The return of class hatred

The return of class hatred, by Brendan O’Neil.

The chattering classes are praising … this vile snobbery. This 19th-century-style fear of the mob, the crowd, and of their foolish beliefs and ideas. This neo-aristocratic desire for an era when politicians were suspicious of the throng rather than sympathetic to it. …

Those sections of society who conceive of themselves as decent, certainly more decent than the oiks who voted for Brexit, do increasingly think like this. And they are now open about it.

The 1920s, so long ago. Followed by the 1930s…

This weekend, the Observer’s Nick Cohen … raged against the old and the uneducated and the mess they have made of this country with their ignorant vote for Brexit. Like a poundshop Nietzsche he rails against ‘the willingness of voters to be lied to’. Brexit voters are like ‘children’, he says, ‘easy to lead and to fool’.

Unleashing his inner classist, his inner patrician, Cohen says ‘the divide in Brexit Britain is not based on class but on age and education’. He points out that ‘70 per cent of voters whose educational achievement was only GCSE or lower’ voted for Brexit. Perhaps we should introduce literacy tests, like they had in the racist American South: that should weed out the uneducated undesirables. ‘Some ideas are so stupid that only the uneducated can believe them’, says Cohen. And, of course, one of those ideas is Brexit. He says there’s a reason conmen ‘prey’ on the uneducated and the elderly – because, unlike him and his Oxbridge-educated chums, these people are easy to ‘fleece’.

So many words. I bet these people miss the days before political correctness when one word would have been enough to communicate their feelings about the poor, the uneducated and the old: scum.

This classism and ageism is not restricted to out-of-touch columnists, of course. It now infuses many middle-class people’s thinking. The hatred for the old is especially visceral. Last week a poll found that 47 per cent of Brits aged between 16 and 34 believe that old people should be prevented from voting on big issues like Brexit or Scottish independence. There’s a website tracking how many old Brexit voters have died since 2016. … This borderline eugenicist hatred for the elderly is one of the most poisonous sentiments in Brexit Britain.

There is class hatred, too. Attend a People’s Vote march and you will see the well-educated middle classes boasting about how the slogans on their placards are at least spelt correctly. ‘The masses didn’t know what they were voting for’ is the most common refrain of the reactionary Remainer lobby. …

Looking upon the masses as latent Nazis is the new, more PC version of calling them white trash. From the left, behold Corbynista Paul Mason venomously attacking the image of ‘the ex-miner sitting in the corner of the pub calling migrants cockroaches’. Never underestimate how much these people despise the working classes. …

A shift has occurred in Britain over the past three years. What had become unsayable is sayable once again. The elite’s fear and loathing of the crowd never really went away, but now it is stated openly in a way that it hasn’t been since the early 20th century. These people have been so stung and disorientated by the vote for Brexit that they have lost all sense of moral and linguistic restraint and now say in public what they would once have only said in private: that the uneducated masses and the unenlightened elderly are corrupting society with their idiocy and their brutishness. We should be grateful for this honestly stated hatred.

So vote accordingly. The globalist, fantasist, anywheres versus the deplorable, realist, somewheres.