Live television coverage of a speech by Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, was cut off this morning minutes after she had warned of a return to a “Downton Abbey” society – for a newsflash announcing that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second child.
The second royal pregnancy was deemed to be so important that nothing more was heard of Ms O’Grady’s speech, in which she expanded on her theme that the British class system is being reinvented, as the gap between rich and poor widens.
People watching the speech on the BBC’s news channel heard her say: "Are we going to settle for a nastier and poorer Britain - a Downton Abbey-style society, in which the living standards of the vast majority are sacrificed to protect the high living of the well-to-do?”
But they missed the bit where she went on to warn against returning to a class system like the one described in Evelyn Waugh’s postwar novel, Brideshead Revisited.
After discovering that only half the speech had been covered, a senior TUC official remarked: “Good luck to the Duchess of Cambridge, but she would still have been pregnant when Frances finished speaking.”
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