At this time of the year, news is both scarce and thin and by default the media resorts to something akin to an introspective look back at times past - and passes its varied verdicts off as sage and knowing advice.
There are, nevertheless, occasions when looking back does have some merit and, perhaps more importantly, some relevance to the future. Having just read Charles Moore's Telegraph editorial on that subject it has prompted some related thoughts on what was and what might be a route plan for the immediate future. Let's consider what has become known as the metropolitan elite, a term used generally to describe the professional and intellectual superiority of those establishment hopefuls orbiting around London's glittering astro-belt (for which read: inside the M25). It's usually a term of derision when applied north of that magical aura but it has come to symbolise a social detachment of those living in the south-east of Britain from the rest of the country. Endless statistics bandied about lend support to the weight of privilege that the region deservedly feels is appropriate of that hallowed population of the south-east and, by extension, the reciprocal thought toward the rest of the country is one of condescension and non-inclusiveness. Now let's look at this perception from a different angle...
Metropolitan elites exist everywhere in this post industrial Britain of ours - it surrounds every urban connurbation like a cultural badge of achievement and has no especial regional exclusivity any more. That this is now a widespread cultural adoption tells us several things; that we are a changing society, that cultural practises and traditions are shifting and that there is still a desire to rise above the masses by whatever means - that most basic of human instincts. It also tells us that our societies are moving apart, some being entirely left behind and even discarded from any strategic inclusion in this gold-rush desire to have everything, display everything egregiously, disregard the conventions of society and make ones own life-rules up as circumstances present themselves. On the face-of-it, it's an 'I'm alright Jack' mentality. Behind that broad brush-stroke position, however, there are undoubtedly many who might be described as metropoloitan elites that have deservedly achieved their positions. The insidious part of the collective description is that there are many more that have moved into this perceived category of 'superior humanity' by many means which could be described as immoral, deceitful, exploitative and even anti-social. Stepping on the heads of those mired in the swamp rather than offering a helping hand is something Britain is becoming used to as the divisions - political, social and economic - become more and more commonplace.
We see this reflected in our obsessions with politically correct language, the manipulation of the judicial system where money trumps right, where disregard for the rule of law becomes the norm, the corruptions of public figures that spot-light the frailties of humankind in ways we so love to entertain ourselves with. We have the manic desire to declare everybody as being equal by colour, gender, race, religion and just about everything else yet not wishing anyone else to invade that space which is the so much desired 'elite' position. Hypocrisy has come to rule us - again, for if we use Charles Moore's yardstick, we've seen this all before in our history, countless times. The lesson of history - if we see that as having any relevance to modern day life - is that it has always failed to provide what the elites desire - that exclusive entry into that imaginary clique we call the establishment, the ruling class, those that are born to be above the swamp. And the reason why - because societies have an unfathomable way in which to regulate themselves, to adjust and re-balance so that an equilibrium position is brought back. There will always be those that have more than some others, that is unlikely to change, but what our societies can do - and the recent electoral results are testimony to it - is bring about comparitively quiet revolution - or, as Mr Moore might term it, 'resurrection'.
Britain is on the cusp of such a resurrection. In leaving the EU there is a declaration of intent which has nothing to do with what critics would describe as populist nationalism, rather it has more to do with self determination, a social resurrection that will re-balance the public, economic and political structures of the country to reflect that Britain is a changing society with new ambitions. And in support of this we have a new government that, for the moment at least, is promoting that concept of re-balancing. We should never let those who believe they have a divine right to privilege win the day - for history has already shown us they cannot and should not prevail over anyone else in the land. Now is the time for government to make momentous changes to the mood and hurt of Britain. If the right people have been chosen then we'll see progress and Britain will make its mark across a much broader canvas than ever before - and we may then be able to consign 'metropolitan elitism' to the dustbin of history.