Saturday 28 December 2013

Eric Joyce, Falkirk, And The Working Class

An item in The Spectator by Alex Massie on 20 December linked to a post on 18 December in his own blog by Eric Joyce MP that does a good hatchet job on ideas of what is and what isn't a Member of Parliament who can be described as "working class".

He points out in a prime effort of deconstruction that it is not at all clear how an individual might be defined as such with any accuracy and without taking account of the overall career and work done over his or her lifetime.

Eric soon will be the former Member for Falkirk as a result of happenings and unintended consequences.  He will be aware of the career of Andrew Carnegie (Wikipedia), the famous Scot who went from rags, or at least cloth making, to vast riches in the USA in the 19th Century and did much for the education of the Scottish Working Class with part of the money.

Being of the Left, he has doubts about market forces and the question of class, but this is a very large and complicated subject.  It may be that his thinking might be owed to the life and career of Keir Hardie (Wikipedia) pictured above, whose stepfather, David Hardie came from Falkirk.

Which raises the interesting question, who does the Labour Party now belong to?  The metropolitan and academic Marxist and Leninist (as in Tony Benn etc.) internationalist versions of socialism or the Evangelical, Temperance and social communal form of Keir Hardie?

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