There’s not often a meeting of minds between the very conservative Conservatives of the Conservative Party and the common persons in the UK. Traditionally and mutually whenever the two classes of person have become aware of the other they have despised and shunned one another.
For the most part the ultra Conservative class of The Party were privately educated at Boarding Schools to which they had been packed off by their parents at an age of six or seven and at which they learned many extra-curricular things which acted upon them so as in general to twist their minds.
These schools are and always have been expensive and the preserve only of the better off and their children. There is a lot of comic material in circulation in Britain about the products, the outcomes from these schools, when pupils leave to enter Oxbridge or one of the better sorts of University, whereabouts their formal education is to be completed. The child who is interned in such a school at six years old comes out the other end of his stay a lad or girl of 17 or 18 who is equipped with a case-hardened personality and a catalogue of strictly-observed and rigid views on British history and on the roles they will play in it.
For this set of undergraduates history is the story of what great men (not usually women) have done in the past. This set of persons tends to see history as a series of character and personality-based events; and the role of what one might call ‘the Spirit of the Age’ in history is relegated for them far down the line; and such a spirit is seen by them as a factor which was moulded wholly by the great men of the times. It is thus these elite persons’ roles to carry on that tradition and to become prominent in society, and so make their marks. So that people yet to come will refer to them as the history makers.
This outlook of a personality and character-based world naturally engenders between them intense competition and this in turn generates great antipathies and grudges and much bickering and in-fighting. It is this set of traits which characterises this portion of British society more than anything else. It is nowhere else employed by any other UK social group to advance their ambitions for their lives.
Only the laws of libel and the formal standards this set professes in their roles in public life prevents them from displaying their situation to society’s lower orders, of an all out war going on between them. This privacy is in the London Clubs and fine town houses; behind closed doors whereabouts this war rumbles on; is arranged so as to happen in private so as to disallow the greater public any view of or access to their civil strifes. This then is the reason for their formal standards of behaviour in public life; so that the real struggles for power, alliance, and revenge can go on in camera and without the common persons being privy to their antics.
This private war one would think might be ideologically based or might even be a series of educated men’s debates on what course of action or what approach might be best, concerning burning issues. One would be wrong utterly. Because these infightings are all ad hominem battles and this upper crust takes up cudgels against its own so as to make personal attacks on one another, and to settle scores and to outmanoeuvre – whilst scratching friends’ backs they slit their enemies’ throats. Ideas based discussions and debates come far down the pecking order of these crew. It is for them all about personalities and character.
This means that although they may be some of the more highly educated persons in the nation, their upbringing, left largely to form masters and to prefects and head boys to take care of, has left them seething with ambition to make a mark and with a ruthlessness and antagonism strong enough to ensure they will do every deed and use any pretext to advance themselves.
Now amongst the least well-educated persons in the UK are the vast numbers of persons almost predestined to grow up and remain in the lower social classes into which they were born. Since they are not familiar with abstract ideas, nor have they been taught of the importance of abstract ideas; nor of debate and argument (as opposed to quarrels); they also treat life as a wholly personality-based and character-driven phenomenon. Their entertainment includes a lot of TV soap; which is little more than a series of neighbours falling out with and committing misdemeanours upon one another; of raised voices and blood pressure and a sort of post-modern mayhem melodrama.
These TV soaps not only reflect common life they also direct it, so that all the more sense of authenticity of life may be felt by and imagined had by the common viewer of them. Thus they are an integrated part of the consumer economy which above all and for its self-perpetuation absorbs, creates and feeds demand unnecessarily amongst a pool of buyers whom consumerist sellers groom and use as objects for persuasion by use of their propagandas.
And so it is that, the least-educated among us, also like to antagonise and to overthrow or to get the better of others who are their foes and rivals – and often; to do so merely for the sake of it. These persons also form alliances and do favours and receive preference through their networks and so live their lives as personality and character-based histories. Only there is no standard of public behaviour for this common class of person; unlike for the more extreme Conservatives, whose dirty-linen, unlike the common persons’, is rarely seen displayed in public.
But in common the two classes do have the ad hominem attack; which both see as their chief weapon of choice and effectiveness.
This common ground of ad hominem infighting between top and bottom social classes in UK has been a boon to those upper crust persons in UK, who wish for Britain to leave the European Union; and there are many of them, perhaps most of their class?
Their class has chosen almost constantly and exclusively to use this ad hominem approach of theirs, which normally they harbour solely in private; and to put it in the public space so as to attempt to undermine the abstract arguments made by speakers from the side who wishes to remain in Europe; thus aiming to undermine the speakers’ credence, authority, and the character of their persons.
The President of the USA Barak Obama was treated this way by the Conservative Party and its supporters who wish to leave Europe. He was called, with an implicit aim to query him, ‘part Kenyan’; he had, it was claimed, no right to speak on the issue; he was called ‘a lame-duck President’ who was ‘doing a favour for his old friend’ the British Prime Minister. Many, many others have spoken to stay in Europe and have found themselves likewise on the other end of defamatory and pugnacious personal remarks bordering upon abusive.
Does the upper crust of Conservatives know; has it they figured out that; the lower classes of society think and see life through the same prism as it does? Are these toffs waging a campaign which aims to mobilise and energise the lesser persons in the nation to go out and vote this upper crust into the positions of greater control and power which they lust after and which is their truest self-interested motivation for wanting UK to leave Europe? Is this class of toffs strategic enough to have thought this out? They would certainly use such a campaign had they have thought of it.
This lower class of persons here rarely listens to other than wall to wall music radio stations and reads newspapers which are more like kid’s comics. TV news and current affairs is not their bag. But the sensationalism of some toffs throwing abuse and insults at famous people is news for them nonetheless – they like a bit of public argy-bargy – and their comic books will carry with relish a distorted news reportage of this kind of thing.
And so, if UK does leave the EU in June, it may well be because of a strange-bedfellows alliance made between the top and bottom social classes here which has brought out enough people to sway things their way.
Of course the toffs will simply ditch the lower class alliance straightaway. Its utility is done. The toffs will take their prizes and walk off with them. None of us will get a share or even see them. The plebs, as they see and despise them, will have been suckered. All history is the history of class war.