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That Britain has an establishment is pretty obvious. But which one it is that rules the country is not quite as all too many seem to think it is. Which is why this particular line in The Guardian amuses:

Is the British establishment finally finished?

No, not that one, every system has and is going to have an establishment. It might be more – say, open to talent – or less – the Venetian one was grand families in 1300 or so and nowt else – easy to get into but there’s always going to be one. It’s this:

All of which suggests that it might be time to question whether the British establishment still functions as it once did. Yes, some members of the elite have become very rich. They are still united in their fear and loathing of leftwing ideas and ordinary people.

For the British establishment doesn’t loath left wing ideas in the slightest. Far from it, it has absorbed and now wholly believes in a plethora of such left wing ideas. Take things which all in polite society absolutely believe and insist are obvious.

Poverty is relative, less than 60% of median household income is the same as penury and deprivation.

Free trade is a bad idea.

The NHS, government financed and provided health care free at the point of use, is the Wonder of the World. So much so that near no one has copied it.

The European Union is an essential part of Britain’s future.

Mass immigration’s just great.

These are not fringe beliefs they’re part of the DNA of our ruling class, that establishment. And none of them are exactly right wing ideas, are they?

OK, maybe they still fear ordinary people but then that’s why that belief in the EU, to make sure that the voters can’t actually change the system. And so also the disgust over Brexit, that irruption of the Common Man.

But really, anyone trying to state, let alone assume, that the British ruling class, the establishment, is not already left wing is deluded. Good grief, even people who went to Eton believe that list of nonsense these days.

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Hallowed Be
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Hallowed Be

So , fusty old businesses and government depts run on a nod and a wink and knowledge of latin tags grow over 50 years in size and scope by many multiples. In the meantime goes from 5% to 50% job market entrants have degree level education. So yes things changed but note, note bene, it was not because anyone came up with a single quota. But what’s this I hear? “If there weren’t an hestablishment it would be necessary to invent one?” ok then you’ll need to be not what you learnt on the playing fields of eton but what… Read more »

Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

Poverty and the establishment have one thing in common. They are both a constant presence without a constant population. People cycle into and out of poverty as their circumstances change. Likewise with the establishment. Angry leftwing folks climb the ladder via the Guardian or the BBC or public sector or charity determined that they will change things. But by the time they get there they have been absorbed. Yes, the establishment is now lip-service left-wing, but it does what it always did, fixes the world to its own advantage. And if that doesn’t quite work for the rest of you,… Read more »

jgh
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jgh

The Guardian doesn’t realise that The Guardian is part of the establishment. Film at ten.

Hector Drummond
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>Free trade is a bad idea. I think this one has changed. or at least softened a lot, ever since Brexit. Because the Establishment wanted to stay in the EU, but didn’t really have a good argument why (“I like the way it makes it easier for the likes of me to swan about Europe without paperwork” not being very convincing to the average person), they were reduced to singing the benefits of free trade. It was quite odd to see lefties who had railed against free trade for years now saying how great it was, and how we didn’t… Read more »

john77
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john77

@ jgh
Of course The Grauniad knows that it ispart of the establishment – that is why it spends so much time and effort pretending that it, and all other trendy lefties, are not.

Diogenes
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Diogenes

Hector, Trump and Brexit have derailed the trendy left. We now see lefties tweeting about the stupidity of Brexit when some CEO talks about moving out of the City, where a few years ago they wanted to kill the vulture financiers. We now see Democrats praising the FBI and CIA for uncovering the Russian fix. The world has been overturned, but I don’t know whether it’s for the better

John Galt
Member

Of course The Grauniad knows that it is part of the establishment – that is why it spends so much time and effort pretending that it, and all other trendy lefties, are not.

After all, how can you have a Maoist “Continual Revolution” against yourself? Surely that would be akin to Trotskyist revisionism and the counter revolutionary dialectic of olgarical collectivism.

If any of the previous paragraph made apparent sense to you then you should visit the nearest mental health unit to get suited up for their latest in rear strap-wear suit design and their daily pharmacological variety pack.

Wonko the sane
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Wonko the sane

The danger post Brexit is that the yobs attempt to replicate the EU model of governance here.