When is a Pleb not a Pleb

Andrew Mitchell, the government chief whip has made himself the butt of jokes (even Vince Cable had a go) for calling a copper guarding the house of Commons “a Pleb”. His full quotation was I believe “Best you learn your f****** place… you don’t run this f****** Government… You’re ******* plebs”.

Its odd of course, that he used many 4 letter expletives in this exchange, several being the sort that would typically get you nicked, but the one that has attracted most attention is the “Pleb” word. Its sort of like a white guy using the “N” word. Its a term these elitist Tory’s often used to describe us working class folk (I would note that strictly speaking I’m more middle class, but to an upper class twit everybody who doesn’t own a country estate and have a butler is “a Pleb”) when talking amongst themselves. There is also this attitude taken amongst them that the purpose of the Police is to keep “the plebs” in check, those of the elite (such as Tory’s or bankers like Fred Goodwin) are essentially supposed to be above the law and able to do what they like.

And you can’t really blame the guy. I mean its bad enough Cameron forces the Tory’s to leave the chauffeur driven Jag at home and make them cycle around like some Chinese peasant. But then this copper comes along and puts his greasy working class paws on him and speaks to one in his coarse working class tones, no wonder he lost his rag!

David v’s David
Meanwhile in America, David Cameron came a little unstuck when it turned out that he didn’t know who wrote rule Britannia or what Magna Carta stands for, both standard questions on a UK citizenship test. Now this would have all sailed over the heads of the US audience, indeed he seems to have come off quite well in that regard, but then again must US politicians probably couldn’t identify their own state on a map if you asked them. Grumble about our politicians in Europe all you like, but they are a class above the ones the other side of the Atlantic.

I think Cameron’s blunder thought does highlight the fact that very few people in Britain would be able to answer the sort of questions a citizenship test calls for. We give out citizenship too easily here, or in Ireland for that matter. All you need to acquire UK (or Irish) citizenship is:

(A.) fell out of mums ass and landed in UK
(B.) be over 18
(C.) have a pulse

I’ve long proposed to make it a bit more involved. We could introduce a module into the GCSE (or whatever system the Tory’s dream up to replace it) called “citizenship” that would teach everyone the basics, such as “Magna Carta” and who wrote it, how parliament and local authorities work and other more obvious stuff like how you should put rubbish in bins (don’t just chuck it on the ground)…or not to swear at the police and call them “plebs” (unless they’re clampers or traffic cops in which case its required! ;D). Passing this module would then become a requirement for anyone seeking to vote, become a member of parliament, get a passport or claim benefits of any kind.


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