Frank Cottrell Boyce in the Independent, 7 August 2015:
“Only 25 per cent of the population earns more than £30,000 a year. Most media commentators (including me) do. For people like me, the country basically works. Politics doesn’t affect me. Politics, for me, is about how other people are treated. It’s easy inside my echo-chamber to believe that I am the norm, or the middle. Easy to forget that there are voices outside.
To people in my position, austerity can be read as regrettable but pragmatic. But to my friends and family, who live outside the bubble, it’s not regrettable, it’s terrifying. It’s also not pragmatic. The crackpot, gimcrack ideological nature of austerity becomes more apparent the closer you get to the point of delivery.”
“Outside the bubble, everyone knows that an economy in which you can work 50 hours a week and still need tax credit to make the rent is a broken economy. To those outside the bubble, a Parliament that knows the country does not have enough houses yet cannot bring itself to build any for fear of “interfering with the market”, is not a Parliament at all.
And a media that sees a 50p top tax-rate, public investment and re-nationalisation of the worst failures of privatisation (railways and energy) as politically dangerous is a media whose understanding of politics has shrivelled into mere gossip.
People keep comparing the Corbyn campaign to 1983. But surely the more apt comparison is with 2001. Back then, everyone in the country – apart a few hundred politicians – knew that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction, that the invasion of Iraq was a harebrained folly that would end in tragedy.
(See also this.)