David Osler on elitism in politics:
THERE is a new political cliché abroad. Large numbers of commentators are keen to point out that Alan Johnson – Britain’s new home secretary, and possibly its next prime minister – has got something called a ‘back story’.
Such a surfeit of backstory can only mean that Johnson is – oh, I can hardly bring myself to say the words – actually working class. Comes from a broken home. Grew up in a council flat. Left school at 15. Did a proper job as a postie.
These days, word that a leading politician has exactly the same background as millions and millions of other people is enough to make him stand out as a weirdo amid all those normal Old Etonians.
If you need a comment on just how socially unrepresentative politics has become, the apotheosis of Alan Johnson’s backstory tells you all you need to know. Why not just brand him a chav and have done with it?