Want to know who the real metropolitan elite are? Look at the Tory sleaze row

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“I cannot be a deputy without my external interests,” the expert said recently. Financial TimesSebastian Payne. “I have children and I need money to take care of the children.” An MP’s salary is £ 82,000 per year. The average UK salary is around £ 31,000. The task is to manage almost three times, which has not yet been achieved. pushed our leaders to do something about the ugly cost of childcare

Payne does not elaborate on which party this MP represents, but the fact that they are “newbies” coupled with their attitude suggests Tories: MPs from other parties can sometimes be just as greedy, but they are rarely quite so brazen about it. … If so, they almost certainly voted with the government last September to cut universal loan payments by £ 20 a week. For one segment of society, household income is approaching six figures – high enough to literally drop off the right side of the Institute for Financial Research’s scale. distribution diagram – is considered inadequate. Charging £ 1,000 a year from the country’s six million poorest households appears to be okay.

This comparison has been widely and furiously carried out on social media, with thousands of angry people singling it out as a symptom of the unforgivable Tory hypocrisy. I’m not sure if this is the case. I think this is something worse: simple, old-fashioned class politics.

Of course, it’s corrupt to believe that if you’re not allowed to do a whole bunch of lucrative side businesses, you’re not that much interested in public service after all – even when that service earns you nearly three times the average wage. It is also immoral to take money away from the poorest sections of society during an economic crisis – a symptom of this broader disease in British society, in which we continue to act as if the only way to get the rich to do something is to do something. throw money at them, while the poor are guided by the threat of becoming poorer. (How is it that the debate about lobbying and corruption turned into a debate about whether MPs should be paid more?)

[See also: Can you afford childcare on an MP’s salary?]

However, in order for it to look hypocritical, the people who promote such policies must believe that they are bound by the same rules as the ones they govern – and this whole mess makes it abundantly clear that they are do not think so. A certain type of right is genuinely capable of believing that £ 82,000 is not enough for them to raise a family, while at the same time believing that £ 23,000 is the limit of benefits for those living in Greater London, at any rate. , an overly generous amount for someone else. Why? Because they are not like that.

Once you realize that the government thinks so, many things that seem pointless fall away. Why did Boris Johnson, the man whose claims to be a “libertarian” have been unconditionally accepted by lazy political commentators since the mid-2000s, suppressed the right to protest? Or against drug policy reform? Or side with employers who want people to return to the office, not employees who want to work from home? Or appoint Priti Patel as Minister of the Interior?

Easy: because his libertarian values ​​only apply to people like him. For everyone else, he is authoritarian to the core. As Stephen Bush once remarked from this very parish, Johnson’s basic political philosophy is, “You can’t tell me what to do.” It focuses on “I”.

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Over the past few years, we have heard a lot about the “capital elite” who voted for “Stay”, and do not understand how real voters from those who live behind the Red Wall feel. This has always been nonsense: there can be no elite, including 48 percent of the population, and the electoral blocs, both for the exit and for the Tories, owe more to financially secure pensioners than to anyone who still has to work to earn a living.

But the right-wing Tory’s attempt to claim that they, and not Labor, are the real party of the working class has masked something else: that they believe in a more insidious form of class politics than anyone else. They believe that they are better than us, worth more than us, not bound by the same rules as us – and they are more and more enjoying showing this. Do you really want to see the capital’s elite in action? Find the Tory MP.

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