Valentine’s Day was throw back day for me. No, I wasn’t recollecting some romantic moment but, instead, was recoiling at how posh is back with even more of a vengeance following the cabinet reshuffle. When an ethnic minority cabinet minister is described in a tabloid, known for spewing racism, as being the ‘Maharajah’ of an English region (Andrew Pierce, NOT posting a hyperlink to it) let there be no doubt that meritocracy and diversity are being used as disguises for posh.
The colour and background for posh has only been superficially changed.
Individuals who inhabit our political power structures come from rich backgrounds and went to schools where they were able to make connections which ensured their posh trajectory.
Meritocracy, if it ever existed, is a myth told to others who don’t qualify for the title of ‘posh’ to keep them going and to stop them from complaining. The ones striving to be recognised on merit, like you and I, know who paid for our holidays because our credit card statements tell us.
Foreign Policy, an American based news organisation, has written about ‘Posh’ in an article by Josh Glancy titled, ‘Not one of us. The United Kingdom’s upper classes retain a grip on power’. It is an exploratory article on how poshness works through the corridor of institutions like posh schools and the power webs predicated on ‘being one of us’.
Social mobility has a glass ceiling. Not only will you bump your head against it but those above you have papered over any cracks that appear just to doubly make sure that you don’t breakthrough.
As Foreign Policy puts it, ‘Poshness is about signalling your access to wellsprings of power that have flowed through the UK for centuries-to being the “right kind of person”.
While I will never understand the fascination with programmes like Downton Abbey perhaps it is time to settle down with the boxsets. Life lessons in how to be subservient to your masters maybe what the ordinary classes need.