Yesterday on her blog Bar Standards Board (BSB) chief Baroness Ruth Deech argued that there is no difference between calling the police “plebs”, as Andrew Mitchell was memorably said to have done recently, and last week’s reference by Alex Salmond to the government as “Lord Snootys”.
Deech added: “The internet and the press are awash with insulting phrases used against perceived upper class, e.g. (forgive me) ‘Tory scum’, ‘Eton mafia’, twits and worse. Class warfare is being waged by language. Why is it worse one way than the other?”
C’mon Baroness, Mitchell’s “pleb” gibe was worse than Salmond’s “Lord Snootys” comment because the people it was aimed at are less powerful than him.
This inability (or unwillingness) to acknowledge society’s uneven power dynamics is common at the top of the legal profession – and is surely not unrelated to its problems with social mobility.