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-   -   General UK politics (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=346868)

Andy_Ross 31st January 2022 11:26 AM

Paul Waugh tweeted
@paulwaugh
Extraordinary low blow at @Keir_Starmer from @BorisJohnson, giving Parliamentary credence to the false online smear about Starmer not prosecuting Jimmy Savile. It's just not true. And surely the PM knows it?

Andy_Ross 31st January 2022 11:37 AM

Why didn’t the Speaker ask Johnson to withdraw that outrageous slander immediately?

Also how does he get away with calling female opposition MPs 'She' or 'Her' and not 'Honourable Friend' like he is supposed to?

Andy_Ross 31st January 2022 11:42 AM

Ian Blackford tweets
@Ianblackford_MP
·
2h
This is what truth to power looks like at Westminster. A liar is allowed to keep his place- I am forced to leave for telling the truth. He misled the house, he must go. Tories must look themselves in the mirror and ask if they can allow this to go on much longer? Remove him now.

Andy_Ross 31st January 2022 02:46 PM

Zahawi and Truss have declared they have covid today. How many more of the Cabinet will also get it now?

jimbob 31st January 2022 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13718895)
Zahawi and Truss have declared they have covid today. How many more of the Cabinet will also get it now?

Can you imagine this Cabinet with Covid brain-fog?

jimbob 31st January 2022 03:10 PM

Interesting interview with Dorries on Sky news

https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/1...7GPjVGtYBymVQg

She's swaying all over the place - literally not metaphorically.

I'm not saying she's drunk, but I have seen drunk people look more sober than that.

GlennB 31st January 2022 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13718895)
Zahawi and Truss have declared they have covid today. How many more of the Cabinet will also get it now?

With Truss having attended a packed (and maskless, I'm reading) meeting between Johnson and his MPs. I wonder if she tested positive before or after that meeting?

What a colossal bunch of *****.

Lothian 31st January 2022 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13718895)
Zahawi and Truss have declared they have covid today. How many more of the Cabinet will also get it now?

Real Covid or I'm not supporting that twat in front of the media tomorrow Covid?

Andy_Ross 31st January 2022 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimbob (Post 13718923)
Interesting interview with Dorries on Sky news

https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/1...7GPjVGtYBymVQg

She's swaying all over the place - literally not metaphorically.

I'm not saying she's drunk, but I have seen drunk people look more sober than that.

I could hardly understand a word she was saying!

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

GlennB 31st January 2022 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lothian (Post 13718946)
Real Covid or I'm not supporting that twat in front of the media tomorrow Covid?

Ah yes. I hadn't given her credit for being that clever. Jolly good plan.

jimbob 31st January 2022 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13718959)
I could hardly understand a word she was saying!

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

that doesn't work for me.

Was it Paul Whitehouse exceedingly drunk? Or Stanley Unwin?

Andy_Ross 31st January 2022 09:11 PM

Yes, I put it in youtube tags and it isn't on there lol

Here's a link that works

https://twitter.com/TheFastShow1/sta...64588000854017

The Don 31st January 2022 11:42 PM

Well it looks like Sue Gray did her job and Tory MPs have just enough of a fig leaf to keep Boris Johnson in post. The British public have short enough memories that this will all be forgotten when they're distracted by the successes of Brexit, the next big Covid news or the extra bank holiday in June to mark the queen's 70th jubilee. :rolleyes:

Mojo 31st January 2022 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimbob (Post 13718923)
Interesting interview with Dorries on Sky news

https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/1...7GPjVGtYBymVQg

She's swaying all over the place - literally not metaphorically.

I'm not saying she's drunk, but I have seen drunk people look more sober than that.


Perhaps Central Office told her to do a bit of ducking and weaving, and she didn’t realise it was a metaphor.

jimbob 1st February 2022 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13719160)
Yes, I put it in youtube tags and it isn't on there lol

Here's a link that works

https://twitter.com/TheFastShow1/sta...64588000854017

Makes about as much sense as her normal stuff

zooterkin 1st February 2022 01:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimbob (Post 13718923)
Interesting interview with Dorries on Sky news

https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/1...7GPjVGtYBymVQg

She's swaying all over the place - literally not metaphorically.

I'm not saying she's drunk, but I have seen drunk people look more sober than that.

Had she just been to a work event?

jimbob 1st February 2022 02:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zooterkin (Post 13719283)
Had she just been to a work event?

Or a neurological issue

Andy_Ross 1st February 2022 02:55 AM

Julian Smith (Tory MP for Skipton and Ripon, former Chief Whip and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland) tweeted
@JulianSmithUK
The smear made against Keir Starmer relating to Jimmy Saville yesterday is wrong & cannot be defended. It should be withdrawn. False and baseless personal slurs are dangerous, corrode trust & can't just be accepted as part of the cut & thrust of parliamentary debate.

Andy_Ross 1st February 2022 03:00 AM

remember, the rules are: Lies are ok. Truthfully pointing out lies is not allowed
Existing protocol is unfit to deal with liars, it was drawn up in the days when telling a lie in Parliament was thought to be dishonorable.
The current speaker is very weak and is effectively shielding Johnson.

Dominic Raab tells Radio 4 Today that Boris slur against Starmer was ‘normal cut and thrust’ of Parliamentary debate.

shuttlt 1st February 2022 03:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719243)
The British public have short enough memories that this will all be forgotten when they're distracted by the successes of Brexit, the next big Covid news or the extra bank holiday in June to mark the queen's 70th jubilee. :rolleyes:

Has it actually impacted his approval with the public though? Obviously political actors that want to remove him talk as if they are outraged on behalf of the public, but is that born out in polling?
https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics...pproval-rating

Partygate broke in late November. I'm not sure I see much of a falling off a cliff in support. It's more like there has been a downward trend since April/May last year

The Don 1st February 2022 03:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719326)
Has it actually impacted his approval with the public though? Obviously political actors that want to remove him talk as if they are outraged on behalf of the public, but is that born out in polling?
https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics...pproval-rating

Partygate broke in late November. I'm not sure I see much of a falling off a cliff in support. It's more like there has been a downward trend since April/May last year

73% seem to think he's doing a bad job up from 60-odd percent before "Partygate" happened. That's pretty damning IMO.

Realistically, given that around 10% of people seem to be perpetually undecided, I'm not sure how much lower it can go - there are always Tory loyalists.

That said, the British public seem to have pretty malleable opinions and we've got some extra bank holidays coming up, Covid will likely go into abeyance over the summer, foreign holidays will be back on the cards and I'm sure that there'll be some EU nonsense to drum up support for Boris "the best PM since Churchill" Johnson. :rolleyes:

The Don 1st February 2022 03:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13719324)
remember, the rules are: Lies are ok. Truthfully pointing out lies is not allowed
Existing protocol is unfit to deal with liars, it was drawn up in the days when telling a lie in Parliament was thought to be dishonorable.
The current speaker is very weak and is effectively shielding Johnson.

Dominic Raab tells Radio 4 Today that Boris slur against Starmer was ‘normal cut and thrust’ of Parliamentary debate.

You cannot be dishonourable when you have no honour.

Andy_Ross 1st February 2022 03:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719345)
You cannot be dishonourable when you have no honour.

That's just it, when those in the system have no honour it all falls down.

shuttlt 1st February 2022 03:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13719347)
That's just it, when those in the system have no honour it all falls down.

That's the kind of thinking that means you chose Cromwell over Charles II.

shuttlt 1st February 2022 03:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719344)
73% seem to think he's doing a bad job up from 60-odd percent before "Partygate" happened. That's pretty damning IMO.

Do you have a graph that shows some kind of a bump when partygate broke? I see a downwards trend since April/May. Some demographics maybe show a bump there, but I don't find it very convincing. The fact that you can find a drop between October and December when he'd been declining since May doesn't tell you anything of significance happened in November.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719344)
Realistically, given that around 10% of people seem to be perpetually undecided, I'm not sure how much lower it can go - there are always Tory loyalists.

He seems to have bottomed out at 46% support amongst Conservatives. Again, that's really off a decline that started in May.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719344)
That said, the British public seem to have pretty malleable opinions and we've got some extra bank holidays coming up, Covid will likely go into abeyance over the summer, foreign holidays will be back on the cards and I'm sure that there'll be some EU nonsense to drum up support for Boris "the best PM since Churchill" Johnson. :rolleyes:

My take, for what little it's worth is that all the lockdowns etc is him playing against type. Opening everything up comes more naturally to him and I'd expect it to help.

The Don 1st February 2022 03:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13719347)
That's just it, when those in the system have no honour it all falls down.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719350)
That's the kind of thinking that means you chose Cromwell over Charles II.

Unfortunately both the UK and US political systems have been founded on the assumption that people will tend to follow the rules and when they don't that there will be consequences. The problem is that this is mainly governed by precedent instead of there being specific rules - and punishments for breaking.

The likes of Boris Johnson (and Donald Trump) have discovered that so long as you don't believe yourself to be governed by the "rules" you can simply ignore them safe in the knowledge that there isn't the political will among your cowed political allies to enforce them.

Personally I'd rather live in a republic than even a constitutional monarchy and think that the amount of power and influence that the gentry have is obscene in a country that considers itself (or at least should consider itself) a modern democracy. The likes of Boris Johnson benefit from this residual feudal mentality in the UK IMO.

wobs 1st February 2022 04:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719356)
Unfortunately both the UK and US political systems have been founded on the assumption that people will tend to follow the rules and when they don't that there will be consequences. The problem is that this is mainly governed by precedent instead of there being specific rules - and punishments for breaking.

The likes of Boris Johnson (and Donald Trump) have discovered that so long as you don't believe yourself to be governed by the "rules" you can simply ignore them safe in the knowledge that there isn't the political will among your cowed political allies to enforce them.

Personally I'd rather live in a republic than even a constitutional monarchy and think that the amount of power and influence that the gentry have is obscene in a country that considers itself (or at least should consider itself) a modern democracy. The likes of Boris Johnson benefit from this residual feudal mentality in the UK IMO.

I was thinking last night, that it would be nice if we could sue Eton College out of existance for the damage they seem to have done to this country. Dreaming is free.

shuttlt 1st February 2022 04:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719356)
Unfortunately both the UK and US political systems have been founded on the assumption that people will tend to follow the rules and when they don't that there will be consequences. The problem is that this is mainly governed by precedent instead of there being specific rules - and punishments for breaking.

Have they? I'm not sure that this is true at all. I would say that the US system is more founded on the realisation that everything is political, even the law, hence their views on impeachment following the trial of Warren Hastings.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719356)
The likes of Boris Johnson (and Donald Trump) have discovered that so long as you don't believe yourself to be governed by the "rules" you can simply ignore them safe in the knowledge that there isn't the political will among your cowed political allies to enforce them.

It's not a discovery. This has been known for hundreds of years. It has just been convenient to present it as otherwise.

The difference with Boris and Trump is they make far less of a pretence about it. There probably are leaders who would feel honour bound not to break the rules, Theresa May would perhaps be an example, but do such people make good Prime Ministers? I think many people would take Johnson over May any day of the week. I think that if one insists on politicians complying with middle class morality, then middle class morality gets baked into the political assumptions. You end up being governed by dry moral prudes like May and Starmer, or PR men like Blair.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719356)
Personally I'd rather live in a republic than even a constitutional monarchy and think that the amount of power and influence that the gentry have is obscene in a country that considers itself (or at least should consider itself) a modern democracy. The likes of Boris Johnson benefit from this residual feudal mentality in the UK IMO.

I would say they benefit from the working class being repelled by middle class morality. Maybe living in a republic like the US would be better where politics isn't dominated by the rich.

Darat 1st February 2022 04:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobs (Post 13719358)
I was thinking last night, that it would be nice if we could sue Eton College out of existance for the damage they seem to have done to this country. Dreaming is free.

BP (Before Pandemic) I was often driving through Eton in the morning and I always wondered how many future PMs, ministers, high court judges and the likes I was driving past. It is when you think about it absolutely disgusting that simply going to that one school assures "success" in later life for most of them.

Darat 1st February 2022 04:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719362)
...snip..

I would say they benefit from the working class being repelled by middle class morality. Maybe living in a republic like the US would be better where politics isn't dominated by the rich.

The greatest achievement of Thatcherism was to convince the working class that they were middle class.

The Don 1st February 2022 04:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719353)
Do you have a graph that shows some kind of a bump when partygate broke? I see a downwards trend since April/May. Some demographics maybe show a bump there, but I don't find it very convincing. The fact that you can find a drop between October and December when he'd been declining since May doesn't tell you anything of significance happened in November.


He seems to have bottomed out at 46% support amongst Conservatives. Again, that's really off a decline that started in May.

I was going off the link you provided.

Was there a big drop following "Partygate" ? No, but as you pointed out, it didn't have that far to fall


Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719353)
My take, for what little it's worth is that all the lockdowns etc is him playing against type. Opening everything up comes more naturally to him and I'd expect it to help.

IMO he doesn't have a "type" when it comes to policy because he has absolutely no convictions whatsoever. He's demonstrated this time and again when he's said that he'd rather die in a ditch (or similar) than allow something to happen only to forget this pledge when the something happens.

IMO he is driven solely by his belief that he is destined to lead the country. He will implement announce (actually doing stuff is for mugs when 90% of the benefit comes from the initial annoucement) any policy which will gain him sufficient positive headlines even if it's the complete opposite of the policy he announced the day before.

I suppose in one way it's quite refreshing. Too many people paint themselves into a corner because of some deeply held beliefs - that can never happen to Boris Johnson because he doesn't care for anything other than his own personal power, comfort and welfare. If any policy affects any of those things, it'll be dropped immediately without regret. On the other hand it means that there's no underlying backbone.

The Don 1st February 2022 04:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719362)
I would say they benefit from the working class being repelled by middle class morality. Maybe living in a republic like the US would be better where politics isn't dominated by the rich.

Hahahhahahahahhahahhahahahhahahhahahahahahahahahah !

No, but seriously, the rich in the US wield even more political influence.

The Don 1st February 2022 04:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13719368)
The greatest achievement of Thatcherism was to convince the working class that they were middle class.

I think I've made this point in one of the US politics threads.

The presumption these days is that positions 100-67 in the pecking order (whether that's income or wealth or a combination) is working class, 66-33 is middle class and 33-1 is upper class.

IMO it's more like 100-15 is working class, 15-2 is middle class and the top 1 or 2 percent are upper class.

Again IMO...

If you rely on your next salary or pension payment to pay the bills and/or have little in the way of wealth beyond equity in your primary residence then you're working class. AIUI a frightening proportion of people in the UK don't have enough financial resources to withstand even a few months without income.

OTOH if you have a comfortable income from your employment (or pension), considerable assets and substantial long-term savings then you're middle-class.

If you live from the income generated from your assets - and as a consequence you choose whether to work, then you're upper class.

My parents were both teachers. At the start of their married life, they were definitely in the working class. By the time they retired, thanks to living well within their means, good occupational pensions and diligent saving, I reckon they just about snuck into the middle class.

Mrs Don and I are both the children of teachers, we went to university and got great-paying jobs with the same large American Management Consultancy. Apart from the first 5 years out of University when we were finding our feet financially, I'd say we've been comfortably middle class due to our decent income, modest spending, not having children and a big, big slice of dumb luck. :o

shuttlt 1st February 2022 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719372)
Hahahhahahahahhahahhahahahhahahhahahahahahahahahah !

No, but seriously, the rich in the US wield even more political influence.

I know. That's the thing. I'm not at all sure that being a republic would really fix anything if your goal is to take the interests of generational wealth and influence out of politics. I always liked the famous Alan Clark line about Heseltine - "The trouble with Michael is that he had to buy his own furniture".

jimbob 1st February 2022 04:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719356)
Unfortunately both the UK and US political systems have been founded on the assumption that people will tend to follow the rules and when they don't that there will be consequences. The problem is that this is mainly governed by precedent instead of there being specific rules - and punishments for breaking.

The likes of Boris Johnson (and Donald Trump) have discovered that so long as you don't believe yourself to be governed by the "rules" you can simply ignore them safe in the knowledge that there isn't the political will among your cowed political allies to enforce them.

Personally I'd rather live in a republic than even a constitutional monarchy and think that the amount of power and influence that the gentry have is obscene in a country that considers itself (or at least should consider itself) a modern democracy. The likes of Boris Johnson benefit from this residual feudal mentality in the UK IMO.

Agree with everything.

As for the "would you want president Johnson/Blair as head of state. It's only an accident of birth that we're not looking at the prospect of King Andrew. And Charles isn't exactly brilliant anyway. I'd rather have a President Mary Robinson than either

shuttlt 1st February 2022 05:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719385)
I think I've made this point in one of the US politics threads.

The presumption these days is that positions 100-67 in the pecking order (whether that's income or wealth or a combination) is working class, 66-33 is middle class and 33-1 is upper class.

IMO it's more like 100-15 is working class, 15-2 is middle class and the top 1 or 2 percent are upper class.

Are you not changing the definition of what those classes mean here?

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719385)
If you rely on your next salary or pension payment to pay the bills and/or have little in the way of wealth beyond equity in your primary residence then you're working class. AIUI a frightening proportion of people in the UK don't have enough financial resources to withstand even a few months without income.

I think traditionally one meant something other than your income, or how much you had in the bank, by what class you were. There are plenty of examples of aristocrats losing everything, George Orwell was frequently on the point of starving through lack of funds, but can you ever really be working class if you went to Eton? Thatcher was the daughter of a grocer, could she ever have been upper class? Churchill had to work. I think his brother had to go into banking to earn his keep. Were the Churchills middle class?

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719385)
OTOH if you have a comfortable income from your employment (or pension), considerable assets and substantial long-term savings then you're middle-class.

If you live from the income generated from your assets - and as a consequence you choose whether to work, then you're upper class.

Your model would have lots of people starting their lives as working class, becoming middle class and then later in life becoming upper class purely on the basis of money. I'm really not sure that that is what class used to mean. My mother would have started in a middle class family, become working class when she started work before becoming middle class and then upper class.

Andy_Ross 1st February 2022 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719362)
Maybe living in a republic like the US would be better where politics isn't dominated by the rich.

Say what now?

The Don 1st February 2022 06:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719399)
Are you not changing the definition of what those classes mean here?

Not really, if you recall, I said that I though I had initially posted my thoughts in a US Politics thread. The US traditionally has a different view of class than the UK being more about wealth and less about breeding - though the prevalence of inter-generational wealth (or poverty) means that there's a significant overlap.

In the past it was the vast majority of people grafting, a small mercantile/professional middle class and a tiny, largely inherited, upper class.

That's still pretty much the situation now in the UK IMO with the vast majority of people managing, barely managing or not managing at all, a much smaller number of people doing fairly nicely and the 1%ers doing very well indeed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719399)
I think traditionally one meant something other than your income, or how much you had in the bank, by what class you were. There are plenty of examples of aristocrats losing everything,

...and at that point in time they, and certainly their descendants, were no longer upper class.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719399)
George Orwell was frequently on the point of starving through lack of funds, but can you ever really be working class if you went to Eton?

If not, it entirely removes the possibility of social mobility.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719399)
Thatcher was the daughter of a grocer, could she ever have been upper class?

In her own right ? Probably not.

Then again she married a multi-millionaire businessman and so whilst she may have been considered "arriviste" at a minimum she could be considered upper-middle class. IIRC Denis still had to work for a living

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719399)
Churchill had to work. I think his brother had to go into banking to earn his keep. Were the Churchills middle class?

Depends on how far you get from the "main" line, but yes some of the Churchills might properly have been upper-middle class.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719399)
Your model would have lots of people starting their lives as working class, becoming middle class and then later in life becoming upper class purely on the basis of money. I'm really not sure that that is what class used to mean. My mother would have started in a middle class family, become working class when she started work before becoming middle class and then upper class.

You're right, there's an ugly transition period between being a dependant - in which case someone else is footing the bill and standing on your own two feet.

Then again, many of the people I went to university with and started working with came from upper-middle class families and though they may have briefly dipped to middle-class living standards their parents were often on hand to provide a financial safety net. Looking at my middle class friends' children who are in their 20s and early 30s, their parents have provided deposits for houses and flats or a new second hand car.

Regarding the idea of working through the classes over the course of a career, I'd argue that the likes of Alan Sugar have shown that it can be done but he's the exception rather than the rule. The idea that there are lots of people who started off as working class and have managed to get to the position that they and their families are living off the income generated by their wealth is IMO fanciful.

Levels of social and economic mobility are comparatively low in the UK (and are falling), and falling. Many of of our neighbours are our age or older and are what I would term middle class. Most are now retired and (usually he) had a professional or upper management job. They seem to have three typical back-stories
  • Child of middle class parent lives middle-class life
  • Second or third child of upper middle-class parents had to make more of their own way in life but was given a jolly good head start
  • Child of working class parents made the most of the educational opportunities in the 60s, 70s and 80s to do well for themselves - a.k.a. grammar school boy makes good, regardless of whether they went to grammar school

OTOH most of the people we know and meet on a day-to-day basis through sport, music or just in the surrounding area are working class folk from a long line of working class folk. They work hard to provide for their families but haven't quite managed to have that slice of luck required to propel them into the middle class.

shuttlt 1st February 2022 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
Not really, if you recall, I said that I though I had initially posted my thoughts in a US Politics thread. The US traditionally has a different view of class than the UK being more about wealth and less about breeding - though the prevalence of inter-generational wealth (or poverty) means that there's a significant overlap.

I don't think I've read that thread.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
In the past it was the vast majority of people grafting, a small mercantile/professional middle class and a tiny, largely inherited, upper class.

Sure.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
That's still pretty much the situation now in the UK IMO with the vast majority of people managing, barely managing or not managing at all, a much smaller number of people doing fairly nicely and the 1%ers doing very well indeed.

Sure, but an awful lot of that has to do with how old people are. The amount of money I have now compared to when I was 20 is crazy, and it really isn't anything to do with anything other than the slow increase in capital and experience. Many of that top 1% will have been in the middle and the bottom thirds of the population.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
...and at that point in time they, and certainly their descendants, were no longer upper class.

Their descendents, perhaps not. I don't know the purpose of the word class though if you just mean how much wealth somebody has. All you are meaning is poor, comfortable, and wealthy. Even in the US, there is something very much like class going on. Let's suppose Joe Exotic and Chelsea Clinton somehow ended up with the same net wealth. Are we honestly saying that there is no sense in which Chelsea Clinton is of a different class to Joe Exotic regardless of his wealth?

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
If not, it entirely removes the possibility of social mobility.

Racial mobility doesn't really exist either. What is fixed by changing the definition of class to be something that is changeable while leaving the thing class previously referred to unchanged?

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
In her own right ? Probably not.

We agree on that, at least. He kids probably were. Scratcher etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
Then again she married a multi-millionaire businessman and so whilst she may have been considered "arriviste" at a minimum she could be considered upper-middle class. IIRC Denis still had to work for a living

Upper middle, sure. She still had to buy her own furniture though. Can you imagine?

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
Depends on how far you get from the "main" line, but yes some of the Churchills might properly have been upper-middle class.

Indeed, but Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA, son of Lord Randolph Churchill educated at Harrow and Sandhurst was most certainly not middle class, yet he struggled for money in periods of his life and had to work.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
You're right, there's an ugly transition period between being a dependant - in which case someone else is footing the bill and standing on your own two feet.

Then again, many of the people I went to university with and started working with came from upper-middle class families and though they may have briefly dipped to middle-class living standards their parents were often on hand to provide a financial safety net. Looking at my middle class friends' children who are in their 20s and early 30s, their parents have provided deposits for houses and flats or a new second hand car.

Regarding the idea of working through the classes over the course of a career, I'd argue that the likes of Alan Sugar have shown that it can be done but he's the exception rather than the rule. The idea that there are lots of people who started off as working class and have managed to get to the position that they and their families are living off the income generated by their wealth is IMO fanciful.

Alan Sugar is only upper class if the only thing you mean by class is money. That seems to me a very middle class perspective.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
Levels of social and economic mobility are comparatively low in the UK (and are falling), and falling.

Sure, the end of grammar schools and the expansion of universities has done a lot of harm. Other things too, I'm sure.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
Many of of our neighbours are our age or older and are what I would term middle class. Most are now retired and (usually he) had a professional or upper management job. They seem to have three typical back-stories
  • Child of middle class parent lives middle-class life
  • Second or third child of upper middle-class parents had to make more of their own way in life but was given a jolly good head start
  • Child of working class parents made the most of the educational opportunities in the 60s, 70s and 80s to do well for themselves - a.k.a. grammar school boy makes good, regardless of whether they went to grammar school

I think I agree with you. Interesting that we both see grammar schools as so important. Their end seems to be one of the great tragedies of postwar Britain.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719439)
OTOH most of the people we know and meet on a day-to-day basis through sport, music or just in the surrounding area are working class folk from a long line of working class folk. They work hard to provide for their families but haven't quite managed to have that slice of luck required to propel them into the middle class.

Is it purely a question of luck though. I agree it is harder now than it was, say 60 years ago, but is there anything stopping a smart working class boy really knuckling down, going to Oxford and making something of himself? It's not the only path, of course. What are those people you meet doing that makes it surprising that they don't remain working class?

The Don 1st February 2022 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719476)
I think I agree with you. Interesting that we both see grammar schools as so important. Their end seems to be one of the great tragedies of postwar Britain.

You've completely misunderstood me. I don't think grammar schools are important, which is why I was very careful to say "grammar school boy makes good, regardless of whether they went to grammar school".

"Grammar school boy" in this context is shorthand for "clever person from the working classes with adequate access to good quality education who takes advantage of the opportunities".

I'm very much against the idea of grammar schools for a variety of reasons including:
  • The selection process at a specific age discriminates against "late bloomers"
  • A disproportionate proportion of meagre educational resources are directed at a small number of pupils to the detriment of the rest
  • Unless they have to spend an inordinate amount of time travelling, children from poor and/or rural areas don't have access to (typically urban) grammar schools
  • The selection process mitigates against pupils who are left to their own devices and towards those pupils whose parents can afford tutoring to help them through the selection process

The Don 1st February 2022 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719476)
Is it purely a question of luck though. I agree it is harder now than it was, say 60 years ago, but is there anything stopping a smart working class boy really knuckling down, going to Oxford and making something of himself? It's not the only path, of course. What are those people you meet doing that makes it surprising that they don't remain working class?

It's not purely luck but if life is a 100m race, those people whose parents can afford to send them to a good public school start on the 70m line, the working class kid starts on the 30m line (and there are those who start on the 0m line). Sure the working class kid can get to the finish line first, but their task is much much more difficult, and getting more difficult every year.

KDLarsen 1st February 2022 07:48 AM

Better late than never I suppose, but Speaker Hoyle has mildly rebuked Johnson's falsehoods about Starmer and the Labour front bench.

He also pointed out, that while it's within his powers to sanction MP's for accusing another MP of lying, he's powerless to stop an MP from lying in the first place.

The Don 1st February 2022 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719476)
Indeed, but Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA, son of Lord Randolph Churchill educated at Harrow and Sandhurst was most certainly not middle class, yet he struggled for money in periods of his life and had to work.

The upper middle classes send their children to Harrow and Sandhurst.

Churchill's father was the third son of a Marquess, and as such was considered a commoner. He had to work for a living (as a politician) and scrounge money where he could. If he'd been part of the family who lived in, and lived off the proceeds of, the family estates then he'd have been upper class.

Churchill's path was not unexceptional for someone born into the upper middle-classes. major public school --> army --> politics with some writing and journalism to make ends meet.

An upper class person on the other hand wouldn't have had to work because they'd have had ample income from their assets.

The Don 1st February 2022 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719476)
Sure, but an awful lot of that has to do with how old people are. The amount of money I have now compared to when I was 20 is crazy, and it really isn't anything to do with anything other than the slow increase in capital and experience. Many of that top 1% will have been in the middle and the bottom thirds of the population.

Has it changed the way you live your life ?

If you grew up living from salary packet to salary packet with little or nothing in the bank for a rainy day, then started working in much the same way and at some point in time found yourself in the comfortable position that you've got a house bought and paid for, a nice nest egg in the bank (or in the market), comfortable pension prospects (either because of an occupational pension or a substantial pension fund) then you can reasonably consider yourself to have moved from working class to middle class.

If not, you've stayed in your current "class".

shuttlt 1st February 2022 08:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719511)
The upper middle classes send their children to Harrow and Sandhurst.

I can go with that. You are meaning upper class to be the same as aristocrat. Sure. I would say though that the fact that he thought it was shaming to have to work indicates he was operating under an aristocratic / upper class set of rules rather than middle class ones.

Maybe that autistic reddit admin who went on Fox News to talk about the anti-work movement was actually an aristocrat?

shuttlt 1st February 2022 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719518)
Has it changed the way you live your life ?

Yes, and no. Getting money from the bank is a more pleasant experience, as is paying bills. I'd say that a relative of mine going to Oxford had had a far greater impact on him classwise than any money I have made through middle class work.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719518)
If you grew up living from salary packet to salary packet with little or nothing in the bank for a rainy day, then started working in much the same way and at some point in time found yourself in the comfortable position that you've got a house bought and paid for, a nice nest egg in the bank (or in the market), comfortable pension prospects (either because of an occupational pension or a substantial pension fund) then you can reasonably consider yourself to have moved from working class to middle class.

Perhaps, I think to be properly middle class you have to pick up a middle class world view.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719518)
If not, you've stayed in your current "class".

This is where it all gets muddled. You can have a working class outlook, have a working class job - bin man, but if you managed to buy your own house, you are middle class.

Definition arguments are ultimately unsolvable once one has understood each others definitions and disagreed with them. I'm happy to let this drop if you are. I'll go on if you have more to say.

shuttlt 1st February 2022 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13719492)
It's not purely luck but if life is a 100m race, those people whose parents can afford to send them to a good public school start on the 70m line, the working class kid starts on the 30m line (and there are those who start on the 0m line). Sure the working class kid can get to the finish line first, but their task is much much more difficult, and getting more difficult every year.

Sure. It's nightmarish what one would have to do to make it otherwise. The big attempts that I mentioned earlier to end this - dismantling the grammar school system and expanding university entrance has had entirely the opposite effect.

Darat 1st February 2022 08:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719476)
...snip...

Is it purely a question of luck though. I agree it is harder now than it was, say 60 years ago, but is there anything stopping a smart working class boy really knuckling down, going to Oxford and making something of himself? It's not the only path, of course. What are those people you meet doing that makes it surprising that they don't remain working class?

Yes it is - if you consider "lucky" to mean who your parents are/were. It is still the best predictor of your financial circumstances throughout your life.

I think we have to be careful how we use the word "class". The UKs class system is a twisted, perverse system and money in many ways doesn't really come into it, you can be upper class and penniless, as rich as a Russian oligarch and still be working class. So I do think redefining class to mean "income percentile" allows us to have a better understanding of how our society is structured and a way to measure social mobility.

It is a sad fact that simply putting Eton on your CV will pretty much guarantee you an interview, put Leigh CofE secondary school on your CV and it won't even be noticed.

The Don 1st February 2022 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719527)
This is where it all gets muddled. You can have a working class outlook, have a working class job - bin man, but if you managed to buy your own house, you are middle class.

You're only picking one criterion here, property ownership, there are more IMO.

If you are a person who has had a traditionally working class job, who owns their house outright, has substantial savings (say a few hundred thousand pounds) and is either drawing from, or has the prospect of, a generous private pension then IMO you're middle class.

You're also almost vanishingly rare. Working class jobs tend not to have had generous occupational pensions (though there are exceptions) and working class pay packets tend not to be able to fund substantial savings and pay for houses. That's not to say it's impossible, just rare.

Darat 1st February 2022 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13719527)
...snip...


This is where it all gets muddled. You can have a working class outlook, have a working class job - bin man, but if you managed to buy your own house, you are middle class.

Definition arguments are ultimately unsolvable once one has understood each others definitions and disagreed with them. I'm happy to let this drop if you are. I'll go on if you have more to say.

But you aren't by any meaningful definition that is used, as I said that is the great success of Thatcherism. It's like the perception that because you work in an office and wear casual business you are middle class, but if that is a call centre and you are one of the poor sods on the frontline you are as much working class as your father who worked down t'pit.


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