petej + deindustrialisation   113

The country I walked through deserves better than Brexit | Mike Carter | Opinion | The Guardian
Nearly everyone I spoke to in those towns said they were going to vote for Brexit. There was a lot of talk of “taking back control”, and in the context of the industrial wastelands, that sentiment made a lot of sense. But the EU issue was, for a majority, a proxy for their pain.

There was a brief moment when it appeared the Conservatives grasped this. When Theresa May became prime minister on 13 July 2016, after David Cameron had fled the post-referendum carnage, she addressed the “just about managing” and said the government “will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours … When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you.”

But since then we have had a government paralysed by Brexit, effectively not governing at all. We have ongoing crises in most aspects of public policy: housing, transport, prisons, the benefits system, health, education. Homelessness is rocketing, as is food bank use. In some areas of our inner cities, Dickensian diseases such as rickets and beriberi have re-emerged. At a time when politicians should be reaching out to leave voters with concrete proposals for rebalancing our economy, heavily based as it is on services and centred in the south-east, we get a continuation of turbo-charged austerity. In their call for a second referendum, remainers should ask themselves whether the anger that drove the result in June 2016 has been even remotely addressed.

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Brexit will deliver none of this. As driven by the right, it is the final part of the race to the bottom that started 40 years ago. There are no easy answers, but until our politicians begin to acknowledge that the globalised neoliberal economic model is a disaster for human beings and the planet we inhabit, we will remain angry and scared and vulnerable to dog whistles. And maybe that is the point.
UK  Brexit  economy  inequality  poverty  deindustrialisation  homelessness  anger  housing  rents  gambling  Bet365  austerity  localGovernment  cuts  AlstonPhilip  UN  politics  TheRight  neoliberalism 
10 weeks ago by petej
Dreams of a No-Deal Nation | Red Pepper
Just like the original vote to Leave, the strength of the ‘no deal’ story is not its facts but its feelings, not its statistics but its sentiments. What is the story of ‘no deal nation’? No deal nation is strong, steeled for the disruption of ‘no deal’. It is powerful to the point of petulance, defiant of the demands from Brussels. But above all, it is in control, unchained from European rules, whether a customs union or the backstop. It might be materially bad, but it damn well feels good. It offers hope of a future of pride and dignity. Fighting the idea of no deal nation with facts will not work: ‘hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopes for what he sees?’

The more that ‘no deal’ demands sacrifice, the more its popularity will grow: the higher the price, the greater the prize. No deal nation is bolstered by a fuzzy reading of history, self-soothing with stories of its past. It reassures itself: the last time we stood alone, Britain emerged in triumph and the Europeans in tragedy; we prospered before 1972 and will do so again. Do not imagine that the reality of a ‘no deal’ Brexit will change this: confirmation bias will kick in. The Brexit faithful will conclude that they have been punished by devious elites who never wanted to Leave and by European opponents who never had our interests at heart. Rather than undermining Brexit, the ‘no deal’ disaster would merely confirm their suspicion they were right to vote to Leave.
UK  EU  Brexit  noDeal  BBCQT  nationalism  AndersonBenedict  storytelling  deindustrialisation  dignity  emotion  defiance  sacrifice  delusion  Lexit  stateAid  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=KibasiTom 
12 weeks ago by petej
Brexit proved our economy is broken, but our leaders still have no clue how to fix it | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
It ultimately comes down to this: decades of privatisation, hammering unions and chucking billions at the housing market while stripping the welfare state has effectively ended any semblance of a national, redistributive economy in which a child born in Sunderland can expect to have similar life chances to one born in Surrey. Yet politicians remain fixated on mechanisms that no longer work adequately for those who actually depend on the economy. They obsess over GDP growth when the benefits of that are unequally shared between classes and regions. They boast about job creation when wages are still on the floor.
UK  economy  inequality  Brexit  CoetzeeRyan  OsborneGeorge  HammondPhilip  DuncanSmithIain  deindustrialisation  unemployment  privatisation  cuts  GDP  LegatumInstitute  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
january 2019 by petej
Brexit is a class betrayal. So why is Labour colluding in it? | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
These things are part of a vast charge sheet not only against the modern Conservative party, but an alliance of old and new money that has set the basic terms of British politics for the past 40 years. Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson were educated at the same exclusive school as the prime minister whose idiotic decision to hold a referendum gave them their opportunity. Nigel Farage and Arron Banks are archetypal examples of the kind of spivs who were given licence to do as they pleased in the 80s. For all their absurd bleating about “elites”, we all know what these people represent: the two faces of the modern English ruling class, who have long combined to be nothing but trouble.
UK  Brexit  Leave  ToryParty  deindustrialisation  austerity  referendum  misinformation  dishonesty  Thatcherism  opposition  LabourParty  withdrawalAgreement  noDeal  PeoplesVote  class  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
november 2018 by petej
Tommy Robinson and the far right’s new playbook | World news | The Guardian
The real challenge posed by the far right is its success at spreading anti-Muslim and xenophobic attitudes in society at large. The best defence is a political movement that has anti-racism at its core and seeks to give people greater democratic control over the way their society is organised and run. But this is about more than politics as a professional occupation: it involves all of us, and it is a matter of culture and institutions as much as elections or parliamentary debates. The leading far-right activists understand this, and the campaign around Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is just one symptom of a bigger problem – which must be challenged, locally and internationally, before it starts to do serious damage.
UK  politics  farRight  extremism  Islamophobia  RobinsonTommy  racism  xenophobia  EDL  contemptOfCourt  freedomOfSpeech  immigration  multiculturalism  BannonStephen  Breitbart  Internet  RebelMedia  FLA  DFLA  BNP  FrontNational  culture  9/11  warOnTerror  victimhood  media  publicity  authenticity  class  identity  austerity  exclusion  deindustrialisation  decline  dctagged  dc:creator=TrillingDaniel 
october 2018 by petej
Can Labour win back its heartlands? Not by turning blue | Jeremy Gilbert | Opinion | The Guardian
Cosmopolitan culture is not a bad idea. It implies a liberal, tolerant, non-exclusive attitude. Historically, this is a mindset typical of merchants, financiers, artists and intellectuals. But cosmopolitanism has also been embraced by radical workers, infused with the internationalist spirit of communism, and by the urban poor in places where multiculturalism has been a fact of daily life for generations.

I think cosmopolitanism was a key reason why the New Labour coalition held together for as long as it did. There were always Labour voters in cities, in the more militant unions, in university towns and in the public sector, who would have preferred a more radical programme. But we knew from the bitter experience of the 1980s that there were not enough of us to win an election, at least in a country whose media was so skewed to the right. And after 18 years of Tory rule, we were relieved to have a government that at least encouraged an open, tolerant, sexually liberal and multi-ethnic culture to thrive.

At the same time, as much as we resented the Iraq war and the private finance initiative, many of us were being offered a lifestyle that even our parents couldn’t have dreamed of. So we were acquiescent, even if never quite reconciled, to the New Labour agenda.

The leave-voting heartlands would certainly not vote for Blair’s brand of Europhile neoliberalism
But there were others, in the north and the Midlands, in small towns and post-industrial regions, who had a very different experience. They too belonged to social groups who had traditionally voted Labour. But the third way did not offer them the consolations that it offered those of us in the cities and professional classes. Instead it offered them an experience of permanent decline. Accepting globalisation as a fact of life, New Labour made no effort to bring back industrial jobs. When migrants came from eastern Europe, looking for work, many citizens of the post-industrial towns experienced this as a threat to their already precarious livelihoods, rather than as an opportunity for cultural enrichment.
UK  LabourParty  ge2017  generalElection  politics  socialDemocracy  Blairism  BlairTony  ClintonBill  cosmopolitanism  multiculturalism  internationalism  deindustrialisation  post-industrialism  migration  inequality  fear  conservatism  BlueLabour  CorbynJeremy  dctagged  dc:creator=GilbertJeremy 
may 2017 by petej
Why class won’t go away | Lynsey Hanley | Society | The Guardian
"You ask yourself what this means for society, when the powerlessness of one class in relation to another mutates into the power to hinder the progress of others. Nothing is done if not done together. If we refuse, or are unable, to work together because the classes have ossified into groups that do not trust each other and do not meet, does that mean an end to progress? The more polarised we become by advantage and its lack, the more thoughtlessly we will walk into parallel worlds of abundance and poverty, trust and suspicion. This is how the cynics win: by picking apart the unifying threads of culture and society and insisting that there are some people who never belonged, who never wanted to belong, in the first place."
UK  class  workingClass  middleClass  exclusion  poverty  post-industrialism  race  BlueLabour  socialMobility  aspiration  tradeUnions  rightToBuy  Brexit  polarisation  dctagged  dc:creator=HanleyLynsey  deindustrialisation  deprivation 
september 2016 by petej
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