The times are certainly a-changing, perhaps more rapidly than at any time I can recall. Take the rewards of the most senior figures in our society, the Supreme Court judges, Generals, university Vice Chancellors. They can expect a working life in which the 'relativities' are maintained with a chauffeured car and a domestic servant as part of the job and in retirement no-one is much surprised to find them in a spoof-Lutyens house in Hampshire of the kind that requires a ride-on lawnmower. Fair enough. Yet these people were the 'Establishment', the privileged elite, the ruling class, against whom we protested in the 1970s through music and satire. Now their rewards - and status - are as nothing compared to those that head and manage the transnational corporates; they are as far below an investment banker in income terms as an unemployed teen is below a GP.
And this is what's happened since the 1970s; a new class of the global super-rich has grown almost without notice, and with them a top-tier of earners in the City and global finance, and the CEOs, skimming the cream off the assets they manage for anyone in a pension fund or with investments. The fact that it's not their money that enables some 140 corporates to control 60% of invested wealth is an irrelevance - it's the fact that global corporates act solely for their own ends that matters. The nurses and teachers whose pension funds they manage (rapaciously) don't share in any increased quality of life, don't even get a sniff of the wealth and privilege that those who invest 20% of their earnings enjoy.
As Mary Riddell comments in the Telegraph, for the first time both main parties have picked up the zeitgeist. There is a national recognition that these rewards are too great, the differentials too wide, that these folk have piled wealth upon wealth for themselves just because they can. Though the MSM tags the 'occupy' protests as anti-capitalist they're not; they're anti-corporatist. And if they're against globalisation they're not protectionist; they oppose the way in which international capital can dodge and evade national regulation, not the idea of 'a fair go' for any nation in the global marketplace. Above all they're a reminder that 'One Nation' finds a deep resonance in the English soul.