Sunday, 26 September 2010

Miliband and the squeezed middle classes

Congratualtions to Ed, being voted in by the unions is a worthy way of winning. Despite this endorsement from the working classes, he has started his leadership by vowing to 'defend what he calls the "squeezed" middle class.'

Excusing my un-nuanced approach to social stratification, acknowledging that the middle classes are the easily the most important electoral ground for any party (high turnout and high voter numbers) and understanding that middle class people belong to unions too... this is still a strange statement to make when you've just been voted into leadership by the workers.

I suspect there is something within his message that goes back to the aspirational messages of Blair, the type of message that says we can all be middle class, university types, that will appeal to people. Of course, such a statement is wholly untrue, some people need to do manual jobs, some need to work on the fields, some need to be cleaners - the real message should be that these jobs should be valued far more highly than they are, what could be more important than producing food and keeping the country running?

Finally, Peter Cranie's point about AV will be a fascinating one to watch: "I'm holding back my judgement on Ed Miliband until he makes a call on the AV referendum issue. I'll be astonished if he asks Labour MPs to back the amendment proposed by Caroline Lucas."

No comments: