The 'Plebgate' row involving Andrew Mitchell MP, who resigned following his alleged use of the derogatory term, reopened the wounds of a heated debate about the British class system... Whether Mr Mitchell uttered the word or not, 'Plebgate' is a microcosm of the injustice faced by millions because of where they come from and the opportunities available to them.
This little spell is not evidence that I am posh. Evidence that I'm a show-off? Maybe. Evidence that I'm a pretentious prat? Probably. It might even be evidence that I'm a bit good at writing essays on "Rings in Shakespearean Problem Plays". Evidence that I have managed a feat of social climbing which would make Becky Sharp damp-eyed with admiration? Certainly not.
I refuse to accept for a second that her death should be mourned or that her impact on British society and the world was anything other than a baneful one. The countless lives ruined, shortened, and blighted by this woman in the war she unleashed on the working class in this country is unquantifiable.
The latest episode in the long-running series of Oxbridge admissions 'scandals' is one of the more dramatic ones.
For many families in that 15%, Child Benefit represents the last visible, tangible thing they receive from the state. If they do not send their children to state school, if they use private healthcare, if they pay for their lawyers, drive a car, own their property, and have never claimed welfare, then this may be the only state benefit they have ever received. And put in these terms, they may well feel entitled to it. Of course, it can be argued that they are privileged not to have to rely on state infrastructure not to have to sit on NHS waiting lists or suffer a post-code lottery education.
The Conservative Party Conference this week, as with the other two party conferences, was notable for a supreme lack of passion or insight. It seems that, faced with a world order in flux and a rapidly unravelling economic model, our political leaders really just don't know what to do. I for one would prefer it if they just told us this.