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June 11, 2017


Ben Philliskirk

Of course, it might be helpful to view class in a slightly different way than that of the old-fashioned 'ABCDE' rankings. After all, one of the major strikes of the past few years was that of junior doctors, and this was a sign that even groups that traditionally have been seen as 'professionals' are increasingly seeing themselves more as 'ordinary' workers.

The odd thing is that sections of the working-class are behaving in an apparently 'post-material' fashion, in valuing identity above both subjective and objective material interests. The big questions for British politics in the future are whether this trend will weaken once 'Brexit' is completed, and if Labour can persuade these people that their identity issues are effectively holding them back in a social and economic sense.

Peter K.

As a supporter of Bernie Sanders in America, Corbyn's success has made me ecstatic.

He proved the naysayers wrongs as did his Labour supporters who encouraged the youth and new voters to vote.

I think part of their popularity is that - besides the policies - their quirky, authentic, passionate personalities remind people of the wise guides/powerful mentors Gandalf and Dumbledore. They're similar types of characters.

It's not exactly cult-of-personality, b/c the center of the narratives were the inexperienced Frodo, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and their allies.

But I agree that the middle class is being pauperized in the UK and around the globe.

I would have thought Mr. Dillow would be more happy. Did he blog too many posts critical of Corbyn?

Peter K.

"John Rentoul has a point that Corbyn was insufficiently radical – but therein perhaps lay some of his appeal."

One guy. How many millions of pixels were employed to paint Corbyn as a dangerous radical? That was the reality.

The reason the international left is so happy is that Corbyn did so well in spite of the media campaign and hostility of centrist Labour. Same thing happened with Sanders.


If I'm not mistaken group E includes a cohort of 8 million pensioners plus however many early retirees this nation might contain.

Perhaps that skewed the figures a little.

George Carty

Scratch, IIRC pensioners only count as group E if they have no private pension arrangements and rely solely on the state pension.

Ben Philliskirk

@ George

Where do the rest go, given that earnings from private or occupational pensions might be merely a small top-up for many?


Rentoul's analysis rests on the idea that universal benefits are less radical than means-testing, because means-testing makes it possible to target the poorest. But universal provision is a basic socialist principle - nobody should be excluded through poverty, and that includes people who aren't quite 'poor enough'. In the immortal words of Mark E Smith, means-testing is "taking from the medium poor to give to the poor poor".

I don't know why anyone listens to Rentoul on Labour, though. He hasn't voted Labour since Blair was leader - he said so on Twitter a bit back. I don't think he's shifted to TUSC, either.

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thank you Robert Week for posting the details of Corbyn's economic plan.

Miguel Madeira

I imagine that this division between A/B/C/D/E classes is made by a combination of income and education - but perhaps today income and education have opposite political effects giving the illusion that the "class" becomes less important?


"Social class has become less important"

OK, what's become more important. Religion and ethnicity, pages 141 and 154 of the Ashcroft poll.

Tory vote percentage

Jewish 75.5%
Christian 69.7%
Chinese 66.0%
Whites 59.3%
Buddhist 50.0%
Hindu 49.3%
No Religion 43.9%
Indian 37.3%
Mixed Race 33.3%
Sikh 28.6%
Black 19.9%
Muslim 15.9%
Pakistani 11.0%
Bangladeshi 8.7%

Hmm. Plenty to get your teeth into there, Chris, if you want to go there.

(The 1945 Labour landslide gave them 47.7% of what was basically a 100% white electorate. May's 59.3% of white voters would have given her a 1947-doubleplus result with 1947 demography.)


Bloody immigrants now refusing to vote with their betters..... and messing with our demographic...
What next?

Jonathan Monroe

I also think class in the objective Marxian sense of proletariat vs bourgeoisie corresponds more closely to age (where we see a massive party gap) than to the cultural concept of class measured using the ABC1C2DE categories.

Apart from the benefit-dependent underclass and the top 0.1%, everyone depends on labour income in their youth, and gradually shifts to living off accumulated wealth (owner-occupied housing and pensions) as they age.


Ashcroft's numbers don't add up. If Theresa May and the Tories got 59.3 percent of the white vote, by definition in the UK that's about 51 percent of the total--and that's before adjusting for the fact that the white population has a smaller proportion of under-18s than ethnic minority and therefore exceeds its demographic share in the electorate. So Ashcroft has apparently found that the Tories got 52 or 53 percent of the vote and not 42 or 43. Somehow, the returning officers of the country would like to know how. I am sure you'll find other similarly bizarre numbers in that Ashcroft list if you dig; the shares on religion, especially Christian and no religion, seem as out of line as the white share, for example.


I'm no statistician but it is clear that Bonnemort and DBX have misread the Ashcroft figures. They are here for all to read: http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/GE-post-vote-poll-Full-tables.pdf

On pg. 9, it says that 43% of white respondents who named a party voted Conservative and 37% voted Labour. In terms of BME respondents, 67% voted Labour and 22% voted Labour. The next columns along give religion. 51% of Christians sampled voted Tory and 31% Labour. In terms of followers of other religions, Labour won 57% to 29% and, for those with no religion, Labour won 48% to 29%.


Given that 13,203 out of 14,119 respondents (93.5%) were white, the white figures are very close to the overall figures (43-37 for white respondents as compared to 41-39 overall).

And, given that 7622 respondents were Christian and 5505 were no religion, they make up 92.9% of respondents taken together. The overall result is thus a Tory lead mainly because there are more Christians than non-religious, and they gave the Tories a 20-point lead compared to the 19-point lead the non-religious gave Labour.

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