The year we finally rose up against the pyjama classes

The year we finally rose up against the pyjama classes. By Brendan O’Neill.

The laptop elites. The pyjama classes. It’s hard to know what to call the new establishment. Those upper-middle-class graduates who make up the knowledge economy. Who think tweeting is a job. Who have faithfully imbibed every woke mantra, from ‘Trans women are women’ to ‘Wear your mask!’. Who are waited on hand and foot by the precariat of Deliveroo and Amazon. Who loathe the old economy — the one that actually makes things — for its unsightly footprint on the planet. And who loved lockdown. Six months making sourdough bread for your Instagram Stories while still getting paid for whatever it is you do for a job? What’s not to like?

The original pajama boy

Whatever we call them, there’s no doubting these folk had a rude awakening in 2022. For this was a year of almost constant rumbling and revolting against the laptop elites by farmers, deliverymen, truckers … The reality of working-class anger rudely intruded into the fantasy lives of the elites this year, and it was brilliant.

It kicked off in Canada. The Freedom Convoy was an inspiring uprising of truck drivers against Justin Trudeau’s authoritarian diktat that everyone who crosses from America to Canada must have the Covid jab.

The truckers blocked roads, waved banners saying ‘Liberté!’, set up food stations and bouncy castles for their family members who joined them in solidarity.

Not that you’d have known any of this from the tsunami of propaganda aimed at the truckers by political and media elites, horrified by the sight of gruff men in caps standing up for their rights. They were defamed as fascists. Trudeau madly denounced their ‘anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-black racism, homophobia and transphobia’. This was a word salad of elite woke contempt — the convoy had nothing whatsoever to do with trans or Islam or those other things.

Trudeau used the tyrannical Emergencies Act to try to crush the truckers. He was aided and abetted by Big Tech: GoFundMe withheld millions of dollars in donations from the truckers. That there was such a concerted effort to demonise and silence these drivers who dared to question vaccine mandates was testament to the intolerance of the elites. In their velvet glove of wokeness lies the iron fist of authoritarianism, and it will slam hard on any old-economy riff-raff that dares to question elite wisdom. Know your place, truckers.

But they refused to know their place. As did many others. Including in Sri Lanka. The revolt there in July, when the economically rattled masses stormed the presidential palace and swept aside the government, was also a revolt against the laptop classes. …

Dutch farmers continued their road-blocking uprising against their government’s demand that they massively cut back on nitrogen emissions — an EU-authored eco-measure that some predict could lead to the closure of 3,000 farms. Imagine putting the green fairytale ahead of producing food – that’s how crazy our elites now are. Canadian and Irish farmers likewise pushed back against anti-nitrogen madness. Meanwhile, cabbies and truckers took to the streets in Italy, Poland, Albania and elsewhere to register their fury with rising fuel prices. …

Everywhere one looked in 2022, ordinary people were agitating against the New Normal. Against the world of less, inflicted on us by cosseted elites and their policies of over-long lockdowns and Net Zero. These were stirring populist statements, and it surely surprised no one that they took place outside the structures of the old left. A left that’s more obsessed with pronouns than production has nothing remotely useful to say to the global working class.

Mere murmurs. The pajama class are still firmly in control.