Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Jess Phillips, Third Generation Thatcherite

Banks can be nationalised, but the greatest change of all in the last 40 years remains resolutely in place.

I refer to the transfer of economic, social, cultural and political power from working-class men. Those men were either privately employed, or else employed by the State to do productive things such as make steel or mine coal.

That transfer of economic, social, cultural and political power has been to middle-class women, publicly employed either directly or not very indirectly.

And thus employed specifically to exercise that power, as the end in itself. Most especially, to exercise it over working-class men, or over men who would have been so classifiable before the transfer.

This has certainly been the direct, and it has presumably been the intentional, consequence of the economic changes of the 1980s.

The creation of New Labour was precisely that party's making peace with this new order.

Explicitly so, in fact, by means of all-women shortlists for parliamentary candidates.

Although there have been exceptions, especially last time, that device has rarely produced any candidate who did not match this description to a tee.

Jess Phillips, whose mother was the Chief Executive of her local NHS, is in fact far more Margaret Thatcher's political granddaughter than Theresa May is Thatcher's political daughter.

But the future of the Labour Party, indeed the present of the Labour Party, belongs to the lads who send dear old Uncle David Lindsay emails, Facebook messages, and Twitters DMs, asking about lapels and pocket squares while bemoaning the suggestion by the far more privileged that they instead were the privileged ones on account of their Y chromosomes.

Oh, and bemoaning the failure to invoke Article 50, which, as an immensely well-connected Tory Brexiteer told me over some rather excellent fish and chips on Friday, no one at all now expects to happen.

"Corbyn was right," he said. "It should have been on the day of the result. It was then or never." Quite.

1 comment:

  1. You always have your boys, don't you? Not in a creepy way, but you have always loved being a patron of protégés. You are good at it, too. They always say so.