It's a depressing phenomenon that recession seems to go hand in hand with an upsurge of deference. When times are tough maybe it's just easier to look upwards that around you.
This weekend we have the return of the BBC's antidote to ITV's toff-fest Downton Abbey - the revived version of Upstairs Downstairs. The BBC push it even further - their toffs don't just swan about in their big house whilst the rest of the country are up to their necks in shit in the trenches - theirs' actually flirt with the Mosley and the BUF. But it's OK 'cos you can tell by their fresh complexions, defined cheekbones and vaguely vacant pain-ed expressions that they are just so much more sensitive than the likes of us.
I even see today that there's a new story about Lord Lucan re-surfacing. If ever there was an utterly pointless and odious toff it was 'Lucky' Lucan - a playboy gambler who did a bunk after killing one of the servants. And had the distinction of coming from a long line of similarly dim-witted morally bankrupt absentee landlords in Ireland - the most famous of which has the dubious distinction of having presided over the charge of The Light Brigade.
What's the fascination ?