Thatcher, the grocer’s daughter, Michael Howard, son of a Romanian immigrant, William Hague, son of a wine merchant. Where did the Tory party lose its head – its grounding in the aristocracy?? Okay, along came Camborne and the appropriate ‘droit’ was restored – Eton was back in charge. But – slippage once again! – Theresa May, daughter of a lowly vicar!
With great relief, as Al ‘Boris’ Johnson comes to stride the Dispatch Box, the norm is reinstated. Hairstyles will see the return of the forelock, and faith in politics is restored. We are in the hands of those whose principal credentials are that they expect it and don’t much care for it….and we seem to admire that….
‘Boris’ fits the bill perfectly and recrudes the age-old link between the robber-barons who forced the signature of Magna Carta and the serfs to whom that mattered little.
Neatly, the political ground was well-tilled in preparation for this. Government has been refashioned from its postwar ‘heresy’ of moral obligation to its working classes to a state of amoral observation of the workings of society. After all, who needs the working classes when technology replaces manpower in the armed services? The neoliberal turn and its outrider, fiscal austerity, created a whole intermediary layer of governance in State Regulators whose job is to relieve ministers of the burden of caring about the human cost of their policies. Ofsted, Ofwat, Ofcom, Ofstud – the collective noun is, as it were, ‘Offload’. Blame for failure is devolved to those who struggle to make sense of ‘less is more’.
Eyes down in deference. Eyes down for more of the same.