Thursday 16 December 2010
Julie Burchill: Spare us these pampered protesters who riot in defence of their privilege
Every conflict at some point produces a photograph which seems to sum up what a thousand words of journalism couldn't. The nine-year-old girl fleeing a South Vietnamese napalm attack which showed how wrong American involvement in the Vietnam war was. The toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein which showed how right American involvement in the Iraq war was. The erection of the hammer and sickle over the Reichstag which finally gave the Master Race notice to lay down its arms and open its heart to the Red Army.
And now, that pampered, pompadoured ponce of a poltroon, swinging from the Union flag on the Cenotaph.
Charlie Gilmour's father is an old Etonian poet; his stepfather a superannuated rock star worth around £78m whose most famous ditty insisted, somewhat amusingly under the circs, that "We don't need no education." The creature himself has been on the books of Select Model Management and has – quelle surprise! – tried his soft white hand at journalism, writing music reviews for the Guardian.
And here is this vile body, more Beau Brummel than Che Guevara, talking about the reward Mummy and Uncle-Daddy gave him for being a good little soldier and getting into Big School: "I've always loved good-quality clothing. My parents said that if I got into Cambridge, they would buy me a Savile Row suit. They made me two suits – a single-breasted day suit and a slim-cut dinner suit, which is useful, as there are all sorts of feasts and formal occasions at Cambridge."
The cherry on the festive cake is that Gilmour is a history student who didn't know what the Cenotaph was. What do you bet he thought THE GLORIOUS DEAD was the name of a band? Make no mistake, this was not a foot-soldier of the wretched of the Earth rioting in defence of his survival – this was the spawn of privilege and entitlement rioting in defence of his privilege and entitlement.
Since even the tiny bit of social mobility there was in this country came to a halt, the young rich have seen areas previously open to bright working-class youth become as mindlessly theirs as a trust fund. The Word magazine noted recently that – while fewer than one in 10 British children attends a fee-paying school – 60 per cent of rock music chart acts are now ex-public school, compared with one per cent 20 years ago.
And on top of this, the public-school educated children of millionaires believe that it is their right to have their educations funded by those who leave school at 16! Well, I didn't go to university but almost everyone I know did, and with no exceptions whatsoever I honestly cannot see what the point was. They were all qualified and equipped for the positions they hold when they left school - the three years spent at university were just three years of boozing and bullshitting funded by the taxes of people who had the actual gumption to remove themselves from the playpen of education and get a job as soon as legally possible. In a belated reaction to this fact, the accountancy firm Deloitte plans to start hiring school-leavers rather than graduates from next year, as businesses become convinced that university degrees are worthless.
University-educated hacks are forever banging on about how dreadful it is that all young people today want is to become famous on reality TV shows, but in a society where all the interesting jobs automatically go to the dreary spawn of the bourgeoisie, it's often the only option. The print unions were pilloried for passing on jobs through the generations, but we now see it in media, music, acting and modelling. Meanwhile, many non-U universities have effectively become holding centres where poorly educated teenagers can prolong the school experience for another three years, staving off the long years in the call centre pondering on exactly what doors their 2:2 in Media Studies was supposed to open for them.
The clever working-class youth of this country has been socially and spiritually "kettled" - hemmed in, suffocated and stifled - since the year dot by the privilege and entitlement of Charlie Gilmour and his ilk. And they have sustained a great deal more damage than a smashed mobile phone, as I believe the poor little oofums did. Gilmour and his gaggle are part of the problem, not part of the solution, and the sooner these natural-born dunces recognise that and step away from a higher education that seems highly unlikely to alter their state of ignorant bliss, thus leaving the resources involved to the clever and poor amongst our student body, the better.
Swing on THAT, you useless brat!
Shark attacks? Volcanic ash? It must be Mossad
I see that it has been suggested in Egypt that Mossad may be behind the shark attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh in a bid to ruin Egyptian tourism. Which got me to thinking that those fiendish Zionists may well be behind many other apparently natural disasters which have happened recently.
The volcanic ash? Got me trapped in Israel for more than a fortnight, thereby enabling the Hebrew oppressor to brainwash me even further as a willing propagandist stooge. Recent tsunamis and floods? Surely you don't believe it was a total coincidence that the nations involved were mostly Muslim – it was all those demonic Jewish scientists messing with the tectonic plates. Climate change? Again, Mossad are behind it, determined to make camels' humps fall off and thereby render those proud ships of the desert ridiculous to the non-Arab world.
Of course, the real cause of the shark attacks probably has far more to do with the fact that a revolting number of cattle being shipped in for last month's sacrificial Islamic feast of Eid al-Adha died and were thrown overboard into shallow water. But if you can manage to convince yourself that the reward for mass murder is an orgy starring you, with a supporting cast of 72 compliant virgins, I guess you'll believe anything.
At least Britain's pensioners are getting less mature
I found something extremely adorable and inspiring about the British Social Attitudes survey which found that many pensioners refuse to think of themselves as old, with even
70-year-olds preferring to see themselves as "middle-aged" and even "young". As one who, at the age of 51, strives to live the life of Cliff Richard but invariably ends up living that of Keith Richards, I can certainly identify.
I look forward to the time when a good many of our pensioners are tattooed and pierced and have names like Jade and Duane. Somehow, I can't see them going gently into that good night one little bit. And in a society where the care of the old is a national scandal, that can only be a good thing.
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