Monday, 21 December 2009

Class Hatred is Obsolete - So is Labour

I'm not proud to be what the Left would regard as "middle class" because I simply don't care. By the same token, I try not to define other people in terms of some ideological critique of their "origins", whether it be "working class" or, in the destructively hypocritical terms now being thrown around casually by Labour these days, the "privileged few" (as has been conclusively shown by the expenses scandal, there is no one more "privileged" in British society than a politican, whatever their putative stripe). I simply do not believe that it is true, let alone desirable, that people can be or should be defined in Marxist or neo-Marxist terms. Those terms are deliberately intended to deny individuality by confirming the supremacy of State. As far as I'm concerned, once you start down that track you are well on your way to tyranny.

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:

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
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.

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.


  1. I suppose in Labour eyes I'm a traitor to my working class roots. But I don't really give a monkeys, this politics of envy makes me sick. If people want lots of money, a nice house, etc. then they should go out and work their knackers off for it. I'd rather hand-ups than hand-outs. No wonder I'm voting Tory.

  2. I remember canvassing in the 1980s in Oxford and speaking to a man living in an unremarkable but decent house who said he had bought his council house under Margaret Thatcher's "right to buy" and then sold it and moved to the place he now lived.

    I'm going to vote Tory for the rest of my life, he told me - they've given me my big chance that I never thought I would have, of a better life.

    I've never forgotten that - it was what "Thatcherism" was all about.

  3. Adamcollyer: It was a part of what Thatcherism was about. That policy has left people today who need a council houses with very little to choose from. It has caused all manner of problems where people have bought flats in a block and now find themselves jointly responsible for the overall building and massive re-roofing or damp problems.

    Thatcherism was about a great deal more than some lucky guy who got a snip and then sold it on at a massive profit. Good luck to him, but for every person that Thatcher made happy, she rendered another one utterly miserable.

    People wonder whether someone who has been born to go to Eton and Oxford has the foggiest idea how the rest of us live. The answer is no, of course they don't. They have no perception of what it is like to live next door to fighting drug addicts, or not to have enough money at the end of the week to buy groceries. They don't know what it's like to have to choose between heat and food for old age pensioners, and they can’t imagine not being able to get a job, because their connections will always get them something even if they can't do it.

    The trouble is that Labour's real Labour people (I don't mean Harriet Harman who had a privileged upbringing too and whose auntie is a Countess) haven’t the foggiest about that either. They live in a world of privilege when they are MPs (and under our system that means voting fodder). But by the time they are ministers they have become so used to the high life that they have forgotten what it is like down at the bottom of the pile. It won’t make the tiniest bit of difference if Dave is in Downing Street. Most of his policies are much the same as Browns.

    The only reason we will vote Brown out is that it will serve him right for being so absolutely unbearable. In eight or nine years’ time Cameron will have become the same.

    But it’s a pity we measure everything by class in Britain. Most other people don’t.

  4. Funny that trism when despite my lowly upbringings I feel I have way more in Cameron and Osbourne than I do the likes of Brown and Balls. It's only pathetic class warriors who prefer to judge people on the basis of their bank balance.

  5. Well said, UB and Adam.

    Tris, I'm not entirely sure I agree with some of the things say you for a few reasons, themselves informed mostly by personal experience. Thanks to a pretty varied career in, amongst other things, sport, the military, private education, state education, university (as student and teacher) and a lot of foreign travel, I can say with some certainty that to pigeonhole anyone according to what you perceive is their background, education and/or "wealth worthiness" results in ignorant prejudice not dissimilar to racism. It's the game the Left plays because they thrive on division and resentment, so they foster it, consciously or not, at every turn.

    In reality, there is only one division within the whole of humanity, no matter who the person is and his or her background: those who wish to serve, be constructive and aspire to greater things, and those who wish to divide, destroy and despair.

    To me, after 13 long years of a Labour government I briefly thought I could trust, it's clear now that, very loosely, they represent the latter while the Tories represent (approximately) the former. For that reason, for now, I trust Cameron and his crew, not least because they a very varied crew (they are not the cabal of robber baron old Etonians Leftwing/Labourist propaganda would love you to believe, and which you do seem to believe, astonishingly).

  6. The person who defined what modern Conservatism is all about isn't actually Margaret Thatcher (massively influential and a true Godsend for a country on its knees though she undoubtedly was), it was, you'll be surprised to hear, Ronald Reagan.

    Check Donal Blaney's blog out for further details.

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  9. .

    I think I may have given the wrong impression. I was trying to say that none of them, by the time they get to parliament, ever has an idea of what it is like for people in the horrible housing estates so called inner cities (although many of them are peripheral estates). It matters little whether they have been to Eton and Oxford or come from what we might call an upper working class/ middle class background with a semi in the suburbs, comprehensive and a polytechnic.

    None of us knows how “the other half” really live. I’m really a middle class lad with no experience at all of the huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ types and I’d never been in a “council estate” until I started working in one. I still have absolutely no idea how the rich live, and despite working in the “multiple depravation areas of the town for some time, I only really have an impression of what life is like there. I go home at 5 o’clock.

    It’s a long winded way of saying that it won’t make any difference who is in Westminster. None of them really understands what it is like to be anything much other than what they are now.

    I’m still not explaining myself well... but I hope it’s a little clearer. I really hate the class thing too. I’ve Scandinavian friends who are absolutely aghast when I explain it to them... I feel the same

  10. @tris: fair points all. I see what your saying now and do agree. The real 'elite' are the political kings and queens of every stripe we apparently choose - when we're given the chance, that is. What you are saying, then, rightly, is that it is they who are inevitably and completely out of touch with the lives of real people and that they invariably therefore end up betraying all of them one way or another, whatever their social circumstances.

    For now, though, to me at least, the priority is to dispose of the worst government this country has ever had inflicted upon it. Then heavy pressure can - and will - be brought to bear on their Tory replacements to start getting it right or prepare to be forced out as well. They'll be the most scrutinised administration in British history because people have just about had enough...

  11. Yes Denverthen.

    And because of the system we have, there are Tories in the shires who will always have their seat, and there are Labourmen in their town centres who will always have theirs...

    Douglas Hogg would never have been removed by the voters any more than Mick Martin would.... and once they are in a safe seat.. it's time to forget the people outside...


    Yep. We must give Brown a good beating for what he has done to us (I couldn't bear the though of his smug face if he actually won an election) but I wouldn't expect much from Cameron... Castle made of sand that one....


Any thoughts?