Was Raef just too posh for Sir Alan?

There was a time when you would go to work or school and everybody would be talking about a programme that was on the night before. That rarely happens now. DVDs and multiple channels mean that we all watch different things at different times. One of the few exceptions is The Apprentice. Last week, I was at a CIPD event and the Chairman remarked on the need to finish on time because everyone wanted to get back to watch the programme. People like to see it in real time so that they don’t hear who has won before seeing the drama themselves. They also like to join in with the post-mortems that must take place in every office in the country.

Last night’s episode was a surprise. Poor Raef, who hasn’t put a foot wrong in recent episodes, crashed and burned when he allowed his arty bent to override his commercial sense. When making his TV commercial, he produced an engaging drama in which the product he was trying to sell got completely submerged. Siralan duly fired him.

I was sorry to see Raef go. I liked him. He had a fantastic dress sense and came over as a real gentleman. His defence of Sara, when the rest of the team were tearing into her like a pack of dogs, showed leadership. That ability to rise above the baying mob, even at a risk to yourself, and to calm the situation is the mark of a brave man.

That said, I have wondered all along if Raef was too posh for Siralan. He certainly comes across as an upper-class type, although, if you are really posh, don’t you write your name as Ralph and just pronounce it as Raef?

I wonder, too, if Siralan is out of step with the zeitgeist here. Inverted snobbery is so 1990s. Tony Blair’s mockney glottal stops look very outdated now. We have an Old Etonian mayor of London and, in all likelihood, we will soon have an Old Etonian Prime Minister leading a cabinet of public school and Oxbridge chappies. As Catherine Bennett said, the Toffs are back.

All of which should be good news for Raef. I doubt that he will be out of work for long. Who knows, he might even end up as a candidate in David Cameron’s proud-to-be-posh New Tory party.  

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