Jess Phillips is far more elitist than Boris Johnson

Sure, he’s denied the whip to Tory rebels – but she’s denying the votes of her constituents.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill

Topics Brexit Politics UK

Labour MP Jess Phillips has once again got the liberal elite in a lather with her ‘woman of the people’ schtick. They fall for it every time. Because these fawning newspaper columnists and time-rich tweeters rarely meet actual working-class people, they really believe that Phillips, daughter of an NHS executive, brought up in the kind of middle-class privilege most people can only dream of, is the working-class made flesh. So every time she gives one of her voice-wobbling parliamentary speeches against the evil elite, they’re like: ‘Wow, that was so authentic. This must be what Real People think too.’

The latest establishment cheering of Phillips’ practised passion came yesterday when she raged against Boris Johnson. In the Commons she branded him a ‘bully boy’. Of course she had to sneak in a comment on her own ordinariness – no Jess Phillips speech is complete without copious commentary about Jess Phillips herself – and so she said Boris’s ‘bully-boy game’ no doubt comes from ‘some bully-boy public-school [attitude] that I probably won’t understand – anymore than I understand parliamentary procedures’. Erm, what? Since when did it become cool to boast about being incompetent? If Ms Phillips doesn’t understand parliamentary procedures, she should do some homework, just as everyone else in the country must do if they aren’t up to scratch in the workplace.

Phillips raged against Boris for his removal of the whip from the 21 Tory MPs who voted in favour of parliament seizing control of the agenda from his government. So now we know what really moves this self-styled woman of the people – Sir Nicholas Soames getting a dressing-down! So authentic. Her suggestion is that Boris the bully, the public-school bully, is such a vicious character that he’s willing even to punish his own MPs unfairly, never mind the rest of the country. His behaviour towards the rebels, and the failure of other Tories to defend the rebels, was an ‘abomination’, she said.

Phillips said she wanted to speak ‘plainly’. Okay, let’s speak plainly: Jess Phillips is far more elitist than Boris Johnson. Sure, he removed the whip from 21 Tory MPs – but if Phillips gets her way, the vote will be removed from thousands of her own constituents. Phillips is MP for Birmingham Yardley. Every single ward of Birmingham Yardley voted to leave the European Union. Acocks Green was 55 per cent Leave; Sheldon was 68 per cent; South Yardley was 55 per cent; and Stechford was 63 per cent.

And yet Phillips has devoted a huge amount of her time lately to railing against Brexit and arguing for a second referendum – that is, for a do-over of the 17.4million Leave votes cast in the 2016 referendum, including the thousands of votes from her own constituents. If that isn’t elitism, what is? Whether by dint of her education, her middle-class upbringing or simply her presumed ability to see things more clearly than others, Ms Phillips seems to think she knows better than her own constituents how the country should be governed, and so she has campaigned for their votes, and millions of other votes, effectively to be voided. Boris removed the whip from 21 Tory MPs? Get me a tiny violin. Phillips would remove one of the most important votes of their lives from her constituents. You want to talk about ‘abominations’? That’s the abomination.

This is fast becoming a central tactic of the Remainer elite: they present themselves as standing up to Tory toffs and old-world elitists like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg and yet at the same time they campaign to thwart the votes of millions of ordinary people. Under the cover of opposing elitism they enforce their alarmingly elitist view of the world – that they and their educated mates know better than the frightful, Brexit-backing plebs what is good for the UK. Phillips embodies this approach taken by the new establishment: she dons the garb of the earthy, authentic ‘normal person’ while agitating against the democratic votes of millions of normal people.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

Rod Liddle and Brendan O’Neill in conversation at Podcast Live!

Rod Liddle and Brendan O'Neill
– live in London

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Duncan McFarlane

7th September 2019 at 12:20 am

And then there’s the sophistry of pretending everyone who voted Leave in the 2016 ref must want to leave the EU even if it’s with No Deal, despite neither Leave campaign mentioning No Deal as even a possibility in the 2016 campaign – both said the EU were “bound to give us a good deal”.

Jerry Owen

7th September 2019 at 12:37 pm

D McFarlane
Re writing history so soon !

Duncan McFarlane

7th September 2019 at 12:17 am

Ah Brendan O’Neill, the professional political commentator who likes calling *other people* middle class or “bourgeoisie”, despite his own (very) middle class profession. The man who supports taking the last welfare support from working class people struggling to survive in low paying or part time jobs, the disabled, the ill, the mentally ill and carers – while calling other people “elitist”. You really couldn’t get more elitist and out of touch with the suffering these policies cause than Brendan.

Jane 70

6th September 2019 at 12:15 pm

One bit of good news, the Brexit-name-only saga.

La Miller and the Gray Man have lost, but are planning an appeal.

Will we ever escape from the purgatEUry we now find ourselves in?

And the media gloves are off for PM Boris: pure poison.

Jane 70

6th September 2019 at 12:17 pm

should read-in the Brexit-in-name-only saga

Bella Donna

6th September 2019 at 11:57 am

I see so the daughter of someone who has a cushy job in the NHS is an elitist! Well I’ve heard everything now.

Jerry Owen

6th September 2019 at 12:12 pm

B Donna
Deputy chief executive of the NHS confederation.
Chairwoman of South Birmingham Mental Health Trust.
I doubt she carries many bed pans around. Do you ?

Michael Lynch

6th September 2019 at 12:32 pm

Gosh, so many people fall for the ‘smoke and mirror’ tricks of the faux left. Her Mother, a top NHS executive, even had a business supplying services to the NHS and was mired in many a scandal. All on public record. Do a little research about your hero before falling into the fan trap. Like the rest of her snobby pals who have hijacked the Labour Party, Phillips has as much in common with a working class person as a frog has with a dog.

Jerry Owen

6th September 2019 at 3:29 pm

Michael Lynch
It took me thirty seconds on Wikipedia to find out that information.
The depths of laziness of some people is astonishing !
She won’t be back like so many of them once they have been soundly slapped by the keyboard !

jessica christon

6th September 2019 at 9:41 am

The reason JP said the thing about not understanding parliamentary procedures is because bragging about incompetence and anti intellectualism in general is a British badge of honour, especially among certain sections of the working classes.

That’s why they’ll elevate someone who acts thick or shows ineptitude for anything from ski jumping to dancing, because they find it endearing, relateable and ‘human’.

So as far as JP’s ‘of the people’ schtick goes, that part of it was quite astute.

gershwin gentile

6th September 2019 at 9:51 am

“bragging about incompetence and anti intellectualism in general is a British badge of honour, especially among certain sections of the working classes.”

No, I think it’s the middle class pretending to be working class… Most Labour voters. “Hear my provincial accent, I’m common me… No don’t ask about daddy’s job…”

Michael Lynch

5th September 2019 at 10:30 pm

It’s official folks, the hysteria is now bubbling to the surface in the Remain media. I mainly watch SKY News and they may as well call it SKY REMAIN News. Most of their reporters and commentators appear to be falling over themselves to have a pop at the Boris Government. There’s not a word about the zero credibility of the Corbyn opposition, plenty of coverage regarding the outraged chief proroguer himself, John Major, and hardly anything about the faux working class, Jess Phillips. I was waiting for their objective journalism mask to slip. It’s hilarious to watch.

Jerry Owen

6th September 2019 at 8:21 am

Michael Lynch
Our provider is Sky. When I switch our computer on, various Sky tidbits popup on the screen. The last few days it’s been a remainiac placard with the words ‘ Brexit is a coup ‘ which is patently untrue . Also tie that in with the words ‘ Brexit crisis ‘ sky news had in the background for months , and Beth Rigby’s clear disrespect for Boris we can only draw one conclusion.
My wife can’t believe the vitriol that Boris is getting . I suspect this could backfire as people .. especially women don’t like bullies. He will get a lot of female support.

Michael Lynch

6th September 2019 at 10:16 am

They miscalculate the power of this man. His ‘rather be dead in a ditch’ line was classic in yesterday’s interview. It was also the way it was delivered – totally off the cuff. He’s what people in this country have been yearning for since Thatcher. We’ve had nought but a series of grey men and woman as PM since. God, isn’t he such a breath of fresh air after the Maybot? As a working class lad who is the son of Irish immigrants, I shouldn’t have any regard for an Eaton toff, but I just can’t help liking the bloke. He is fighting for my right to be heard via the ballot box and that’s all I need to know. In fact, if SKY continue to attack him then they’ll only make him more powerful. It’s worked wonderfully for Farage so far.

Robert Sleigh

10th September 2019 at 10:53 am

Get an ad-blocker, fast

A Game

5th September 2019 at 9:29 pm

See, they need to ask my mate, H Grant, what she should do to turn that first year, first term, first day of the first week acting performance around?

Nice piece… and her opening lines, not only showing the contempt for parliament and her constituency to not bother learning the trade, but it also put female parliamentarians back 20 years. No. 40 years. No. When was the first woman voted into the UK parliament? I’d reckon that that woman didn’t start off by saying she isn’t as smart or good as the blokes and that that was her excuse to proceed to suck.

Dock her pay.

A Game

5th September 2019 at 9:46 pm

Oh, and she nicked the other woman’s “ta dah” point about the EU migrants in her electorate.

Which brings up yet another Remainer inconsistency (you know, when you can be bothered to keep up with them. I think I’ll need some funding to devote the time required) and their devotion to that magnificent Empire.
The EU is so amazing, so liberating, enriching, egalitarian, they guarantee a standard of living that no country on its own could ever hope to compete with. Workers are protected forever from the mean capitalists and its public health for everybody! But for some strange reason they see people in their constituencies as refugees that “cannot be sent back”. Why not? Oh, because the country they are from is some third world shit hole with no infrastructure, health or education, where they will live in the dirt and have to deny their true gender identity forever. No? What do you mean that they come from a fellow EU member country? But no EU country would be somewhere someone has to be protected from being “forced” to return to. There are no refugees from within the EU… The EU is so perfect, you are insane. They look after everybody, all the time. In fact, if there was a heaven on earth, it would be the EU…
They do realise they are making this case, don’t they? And it shows their ivory tower version of what an actual refugee is.

Stuart Mack

5th September 2019 at 8:15 pm

“won’t understand – anymore than I understand parliamentary procedures’. Erm, what?”
Exactly. Considering it’s her job she sounds incompetent, although I think she said it in order to ingratiate herself with her supposedly thick constituents!
I can’t stand the woman and her patronising attitude. Sloppy, lazy speech and overall attitude. Although, she isn’t the only one. Politics and the media are full of them.

steve moxon

5th September 2019 at 7:30 pm

Jess Philips is a femascist.
That’s all we need to know.
A hate-mongering, thick, PC-totalitarian.

Jane 70

5th September 2019 at 6:40 pm

Excellent piece on Comment Central written by a 20 year old blogger.

Jerry Owen

5th September 2019 at 9:27 pm

Jane 70
I wish all 20 year olds knew how to think like this young man !

Michael Lynch

5th September 2019 at 6:25 pm

Cripes, just watching Beth Rigby from Sky News giving her usual anti Brexit spiel whilst reporting on Boris’s speech from Yorkshire. A Police Officer behind Boris had to sit down before he wrapped up questions from the Press. Rigby asserted that the optics of this will damage Boris as he must have been standing for far too long for this to happen. What!? He’s been there for no longer than an hour or so. Gosh, I always thought Police Officers were trained to walk an eight hour beat! Talk about grasping at straws to have a pop at Someone.
I find Rigby really tedious especially how she simply cannot pronounce her ‘ings.’ It’s almost as bad as listening to Adam Boulton’s protracted and over frequent ‘errr’s’ on a slow news day!

Stuart Mack

8th September 2019 at 5:38 pm

“Gosh, I always thought Police Officers were trained to walk an eight hour beat!”
What decade do you think we’re living in? The ’50’s? When did you last see a copper out on the beat?

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david Oxley

5th September 2019 at 5:22 pm

We live in very intellectually depleted times, The Tories are ‘fascists’ but seem to be implementing the Labour Party’s social and domestic policy, more money to the NHS, Teachers, schools and the Police.
Boris is un-democratic for trying to implement the democratic decision of the British people. He is accused of being unconstitutional by proroguing Parliament , even though it is a constitutional measure that has been used before.
The inhabitants of the HofC at the moment are very unrepresentative of the ordinary people on the street who are fed up of Brexit, fed up of the MP’s and want a conclusion and move on.
A general election will start to shift some of these MP’s who hate the fact that we the people are starting to take back control, and what next …. ? a rational discussion on the way to fund a decent Health service ? a debate on a fairer immigration policy or Climate change and how to ?
Without the EU to back some of the Tory and Labour Party MP’s will struggle to get their policies implemented they will have to convince us they they are worth our votes, no wonder they cling to the wreck of the EU so madly.

Christopher Tyson

5th September 2019 at 5:15 pm

For a short while I did used to go out on to the streets to try to convince people of the failures of capitalism and the need for something different. You don’t have to tell me what a difficult task this is, friends, family and the general public tended to fit into 2 categories, vaguely interested and not interested. I too have a fondness for the American Dream the idea that any of us can achieve great things. People need that hop and aspiration and also rebel against dreary sameness; suburbia and provinciality have generally been the targets of youthful rebellion and counterculture. The idea of a semi in the suburbs, maybe I should start think bungalow at this stage, seems great to me now, would have horrified me a few years back. Some are all keen to pronounce that Marx was wrong ‘yes but why do you have to keep on saying it?’. So capitalism isn’t all bad, but it is still in my view bad. To a begin with we have the profit motive, many good and useful products are discarded because they don’t make money, well loved products are tweaked and re-branded out of all recognition. We have variable pricing, so that it seems as though every train ticket is individually price, and at work we have no collective bargaining, because we are all paid a different amount and hide our payslips from colleagues. Before we even get started on the financial markets were billions change hands because somebody heard a whisper that the chancellor caught a cold at the weekend. What is economics? They use to tell us that it was about what is to be produced, how is it to be produced and how is it to be distributed. Now who can answer these questions, it seems random and haphazard. We can see with our own eyes the productive possibilities of capitalism, but we remain wedded to irrationalism, and personal whim. For all the hostility to Marxism when it comes to redistributing wealth between people. When it come to the environment, all those qualms about centralised control disappear. Environmentalists feel justified in calling for global economic controls as long as they are in charge. Capitalism can continue by reward and patronage, it can buy off rebellion and create a prosperous middle class, those who are most desperate will be too powerful to do anything about it, and will be dependent on the charity of those above them in the pecking order. So everyman for himself? So be it. So Marx was wrong? Maybe you don’t understand or choose not to understand Marx, nonetheless, the contradictions in capitalism are still with us and never mind Marx, in my opinion capitalism is unsustainable.

Christopher Tyson

5th September 2019 at 5:19 pm

Of course I meant to say that those who are most desperate under capitalism, will be too powerless to do anything about it.

H McLean

5th September 2019 at 11:56 pm

Meanwhile, as history shows, those who are most desperate under Marxism are typically shot, starved or sent to the gulag.

Given ideal circumstances Marxism sounds perfect, fair and just lovely but in reality concentrating power in the hands of so few ALWAYS leads to tyranny. The people most active in calling for a system of Marxism/communism/socialism always seem to think they’ll somehow be in charge or in a position of importance under the inevitable totalitarian dictatorship. They won’t. They’ll be trodden underfoot and mulched like all the other plebs, true believers or not.

The major question, though, must be whether you think you should own the fruits of your own labour or not. It’s a genuine question – if you make, build or invent something do you think you should be able to sell it or profit from your efforts? Because under every Marxist/Communist system in history the 100% guaranteed common theme is the government owns and controls everything, including the fruits of YOUR labour.

Gee, that doesn’t sound so tickty-boo after all, does it?

H McLean

5th September 2019 at 11:39 pm

Capitalism certainly has its flaws but every system has inherent flaws because of the nature of man. However, it just so happens to be the most successful economic system ever invented. Capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other political/economic model. Globally the amount of people in extreme poverty has fallen approx 80% in the last 50 years. The Marxist contribution to that is precisely nil.

Jerry Owen

7th September 2019 at 9:22 am

H McLean
I like the cut of your jib !
I am an ex socialist.. I simply do not see how it can work , the working classes aspire to material and financial wealth as do all other classes, ie humankind.
Thatcher was proof positive that socialism, not work was the curse of the working classes, the most popular avowedly capitalist PM this country has ever had.

Toby Pierides

5th September 2019 at 5:07 pm

This blog exposes her “common people” credentials fully…

Michael Lynch

5th September 2019 at 4:55 pm

Heard Alistar Campbell on the radio over here in Ireland this morning. He was banging on about how Boris was an outrageous liar and scoundrel. He rounded on Dominic Cummings too. He even went on to say that lies have damaging consequences! Boy, he got that right and I only wish someone would ask him about the dodgy dossier he had his hands all over. It was this document, and this alone, that put us into a war with Iraq. You know, the one that lead to the deaths of thousands looking for Sadam’s WMD and long range ballistic missiles that anyone with a grain of common sense knew couldn’t exist. A war that destabilized the Arab world stoking the fire of hatred for the West to an even higher temperature. Then we had the so called Arab Spring and a half hearted intervention by America and Europe. Half hearted because Western populations had not appreciated the lies told to them about WMD by their politicians. This was quickly followed by Syria with no appetite for intervention at all allowing the unchecked rise of a death cult. Bad mistake. This led to the immigration crisis in Europe and an infiltration of ISIS fighters that murdered hundreds of innocent civilians. The net effect was of all this was to harden nationalistic sentiment in the West which eventually led to Brexit. So yes, Alistar, lies do have long range consequences! The trouble is that people like you don’t want to take responsibility for your own. It was sickening to listen to this arrogant ass whine on about he’d never been as duplicitous as Cummings. Oh what a picture of probity he painted! He even, at one unbelievable point, said how offended he was that the Queen had been dragged into it all!!! This from an ardent Republican. But I didn’t turn off, as angry I was as this outrageous joker, because it struck me that if Remainers see the likes of Campbell as a champion for their cause then they will be met with even more incredulity from the public. So carry on Campbell, that’s what I say.

Jerry Owen

5th September 2019 at 9:31 pm

The man is an arse without a political home.. he shouldn’t even be in the media spotlight.

Michael Lynch

6th September 2019 at 1:25 am

Trouble is that a lot of Irish lap this sort of crap up. He also went on about how Varadkar should be activity attacking Boris over the backstop question. Naive nonsense, Varadkar has to play a careful political game too and knows full well that if Merkel and Macron sniff the slightest hint of damage that a no deal Brexit will do to their economies then they’ll drop the Irish like a hot potato. Money and friends are like oil and water; they don’t mix. Britain is Ireland’s largest trading partner and it would be like cutting one’s own throat to start making open attacks. One of the Remainer tactics that I’ve despised the most is the weaponization of the Irish boarder question.

Tom Taylor-Duxbury

5th September 2019 at 4:07 pm

Very many successful hypocrisy bypasses have been on display recently.

Poppy Piway

5th September 2019 at 4:06 pm

Why are people like JP in parliament. Who in their sane, rational, right minds, would vote for someone who makes no secret of elitism and whose haughty arrogance is so blatant.
These same white females are also making victims out of lgbt and BAME people, among them people like myself, non-white female with aspergers. BAME people do not want to be victims. We are more than capable of holding our own in society, intellectually, morally and socially and we do not ask for, nor do we need, our cultures to become politicised or victimised – or to put it really bluntly – don’t appropriate our individuality, our liberty or our culture for your own virtue signalling purposes.

Jane 70

5th September 2019 at 4:32 pm

Good for you! Your good sense and resolve are admirable.

If only this truly awful tribe had a little more insight and a lot less pretence.

I’m still trying to recall when virtue signalling, emotional incontinence, shouty posturing and humourless rectitude took over the formerly robust no nonsense British way of doing things.

Jim Lawrie

5th September 2019 at 7:26 pm

The dreaded cultural appropriation. How do you manage without your culcha? What do you wear, eat, read, listen to, believe in?

And your liberty? – are you in the pokey Poppy?

Jim Lawrie

5th September 2019 at 3:21 pm

Deeply insulting to the working class are those with pseudo working class accents – coarse and foul mouthed in their speech, slovenly in their pronunciation, more so in the presence of working class people, because they think that is how we are.

Jess Phillips warns that she is going into working class mode and so asks for the normal rules of Parliamentary speech to be suspended, working class people being incapable of those standards. For the purpose of her faux outburst, “anything” becomes “anythink”, and so on. But not quite “anyffink”.

I used to love listening to Brian Sewell speaking in his own accent.

Neil McCaughan

5th September 2019 at 1:55 pm

Is it fair to pick on Jess Phillips, just because she is lower middle class (despite being dead common), entitled, bovine in her appearance and ox-like in her stupidity?

Jim Lawrie

5th September 2019 at 4:53 pm

It is legitimate to pick her apart based on the manner and content of her public utterings, but why run people down based on their physical characteristics?

Neil McCaughan

5th September 2019 at 5:34 pm

Her appearance is bovine. That’s a fact, but not my responsibility. I mention it only so others will easily recognize the subject.

Duncan McFarlane

7th September 2019 at 12:23 am

I’m not a big fan of Jess Phillips. But you come across in these comments as petty and childish and focused on appearance over things that matter a lot more. Boris Johnson is fat with crazy hair and always looks and sounds like he just got out of bed and is still confused about what’s going on. But that’s not a reason to be against him as a politician – his lies and his lack of any concern for the effects of his words or actions, and focus only on his own ambitions, are though.

Neil McCaughan

7th September 2019 at 2:54 pm

I hardly ever mention appearances. Your infantile suggests you are someone whose reading skills are limited, but who is looking for an opportunity to virtue signal.

But I’m too polite to say so.

Jill W

5th September 2019 at 1:05 pm

When I hear JP I wonder if I am missing something. At work, raising a family, navigating education, health and financial systems, maintaining friendships, most of us got on with it and fought our battles. Now, once again, I wonder if I am missing an injustice which, instinctively, JP sees. These rebel Tories know how it works, are probably proud to make a stand and to face the outcome. Boris Johnson threw down the gauntlet and, he too, will face the outcome. For months we have witnessed, many engaged in, selective outrage. I want our U.K. to leave the EU. I don’t feel bad about it. Does that make me a strong woman? I doubt it.

cliff resnick

5th September 2019 at 12:07 pm

As they say “if you can fake sincerity you ‘ve got it made”

Amelia Cantor

5th September 2019 at 11:49 am

It is to laugh. Does O’Neill ever step back and take a long hard look at himself and his ideas? No-one is fooled when Spiked try to plug the line that Labour or the Democrats are the “real racists” or that Jess Phillips is the “real elitist”. You see, this inconvenient thing called reality says otherwise:

1. Labour and the Democrats get the overwhelming support of BAME folk and BAME folk can be trusted to recognize racism when they see it.
2. Jess is a Labour MP fighting for the vulnerable and marginalized. The Bullingdon Buffon is a Tory MP and Old Etonian fighting for the mega-rich.

So, no, Jess is not an elitist. Nor is she anti-democratic. She’s a defender of democracy and a responsible adult, which is why she opposes Brexit root and branch.

gershwin gentile

6th September 2019 at 9:52 am

“1. Labour and the Democrats get the overwhelming support of BAME folk and BAME folk can be trusted to recognize racism when they see it.”

Including sweeping generalisations by racist nonce apologists like you?

John Millson

5th September 2019 at 11:41 am

Yes, Jess Phillips can be crass but this piece is full of dark resentment, envy and selective inverted snobbery.
How can Jess Phillips be more elitist than Boris Johnson?
The forelock-tugging is nauseous.

Ven Oods

5th September 2019 at 1:01 pm

“The forelock-tugging is nauseous”

I’m hoping you meant ‘nauseating’. I’d hate to have to feel sympathy for forelock-tugging.

John Millson

5th September 2019 at 1:17 pm

Forgive me, it should be ‘nauseating’.

Eric Praline

5th September 2019 at 8:58 pm

“How can Jess Phillips be more elitist than Boris Johnson?”

Read the article and then you’ll find out.

Alan Watson

5th September 2019 at 11:30 am

The British working man has been thoroughly banished from the labour party particularly in London, Birmingham and other large city areas. Has this been deliberate Labour policy? I think of all women short lists and their consequences in particular and the destruction and lucrative regeneration of the Labour working class areas in those cities. This MP and her friends are creating a terrible legacy.

Melissa Jackson

5th September 2019 at 11:59 am

It’s hard to say if it’s deliberate or not. The creation of city fiefdoms has happened across the world – Areas which are under the governance of one party and get worse and worse but which only ever vote for that same side, because that side’s only policy is “More free money” which never shows up.

I’m not conspiratorial enough to say that this approach has been a deliberate attempt to create a captive voter base. I think it’s just the genuine failure of modern left wing politics.

Poverty is solved by prosperity, not free money from the state. But free money is always more attractive to voters. And thus there is a vicious cycle.

This iteration of the left needs to die. Lingering on just prolongs the suffering of the poorest in society. There is space for a genuine left wing movement of the working class. But it seems no-one wants to make it. Both Blairite and Corbynite factions are authoritarian. Where is the liberal, egalitarian left when we need it?

Jerry Owen

5th September 2019 at 12:13 pm

Alan Watson.
It’s a fundamental problem for socialism ( or is it ! ) . it’s never been for the masses, it’s a system to keep the masses in their place, poverty being that place, poverty of wealth freedom and speech. The liberal / socialist elites reaction to Brexit which is beneficial for the ‘working classes’ is a good current example.

Alan Watson

5th September 2019 at 12:40 pm

Good and interesting comment Jerry. Any working class dissent, especially from men, within the Labour Party is greeted with accusations of misogyny, racism or worse. Why are white males from low income backgrounds consistently at the bottom of the academic achievement lists?

Stephen J

5th September 2019 at 3:55 pm

still…. I s’pose it beats the Bernard-Shaw method of managing the poor… Namely sterilisation and euthanasia.

Jim Lawrie

5th September 2019 at 2:32 pm

The Conservatives became “toxic” in Glasgow in the mid-80’s, at the same time as the new left of the SNP was forming, a re-alignment to garner working class votes. The new, middle class Labourites, seeing the lie of the land under Blair, started to jump ship.

But whichever the affiliation they have, working class, heterosexual men are not welcome.

Jim Lawrie

5th September 2019 at 2:49 pm

In primary schools the teachers are almost 100% female. They give those born with the disadvantage of being girls the helping hand and priority they need, to the detriment of those born with the advantage of being boys. Unless the boys are non-white.

I know quite a few white, working class, well educated girls in their 20’s who regard their low achieving male relatives with contempt, while fawning over low calibre, middle class males.

Poppy Piway

5th September 2019 at 4:04 pm

“…well educated girls in their 20’s who regard their low achieving male relatives with contempt, while fawning over low calibre, middle class males.” Indeed it is quite common now, and to me it is extremely mystifying. It is after all the white female who has deliberately sought to deny most working class white male school children, equal opportunities, freedom of speech, thought, creativity and upward mobility in class. Why is the white female so intent on genociding(?) her own culture. Non white teachers, both male and female, are far more conservatively liberal and egalitarian in their outlook.

Alan Watson

5th September 2019 at 5:11 pm

Such is the London Labour Party and Council’s attitude that prejudice against local wlorking class men, especially if they do not have a degree and have a local accent, is palpable. It’s OK though if you have a Brummie, Irish, Scottish, Central European etc. accent but not West Indian or Cockney.

Jim Lawrie

5th September 2019 at 8:05 pm

Alan as a Scotsman in London I saw a lot of prejudice against the local working class. A common one was me being offered service at a bar ahead of someone local who was obviously in front of me. “He’s before me ” was how I dealt with it, knowing that I would now be ignored by a furious barmaid. In the days when there were pubs.

Francis Lee

5th September 2019 at 11:29 am

It was probably the best book on political theory I have ever read but Robert Michels masterpiece ‘Political Parties’ written in 1911 was about the best indictment of social-democratic parties I have ever read. He himself was an ex-member of the SPD in Germany an therefore had keen insights into the sociology of centre-left reformist parties. For all the rhetoric about reform and a fair deal for the workers these organizations are rotten to the core. Okay the Tories make no bones about who they are and what they are about. Not so with Labour or even more so with New Labour, they have there is a veneer of hypocrisy to hide the real nature of the beast.

The principal thing about these organizations to bear in mind is that they primarily function as career structures, to both the pushy middle-class careerists and also that similar opportunist layer in both the Labour party and trade unions. Of course there are some idealists in these parties but when push comes to shove these are easily marginalised by the likes of the Tom Watson and his ilk as it is today and Union barons Arhur Deakin and Bill Carron as it was in the past. Ms Phillips strikes me as the archetypal Labour MP wannabee, without a political idea or notion in her head, her principal aim being to ‘get on.’ I came across exactly the same political genre as a student at Ruskin College in Oxford. Two guys in particular came to mind; both were from northern constituencies with strident left wing views and could always be found in the bar in the basement of the college in Walton Street. I don’t think I ever saw either of them with a book in his hand. At the present time both sit in the House of Lords and are Knights of the Realm. That’s the Labour party for you. Of course this fits Ms Phillips like a glove, and she gets away with it. This girl will go far.

Does anyone still support a political party in this post-democratic age I wonder?

Alan Watson

5th September 2019 at 11:43 am

I doubt that you would find any working class men at Ruskin today.

Robert Johnson

5th September 2019 at 10:23 am

Phillips was shaking with rage..seemed close to just screaming and kicking something last night. Righteousness doesn’t like to be mocked. But when you run from a general election that’s what happens. I feel a little bad that I found her performance amusing. But it’s inevitable. She fights the wicked, and that’s that. So when you think you can pull a switcheroo and turn tables…phew. That feels like 10 times the injustice to her.
Ultimately it’s leavers who have tended to show more willingness to compromise during this whole thing…for a few years now. That’s telling.

Jerry Owen

5th September 2019 at 9:42 am

Jess Phillips no matter what her politics are is just one of those politicians I instinctively dislike. She perversely thinks that being coarse brash and arrogant is somehow saying ‘look at me i’m a victim’ of male patriarchy , classism and any other ism that is fashionable these days amongst the media / political set.
Us mere mortals are expected to believe that the likes of her have a tough life , a bullied life , a life of being a victim of something or other.
Their total dismissal of their privileged position in our society is sickening and demeans the office they hold.
I still haven’t forgiven .. and nor will, I the sickening sight of her laughing at an MP tabling a motion to help solve the tragedy of young male suicide. It was not only just a laugh, it was a part genuine part manufactured sarcastic laugh, the cruelest kind, not a genuine spontaneous human emotion, but then she is mostly manufactured.
She is a sickening odious creature. If she were my MP I would move.

Melissa Jackson

5th September 2019 at 11:49 am

That run in with Philip Davies was a genuinely disgusting moment in Philips’ career.

Davies’ interest in men’s issues is perhaps not the most popular, but things like prostate and testicular cancer and male suicide are genuine issues. You don’t have to share his commitment to that cause to say that it’s fair enough for him to ask for a debate on those issues.

For Phillips to laugh and derisively tell Davies that parliament already talks about men’s issues all day every day is simply repugnant. It’s foul.

We can but hope she loses her seat at the next election. She of all MPs deserves it. She’s not only been famously out of touch with her electorate on Brexit, but she’s also been seen harassing local Muslims and demanding the government takes children off parents for even more time. None of this is popular. She isn’t even popular with Momentum.

Robert Spowart

5th September 2019 at 4:01 pm

Melissa, I agree 100%.
The scorn she poured onto Philip Davies’s concerns was made worse by the obviously sham “apology” she made afterwards and she well deserved every bit of the scorn Carl Benjamin responded with.

Melissa Jackson

5th September 2019 at 9:19 am

You hit it right on the head Brendan.

It is a perfect demonstration of Labour’s proletarian credentials to see the likes of Phillips being embraced as “of the people”.

How about we look at Hilary Benn – A man who is a 4th generation MP and was expensively and privately educated, and has never had a real job outside of political work.

These are the people who are representing “the working man”. They are just as disconnected as the Tories, but in a way worse.

The Tories know they are toffish twits. They know they are quite a way above the working man. They might not know what the working man thinks or even care. But they do know they are not him.

Not so for the Labourites and their ilk. They think their big semidetatched family home with the double garage is just normal. They think the “bank of Mum and Dad” is a thoroughly working class idea, because two professional working parents is the norm.

They are Blairite Yuppies, who think that they are on the bottom rung despite being so completely divorced from reality.

It is so much more patronizing and condescending to claim your brummie accent makes you working class, than to admit you have to ask Nanny how much a pint of milk costs.

It’s notable that the general public don’t mind the toffs being toffs so much. We all want to make lots of money for not a lot of work. We all want a big house, and I bet most working families would want a nanny. As long as these people pay their taxes then why should we be upset?

What people I think really hate is the people speaking done to them and saying “I know what you think” when they have book royalties and parliamentary salary to live off.

Jane 70

5th September 2019 at 3:05 pm

You’ve nailed it Melissa: tories like JRM, Boris and Zack Goldsmith are openly, obviously posh and make no bones about it.

They aren’t pretenders.

Of course some of the recent ‘victims’ who’ve lost the whip are of a different stripe.

What I cannot abide are these posturing self righteous impostors, who claim to know what’s best for us ordinary folk, while all the while patronising, admonishing and now effectively disenfranchising us.

My particular bugbears are the ghastly LibDems, the SNP’s halo polishers and the likes of Jess Phillips.

Why do affluent poseurs ‘self identify’- awful phrase-as proles?

When will we get the chance to let them have it at the ballot box?

Why haven’t they got the pluck to agree to an election?

Robert Spowart

5th September 2019 at 4:05 pm

In my experience those born into upper class “old money” tend to have a better sense of “place” and responsibility than those, like so many Labour politicians, born into the nouveau riche middle classes.

Jane 70

5th September 2019 at 4:25 pm

A survival of noblesse oblige, usually accompanied by old fashioned courtesy.

Jerry Owen

5th September 2019 at 9:35 pm

I pass no judgement , but the upper classes were born and bred to rule. The likes of JP an uneducated hard faced antagonist makes me wonder if the old class system has its benefits !

Stuart Mack

5th September 2019 at 8:19 pm

“..was expensively and privately educated”
I don’t think that’s true. The Benn children were both sent to an elite comprehensive, away from the riff raff. But, I think they did receive extra tuition.

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