Does my memory fail me, or was it only a few months ago that Ed Miliband said Labour was going to bring back socialism to Britain? Cue much cheering from the trade union stalwarts and a raft of accusations of puppeteering behind the scenes from the, er, the opposition, for want of a better descriptor. Ah, the soap box days, the up-close smell of the great unwashed among whom Ed walked to heal the sick and bring comfort to the dying. How quickly we forget; Ed’s latest big, new, policy-free election campaign gambit is to appeal to the middle class.
Does he know who the middle class are? Traditionally they would have been among the staunchest of the anti-Labour vote. They were the small business owners and white collar workers, the people who paid the bulk of the tax. But thanks to social engineering John Prescott’s 1997 announcement – greeted with derision then – has come to pass. Yes, “we’re all middle class now”. Social boundaries have blurred to the point where a person’s profession no longer reflects their income, status and, crucially, their voting preferences. Nobody knows who the middle classes are any more.
Luckily Labour have managed to ease the solution to the ‘what class am I’ conundrum by wiping the working class off the political map altogether. Not by the promised route of raising their aspirations and their opportunities and elevating them to the hallowed middle class plateau but by progressively lowering the prospects for everybody else. What we used to call working class are either mouldering in idle obscurity, appearing on Benefits Street or else they simply aren’t even British any more.
So which is it? Appeal to the middle class – whoever they are – or bring back socialism? Luckily the answer isn’t far away; yesterday on the Daily Politics, former Labour MP Chris Mullin actually stated that it was important to "bind the middle classes into the welfare system" That’s right, once everybody is on some form of benefit they all belong to the state and socialism - at least of a sort - is reality. What’s next Ed, going for the bankers vote? Whoops, too late, they already moved abroad and moved all their money with them.
You know, the old class system wasn’t so bad - at least you had a place to be kept firmly in and you knew who to look up to…or down upon. Now nobody has a bloody clue to what ‘class’ they belong. Equality is just a crock of political bullshit, meaning that once everyone is equally subjugated we can label them as we wish; the classless society, where everybody is pegged at attainably mediocrity.
They both work for me now. I win
This illusory egalitarian disease is no respecter of boundaries either and manifests itself across party affiliations. The Conservatives used to have the middle class but if Labour are claiming that ground then sod it, enlarge the already discredited honours system, give out gongs for, say, services to hairdressing and pasty making and cat grooming and maybe once having had a job. Arise Sir Jedward, arise Lords One Direction, ‘ey up Lord Scargill: arise, arise and get thee to a mongery. Best get extending the second chamber, we’re going to need it. We’re all Upper Class now.
We are all middle class now. All of us in the middle of a pile of doggy doo-doo called selfish politics, the EU and a state hell bent on making life unpleasant for the indigenous population.ReplyDelete
I think, uncharacteristically you've got this wrong. What Labour has done very successfully is to make most of the middle class into a new working class.ReplyDelete
Even after Osborne's minor trimming (WAAH CUTS!) families with incomes of up to £50k are getting tax credits and "free" nursery places. They're bound into the welfare state in a way they weren't only a few years ago.
At the same time, most middle class people will have huge levels of debt which mean that they are as desperately reliant on staying in work as the old working classes were.
To be secure now you need to be very, very rich or very poor. The poor are the new middle class. They might not have the taste, drive or education of the old middle class, but they have the righteous sense of entitlement and security.
Actually, I think that is exactly what I'm saying.Delete
Labour, more than any other party, rely on a client vote and this relies on sleight of hand. So, just as the 'New Labour' project made Newspeak into reality the also created the belief that changing a label changed your circumstances. Hence, as you say, the true working class are now those who believe themselves to be middle class.
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