Labour's desire to show itself respectable and safe by cosying up to business is based on a misconception of popular attitudes in the new politics. We're thinking of the old days when the middle class were pro business and "enterprise" but the state protected and helped the workers. So to win middle class votes we had to be nice to business and not frighten it by socialist horrors.
Those days are gone.The state has been so weakened that it hardly frightens anyone. In fact it needs rebuilding so that it can do its job, a need the middle class users of libraries, universities, culture, and all things civilised feel particularly strongly about. The new enemy is big business , big wealth, and big scale. It frightens both working and middle classes. Now they're in it together.
Who caused the recession? Big banks .Who mistreats customers? Big utilities. Who cheats and cuts corners? Big business. Who buggers everyone about? All the above-on a big scale. Who sheds staff, pays low wages, goes for zero hours contracts, and generally treats its employees like morons? Big firms. Who's pushing up house prices beyond the real of real people? Big money. Who gets paid far too much and lavishes money on themselves? Big bosses.
Everyone's fed up of all that. In begging for the approval of business Labour is aligning itself with the big boys not the people they trample on. Big mistake.In the American congressional elections those Democrats who took a populist line ,"the few the loud and the proud" who were aggressively populist and who attacked wealth and Wall St did well, Those who didn't didn't. In France the National Front is as anti-big as UKIP is here because it strikes a popular chord. In Greece Syriza won by attacking big EU and big austerity. In Spain Podemus shouts up for the same reasons.
Why doesn't Labour learn the lesson ? An election isn't about how much they'll love us at the Lord Mayor's banquet. The better you do there in your stuffed shirt the more the rest will hate you for selling out. A party of the side of the people must attack the big beasts, not try to befriend them. They're the enemy of all.
Populism pays. Brits may not be kind enough to the needy but they certainly hate the greedy and when greed rules it's not OK with them. Particularly is the majority lose out while the few enrich themselves.