LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
21 June 2015
I'm Posh and You're Not
     
Boris spit out the silver spoon from his mouth and reverted to – type? Posh toff
Teflon Boris…not down with the serfs? Surely not. Well, surely yes.

“You’re one of them mate. That’s what you are. One of them” a taxi driver shouts
at Boris on his bike, gesticulating out of his cab window for emphasis.

The Eton-educated Tory toff Boris shouts back: “Why don’t you f**k off and
die? Why don’t you f**k off and die? And not in that order!”

The taxi driver shouts back, “Yeah b*****ks. I hope you die”, before driving off.
Boris continues to cycle on shaking his head. No one reported hearing any ‘tut,
tuts’ from Boris.

Surprisingly Boris didn’t tell the cabbie to f**k off and die in Latin. Now that
would have been a bit more posh, Boris. Not exactly original was it, Boris? “F**k
off and die”? I fututus et mori or why not I futue te ipsi (go f**k yourself).

Actually it was the ‘die’ bit that was truly offensive. Not only puerile, but curiously
disturbing. But then, when was Boris and his self-styled-scruffy hair ever
dignified really. The cabbie called Boris “the most unprofessional politician”.
Point made.

London cabbies hate Boris for his unswerving support of non-tax-paying US taxi
app firm, Uber, known for its cheaper rates, as well as rip-offs and rapes (nice).
London taxi drivers fear this rogue service will put them out of business. And it
possibly will.

"This was an incident between two grown men,” said Steve McNamara, general
secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association.

Boris isn’t apologising. He is saying it was simply a swearing match and clearly
the ball isn’t in his royal court. “It was “a gentle attempt at return of service.”
Wait. Boris ‘gently’ slicing a tennis ball across the court? Boris does tennis?
Really? “I think it comes under the heading of getting the ball back over the net.
That’s what it was.” Hmmm. I think not. So Boris was playing tennis, and the
cabbie was…?

Those particularly enamoured of Boris and his silly publicity-antics will love him
all the more. Did I allude to Teflon?

So has Boris passed ‘the poshness test’? You know you don’t have to answer
that don’t you. According to Oxford educated liberal journalist Owen Jones:
“More than half of the top 100 media professionals in Britain hail from private
schools, even though only 7% of Britons are privately educated. Amongst court
judges, the figure surges to 71%; in the senior armed forces it approaches two
thirds. Not so much an establishment as a racket.”

The chairman of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, Alan Milburn
has claimed the top legal and accountancy firms have been accused of
imposing a "poshness test" on job applicants. He has said that a study of 13
such firms found that 70 per cent of job offers last year went to graduates who
had been to fee-paying or selective state schools. Accused? Guilty. “This
research shows that young people with working-class backgrounds are being
systematically locked out of top jobs.”

Not born posh? Live with it, darling. Just think of how determinedly the
Middletons en masse desperately try – waaaay toooo hard – sans success. It’s
a tribal thing, darling. The accents, the in-breeding, the gestures, the clothing,
the activities, the education, the internships, the genealogy, the nepotism, the
charities, the upturned chin. Oh darling really; it’s an entitlement from the
moment of birth. The posh have a cellular inner confident don’t you know.

But just when you think ‘it’s the British class system’, an Evening Standard
journalist says not quite. “Lest we get too heated about the British class system, I
should add that the most narrowly selective employers I have encountered are
American”. Oh that East Coast (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, darling) is so,
so snobbish, supercilious. Not just the Brits then is it.

So, can you pass the posh test? The question really is do you want to?

Posh? So Last Year

The BBC has decided in their collective wisdom to employ the non-posh. Not
only the non-posh, but the non-received pronunciation non-posh.

The BBC has employed presenters from their new-ish home-away-from-home,
Salford. To justify the unpopular and outrageously expensive  move perhaps?

BBC business journalist and often presenter, Steph, has a way of pronouncing
government that is – well – seriously annoying at seven am. ‘Gubbmnt’. Try
saying it out loud before you brush your teeth and surely you’ll agree.
‘Gubbmnt’. ‘Nough said.

But moving on from pervasive poshness, BBC, we have a problem. The writing
on EastEnders (and presumably Holby City and Casualty) is often so
embarrassingly bad because the BBC is paying scriptwriters the equivalent of
£2 an hour. And how much did it cost us to make that pointless move to Salford
again? I know, not related, but the point had to be made.

The worst writing is when the scriptwriters try – appallingly – to write how women
feel. So wrong. They never get it right. All chick lit sort of rubbish. Okay. I’ve
never read ‘women-writing-for-women’ and trust me here, never will, but the
writers are basing all those mawkish, maudlin, over-emotional monologues on
something. Worse yet is the overt misogyny delivered by Jeff Povey and Pete
Dawson. Trust me here. They never disappoint.

The general secretary of the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, Bernie Corbett,
claims experienced writers on ‘shadow schemes’ – the trial for new writing talent
– are paid a one-off fee of £1,000 with the expectation that they produce up to
three drafts of a script within three months but with no guarantee of a further
commission. Writers on these schemes end up being paid around £2.38 an
hour, clearly less than half the national minimum wage of £6.70. Bernie said the
Writer's Guild had raised the subject with BBC executives on a number of
occasions but there has so far been “no progress”.

The shadow scheme replaced a similar method of attracting new writing talent
called the BBC Writer’s Academy in 2013. The former scheme also lasted
around 12 weeks, but new scriptwriters were paid around £4,000 during training.
“We don’t accept the figures cited in the letter but we had already scheduled to
meet the Writers’ Guild at the end of this month for a further discussion about
how these schemes operate and we will discuss the issues they raise then.” I
know. Get better writers.

Although, perhaps that will be a moot point, PM CallMeDave has been saying he
would “close [the BBC] down after the election”. ‘He’? ‘He’ alone? Oh Dave. Do
we really have to bring up his (annoying) self-referencing poshness? I thought
not.

The BBC’s political editor, Nick Robinson, said that Dave made that comment to
journalists on the Tories’ bus ahead of the general election. Nick also said it was
possibly a joke - ha, ha – or a threat. Lest we forget, Dave has chosen John
Whittingdale as Culture Secretary to “sort out” the BBC having been given the
responsibility of renegotiating the BBC’s Royal Charter. The same John
Whittingdale who has described the licence fee as a “poll tax”.

It’s common (ha, I know) knowledge the Tory toffs have accused the BBC of
“left-wing bias” in its coverage of the general election. Posh tosh. Clearly this
explains how the Tories won doesn’t it….
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