Basic sociology and demographics for the Labour left
Some of the responses I get to my critique of Cruddas' strategic vision (at least he has one, as opposed to the Hard Left whose strategy is "stop the world I want to get off") indicate a worrying ignorance of some basic facts:
1) Embourgeoisement and de-industrialisation. Britain has been getting more middle class for over 50 years. That's one of the reasons why the underlying trend in the Labour vote (ignoring the short term self-inflicted losses of the early '80s and a temporary upward blip in 1966) was down from the early '50s right through to 1997. The industrial working class is shrinking. Trade union membership is half what it was in 1979 because so many people no longer work in unionised industries. Most people are generally more prosperous - objectively - than their parents and grandparents - and a very large percentage of the population live lifestyles in terms of consumption that would have been the preserve of an elite few in the 1950s. Right-to-buy means far more people are home-owners. The language of appeals to the "Labour core vote" says nothing to them about their lives.
2) An ageing population - because the birth rate has gone down and people live longer. And older people are generally less radical than younger ones, and more concerned with their personal and financial security.
3) Population movement on a huge scale - from "Labour" cities and industrial areas to "Tory" suburbs and rural areas, and from the "Labour" North and West to the "Tory" South and East. This would not matter a jot in a PR electoral system, but under FPTP with regular boundary changes to ensure constituencies are of roughly equal size, it means there are fewer and fewer safe Labour seats and the territory Labour needs to form a majority is more and more "middle class".
So the "back to the core vote" strategy isn't a strategy. It's a political suicide note.