Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Tristam Hunts elitism is historic in some sections of the Labour Movement.

When you find someone called Tristam  becoming a Labour MP  it is is very easy to revert to a form of reverse snobbery.

Tristam,Tristam how could anyone with that type of name represent the Working Class.

Even if like me you realise Labour has long abandoned its historic vote base you could stil think a Tristam is a Tory.

Nonsense of course we can't judge people by their first names  after all Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn becames Anthony Wedgwood Benn or Wedgwood Benn (and colloquially as Wedgie Benn), but later as Tony Benn

However when former shadow education minister Tristram Hunt has sparked a political row after telling some of the country's most privileged students that "the top one per cent" must take leadership of the Labour party again.

The Blairite MP told students at the  that the party was "in the s***" following a shock election defeat and Jeremy Corbyn becoming leader.
According to the university's paper Varsity, Mr Hunt said

: "The way you serve the Corbyn leadership is to be as dissenting and creative as possible.
"You are the top one per cent. The Labour Party is in the s***. It is your job and your responsibility to take leadership going forward."
His words prompted criticism on Twitter where dozens of users criticised his words, accusing him of being "elitist", "offensive" and more suited to membership of the Conservatives.

But his words actually refelct a long held elitist strain in Labour   

Beatrice Webbone of the founders of Fabianism  described the miners' leader, AJ Cook, thus 

"He is a loosely built ugly-featured man - looks low-caste - not at all the skilled artisan type, more the agricultural labourer. He is oddly remarkable in appearance because of his excitability of gesture, mobility of expression in his large-lipped mouth, glittering china-blue eyes, set close together in a narrow head with lanky yellow hair - altogether a man you watch with a certain admiring curiosity ... it is clear that he has no intellect and not much intelligence - he is a quivering mass of emotions, a mediumistic magnetic sort of creature - not without personal attractiveness - an inspired idiot, drunk with his own words, dominated by his own slogans. I doubt whether he even knows what he is going to say or what he has just said."

 Cook, considered an extremist and Communist, was neither. He was impassioned but, as Walter Citrine, centrist apparatchik of the TUC, remarked, 

"a man of absolute integrity". And someone horsewhipped at 16 by a local magnate for his opinions has a right to passion, which in Arthur Cook's runaway oratory attended a readiness for compromise.

Though Webb was less critical of one Oswald Mosley when he was aLabour MP.

What Hunt was expressing was the Oxbridge elitism that Tory Toffs like David Cameron and Boris Johnson already have before  entering  these universities.

But Oxbridge also aims to bring those who enter from State Schools and drawing them in to believe as Hunt Cambridge University Labour Club that they are in "the the top one per cent" implying  they are destined to lead

Its utter rubbish leadership can can come from anywhere and  the ideas that at the age of 18 some form of manifest  destiny is granted to them on receving an offer from Cambridge or Oxford.

My views of course of a bitter and jealous old man whose University Education started at 30 and only went  to Aberystwyth.

I should of course know my place.

1 comment:

  1. God help us from these people, some never have any empathy those they say they serve, instead they look down on people. The "left" has always attracted some who are neither left leaning or indeed interested in becoming left wing, simply they know there is no home for them in the Conservative Party, indeed they are looked down on as "buying one's own furniture, of as Lord Sainsbury was so described as taking advice from one's grocer.
    Better those such as your good self who became a mature student, had been in the world of work than such as our Kezia Dugdale who has never held a job and may never hold one. Tristram is that not a Cornish Name, not that I a suggesting he is. Not so clever is he?