Philip Whiteley's Blog

November 17, 2010

The caste system lives on

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 11:22 am

I wouldn’t normally blog about a Royal Wedding, as there is already too much reporting on celebs, but recent coverage of Kate Middleton’s parents sadly shows that the caste system in the UK, with its fierce prejudice against ‘trade’, remains virulent. The Middletons are well spoken and live in a large house in Oxfordshire, so would look posh to most people, but they made their wealth by setting up their own company – that is, working, which the people who call themselves ‘upper class’ consider vulgar. Kate Middleton is, we are told, a ‘commoner’, a term whose usage should have died out some time in the 14th Century, along with ‘serf’ and ‘wench’.

Attitudes on the left of politics are no better. Prejudice takes the form of satirising business and the day job, and opposing any form of requirement for unemployed people to accept job offers (see blog 18 August: ‘The Guardian sneers at ‘trade’).

I discuss this in Meet the New Boss:

The unfashionable distant cousin of the economy, the supposedly inarticulate, philistine and socially awkward relative Trade, is almost universally shunned, even while we quite happily enjoy all the benefits that the industrious fellow delivers.

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