Must say, never really thought about it before, but "socialism" is a term you almost never hear in British politics. They talk about class struggles, social responsibility, fairness, equality etc but the term itself rarely seems to be used. It's a bit like America where almost no-one wants to admit that they're a socialist. Republicans and Libertarians have used the term very loosely, especially since Obama came to power, but only to get their points across.
Whereas in Germany, for instance, people seem much more open about calling it socialism and calling themselves socialists. The two main left-wing parties here are called "The Socialist Party" and the "Social Democrats". In Britain there's no party with a name like that getting more than 1% of the popular vote.
Exactly as I had suspected, the same is true of Italy and the United States. In the case of the former, there are not only self-proclaimed socialists, but devout communists who are unabashedly such, whereas Americans are perennially in search of some new euphemism in order to conceal their political ideology. A combination of three factors converged over a period of years to render the very thought of communism -- or anything associated with it -- unappealing to the average American: McCarthy, Reagan, and the Cold War; however, Republicans have also shamed socialists into doing away with the term liberal, which has led to the adoption of the euphemism "progressive".
What is more, this discussion is interesting because it is based upon more than mere semantics. Indeed, as liberals/socialists have sought to conceal themselves, they have so greatly diluted their ideology that one can no longer compare them to the socialists of Western Europe. Fundamentally, however, these people subscribe to the tenets of socialism. They have only been forced to come to terms with the realization that working class people have come to fear the very ideology that pretends to improve their lives!
Marxism and socialism are founded on what is perceived to be altruism (albeit at the expense of others), yet the working classes will have none of it. In fact, blue collar workers supported George Bush in greater numbers than white collar ones.