The British class fixation did not end in the 1990s. Like Iraqi sectarianism, it is baked deep in the pie. So we get this from the Sun:
The son of a rich banker, [Clegg] had a posh upbringing and an expensive private education. He went to elite Westminster school and Cambridge University. Friends say he is attracted to a Euro superstate because he is only a quarter English, with a Dutch mother, a half-Russian father and a Spanish wife.
A toff and a Euro-weeny! And then there's the acronym: MPSIA. It means "minor public school, I'm afraid". And public means private. The Guardian's Sholto Byrnes puts the boot in to Cameron:
The metropolitan Westminster School, where Clegg went, is just not as grand as Cameron's alma mater, Eton which, as Dominic Lawson pointed out on Sunday, has truly become a four letter word. At Oxford, Cameron was a member of the aristocratic, moneyed Bullingdon Club, and his college, Brasenose, was founded in 1509. One imagines that tail coats were, in general, less in evidence at Clegg's Cambridge college, Robinson (founded 1977); nor that many of his fellow undergraduates were as familiar as Cameron no doubt was with "the sound of English county families baying for broken glass", as Evelyn Waugh put it.
Mandelson - New Labour's slimy, gay blend of Bob Shrum and Sidney Blumenthal - has already described Cameron as looking down his "rather long toffee nose" at regional England. This is the same man who upon being presented in his own constituency with a dish of mushy peas, passed on the "guacamole." And of course, the veracity of this priceless anecdote is as hotly disputed as the virtues of a nice, steaming steak and kidney pie.
(Photo: The Bullingdon Club members around the time I was at Oxford. Cameron is third from the left, looking like a member of Spandau Ballet. Boris Johnson is seated fourth from right. The Bullingdon was the rawest expression of class privilege and misbehavior at Oxford. No one not already ensconced in class privilege was a member.)
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.