What was Emily Thornberry thinking? While campaigning in Rochester this afternoon, Labour’s MP for Islington South, a metropolitan area of London, tweeted a photo of a terraced house with a St George’s flag in the window and a white van parked outside. “Image from Rochester,” she snobbishly told her followers.
— Emily Thornberry MP (@EmilyThornberry) November 20, 2014
Within minutes Thornberry had been condemned by hundreds of voters as “out of touch”. One mocked: “Where is the hummus and organic falafels?” A Labour spokesperson however insisted to me that they could see nothing wrong with what she had done.
In that case, let me explain. Labour is a party which is woefully failing to connect to its traditional, core working class base. For one of its London MPs – a millionaire with a growing property empire of her own – to mockingly tweet a stereotype of Britain’s working class, showing utter contempt for the people whose votes the party is trying to win back, and then fail to see why that might be a problem, shows exactly why the party is struggling so badly at the moment.
UKIP immediately jumped on the tweet, calling it “epic snobbery” and saying “Labour [are] doomed with likes of her”. They should print the tweet off and put it on leaflets in Labour’s northern strongholds. This is why Labour voters are flocking to Nigel Farage’s party.
It shows Labour have not changed since Gordon Brown’s infamous bigot-gate disaster with Mrs Duffy. And it makes you wonder who the real bigots are.