Class war or not?
In her speech to the TUC this morning Harriet Harman promised to "step up" the fight for equality and not to put it "on the back burner" as the economy slowed. She went onto attack the Tories as "false friends" of equality and fairness. The Shadow Chancellor George Osborne's portrayal of the Tories as the true progressive party was a provocation too far.
Harman didn't mention the word "class" once in her speech announcing the membership of the National Equality Panel - a group of academics who will study inequality in Britain. She spoke instead of "investigating how "people's life chances" are impacted by "where they were born, what kind of family they were born into, where they live and their wealth" as well as their gender, race, disability and age.
A major theme of Gordon Brown's Conference speech will, I'm told, be fairness and how Labour not the Tories can be trusted to deliver it. Gordon Brown's article, which I wrote about yesterday, admitted that Labour had not done enough to increase social mobility. A White Paper on the subject is due by the end of the year.
So, what is the motivation for all this ?
Belief - that this is what Labour is for.
Anger - that the Tories are "getting away" with presenting themselves as the party which will reduce inequality.
Hope - that this is a theme which will allow others to highlight David Cameron and George Osborne's privileged backgrounds given that Labour's crude attempts to exploit the "toffs in top hat" factor played so badly in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election.
Not quite class war then but a hope to redraw the dividing lines with the Tories.