Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cash Cows, Chavs and Social Climbers

Women have been given pretty short shrift lately.

On one hand, the Republican party is systematically trying to chip away every hard-earned, hard-fought right which women have attained over many years - the right to equal pay, the right to chose and plan our families, the right to fair and equal treatment in the workplace, the right, even, to vote.

We get called "sluts" by Rush Limbaugh and "cunts" by Bill Maher. The Republicans accuse the Democrats of disdaining women who stay at home to raise children. The Democrats accuse the Republicans of championing women who are financially secure enough to stay at home and raise children whilst ripping away the social safety net of those mothers who have to work to feed their families.

But sometimes, women - aided and abetted by the media - are their own worst enemies.

And so it comes to pass, that no less a media staple than Time magazine has named to its list of the world's One Hundred Most Influential People, no other than Kate and Pippa Middleton, whom the magazine has labeled the very "avatars of aspiration."

They share the list with Barack Obama, Warren Buffet and a woman who is truly an avatar of aspiration, IMF chief Christine Lagarde. Even their own Prime Minister, that nice David Cameron, didn't make the list.

Who are the Middleton sisters?

Pardon me whilst I revert to my Southern bitchy roots ... They're the over-hyped, over-photographed daughters of the sort of people my mother would refer to as scrubbed-up white trash. Mummy came from nothing and became an airline stewardess - the one, as you do, who married the pilot. They retired from the friendly skies to start an internet children's party company catering to the wealthy set around the UK. They made enough money to send all three kids to private schools. The highest aspiration the girls sought was simply to marry well.

Kate bagged the big prize - Prince William, son of Chas and Di, and now she's no less than the Duchess of Cambridge. She got an MRS degree from the same university as Wills got his proper one; then she got a graduate degree in waiting around, doing nothing in a million-pound pad bought by Daddy, waiting for William to propose - hence the nickname working Brits gave her: Waitey Katey.

Pippa's done even less, but now she basks in Kate's glory, and that gets her high-class beaux, expensive presents and loads of sponsorships from blue-chip farts for doing nothing. In another day and time she'd be called a grande horizontale - otherwise, nicely known as a prize "cash cow."

The Guardian reported this elevation of the Britain's version of the Kardashians with its usual aplomb, especially in the way they describe Time's drooling.

According to the magazine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Pippa Middleton earn their position as "avatars of aspiration" amid a British class system riddled with snobbery.

"To appreciate the remarkable rise of the siblings whose very name, Middleton, seemed to presage an unremarkable life among their fellow commoners, you must first appreciate the forces that keep most Britons in their place," Time magazine's Europe editor, Catherine Mayer, writes of their inclusion.

"Snobbery is one luxury all classes feel able to afford. The man and woman in the UK street are swift to mock the upwardly mobile," the citation continues.

Their entry points to the media's "muttered nasty somethings" about the duchess's ambition to "wed above her station", pointing to her supposed nickname of "Waity Katie" and bracketing her and Pippa, 28, as "the wisteria sisters" determined to climb.

Pippa is now "globally recognised, especially from behind", it states, undoubtedly in reference to the Sarah Burton bridesmaid dress that drew so much comment at her sister's wedding. Incidentally, Burton is also listed. Paparazzi photographs of the two sisters are offered to picture editors regularly.

"These images matter. The Middletons have become avatars of aspiration," it says. Yet they are "latter day Mona Lisas" who "smile mysteriously and keep their mouths closed", it adds.

"In an age of bleating, tweeting, confessional celebrity, the middle-class Middletons show their real class," the magazine continues.

That's right. Pippa's famous for the shape of her ass in a designer frock. She's also famous, more recently, for riding around the streets of Paris with a high-class boyfriend and jokingly waving a gun - a gun! - at the pursuing papparazzi. Whatever "class" Pippa has, she sure doesn't have sense of history. Maybe someone should remind her of what fate generally befalls well-heeled young Englishwomen who tease and taunt the media through the streets of Paris.

There's something disturbing about the fact that these two women - women, who, like Ann Romney, will be defined by the choices their wealth, celebrity and social connections afford them, will never know or care about the lack of choice which defines their sisters lower down the social ladder. There's something even more insulting that women who have accomplished nothing except bagging the Prince and basking in the glory of that bagging in order to bag an equally rich marital prospect, should be included on the same list as women who've genuinely used their intellect and abilities to crash through the glass ceiling and actually achieve something - women like Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel, not that either Middleton would know or even care who those women are.

There's something even funnier in their aspirations, and that's the fact that they are one generation removed from a social stigma the British refer to as chavdom.

A "chav" in the British equivalent of poor, white trash, and even though the Middleton girls and their brother (whose entrepreneurial aspirations have certainly been helped by his "royal" connections) might scrub up well, their mamma lets slip every now and then - like chewing gum when she's talking to the Queen (not something that Henry VIII would have countenanced).

Then ... there's Uncle Gary ... the drugs dealer, who lives in a villa financed off his cocaine sales. The estate is situated in that area of Spain known as the Costa del Crime.

Here are some pictures of Uncle Gary:-

Here's Uncle Gary cutting some prime coke:-

And here's Uncle Gary fore:-

And aft:-

He could almost be found with a meth lab on any trailer park in any divey part of any town in America. How's that?

Oh, and here's Ma Middleton:-

By the way, Uncle Gary's benefitted from the Royal connection too. He's just signed to appear on the Brit version of "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here." I daresay, he'll bag a few new clients for his cocaine operation whilst in the Australian jungle.

The cult of celebrity dismays me. Our own Kardishians are embarrassing enough, but you expect them to be tacky - even at the expense of making a former Olympic gold medalist share in their tack and tat.

But I came of age on the cusp of the first wave of real feminism, when women were encouraged to get educated with a view to accomplishing something professionally, to achieve something more from university than a husband who was a doctor or a lawyer or Mitt Romney.

And now, in the 21st Century, we see two women, brought up exclusively to sell themselves to the highest bidder, entirely on their sexual merits.

In an age when that nice David Cameron's government is running roughshod over genuinely poor people and rescinding many of their benefits, one of these social climbing cash cows has managed to latch onto the biggest of all taxpayer-funded tits to suck, and is carrying her sister, brother, mother and dodgy uncle along for the ride.


  1. You left out Gary's offer to the undercover journalist to provide him with female company "young and fresh". Don't be shy about it. Everyone knows about it, including the police, but no one does anything or the press. That's the Middletons for you.

  2. Wow, hard hitting article and bang on the money regarding the odious Middleton family - can I include Prince William in that?

  3. While you're about publishing images of the Midds, I think it only fair to include both sisters also.

    That's how odious the future "king and queen" are!


  4. Mrs. Middleton didn't marry the pilot. Michael Middleton was a fellow cabin attendant who was eventually promoted to the position of flight dispatcher. Not a pilot at all.