An “insanitary mob of vicious delinquents” run British society. Eamonn McCann doesn’t mince words in this assessment of Boris and the Old Etonians at Westminster.
Old Etonian Boris Johnson defeated Old Etonian Jeremy Hunt to take over as British Prime Minister.
This proves (a) that Tories have no taste, and (b) that the average Old Etonian is an arse. We know this because if they weren’t arses, they wouldn’t be Tories. Or Old Etonians for that matter.
If they were proper gentlemen, they’d have been outside Downing Street on the day Johnson took up residence with angry placards, shouting, “Tories Out! Stop making our school look shit!”
But Old Etonians aren’t proper gentlemen. And there’s few of them would have the wit or wisdom to utter anything so sensible.
The recent leadership race was well in line with ancient Tory ritual. Back in 1963, following the ousting of Old Etonian Harold Macmillan, Old Etonian Lord Salisbury presided over the process of choosing between Old Etonian Lord Hailsham and Old Etonian Alec Douglas-Home (Macmillan himself had become leader by defeating Old Etonian Rab Butler).
There have been 19 Old Etonian Prime Ministers, from Robert Walpole (1725 to 1742) to Johnson today. Between 1868 and 1905, they emulated the Dubs by winning four-in-a-row—Gladstone, Salisbury, Rosebery, Balfour. And now here we are again.
It’s necessary to remind ourselves that these transitions are not taken from a period comedy starring Sir John Gielgud (deceased) but from the continuing horror-story of British Conservatism.
Where did all that wealth come from which swaddled the Johnsons, the Camerons, the Macmillans, etc., etc. as they slithered their way along the greasy generations?
A couple of years ago, a gang of semi-retired Cockney sparrers got together for one last hurrah. They tunnelled their way into the cellar of a Hatton Garden bank over a weekend and made off with the contents of dozens of safety deposit boxes—as glittering a stash of diamonds as had ever previously been seen in the hands of people who hadn’t gone to Eton.
Virtually without exception, the working class of Britain held its breath in hopes that the venerable East End heist-meisters would make good their escape and be able to while away the rest of their days in comfort, chuckling at the discomfiture of the stumble-bum cops.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be. There must have been a snitch involved. Probably an Old Etonian earning thirty pieces of silver for doing decent people down. At any rate, the diamond geezers of Hatton Garden were robbed of their rightful swag and hauled off to prison.
There’s a serious point here: millions of ordinary people rejoiced at the Hatton Garden heist because they knew that people like themselves would never be garlanded with ill-gotten jewels, that the tunnel-diggers were only getting their own back, that the moral balance lay with the genial bandits born within earshot of the Bow Bells, not with crooked toffs who’d squirrelled their stolen treasure away in an underground vault and who, likely as not, had learnt their evil ways at Eton.
To be fair, not every single pupil who has ever been at the posh-boy academy is an arse. George Orwell suffered there for a time. As did Gladstone. And the economist John Maynard Keynes. But by and large Eton boys were arses.
The inculcation of a ruling-class view of the world was and is the whole point and purpose of the Windsor academy for high-born low-lifes.
In the London Review of Books, James Woods has recounted how, at 13, Eton introduced him to history. He was handed Jan Morris’s “Heaven’s Command,” a typical chapter of which provided a rollicking yarn of how the Lancers had put manners on the dusky savage at the Battle of Omdurman, killing 10,000 in the space of a couple of hours at a cost of 48 British lives. Morris neglects to explain the grotesque disparity in casualties.
The Catholic reactionary Hilaire Belloc had no qualms about spelling out what had made the “battle” so lop-sided. “Whatever happens we have got, the Maxim Gun and they have not.”
The Sudanese fighters armed with rifles which had to be reloaded after each shot were mown down in swathes by rapid-action machine-gun fire.
The heaps of dead scattered across the land didn’t rate a mention in Morris’s description. He offered instead a euphoric account of British officers along the banks of the Nile, cheering and waving their regimental colours as the Union flag was hoisted high above a vista criss-crossed by rivulets of blood, to the delight of a gang of “celebrities of Empire” (Winston Churchill among them) enjoying the “splendid scene” from adjacent high ground.
General Kitchener (the man with the bristling moustache on the 1914-1918 poster telling impressionable youths that “Your country needs you!”) stood “ramrod stiff…As the solemn men’s voices sang the old words of ‘Abide with Me,’ a tear was seen to roll down his flinchless cheek.”
“Flinchless cheek”—that’s the sort of shite Etonians are fed with.
As for the home front, the Eton curriculum portrayed the lower orders as either crude beasts to be kept down or as simple-minded salt-of-the-earth chaps grateful for a chance to die for England at the order of a fellow who’d gone to Eton.
Where did the money come from? From centuries of murder and armed robbery of every people they ever came into contact with. And they used the machinery of State to ensure that nobody outside their class could touch it.
On the basis of their record, Old Etonians should be horse-whipped rather than raised into high office.
History will boggle its eyes that the people of Britain ever allowed such an insanitary mob of vicious delinquents to run the country.
On the brighter side, it’s certain that, eventually, pissed-off proles will assemble in substantial numbers outside the school gates with a glint in their eye and pitch-forks at the ready.
No point being vindictive. They should be shown the same mercy as they handed out to millions all over the world.