15 March 2012

The emergence of blimps or the imperialist middle class in Singapore?

"The stagnation of the Empire in the between-war years affected everyone in England, but it had an especially direct effect upon two important sub-sections of the middle class. One was the military and imperialist middle class, generally nicknamed the Blimps, and the other the left-wing intelligentsia. These two seemingly hostile types, symbolic opposites – the half-pay colonel with his bull neck and diminutive brain, like a dinosaur, the highbrow with his domed forehead and stalk-like neck – are mentally linked together and constantly interact upon one another; in any case they are born to a considerable extent into the same families.

Thirty years ago the Blimp class was already losing its vitality. The middle-class families celebrated by Kipling, the prolific lowbrow families whose sons officered the army and navy and swarmed over all the waste places of the earth from the Yukon to the Irrawaddy, were dwindling before 1914. The thing that had killed them was the telegraph. In a narrowing world, more and more governed from Whitehall, there was every year less room for individual initiative."

George Orwell

This is a quote from George Orwell. I wonder if we will see the emergence of blimps in Singapore, perhaps a military class, mainly ex-military men voicing their opinions in the political arena. Blimps writing in to the papers to say how the ex-military can run major corporations, blimps clamouring for new F-35s or an aircraft carrier for Singapore? No, these will not be in the junta sense as the military types here are more bureaucrats and managers. I think it is not entirely impossible that the blimps are already here. Do you know any blimps?

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