system used to demonstrate so well. It does seem odd that the socialists in power tore it down, effectively pulling up the ladder behind them once they’d got to the top.
They claim they want a democratic meritocracy with equal opportunities but somehow they don’t want to give those with a poor start in life the tools to better themselves. Oh my, did I say “better themselves”? That’ll be me packed off to the re-education gulags. For under the doctrine of whatever name you’re giving it today nobody can be seen to be ‘better’ than anybody else. Rather than encourage people to exploit their potential it does rather seem their energies are directed at punishing those who have done so.
No wonder Labour are in such a mess. Give the poor a leg up, but chop it off once they get ahead of themselves. They seem to recognise the fairness of meritocracy but don’t like it when that same system produces unfairness. “Equality!” they cry meaning equality of opportunity, but secretly wishing for equality of outcome.
Labour were formed to fight for workers’ rights. Now they seem to be there just to defend their own right to office, as privileged a position as any in the land. Plenty of Labour millionaires out there, all climbing the same greasy pole; doing the very thing their muddled policies would discourage others to do. It doesn’t seem fair somehow, does it?