Let them eat cake!
As the story goes, this was Marie Antoinette’s response upon being told that her starving peasant subjects had no bread.
Well, Oliver Coppard, putative mayor for South Yorkshire, has organised a fundraiser event where the queen of France as she was then would not be out of place.
A fundraising dinner in Barnsley has been advertised on 7th April designed to raise money for Labour’s campaign to replace Dan Jarvis with Coppard.
The problem for Labour nationally is that it is short of money. More of that later. But the fundraising event raised more than a few eyebrows when it was revealed that the cost was £46.50 for a dinner ticket and – wait for it! – £36.50 for students and unwaged!
The idea, as we enter one of the worst costs of living crises in living memory, that students and the unemployed will have £36.50 available to buy into Oliver’s army is laughable. It would be surprising if anyone could bite at that price. He has now stupidly offered to personally negotiate a rate depending on the person’s circumstances, for those who cannot afford £36.50. All people have to do is phone him and go through their financial situation with him. Bad enough when having to seek benefits to survive, but for Coppard to expect members to phone him and do the same for a Labour Party event is quite frankly shameful.
But this doesn’t seem to bother Labour’s leading lights in Sheffield. When confronted by the certainty that such an event will only suit the few, not the many, Labour candidates and councillors were quick to defend it. With some Labour Cllrs even suggesting the left organise a separate event for the poorer members!
It seems that today’s Labour party is no longer the champion of the poor and disadvantaged but has now assumed the full Mandelson mantle of being only for those that can afford it.
As Labour attacks the Tories in Westminster for their Russian cronyism, it appears that cronies are also welcome at South Yorkshire Labour fundraisers – while anyone on a minimum wage or benefits is not.
And why is Labour descending to these depths in pursuit of campaign funds?
Well, the idealogues now in charge will go to any lengths to secure their position – including bankrupting the party.
Only a month ago, concerns from Unite that the Labour Council in Coventry was trashing workers’ rights in a dispute with its bin workers led Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham to question why her union was providing money to the Party.
Starmer et al were quick to call such a reasonable question a threat to which the Party would not succumb.
A strange world where the party created by workers through their trade unions is now eschewing any support in its headlong drive to attract Sun reading Tory voters.