There is strategic value in this.
Once upon a time it was possible to be working-class and lead a relatively stable life, you could experience a degree of financial stability, you had a community, you got to engage in the arts and culture. That’s been largely eradicated now, since Thatcher we’ve been told we have to aspire to be middle-class, it was called social mobility but really it was an opportunity to create a narrative that says if someone is poor, it’s their own fault. They aren’t educated enough / working hard enough / giving enough to become the middle-class ideal.
It created a fiction that there’s always a relationship between hard work and financial stability but ask any minimum wage employee about how hard they work and whether that has lead to financial stability.
The saddest thing for me about the recent debate around free school meals is seeing working-class families boast about the recipes they use to feed the kids and say that if other people can’t do that, they’re not trying hard enough. It’s this division, rooted in the narrative of “good” (aspiring) and “bad” working-class, that they want to create. It stops any kind of working-class solidarity.
Whether they want to feed school kids or not, the more time they leave us fighting against each other trying to prove who can feed their kids, the less time we’re spending challenging them.
It’s a game to them, a game where they’re trying to maintain power without governing the country and they’re winning.