George Osborne, vulgarian


by David Webb
George Osborne’s lewd and off-target remarked at a GQ event (did he think GQ was a pornographic magazine??) reveal him to be a vulgarian (http://www.tntmagazine.com/tnt-today/archive/2011/09/08/george-osbourne-gq-w-nkers-joke-bombs-at-awards.aspx) .

There was a time when being a member of the Conservative Party indicated one was not vulgar in one’s personal tastes and jokes, but no longer. What we are witnessing is more worrying than that. We have known for a long time that the Bullingdon Club and similar groups of public schoolboys catered to vulgarian tastes, but it was always thought to be youthful high jinx. But now it seems the majority of what would once have been the ruling class are happy to dumb down — they are chavs with trust funds.

One look at the princes and princesses of the royal family shows the same thing. Prince Harry photographed leaving nightclubs worse for wear, with his shirt buttons undone? Princess Beatrice wearing an absurd contraption on her head to the Royal Wedding? These people are not culturally superior to the riff-raff on the Jeremy Kyle show. And that shows that the possibility of social leadership has receded: decent values are no longer espoused by our elite, which isn’t even seeking to set the tone for society.

As a conservative, I would like to see the ruling class bound into society via codes of morals and behaviour, as was the case in the days when the well-heeled were expected to be upstanding members of the Anglican Church. It seems we have cast off religon and morals in order to free the Establishment from their cultural constraints — they are free to indulge in vulgar behaviour and to guide our society downwards. A bit like the fag-end of the Roman Empire, in fact…

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12 responses to “George Osborne, vulgarian

  1. It just really shows how bad the modern idea of having other people write your speeches for you is.

    The idea of the ruling class setting a high moral standard was a Victorian innovation as our society drowned under the post-puritan revival set off by the likes of Wesley. The new bourgoisie of the industrial age had, for various reasons, a strong base in that post-puritanism, the “Non-Conformists”. The rest of the upper class latched onto their fascination with Social Purity as a justification for power, “we are in charge because we are morally superior”. The Royals, and Victoria in particular, decided they would be the moral spirit of the nation, something they had never done before.

    It was just a passing phase in history. It was over by the middle 20th century as the components of our imperial grandeur- the Empire itself, the industries, the Royal Navy- all passed away.

    There’s no need for a ruling class, but if you have one, the best thing it can do is leave everyone else alone as much as possible. We would do well to go back to the eighteenth century model when Kings and Princes shagged every passing courtesan, Downing Street was full of ale houses and whore houses, and the government generally left morals to other agencies, those agencies being the individual, and a rather disinterested church. It was a much freer country then. Of course, we wouldn’t want another Walpole, but that could surely be arranged.

  2. Ian B – while I dislike politicians preaching and behaving like hypocrites I don’t think it is wrong to expect them to behave with a degree of decorum.

  3. I don’t. It helps generate this illusion that they are something other than utterly contemptible.

  4. I think it is sad that Sean Gabb has surrounded himself with such low grade people on this site. I suppose, as Enoch Powell once said, you take your support wherever you find it. The comment that there is no need for a ruling class is completely inane – a ruling class providing a good lead to society is essential, and without it liberty or libertarianism is a dead letter. I’m afraid – over to you Dr Gabb. I can’t wade through rubbish and dross on a non-peer-reviewed site. I don’t really know why Dr Gabb carries on under these circumstances. Surely he realised the low quality of the people surrounding him? Or maybe it is his career? He sells books this way? Nothing is being achieved here.

  5. I don’t think Sean has “surrounded himself” with me, dj. So far as I can ascertain, if he has an opinion of me at all, he’d much prefer that I bugger off.

    Precisely which form of libertarianism it is which requires a ruling class I will leave as a question for enquiring minds.

  6. That might be “inquiring minds” by the way.

  7. dj, if that is your opnion then please go somewhere more congenial.

    Ian B, I agree that I very much do not want to be preached at by the State. It and its minions have a nauseating habit of assuming tomes of moral superiority and lecturing us for ‘our own good’. Whether it be our diets, global warming or even wrapping up warm in winter. There seems to be something about the State that automatically attracts the busybody types.

    As for this particular instance, I think it is a fascinating example of pandering that has hit the totally wrong note. Illuminating of how politicians change their tone to what they perceive the audience will want to hear. Very instructive.

  8. I agree with DJ. It may be that having a ruling class is undesirable. But we do have one, and I’d rather its members behaved in a more seemly manner. They should appear to be modest and patriotic and quietly religious and loyal to their spouses. They should behave honourably in small matters, and find better excuses than they do for slippery behaviour in big matters. They should use the English language well.

    Of course, it would be better still if our politicians were to pull us out of the EU, tell the Americans and the NWO to get stuffed, and hold themselves accountable in all matters to us. But not talking in public about masturbation would be a fair start.

  9. Sean, do you write drivel like that simply in order to goad libertarians into attacking you?

  10. “They should behave honourably in small matters, and find better excuses than they do for slippery behaviour in big matters”. Yes, that is important to me too. The PM’s treatment of Nadine Dorries in the Commons was a disgrace – to refuse to answer her question after saying she was sexually frustrated – and then he sent her a text message saying he wanted to pass her abortion amendment but couldn’t due to some problems! For a start, I don’t expect a PM to communicate by text message, but the more important point I’m making is the mendacity of claiming he wanted to pass her amendment, when he clearly did not. Whatever was wrong with Margaret Thatcher, she did not lack personal integrity and she was the last PM you could say that about.

  11. Oh, Ian – you really should know by now that, unless I’m obviously having a laugh, I mean everything I say! You go ahead and mock if you will.

  12. I sometimes wish all our threads were like this.