UPDATE: Arnie made me this nice picture!
Such an outlook is based on a deeply held elite prejudice towards people – especially the elderly – who do not tick the right cosmopolitan boxes. This attitude is not dissimilar to the attitudes of nineteeth-century do-gooders, who regarded their urban clients as white savages who had to be saved from themselves.
‘The lower classes in civilised countries, like all classes in uncivilised countries, are clearly wanting in the nicer part of these feelings which, taken together, we call the sense of morality’, wrote Walter Bagehot in 1872.
The language may have changed, but the sentiments Bagehot expressed over a century ago are not dissimilar to the way a significant section of the cultural oligarchy thinks about ordinary people today.
Paradoxically, it is often those who accuse old ladies of being bigots who have internalised precisely the kind of intolerance and prejudice that is usually associated with bigotry.