Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Left and Right = Public Sector vs Private Sector?

It seems to me that these days the left versus right divide, at least in the economic realm, is increasingly about public versus private sector employment.

Or to be more comprehensive, membership of a state funded client group versus non membership. But I think the narrower definition is more telling in terms of the tenor of public debate; a middle class exchange between two sets of workers who perceive themselves to be penalised by one form of government or the other.

The left long ceased to be much to do with the working class - in fact is actively hostile to it's interests, preferring by accident or design to cultivate it's client groups to the detriment of the bases of working class self sufficiency. More on that another time.

Despite this, Labour has continued to hold power in it's historic heartlands. No doubt tradition and inertia play a part in this, but these places are also often heavily reliant on state employment (as well  government funding generally). The working class in other regions do not seem bound by the loyalties of the past; a past which sometimes seems indeed like a foreign country.

So the question is; is the economic battleground no longer between classes (if it ever was) but between those who the state pays, and those who pay for the state?

No comments:

Post a Comment