Chatting with a member of the Upper House in the tearoom yesterday (and yes, I know I spend a lot of time there), reflecting on the loss of esteem in which the public holds politicians. His lordship reminded me that, in fact, this trend towards holding others in contempt extends to just about every other professional group in the country: not just the usual suspects, the lawyers, MPs and journalists, but even teachers and GPs, whose judgments and advice are far more likely to be challenged than in the past.
And it occurred to me that the only group of people who have gone up in the populace’s estimation has been that with the least justification: celebrities. Actors, Big Brother contestants, footballers, WAGs.
What does it say about a society where Peter André can compete with Winston Churchill as a figure of admiration and respect?