Selina Todd writing in the Guardian has a point when she suggests that most people don't identify with being 'hard-working families' as Miliband imagines from his isolated and away-with-the-fairies illusion of what ordinary folk are like. It's a fantasy world that exists purely in the Miliband head. 'Ordinary people who have to work' is by far a more accurate description.
Likewise, the 'squeezed middle' has proved to be a soggy squib. Recent research suggests that the middle reacted to 2008 by knuckling down, cutting costs, repaying loans, skimping on foreign travel and new cars and even with cuts in universal Welfare benefits made adjustments. Fortuitously, the car industry has been saved by the thieving bankers grudgingly having to repay billions in PPI compensation, most of which has been spent on new cars and white goods.
And 'we're all in this together' has proven to be true only for the very wealthy, who as a group have seen their incomes soar as the rest of the country is stuck on zero percent pay increases. Few will view as equitable an arrangement under which all are required to endure hardship but only some are rewarded.
And of course those home-owners living in London and the south east are seeing increases of up to 30% over 2008 levels for their homes.
So I think there's a new political cliche lurking out there waiting out there to be discovered - the 'unrewarded middle' - those working in manufacturing or professions untouched by the consumer-spending led recovery, living in areas in which house prices haven't yet recovered their 2008 levels, burdened by student debt and with abilities and qualifications that won't win them secure well-paying work, who have obeyed all the rules and see nothing before them but a lifetime of unwelcome graft, struggle and grief. Such folk will be deservedly angry at all the political promises - and intelligent enough to realise that whilst politicians may be unable to offer salvation, they can at least be kicked hard when the opportunity of the ballot-box arises.