Thursday, May 06, 2010


Toby Young, of all people, sums up exactly what's so plain yucky about Cameronism:
Hogwarts is, in fact, a microcosm of exactly what old-fashioned Tories would like Britain to be. It’s a rigidly hierarchical society, presided over by a benign, but stern patrician figure – a sort of wizardly version of Harold Macmillan – in which everybody knows their place. The educated middle class (Potter, Weasley, Grainger) forge an alliance with the ruling class (Dumbledore et al) to preserve order, while the aspirational lower middle class, as represented by the Dursleys, are comic grotesques. The working class (Muggles), by contrast, are a poor, ignorant multitude who must, by dint of their helplessness, entrust their best interests to the elite. Anyone who challenges this status quo is, quite literally, demonised and cast into the outer darkness.
Actually, there's even more to it than that. The whole thing with Harry Potter is that he was destined from birth to be The Specialest Wizard Evah! He never earned his status, it was simply his birthright. Now, who does that sound like?


Roue le Jour said...

To be fair, much the same criticism could be made of LotR or Narnia, it does go with the territory. People do seem to like order in their fantasies.

I'm only a lad of 58, so I don't remember much about patrician Tories. How long ago was it again?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Well, I am a severe youngster of 49, and I remember Thatcher, Eggwina Curry, and "On yer bike" Tebbit

Roue le Jour said...

I wouldn't describe the Thatcher administration as "patrician".

I'm quite certain there was no forelock tugging going on, very little knowing your place and no more than the usual amount of condescension. Besides, she was a grammar school girl.

Umbongo said...


That was the whole point of Thatcherism. I remember the fury of the Conservative patricians (in particular Ian Gilmour) as they were tipped into the sea one by one in the wake of Mrs T's battleship.

Still they had their revenge, on Mrs T and the rest of us, and now we've ended up with Dave as the last best hope of Britain. It's rather like having Marcus Brigstocke as the last best hope for "comedy" at the BBC - and just as ridiculous!