Tag Archives: progressive politics

Opinion: Demonisation of the rich is killing progressive politics

“Demonisation is the ideological backbone of an unequal society.” wrote left-wing commentator Owen Jones in his 2011 book “Chavs: the demonisation of the working class”. He was right but, at the same time,  summed up much that’s wrong with progressive politics in the UK.

Demonisation works both ways. It is easy – and entirely incorrect – to demonise the poor as chavs, crooks, benefit cheats and scroungers. As people who could be high-paid bankers and successful business-people if only they knuckled down and worked a bit harder.

But it’s also simple – and wrong – to demonise the wealthy and portray them as people who, almost to a man and woman, are happy to see the poor crushed underfoot if it boosts their bank balance by a few pounds. Yes, there are rich people happy to see their fellow citizens suffer if it further enriches them. There are people on middle and low incomes like that too. The demonisation of the rich may well have contributed to Labour losing the General Election – at least if we’re to believe the Labour leadership contenders now proclaiming aspiration as so important.

Posted in Op-eds | 101 Comments

Political Studies Association Conference Report: from Cameron to Galloway

The annual conference of the Political Studies Association (PSA) offers the discipline a chance to get together, share ideas and support the publicans of a particular city for a few days. This year, it was hosted by the city of Cardiff, the last of a four-year tour of the capitals of the UK. As a young PhD student, these conferences offer me a chance to not only meet and get merry with more senior academics; they also let you see how the discipline is evolving through panels and papers, as well as more informal sessions.

What is always disappointing …

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The Tories are not a progressive party

It’s little wonder Eric Pickles is trying to persuade Liberal Democrats to vote for him; we’ve been winning council seats off the Conservatives in his constituency and he’s obviously rattled.

The Tory Chairman says liberal democracy is “part of the Conservative family”, but I’m certain I’m no part of his family. His flawed view of history is matched only by his arrogance in assuming that he’s got the General Election in the bag and can now order people to vote for him.

Let’s remember, the Conservatives are the party that opposed social welfare in 1909 and the creation of the NHS forty …

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