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We need to redefine what ‘working class’ really means | Faiza Shaheen | Opinion | The Guardian
So why isn’t this diversity reflected in our perception of the working class? One reason is the classic political tactic – divide and rule. Nigel Farage would have vanished years ago if people had rejected a division between the black and the white working class.

In our interviews, we found this division has worked so well that people of colour who were working class didn’t see themselves as such because “we don’t go to the pub”. Some may ask: why does this even matter? Peoplehave the right to identify however they want. But imagine the power of uniting the working class across the country – we would counter the huge power and wealth that sits at the top of society. It’s no coincidence that inequality grew rapidly when trade union membership declined – neoliberalism took apart the apparatus that brought workers together and gave them power. More than that, working-class solidarity was the basis of huge strides in British history, including the establishment of a modern caring state. With a shared class identity, we would rewire social justice.

This is also about the story we tell ourselves about who we are. Imagine the language of “traditional working class” was binned, and instead we came to understand the working class as a diverse group of people at risk of being exploited by the elite; even that Britain has long had a multi-ethnic working class, including my great-great-grandparents who worked as indentured labour in sugar cane fields in Fiji, with the profits ultimately flowing back to the UK government’s coffers. They were the British working class.

No one has waged class war more than the Tories, whether it be culling trade unions, selling the idea that we have more freedom when the state isn’t around to support us, and even that inequality is good for us. Yet we found examples of working-class communities coming together to fight for local justice. Even as estates and factories are demolished, and communities split up, still the bonds of unity in adversity remain. The working class is down but not out.
class  workingClass  whiteWorkingClass  capitalism  diversity  culture  neoliberalism  UK  politics  race  solidarity  dctagged  dc:creator=ShaheenFaiza  cultureWar 
november 2019 by petej
How immigration became Britain’s most toxic political issue | Politics | The Guardian
According to this analysis – which was widespread across the media – what created the problem was the arrival of immigrants in larger numbers, not the way immigration was depicted, described, debated or demonised.

But what if this narrative is the wrong way around? Perhaps it wasn’t immigration itself that was such a defining issue of those 20 years – but rather, the way political parties and journalists discussed it and the policies implemented in response. The big assumption is that it was a foregone conclusion that there would be hostility to immigration, which in turn would become politically explosive in the UK. While Britain has always received migrants with initial suspicion, it was not inevitable that the issue would become so damaging or derail our politics so comprehensively.
UK  politics  immigration  BrownGordon  DuffyGillian  bigotgate  globalisation  neoliberalism  relocation  migration  media  hostileEnvironment  RobinsonNick  war  asylum  StrawJack  BlunkettDavid  LabourParty  NewLabour  dispersal  economy  precarity  pay  conditions  multiculturalism  whiteWorkingClass  BlueLabour  tabloids  AbbottDiane  Windrush  freedomOfMovement  McCluskeyLen  dctagged  dc:creator=ShabiRachel 
november 2019 by petej

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