Politicians need to be attentive to those who find themselves on a downward financial escalator. Otherwise, extremists are more than ready to lend an ear
We call it the squeeze on living standards as prices rise faster than wages. This has been going on for nearly four years. In France, the same phenomenon is described more emotionally.
The key word here is attentiveness – to the many who earn less than the median wage, to those on the downward escalator. Showing empathy for their plight would do more to stop the drift to the far right than any arrests in the night or the striking of chauvinistic attitudes by mainstream politicians. Fortunately for us, Labour understands this need and the Coalition is following suit. Mr Farage’s moment is passing
ANDREAS WHITTAM SMITH