But it was not the kind of speech you would make if you were speaking to the unwashed back home, so to speak. This was primarily to say ‘Hey’ to the people in her party and introduce herself. ~ Sen. Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.)Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle impressed her potential colleagues by telling Republicans senators different things then she would say to the voters back home. She convinced Isakson at least that she was one of their special elite. There is no mistaking what Isakson means with the word "unwashed." It has meant members of an ignorant, underprivileged rabble since the 1830's.
I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don't care, but that is not the case with BP. We care about the small people. ~ BP Chairman Carl-Henric SvanbergSvanberg says he spoke clumsily. He probably meant to say "little people." Unless you are talking about hobbits either phrase has the same meaning. Those people who are smaller in status and of less importance. It was a commonly used phrase when nobility wanted to speak kindly of peasants and separate them from "great people" like themselves.
This is what passes for noblesse oblige among modern plutocrats. We shall be kind to them even though they are dirty, common laborers as beneath us as insects.