Middle Class Fetish

The Professor Jeremiah Honkleberg Twitter account commented, ahead of the Irish General Election, that mass migration has ill-affected the Irish working class:

Mass migration is a middle-class fetish, they see migrants as exotic things to observe from afar, knowing they’ll never have to compete for a job, a school place, a house with one.

I know a few other middle-class fetishes. Human extinction by the hand of climate change is another. While working folk go about their business in order to pay bills, others tell us how we are ‘heading for extinction’ and ‘what we can do about it’. I don’t deny the climate may be changing. My own childhood enjoyed long hot summers which now seem a rarity. Yet there is something decidedly privileged about this latest campaign. Should we choose a low or zero-carbon economy, it is the jobs of the poor and less-educated which will disappear, while the poshos and well-to-do will be largely unaffected. Those who wish to make flights more expensive will do nothing to alter the habits of the rich.

All families want their children to have the best education- especially the middle class who value it so highly. The rich will employ the services of the private sector, the less rich- or more financially canny- will locate a top-performing comprehensive and move to within its catchment area. The house prices rise accordingly, and the poor are pushed out. Grammar schools are less easily manipulated, but even there, deeper pockets can afford the extra tuition to pass the test.

Gender pro-nouns. We are being asked to choose our gender, and some advertise at the end of emails which their preferred pronouns are (‘he/his/him’ an employee of a local authority recently revealed at the close of an email). Again, it’s all middle-class hogwash. I have no doubt some people do feel they’re in the ‘wrong’ bodies, but that the rest of us should alter our language and general assumptions is baloney. People employed by local government have the time and leisure to pore over such things; ordinary people are indifferent. 

How about the campaign by some to allow heterosexual couples the right to enter into Civil Partnerships, because they despise marriage’s patriarchal/religious/oppressive origins? The government was taken to court and required to allow such recognition. Who lost sleep because of so outrageous an example of discrimination? Members of the well-educated, London-based intelligentsia, who feel the need to demonstrate to the admiring world their very obvious virtue.

The prophet Amos had a thing or two to say to the well-heeled hypocrites of his own day. A humble shepherd, through him God castigated Israel’s respectable bourgeois women in their pleasant summer houses:

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria,

Who oppress the poor, Who crush the needy,

Who say to your husbands, “Bring wine, let us drink!”


The Lord God has sworn by His holiness:

“Behold, the days shall come upon you

When He will take you away with fishhooks,

And your posterity with fishhooks.


You will go out through broken walls,

Each one straight ahead of her,

And you will be cast into Harmon,”

Says the Lord.


When sophisticated Eve decided to appoint herself Judge of universal morality, it didn’t end well.