Sunday, 26 September 2010

Middle England Or Middle Earth?

Ed The Red it seems wishes to retrieve the support of Middle England for Labour. So forget Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the old Labour heartlands where the working class has all but gone. The people who matter are in the marginal seats in England. They are those on the edge of prosperity who are extra sensitive to changes in the structure of their income and holdings.

Is this just an appeal to New Labour and his present paymasters or is it for real? They have lost their grip on all those high paid high pension entitlements in the machinery of state and its associates and they want them back, fast. Others want their hands on power again because as time moves on others will soon replace them.

So what is he saying? It is the old myopic meanderings of one of sons of the London Mediocracy now elevated by his own kind to lead the party of that class? He has had almost nothing to do with ordinary people or ordinary workers in the whole of his life and neither did his parents. They were recent academic migrants so there is a total absence of family history in the Atlantic Isles in his background.

Corpus Christi at Oxford would not have provided much, nor would LSE in the period he was there, nor would his career before election in 2005. Were he to be a man of huge and encompassing intellect or someone of outstanding contribution to one thing or another, business, academia or the military it might be an explanation. But he is none of things.

It seems that he has political skills superior to those of his contemporaries in the Labour Party. This, given their recent record, is hardly a major achievement. We had a Prime Minister like that after 1997 and look what happened there. That one knew little about anything and understood less except where the money was for him. I fear it looks like more of the same.

What Middle England are we talking about? It is claimed now that only one per cent has more wealth than ninety per cent of our population. The figures are very complicated but it seems to be near the truth. This leaves nine per cent, who are assumed to be prosperous but not so rich as the plundercrats at the top. It is from this group that so many of the London Mediocracy come from. They are certainly a lot better off than the great majority of most of the poorer lot below.

Amongst this lower ninety per cent, there will be a proportion of people who are “comfortable” with a decent disposable income and limited debt. So Middle England therefore means that group of people, substantially in the south east or in areas outside urban centres, where many of the marginal constituencies are. It also means control of London.

These are the areas where the Middle England of fable lies. Is it beginning to be more of a fiction than a political fact? Increasingly these are now a minority as more and more feel the pinch and lower their expectations of being ever free from debt or having any margin of savings. They are also older and as this is the case disappearing ever more rapidly with the arrival of the grim reaper, the costly carers, or the depletion of savings and reduction in real incomes.

What few seem to understand is that the extraction of so much wealth and income from the UK has reached a level where it has now impacted not only on those at the bottom but those in the middling reaches as well. This has occurred in the USA and is happening in the West generally. It is simple to understand, look at all the bills you are paying and follow the money.

We have a wreck of an economy, a wreck of a constitution and almost everywhere you look it is complicated, chaotic and hugely vulnerable to even minor disruptions. I regret that an early 1990’s Masters degree in mathematical economics from the LSE, a touch of political philosophy from Corpus Christi and a few back room political skills honed in student politics and through media contacts are not enough.

Worse still, as you look amongst the ranks of all the political parties, all you see is the same with a few exceptions.

Middle England? More like Middle Earth nowadays, but then Tolkien who was at Merton along the street from Corpus Christi, did see service in some real life.

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