David came home yesterday
in a furious rage
rather piqued that in doing something to a computer in the mayoral office, he had discovered that the Mayor (who is not an elected member of the council but a figurehead functionary, wearing chains and opening children's centres (if there were any new children's centres to open)) has both a secretary and a PA and not one, not two, but three mace-bearers. To be fair, the deputy mace-bearers double up as chauffeurs, but there's only one mayoral car (bought, not through the preferred procurement company, but from one of the Mayor's mates), so only one deputy mace-bearer-cum chauffeur can drive at a time. I suppose the other one stays in the office polishing the reserve mace. Anyway, D was disgusted that this nonsense is going on when his colleagues, front and backline are being let go. But that's the Tories, I pointed out. The rules do not apply to those in the upper echelon as they do to the plebs on the ground. That's their raison d'etre
. I feel surprised that anyone is surprised that Cameron et al want to roll back the state - that's what conservatism is. They're called Conservatives because they did not want, do not want, liberal progression or change to the class system. They want "the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in societ
y", i.e. the land-owning gentry keep the money and power, a few peons make it though to the middle class, if lucky. This is why there are no right wing utopias in literature
. I understand when Mitford or Waugh* regret the passing of the land-owning aristocracy being "naturally" in charge of society because they see the value in people being close to the land ruling it, but they don't mention in their world view what people outside of their social circle would do (other than horny-handed toil). I can't pretend left wing politics aren't also self-seeking (e.g. post-war unions wanting to keep women out of the workplace to protect their (male) members' pay and conditions) but at least the tenets of socialism are of equality, not one rule for the ruling class, different rules for the lower orders. I suppose a right wing utopia is where everyone knows his or her place: a dystopia for most people.
Sometimes, I wonder if I should befriend a Tory to find out what they think and why they think it. I mean a Conservative who has properly thought about things and come to conclusion about how they want the world to be. Not the Daily Mail racists, or the privileged private-schooled people who don't understand how the other
90% live or the ones who change their views with the wind (New Labourites now Cameron's kids) but a proper card-carrying Conservative. I did used to know one, back in the 90s. I thought his Damascene moment of moving from the world of investment banking to fundraising for a homeless charity had come after he was half-blinded in a car-crash, and I think he was employed because of his contacts at Deloitte and Touche, but as I remember he didn't really raise much money and was then sacked after he left his wife in Huntingdon, ran off with a stationer from Kingston and went on long term sick, failing to send in notes from his doctor. Perhaps he was just fed up of garden parties 'round at John and Norma's. Anyway, I'm not saying that you have to be a Tory to leave both your wife and a charity in the lurch,
but it helps
but I didn't feel for him the revulsion I do for most Tories, perhaps because this was 1996/7, just as the New Labour project was coming to fruition and I felt slightly sorry for him. I suspect his utopian vision would be that the financial sector is lightly regulated but philanthropic, giving money to the charitable sector so that the dispossessed are helped by the rich, the rich feel good, and everyone's happy. Ironically, whilst working for this organisation, I came to the conclusion that charity is bunk - rattling tins and irregular contributions from the private sector do not house or settle people nor support them into work or education; at the time, the organisation was funded by local and central government, doing the work that government didn't want to do.
* the Mitfords could trace their lineage back to the Normans, i.e. land-grabbers. Waugh was a middle class Londoner with aristo-envy.