How to stop social mobility

Then there was the National Trust – created so the most precious properties could be managed for everyone, forever. A century on from her death, there are plaques and special services, but her real memorial is a Trust that has gone from strength to strength under its outgoing director general, Fiona Reynolds. She\’s welcomed children in, taken conservation out into open, and ensured that the dreams of Octavia Hill are alive as you or me.

When the aristocracy and the upper middle classes run out of money to pay for their gorgeous houses, invent a charity which pays for them to keep living in such gorgeous houses. Thus preventing the newly monied and upwardly mobile from living in them.

The National Trust is indoor relief for the formerly rich.

12 thoughts on “How to stop social mobility”

  1. Wasn’t the argument that nobody would be able to live in them, so the National Trust did save them? it was death duties that got them in the end, no?

  2. Don’t forget that the national trust is also educational entertainment for the middle classes, who can – for a yearly fee – have something to do on a sunday afternoon. Not to mention free parking and picnicking on any journey.

    If you created an explicit network of free parking and picnic sites that you had to pay a yearly fee to use, doubtless some irritating bastard would complain that it was in some way elitist (in a way that a restaurant isn’t, for some reason).

  3. No Tim, the upper class families have 40% of their houses taken every time someone dies, unless they give it to the National Trust. Then they get a special exemption. It’s a protection racket.

  4. Not a protection racket. The families who have always lived in nice houses continue to live in them; people who like nice houses get to visit them = win/win situation. Would you prefer them to be demolished or end up in the hands of the government or Russian oligarchs?

  5. The Trust makes some awful mistakes, viz. Tyntesfield, Nr Bristol. A ghastly Victorian/Edwardian pile built by a bird shit mogul. Perfectly suited to a Russian oligarch. Why anyone should want to visit it once, let alone a second time, is beyond comprehension.

  6. The big houses are always a favorite for the military to take over in times of war.
    You wouldn’t deprive the colonals a good house would you?

  7. just being pendantic (sic), in nhow many of the NT houses is the family still living? I cannot, offhand, think of many. A lot of the NT’s estate is land, walkways, ruins, stone circles, farmland etc. I might dig in further but I suspect that the premise of this post is shite. And if you were a tenant of some British family, how would it feel to have your tenancy assigned to a Russian oligarch! Does Tim think that this is good for anyone apart from the oligarch?

  8. Unlike the plebian pleasures of Lightwater Valley and LegoLand, Blenhiem palace is not only VAT free, but income-tax deductable.

    Middle-class theme parks of course pay less tax than working class ones.

  9. So Much for Subtlety

    Britain has done exceptionally well out of its great houses. Both in terms of what they have done for the countryside and for the social fabric of the country. Such houses produced a large number of young twits happy to die for this country in some far off field, some good government ministers, a disproportionate share of the scientists (but not artists oddly enough) that have done great things. By any standard an excellent bargain for the country as a whole. That is without counting their general contribution to the gaity of the nation.

    It is a shame we do not try to facilitate their continued existence in their own houses without the National Trust bossing them around. The rising Upper Middle Class can do what they have always done – build their own damn houses. Preferably in the style of our own Upper Class and not, as is increasing the case, in the style of the American Upper Class like Donald Trump.

  10. Middle-class theme parks of course pay less tax than working class ones.

    As is right and proper. The middle class pay for everything f*****g else after all. It’s not too much to ask to have a couple of nice houses to visit at the weekend and Radio 3 in return.

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