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Wednesday, November 09, 2005


I bet he keeps coal in the bath

Amid all the media comment about David Blunkett's departure from office last week has been an unpleasant recurring theme. Apparently the man had ideas above his station.

Aren't there enough legitimate political reasons for opposing Blunkett, principally his instinctive authoritarianism? Instead, there has been a litany of snobbish remarks to the effect that a man who is not only working class in origin but also from the north should have had the temerity to visit the Mayfair nightclub Annabel's.

One commentator (I forget who) likened Blunkett to Icarus. The message from such snobs is clear: if you're from Sheffield, know your place. (If you went to Eton, on the other hand, then snorting coke is just a bit of a lark).

A bizarre variant on this theme was Nick Cohen's
column in last Sunday's Observer, which suggested that provincial socialists should stick with their own. Cohen's criticisms of the plutocracy are spot-on but his advice to politicians that "rich, Tory southerners" inhabit "a strange and potentially vicious world whose rules you don't understand" is frankly patronising.

Several Liberal Democrat bloggers have been getting worked up lately about the alleged iniquities of the state education system. While they're about it, they might also ponder the problems of the fee-paying 'public' schools, which still do more than anything else to perpetuate Britain's nasty culture of class prejudice.


"Hello! I'm at the cemetery"

This report from the Inquirer is a sign of the times:

Undertakers in Ireland are noticing that more people are requesting to be buried with their mobile phone.

The country has had a tradition of people being buried with some of their most treasured possessions probably as a continuation of some ancient pagan practice.

According to AFP, some ask that their mobiles be buried with them in case they are buried alive, they wake up and can phone for help. One funeral director reported how some insist the phone is turned off so that if they so wake up they will have battery power when the phone is turned on again.

Of course this assumes that the relatives have not shut off their contracts, their batteries are not run down and the signal reaches six feet under.

Families burying phones with their loved ones, are encouraged to either turn them off or switch them to silent or vibration alert.

After all nothing is worse than the priest saying "Ashes to Ashes" and suddenly Crazy Frog goes off in the casket. Or you get the latest cricket score.
Nothing is worse? I would have thought that the worst thing of all is leaving evidence for future archaeologists about the extent to which one's culture and preoccupations are vacuous and vapid.

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