Snigger

Ed Miliband has sacked a Labour front-bencher after she was accused of holding working-class voters in “contempt” by appearing to mock a family’s terrace home draped in England flags.

Labour was plunged into crisis on the day of a by-election in Rochester and Strood after Emily Thornberry, the shadow attorney general, tweeted an image of the home accompanied by the caption “image from #Rochester”.

Mrs Thornberry, who lives in a £3 million home in Islington, North London,

Slightly Daily Mail of them, that mention of the property and the price, but it does nicely get the point over, doesn’t it?

Rich Islingtonista doesn’t understand the country outside the metropolitan borders…..

39 thoughts on “Snigger”

  1. This is of course the face that cannot be revealed, the utter contempt that the primarily Islington based Labour leadership has for the average working class man and the genuine patriotism that Labour only see as narrow Nationalism if not out-and-out racism.

    Ed Milipede can see the 2015 Election rapidly slipping away from him and will do anything to distract the electorate from the reality.

  2. If you had to rank the political parties in order of their degree of contempt for working class people who adorn their council estates with England flags, how would you choose between them? I really am not going to believe that Labour is the worst of them in this respect.

  3. The only surprise here is that the politician faced consequences for holding the voter in contempt. Which is possibly indicative of how scared the Miliband inner circle are running re next year’s election.

    Taking a wider view, this is neither news nor partisan.

  4. What is most shocking of all is that this smug cretin is a barrister whose area of practice is human rights law (that’s the law that says that every human being deserves respect and certain basic rights). It’s these principles, and her highly paid work in defending them, that made her the repulsive, cake-munching, udder-faced cow whose face is leering at you from every newspaper today.

  5. bloke (not) in spain

    Rich Islingtonista doesn’t understand the country outside the metropolitan borders? It’s unlikely she understands the country south of Upper Street.

  6. she was raised on a council estate herself wasn’t she? So let’s not overdo this metropolitan Islington slur

    meanwhile anybody who thinks the Tories are closer to the working class than Labour is kidding themselves. I have met Tories who are openly contemptuous towards those living on council estates. I remember one young man who I think worked at Tory head office or whatever telling me about how he burnt 10 pound notes in front of poor people for a laugh.

  7. It seems so recently that my English family were superciliously crowing at me for living in a province so backward that people there still have rows about flags. Can you believe it? Flags! So quaint. Civilised English people are so past that sort of antediluvian nonsense. Fuckers.

  8. meanwhile anybody who thinks the Tories are closer to the working class than Labour

    If the answer to the question isn’t the one you wanted it to be, just pretend you had asked a different question and then denigrate the people answering the question you had actually asked.

    Are you sure you should be here rather than “Tax Research”?

  9. Luis

    Anecdata. Naughty.

    As for Labour and their support of the working class, let us remind ourselves of Gordon”Bigoted woman” Brown and the latest embarrassment of Labour when found to be lifting lines from Michael Howard.

    http://order-order.com/2014/11/19/labour-struggle-to-defend-using-howards-lines/

    Labour and their cronies helped to boost UKIP by making a debate on immigration impossible when in power – primarily because the Emily “human rights” Thornberry wing used the “wacist” card. I’m sure that this knee jerk unpleasantness from Thornberry was due to their ascendancy during the Blair years.

  10. Luis,

    “she was raised on a council estate herself wasn’t she? So let’s not overdo this metropolitan Islington slur”

    Her father was a professor, later deputy UN secretary general. Council estate? Oh, sure…

  11. @ Luis

    The one openly tory (as in, votes Conservative, thinks Cameron is great etc) person I’m good friends with has a stinking attitude to ‘council estate’ dwellers. He comes from ordinary working-class stock and has socially mobiled himself up a few rungs, just like Emily Thornburry. So what’s at play there, I reckon, is people who’ve improved their lot in life, and become (in their own opinion) more enlightened, showing contempt for those who’ve not done the same.

    Therein lies one of the problems with people from less privilaged backgrounds who end up in politics. They can end up thinking that because they managed to climb the social ladder, everyone else should be able to as well. Notwithstanding the stripes of Ms Thornberry, I think that’s quintessentially tory: if you’re poor then it’s probably your own fault. With Labour, it’s more like: if you’re poor then that’s probably someone elses fault but never mind, you just sit there and watch TV whilst we tell you what to think and make all your decisions for you. You fucking scum.

  12. Remember, this is (was) someone who does politics for a living, so presumably has (had) much more sensitive antennae for what is political was what is not, yet she STILL posted this tweet.

    Which goes to show that when you live almost your entire existence in an echo chamber, where everyone you know shares this opinion of Englishness and the working class, when you step outside into the real world the result is you get hit by a bus and have no idea what hit you.

  13. ken,

    OK, but this Thornberry thing is anecdata too, in fact all the opinions of everybody on this topic are based on anecdate and prejudice too, it’s not as if anybody has randomly selected a large sample of politicians and given them a truth drug then written down what they really think about the poor.

    stigler, I just read this
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/21/emily-thornberry-profile-labour-mp-islington
    this is the extent of my knowledge about her. It says she was brought up by her mum.

    I am quite prepared to believe that lots of Labour politicians may claim to represent the working classes but do not actually like them. I am just saying that the idea the Tories or UKIP are any better in that respect is, imho, bullshit.

    And let’s not be too hypocritical here, for the last 7 years (I have since moved) I lived in Avonmouth, with white vans and England flags all over the shop, and there were some pubs I did not go in because they were rough as you like, does this make me no better than a meteropolitan elite, or just like the very large percentage of the population who also avoid rough pubs because when it comes down to it, they don’t really like them?

  14. I see that she has had the good sense to send the kids to a school miles from home because it is … roll of drums … selective!!!!

  15. @ Luis

    There’s a difference between not wanting to drink in a pub full of people who you don’t know and don’t have much in common with, and openly deriding them for not thinking and acting like you.

    My social circle is almost universally guardianist. The split is between those who have actually joined the metropolitan elite, and those who are still working their way into it. I have no problem with people outside my circle and I think they have every right to be respected and allowed to live their lives as they see fit. That, sadly, makes me an outlier amongst the people I like.

  16. Luis,

    “I really am not going to believe that Labour is the worst of them in this respect.”

    I’d say that Labour are down there with the LDs and the Greens.

    The one thing I can say in credit to the Conservatives is that they may not understand the working classes, but at least they know that they don’t know the working classes and make an effort to understand some of them. Guardian readers are pretty certain about what the working classes need.

  17. Squander Two

    oh give over, that’s making connections from what I have written that don’t exist. or maybe I wrote badly. But I certainly do not think white van + flags = rough. I know this from spending time with white van + flags (and tattoos! horrors!) men who were sweeties.

    But maybe it does mean I am a snob, if that means I am uncomfortable too far out of my social strata – maybe if I was born and raises in Avonmouth I wouldn’t think of those pubs as rough (although there were often fights and I think one or two stabbings over the years I lived there) just normal pubs.

    that said, I certainly wouldn’t be taking pics of white van + flags as if that was evidence the resident was a bigoted thug because (see above) I know that ain’t necessarily so

  18. Witchsmeller Pursuivant

    I am quite prepared to believe that lots of Labour politicians may claim to represent the working classes but do not actually like them. I am just saying that the idea the Tories or UKIP are any better in that respect is, imho, bullshit.

    But the working class used to be Labour’s core vote. We know the Tories hold them in contempt, but for a front bench Labour politician to sneer so openly is a massive gift for UKIP which they’ll not let them forget. I wouldn’t be surprised if UKIP use white vans to campaign at the next election.

  19. @ Luis Enrique
    If you expect to get accurate and unbiased reports from the Grauniad you haven’t been reading Tim’s blog. Try wiki
    Cedric Thornberry qualified as a barrister a year before Emily was born and had moved from teaching at Cambridge to the LSE in 1960. His wife certainly did not need a council house.

  20. > oh give over, that’s making connections from what I have written that don’t exist.

    Hey, you brought it up. Don’t blame me for reading what you wrote.

    > But I certainly do not think white van + flags = rough.

    I didn’t actually say you did. I said that you thought a man who owns a white van and flies England flags has something to do with rough pubs. And, since you read a story and conversation about a man who owns a white van and flies England flags and responded by bringing up the previously unmentioned-by-anyone subject of rough pubs, that is clearly the case.

    Stigler,

    > The one thing I can say in credit to the Conservatives is that they may not understand the working classes, but at least they know that they don’t know the working classes and make an effort to understand some of them. Guardian readers are pretty certain about what the working classes need.

    True about Labour, and sometimes true about the Conservative Party — depends whether the Conservative or Tory wing is in the ascendancy. Conservatives try to enact policies that will improve the lives of the working-class poor. The Tories — and Cameron’s no Conservative — are decidedly less good at understanding those people.

    I think the big difference lies in condescension. Neither Conservatives nor Tories try to pretend to be one of the working classes themselves. Labour absolutely insist on the “I’m one of you” schtick. “I’ve got a PPE from Oxford — just like a coal miner!” is beginning to wear thin.

  21. ST

    don’t weasel out of it, you did not call me a snob on the basis that I think white van + flags has something to do with rough pubs. white van + flags do have something to do with rough pubs – I’d claim that locations of houses with white van + flags are geographically correlated with rough pubs in the same ways as expensive houses and guardian subscriptions are correlated with organic gastro pubs, but a claim like that isn’t snobbery.

  22. bloke (not) in spain

    “I’d claim that locations of houses with white van + flags are geographically correlated with rough pubs”

    I’d say you were a bit behind the times, there, Luis. I’d certainly feel immeasurably safer drinking in a pub in Dagenham than I would in Tottenham. But then, if I had a class, it’s probably the working class I’d feel more comfortable with.

    Which raises a point re UKIP. UKIP are far closer to the working class than any of the other parties. If by working class one means predominately white, actually working or wish to work, blue collar or were blue collar. Which is what the working class regard themselves as. Even the voting demographics slew towards older & male. Worth remembering, for the middle class & Guardian reading. These are the people, by & large, fight your wars & police your streets for you. You have your democracy on their sufferance. There are a lot more of them than you & they’re quite capable of taking it away from you.

  23. Luis,
    The tories may hold the working class in contempt, but they not ascribe bad intention. You need Labour to add that extra layer of “you’re a f*cking racist and we would love to ban you”.

  24. Luis,

    > don’t weasel out of it, you did not call me a snob on the basis that I think white van + flags has something to do with rough pubs.

    And here’s what I said:

    > I think assuming that a man who owns a white van and flies England flags has anything to do with rough pubs makes you a snob.

    Please.

  25. “I’d claim that locations of houses with white van + flags are geographically correlated with rough pubs … but a claim like that isn’t snobbery.”

    If you were a Tory, dear boy, the Guardian would certainly accuse you of snobbery for making that claim.

  26. Human rights lawyers are parasitic scum. An English legal association recently told me that none of its members could advise my mother because she was English and they only did foreign (that would be illegals and/or terrorists). Scum.

  27. I hope the owner of the house is prepared for the guardian doing some “background” checks on him. If he has so much as a parking ticket they’ll be writing a story about it.

  28. Luis, B(n)iS>

    “I’d say you were a bit behind the times, there, Luis. I’d certainly feel immeasurably safer drinking in a pub in Dagenham than I would in Tottenham. ”

    You’re both way behind the times. There are almost no pubs left in Tottenham (and I suspect Dagenham) because poor people simply can’t afford to drink in them these days.

  29. ST

    Yes that’s like claiming she wasn’t being disparaging she just tweeted a picture of a house.

    I know what you wrote, I reckon I know what you meant too.

  30. So Much for Subtlety

    Labour was plunged into crisis on the day of a by-election in Rochester and Strood after Emily Thornberry, the shadow attorney general, tweeted an image of the home accompanied by the caption “image from #Rochester”.

    What ought to be worrying for the Labour Party is that she did not actually say anything wrong. She did not sneer at anyone. She tweeted three words. Everyone has assumed she was sneering. And she probably was.

    But notice how Labour has quietly turned into the Nasty Party. They don’t have to say anything bad for people to assume they meant something nasty. It is implicit and generally assumed. That is dangerous territory for the Labour Party to be in. If Bevan had tweeted, God help us, would anyone have assumed that was his intent? If Michael Foot had done so, would anyone?

  31. So Much for Subtlety

    The Stigler – “The one thing I can say in credit to the Conservatives is that they may not understand the working classes, but at least they know that they don’t know the working classes and make an effort to understand some of them. Guardian readers are pretty certain about what the working classes need.”

    I am not sure the Tories bother trying to understand anyone. What they are is tolerant of difference. They may despise the working class, in general terms. Or may not. Either way, they are happy for the working class to be working class and for themselves to be themselves. Live and let live. The Guardianistas cannot stand the working class being the working class. They want to save them from themselves. They come with money for the poor, but they can’t help preaching to them as well.

    I know which I would prefer.

  32. But notice how Labour has quietly turned into the Nasty Party.

    Post-WWII Labour have always been the Nasty Party. They just used to have better PR, when the left-wing mass media would ensure none of their Nastier claptrap reached the masses. Now, through the wonders of Twitter, Labourites can shove their hatred of the working class in their faces all day long.

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