The Conservatives are still a class act….but what are we?
Not many people in the Labour Party or indeed in the wider country will be surprised by tales of the Conservative Party and its close links to the City. Following hot-on-the-heels of the ‘revelation’ that a substantial amount of funding flows from the City to CCHQ is today’s ‘cash-for-internships’ non-scandal. I say that not because I don’t find it scandalous in and of itself but because put simply it isn’t surprising. The Conservative Party is the party of finance capital and, at its other wing, the slightly neurotic but equally as aspirational middle-classes (with occasional support from aspirational working class voters too).
It’s the latter wing, represented usually by the Daily Mail, that is well, more than a little hacked off by stories like this. It doesn’t want its children to miss out on opportunities like this and resents the elitist and exclusive nature of these practices almost as much as socialists do. This wing is also likely the one that is going to give the current leadership something to think about in the future because David Cameron and his club of jet-setting, Eton-attending, Cameroons are not and never will be one of them in the way Margaret Thatcher was. David Davis realises this and this is why he recently launched a speculative attack on the ‘out of touch’ Cameron leadership. Expect more sparks to fly as the blue rinse brigade moves in time and in earnest against Cameron.
So, where does this leave Labour? I see on LabourList that Ed Miliband is busy giving voice to the concerns of the middle classes again. Nothing wrong with that you may say, after all its a perfectly legitimate goal and achievable aim to win the middle classes to socialism (not sure that’s quite what Ed has in mind though). However, there is something gravely wrong with it being the sole obsession and focus of what the leadership says. Sure, the middle classes are worried and they are right to be but stretching reality to breaking point to claim they are more worried than frantic benefit claimants currently swamping the Samaritans with calls as their very existence disintegrates before their eyes.
Funnily enough, I don’t hear Ed giving these people as much ‘air time’ and that is a problem not just for Labour but a brewing one for our ‘democracy’. I think it should be of grave concern which way the democratically disenfranchised and downtrodden poor will turn in the future. The middle class has every party courting it from here to kingdom come. One thing they don’t lack is a voice, enfranchisement and offers of representation. However, can we honestly say the same is true for societies most vulnerable and the working classes? No, I don’t think we can. What is more, as the voting public recognises, these people are the hardest hit. The cuts will push the middle classes into poverty however, for those already at the bottom the abyss that opens up before them is of a much darker and deeper kind. Homelessness, ill-health, unemployment, crime, death even….the stakes are relatively so much higher.
In the long-term, this failure on our leaderships part will have severe consequences for not just Labour but parliamentary ‘democracy’ and the darker abyss will soon enough stop being so discriminating….