It is one thing to say you are a socialist, and another to say you are and live in a £3 million home. But when you are a Member of Parliament and start ridiculing working class people who drape their homes with the national flag from your comfortable home, what does that say about your (Labour) party?
During the by election day at Rochester and Strood earlier this week, which was won by anti-EU party UKIP with a huge majority, the then shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry tweeted a photograph she took of a working class home carrying three England flags with the comment “image from Rochester”.
Ex-Labour minister and mayoral hopeful David Lammy says the Labour party is today “culturally adrift” from its traditional core voters.
The owner of the house Ms. Thornberry ridiculed, Dan Ware, turned up at her home in north London on Thursday demanding an apology, but she had already left for work.
Ms. Thornberry resigned as shadow attorney general, and Labour leader Ed Milliband agreed she had to go because she had shown disrespect.
This was the house Ms. Thornberry chose to ridicule publicly.
Mr. Lammy said politicians who come from “liberal, professional backgrounds” are struggling to identify with your ordinary working man or woman.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr. Lammy said Ms. Thornberry’s tweet was a symptom of the Labour Party’s problems.
Ms. Thornberry said “I got it wrong, I made a mistake. I’ve resigned and if I have upset anyone or insulted anybody I apologize.”
Mr. Lammy wrote:
“The Labour Party feels culturally adrift, not just from large parts of Britain, but from its own traditional working class base. Large parts of the country feel that Labour not only disagrees with them, they think we disapprove of them too. A sense of mutual disdain between the mainstream parties and working class England is driving voters away from politics, or towards so-called ‘anti-politics’ parties such as Ukip.”
Video – Why the Labour leader was angry
In this Channel 4 video, Labour leader Ed Milliband explained why Ms. Thornberry’s tweet made him angry.