James Forsyth

The Tories and class

The Tories and class
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Martin Kettle writes in The Guardian today that around “Cameron the response to Brown's class war rhetoric is utterly different. They can't believe their luck. Brown has gifted us the centreground for a generation, they say, rubbing their hands. They are not going to spurn their gift.”

Certainly, those close to Cameron think that crude toff bashing won’t work. When I asked one of them what he thought the Tory response to this stuff should be, he told me that he abided by Napoleon’s dictum of never interrupting his opponent when he is making a mistake and joked to me that Dennis Skinner must have taken over as communications director of the Labour party. They also revel in imagining how Peter Mandelson must have felt as George Osborne declared 'If you want to get on in life; If you want to own your own home; If you want to save for a pension; or leave something to your children; then the Labour Party is not for you anymore.'

But they still worry about the whole aroma of class. One front bencher said to me recently that the ‘whole issue of Tories and money is completely toxic.’ Also if the party was totally relaxed about this issue, it wouldn’t be going to such lengths to make sure that the Tories who are on TV during the campaign are not all white male public school boys.

 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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