Janan Ganesh interprets the rise of Corbyn as a sign of Britain's prosperity - that people "can afford to treat politics as a source of gaiety and affirmation":
A Corbyn rally is not a band of desperate workers fighting to improve their circumstances, it is a communion of comfortable people working their way up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
I fear this misses two points.
One is that twas ever thus. Left-wing movements have always contained - and often been led by - the well-off. Lenin, Trotsky, Mao and Castro were all nice middle-class boys. Several of the leaders of the 1945-51 Labour government went to public school such as Attlee, Dalton and Cripps. And the soixante-huitards were the products of the long post-war boom. Left-wing politics has always contained a lot of Howard Kirk types.
One reason for this is that the moderately well-off feel a greater sense of grievance at inequality. It is people on £40-50,000 a year who are excluded from the London housing market by gentrification. And, being sociologically indistinguishable from them, they are more apt to envy (perhaps wrongly) the 1%; it is the classmate who's done slightly better for himself that we envy more than the Queen.
By contrast, the really poor tend to be politically inactive. This might, as Janan says, be because they are lower down the hierarchy of needs and are too busy trying to make ends meet to attend rallies. But it might also be because they have adapted to their poverty and lack the sense of entitlement that motivates the better off to political activity (on either side).
Which brings to be another point that Janan omits. Not everyone is so comfortable. The IFS said recently:
The incomes of the non-pensioner population remain considerably behind where they were before the recession: in 2013-14 the median income of non-pensioners remained 2.7% below its level in 2007-08...
Rates of income poverty among working families have been rising.
You might object that such people are still well-off by most historic standards. But this omits the fact that, for many poor working families, incomes will fall a lot next year when tax credits are cut. And it also overlooks the fact that cruel and irrational benefit sanctions (pdf) and the bedroom tax are driving people to poverty, despair and even suicide: Kate Belgrave is essential reading on this.
In this sense, I fear that, like most political journalists in the Westminster Bubble, Janan is underplaying the fact that many people are not at all comfortable. This discomfort is both important and ameliorable. Yes, Janan is right to say that many Corbynistas are well-off middle-class types. But even so, there are real grievances and hardships out there. And Corbyn, despite his many faults, recognises this.