Friday 16 June 2023

Essential Snobbery 101: An Eton mess of people without virtue

 A failed assessment

Privilege, entitlement, and omniscience are the qualities or virtues that former Eton master, John Claughton regretted he had failed to manage or curtail in his wards who have now become leaders in many spheres of life, especially politics. [The Independent: Boris Johnson and ‘entitled’ Tory Etonians have damaged Britain, admits former Eton master: ‘I failed’]

In my view, I think the master is still reading the script wrong, as privilege might come by circumstance beyond our control and what really matters is to recognize one’s privilege and then use it to the benefit of others.

Entitlement is an interesting issue that could be borne of an environment of privilege, to have entitlement is not entirely wrong, but where it is exercised should be in the support of fairness, justice, and what is right. Though, entitlement is usually a vent of the supercilious that it could is normally seen in the negative than positive light.

Omniscience however is definitely to be tamed and trammelled by every means possible, the thought that you are unassailable and infallible, incapable of error, all-knowing, and the master of the universe with a God-like complex is dangerous, whatever the degree. It should never been fostered or helped to develop to the extent that such people should have power or influence over others.

Of a man of no character

In that crop of the poshly-educated at Eton College, comes many former Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and the one that excites the greatest notoriety today is Boris Johnson who exited the House of Commons last Friday pre-empting the sanction of the Privileges Committee that would have recommended a 90-day suspension for misleading Parliament.

Boris Johnson would suggest he is a man hard done by, but like many would say, despite his popularity, Boris does things only for the sake of Boris and nothing more. Boris Johnson’s storied career shows that he has no acquaintance with the truth or any semblance of it. He is both a compulsive and a pathological liar that he believes so assuredly that he is a man of trust and candour.

Granted chance after chance

Delusionary is what would be attempt because for all the jobs that he has risen to through various applications of meritocracy and charm, he has several times been relieved of his positions because of a lack of character, candour, values, and virtue.

That sense of omniscience seems to have equipped him with daring impunity for which his privilege appears to confer immunity from sanction or accountability. It is one exclusionary act of nature that rather than be schooled by the infractions and punishments of the lower cadres, it is at the pinnacle of powers, prestige, and popularity that a man has been held to full account for his dishonesty and missteps.

Duty and service tames us

Before we get to the lesson to be learnt of men who throw caution to winds daring the whirlwind to a whistling contest, anyone can attend Eton with privilege, entitlement, and omniscience, what Eton College has patently failed to do for more than a generation is imbue their wards with a sense responsibility, duty, and service to their fellowman. A willingness to face up to their failings and be held accountable where necessary without questioning the fairness and justice of due process.

The lesson, it is always necessary so such flawed men to be met with a catastrophe of their own making, each downfall Boris Johnson has had has been by the hapless engineering of his own hand, his pomposity denies him an introspection necessary for self-awareness and self-correction. What leaves one more baffled is the fact that to some, he can do no wrong, no matter how wrong he is.

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