Forget where Labour leadership comes from, it's where they're going that matters to voters
Maurice Glasman may be sensible on some issues, but he's absolutely wrong to highlight Labour's Oxbridge ties as a cause for concern. It's their economic policy that is out of touch
Labour's visiting Lecturer at Oxford University, Lord Glasman, has hit out at the Labour leadership, because they studied at a handful of top universities... including his own employer, Oxford University.
In a recent interview with the Labour Diversity Fund the controversial Peer said:
"One of the crucial problems [Labour] have as a party is that we have brought our leadership in from much too narrow a group. Basically Oxbridge graduates, in particular economics graduates, politics graduates, social scientists and lawyers."
The problem with this analysis is that Tony Blair studied law at Oxford. And yet, he won three General Elections for Labour, with huge majorities.
Labour aren't recovering in the polls, it is true. But this has absolutely nothing to do with what school Ed Miliband or Ed Balls went to. The real reason that Labour is flatlining is that they're getting it wrong on the economy.
In fact, on every substantive issue in 2011, Labour were on the wrong side of the debate. Cutting the deficit, to keep interest rates low - they opposed it. Lower taxes for lower earners - they opposed it. Cheaper fuel duty - they opposed it. A fair cap on immigration - they opposed it. Getting tough with the EU - they opposed it. Pay restraint in the public sector - they opposed it. Michael Gove's education reform, to improve state schools - they opposed it. Iain Duncan Smith's welfare reform, so that work always pays - they opposed it.
And so on, and so on.
Boris Johnson is riding a wave of popular support at the moment, in the build-up to the London 2012 Mayoral elections. His voters come from a genuine cross-section of society. And yet, he studied Classics at Oxford. The truth is, if your politics rings true with the British people, nobody cares where you studied for a degree.
Maurice Glasman may be sensible on some issues, but he's absolutely wrong about this. It's the economy, stupid. If Labour don't grasp this, they will be in Opposition for the long haul.
Paul Abbott is a Senior Researcher to a Conservative MP. He tweets at @paul_t_abbott
Read more on: paul abbott, lord glasman, Maurice Glasman, Maurice Glasman hits out at Labour leadership, Labour leadership out of touch, political class out of touch, Oxbridge, Oxbridge and the political class, Ed Miliband out of touch, labour's lost it, ed balls, ed miliband, Labour and the economy, michael gove, and Michael Gove's education reforms
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