[Margret] Thatcher’s first sin was to be resolutely middle-class, thus earning her the scorn of the Tory grandees and liberal upper-middle classes. Baroness Warnock spoke for the latter when she talked about Thatcher’s “patronising elocution voice [and] neat well-groomed clothes and hair, packaged together in a way that’s not exactly vulgar, just low. [It fills me with] a kind of rage.” But I always thought the most interesting insult was that she had “the mentality of a housewife” – like all insults, of course, it says far more about the attackers than the target. What makes it fascinating to me is not just the political stupidity of it (there are lots of housewives, and they vote!) but the mentality it reveals. There are plenty of negative stereotypes of women, but a housewife is probably the most positive of all stereotypes in the popular imagination – that she was actually attacked for coming across as thrifty, domestic, stable and down-to-earth demonstrates how large was the gap between the Liberal Establishment and the popular mindset in the 1970s.Remind you of anybody?
So is Palin a new Thatcher? Who knows? But the reaction by the bien pensants mirrors the reaction to Maggie. So at least let's be honest, and call it what it is: class warfare.