Our corrupt and mediocre oligarchy

Chris Huhne, a perverter of the course of justice whom disgrace forced to quit as a UK government minister — he spent a couple of months in jail — has described supporters of the populist politician Nigel Farage as ‘the least likely to be well-educated’ and ‘old, fearful, anxious’.

Dalrymple comments:

The educated might be wiser in their wisdom, but they are more foolish in their folly, than the uneducated.

To be old

is no crime and indeed until the advent of pop music age was associated with wisdom.

And

while it is possible to be anxious without cause, so it is possible to be insouciant without prudence.

That a man is fearful by itself

tells us nothing about the reason, or absence of reason for his fear. In 1938, for example, Mr Churchill was old, fearful and anxious. Who would say that he did not have much to be afraid of?

But Huhne, says Dalrymple,

is not to be altogether reprehended because, being human, we are all, unless we suffer from Asperger’s syndrome, more interested in our fellow beings than in dry facts or conjectures about, say, Britain’s balance of trade or future prosperity within and without the European Union.

For example, says Dalrymple,

when I see a picture of Mr Huhne, I do not ask myself what his position is on the percentage of our energy that should be derived from fossil fuels, or on the economic effects of progressive taxation: rather, I see a member of a corrupt and oligarchic class of political mediocrities (mediocre, that is, in everything except ambition).

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