March of the Prosecco Socialists
Anti-austerity campaigner Charlotte Church may be a multi-millionaire but she refuses to be called a Champagne Socialist. “I have to say I’m more of a prosecco girl, myself,” Church explained on her blog last year.
The Welsh singer-song writer, actress and television presenter admits she has earned “a lot of money” but says her ethical credentials are intact. “I could have made a lot more money by investing in arms and oil,” she explains. “I could have voted Tory.”
Instead, Church wants to “make a difference” by speaking at rallies and blogging in support of a fairer society, the National Health Service, and the plight of the less privileged.
It is tempting to dismiss such crowd-pleasing progressive sentiments as distractions from the main political game. Yet the emergence of prosecco socialism is a profound challenge to the political establishment. Old-school social democratic parties are in retreat while newer, populist Left-wing movements are gaining ground.