I appeared at the Cornbury Music Festival in glorious West Oxfordshire last weekend. Unlike so many outdoor events in the UK, this time the weather was nothing short of glorious.
The festival takes place in the grounds of some massive house with an even more massive private estate, many hundreds of acres of rolling hills, beautiful trees and spacious lawns which even in this very crowded island, all belong to one person.
Ah yes, 4% of the people of this United Kingdom own 92% of the wealth, splendid, what a wonderful arrangement for a caring, settled society.
I was there to do a reading from News from the Squares which is published this September, and also take part in various QI based shenanigans which were great fun. The TV show and Unbound, the wonderful publishing group I work with are inextricably linked through the people who work in both roles, primarily the wondrous John Mitchinson.
Aside from meeting loads of lovely people, answering questions about Red Dwarf and writing books and having a bit of a laugh, I went for a wander in the very relaxed atmosphere while casually observing the large gathering of people who attend such prestigious events.
I say prestigious because, unlike the holiday camps of the 50's and 60's, it's anything but cheap to attend. Due to the neighborhood, the festival takes place in Prime Minister David Cameron's constituency (Yes, he was there and no, I didn't see him)
Cornbury Festival is a middle class event turned up to the max.
I don't say this while trying to pose as some angry, disenfranchised working class activist, I am as bourgeois as anyone attending but it's not often even I get to mix with such a concentrated dollop of the British middle class at play.
Due to my role as 'artiste' I had access to the VIP area. So, within a festival that is by definition and ticket price a kind of VIP event, there is an even more VIP area.
Of course, who should also be in the VIP area but Mr J Clarkson of the Gear of Topness and Ms Rebekah Brooks of the late lamented News of the World and other such prestigious rags.
They are both mates of the current Prime Minister although I didn't see him, I imagine he's keeping his distance from Ms Brooks at the moment even though they are best buds, allegedly.
So, my slight discomfort at being a wet liberal ‘egalitarian’ in the VIP area was considerably increased by their presence. Of course everyone noticed and the VIP set were all a twitter at the appearance of these two corner stones of modern ultra-right-wing politics.
I'm clearly saying nothing of any pending court cases involving Ms Brooks, although I overheard a few shall I say, uncaring and occasionally amusing comments from some of the folk around me.
Other than that, it was all very jolly. Sure, you can get all old school and radical and say that this exclusive event featuring old bands on their last legs is typical of the era.
Of course I can remember when a festival was a political statement, where there was no entrance fee because there was no entrance, it just happened man. But that was in the early 1970's and the police came and closed the whole thing down and people got arrested and there were no toilets and it rained.
So what if I first saw Osibisa, who played at Cornbury, in 1972! Yes, that long go, and they are still at it! All power to them, just like the lovely old Stones fellas who did Glastonbury this year.
It's fine, I don't mind, I'm truly not that bothered about it.
Sure, you could get all youth culture radical and say this is tired old rock industry has nothing new to offer and it's all very Coldplay and samey or J-Zeeee repetitive.
But you have to remember that our demographics have changed dramatically.
In the late 1960’s to mid 1970's the massive bulge in the population, the baby boomers, were coming into their own. The explosion of popular music from that era is still dominant because the old folk who enjoy it are still around and can afford tickets to Cornbury.
In a very few years all the baby boomers will have retired, the ratio of working people to retired people will be so unbalanced it's very likely the whole economy, already on its knees, will collapse in a heap.
I'm only just a baby boomer, born in 1956, the proper full on boomers are already in their 60's but again, I'm as culpable as any bloated banker who once had long hair and wore a peace badge on his Army Surplus great coat.
The fact that tickets for the over 70's attending Cornbury were the first to sell out says it all. At the moment this big crowd have the spare cash to spend the weekend getting pissed and listening to Elvis Costello and Van Morrison, but it won't last long young people.
The old codgers will start popping their cowboy boots and the last power chords will be but an echo in the glorious trees of England.
As I wandered away through the brightly lit night, helped by charming security guards, I couldn't help sensing a light breeze of shame for my generation, some of the most spoiled, greedy, most self aggrandizing middle class bastards ever to squash the posh sod under their Birkenstocks.
Not all of them of course, most of them are lovely.