Maybe not the most enthusiastic support from Glasman but encouraging for those of us who have been pointing out the lack of working class backgrounds in the PLP and our parliamentary candidates for a number years.
I was pleasantly surprised to find myself agreeing with what John Reid was saying on Andrew Neil’s This Week program. Today the Guardian run a piece on Glasman’s contribution and also another by Tory guru David Skelton who feels that the Tories also suffer from a lack of working class MPs. Myself I would suggest that the Tories are just showing their real face.
Still Skelton gives us a quote from Nye Bevan and also some interesting figures.
In 1979, almost 40% of Labour MPs had done manual or clerical work. In 2010, it was only 9%. Over the same period, the number of Labour MPs who were journalists and broadcasters more than doubled, and 11% of all MPs now have a background in PR and marketing (this was close to zero in 1979). Sixty per cent of government ministers, 54% of Conservative MPs and 40% of Liberal Democrat MPs attended fee-paying schools, compared with only 7% of the population.
I do get angry with Harriet Harman. We are almost forced to defend her from the very unpleasant attacks of the right, yet she is so much a product of her own class. Her idea of diversity has been to increase the number of middle class women Labour MPs. Now we may need more women, but we don’t need more of the middle classes. We are overloaded already.
Still visiting the Labour Diversity Fund website I feel less alone in my views than I did a few years back although I suspect for many of those caught on video, achieving an increase working class MPs is not very high on their agendas.
While talking partly about women MPs I would like to make a quick attack on the Labour Uncut website. If you censor comments to remove unwanted questions on Tessa Jowell’s post as you did with mine it shows a fear of and an inability to answer those questions. I have never hid that I think Tessa is an train crash waiting to happen for the party. Best to get things out in the open before there’s an election and the right wing press start releasing information.