Is their any honour in titles for the boys? And Why the class system is alive and kicking
Round these parts we like to refer to our friends as being our mates, or the lads. I never really hear anyone in my social networking calling each other their chums. I only ever heard somebody being called a chum in comics. Lord Snooty in the Beano was a good example of someone who had chums, so did Billy Bunter and his public school classmates. It was a term usually attached to posh people in posh schools and their posh friends.It's funny how a word can infer a social status.
I wonder what other people think when they hear someone refer to their friends as their chums? Does it make them think that they must be a little bit better socially, maybe a little bit well to do, or a bit la de da. It seems like class conscious Britain alive and kicking, and all takes is one little word to remind us of that
When Ex. PM David Cameron revealed his leaving list and it benefactors where described as being members of Dave's 'chumocracy', the word and its connotations, can't help but spark your imagination. His choice of titles and honour's as his parting gifts for the boys and girls in his close circle was his way of thanking all his so called chums for the help they had given him during his time in office, which in Dave's world seems to be the thing to do.
When a 'journo' metaphorically puts pen to paper ( it's more likely to be finger to key board these days) His choice of words will as they say paint a picture. So the image I got of the PM and chumocracy was like seeing Michelangelo's Cistine Chapel in all its glory. I got this image of Dave calling his gang of ex. Public School boys together in the lower dorm in Downing Street for the announcement. And like a scene out of Tom Browns school days, he would begin by telling Bunter Jonston to put down his bag of tuck. Asking head of house Osborne junior and the upper school boys to stop roasting the fags, and teasing the oiks and listen up. 'Calm down chaps' he would announce 'I've got some splendid news', after he had finished speaking and they where all feeling rather pleased with their new titles, there would be a call for 'Three cheers for Camers'. And then three more for the 'Chumocracy'....
The idea that advancement in life is not from what you know but who you know has been the cornerstone of the British Empire. And The Old school tie has been responsible for opening more doors than the doormen at Harrods.
Since way back when, their have been clubs and societies in all classes that have actively encouraged and promoted their own version of 'Chumocracy'. These boys own clubs encouraged their members to give each other a nudge nudge and a wink wink, and help each other out. Being a member of some of these clubs went far beyond lending you a set of ladders or a a bit of discount on a tin of paint. Knowing the right people and the secret handshake meant jobs for the boys and a little help up the social ladder. The idea of you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours seemed to work pretty well for some people.
In old school 'Chumocracy' merit doesn't really come into it who you know and what school you went to does. Britain is one of the few countries that still hands out titles and honours to its subjects. It used to be you received an honour or a title for conquering a country or defeating an army. Now you can get yourself a lordship for being the best at riding a bike or managing a football team. Or can you believe it, by donating money to a political party. Gaining a title doesn't necessarily have a monetary value, but once you've bagged your gong you can certainly earn plenty from it.
Being raised to the nobility is an aspiration that is rarely dropped on the oiks of Little Britain, but here's what I'm wondering how many benefactors on Dave's list have ever lived on a council estate rather than on a family estate. Or that some people relied on banks for their food rather than a place to keep their money.
Groucho Marx once said He'd never join a club that would have him as a member. Unfortunately for the privileged classes not joining the club is never a consideration. The kudos they get from being addressed as 'Sir' or 'Lady' is the be all and end all for some people. Maybe Dave's little circle of chums deserved their leaving present, but does putting a title at the beginning of their name make them a better person? I doubt it.