Monday, April 26, 2010

Another politician from a privileged background

Which way will Nick Clegg turn?

Good to see Mr Clegg stands for home ownerism. THE Lib Dem leader comes from a surprisingly privileged upbringing, so much so that one might suspect he had instinctive Tory leanings. The son of an “old school” wealthy banker, he attended the private Caldicott prep, from where pupils often go on to Eton. In fact, Clegg went to Westminster school (fees now £28,000 a year), the alma mater of high Tories such as Nigel Lawson, Margaret Thatcher’s chancellor. Money was never a problem. His parents own a 10-bedroom chateau in France and a large ski chalet in the Swiss Alps. (Clegg himself has a £1.5m home in London and one worth £350,000 in his Sheffield constituency. His wife, a lawyer, earns a six-figure salary.)

Posted by mr g @ 08:51 PM (2374 views)
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14 thoughts on “Another politician from a privileged background

  • tyrellcorporation says:

    So what mr g. I won’t vote for him because they’re even more lunatic than labour but I couldn’t give a stuff about his upbringng. More class envy codswallop and before you ask I went to a shitty comprehensive in somerset.

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  • What is this, hate the rich?
    Hate those who had no choice in being born to rich parents?
    Hate those who want to put their backgrounds to the use of the public good?
    Please at least hate people for things they DO have control over.

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  • Mr G,

    I’d be worried if an unmarried mum of 3 living on benefits was coming close to running the country…..

    Whether we like it or not 250,000 voters (0.5%) will decide this election in a few key seats. The fiddling cheating MPs you hated from the last parliament will be back in their old places in just a few weeks thanks to our “first past the post” system.

    As Bolton said on Sky tonight…a 33% share of the vote will probably give Brown a tiny majority. This is a voting travesty in my opinion. If you seriously want a Green (or UKIP) MP in the house, there isn’t much point in turning up to vote. Under PR, things could be different.

    Then Mr G, you could vote for someone who you feel is valuable to the country with a chance of actually seeing them in parliament !

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  • And before you ask about myself – only child, single parent, court battles between parents, poverty when I was a kid, state school in London before assisted place to a private school (which has now become MORE exclusive thanks to Labour abolishing assisted places), public sector grant to a top university and then a decent career. I know plenty of people from much more privileged backgrounds, including people with enormous houses, and find them completely agreeable.
    Does this make me a bad person?

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  • They all P in the same bucket mr g.

    Nick Griffin?

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  • I’m making the following point:

    Despite all the euphoria about the Liberals breaking the 2 party system, they are still very much part of the establishment, standing for priviledge and the VI’s.

    In answer to your question Sneaker, of course your background doesn’t make you a bad person and I’m not suggesting that Clegg is either.

    I couldn’t give a damn about someone’s background but I find it somewhat hypocritical when Cameron is called a toff but of course it doesn’t apply to Clegg as he leads a left of centre party.

    Before anyone accuses me of being a Tory, I’m not.

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  • @5 mr g
    Thanks for kindly response and big respect for the gesture.
    Let’s also note that Tony Benn was the 2nd Viscount Stansgate before he renounced his title.
    Life is not the hand your are dealt – it’s how you play it.
    You don’t really figure out who you are until you’ve lived life.
    It is possible to become corrupted, but it’s also possible for the well-intentioned to prevail – witness the US Constitution, the emergence of socialism (before we figured out it didn’t work), the gathering online movement for people power.
    Peace, love and freedom will win in the end. I have faith in humankind and no matter how bad things lurch, the good always win. The process may be horrible, but the result is clear.
    Else we’d all still be medieval serfs.
    The more united humankind’s collective intellect becomes (printing press, telecommunications, mass media, internet) the more irrepressible we are.

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  • tyrellcorporation says:

    Nothing wrong with being a Tory mr g, heck I’ve even given them some of my money this time round! As night follows day we need the Tories to come in with a broom to clear up after a socialist party! This time though the party lasted way too long and the cleanup will take decades.

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  • greenshootsandleaves says:

    And his wife was seen shopping for lingerie at Rigby & Peller!!!! Would you believe The Dailymoan saw fit to tell us how many minutes exactly she spent there? Yes, folks, the Tory/Murdoch Big Guns have now very much been retrained on Cleggbad The Bad.

    Agreeing to a three-ring instead of a two-ring circus for the televised debates was a serious error of judgement. How can we be sure that a party which can get something like that wrong will not get other things wrong too, e.g. the economy? There you go! I’d completely forgotten about Osborne (understandable, really, what with his appearances on TV now being so rare). Not a very strong case for being entrusted with a stonking great majority or even a majority at all, is it?

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  • tenant super says:

    My father has this ingrained hatred of those from better-off backgrounds. When I look at his life, it isn’t difficult to see why… he was an exceptionally bright boy who went to grammar school despite living on a caravan site when his father went to prison. Forced to leave school at 16 to help support the family, he ended up an accountant working alongside (and being looked down upon by) people who were (in his opinion) totally thick but senior to him and earning more money simply because their parents bought them a private education and a degree. Eventually he pulled ahead and then started his own company but he never got over his feeling of emnity towards the middle and upper middle classes even though one could argue he joined them (this kind of class friction is depicted so well in Manwairing/ Wilson’s relationship in Dad’s army). I am sure it is this loathing of the ‘privileged’ that forms the basis of his staunch socialism rather than the tenets of socialism themselves, though his arguments are extremely robust.

    Schooling and background is less relevant to my generation since I was able to go to a good university directly from an average comprehensive and have friends who went to good comprehensives, bad comprehensives, grammar schools and leading independent schools. I think we have made significant progress when a man like my father who grew up homeless has six children, five of whom obtain a degree from a Russell group uni (the sixth went to music college and is a deputy head-teacher) four of whom (so far) have post graduate degrees and all (except the youngest who is still studying) have jobs they enjoy and pay them reasonably well.

    That is why Harman’s equality bill is so insidious. She places an onus on public bodies to consider “socio-economic advantage”. How do you measure that? I can (and would) play at being a socio-economically disadvantaged, ethnic minority to get something I want (like a school place) . ‘Middle class’ parents are already playing the game to take advantage of rules set up to help more disadvantaged people … telling their children to flunk entrance exams because they know the lower bands are less competitive in ability distributed schools or paying an educational psychologist to assess their child as autistic spectrum or other medical needs that gives an advantage. Some universities and medical schools (Leeds and St. George’s) are now lowering the entry requirements and encouraging aplications from children who went to below average schools so sooner or later middle class parents will be using these schools and topping their children up with private tuition.

    Mr G, it may be hypocritical when Cameron is called a toff but of course it doesn’t apply to Clegg as he leads a left of centre party. But Toff-bashing hasn’t damaged Cameron he’s managed to do that all by himself.

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  • the number cruncher says:

    tyrellcorporation at 1

    class war is real and its is perpetrated everyday by those who have assets on those who do not – you really are deluded if you think their is no class warfare

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  • Well from my point of view, it’s time for a change. Lab or Con haven’t shown me anything new or inspirational.

    Argue all you like about VC’s knowledge but he was the one who stood up and forsaw a potential problem back in 2003. Perhaps if we’d had proportional representation back then and the Lib Dems had more say he’d have dug deeper and unearthed the problems and how the bubble was being sustained.

    At least if the Lib Dems get in we’ll get Proportional Representation which will stop Brown Type steamrollers bullying their way through and never admitting they’re wrong.
    Whoever gets in needs to sort out a whole heap of trouble. In some ways it should be Brown, but he’ll simply dig a deeper hole as he’s pathelogically incapable of admittings he’s been wrong.
    In some ways its a pity that what’s coming will be blamed on whoever else gets in as they have to unearth Browns lies and creative accounting.

    But one things for sure we need some sort of change and I just hope the electorate (in safe seats as well as marginals) start listening to what’s being said and use their brains instead of just voting for who they always have as some sort of ‘Football Team Type Religion’..

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  • Most people sense of what is ‘fair’ just happens to coincide with what would most benefitial to themselves. Clegg is a rare exception. He would stand to gain more under Tory policies than his own.

    As I’ve siad elsewhere, I don’t agree with some of the Liberal’s policies but they pale into insignificance compared to the prospect of electoral reform.

    And before you ask, we used to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night, half an hour before we went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down’t mill, pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing “Hallelujah.”

    You try and tell the young people today that… and they won’t believe ya’.

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  • Even if class war is regarded as a dated term, economic war is most certainly not, and it pretty much amounts to the same thing. The severe inequalities we see now are partly the product of globalisation, but more the product of poor govt. The light regulation we have now was begun by the Cons in 1979 and continued (remarkably) by Lab since, notwithstanding a few tempering efforts (min wage, etc).

    The old and tired Con clear up after Lab argument is plainly nonsense. Whether wealth is a barrier to fairness in economic policy is, as has been said, dependent on the politician, but I have little faith in the majority of politicians in possession of a fortune.

    Whether Clegg is in this position I don’t know, but Libdem policies stand apart from the other two parties, who are trotting out the same old stuff. Will the Libdems make everything right if they win power? Probably not. But at least they are willing to tackle some of the inequalities that have accreted over the last 30 years. And that is differerent.

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