The working and shirking classes…

I thought this ‘i’ article well observed:

Rather, it is symptomatic of a much more deep-rooted change in Britain, with rising numbers of home-owning aspirational voters in originally industrial areas. It is symptomatic of the detoxification of the Conservatives, with the passing decades reducing the number of people who remember the depth of hatred of Margaret Thatcher and her government felt by working class communities in former coal field and heavy industrial areas. It is symptomatic in general of the decline of social class as a predictor of voting behaviour, and the rise of age and home-ownership and cultural values as predictors and determinants of political allegiance.

So we have a home owning democracy – allegedly. Even when many of those homes are worth less than the Downing Street redecoration budget.

But people have been deceived into thinking that, having arrived at their home ownership, everything is sorted.

Of course it might be if they have no children or relations or don’t consider society’s future, then Tories r Us is the goal. Perhaps they think that they are then entitled to appreciate Etonian con-men – or even rub shoulders with them. Or perhaps such people simply think the Conservatives will preserve their own recently arrived status.

Progressives have to communicate that they are happy with that ‘desirable’ aspiration.

Although these recently arrived are not generally wealthy, they may feel protective of what they have. Of course ‘the frit economy’ is a Conservative creation, so people are encouraged to hang on to what they have. It is all the more motivating when you believe there is a limited amount of money and that others gaining more means you must have less.

So, from the same article:

In the 2019 general election Ipsos MORI saw the biggest age difference in voting behaviour we have ever measured, and the smallest difference by social class. The Conservatives had their best ever performance among working class voters and Labour, the best ever performance among middle class voters. Home-ownership also proved a bigger predictor of voting behaviour than class, with the Conservatives having a huge lead among homeowners, and their biggest deficit among private renters. Hartlepool, along with many other former “Red Wall” seats, has a majority of people who own their own home.

The retired working class are I suggest, not the actual working class – of whom I would maintain none remain. My father used to consider himself working class because he worked and so did his father. Hard physical work was definitely involved and yet so too was quarry ownership…

Putting the working class in a box is less and less accurate and surely any “classes” are more likely to revolve around those who are paid hourly and those who receive a salary.

But the real difference is with the aristocratic class, which sits on top and they are the bankers or ‘investors’, who extract their financial cut from any operation without contributing anything except ‘finance’.

What seems to have happened is that those who have worked and have acquired sufficient to be comfortable seem to identify with the investing class.

As ever it would help progressive campaigning immeasurably if everyone understood money.

Then people would know that others being looked after was no threat to their own capital position and that society exists in order better to look after its members.

There really are only two classes – workers and financiers.

The financiers insist that working hard is the way to success, while failing to acknowledge that shirking is actually what financiers do.

And they do it very well.


    1. Peter May -

      Fascinating link. Thank you.
      Good point that, outside of ‘competitive’ – not always!- energy capture, life is programmed for cooperation.
      Anecdotally, I remember a Japanese man saying the London Underground smelt overwhelmingly of milk, which they consume little of.
      On the other hand, unlike the Japanese few in the west would be happy munching seaweed as part of their diet.

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