Posts Tagged ‘middle class’

For too many working and middle class voters, Labour doesn’t value aspiration. This needs to change.

30/12/2013, 12:57:12 PM

by Renie Anjeh

Various theories are doing the rounds at the moment about why Labour is not performing as well as it should.  On the left of the party, they bemoan the fact that Labour is not nearly as leftwing as they think it should be.  On the right of the party, there is much concern about the party’s lack of credibility on the economy.   The left-wing Labour Representation Committee would argue that nationalising everything from the energy companies to children’s Christmas presents will deliver a crucial victory in 2015.  Progress would think otherwise (and rightly so).  But I still think that we have not asked a very important question.  Are we really standing up for all working class and middle class people?

During the Mayoral election in 2012, I canvassed a middle aged couple in Ilford who were less than pleased when they saw my ‘vote Labour’ sticker.  They worked hard all their lives and played by the rules but they didn’t think that we were on their side.  They felt that the odds were stacked against them and that we had no answers.  To them, we were completely out of touch with their aspirations and their concerns.

Unfortunately, people like the couple in Ilford have become objects of incomprehension at best, or derision at worst, for too many in our movement.  The idea that we should give them as much focus to as we give to the bedroom tax, is an anathema to some on the Left.

Part of the reason why Labour lost power is that we were seen to be a party exclusively for special interest groups such as public sector workers, single parents, immigrants and benefit claimants not a party for the generality of working class and middle class people.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Oxbridge wonks are people too, says Jessica Asato

15/10/2010, 03:20:25 PM

When is a job not a proper job? And can you get by in politics without having done one?

Apparently not, if my previous experience of writing online is anything to go by. Whatever I wrote, be it an argument for universal childcare or a fairer funding system for older people’s care, the most frequent comment was that my opinion was irrelevant since I had never done a proper job.

On the face of it, the commenters had a point. I have never stacked shelves at Tescos, or dealt with angry customers in a call centre. I have never been a street cleaner or driven a bus. I cannot claim to have come from a family of miners or dockers. My career path, if it can be given a linear route at all, has been predominantly academic and political. Put the words Cambridge, think tank and Progress on any CV and it will scream privileged, middle-class Blairite. I am the walking, talking stereotype of a NuLab politician and I worry about it. (more…)

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon