Peers moaned that they couldn’t possibly cope with a cut in the quality of champagne available in the Lords, while millions queue for food banks.
Such contrasts leave working class people with a bitter taste—and much of the Labour Party knows it.
This isn’t a fringe left view. The Daily Mirror covered the Tories’ class robbery angrily and at length, hoping that Labour leader Ed Miliband might take the hint.
But all Miliband’s team talk about is how they can be trusted to keep the cuts going.
Union leaders and left wing columnists alike are frustrated that Labour is throwing away working class votes by failing to relate to people’s anger.
So they want Labour to talk about austerity, poverty and misery. But even this is about getting Labour elected, not building a fight.
And the argument is already being made that neither should we—that the Tories’ plans are so terrible that we must settle for anything to stop them.
But Labour won’t stop the Tories serving up a second helping of cuts. Its austerity plan matches theirs.
Tory chancellor George Osborne could take relative levels of public spending back to the 1930s. But so would Ed Balls.
No amount of gentle nudges to the left will change that stark truth.
There’s a real hunger for an alternative. But Labour is never going to satisfy it.