Monday, 4 February 2013

Hold the front page? No, not really.

From yesterday's Sunday Hardup:"Holyrood has become a privileged middle-class club, with the voices of millions of Scots on low and average incomes rarely being heard, according to a report by a leading Scottish think tank.

A study by the left-leaning Jimmy Reid Foundation found that those making and influencing policy decisions are overwhelmingly higher-rate taxpayers and other top earners, while those struggling on lower incomes are virtually excluded from the system."

And From The JT, 15th September, 2008:

Pot, Kettle, Gray...

Isn't it funny when politicians try to sound tough and, not to put too fine a point on it, a bit working class?
Take Iain Gray.
"The Grayster", "The Man with No Plan" etc. etc. was duly elected Labour leader in Scotland at the weekend. After rising without trace, (apparently his own wife's a bit vague about what it is he actually does) he launched what I believe the press would call, "a stinging attack" on AlexSalmond.
It went like this.
When Alex was a civil servant, Iain was a teacher in a "tough, inner city school", when Alex worked for the Royal Bank, Iain was saving the natives in Mozambique. I suspect we're being left to draw our own conclusions here about the contrast between Iain, man of action and Alex, man of, er, expense account lunches eaten off the be-capped heads of the starving, down-trodden proletariat or something.
Factually, the comparison was accurate as far as it went. But, the problem here lies in what Iain left out. Nae herm to the guy, but he was a pupil at George Watson's in Edinburgh. For those of you living in Foreign, GW's is a dead posh private school in That Edinburgh.
Now, as I say, its not Iain's fault that his parents sent him to a toff's school, but why did he leave that fact out? I mean, he could've said something like "I enjoyed a privileged, cloistered education at one of the country's top private schools but I nevertheless developed a burning commitment to social justice". Nothing wrong with that is there? Fair play to him, we'd all say.
Ah, but you see, that iteration doesn't fit in with the man of the people narrative, so the school thing has to be glossed overAlex is a posh twat, Iain's one of us - are we clear? Er, no.
Because the fact is that its been a long time since anyone in Scottish Labour could play that class card without being laughed at.
Iain's career trajectory reflects that of many Scottish Labour politicians, enjoying reasonably-paid, comfortable membership of the public and voluntary sector salariat. Mostly compassionate, certainly mainly conscientious social democrats, but Labour the natural home of life's rebels? Please.
That’s not to say that Alex is off the hook. He may see himself as a tough, no-nonsense type of guy, but be honest, would you look to Alex to cover your back in a fight? No, neither would I.
The truth is that all politicians, irrespective of party affiliation, are lifetime members of that select group of people who actually choose to sit at the front of the class. 
To that extent, Alex and Iain will always have a lot more in common with each other than they have with the kids who sat at the back.
Inside: Presumably Andy Kerr will now have more time to pursue his hobby of "running". What kind of running is it? After the chip van perhaps?

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