The Corner

Grumblings From The Chestnut Tree Cafe

The plan by the Blair government to take aim at middle-aged middle class drinkers has produced some splendid invective in response. This, however, in the Times, may be the best:

The pernicious new Puritanism (is) slowly squeezing the life and soul out of Britain. Ye gods, as my grandmother used to say, almost all the middle classes have left is their glass of wine in the evening. That bottle of organic Pech-Latt (£6.49 from Ocado, very reasonable and actually extremely drinkable) is the equivalent of the 19th-century factory worker’s shot of gin. Because let’s face it, this Government is doing its best to make our lives about as miserable as any pox-raddled Hogarthian whore’s. Utter the word “middle class” in Whitehall and watch their greedy little pimps’ eyes light up with pound signs. Behold the British middle-classes – a docile, law-abiding army of tax slaves. Hurrah, let’s blow it all on some more social workers in Newcastle.

“Greedy little pimps’ eyes”. What is it about that phrase that makes me think of so many the lawmakers, Republican and Democratic, over here too?