Tag Archives: middle classes

Opinion: The demise of the middle classes

I was on a policy panel recently, when I heard somebody dismissing the idea of ‘choice’ in public services as a sop for the middle classes.

Now, there are two rather odd aspects of this.

The first is that, depending on what you mean by choice – and every political party has its own distinct meaning – it isn’t actually true.

The polling I carried out during the Barriers to Choice Review showed that nearly 90 per cent want ‘choice’.  It is just that they are often muddled about what that actually means.

The second is that I hear this kind of sentence in …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 27 Comments

Opinion: Can the middle classes get some political clout?

I have been trying to weave a new political narrative out of the plight of the middle classes. I’ve no idea whether I’ll be successful or not, but I have learned that you gargle with the word ‘class’ at your peril.

One fact alone should tell the story. If house prices rise in the next three decades like they did in the last, the average home will be worth £1.2 million. Does anyone really believe average wages will rise enough for our children or grandchildren to afford to buy or rent a home, certainly in London and the south east?

Despite all …

Posted in Op-eds | 11 Comments

Brown rediscovers his middle class roots

Last weekend, the Fabian Society held their New Year conference, entitled ‘Causes to fight for’. I was fortunate to attend the conference on behalf of Liberal Democrat Voice, at the invitation of the Fabians. Over the next week, I will share with readers of LDV some of my thoughts and observations from the day. Today: the keynote speech from Gordon Brown.

Just over 30 months ago, Tony Blair made an over-emotional and stage-managed resignation speech. But as Brown’s long march to his inevitable anointment as party leader began, behind the scenes at Labour HQ a more rapid changeover took place, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments
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