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…