The Elite


My Irish Grandfather emigrated to Canada but his loyalty to England was such that when England joined the war against the Kaiser, he joined the army. He was no privileged scion of a wealthy or politically important family. He was a glazier, a drayman, a common working man. Neither Ireland nor England had done much for him. But the UK needed him so he went for training, shipped to England, ferried to France,  entered the horrors of trench warfare, became a machine gunner and sniper, was poisoned with mustard gas that left him with damaged lungs the rest of his life. He was sent back into the lines where during a battle, shrapnel tore through his right hand. He and other soldiers lived in muddy, filthy trenches, and his wound infected. There were no antibiotics in those days. He was shipped to a hospital in England. He was still there when the war ended. He was shipped to Montreal. He was in hospital there until the infection finally cleared up.


My ex-wife’s father came from a family that was English, that is, had emigrated from England the generation before. When England needed help, he joined the RCAF. He trained in Saskatchewan as a fighter pilot, then shipped overseas for the battle of Britain. He was killed three days after my ex-wife was born. All she ever knew of her father were her mother’s stories, his university record, his poems, and photographs in a black and white album. His body was never found. His bones lie somewhere on the ocean floor off Holland.


These are the people that the elitists make contemptuous comments about. These are the kind of people that as far as the elitists are concerned should never be allowed to vote. Not rich enough, not educated enough, not important enough. These are the people that the elitists sneer at and refer to as the populace, the people too stupid to understand the incredibly difficult issues the elite face when making decisions for the proletariat.


David Cameron misread the beliefs and feelings of the plebeians when he called for a vote on remaining in the European Union or leaving. How could he not. He was born to wealthy parents. His father was a stockbroker who made a lot of money.  His wife was the daughter of a 2nd Baronet. Cameron was educated and Eton and Oxford. From birth he lived a life of privilege. In his world, my grandfather and my father-in-law didn’t exist. They were just the populace that was there to be used as cannon fodder to protect the interests of the upper class.


Decades after WW1, my grandfather said to me, his voice bitter, that on Christmas, he and his fellow soldiers ate canned meat out of the can and strawberry jam while the officers dined on full Christmas dinners. Of course, the really privileged weren’t at the front at all. They were in England and Canada making fortunes supplying the war effort. The lives of the elite matter, The lives of the populace don’t matter to the elite.


Articles in papers like The Globe and Mail in Canada and The Guardian in England are at the service of the elite. They appear to discuss Brexit but what emanates from them is the complete contempt that the elite politicians and civil servants and business people have for you and me. They work together to make each other rich. Ordinary people shouldn’t have referendums. After all, they aren’t intelligent enough to really understand the issues.


It is interesting, though, that there was no outcry against referendums by the elite and their mouthpieces when the referendums went the way the elite wanted on voting reform and Scottish independence.


Do I know how Brexit will play out? Nope. But neither do all those so-called experts. They parrot lines that even a cursory glance reveal to be false. Does that mean that some of their concerns aren’t valid? Of course not. Even the privileged, coddled, and spoiled get things right some of the time. Do the people who support Brexit know how it will play out? No, of course not. There are too many people and forces involved to predict final outcomes.


Do I think the EU is a failure? I don’t know enough about the complexity of the EU to have an opinion.. This isn’t about whether Brexit is or isn’t going to benefit England. It’s about how the privileged, the connected, the one percent, the insiders, don’t want people like you and me to have a direct say in our democracy. How we should leave it for our betters to make decisions for us.


The same people who have ranted against referendums where you and I get to have a say, have nothing to say against the fact that the rich and powerful get private audiences with politicians. They get to tell the politicians what rules they want, what rules they want changed. They get to have their own private little referendums every day.


Current events have made it clear that the current political systems are rigged. They’re rigged to help make the rich richer, the powerful more powerful. If you have enough money and connections you can get laws passed that will make you more money and give you more power.


TNo wonder the rich and powerful don’t want the populace (that’s you and me) to have a direct say in government policy. We’re good enough for cannon fodder but not good enough for a direct say in how our government should govern.