Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On Poshness

Ha ha ha, hee hee, so a Tory MP exposed his blue blooded roots by explaining that he wont travel coach in the perfectly adequate for everyone else British railway because coach class passengers are "a totally different type of people." This statement is especially painful because the Tories have had to labor (haha) to rid themselves of the stereotype of being wealthy blue bloods with very little understanding or appreciation for what it means to be working, or even middle class.

English people of the non Tory variety have told me that the Tories are a complete embarrassment and anachronism, that nobody takes them seriously, and that this is the last generation of Tory MPs. I know quite a few Brits, lived among them for a while, and the only vocal Tory I knew was from the North (in general, this means Not Posh) and gay. However, the truth is that Tory's keep winning elections, and as far as I know, don't rely on a constituency of Barons and Dukes.

This whole concept of class in England (I'm gonna say England because things might be different in Scotland and Wales) is so confusing to me, maybe in the same way that concepts of race and ethnicity in, say, the US or Brazil might be confusing to a Mongolian. This isn't to say that there is not such thing as class in the US (or race in Mongolia) but just that it seems to still be a hot topic there, if not really discussed. Wealth, accent, education, and geography all seem to play into class there, as well as ethnicity and maybe 'blue bloodedness,' but any one of, and perhaps even all of these things could point one way in the poshness-o-meter, and you could still reside firmly on the other end. So do blue collar Brits in the north identify with their blue blooded cousins and vote Tory? Is it just all of the wealthy bankers in London? How many people in England would agree the coach class trains are  unacceptably vulgar? It is all a mystery to me.