101 Years Ago – G.K. Chesterton on the English Governing Class
the evil of aristocracy is that it places everything in the hands of a class of people who can always inflict what they can never suffer. Whether what they inflict is, in their intention, good or bad, they become equally frivolous. The case against the governing class of modern England is not in the least that it is selfish; if you like, you may call the English oligarchs too fantastically unselfish. The case against them simply is that when they legislate for all men, they always omit themselves.
Chesterton, G. K. (2010). Heretics (276). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
In 2010, for instance, most UK citizens live under such strict gun control laws that even the British Olympic pistol shooting team has to go abroad to practice. Meanwhile, members of the Royal family and Government ministers have armed bodyguards available whenever they appear in public.
Current gun control laws are a frank admission by our glorious leaders that the only ordinary British citizens who might carry guns near their leaders are would-be assassins. This in turn rests on an unspoken acceptance by the governing class that (no matter who’s apparently in charge) at least some of its policies are deeply provocative to a sizable number of British citizens and/or visiting foreigners.
I can think of no other way to explain the governing class’ obvious conclusion that the vast majority of law-abiding British citizens can’t be trusted to train and equip themselves to defend themselves, their homes, and their leaders. Tragedy, farce and gross insult are, in this case, aliases of our leaders’ (in)actions. The sensible political option remains what it has always been – to govern less and so cause less offence in the first place.