3:00pm Wednesday 2 May 2012 Nunhead Heights
Yesterday I was called “Middle Class” because I said I hated the Lower and Upper Classes of this country and today I was called “Middle Class” because I live in Nunhead.
I have a lot to learn about England if I didn’t know that Nunhead is considered “Middle Class” by the English. I think Nunhead is just a place where people who couldn’t afford East Dulwich live. Okay, that is Middle Class. I can’t even afford to live in Nunhead.
I am thinking about this class business in part because of the wedding anniversary of Kate and William You Know Who. I am not sure of their last names.
I saw Prince William on TV a few years ago handing out the medals at the FA Cup Final – the big football tournament here. He was in his capacity as the “figurehead” of the Football Association. Across this country are magnificent buildings designed and built by the talented people and these buildings have the names of princes and queens on plaques attached to the buildings – figureheads. “Opened by Her Royal Princess, The Blah of Blah”. The guy who made the tea for the builders did more than the princess who turned up on the day it opened. Alas.
Did I just write “alas”, that expression of exasperation?
William was surrounded by footballers who had actually achieved something and he seemed very slight. [I am tempted to write “very slight, indeed” as that is what an English person would say. “Indeed” is the most overused word in England .] It would have made more sense if he was chosen to give out the medals because he was rescue helicopter pilot and had saved many lives.
I don’t think many English people thought the prince seemed slight. Most English feel William deserves to be handing out medals. Imagine if the Gaddafi family had been in power for a thousand years? After a while the Libyans would be used to having them around and then they’d think they actually deserved to be bowed to. The Prince is just Saif who’s ancestors had gotten away with it.
The difference between class here and class back in America is that it is an ideology here and in America is an economic position. Here I’m Middle Class and in America I’m just broke.
[As blogged by John Fleming: The $10,000,000,000 bill ($10 billion) given to me by the Zimbabwean girls last night at my show Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous isn’t as exchangeable as I thought. A $50 Billion note can be bought on ebay for £2.85 plus postage so my note is probably worth considerably less.]
How does one attain royalty status here? Well you could buy access to the royals through polo contests and the best schools and then hope your daughter marries into it. Sadly there are few of those winning lottery tickets to go around and Kate got the big one. And even fewer for men.
Anyone can become President of the United States. Being born rich is actually a drawback for Mitt Romney. Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama were all born of relatively modest means. What about Lincoln, Hoover, Truman, Grant and Jackson?
Maybe that is why the Working Classes here work so hard to see the benefits of being Working Class. They are stuck and even if they aren’t there’s a limit to how high they can climb. Yes, they can make money in England – be a Richard Branson or an Alan Sugar – but they will still have to kneel in front of the Queen. If you’re down maybe you need to find the joy in being down to earth.
A benefit of having a royalty is that no matter how successful someone is in this country, they aren’t truly a somebody if they haven’t been anointed by God. That brings everyone down a notch. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, still has to bow to the Queen, same as David Milliband, the leader of the opposition – the opposition to his brother Ed Milliband, the Leader of the Labour Party.
Personally, it isn’t how I would set up a country. It wasn’t how the Founding Fathers of America wanted to do it. I have to live with it as it is the price I pay for being close to my children. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
It does say something good about this country that I feel free to write all this. And I do feel guilty because there are those here who I love who love the royal family and think country need them. And it is a bit rude to tell my hosts that the way they run their house is wrong.
Luckily, the English who agree with me will say “alas, it cannot be changed” and the ones who don’t agree with me will think I am just a silly, rude American and very Middle Class, indeed.
Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio
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