We are trying something new today - something we hope might ultimately might encourage more contributors to the blogosphere. We received a request from a reader, asking whether he could cross to the other side of tracks and turn blogger for a day. His argument is that there is effectively no difference between the people who post (especially in the case of our guest bloggers) and those who comment. It is all opinion, it is all public. There's not a cigarette paper between them.
I think that this is a bit of an exaggeration as most (successful) bloggers have some kind of form, and have had to build up a critical mass in order to compete with the mainstream press and to gain traction. And even the minor ones do a bit more than just glorified commentary (presumably).
But, we thought the suggestion worth a try. Anything's worth a try. We have decided to allow our reader / commenter to post his own blog, whilst we, the regular bloggers will for today become the readers / commenters. Lord Trencherman, currently out on bail, is included. His wife is sadly not. If this works we might roll it out further. We also agreed not to censor the post unless it was libelous or racist (or irritating or boring.)
"Hello there, every day there's some article or other about David Cameron and Old Etonians dominating the Conservative opposition. Yes, after all these years the toffs are still playing all the best tunes. And to think, we all assumed that the 'closed shops' and the old school ties and the private members 'clubs' had been swept away by Maggie and Tony.
Well I can tell you now, it's a load of bull (and I do not mean Bullingdon). I'm a member of neither the Groucho nor the Soho House. And nor would I want to be. But were I to walk in to either of them right now and said, let me in, I want a drink, they would tell me where to go. If I told them that I was an OE (Old Etonian) like Dave Cameron, they would probably tell me where the fuck to go (though Cameron did work for Carlton media, once... so not a perfect example).
Sorry to be a pain, I would say. If my name were Simon Cowell or Alan Yentob, then it would be, "Ooh, yes. How are you today, sir (bow, bow, scrape scrape)? Can I take your coat, then lick your boots clean and polish your cheesy john thomas with my tongue, before finally slipping this dog-eared script that every other media company has rejected into your back passage so that you might at least spend a few seedy moments fingering it.. ?"
And what if say any of the three main political parties were dominated by members of the Soho Club - or to make it even less 'meritocratic' - the children of Soho Club members? This is not an unlikely prospect, as the children of media celebs have an uncanny (and some would say, untalented, knack of finding their own places in the media spotlight.) And would everyone go around saying, "Do you see the number of ex-media people cramming onto the commons benches? Isn't it terrible and elitist?" I don't think so, because it is the media that asks such questions.
So when people bang on about old school tie, why not tell them where to stick it. There will always be establishments and mafias and clubs. It's not only the toffs wot do this 'being clubbable' lark.
And one last thing: I was talking to a friend whose son is at Eton and he tells me that it has become terribly vulgar, full of the children of new money. It's no longer landed gentry, hasn't been for a long time. Macmillan and Hurd of course were both scholars - that makes them oiks, I suppose. But it is far, far worse nowadays. There are boys whose fathers are estate agents and DJs. How wretched! Charlie (the son) says that a new boy whose father owns a chain of restaurants (can you believe it?) was overheard the other day talking about the family villa in Marbella. Apparently he was also spotted wearing a monogrammed shirt!
So next time you hear that Mr Cameron has appointed another OE to his front bench, remember there's every reason to believe that he is as vulgar as those ghastly types who appear on Strictly Come Dancing and X-Factor nowadays!"
By reader and commenter Hugh Juggs