I take exception to Mr Green of El Toro's letter to the editor. He is avoiding the obvious fact that no word has a meaning in isolation. What is meant is determined by context. When on uses commoner as opposed to a lord, or plebean as apposed to patrician, the context, in this case, produces the word as an insulting put down.

By no stretch of the imagination does Cameron's use of the word suggest a neutral or positive definition of the word.
The fact that Mr Green has lived 90 years without ever hearing this word, sort of disqualifies him as a judge in this case. Since the context of this use of the word is negative, here is what the Macmillan dictionary has to say: “PLEB: British informal. An insulting word for an ordinary person … show[ing] that the speaker thinks ordinary people are not important or intelligent. COMMON: insulting way of describing someone from a low social class. Here is a direct quote from the police log: “Mr MITCHELL said: “Best you learn your f------ place...you don't run this f------ government...You're f------ plebs.” It sounds to me that it is Mr Mitchell who has not learned “his place” in a democratic society.

Richard Goss