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This is an interesting article by Brendan O'Neill on faux outsiders such as Jeremy Clarkson and Nigel Farage. 

I liked this line about the Guardian pretending to be an outsider:
When actually the Guardian is the house journal of every stultifying, misanthropic orthodoxy of our age, whether it’s on the environment (murdered by human hubris), economic growth (bad), or the massive, creaking welfare state (the best thing ever invented because the poor are fat and stupid and can’t look after themselves).
The points the article makes are good ones but I agree rather less than I usually do with O'Neil. I normally agree with most things he says, Trotskyite though he is.

In fact I think many right wing Conservatives including Mrs Thatcher WERE outsiders. Rupert Murdoch considers himself one in a way that, say, Anglican bishops and Supreme Court judges do not. The ultimate outsiders are people who don't like homosexuality or immigration even if they are hereditary peers. 


I wonder how it happened that people born into the establishment and holding very conservative views became outsiders. It is not a recent phenomenon. The Monday Club the right-wing. anti-Immigration. pro-Empire political group within the British Conservative Party numbered a number of hereditary peers among its members, including two Marquesses of Salisbury, but was always on the outside. How this happened we need a historian to investigate. Rather urgently.

On the other hand people can choose to be insiders or outsiders. Chippy people like being outsiders. Rupert Murdoch, despite being the son of a newspaper baron chooses to be one. So do many malcontents, levellers, the kind of people that Squire Haggard would shoot.

In any case, what England does need are more characters, more eccentrics, real ones, not false ones. I am told they are almost extinct. I almost wish we could have some Squire Haggards, but I don't approve of shooting papists.

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