The BBC has recently delighted us with a two-part documentary about John Prescott, MP and his opinions on the class system in Britain.
The programme was designed to portray Mr Prescott as a man of the people, full of candour, bonhomie and good intentions - the idyllical tones in the scenes of his domestic life tempered only by his robust take on the social inequalities in Britain.
Having had the chance, during his ten years in office, to improve the lot of those less fortunate than him, Mr Prescott now has the chance to decry that lot while at leisure.
Although Mr Prescott is not so interesting as a personality, he is still noteworthy for his symbolic value.
The BBC show, light though it was, provided a glimpse into the worldview of John Prescott’s kind of militant - i.e. the kind which remains forever insurgent.
This type - even after they have acquired wealth, political power, and have gained access to high government office and the chance to trample the social barriers underfoot - are always frustrated, deep down in their hearts, always harbouring a resentment, a grudge against the objects of their failed emulation, against something that eludes them, but which others acquire with ease and lightly pass down successive generations - a situation which, they protest, is terribly unfair.
This must be due to the fact that Mr Prescott and some of his compeers see the differences between people mainly in ephemeral terms. If they included in their ranking of human merit some more perennial values, they would find what really makes people differ, and, maybe, would also realise that modest origins are not always a guarantee of altruism and concern for the poor and that, quite often, the opposite can be true.
The pitiful saga of the Gaul stands testimony to that.