Does it matter if Dave’s family were good for a few quid, or that Ed’s dad was a prominent academic, or that Nick didn’t go to the comprehensive down the road? As far as many on the right are concerned, it really doesn’t – and if it does, you must be one of those envious losers who hate success.Correct!
But there are many on the left who don’t think background matters that much either. Tony Benn (formerly known as Viscount Stansgate) didn’t think his privileged upbringing was any impediment to his role as a leading socialist. It’s a persuasive argument: it’s not where you’re coming from in life that counts, but where you’re going and whose side you’re on.Ah, the shameless pragmatism of the Left.
But you won’t hear many people from poor backgrounds in politics, or public life generally, who will agree. They know better. Because where you come from certainly does matter. Sayeeda Warsi, following her resignation as a government minister, hit back at David Cameron’s inner circle after their whispering campaign suggesting she wasn’t up to the job. “I don’t hold [against them] the fact that they haven’t had the breadth of experience that some of us who didn’t go to public school have had,” she said. She reminded them that, as a working-class woman, she had been hearing similar comments all her life.As...as a what? She went straight from university to a law firm and then, finding even that too much like hard work, became a professional politician.
She's hardly a horny-handed daughter of the soil, is she?
There are many men, whites and straights in our society who are disgusted by sexist, racist and homophobic abuse and passionately want to see it ended. But no matter how profoundly they experience that disgust, it will never be in the same way as those who have felt it across their own backs. When you have lived through prejudice and its consequences, it gives your response a personal edge that marks you out from those who haven’t. And what is true of gender, ethnicity and sexuality is also true of class. All over Britain, there are communities and individuals who have had their lives blighted or even destroyed by economic forces over which they feel they have no control.Ah, because what they 'feel' is all important. Not the facts. Not reality.
It doesn't matter that they'd have some control, if they merely took some responsibility and stopped listening to people who constantly tell them that society owes them a living, does it?
Being working class is, of course, no guarantee that a politician won’t bend in the wind or wilt in the sun. It’s not even a guarantee that they will support the rights and interests of their own people. Plenty of idealistic working-class men and women have made their way into the political establishment and decided that it suits them after all and they’re running with it. But at least they have backgrounds, experiences and relationships with their own voters to betray in the first place.But the Left don't seem to want politicians who 'support the rights and interests of their own people' when they are white and British, Dreda.
Nor even when they are all colours & creeds, if those 'rights and interests' conflict with the desires of the Left and professional whingers like....well, like you.