Peter Bingle argues Labour is now the voice of the wealthy metropolitan liberal elite. The Tories are once again the Workers’ Party.

In many ways the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham has been the dullest in years. The atmosphere in the conference hotel has been professional, business-like and dull. In the conference hall many if not most of the big set piece speeches have induced torpor amongst those unfortunate to be in the hall.

And yet in a very quiet manner a revolution is underway in the Tory Party. Our new Prime Minister is being bold if not audacious. She is taking on the wealthy metropolitan liberal elite and staking a defiant claim for the Tory Party to once again become the Workers’ Party.

Many of my generation joined the Tory Party because of Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbit. We came from poor but hardworking families and wanted to reach for the stars. Thatcher and Tebbit understood our ambitions, voiced our aspirations and helped us to fulfil our potential. In so doing she made the Labour Party irrelevant for a generation.

Policies such as Right to Buy, the Assisted Places Scheme and wholesale privatisation of state owned industries appealed to the aspirant working classes. Thatcher and Tebbit were their heroes and champions. Labour had no answer. They were no longer in touch with their core voter base.

Cameron and Osborne didn’t understand aspirant working class voters and had no empathy with them. That is why the highest vote they achieved was 37 per cent compared to Thatcher’s 44 per cent. This important electoral block was never going to vote for them.

Theresa May seems to get it. Immigration. Patriotism. Grammar Schools. These are issues which resonant with those of us who are just managing and need a political champion to speak out on our behalf. It seems that we now have that champion.

It is an irony that the Labour Party has walked away from its traditional working-class base. In too many urban seats it is in hock to interest groups, some of them not very nice. In particular, it has forgotten what it is like to be a young white working class male. Your life chances aren’t very good.

Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn just don’t understand what it is like to be poor, to have to worry about making ends meet, ensuring there is enough money for the family holiday. Labour doesn’t get it. Our new Prime Minister does.

There must be many Labour MPs and councillors who are currently looking at Theresa May and thinking : ‘Am I in the right party? She is speaking up for the majority of my constituents’. So this is the new political paradox. Labour is now the voice of the wealthy metropolitan liberal elite. The Tories are once again the Workers’ Party. How delicious …

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