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Opinion

Questions of Class – A Rant

When questioned about social class, most people will question its existence and affirm it further into the historical abyss as something confined entirely to the Industrial Revolution and perhaps the 1970s.

However, with a General Election having to be called this year, the last few weeks have seen in the news the prevalence that questions of class will play in any re-emergence of New Labour.

Several New Labour MPs have started to try and pull their Party’s policy back to its left-wing routes and in its ideals to reduce social inequality and increase social mobility. Yet these MPs are only deepening the grave that they themselves have dug since 2001. It would make sense that if New Labour had any commitment whatsoever to reducing social inequality, then they would have done this during the last 13 years.

Yet a recent report from the National Equality Panel, commissioned by the Government, has found that the gap between the rich and poor is wider than 40 years ago – not helped by pay discrimination towards ethnic minorities and women.

Now personally, I agree that there are many deep seated class based issues within Britain (depending on how you perceive class). Don’t get me wrong, I do not see this as having to attack ‘the Toffs’, or an acceptance that you can divide people among the lines of ‘working class’, ‘middle class’ and ‘upper class’ – as society has become more diverse since the 1970s. But New Labour are not the party to challenge class issues. They resigned that right in 1994, despite some great initiatives such as the Minimum Wage.

The Conservatives will be no better either. Why are more people not picking up on the fact that David “call me Dave” Cameron – the vile PR man that has convinced many people that despite admitting his Party will partially destroy Britain will still be calling himself Prime Minister by the end of May – did not even realise that the word “twat” is used as a derogatory term by everyone outside of Eton until he said it live on a morning breakfast show.
The worrying thing is that those people who are facing the brunt of class based issues are voting more and more for fringe parties, some of which are far more unsavoury than the British public should have the taste for. But, who can blame them. I suppose at least these people have more guts to vote for who they think is best rather than those who wrongly believe they should vote for one of the two main Parties because no-one else will get into power. Why do people feel such a need to vote for the winner? How un-British!

Photo by Tavis Ford..

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