Siân Berry and Jonathan Bartley, co-leaders of a newly mainstream party? Image: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
In the second half of The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell bemoans what he sees as the left’s constant tendency to alienate the ordinary, working-class voters it needs to win power. The problem, as he understood it, was down to a handful of middle-class, white-collar progressives: “the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England,” he wrote. Orwell’s harshest scorn is reserved for vegetarians in particular; anybody who asks after your dietary requirements, he argues, is “out of touch with…
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