Delegates to Labour Students’ National Council on Saturday were shocked to hear terribly snobbish comments by guest speaker Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South (one of the party’s top 106 target seats for the 2015 General Election).
He told a story of encountering two shop stewards from a West Midlands car plant being closed speaking at a conference he attended some years ago. He derided them for being “drunk”, having what he termed “Noddy Holder accents” and being so inarticulate that it was like “listening to someone outside a nightclub.”
Delegates looked round in shock to hearing such patronising and stereotyped statements directed towards working class people. Such stereotyping language would not be tolerated if it were directed at an ethnic group.
The question is, is this the kind of Labour Party that members want? Where our prospective elected representatives in parliament display nothing but contempt for the working people they are supposed to be defending from the onslaught of Tory cuts?
With the National Executive Committee’s recent commitment to solving the ongoing crisis of working class representation in Parliament, Ed Miliband needs to make clear that there is no room in the Labour Party for such snobbery as was shown by Andrew Pakes on Saturday.