When I was growing up ‘elitism’ was a word sneered from the lips of the Left, now it is sneered from the lips of the Right. The sneering was ugly then and it is ugly now. Knowledge, science, understanding, literacy and curiosity are absolute goods and to hell with anyone who tries to follow that American habit here and attempts to construct a discourse in which only a despised liberal elite are interested in science, the arts, history and ideas.
It's rather sad that our political discourse is seen that way by some in the UK. He's vacillating between Labour and Lib-Dem, incidentally. And I can't link to Stephen Fry without linking to this: