by Kevin Meagher
Emily Thornberry is a week late with her spin.
In an interview with the Islington Tribune, her “truck-driving, builder brother,” Ben, refutes accusations that his sister is a snob after infamously tweeting a photograph of a house displaying England flags with a white van in the drive, blaming her demise on “cut-throat and dirty politics”.
Really, when in a hole, stop digging.
Now she has brought her brother into the equation, Ms Thornberry has given license to any national newspaper to crawl around and see if, indeed, Ben Thornberry, is a tradesman (implied but not actually stated in the piece). “Builder” can cover anything from semi-skilled scaffolder, through to millionaire property developer. Expect to find out more in the Mail on Sunday or The Sun.
But none if this alters the fact most people aren’t ex-barristers living in three million pound houses married to high court judges with honorary titles. Moreover, unlike Lady Nugee, most people’s dads don’t go on to become the assistant secretary-general of the United Nations. She should have known better than to sneer at the voters for her lofty perch.
So, Ed Miliband was entirely right to be furious with her for that stupid tweet. It allowed the government to wriggle off the hook on the day it lost a safe seat in a by-election. It should have been open season on David Cameron. Instead, Labour spent three days defending its credentials as the party of hard-working people.
Emily Thornberry made an unforced error and in this age of political professionalism it was right she got the sack for making it.
The lesson for other Labour MPs is that they should try knocking on doors rather than photographing them.
And if you’re going to display your proletarian credentials, better make sure they’re fireproof.
Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Uncut