Only Jeremy Corbyn could choose to make a speech on arts spending in Edinburgh, where arts spending is devolved and therefore wouldn’t be under his control if he became Prime Minister.
But that’s incidental – by now we can recognise that such peculiar decisions are standard fixtures and fittings of his campaign.
More notable was an off the cuff remark about the definition of wealth in our society:
“I don’t consider myself high-brow or wealthy, but I still enjoy some aspects of classical music.”
Let’s leave aside the idea that high-brow and wealthy are in any way linked. There are plenty of wealthy people who are distinctly not high-brow, and Corbyn should know that this country has a fine tradition of working class intellectuals – many of them self-taught, such as the Pitmen Painters.
Instead, consider that declaration: “I don’t consider myself…wealthy.”
Really? Corbyn has been an MP for 33 years, routinely earning well above the average salary and accruing a generous pension along the way. His career has progressed in the last 12 months, lifting his earnings above £137,000 a year.
Good for him. But is this really not a state of wealth? Most people would view it otherwise – not least his own socialist brethren.
If not, then presumably we should assume that when he calls for “taxes on the rich”, he must mean those earning substantially more than £137,000 a year. The middle classes who Labour normally sting with tax rises will be relieved to hear it.