What has Jeremy Corbyn got against McDonald’s? He wants to block the fast-food chain from having an outlet at the Labour party conference, a position which has been blasted by quite a few MPs in his party, who presumably enjoy a Big Mac every now and then.
It raises a more serious question though. According to their website, McDonald’s employ about 85,000 people in the UK. Most of these workers are voters. Add to that the number of British people who dine at McDonald’s – which must be in the millions – and you start to see why Corbyn’s McBoycott has gone down badly.
Is snobbism behind it? Possibly. McDonald’s working conditions may not be the best in the labour market, but are they really worse than their main competitors? Could the difference between a place like McDonald’s and Pret a Manger in fact be the clientele? It’s clear that by boycotting McDonald’s, Labour has shown just how disconnected it is from the people it is supposed to represent. Corbyn has managed to alienate both McDonald’s workers and customers. Hardly a shrewd political move.
Even if this story seems quite trivial, it highlights a common problem for parties on the left: they may love the working classes for their votes, but they fail to understand their lives and aspirations. Is it any wonder working-class voters are deserting the Labour party in droves?