For many, Shadow Secretary of State for Education Angela Rayner represents the working class spirit in British politics. And her background makes her one of the few politicians who understand the reality of poverty. In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, she recalls some anecdotes. And one in particular is priceless.
Unlike so many of her fellow MPs, Rayner was brought up on a council estate. In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, the interviewer asks Rayner what it’s like to be one of the few politicians from a working class background. He pinpoints her “northern accent” and asks whether people comment on it from both political parties. She responds:
I think it happens on both but, in particular more in the Conservatives…
Rayner went on to tell a story about one particular Tory MP, which had us in stitches:
I’m not going to say which Tory MP it is because that would be really mean, but there’s a Conservative MP who fits the stereotype. Posh lad for the Conservative Party, old school…
I was out on a trip with them, a parliamentary trip, and was having a conversation and I started talking about, ‘well on the estate, we had a real problem on our estates locally because the horses were just running free and just like churning up the grass’… And this Conservative MP said, ‘Oh, we have llamas on our estate’… and I’m like, ‘No, I’m talking about the council estate and the wild horses… the travellers had brought’…
That just shows you the difference.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
Elsewhere in the interview, Rayner talks more about her background, and recalls having to go around to friends’ houses to ask for dinner:
We had poverty in our house. Even on the council estate I knew I was one of the poorer kids. I used to go round my friends houses on a Sunday to get their Sunday dinner because my mum couldn’t cook either, so I used to love going round my mates and say: ‘Can you ask your Mum if I can come in for Sunday dinner?’
Rayner later became a mother at the age of 16 and went on to work as a care assistant and a trade union official for UNISON. She’s since risen through the ranks to become a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet.
Rayner also discusses how the welfare state helped her growing up and its importance. She says:
Ideology never put food on my table. I talk about Tony Blair’s tenure, because it changed my life, it gave my children a life that I could never have dreamt of having and I want us to get back to that.
Politics needs more MPs like Rayner – people who’ve gone to work, lived through the struggles, and understand what it means to be on the breadline.
Support the work of new media organisations here. Please add more that you like in the comments.
Featured image via Screengrab/YouTube
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?