The Conservatives are trying to redefine class as a weapon in a culture war, Guardian columnist Owen Jones has said.
Last week, Lee Anderson was promoted to deputy chair of the party, prompting a flood of reaction due to his turbulent short career as a politician.
The Ashfield MP has been involved in a number of controversies after being elected in 2019, including infamous comments made in relation to foodbank users and budgeting.
He recently made the headlines over a scuffle with ‘Stop Brexit’ man Steve Bray, which he has been reported to the police over.
In the past, Anderson has also been known to tee up old friends for doorstepping interviews and using his parliamentary staffers to score bizarre political points.
Since being appointed deputy chair of the Tory Party, Anderson called for the return of corporal punishment in the UK, saying it has a “100 per cent success rate”.
Backlash over the comments prompted GB News presenter Dan Wootton to hit out at the left, saying it demonstrated a “hatred of the working class”.
Writing in the Guardian this week, Owen Jones pointed out that the appointment showed a “deliberate attempt to muddy public understanding of what social class means”.
“For instance, it’s notable that commentators often seem to consider Anderson as some kind of authentic voice of “ordinary” people, but not, say, the RMT’s Mick Lynch, another white man of a similar age.
“Why? Because Lynch has a subversive conception of class, whereby those without wealth or power can pursue their interests through collective action.
“Anderson’s status, on the other hand, is the product of a redefinition of class – on cultural rather than economic lines. For the new right, to be working class doesn’t mean having nothing but your labour to sell, but being opposed to rootless, urban progressives who favour immigration, multiculturalism and “wokery”.”
Read the column in full below:
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