A piece in one of the "newspapers" started it off. I don't like reading them on the whole. They leave me feeling small and unsuccessful and nasty and weak and sexually depraved and morally inadequate and poor and lacking in style and ambition and achievement and dress-sense and hopeless with money and devoid of power and pretty bloody well destitute of the power of thought. And all for 30p; well, you can't complain, can you? We should count ourselves lucky. There are poor sods in Germany who would have to pay some Frankfurt dominatrix hundreds of Deutsch-marks to get such a comprehensively nasty going-over, but I can't really say that or I'll get another letter from a person called Dr Weasel who wrote to me from the Fatherland to tell me off for making generalisations about Germans, adding that this was only to be expected because all Englishmen were hostile xenophobes with small willies and faces like squashed tomatoes.
Completely missed the point, of course. Quite humourless, like all Germans. Small willies? Quite possibly, but at least we don't spend all weekend waggling them around on some beastly Freikorperkultururlaub ("Spezial Sonntag! Herrenuberschuss-Party!") and correct me if I am wrong, Doktor Weevil, but it certainly wasn't Winston Churchill who only had one ball.
Rude? Maybe I am. Rude? Rude is the whole point. What I read in the "newspaper" was that everyone was rude about the middle classes (who were never rude back because it's rude to be rude), and, gosh, being middle class wasn't dull and dreadful at all, but actually a jolly good thing actually, because the middle classes invented Laura Ashley frocks and estate agency and Viyella shirts and, and saved the whale and what about Hostess trolleys and anyway it's all a rotten shame and, and garlic, nobody would eat garlic if it weren't for the middle classes; nobody would have ever heard of the Dordogne.
Now then... I bet you're thinking I'm going to destroy this cosy thesis, but I'm not. Instead, I am going to Come Out. I am middle class myself, and you can wipe that damnable smirk off your faces because you are middle class too, and it's about time we did something about it.
The first thing we need is Middle Class Pride. Everyone else has got Pride now. Gay people have got Pride. Black people have got Pride. Drunks and junkies have got Pride. Horrible bone-headed knuckledraggers in desperate leisurewear have got Pride. The upper classes - no matter how hooting, fraudulent or pea-brained - have got Pride in spades. The Middle Classes, however, have No Pride. I know this, because I have been watching them. Watching us. We have spent the past few years behaving like villeins and bondsmen, quietly and politely watching our society being stripped of what we care about. If we had Pride, we would not have allowed that to happen.
The trouble is, being Middle Class is not a socioeconomic condition; it is a state of mind. And it is nothing to do with Viyella or Volvos, and everything to do with civilisation. Its most fundamental attribute is a belief in decency; and it is decency which is forcing the Middle Class to allow itself to be traduced, deracinated and generally buggered about.
Well, hell. Decency is going to make a comeback. Decency is going to be big. Nuts to the dreadful sub-proletariat, sunk in a Jurassic torpor so profound that all they can do is from time to time hit things and each other with hammers, in the hope that this will somehow cause the universal laws of entropy to swing into reverse and arrest their decline. Nuts, also, to the banking class, who, catching the scent of plague in their nostrils, have abandoned decency to stalk the country like pre-emptive grave-robbers. These people will be utterly destroyed when decency rises up and smites them righteously.
Which is a bit of a worry, given that smiting, however righteously, is not really within the remit of decency. So we'll just have to be a bit subtle, a bit oblique, win the hearts and minds and so forth. Hence the need for Pride.
Agas and muesli and the bills paid on time are not enough. For real Pride, we need Glamour. So let's forget for a moment that the Middle Classes have fallen into a frightful state of desuetude, shame and timidity, and remind ourselves of our glories.
The Middle Classes are civilised. We don't need to be violent because we are smart. We don't need to shout because we are articulate. We opened up world trade, wrote music, created great art, designed and built astonishing cities: much of it at our patrons' behest, but if it weren't for Middle Class genius, our sodding patrons would still be living in daub huts and smashing each other on the head with clubs, as would the horrid proles.
The Middle Classes are said to be repressed. Repressed? Bollocks. The Middle Classes have brought hedonism to its zenith. We live in warm, comfortable houses, sleep in soft, clean beds, groom ourselves carefully and have a lot of high-quality sex, unlike the patrons and proles, whose sex lives are brutal and perfunctory.
The Middle Classes are, in short, the flower of civilisation. We are right. The others are wrong. We are better than they are, and as far as we are concerned, they can f*** off. We can walk tall! We are filled with Pride! And now we've got Pride, let's get to work on Shouting, Rudeness and Violent Revolution. First thing we should do is drop those damned asterisks; they're only holding us back. !Reuse content