Magazine article The Spectator

From Marble Angels to Pebbledash People

Magazine article The Spectator

From Marble Angels to Pebbledash People

Article excerpt

It doesn't take long for a new political leader to decide that he or she is uniquely placed to capture the hearts and votes of the lower middle classes - the C1s and C2s as they call them.

Disraeli was perhaps the first Tory to try, conjuring an image of 'angels in marble' - non-toff Tory voters just waiting to be freed from their devotion to the state by the sculpting hand of a great Conservative leader. But it took another century to catch on. Here are a few of the other stereotypes that have been dreamt up.

Selsdon man

Not a type of early hominid, but a creature cooked up by Edward Heath and his shadow Cabinet in the Selsdon Park Hotel. Selsdon man responded well to the free market agenda designed to entice him, and elected Heath in 1970. Later Heath turned his back on his creation, and Selsdon man voted him out in 1974.

Essex man

He was the aspirant worker who swept Thatcher to power and kept her there for over a decade. Essex man was hardworking, frustrated by bureaucracy, keen to get ahead, and he had an American cousin in the form of the Reagan Democrat. …

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