Sunday, February 28, 2010

English Mentors: Flogging Brideshead dreams to the foreign rich


Channel 4 TV show The Russians Are Coming introduces me to a charming outfit called English Mentors. Imagine you're a mega-rich Russian breeder with a brat to civilise - how could you fast-track it into an English public school such as Eton or Stowe for all the global advantages that money can buy? Simples. You hand it over to English Mentors.

For a fee so substantial it warrants no mention, EM will billet your kid on an English country house and put it through short "modules" in etiquette, clay shooting, polo, English language, deportment, visits to the Palace of Westminster and BBC studios and other delights that spell Brideshead Culture. EM is purposed to create smart little foreign Englishers who can fit into public school castes.

ON EM's website chairman Field Marshall, Lord Bramall describes these modules as "discreet" and likens them to Sandhurst's officer training course. Key kiddie markets would appear to be Russian, Chinese, Middle Eastern and US. Even the Duchess Fergiana is on hand to sell EM - "I want to give my children a chance, the best possible chance," she says in the backseat of what could be a chauffeur-driven Daimler. "The demand for well paid jobs that are spiritually enriching is far outstripping supply."

Do watch the promo video. It artfully draws in royalty, the military, the English bar, the City... and the better newspapers... as privilege is put up for purchase. And it's all so wonderfully shameless.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fergie is too ghastly

Anonymous said...

There is only thing missing from English Mentors : where is Liz Brewer ?

Madame Arcati said...

You're right, Liz is probably too busy teaching rich Australians to be princesses.

The late Willie Hamilton said...

The Duchess is just too ridiculous for words, with that fake sincereity she normally reserves for public apologies to the Queen. And she looks so old these days. I wonder what her two daughters are doing workwise that is so "spiritually enriching", aside from party ligging, driving around in gifted cars and looking for husbands. The best thing she ever did to give her daughters all the advantages in life was to open her legs.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we should abolish brainy private schools and send everyone to homophobic faith schools in the superb, taxpayer funded, state system.

Madame Arcati said...

Not necessarily brainy, just very focussed on passing exams by sticking to a customised syllabus - public schools' best and most intelligent trick. Instead of faith, most public schools instill a reverence for authority, class, money, privilege and a sense of entitlement. Who needs a god or faith with that secular booster?

Ron Broxted said...

I watched dumb struck as I saw what Russians think England is like. All that was missing was Sherlock Holmes, fog over London Bridge and Beefeaters.

Madame Arcati said...

Yes, a Brideahead theme park for the grubs. And what's that violin/trumpet music?, I'm hopeless at classical music spots - Vivaldi? Elgar? Brooks? Come to the home of instituioonal elitism - outrageous upfrontness being its only virtue.

Anonymous said...

I like this in EM's brochure on preparing for public school life - "Workshops on how to live in a community and coping strategies to avoid bullying."

Ooh, matron!

Ella said...

It is a finishing school concept, something that's been around for ages, for more than a century, that is... So what's all that surprise for, especially the 'elitism' comment.. Madame, you are such a communist, so it seems LOL

Anonymous said...

Get out more, girl, and get some class.

Madame Arcati said...

Much as I adore you Ella (remotely) you do have an unerring instinct for getting things wrong. English Mentors is not a finishing school but a crammer for very very rich kids - bless 'em. It is if anything a prep kindergarten for the rigours and perils of the English public school, and its sell is that for a lot of money you can assure privileges and advantages not available to people without money.

You don't have to be a commie bastard to see that this flagrant elitism is ever so slightly disgusting.

Ella said...

'Anonymous said...
Get out more, girl, and get some class.'

Fuck off.
That's class, no?
:-)

Ella said...

Madame, I understood what you were trying to say. Still, I dont think that this English Mentors assures anything to anyone. At its best - you get networking.
If you are really sure that it assures 'priviledges and advantages', I will most definitely be the first one to invest into it. :)

Ron Broxted said...

Oooh matron is under copyright to Ron Broxted Enterprises Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pentagon PLC.