Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/857/20757
Working class people's real aspirations
The Socialist Party believes Labour lost the election fundamentally because it fails to represent working class people. This was why we are part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, putting forward a socialist alternative. But Labour MP Tristram Hunt claimed it was because they didn't represent 'John Lewis voters'. A queue of party leadership contenders followed, repeating that Labour didn't appeal to the "aspirational".
Ambulance worker and Hillingdon Socialist Party member Steve Harbord challenges this claim.
I watched a recent piece on BBC news where a couple were asked the question why did Labour lose? He said Labour needs to "go back to its roots and stand up for working class people again". His partner cut across him and, towing the media line, stated "they will never get back in as they don't meet the aspirations of ordinary working people.''
Aspirations... it's the latest buzz word from the media bandied about by the Murdoch press, the BBC and the right wing of the Labour Party. The word 'aspiration' has become meaningless when used by the media. Do they seriously suggest that working class people want to be billionaires with a private plane, a yacht in Cannes and a football club to play with?
I would suggest that the vast majority of working class people aspire to a job with decent hours and pay. Enough pay to put a roof over your head, so we don't have to subsidise low paying employers and spiv landlords with taxpayer's money. We aspire to a housing programme to build enough decent housing with affordable rent so that young families can have a decent start in life.
We aspire to a NHS that meets the needs of people where you're not waiting for three hours on an ambulance stretcher waiting for a bed to become available in A&E.
We aspire to a decent welfare state where people can look forward to retirement safe in the knowledge that when they become ill or infirm and unable to be mobile, they will be allowed more than a 15 minute visit by a stressed out low paid care worker (only long enough to make a cup of tea). That's because the less time you spend on scene with a "customer" the more profit the shareholders make.
We aspire to an education service where our children are taught in decent buildings in class rooms of no more than 20 by staff who have the resources and the time to meet the children's needs.
We aspire to an education service that means you don't leave university in debt and find, because of the cost of housing and renting, that the debt is only going to get bigger.
Yes, working class people have aspirations but they are real, unlike the perverse fantasy world peddled by a media owned and subservient to a bunch of billionaire tax dodging spivs.
In The Socialist 27 May 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns