Who exactly is upper class?

I was on a bus near Bank a couple of years ago. A guy got on and pushed past someone paying his fare “F*** off you midlle class t”””” ” shouted the fare payer. “I’m sorry sir, not middle-I’m upper class” came the reply.

We all fell about laughing-why? If comedy is the shock of the unexpected then the humour was in the novelty of that “upper”.

I don’t know anyone who claims to be upper class. I live next door to the Royal Family (unconsoius use of capitals sugests unconscious deferance!). As I write this, I can see thier house. It’s not a house, it’s a castle. They aren’t people, they are royalty- they are upper class. In my head, upper class means unapproachable- to be referred to in capitals! The upper class are unreal.

Four weddings and a funeral -Withnail and I, toffs in tailcoats walking down Eton High Street, another world. I go to a club with lots of working class people- they call me “Lord Henry”- perhaps they think I’m upper class. Perhaps I am unnaproachable to them because I am well spoken and have different manners. But I feel a million miles from upper class.

I’m coming to the conclusion that upper class is an unattainable condition.

Which might explain something about celebrity. Celebrity is generally attainable. That’s why drama schools are opening all over the country to aspirant x-factories, why the magazines are full of the girls and boys next door who have made good. Celebrity is attainable- it is not upper class.

Social mobility makes a mockery of traditional elitism. Lord Henry is a figure of fun, Lord Snooty more like! Dignity is earned not inherited and about time too.

The upper class is extinct.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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