Former May Aide: Corbyn Turned General Election As ‘Change Candidate’

Will Tanner, a former deputy head of policy for Theresa May, told a gathering of policy wonks in London on Tuesday night that Jeremy Corbyn was able to turn the election by becoming the ‘candidate who represented change.’

The director of Onward, a new Tory think tank, said that early on he believed May was seen as a change candidate, but this flipped during the campaign. ‘Clearly we made mistakes in that campaign which means we ended it in that position [of having to form a minority government],’ he said.

Tanner was speaking at the launch of The New Working Class, a book aimed at getting politicians to recognise that the traditional working class of miners and dockers has shrunk, to be replaced by a more diverse group.

The author Claire Ainsley, executive director of the anti-poverty Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: ‘Any political party who wants to win a majority needs to understand the new working class.’ She estimates it at half the UK’s population.

‘I don’t think mainstream politics has listened well enough to the concerns of low to middle income voters for a very long time,’ she said. Arguing that politicians should better stand for what the public want, rather than imposing elite views, she added: ‘It’s clearly not the case that just because you come up with a bunch of policies the votes flow.’

Matthew Goodwin, professor of politics and international relations at the University of Kent, said that both Labour and the Tories’ respective members had been polarised by recent political events, and their attitudes did not align with those of the wider public.

‘That’s going to make it much harder for those parties to get back to the centre ground,’ he said. The New Working Class also cites research suggesting that richer people are more likely to join political parties than the poor.

 

Podcast Ep. 110: May Moots Fatberg As New Home Secretary

Right Dishonourable fatberg home sec

Amber Rudd’s exit from the Home Office, the fining of Count Dankula for training his dog to salute like a Nazi, an apparent end to the cold Korean War, and lumps of crap blocking London’s sewers are the four topics this week.

Joining us is a delicious strawberry-flavoured protein shake, which will block our bogs this afternoon.

Update: Sajid Javid has been appointed as home secretary, replacing Rudd.

Image based on Fatberg, February 2018 by Seeing Sanitation

Podcast Ep. 109: Remainers Jealous Over Windrush Deportation

RD 109 Turn around the Windrush v2

The response to the Windrush scandal that saw foreign-born Britons denied access to public services, our slim understanding of Commonwealth happenings, and ‘Sir’ Nick Clegg’s podcast are the three topics this week.

Joining us is Brexit, the rotting yet adhesive core of our friendship.

Image based on HMT Empire Windrush, circa 1945-54 by Royal Navy official photographer