Having moved in the course of my life from working-class ("educated" at a bog standard comprehensive; the first member of my family with a university degree) to, I suppose, middle class (member of a learned profession, send my offspring to a major public school) I am not much impressed with politics based on class. I saw no reason to despise me when I was a member of the working class. I see no reason to despise me now. I didn't think I should be discriminated against as a prole; I don't see why my children should be discriminated against now (as they undoubtedly are, on university admissions criteria - for example).
On average I thought the members of the working-classes I grew up with were more sensible and less likely to get carried away with daft ideas than the middle-class people I know now. But I can't work up an ideology from that generalisation. Both sets of people seem equally vulnerable to State pressure to modify their thinking - which is rather scary. Yeomen of England types who are resistant to such pressure seem to be in short supply.
Sir Ian Blair's class-based approach to policing therefore doesn't impress me any more than his race-based approach propounded earlier this week. I don't think either is heartfelt. I think he's just an appalling, unprincipled careerist, truffling for favours from his political masters; those well-known providers of drug money to the "most vulnerable" members of society.
There is, however, one member of the white, Oxbridge-educated, upper middle classes that I would like to see targetted by the Metropolitan Police. He is a man who issued illegal orders to his employees to "shoot to kill" in circumstances where those employees would have no defence to a charge of murder. He is a man who, when his employees killed an innocent man in execution of his orders, set about denigrating that innocent man in an attempt to justify his illegal actions. He is a man who, caught out in these actions, has not even had the decency to resign, let alone to turn himself in.
Unfortunately, any hope that this man may face justice is utterly vain. For, as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, he is the man who would have to give the order.
BBC NEWS | UK | 'Sting' on middle-class drug use