The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Relentless rise of Grace, the Moet Marxist

From her £34,000-a-year school, via a failed pop career, to rants on TV...

- By James Heale

SHE is the ardent Corbynista whose vitriolic rant prompted broadcaste­r Iain Dale to storm off the set of Good Morning Britain last week.

But for author and ex-public schoolgirl Grace Blakeley, it was confirmati­on of her status as the poster girl of the Labour Party’s flawed policies.

Mr Dale walked out of the studio on live TV as he accused her of ‘closing him down’ during a discussion about the care of mentally ill teenager Jonty Bravery, who threw a child from the tenth floor of the Tate Modern in London.

A former research fellow for Left-wing think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research, Miss Blakeley found fame in 2018 as an outspoken defender of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Her pithy socialist rhetoric and liberal use of profanity have seen her amass 100,000 followers on Twitter, propelling the 26-year-old to social media pre-eminence.

On polling day she uploaded a sultry selfie of herself posing in a bathroom mirror captioned: ‘Vote Labour, get laid.’

Appointed economics commentato­r at Labour’s house magazine The New Statesman in January 2019, she left after just nine months and is now a staff writer at Tribune – the socialist journal once edited by Michael Foot – while also sitting on Labour’s National Policy Forum overseeing policy developmen­t.

Her first book, entitled Stolen: How To Save The World From Financiali­sation, was panned for containing numerous errors that had to be corrected for its second edition. Forbes writer Frances Coppola wrote a damning review, asking: ‘How on earth can someone write a book about “financiali­sation” without apparently even a rudimentar­y understand­ing of how banks work?’

She said: ‘My main aim for the book was for people to read a broadly Marxist take on economics and think “I get this,” even if they didn’t agree.’

Her hard-Left views and remorseles­s criticisms of moderates inside the Labour Party have thus earned her the sobriquet ‘Moet Marxist’ in place of the more traditiona­l ‘champagne socialist’.

She was educated at prestigiou­s Home Counties boarding school Lord Wandsworth College, which costs £34,650 per year for a fulltime senior boarder, before spending 12 months at The Sixth Form College in Farnboroug­h. Miss Blakeley then followed in the footsteps of the then Labour Party leader Ed Miliband by reading philosophy, politics and economics at St Peter’s College, Oxford, and subsequent­ly pursued a master’s Degree in African Studies at nearby St Antony’s College.

While at Oxford, Miss Blakeley wrote and performed her own music, and a YouTube video of her playing her love song Tear Me To Pieces has attracted 37,000 views – mainly from legions of adoring Corbynista fans. Her admirers wrote comments underneath such as: ‘Power to the people!’ and ‘Coming off listening to her talk about Breton Woods [sic] and now listening to this... I’ve never been more attracted to someone.’

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? ALL SMILES: Grace Blakeley and, right, the moment Iain Dale storms off the GMB set
ALL SMILES: Grace Blakeley and, right, the moment Iain Dale storms off the GMB set

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom