Sitting next to a table of loutish, over-privileged, boarding school educated twats, I discovered the main problems within the establishment in Britain today. It’s all very well and good to blame the working class “brits abroad” for giving us a bad reputation on foreign soil, but I’ve found the bigger problems lie with the elite. I explore in this article how this is perpetuated by the media and our very own politicians.
Last night, I discovered everything that is wrong with the Establishment in Britain. Well, perhaps not everything, but I definitely had some sort of philosophical awakening about it.
I’m currently on my jollies in sunny Majorca. It’s wonderful, and one of my favourite places to go and relax, other than the beach, is a pub called “The Ship”. It’s built a reputation as being a local for British expats and holidaymakers, a down to earth setting, in which mercedes-owning middle classes rub shoulders with those who come from humble beginnings, and all in all, it’s a nice place to be. Sat last night, a glass of red wine on the table, the love of my life sat next to me, it was a home from home.
And then, unfortunately, a group of loud, Spencer Mathews lookalikes turned up. In their head they thought they were more glamorous than those on “Made In Chelsea”; to everyone else, they looked like a bunch of twats. Clad in brightly coloured Polo Ralph Lauren, boat shoes, and “I just got off my yacht” tans, they sat down next to us. I know the type straight away – I did, afterall, spend some of my most formative years around people like that: a faux-posh accent and an over-confident demeanour. Not my type of person, but each to their own.
Their conversation got louder and louder, one in particular of the hooray Henry’s showing off to his sniggering mates, shouting the “C” word as loudly as he possibly could, and clicking his fingers to attract the attention of the waitress. They each boasted how much cocaine they’d snorted the previous night, and banged their bottles of beer on the table when they made a point. The young family sat next to us upped sticks and moved into the more serene bar area, and I didn’t blame them.
They laughed at the waitress with an essex twang, mocking her appearance and suggesting she didn’t have the “class” that they had. They mocked the dutch waitress who’s English wasn’t the strongest, they mocked the menu which had spelling mistakes, suggesting that the people who were around them were less educated than they were, and that their education in some way made them ‘better’. They mocked the people at the bar with a northern accent, something which sends a shiver of anger down my spine – I was, afterall, born and bred in the North, my family and friends having broad accents. The one thing they didn’t appear to understand was that just because you’ve had a privileged upbringing, it doesn’t mean that you’re a better person. In some cases, it has the tendency to make people worse.
At this point, I would have been entirely within my rights to confront them on their obnoxious behaviour, but I chose to create an invisible shelter around myself and not get involved.
But then the direct, bullying attacks on me started. I had done nothing to upset these people, nor had I attracted any attention to myself. They jibed me for looking at my phone, they spoke loudly among themselves at how I probably needed another drink to loosen myself up, but then they insulted my appearance. Whispering “specky” like a venomous snake in my direction, I snarled and gave them the Mazifur death stare. They thought I could be put down, and that I could mocked like everyone else in there. In their head, I was a lower-class piece of trash they could poke and jibe at. However, my glasses are actually Lacoste (cue joke about how they “Lacoste a lot”), so the jokes on them, preppy bastards.
They were confronted, and on the rest of the details I wish not to dwell, but it’s a classic example of how we’re taught by the media what to expect of people. We’re taught to expect the lower-class Brits to be rude and loud and lairy, yet in my experience, it’s often the other way round. The brits, mostly “working-class” in Magaluf, are having the time of their lives are the ones demonized by the British tabloids, yet in most cases, I strongly believe it is the well-heeled, hooray Henry types who give British tourists a bad name when abroad. I’ve been sat in a restaurant in Thailand, when a grammar school educated, young southerner obnoxiously asked the waitress “When’s our food ready? We’re hungry!” with a look of pure disdain and snobbery, as though she was a roman empress talking down to a slave. It was never the travellers from a humble background who were outspoken or brutish, but always those from more privileged surroundings who were.
But these instances are rarely written and spoken about. It’s easier for the media and politicians to snarl at the working classes and point and laugh at how common they are, yet the rudest people are often allowed to get away with it, partly because they have money, partly because they’re the sons and daughters of the aristocracy ever-present in parliament and media networks.
I’m not tarring the brush on everyone who happens to have gone to a private or grammar school. I myself went to a private school in leafy Cheshire, and I didn’t end up an obnoxious and delusional (Although I’m sure many people may disagree!). But I do think that my own experience, and my thoughts henceforth, pose a bigger question in terms of how the establishment is able to get away with loutish and disrespectful behaviour, the working classes being viciously demonized by society.