Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, I was pretty angry when Labour attempted to make this "Tory toff" class hatred thing in the Crewe by election last year the core of their appalling campaign. This wasn't because I thought it would hurt the Tories - as usual, Labour patronised and underestimated the electorate, whom they generally appear to regard with contempt at the best of times, hence their massive defeat - but because I'd thought we'd long ago moved on from such a bankrupt characterisation of the population. I naively imagined that Labour had changed and that constructive politics within the framework of a pluralist, thriving liberal democracy, away from the fake divisions of the 70s and before, invented by the Left to simply further their boundless thirst for power and for the creation of the socialist Utopia. But I've repeated the mistake. You see, after their hammering in Crewe I had come round to the idea that maybe, finally, Labour understood that the flimsy caricaturing of their opponents as being, somehow, "class enemies" just won't fly in 21st Century Britain; that the penny had dropped and with it the lurch-to-the-far-Left campaign tactic that was doomed to kill them off as a force in British politics (or, perhaps, merely English and Welsh politics) for good.
Fortunately - because I want to see them drummed out of office for generations as punishment for the damage they've inflicted on every single facet of British society, having lied their way into power in the first place -so, yes, fortunately, I was completely wrong again. Alan Johnson, former union leader and NEC member and the chippy embodiment of the arrogant, smug, convinced class warrior that makes up the Left's population, has confirmed today that Labour is an unreformable dinosaur. This is what Benadict Brogan said earlier:
If Labour does pursue this futile line of attack on the Tories up to the General Election, they will be wiped out, possibly for good. People are sick of it, for one thing (Blair, for all his sins, knew that) and for another, it is perfectly clear to all but Brown and his henchmen that a massive proportion of the British public don't define themselves in these terms any more. They are not offended by money, as long as it is perceived to have been earned. So Cameron, Osborne and Boris Johnson will not be judged harshly by the electorate because of their backgrounds. Their parents were all hard working and successful and in that way, they are not what Labour thinks they are and desperately want us to think they are, namely, some sort of robber barons - and I don't mean in the metaphorical sense. It's the "flimsy caricaturing" I was talking about earlier and, quite simply, it won't work.
Alan Johnson had a go at ‘public schoolboy millionaires’ yesterday in the Sunday Times. “The Conservatives are the party of inherited wealth, private education and conspicuous affluence, ” he said. “If they were to win the election, you would have a mayor of London, chancellor of the exchequer and prime minister all coming from a tiny clique who went out trashing restaurants and left large wodges of money to pay for the damage.”This has gone down badly at City Hall, where Boris “I fear no man” J0hnson is preparing his riposte for when he comes to face to face with the Home Secretary at the “Johnson v Johnson” debate organised next month by Policy Exchange. The event is ostensibly about PR, with Vernon Bogdanor seconding Johnson A and Lord Norton of Louth assisting Johnson B. But like a row about whether to put the toilet seat up, it can very quickly be turned into something else. I’m told Hizzoner is itching to “put that man Johnson in his place”. So book your seats now: the class war is about to go live
However, it's conclusively been demonstrated by idiot Johnson that Labour really are stupid enough to be planning to do just that. All I can say is that it will be enormously gratifying when this abject cynicism based on an obsolete, 19th/20th Century political ideology earns precisely the reward it deserves come May 2010.
I confidently predict that Labour will go the way of the dodo, and good riddance to it.