Monday, October 29, 2012

The British Hate Success

Today there is an article in The Mail Online about how the Middleton family are cashing in on Skyfall, the new James Bond film. As usual the Daily Mail sets the tone and invites comments of general outrage. Sometimes the comments under an article tell the DM to stop being ridiculously pathetic and can be absolutely hilarious. I love it when the true British dry sense of humour comes out as with yesterday's silly article about how chef Heston Blumenthal swabs his mouth with a tampon between bites so as to maximise the taste experience. One fellow wrote: What a great idea, I  must try it tonight with my beans on toast. I LOLed.

Generic secret agent with no name.
Today, however, the comments of general outrage and outright venom poured in. This not the first time this has happened. People were also put out about the Middletons' party business making money out of the Royal Wedding, the Jubilee and the Olympics. It seems that the Middletons are now fair targets. Any success is obviously a crude cashing in on their Royal connections, tacky and just plain greedy (all accusations thrown today in the DM comments).

Since when is running a successful business tacky and greedy? No one slams Primark for being tacky and greedy. JK Rowling was a struggling single mother who wrote a few books and she's practically a saint now.

Carole Middleton started Party Pieces by putting together party bags at her kitchen table. They were already millionaires by the time Kate started dating William. They built the business through hard work and initiative. When the Royal wedding was announced Kate was the darling of the masses - a commoner making it into the closed ranks of the aristocracy. A real success story, if not quite Cinderella.

Cashing in on Christmas?
Since then it's been down hill all the way for the Middletons as far as respect and public opinion goes. It seems that the British love a good success story unless you become too successful or are seen to be enjoying it too much. Then all outrage and venom breaks loose.

The thing about parties is that people need an excuse to have them - birthdays, Christmas, New Year, Midsummer, Back to School, Hallowe'en, Guy Fawkes, retirement, Bar/Bat Mitzva, wedding.... It doesn't matter the excuse, you never get an invitation saying: We're having a party because we haven't had one for a while and we feel like it. A party business provides the props to go with all the myriad of occasions and themes people choose. When a new blockbuster film comes out there are wizard parties, hobbit parties, or secret agent parties. There are Bafta, Grammy and Oscar parties. There are X Factor Final parties and World Cup Final parties. For all these parties we like to decorate and have the props.

Sue me!
We all opposed and decried the strict bans on any displays of Olympic themes that might benefit small businesses during the Games. Events like the Royal wedding, Jubilee and the Olympics are supposed to be national events that we can all benefit from. The nation paid for them after all. What would Christmas be like without the decorations, nativity scenes and Santas? The Jubilee would have been a bit flat without the street parties, school celebrations and the bunting don't you think?

Party Pieces is a successful business providing a service. If people didn't want that service the business would fail. As one (heavily red arrowed) commentor wrote: Some people are confusing opportunism with responding to demand. The Middletons work hard for their money unlike many of the aristocracy who were born into large tracts of land and lucrative trust funds. One comment in the DM had the audacity to say: This is why the Royal Family should never marry a commoner. Other comments said that the Middletons' greed and pushiness would be the downfall of the Royal Family.

If you only read the DM you'd think the British are a nation of jealous losers. It's ok to be born into wealth but not to earn it through hard work? When a small travel company gave Mr Thomas Cook a free weekend in Paris they were applauded for taking advantage of the company Thomas Cook's shortsightedness. Taking advantage of a situation is how businesses thrive. Only the Middletons aren't included in this economic general principle.

I have to admit that I was a little ashamed as well as disgusted with the comments in the DM today.

All pictures from Google images.


17 comments:

  1. I'm rather partial to perusing the DM online for entertainment. I haven't seen this article but I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about the Middletons. Just because they've now been thrown into the public eye should they stop working hard and making money as they have for the past x years? If they just sat around drinking tea and eating (celebration) cake instead, people would have something to say about that too. They can't win!

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    1. Damned if they do, damned if they don't. It's unbelievable how hard work is now reframed as middle class upstart acting above their station.

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  2. I can't help thinking the Daily Mail is the standard by which all other internet trolls define themselves

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  3. I totally agree with you - the Middletons have earned their income through hard work. The British don't seem to like it when someone does very well. Envy! They are damned if they do, damned if they don't.

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    1. I can't understand why - in every other case we applaud the people who succeed. And as far as the Royal connection goes, Mr and Mrs haven't put a foot wrong imo.

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  4. I couldn't put it better (and one reason I don't read DM). Full of non "celebrity" news.

    If you Google 007 party decorations you will see lots of party websites offering similar porducts, including Amazon, so perhaps the DM should go after them as well? Probably not. Knocking a successful family business with 'connections' who cannot answer back is easier work than doing some real reporting, of course.

    - Nan, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, 29/10/2012 9:10

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  5. I saw this comment as well - there are some sensible comments like this but all are heavily red arrowed. My comment along these lines wasn't even published.

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  6. Last year when Aaron had his Baptism party I got all of the bits and bobs from Party Pieces. I never got round to blogging about it but the stuff I got was GREAT xx

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    1. I'm sure all the people who call their stuff tat and tacky have never actually used any of it. Anyway, they never claim to be an alternative to fine bone china and decorations from Harrods - just fun stuff for a party.

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  7. I tend to avoid that paper, it only ever makes me despair of people even more. Its such a non newsworthy story. How daft would Party Pieces be to sell party ware but not for anything that is remotely popular at the minute.

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  8. So strange isn't it... We tend to frown on the tall poppies, while the US for example positively celebrates them...

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    1. Yes, Vegemitevix was only saying that the other week (which is how I know what a tall poppy is).

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  9. I completely agree with you - this is such a British phenomenon. Build 'em up and knock 'em down. I like the DM in general, but this is gutter press stuff.

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