Socialist Worker

The Prosciutto Affair reveals the narrow obsessions of the privileged and powerful

Issue No. 2472

The Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky compared in his History of the Russian Revolution the diaries of the French king and the Russian tsar in the period leading up to their respective overthrows. 

He commented that they “reveal the same depressing spiritual emptiness”. 

Their obsession with a tiny, inward-looking clique as the world around them falls apart looks strangely pathetic with hindsight.

But Lord Ashcroft’s attack on David Cameron has again revealed the narrow obsessions of the privileged and powerful. It showed how little they care about or understand ordinary people.

Some people have called David Cameron’s apparent “youthful indiscretions” the Prosciutto Affair. 

It’s a play on an Italian type of ham and a reference to the Profumo Affair that shook the British establishment in the 1960s.

Then a complacent ruling class that thought their position and privilege would last forever was once again exposed as out of touch and out of control.

The nasty habits of our rulers hardly matter. But the fact that people lose respect for them and are no longer prepared to be ruled by them does.

Hopefully they will continue to bicker among themselves while our side remembers the history.

Revolutions got rid of the parasitic monarchies.  And they brought with them the potential for a new society that made the idle rich irrelevant.

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