May 16, 2021

"Where have all our heavyweight snobs gone?"

Asks Camilla Long in the London Times. 

I’m not sure I can survive on Keir Starmer secretly blanching at the thought of “thick” Angela Rayner’s vulgar wardrobe, a collection of vegan-friendly “stomper” boots and leopard-print that she wore on campaigns. Why didn’t he just tell her her clothes looked as though they’d been rescued from a flash fire in a Sicilian brothel, before giving the seditious moaner the boot?

I don't know who these people are, but I like the general idea of harsher, meaner insults aimed at powerful individuals. I looked up Angela Rayner and I'm more confused and amused, because she is — according to Wikipedia — "Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work... and Shadow First Secretary of State, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Labour Part." 

Back to Long:

Is there anything more snobby than two Labour MPs demanding a northern seat be served by a “working-class” candidate who is also preferably a key worker from the local area, as they did last week? What else do they want? For the candidate to be gay, female, a retired miner, a ferret-loving “local hero” and salt-of-the-earth sharpshooter who won’t tell Starmer he’s a prat, a gender-fluid teen mum?

Long links to this Times article from a few days ago: "Are you posh? I might be, according to this list/A new survey reveals age-old clichés about how the other half supposedly lives." There are 40 items on the list, including calling your parents "Mummy and Daddy" (when you are an adult), calling dinner “supper,” calling everyone “darling,” calling champagne “champers,” having shelves full of books, saying “napkin” instead of “serviette,” and laughing very loudly. 

We Americans are in no danger of calling a napkin a "serviette," so if we cared about seeming "posh" — we don't — we could get a head start on that laughing very loudly. Darling.


Ann Althouse said...

Peter, writing from Hong Kong, emails:

“… I looked up Angela Rayner and I'm more confused and amused, because…”

I’m sure you’ve got it worked out by now, but FWIW, Keir Starmer is head and Angela Rayner is deputy head of the opposition Labour Party. So he’s her boss, at least in theory as he seems to live in some fear of her. The gaggle of titles basically comes down to her being Shadow Treasurer.

Labour got thoroughly hammered in a recent by-election — a long long time Labour seat turned Tory — so there’s talk of Boris keeping his position for the next 20 years! Starmer took over from Corbyn but is not doing at all well.

In the meantime this article ( ) argues that Labour is losing the women’s vote. Neither Rayner nor Starmer is helping. Interesting … and bonus photo of “Angie” and Keir. Starmer is “Sir Keir” btw though he plays that down cause he’s, you know, Labour. (And it’s kinda posh)....

Posh PS: I say “napkin”, I have shelves of books and sometimes laugh loudly. But I’m Aussie, so can never-ever be “posh”. It’s not allowed. My wife is very fond of a posh thing: “genteel shabbiness”, as in furniture, etc, you know, worn rugs, sagging leather lounge, elderly Labrador by the hearth. She loves the phrase. (I do too)

Ann Althouse said...

“genteel shabbiness”...

In the U.S., the term was (as far as I saw it) "shabby chic."

Ann Althouse said...

Temujin writes:

I also had no idea who Angela Rayner is/was so I looked her up and saw what you saw on Wikipedia. I loved the title, "Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work". It's like a dreamy, fantasy-like position to strive for, or maybe to play at today, as you wait for others to actually hand over control of their lives to you. Truly, our leaders across the world today seem to be of an entirely greater level of idiocy combined with hubris than at any time in history.

Americans don't much care for professional-level snobs, but we do have Nancy Pelosi sharing her 28 flavors of gelato from her sub-zero freezer at home, while the rest of the country had been shut down and many of us were watching loved ones through a window as they passed away. Maybe that's not so much Nancy being snobbish as her simply pushing the standard of today's new leadership skills.

Alright, Old Bean, you can henceforth refer to me as the Shadow Commenter for the Sanctity of Zebra Longwings, Keeper of the Trune, and former Prokop of Moravia.

Yes, well...Jolly Good.