From Bollinger Bolsheviks to Gaitskell's Frognal Set, the Suspicion of Well-Heeled Urban Radicals Has a Long History. Their Demonisation in the 1980s, along with the Celebration of Middle England, Obscured a Much More Significant Political Struggle
Moran, Joe, New Statesman (1996)
New Labour doesn't care for them much. Peter Hain calls them the "dinner-party critics" and the MP Liam Byrne, in a recent Fabian Society paper, gives them the label "urban intellectuals", that pesky minority of anti-Iraq war obsessives who are so out of touch with the mood in the heartlands. For the media, they are the "chattering classes", a term that suggests a cadre of metropolitan, left-liberal professionals with nothing better to do than twitter on about the country's problems at posh dinner parties, detached from the realities of political power and the aspirations of ordinary people.
From Bollinger Bolsheviks to Hugh Gaitskell's "Frognal set", suspicion of well-heeled urban radicals has a long history. In the 1960s, Peter Simple's Daily Telegraph column began satirising the voguish left-wing causes of fictional Hampstead intellectuals such as Deirdre Dutt-Pauker, who fired off daily letters to the Guardian from Marxmount, her white mansion on the Heath. But even then Hampstead was becoming too expensive for young middle-class lefties and the caricature was already dated.
The "chattering classes" are the more specific by-product of the gentrification of other areas of London over the past few decades. The phrase was invented in the early 1980s by the right-wing journalist Frank Johnson and …
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Publication information: Article title: From Bollinger Bolsheviks to Gaitskell's Frognal Set, the Suspicion of Well-Heeled Urban Radicals Has a Long History. Their Demonisation in the 1980s, along with the Celebration of Middle England, Obscured a Much More Significant Political Struggle. Contributors: Moran, Joe - Author. Magazine title: New Statesman (1996). Volume: 134. Issue: 4763 Publication date: October 24, 2005. Page number: 34+. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.