Leadership Class Survey – Full Results

Forward by Spin Pitman

The results of the University of York Green Party Leadership Class Survey are in. I’d like to thank the dedication of our leadership candidates who responded swiftly to the survey at a very busy time during the campaign as well as Josiah Mortimer of the University of York Green Party for conducting the survey.

The results are fairly encouraging. The majority of candidates define as middle class but their backgrounds are not as privaliged as internal discussions on class would have us fear. It’s notable that only 1 of 8 candidates was Russell Group educated (which compares well to the fact that every single Labour leadership candidate at their last election was and Oxbridge graduate). Our candidates come from a relatively diverse set of backgrounds with plenty of experience living near the bottom of the pay scale.

More encouraging still was the determination of all candidates to see an increase in the proportion of working class activists and candidates. There is an understanding among many of the leadership candidates that we have much to do as a party if we are to truly engage more people from working class backgrounds. This coincides with the tremendous work that has been put in to increase womens involvment in the party with notable improvements in the gender balance of our candidates. There is also an increasingly widespread discussion on improving ethnic minority involvement – more on this to follow. The fact that many candidates tied these issues together is quite reassuring.

I’ll stop short of using these results to endorse my personal preferences and instead leave you with a comment by Josiah Mortimer who conducted this survey: “As a University group rooted in the heart of Yorkshire, a region decimated by deindustrialisation in the 1980s and public sector cuts today, the issue of class is central. With millions employed in call centres, the service sector and the food industry now we need to move with the times and put these people into politics so that ordinary people get a say. These findings show the Green Party is changing to be far more reflective of ordinary people than the main parties.” I hope these responses help you order your preferences for our first properly contested leadership election.

The Candidates

Caroline Allen (deputy)

Natalie Bennett (leader)

Pippa Bartolotti (leader)

Peter Cranie (leader)

Will Duckworth (deputy)

Richard Mallender (deputy)

Alex Phillips (deputy)

Romayne Phoenix (leader)


Q&A

1.       What steps, if any, will you take to improve working-class recruitment, representation and election both inside and outside the party if you are elected? E.g. national recruitment strategy, shifting emphasis in interviews etc.

Caroline Allen: Local parties are at the core of this, talking to people from working class backgrounds is the best recruitment tool. We have great policies on social justice, which must be at the forefront of our media and campaigning work. But that’s not enough, we need to be embedded in communities and visibly working on the issues that affect those communities. I would want to develop a mentoring programme and advice to local parties and set up a body along the lines of Green Party Women, which has been successful in increasing women’s participation.

Natalie Bennett: As founding chair of Green Party Women, I’ve worked with others to improve the gender balance of GP structures and candidates. Advances were achieved by encouraging women to stand, and providing training and confidence-building sessions. This model could be extended to other under-represented groups, including working-class members.

We’ve also seen an encouraging shift, particularly in the West Midlands, towards targeting working class areas. Many join when they see we’re active locally – we must branch out.

Being politically effective, and speaking up for the most disadvantaged – benefit recipients, the disabled, asylum-seekers, is likely to more effective than any recruitment scheme.

Pippa Bartolotti:  The Green Party, as well we know, is a largely white, middle class organisation – despite most members wishing it to be otherwise. We spend too much time talking to each other in a white, middle class kind of way. How we change the way we communicate has to be a top priority, and I’m working on that now.

Greens have to be more outward facing, more involved in their communities, and step right outside their comfort zones in order to see why we recruit so few working class people. I like to roll up my sleeves and get involved, but a party leader; no matter how active and dedicated, cannot be everywhere.

However, the party leader does set the tone. I look forward to the day when I don’t have to continually speak to the party, but can speak beyond it. That, I believe is where I can make a difference – embracing working class concerns in honest language.

Peter Cranie: The fact that I grew up in council housing in a working class community will mean that my experience reflects that of many other people. It is crucial we have working class voices to represent the Greens, not just perceived middle class ones.

Will Duckworth: Yes. I do recognise this problem and only realised how bad it was when I attended my first conference and felt very uncomfortable.

I think that I am tackling the problem in my area. It is a deprived ward with predominantly social housing including high rise flats. We have stressed the party’s social policies and tackled many housing issues. We have promoted the importance of a living wage and the fight against cuts. When ordinary working people hear our social policies they like them and we have recruited a number of local people who could not be classified as middle class by any stretch of the imagination.

We need to grow more from these deprived areas and ensure that local parties are aware that we can work and win in working class wards and it increases the diversity of our membership. We also need to promote ordinary people within the party.

Richard Mallender: Reducing all of a person’s life, experience, expectations, education, etc. effectively to “Are you working class?” is incredibly simplistic.NonethelessI firmly believe that there are far too many MPs that have no real experience of working for a living, that have gone straight from university to political internships, to being paid party hacks and then, perhaps after a trial run at one general election, are handed a safe seat in an area they know nothing about and representing people they neither know nor understand.

I firmly believe that our policies can & will benefit the ordinary members of society. The citizens’ income, for example, benefits the least well off in society while eliminating the poverty trap caused by our current benefit system.

Alex Phillips: One of my key pledges in this campaign has been the need for local Green parties to embed themselves fully in their communities. This means relationship-building with groups outside of our typical demographic e.g. resident associations, Women’s Institutes, faith-groups and trade unions. We also have to bear in mind that for many working class people, political activity might be a luxury and they might be unable to become Green Party members. By becoming a better reflection of the communities Greens seek to represent, local parties should then endeavour to approach all known Green voters in their community and ask them to join the party. Recruitment has to be the first step of being able to then improve working class representation within the party and as public representatives. At the same time, we need to develop our relationship with trade unions and trade unionists. Joining striking workers on picket lines with a Green rosette is a big gesture. I hope to join Remploy workers in solidarity next week.

Romayne Phoenix: If elected I will put our party at the heart of the battle against austerity, privatisation, and ecological vandalism – addressing the concerns of millions within a realistic framework for a ‘jobs rich’ zero carbon future.

Working alongside others to create a mass movement against capitalist inequalities we will attract supporters, voters, members and candidates from a wider range of the population and then we can work to promote those who are least represented in politics.

Socialists, trade unionists, and environmentalists should see the Green Party as a natural home.

I am supporting a Membership Strategy motion to Autumn GPEW Conference.


2.      
Do you agree with recent proposals (outside the party) for working-class shortlists/quotas to improve the representation of ordinary people in politics?

Caroline Allen: I believe that the steps above are key, my experience with Green Party Women shows there are a raft of measures that need to be used, of which quotas could be one aspect. Mentoring is vital. Without support and encouragement by others in the party I would never have taken that first step as a candidate, I didn’t think I was the sort of person who stood for election.

I can envisage some practical problems with definitions, is it about background, job, education? I don’t see this as insurmountable, but they would need to be carefully considered.

Natalie Bennett: No. What “working class” means is very wide open to interpretation, and can only be based on self-definition, so likely to cause endless controversy. I saw a motion to the Compass AGM along these lines fall because it defined working class in terms of manual labour, which was very male-biased, as well as inaccurate.

However, while quotas wouldn’t work for increasing working class representation, real political effort will. We can’t ignore this question. We have to do far more than pass motions or create rules – we have to change our culture and be conscious of how we come across.

Pippa Bartolotti: Wherever there is underrepresentation of a section of society, quota-type mechanisms are the best way yet of retrieving balance.

Peter Cranie: I think the main problem with this approach is definition. Am I now more middle class than working class? I’m a graduate, I’m a professional (a lecturer) and I live in a nice part of Liverpool. We should look at all options though.

Will Duckworth: A tough one! I am happy about targets for representation of women but class is a bit more tricky. We need to get more ordinary people into politics but we must do that by making it more relevant and understand that a lot of what we expect of our politicians is very middle class: We demand a strong grasp of the English language and grammar, the ability to get up and speak in front of groups of people and to give erudite answers to philosophical questions. We can’t change that but we do need to recognise it.

Richard Mallender : I would be far happier with an elected commons comprising members with at least 10 years experience of holding down a real job, whether that be as a postal worker, train driver, teacher, local authority planner, lawyer, business owner, charity worker or whatever. I don’t think it helps to go for a quota of “working class” – how are you going to decide who is working class and who isn’t?

Campaigning in areas where there are high numbers of unemployed, where people live in council (or former council) housing, does win us support and new members who can then stand for election themselves.

We also need to increase our reach to ethnic minorities who are also under-represented in parliament, and we also need to see equality in the number of women in parliament. Parliament should reflect the nation it seeks to rule.

Alex Phillips: Yes. However, what is more important to me, far more so than class, is someone’s politics. There are many working class Conservatives, in the same way there are plenty of middle managers who might describe themselves as ‘socialists.’ Parties should focus more on getting the politics right before making overtures. As Greens we need to broaden our appeal and package our messages so that they are accessible to more people. It is frustrating for me as an elected representative that by and large (but certainly not exclusively) those who are voting for us are middle class. Surveys have shown that our policies are the most liked out of all the parties, what we need to do now is frame them so that people know what they are and how they are relevant to them: our policies on jobs, the economy, pensions, the NHS and education as well on climate change, transport and animal welfare.

Romayne Phoenix: Until Parliament ‘looks’ more like the population of Britain we won’t have political priorities that reflect the genuine needs or concerns of the people.

The Power Enquiry investigated historic drops in voter participation, but the student demonstrations, and 500,000 marching 26/03/11, showed us that people are politically active.

We have to campaign alongside people in the struggles ahead, as Syriza worked alongside the people in Greece. There are many strong working class candidates that we can persuade to stand with us and for us.

The benefits of gender balance shortlists is accepted and we can develop models to create balanced representation for government.


3. What life experience do you have that you believe would make you appeal to ordinary people? E.g. working on the minimum wage, living in affordable/council housing, state education etc.

Caroline Allen: My parents are both from working class backgrounds; as a child I spent a lot of time with my grandparents on Harold Hill, a council estate near Romford. One Grandfather worked for a garage door manufacturer until his pelvis was shattered in an industrial accident. Sadly he never really recovered, mentally or physically. I vividly remember the hospital visits. My father’s family were moved out of Islington when he was young because there was no decent housing, my Gran walked down four floors to get running water. I’m horrified that history is repeating itself.

Natalie Bennett: I’ve worked as a cleaner (including in a nightclub – not pleasant), as a farmhand (including in shearing sheds), on a factory production line (haven’t been able to stand raspberry jelly since), but I don’t think that talking about those experiences appeals to voters.
What we need to do is present our strong policies – the minimum wage a living wage, provision of generally affordable social housing for all who want it, decent benefits to support those who need help for as long as they need it – loudly, clearly and effectively, in language that is accessible to everyone.

Pippa Bartolotti: My education took place before I reached the age of 10, at a small, overcrowded village school. From there I went to Grammar School, and a year later became a victim of the new comprehensive mode of non-education…I left school at 15 and attended Art School; took all manner of jobs: barmaid, selling double glazing, driving spare parts around the country for garages etc to pay my way. I have worked full time since my 19th birthday, starting my own businesses so that I could be with my children as they grew up. One of my sons is adopted. Whilst working full time I was a Samaritan 2 nights a week – an experience revealing unimaginable hardships. Latterly I have become an Amnesty schools speaker where my role is to introduce older teenagers from a myriad of backgrounds to human rights. I have driven a convoy of humanitarian aid across Europe to Gaza, and been wrongfully imprisoned.

Peter Cranie: I think that in addition to my personal experience, the fact that I worked with and advocated for some of the least privileged in society will help.

Will Duckworth: I do live in an ordinary semi in a poor urban area with a Syrian family seeking asylum living next door.

I am told by my daughter that as an ex-teacher I am middle class but I taught in the area that I live and have taught many of my neighbours or their children. I was sacked from my job (wrongly – I was later awarded damages) and spent 18 months on the dole before my wife managed to find a job. The experience of being out of work and not knowing how to survive on the pittance they provide after degrading and humiliating you is one that is difficult to ignore.

Alex Phillips: I am from Liverpool, grew up in a Labour household and was always educated at local, mixed, comprehensive schools. I have worked on the minimum wage where I worked in pubs and restaurants, whilst living in Liverpool. I now live in ex-council housing. My life experience is much broader than what I have experienced as an individual; it’s about what I’ve seen around me. My younger sister was the first person in our family to go on to postgraduate education. Despite health problems she gained a first in her undergraduate degree at Nottingham University, and she then gained a distinction in her Masters at Liverpool University. Now, aged 25, she lives at home with my parents in Liverpool. The only jobs on offer to her are unpaid internships in London which she cannot afford to do. I have two older brothers from my father’s first marriage, and they have both been long-term unemployed. Various people in my family: siblings and cousins do currently or have in the past lived in council housing and have had to claim benefits.

Romayne Phoenix: My parents migrated from India and Ireland, meeting in London in the 1950’s.

I’ve been a single parent for four years. I know what it is like to struggle on a very low income, ‘one bill away from disaster’.

For my last two years as an elected councillor I lived and raised my three children on my allowance of £9,700 plus child benefits.

My local state Primary School was the ‘lowest achieving’ school in our outer London borough. I was very happy there and unaware how many of us had free school meals.


4.      
How would you define yourself in terms of class, and do you see this as important to your politics?

Caroline Allen: Middle class. Having benefited from a good state education and free further education I have been very fortunate to have been able to realise my dream of being a vet, a professional position. I work for someone else as an employee. It is important because I know that I have been lucky and had advantages that others, such as my parents, didn’t.  They pushed me for this very reason. Now even fewer people have these opportunities. I don’t like being judged based on my job and class, for me it’s about being empathetic and appreciating where you’re from.

Natalie Bennett: I’m middle class now, but my origins are working class. My parents were aged 19 and 18 when they had me, my father being an apprentice carpenter, and both left school with the equivalent of basic O Levels. My father worked three jobs at once at times during my childhood, including serving in a petrol station, while my mother did part-time secretarial/admin work. Those childhood experiences inform my politics, but I don’t think talking about them in the political arena
is particularly relevant.

Pippa Bartolotti: I don’t see myself as belonging to any class. My father was a self-employed baker and shopkeeper, and my mother did not work. My grandfather was an immigrant – an escapee from fascism.

Being largely self-educated, and a late comer to politics, I am at home anywhere. I do not look down on anyone and consider myself above no-one. My chief concerns are inequality, climate change and human rights. These three issues transcend class.

Peter Cranie: I live a middle class lifestyle now, with enough to get by, and our children don’t miss out on things we make a choice on (e.g. organic milk for the youngest). But a working class background enables you to appreciate that a lot of people don’t have those choices.

Will Duckworth: Working-class [NB: Will received a version of the question which did not contain the second half of this question]

Richard Mallender : My mother was a teacher in both public and private sector schools, my father worked on the production line in a tractor factory, and I have worked in the public, private and charitable sectors and have twice been out of work for over a year; what class would that make me?

Alex Phillips: My politics reflect my upbringing and my community. I grew up in a Labour household in a city with a deep Labour tradition. Am I working class? Honestly, I don’t think I am. Whilst my gross income is less than £12,000 per year, I share a two-bedroomed flat with my partner; I’m a university graduate and a qualified Teacher. But, would I describe myself as socialist? Yes. Without a doubt this is the most accurate description of my politics. Everyone is aspirational, parents want to see their children do better than them and, at the same time, children want to do better than their parents. What we need is equality of opportunity. As Greens, our job is to make this a reality.

Romayne Phoenix: Academics might define me now as part of the economic ‘underclass’. I would say that I am working class and identify with all those who depend on a system that should operate for the benefit of the majority but is being skewed towards the benefits of the few. Many industries and employment opportunities disappeared from Britain as companies chased profit margins and the same capitalist values are causing economic, ecological and sociological destruction. The issue of class, wealth and power is central to the struggle for a better future.


5. Have you:

a) Ever attended a university that is now in the Russell Group, such as Oxford or Cambridge?

Caroline Allen: Yes. I decided at a young age I wanted to be a vet, no-one from my family had ever been to university, I attended a state school. I was told I had better think of something else, getting in to vet school was very hard. I got offers from Edinburgh and Cambridge vet schools. A freezing day and the thought of outdoor farm work put me off Edinburgh.

At Cambridge I was geek, not elite. I wasn’t invited to the drinking/debating societies but hung out with people like me, was taught by some inspiring people and became a vet.

Natalie Bennett: No

Pippa Bartolotti: No. University was not in the vocabulary of my family. I am largely self-educated.

Peter Cranie: No

Will Duckworth: No

Richard Mallender: No -As far as formal education goes I went to the Valley Comprehensive in Worksop, then North Nottinghamshire College of Further Education, on to Teesside Polytechnic graduating in 1990 and then studied for a year post-graduate at the University of Aberdeen.

Alex Phillips: No

Romayne Phoenix: No


b) Ever attended a private school?

Caroline Allen: No

Natalie Bennett: The system in Australia is slightly different than here but the bare bones are that I attended a state primary school then, due to good exam marks, I won a scholarship to attend a private secondary school.

Pippa Bartolotti: No

Peter Cranie: No. When we moved down to England I was given some tests and they sent me to the grammar school, but I don’t support that system of education.

Will Duckworth: No

Richard Mallender: No

Alex Phillips: No

Romayne Phoenix: From the lowest achieving primary school my verbal reasoning skills were seen as remarkable and, in 1971, I was ‘awarded’ a ‘free’ place at a very local non state secondary school – on the basis of an interview. Advised by colleagues and teachers not to accept the place for me, my mother rebelled.

Children being divided up and separated in this manner at this age cannot be positive for society.

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The youth wing of York Green Party incorporating the University of York Green Party. All posts represent the views of those who posted them and not necessarily any of the organisations referenced or that this blog is affiliated to.

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Posted in Green Party, Leadership Election 2012, UoY Green Party
23 comments on “Leadership Class Survey – Full Results
  1. […] has done a survey asking candidates for party leader or deputy various questions relating to class. The results are all interesting. However, amongst the more interesting findings are those on education. None of […]

  2. […] on from our very popular post on class last month it’s good to see York Green Party quizzing the candidates on their attitudes towards the party’s “class problem”. A […]

  3. jim jepps says:

    Excellent survey – thanks.

    Quick query, Richard is missing from number three I’m guessing he did answer but got left out – these things happen very easily but thought it best to point it out.

  4. Hi Jim – Richard disagreed with the premise of the survey (sees ‘working-class’ concept in the questions as too subjective) but was kind enough to make some points for inclusion in it, so not every question is answered.

  5. charles gate says:

    Good to see our candidates are overwhelmingly working class

  6. Haroon Saad says:

    Well done, I think the quality of what your survey has shown how very limited is the “hustings”only approach to campaigning. You have created the basis of being able to have a real dialogue(albeit online) with a future leader and deputy leader. You could actually use each of the points covered in the survey as separate threads and then party members can dialogue with candidates around these issues .

  7. Lower middle class and not ashamed says:

    Attitudes like Romayne’s really get under my tits. SHe says she survives on £10k a year plus benefits. Somebody on £10k a year living in London can get benefits of £20k or more (tax credits, child benefit, child support, housing benefit, council tax benefits). So she’s actually on closer to £30k after tax (if she’s not claiming these other benefits then I presume she has other equivalent resources and assets to draw on). There’s plenty of “middle class” folks make do with a lot less. Yet Romayne claims academics would call her “under-class”. And apparently she attended a private school (although she can’t even bring herself to use the word private in her response and tries to make excuses about how her parents’ decision to send her there was an act of rebellion – pathetic).

    I’m absolutely fed up with this working class authenticity crap. Plenty of low middle class families have to make do with a lot less than these so-called authentic working or underclass people. It’s pure inverse snobbery and is designed to make middle class people (whether affluent or struggling) feel like they are less worthy of making a valid contribution.

    As far as I am concerned, Romayne Phoenix was private-school educated, went to university, qualified as a teacher and worked as a teacher… – that’s a pretty middle class trajectory. More recently she’s become a councillor and political activist and supplements her income with benefits. Make no mistake, though, if those benefits weren’t available, she’d go out and find a nice middle class job such as lecturing or policy work or some advocacy job. Can you imagine her on a production line in a fish factory (other than to try and form some kind of syndicalist union as a pet project)???!!!

    Of course, it’s harder to FIght the Power if you admit to being petit bourgeoisie.

    Pippa Bartolotti is madder than a cave full of bats (in the nicest possible way) – but at least she is comfortable with who she is and about her background. Peter and Natalie are also able to talk frankly – acknowleding their roots and their current position.

    Sick and tired, sick and tired, sick and tired of fake working class activists.

    • charles gate says:

      Teachers are not middle class they are working class, just like firefighters, nurses and refuse workers.

      • Lower middle class and not ashamed says:

        “Straight out of school at sixteen and straight back in teaching A-level chemistry. That’s my lot” – have you ever heard such a thing?

        They’re so working class that they need to complete their GCSEs, A levels, graduate from university and then go to teacher training college. And then they are on a career ladder which can lead to an very respectable income. Oh, and only having to work half the year to earn said income and so can spend the summer either recuperating, relaxing or earning a second income.

        You think that’s working class? Shameful. What an insult to people who are truly working class. By that definition practically everybody is working class, including practically every member of the Green Party, in which case why even bother talking about it since clearly the Green Party is doing splendidly at attracting the proles.

        It simply doesn’t wash. We all know teachers. We’ve all heard them complain about how tough it is. And we’ve all seen that they do quite nicely thank you and that if they decide to leave teaching they have other decent options.

  8. Dave Taylor says:

    Without casting aspersions at any candidate I am tempted to agree with the thrust of the argument of the above contributor, Checking people’s ‘class’ credentials is a bit crass. cf: Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Che Guevara…

  9. Constantine Buhayer says:

    Thanks a ton for this spot-on ‘class survey’, and to the candidates. I agree with Haroon, this sets the basis for engaging in a sound dialogue. Indeed, the signed comments are already enriching the debate.

    My criterion is not the candidates’ rhetoric regarding their social background, but how they engaged politically with those sections of society with which the GPEW has been – how can I put it – timid at reaching.

  10. charles gate says:

    In a capitalist society class is a relationship to the means of capitalist production. In which case there are those who control that means and those who are controlled by that means. Teachers like cleaners and the unemployed obviously fall into the latter group. I can accept that today’s head teachers are more likely to fall into a middle class of people who manage society for a ruling class but the majority of teachers are clearly working class. Even head teachers can decide their best interests lie with change from the bottom up as can any other managing class. Alienating teachers from the rest of the working class is a major mistake. The strength of the working class lies within its unity and not its individual sectional self-interests but its collective interest against the interests of the capitalist class. I appreciate that someone who is lower middle class and not ashamed will not appreciate that.

    • Tom Chance says:

      Your definition misses out the middle classes suggesting you’ve either gotten yourself into a muddle or don’t believe it exists. The classical Marxist definition of the “petite bourgeoisie” or “middle class” is small business owners, professionals and government employees who don’t fully own and control the means of production and don’t accumulate enough capital to wield power (so aren’t capitalists) but who also aren’t dependent on selling their labour, i.e. who have secure salaried jobs or are self-employed.

      Teaching is a classic middle class profession by any definition.

      That doesn’t mean they can’t on occasions share interests with working class people, share their struggles, etc. We’re not bound and fully defined by class. It would be irrational to vote for a leader based solely on their class, after all!

  11. Lesley Hedges says:

    Great work. There’s a lot of potential discussion about what class is and what it means to people’s lives and their participation in politics. The points Charles and ‘LMC and not ashamed’ (who’s so unashamed that he or she hasn’t given a name) need further discussion but I think we need to thank the York Young Greens for raising the issue. We may disagree about the usefulness of class as a concept as well as the exact definition but it’s something we need to take into account in everything we do. Oh and I’m another person with a WC father, LMC mother who’s more MC now. Though I don’t know what the Russell Group universities are. I did an OU degree and Masters at York and Huddersfield.

    • Thanks Lesley, the Russell Group are the grouping of the 20 or so top research universities (to which York has just been added, actually!), and is a fairly good indicator of consistent ranking (the top 20 is always changing and various league tables exist). Glad you found the survey useful anyway – this is the kind of discussion we wanted to provoke

  12. Rachel Hardy says:

    Agree with Richard M re the survey, though some of the extra info. from the candidates is interesting.
    Re “class” people do define it differently, some will say Teachers and others similar are working class, others wont! So, would need to know what the questioners definition was.
    Grayson Perrys recent programme indicated that in the past 3/4 of people thought they were working class, now 3/4 dont, may have got the figs slightly wrong but the point is, class as defined/understood in the 50s, is not the same nowdays, its far more complex.
    Though Im not suggesting we throw the class discussion out, or its not important think these days its more these days about opportunity/ poverty/discrimination. We should and think all in Green Party are sickened by poor housing conditions and attacks on those needing to claim benefits, whoever they are and whatever class they originated from. Believe it or not some people who could be defined as middle class due to background, education also lack opportunity/are poor, live in inadequate housing. People who have or have had health problems, for example. More and more young people will be living in poor conditions due to unemployment, costs of housing ect, and thats very wrong whatever class they came from. People with disabilities, or who have children with disabilities are being
    shat on at the moment, who cares about their class, its disgracefull whats happenning.

  13. charles gate says:

    It’s actually very good that the Green leadership contenders do come from the largest section of the British population – the working class. I would of course vote for the persons with the best politics irrespective of their class but if the Greens fail to represent the vast majority of the population they don’t deserve support – at the moment they are doing ok.

  14. Charlie Charlie says:

    In the spirit of trying to understand to what extent the candidates are representative of the general populus, I would be more interested to see less subjective questions asked – annual earnings, home ownership status, foreign countries visited. Totally appreciate the intentions of the survey, but not sure it illuminates very much other than fact that all the candidates are middle class enough to want to decry their middle classness – with varying levels of success!

  15. […] per answer. I write mine, then struggle to get them cut down to length. The results are published here – and it’s interesting how they show that at least election at least there’s no sign of a […]

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