Friday, 8 September 2017

Class Acts

A Conservative bank bencher who is in the news is Jacob Rees Mogg said to be interested in running to be the next leader of the party. His chances are widely discounted. Not only does he hold to traditional beliefs on family and like matters but he is regarded as a posh Tory far from the common herd.

The doubts run not only to what he is offering but that if he were by some strange twist of fate the Leader, he might have trouble forming a cabinet. Beyond that in an electorate drawn from the demographics of the 21st Century it is difficult to see how he could appeal to ordinary people.

The family history programme "Who Do You Think You Are" this week featured Lisa Hammond, an actress who plays a major character in the series "East Enders" but herself has a sense of identity as an East Ender and one of common people. Not only that and all it implies but she has a dislike of the country, gardens and such.

Tracking back down the generations to those where the increasing numbers of ancestors become many, inevitably, the researchers were lucky enough to find a "gateway" ancestor for her who had money, a lot of it. Also, they may have been City people but the wealth came from the land.

So Lisa was taken up to the County of Denbigh, shown the verdant rolling acres and beauty of the landscape and informed that once a large chunk of them were owned by an ancestor of the 17th Century who was Gentry, knew it and rejoiced in it. No doubt he was one of those who ground the lower orders down, if only to make his pile.

For Jacob we did not have to go quite so far, indeed only to the early years of the 20th Century. Then of all things I found that his great grandfather was a cabinet maker, one of a line in that trade going back generations. More to the point they were in London and East Enders.

One married a milliner. So if Jacob ever meets Lisa he must remember to touch the peak of his cap.


  1. I remember him trying to campaign in Fife with his nanny... Travelling about in a Mercedes in some of the poorest parts of Scotland, attempting to converse with people who spoke braid Scots in a mutually incomprehensible fankle of class ignorance.

    He lost.

  2. So his grandfather was a cabinet maker from a line of cabinet makers. It would be ironic if one of his ancestors made something for an ancestor of Lisa's, something the common folk couldn't afford.

  3. There's no snobbery like reverse snobbery. Rees-Mogg is erudite and a smooth bastard you wouldn't want to cross without a team of Sherpa's. Lisa Hammond on the other hand appears to think that being crass and uncouth are virtues.