Champagne Socialist


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Both the toffs and the chavs loathe ‘champagne socialists’.  But what in hells name is a champagne socialist?  Are socialists required to drink beer and roll their own fags?  Do we need to shop at Lidl or visit food banks?  Can’t enjoy or appreciate art or design? Can’t arrange flowers or enjoy our rich British history?  Can’t travel?  Can’t trade or enjoy making money without voting Tory?

Are we implying only the poor and uneducated, bereft of appreciation can vote socialist?  The scavenging undedog who wants nothing more than Britain’s Got Talent and frozen pizza?  Why should ‘people like that’ vote Socialist anyway?  When and how were these ‘champagne socialist’ rules written and spun to shame those of us who are simultaneously well read, appreciate Pawson or Vivienne Westwood AND committed to defend the right to and provision of good health care and education for all UK citizens?

Do those who call me a ‘champagne socialist’ assume only extreme poverty, ignorance and duress will force the people to vote socialist?  Yes they do.

The British, from all classes, require this understanding:  are you one of us?   How can another Brit expect to divine who has socialist sympathies if they are drinking champagne?  It’s very confusing for a toff or a chav with limited ideas beyond fascism and racism to work out who might not think like him.  Annoyingly, of course, one can not tell another’s politics by the way they hold their knife and fork.


I am in Paris after a short but rather wonderful day or so in Barcelona.  I met some rich young Americans who secretly loved Trump.  I met a young english man who told me my instagram was terrible.  Barcelona is a vibrant, teeming, international city.  It is so different from genteel Seville.  Seville needs a dose of Barcelona.  I love the proportion of Seville, I love the people of Andalusia but the weather these past few weeks has been oppressively hot and only broke the day we drove out-of-town.

I left Barcelona at 2ish yesterday and immediately drove into three savage storms.  Now, thankfully, it is raining hard here in Paris.  The rain is such a wonderful relief.  The car is thickly dusted inside with Andalusian red earth and outside splattered with swallow shit.  There must be a hundred million swallows in Carmona.  The dogs are happy to be in Paris.  Little Dog does not like the searing heat.  He looked beaten… cowed on the hot pavement.  Dude is on a diet, Dude is losing weight.  He is looks better for losing his big bum.  He’s skipping around.  I admit!  I became one of those parents who couldn’t say no to an obease child.