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James Blunt hits out at Labour MP Chris Bryant watch

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    Chris Bryant MP, the member for Rhondda, and admittedly a fine parliamentarian in many ways, made some rather underhanded and unfair comments the other day, criticising lack of class diversity in the entertainment industry, and singling out James Blunt as an example.

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/201...rivileged-arts

    I personally thought "Steady on" when I first read Bryant's comments, and I agree with what Blunt has said.

    As someone who is a committed Fabian socialist, an elected branch officer in the Labour Party and active in the trade unions, but who also comes from a historically prominent landowning family and who was privately educated, I think Bryant's comments represent some of the worst roundhead tendencies of the Labour Party.

    Would Bryant say that because of my background, I shouldn't be permitted to assume leadership positions in the Labour movement? Should a working-class person automatically be favoured over me? It is often those from privately educated backgrounds who actually step up and volunteer to do these kind of things, otherwise no-one would

    I don't think anyone's background should be held against them, and I'm extremely uncomfortable with what I perceive in some ways as the class-bating and anti-rural agenda of some sections of the Labour Party (anti-fox hunting, deafness to rural concerns, failing to understand the particular culture and disposition of people from that kind of background, though the Conservative Party hasn't been much better in recent years)

    I accept that it is perfectly legitimate to point to systemic issues. For example, if all the members of the Cabinet were Old Etonians, it would be valid to point that out and raise the issue of diversity of experience. But that doesn't translate to singling a person out, that is utterly wrong and totally disreputable
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    Good on Mr Blunt I say. Bryant is advocating a policy of jealousy to prop up his own position.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    Good on Mr Blunt I say. Bryant is advocating a policy of jealousy to prop up his own position.
    It's worse than that. I can't perceive any real electoral benefit to these comments; they won't earn him any thanks within the Labour Party (the Blairites will obviously oppose such sentiments, the left will be irritated he's picking an unneccessary fight which many of them wouldn't believe in anyway)

    It's not as though some working-class non-Labour voter will see this and say, "Yeah, the music business should have less posh people; I'll vote Labour".

    It makes me very uncomfortable indeed. Like sexuality or race, the class you're born into is something you have no control over. It's below the sort to single someone out on that basis. By all means, make a systemic argument, but don't attack someone for a characteristic about which they had no choice
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    I'm with Blunt on this one.
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    (Original post by tengentoppa)
    I'm with Blunt on this one.
    Totally. I think Chris Bryant is really going to struggle to find anyone who agrees with him

    I suppose my interest is less the comments of one misguided MP so much as the principle that people shouldn't be judged on their background, whether they were born in a council estate or country house.

    Like sexuality and race, one has no control over the family into which you're born, or where you go to school
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    (Original post by tengentoppa)
    I'm with Blunt on this one.
    The Guardian are the biggest inverted snobbery gimps out there.
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    (Original post by sgtslaughter)
    The Guardian are the biggest inverted snobbery gimps out there.
    What makes it remarkable is that many, perhaps most, of the Guardian staff are from an upper-middle class Oxbridge background. That being the case, it makes their inverted snobbery more of a pose than strongly held conviction
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    At least he isn't a pantomime dame.
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    (Original post by democracyforum)
    At least he isn't a pantomime dame.
    Is that something to do with his sexuality?

    Attacking someone on the basis of their sexuality is as disreputable as attacking someone on the basis of their class background or their race. All three are things someone doesn't choose.

    There are plenty of bases on which to criticise Bryant, choosing sexuality merely guarantees you hit very wide of the mark, a kind of political onanism
 
 
 
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