Bankers - Now it's class war


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Did Ed Miliband really mean to call for a "class war" on bankers?

The Labour leader began by putting the prime minister on the back foot in the House of Commons today - on why he wouldn't legislate to publish all bankers' salaries over £1m and put an employee representative on remuneration committees.

He then attacked David Cameron and his "Cabinet of millionaires" for being unable to lead what Mr Miliband called "the class war" on bankers.

Ed has had a very good week but he may come to regret that reference to a class war.

FYI: Full quote was as follows - Ed Miliband: "I think we've now heard it all. Because he says that the class war against the bankers is going to be led by him and his cabinet of millionaires. I don't think it's going to wash."

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    So now we know the ugly truth. Ed Miliband, red in tooth and claw. Old Labour returned with a vengeance. His union paymasters must be licking their lips.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Good old Red Ed - Another day another bandwagon

    First we persecute a bank chief Exec who is paid far less than a premiership footballer

    Then we lead the frenzied charge for retrospective vengeance on Fred

    Now we are having a Class war

    Truly Ed seems to be to mature consideration what Cyril Smith was to hanggliding!

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Ah so that is what Ed was doing in Davos the other day, waging class war - nice place to do it mind, very posh. That reminds me, what ever happened to that other Ed, the more successful one - Eddy the Eagle?

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    We have no more need for a class war on bankers than we do for one on benefit claimants or parents opposed to school academy status (Trots according to Gove). We need politicians to come up with fairer ideas of hoe we all get along together in a fair society. We could do with less media manipulation of quotes too.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Keeps the faithful happy, not sure how well it plays beyond there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Haven't the financiers always been waging a class war on the rest of us?

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    In hard times people are more aware of class because the nodes of conflict are more visible as distress spreads and the ostentatious stupidity of the rich with their country houses, flats in town and ski chalets are flaunted much of which has evaded stamp duty.

    Their ragged trousered philanthopist supporters call this the politics of envy and others social justice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    He was being facetious, is all. Quite nicely done but I doubt it's a portent of anything too exciting from Labour.

    The serious point being made is we need a deal of convincing - e.g. by some actual with-teeth policies - that the tories have it in their DNA to get serious about attacking privilege / inequality in general and reforming the City in particular.

    And we do, don't we? Most of us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    An understanding of the class analysis of capitalist society would, in my view, be hugely beneficial to millions of our people, that is possibly why the Tory class warriors and their gutter media cronies use every opportunity to deny any serious discussion about fundamental political and economic issues, and use every opportunity to lie, distort and manipulate the real issues.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Did I hear EdM call today at PMQ for executive pay to be shown in accounts?

    I thought most companies already show exec pay in their AR and often include details of pay for other senior grades ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.


    Whatever euphemism you use,`social tensions`,`deviance` or what have you,class is inevitably a major node of conflict as rich and poor compete over scarce resources.The democratic state institutionalizes this conflict in political parties which are class based and where the class that dominates economically will usually but not invariably rule politically.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Why was EdM so lukewarm last week about tax cuts for the low and middle-paid and for a new higher rate tax band if, today, he wants to start a class war on millionaires and bankers?

    For me, that guy doesn't add up.

    He's struggling to be a third class version of Nick Clegg!

    (PS:bryhers ' ..//.. the nodes of conflict ..// '
    Nice one! :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    I see today's new exciting armchair socialist revolutionary word is "node".

    A bit like how Sesame Street used to be "brought to you by the letter S", so today's pretentious waffle is brought to you by the word "node".

    Bryhers, I suppose you avoid flaunting it to the masses by putting your wine gass down before staring out the window at the scurrying masses down below.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    He did not need to call for a war, class or otherwise, he, like most politicians nowadays, is just an echo, reverberating ever more loudly to the tune of anger, amazement and disgust of the common folk. Words?, echo,s?, gradual silence, and in what pudding is the proof?. Where is the substantial, that silence may gather and settle?. Words, simple words, but with so much potential, if only.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    IGP 9

    I am not averse to a Marxist analysis of the social structure and its relationship to the means of production. I am not too sure of the outcome of the class wars so far though.

    Unfortunately such an analysis would show that the proles, through their pension funds now substantially own the means of production

    The problem is that we don't control it.

    We need control as well as ownership.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    I 9

    Well if the Labour Party won`t do it we`re unlikely to find a class analysis of capitalist society here.

    I suppose the one genuinely transformative ,moment for the Left was 1945 under the far from transformative Attlee.But that followed a generation of economic failure and a bloody war either of which unsettles the myths and rituals on which society is based,

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    'Class War', when used by people who are opposed to (or anxious about the possible consequences of) policies aimed at seriously damaging the interests of the very wealthy, is meant to carry deeply negative connotations. It's meant to frighten.

    But for those of us who actually want to see such policies, 'CW' isn't scary at all, it's a warm and cuddly term which belongs in the Labour manifesto.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Miliband's statement is pretty meaningless. The only class war of note at the moment is that performed on the 99% by the Bullingdon class. Still it is good to see Lord Snooty sweat a little.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Its a pity RED ED is not calling for a Class war against benifit scoungers . taht would be as popular as having ago at Bankers and Cabinet Millionaires who pay tax.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    "There is class warfare, all right. But it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” - Warren Buffett

    But acknowledging this is "the politics of envy" or whatever cute phrase the right uses to beat anyone who questions forever galloping inequality. Just glance at the tabloids to see the front lines, with their daily bile spewed at the unemployed or disabled.


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