It was heartening to hear Labour leader Ed Miliband admit there is an urgent need for more MPs from working-class backgrounds in Parliament.
Miliband was answering a question from Lachlan Morrison, a 23-year-old plasterer from Nottingham, at a Q&A at the party conference.
He praised Morrison, a Ucatt member, for his work as a Labour councillor and said: "We need more workers in Parliament. We need to have a more diverse Parliament, particularly in terms of ethnic minorities and working-class backgrounds - we have a responsibility to ensure not just people from middle-class backgrounds get into the election contest."
Miliband also suggested that 50 per cent of MPs should be women, and conference passed a rule-change that requires selection panels to take class into consideration in the same way they already do for race and gender.
Morrison hopes this spells a new direction for the Labour Party.
"In order to reconnect the party with everyday workers we need to have more working-class MPs," he tells the Star.
"At the moment we don't feel we have a powerful voice in Parliament speaking out for the average person in society.
"Labour has been too much like the Tories with this 'born-to-rule' attitude, but this conference suggests we have moved on from that old mantra and are willing to recognise the party's working-class roots."
Morrison says he battled to be taken seriously in politics as a young person and believes there is no shortage of prejudice in the field, noting that more black and ethnic minority representatives are also needed in Parliament.
Prejudice can also apply to the old. Dennis Skinner - one of the few working-class MPs left in the Commons and the oldest - has been maliciously called a "dinosaur" and told to take his pension by David Cameron when he pulls him up at Prime Minister's questions.
There's been a dramatic decline of working-class MPs since Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, at least partly because of her decimation of industry and the power drain from trade unions it caused.
The House of Commons library says the number has dropped 75 per cent since then to just 25 MPs, 22 of them Labour.
But it would be lazy to blame Thatcher alone. Traditionally Labour MPs came from trade union backgrounds but a cultural change has seen people from a "professional political" background fast-tracked to the front benches.
Both the Labour leader and shadow chancellor Ed Balls started out as political advisers.
The penny is slowly dropping within Labour, but predictably there's little support in the other parties. Labour's Oxford-educated Rotherham MP Denis MacShane has called for all parties to allocate 10 per cent of seats to candidates on the minimum wage and suggested that they draw up minimum-wage shortlists like the all-women shortlists that have helped to boost the number of women MPs.
And Labour Representation Committee joint secretary Andrew Fisher says there's no reason candidates can't be drawn from unions again.
"With four million affiliated trade union members, the Labour Party can draw on a huge pool of talent," he says.
"We need more union reps standing for Parliament and unions must do more to promote good candidates that will reflect their union policies in the party.
"Too often in recent years candidates with only a tenuous link to their unions have ended up representing new Labour policies.
"Labour must represent the full strength of our class. At the next election we could easily gain 100 or more seats. Unions and the LRC need to work together to ensure a majority of those are working-class socialist candidates."
Unite's political director Steve Hart says his union is already doing more to identify potential parliamentary candidates within the trade union movement who genuinely represent working-class communities.
It can then provide intensive training and support to help get them elected.
He warns that unless Parliament has men and women who know what a hard day's work is like and empathise with people struggling to pay the bills it will become out of touch.
"Labour needs to start developing policies that relate to working-class people, which I think it's beginning to do," he says. "Unite is doing a lot of work to re-engage workers with the party and encourage them to want to become an MP - Parliament needs to become more representative of society rather than run by those with very little life experience."
It's an issue that's been at the forefront of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD).
CLPD activist and Left Futures editor Jon Lansman believes Labour itself is partly to blame for the drift away from articulating working-class needs and aspirations.
In more recent times it's been more interested in promoting "professionalism" and careerism. More and more of its MPs are university graduates.
"The 'meritocracy' of Tony Blair ensured that those who get promoted were Blairites," he says.
"I don't think it's an accident that in the new Labour years the proportion of working-class MPs declined."
Lansman argues that trade unions need to change the mentality which has seen the concept of union-sponsored MPs disappearing if they're to avoid being exploited by careerists.
"Labour's Jon Trickett - the only shadow cabinet member who has done a manual job - realises this.
"I do think Ed Miliband recognises there's a problem with Labour's core vote, that the party has alienated them. Most of the five million votes lost between 2007 and 2010 were from working-class voters. Most of them stopped voting altogether."
Trickett himself agrees. "There's a growing perception among the public that the country is run by a closed circle of people which is not easy to break into - whether it be the banks, Parliament, the judiciary or even, dare I say it, the media," he tells the Star.
"I think it's imperative that in order to overcome the sense of disconnection which many people feel the people who run the country should look and sound like the country as a whole.
"Society has changed hugely over the last few decades. For example over a million people are now employed in call centres, many on part-time contracts and low pay. That's over 3.5 per cent of the entire workforce but if you say to many of them: 'Why don't you become an MP or a councillor?' they say 'oh no, that's not for me.'
"They would certainly add a dose of realism as to how tough life is for millions of people."
Trickett is actively developing ways to get more ordinary people involved in politics.
But the war will only be won if more on the Labour front benches follow his example.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.