Who cares about the white working class?


11:45 am - January 22nd 2009

by Kjartan Páll Sveinsson    


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For a good decade, ‘class’ was something of a swear word in British politics, almost taboo. The government seldom talked about class, preferring terms such as ‘hardworking families’ and ‘social exclusion’.

Some commentators argued that this was part of a broader strategy to woo middle-class voters and occupy the political centre, which has come at the cost of alienating core working-class voters.

However, if a small, but significant, number of statements made recently by senior Labour politicians are anything to go by, the Labour Party is taking heed of this loss of support, and their tone might be changing as a result.

Most recent, of course, is Hazel Blears’ take on a recent CLG report on the perceptions of ethnic minorities among poor white people in England.

Class is back – but in a racialised form; no longer just working class, but with an added distinction ‘white working class’.

If class inequality is making its way back onto the political agenda, this is because there are legitimate issues and grievances to be discussed and debated. Socially, Britain remains dominated by class divisions, with class identities relatively similar in shape and strength as they were 40 years ago.

Classism and candid scorn for poor white people and their perceived ‘culture’ is rampant and deemed to be socially acceptable, with ‘chavs’, NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and hoodies publicly reviled and ridiculed.

Economically, income inequality remains historically high, and Britain remains at the lower end of social mobility levels amongst comparable nations. People on low or modest incomes are legitimately wondering why their share of the pie did not increase during eleven years of economic growth under a Labour government. Class is still at the centre of how people see their place in Britain today. Returning to the issue of class inequality is therefore long overdue.

But there is a danger that a debate on class seen through the lens of race could be counterproductive and harmful. The nuances of the CLG report were totally lost on the press and politicians, and their (rather sensible) recommendations were ignored. Instead, the interests of the white working class were once again pitched against those of minority ethnic groups and immigrants. Larger social and economic structures are left out. Never mind the legacy of Thatcherism, deindustrialisation, or the rise of the super-rich.

Instead, believe that the white working class are the losers in the struggle for scarce resources, while minority ethnic groups are the winners. In these terms, the white working class has been left behind by multiculturalism, or indeed because of it.

Anti-racists urgently need to get involved in the current discussion on whiteness. It is important to take the grievances of white members of the working class seriously, but surely this does not mean disregarding the views of ethnic minority members of the working class.

The problem is the deeply ingrained hierarchical class structure which remains one of the hallmarks of British social life, not ethnic diversity. This is why Runnymede asked eight prominent thinkers on race, class and inequality to reflect on the state of class in 21st century Britain, and its relationship with race equality.

The running theme throughout the volume – entitled Who Cares about the White Working Class? – is that the plight of the white working class is constructed – by the media, politicians and anti-immigrant groups – as either the fault of immigrants and minority ethnic groups, or the cultural deficit of the underclass itself, or both, while leaving the hierarchical and highly stratified nature of Britain out of the equation.

It is important that we begin to talk about class and social mobility again – in order to achieve equality for all, not the further marginalization of minority ethnic Britons.

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About the author
This is a guest article. Kjartan Páll Sveinsson is a research and policy analyst at the Runnymede Trust.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Equality ,Labour party ,Race relations ,Westminster

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Reader comments


Anti-racists urgently need to get involved in the current discussion on whiteness. It is important to take the grievances of white members of the working class seriously, but surely this does not mean disregarding the views of ethnic minority members of the working class

This is not possible because anti racists live in hermetically sealed bubble of aggressive sanctimony. They believe “racism” trumps all ,and is detectable in any utterance with which they do not agree. They have no imaginative grasp of an ethnic identity for the indigenous people of this country, nor the intellectual equipment to approach the relationship of a people to its country “ . They are so psychotically addicted to encouraging mass immigration that they make what is a legitimate debate into a war between those who wish to conduct a cultural Anschluss and ordinary people
The way to solve the problem of racism , where it exists , is not by doling out patronising lectures to the white working classes who are less racist than the white middleclass and far less racist than the Brown and Black communities . It is by listening to what are reasonable grievances based on a near universal conception of a country not just as a car park for all comers but as an organic entity a home and an inheritance .
There will be no end to the increasing animosity until the left come to the table and discuss immigration with their increasingly absurd baggage left outside . Currently a dangerous lag between the views of the people and its political class is closing fast . No serious politician , not Gordon Brown , not Nick Clegg , can claim mass immigration is either an economic or social gain or that can we continue as we have done .My own view is that levels should be capped at around 97 levels with a points system applying to the many new citizens based on what they can add . This would have an additional advantage of beginning a process of valuing British citizenship , currently treated as a ticket to entitlement without respect . Others may have a view but the Liberal left “anti racist “ is a shrill squawk miles away.

If there is one person in whom every error I mention is personified , every grievance magnified every road to negotiation blocked it is the Editor of this Site Sunny Hundal. He and his fellow aggressive extremists are leading the Liberal left into a wilderness of inward looking pointless dated paradigms on which country has turned its collective back.

2. David Heigham

This is as daft a post as I have seen on Liberal Conspiracy. Daft in the first place because what sorts people into social strata in modern Britain is not the ‘class’ distinctions of our parents and grandparents (still less the esrly 19th century idea of class in Karl Marx); what sorts us now is our personal educational history. The problem is that our personal levels of education attained are influenced much more strongly by the levels of education that our parents obtained, and that the parents of our schoolmates attained, than by any policy that anyone has been able to devise.

Daft in the second place because the heirarchical view of being ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than someone in a different social stratum is largely confined to the South East of England.
The rest of us inherit from our forefathers the notion that Jack is as good as his master. To take an extreme example, my father saw the charge of the 51st Highland Division in WW I. What he saw he rightly called “the last feudal army in Europe”. They advanced by clans with sons of the clan chiefs leading. Nobody in that army would have assumed that a son of a chief was a better man than the clansman who followed him.

Even in the South East of England, that horrible attitude is changing. I judge that our New Labour government – with many good intentions paving its way to perdition – has worked to preserve it; especially when embedding in legislation:

“Classism and candid scorn for poor white people and their perceived ‘culture’ is rampant and deemed to be socially acceptable, with ‘chavs’, NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and hoodies publicly reviled and ridiculed.”

The post is daft in the third place because the immigrant communities are steadily being aborbed into Britain, just as all their predecessors have been. “White” is becoming yesterdays language (thank heavens! I never could work out where ‘white’ began and ended). Each ethnic diversity is turning into just another current in British life; like the immigrations of Jews in the early twentieth century; etc., etc., etc.

The post is daft in the fourth place because it tries to indicate a way forwrd in the language of the past. What matters for the future is the value of the person in society; and to the devil (in this context, I hope he exists) with notions of class and race which are losing what sense they ever had.

Newmania:

There will be no end to the increasing animosity until the left come to the table and discuss immigration with their increasingly absurd baggage left outside .

Woah. Everything will be solved when everyone starts the discussion agreeing with you.
Where were you before the shooting of Archduke Ferdinand?

This is as daft a post as I have seen on Liberal Conspiracy. Daft in the first place because what sorts people into social strata in modern Britain is not the ‘class’ distinctions of our parents and grandparents (still less the esrly 19th century idea of class in Karl Marx); what sorts us now is our personal educational history. The problem is that our personal levels of education attained are influenced much more strongly by the levels of education that our parents obtained, and that the parents of our schoolmates attained, than by any policy that anyone has been able to devise.

So if everyone in your parents’ street left school at 16 to either work in the factory or become a housewife, while other kids’ parents went to university to enter into the same high-earning professions as their parents did, that has nothing to do with class? And the fact that the children of such parents end up doing exactly the same thing hasn’t much to do with class either?

I’ve a lot of sympathy for the news that the problems of ‘the white working class’ aren’t to do with their ethnicity (or anyone else’s), and everything to do with economics and social class. (Likewise, the ‘gender gap’ in educational results might also be more to do with class than gender.)

As for New Labour, I think Sveinsson is being over-optimistic:

However, if a small, but significant, number of statements made recently by senior Labour politicians are anything to go by, the Labour Party is taking heed of this loss of support, and their tone might be changing as a result.

Sure, their ‘tone’ – but their policies. Apart from trying to put off readers, having Hazel Blears’ photo at the head of the article just reminds me of the way in which the government finds it far easier to racialise the issue of poverty and class, while simultaneously using the BNP to frighten everyone into supporting its increasingly nativist approach to asylum and immigration (when Blears et al. aren’t making distinctions between the deserving and the undeserving poor, that is).

‘but not their policies…’

grrr

It get my heckles up when I read about “WHITE” working class or “ANY COLOUR” working class. It worries me. It may be very tabloid-friendly, but it’s the wrongest possible way to look at it.

The class structure is still alive and well in the UK.

Recesion/depression in the UK; Britons competing with with immigrants for jobs; veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq unable to obtain jobs ; the left talking endlessly about race . Until the Left wing middle class starts believing in loyalty to this country and making sure Britons are at the head of the queue for jobs and welfare payments , then the rise of the BNP will continue. The rise of the BNP is largely due to the left wing middle class ignoring the concerns of the working class. A simple gesture would be to make St George’s Day a public holiday as it also Shakespear’s birthday

Couldn’t agree more, Claude.

These latter-day converts, or so they’d have us believe, to the cause of the working class are disturbing. Does anyone actually think Nick Griffin or Torygraph journalists give two fucks about housing, employment, quality of life or other working-class concerns? No, they just want to divide & rule.

I also, as someone who actually is working-class, resent a) these people presuming to speak for me & b ) their assumption that (i) I must be stupid, because that’s what working-class people are, & (ii) being stupid is excusable because it’s all that would be expected from the likes of me.

The sooner this fucking moronic phrase “the white working class” is driven out of the English language by a wave of derision & mockery, the better.

My wife, who has East Asian ancestry, was racially abused in the street yesterday for only the second time in her life; the only other time by an Asian woman in a row about queuing in a shop. She was brought up in very working-class and very white Dagenham and only has fond memories of a warm and tolerant community. This is probably surprising to readers brought up on diet of left-wing revisionist propaganda that seeks to promote 70s & 80s working-class neighbourhoods as violent and racist, but not to people like me who grew up in similar areas. I accept experiences differ and my wife’s own positive experiences are helped by the highly successful integration of East Asian immigrants, the relative small numbers (until recently), their population spread and their hardworking nature.

However, she is fearful of the future. A large part of the white working-classes in Dagenham now vote for a quasi-fascist party that want to send people like her on a one-way ticket out of the county. What has changed? Mass immigration. From being a fully integrated Londoner, she has now been bureaucratically segregated by State multi-cultural policies as ‘British Chinese’ and to some downtrodden individuals she is now just “another fucking chink” and should “fuck-off back to China”, and perhaps most insultingly, the Labour Party now write to her asking for her vote.

Her reaction to yesterday is to blame the massive increase in new arrivals from abroad. Just like many indigenous people. However, her bile should be directed at the real enemy of a tolerant Britain; the white middle-class left.

It’s a numbers game. You lefties can’t keep lying about justifications for mass immigration forever.

11. Eric Hobsbawm

The problems of ‘the white working class’ have everything to do with the collapse of the traditional bourgeois virtues that were once of enormous assistance to the poor in escaping from their predicament – thrift, honesty, reliability, respectability, respect for learning, willingness to postpone gratification, politeness, etc. These were the very virtues that our left-wing bohemian intelligentsia reacted so noisily and insincerely against (and continue to do so NB – their recent defence of loudmouths Ross and Brand), The result is that the poor have been deprived of any useful model to emulate, and have become not so much a class as a caste. There is no real hope for them for as long as the cultural Left dominates our society.

“The problems of ‘the white working class’ have everything to do with the collapse of the traditional bourgeois virtues that were once of enormous assistance to the poor in escaping from their predicament – thrift, honesty, reliability, respectability, respect for learning, willingness to postpone gratification, politeness, etc. These were the very virtues that our left-wing bohemian intelligentsia reacted so noisily and insincerely against (and continue to do so NB – their recent defence of loudmouths Ross and Brand), The result is that the poor have been deprived of any useful model to emulate, and have become not so much a class as a caste. There is no real hope for them for as long as the cultural Left dominates our society.”

Another rant of right wing fantasy. Lets all return to the early part of the twentieth century when every thing was wonderful.

Or………. to translate Right wing bullshit into English.

Lets return to when the working man knew his place, and worked for a pittance for his corporate masters. When he was terrified that he would not be able to feed his family, pay the rent or get medicine if his family got sick. And then ,after he had worked all his life for nothing, he died off in his sixties, and therefore needed no pension. And all the time he tipped his forelock to his masters who were kind enough to treat him like shit all his life. Ah yes, the good old days.

Or………. to translate Right wing bullshit into English.

Lets return to when the working man knew his place, and worked for a pittance for his corporate masters. When he was terrified that he would not be able to feed his family, pay the rent or get medicine if his family got sick. And then ,after he had worked all his life for nothing, he died off in his sixties, and therefore needed no pension. And all the time he tipped his forelock to his masters who were kind enough to treat him like shit all his life. Ah yes, the good old days.

And you even managed to get Ross into your pathetic rant,. Can’t have a working class boy making lots of money can we now.

Do you have to clock in every day to get your talking points from right wing central?

“A simple gesture would be to make St George’s Day a public holiday as it also Shakespear’s birthday”

I’d quite like an extra day holiday, but let’s get away from the fantasy that George is England’s patron saint – it was Gregory, but he just wasn’t warrior-like enough to fit with the crusader propaganda.

chavscum: . This is probably surprising to readers brought up on diet of left-wing revisionist propaganda that seeks to promote 70s & 80s working-class neighbourhoods as violent and racist

I suppose I should tell my mother that all those incidents of racial abuse she suffered, or when my uncles had their turbans pulled off their heads… those were fantasies developed by left-wing revisionist propagandists.

chavscum is on fire! If only all the world’s problems were solved so easily!

15. Shatterface

I’ve always been working class – it’s only since the BBC and the Gruaniad pointed out that I’m above all White that I realised my opposition to unrestricted immigration was due to racism on my part rather than the idea that it has anything at all to do with the notion that cheep competition from abroad undermines wages or to the fact I don’t employ a nanny. Opposition to globalisation is apparently acceptable in other fields but not here.

Still, this is old news: most foreigners have gone home as our economy has collapsed.

Bravo, Sally.

Surely the answer is not to appeal to the white working class, but to appeal to all working class people of all ethnicities, colours and races.

What can we say about the white working class which isn’t true of other groups?

The white working class suffers from declining housing stock, low investment in vital public services and a poverty trap.

The working class as a whole suffers from declining housing stock, low investment in public services and a poverty trap.

The only difference is that when Blears talks about the white working class is that she means that section of the white working class which blames foreigners and immigrants for their problems, as opposed to the successive governments which have abandoned them. Racism is born out of poverty; if we look at the United States, the states which have the highest incidences of racism (West Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana) are also those which are most depressed. The South’s agrarian economy is no longer relevant significant to the United States’ as a whole, which has been the case since before the Emancipation Proclamation and in West Virginia, the key economic contributor is the coal industry, which underpays its workers, locks them in the worst conditions and knows that they can’t go get a better job, because there are no other jobs any more. The same is true here; Burnley, Oldham and Barking (with 10/12 councillors coming from Barking) are all areas which have seen the collapse in manufacturing industry hit them hardest. There has been no corresponding reinvestment in the area and this the consequence of that.

So rather than deliver knee-jerk reactions, as Ms.Blears specialises in, perhaps we should be dealing with the root cause of the problem?

I’m always suspicious when Ms.Blears makes these comments anyway, because it strikes me as one of those shallow gestures that Blairites the right-wing of the Labour Party makes towards the left, such as James Purnell’s interview with the Fabian Society where he claimed he was a spiritual successor to Keir Hardie. Right, that’s in between your paranoid and counter-productive persecution of those on benefits? If you can’t tell, I really want Peter Hain back.

The white working class is a cause created by the right. No white person identifies himself or herself as “a white person”, unless they’re racists. And why separate the white working class from the non-white? All working class people have similar problems around housing, rights at work, fear of unemployment etc.

Fascists want to appeal to a “white working class” because that’s where they hope to get votes from, and because they want to encourage popular attacks on immigration. It’s just a way to divide working people.

The Progressive London conference on Saturday 24th, Congress House, will have a session on “7 million Londoners, 1 London – Multicultural City”, which will discuss anti-racist issues.

19. Shatterface

The ‘white working class’ is a myth perpetuated by those who’s views of immigration have not moved on since the 70s when immigrants were largely from the former colonies and therefore non-white but who were, nontheless moving to Britain to settle and become British. It’s a meaningless term when counterposed with white working class workers from Eastern Europe working here a few months

“Classism and candid scorn for poor white people and their perceived ‘culture’ is rampant and deemed to be socially acceptable, with ‘chavs’, NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and hoodies publicly reviled and ridiculed.”

Indeed, and it’s Labourite thinking. Any change of tune from them is way, way overdue. It’s Labour that has taught us to believe that hooded sweatshirts – FFS – are a potentially offensive weapon, and that kids who don’t have the money to do anything else and who gather in groups of more than three on street corners are dangerous and must be broken up, curfewed and arrested. It’s not six months since the revolting Jacqui Smith declared she would encourage the police to harrass young people with a *previous* history of offending as they went about their daily business.

Labour have aided and abetted public prejudice against the (non)-working classes (of all backgrounds) and given the police the powers to exploit those prejudices and then let them all get on with it. Good luck stopping the juggernaut now.

It’s Labour that has taught us to believe that hooded sweatshirts

Erm, do you believe the Tories are going to be nicer?

OHOC – well said, agree with that you wrote.

And on that subject, it’s never going to tire for me to mention the Liberal Democrats and redruth and how, rather than stand up against this sort of thing they rolled over and approved a scheme to curfew kids. Of course the scheme was a “success” for the police, as if effectively imposing a house arrest on anyone under a certain age wasn’t going to stop some of the issues they had for a while.

I don’t think any of the main parties are dragging themselves away from this kind of classism, and certainly all indulge in the politics of fear around youth crime.

Its not just police who are breeching young people’s right to free assembly: private citizens are using high-pitched noise to attack them in public places.

Frankly, anyone using ‘mosquitos’ to disperse teenagers deserves to have their windows put in.

I hope the banning of these obcene devices will be a priority for Liberty Central.

I suppose I should tell my mother that all those incidents of racial abuse she suffered, or when my uncles had their turbans pulled off their heads… those were fantasies developed by left-wing revisionist propagandists.

I would certainly accept that in the past there was a level of racism in this country. There is also an exceedingly tolerant tradition for which the indigenous people get no thanks . Not all bad things are racist though. I have been beaten up abused and treated with disrespect over the course of my life , I daresay its not unusual . That’s due to stuff happens-ism ? Sunny probably carries a colour key card to judge the political criminality of his assailants , I just try and run away.

You cannot deny the problems of the 50s and 60s though .The Dockers marching in support of Enoch Powell *( a man I have detested since reading his atrocious Rivers of Blood Speech Years ago ) . The “black burying “ raids of London and the astonishment England felt at the influx of West Indians initially . There is no longer significant racism in this country in the sense that it has fallen back into the landscape of prejudice and judgment that is normal human life . Now we are talking about competing ethnicities and competing visions of the country . Sunny wants the English to give up their country .I want new -comers to integrate and feel a control of numbers is an essential first step. This has nothing to do with race . It is nonetheless becoming a problem
The torrents are turning a bourgeois tiff concerning a tiny minority settling in into a war between competing ethnic groups and competing visions for the future . Is England to be allowed to stay essentially English or will it be turned into an undifferentiated patch of land about which no-one cares . We are already close to this state with the term British , in particular having ceased to have any meaning beyond a legal one.

PS I love the way that cretin OHOC talks about investment. Hey idiot have you ever made any of the money to be invested ….Yes I ` am talking to you OHOC you parasitical pointless noise……

“Erm, do you believe the Tories are going to be nicer?”

Oh definitely not! Worse, if anything. I’ll eat all my hats if they don’t bring in ID cards regardless. I just wish Labour would stop rolling out the blue carpet for them. Makes it too easy.

And Lee’s right about Redruth too. 🙁 It’s just so insidious. I remember seeing on a bus in a poshish part of North London, a well-dressed, neatly coiffed, middle-aged woman literally shoving two small schoolgirls of, at a guess, twelve into a post as she passed them. So far as I could gather, this was because they were giggling loudly amongst themselves. She didn’t say “Excuse me,” or gently put a hand through the gap to indicate her wish to pass. She just assumed they were The Enemy and could be badly treated, because they were young. It’s horrible.

This Is Now A Rant. I will stop.

Sally, either you are a troll or have a very massive chip on your shoulder. Could you please tell me what is wrong with “thrift, honesty, reliability, respectability, respect for learning, willingness to postpone gratification, politeness, etc”?

Surely these are traits we should encourage throughout society?

27. douglas clark

Newmania @ 24,

That essay is all over the place, I think.

Either: you deny Powells’ paranoia here:

You cannot deny the problems of the 50s and 60s though .The Dockers marching in support of Enoch Powell *( a man I have detested since reading his atrocious Rivers of Blood Speech Years ago )

Which you largely seem to do.

Or you agree with yourself:

Is England to be allowed to stay essentially English or will it be turned into an undifferentiated patch of land about which no-one cares . We are already close to this state with the term British , in particular having ceased to have any meaning beyond a legal one.

Which is somewhat near the exact opposite.

Just asking.

I’m Scottish, and I don’t care where you come from. Say you are Scottish, you are. That’s what I believe in. Naive or stupid, it seems to work. Integration seems to work better if you don’t see cultural superiority as some sort of asset. I don’t. And I don’t see why you would either.

Despite your diatribe above.

“PS I love the way that cretin OHOC talks about investment. Hey idiot have you ever made any of the money to be invested ….Yes I ` am talking to you OHOC you parasitical pointless noise……”

What a gentlemanly comment, the very model of traditional conservative good manners and self restraint .

The left wing middle class have shown their indifference to the white working class by their following actions
1. Poor quality housing for those in the Armed Services.
2. Insufficient leave between tours of duty for those in the Armed Services .
3. Supplying inadequate equipment such as radios and Snatch Land Rovers which are not adequately protected against IEDs.
4. Producing a completely inadequate system for craft training , required to move a unskilled or semi skilled work force into a skilled workforce . The education system has become a watered down university entrance system whose greatest beneficiaries are those middle class people who work in it.
5. Insufficient weighting given to those brougt up in an area when allocating council housing.
6. Brown did not attend the centenary celebration of the TA in Scotland.;A.Salmond did.
7. The various critical comments made by injured service personnel at Selley Oak Hospital, Birmingham. The senior RSM of the Army had to make an official complaint.
8. Insufficient emphasis given to British culture in inner city comprehensives and need for more integration from immigrants.
The factors above have the greatest adverse impact on the wite working class. When Margaret Hodge said filling shelves in supermarket is a suitable employment for a tool maker just made redundant frm Longbridge; it showed her ignorance of the skills required to become a highly skilled craftsman.

Charlie, you seem to be attributing the actions of Labour to the lef-wing middle classes. It’s so off the mark, and you know it.

Lee , you are talking bollocks . The left wing and Liberal middle -classes are exactly the group within the Labour Party who impose what they call a progressive agenda on working class voters who are indifferent at best about it . Charlie has put his finger on the fault line with great precision and a little humility would not go amiss.

Dougie , It is in fact difficult to draw a line between paranoid racism and ordinary nationalist sentiment in theory . In practice however the difference is very clear. Enoch Powell was not a racist in theory , he had no eugenic beliefs. In practice however as you will see from his speech, if you read it , he demonised black men in a manner that made his immediate expulsion form the Conservative Party essential .
It is of course precisely this confusion that those who hate the country use to further their cause which is to unpick its distinctive weave and leave nothing in its place

When I read some of the replies, it never fails to amaze me how the Left remain so deluded. Its laughable that the accusation of divide and rule can be levied at the right. It’s a direct consequence of left-dominated immigration and multi-cultural policies.

I certainly did not think of myself as ‘white working-class’, nor did my parents, until mass immigration, the rapid changes to my environment and the assertion that newly arrived migrants should have their identity, culture and practises encouraged, celebrated and protected.

Imagine how you feel when your family have lived in an area for two centuries, your ancestors have toiled in factories and helped build the infrastructure around you without any recognition, yet middle-class, white, so-called “liberal” politicians on a multi-cultural holiday from some provincial backwater want you to celebrate black history, and pay for it. As ‘Black History Month’ covers asian and oriental subjects, it reads non-white history. As mainstream local history surrounds the achievements of the middle and upper classes, its easy to conclude us white working-class are being excluded.

Promoting the identities of others fuels segregation. Its the same as nationalistic forces in the UK. Aggressive nationalism, supported by the left, in Scotland, Wales and Ireland has created a more rigid English identity at the expense of a previous British identity. Its now not uncommon to be abused for displaying a union jack at an England football match.

I now identify myself as white working-class more to separate myself from the white middle-class and more importantly from the white middle-class Left, with whom I have little in common and who I despise with a passion.

For years, money has been thrown at initiatives for under-achieving ethnic minority children at the expenses of under-achieving lower class white kids because the white average was pulled-up by all the middle-class kids. Now, its dawned on the policy makers that huge numbers of white kids are failing in education. That’s why they now seek to separate by class. It is they who segregated by colour in teh first place.

“The white working class is a cause created by the right. No white person identifies himself or herself as “a white person”, unless they’re racists. And why separate the white working class from the non-white? All working class people have similar problems around housing, rights at work, fear of unemployment etc.”

“Fascists want to appeal to a “white working class” because that’s where they hope to get votes from, and because they want to encourage popular attacks on immigration. It’s just a way to divide working people.”

“The Progressive London conference on Saturday 24th, Congress House, will have a session on “7 million Londoners, 1 London – Multicultural City”, which will discuss anti-racist issues.”
“7 million Londoners, 1 London – Multicultural City
Roundtable on diverse London with: Darbinderjit Singh, Sikh Federation; Inayat Bunglawala, Adviser on research and policy, ENGAGE; Edie Friedman, Founder and Chief Executive of Jewish Council on Racial Equality; Ibrahim Dogus, Halkevi Chief Executive; Daf Adley, NUS LGBT Officer; Jon Myles, Editor, Irish Post; Lester Holloway, Editor New Nation; Sabby Dhalu, Secretary, Unite Against Fascism; Chair: Wilf Sullivan, TUC race equality policy officer”

Aaah yes, what a rounded debate that will be! Considering the people who vote BNP are generally white-working class, why do you continually refuse to engage with such people? You know, those chavs you despise so much. Its like having debate on black crime without inviting any black people or one on muslim fundies, without inviting any muslims. Your twisted ideology is frighteningly stupid.

White working-class people are getting pissed-off, so 1) deny they exist and 2) brand them as racist! Oh, that’s solved it. You f***ing mugs!

Shatterface, I took your post in #15 as sarcastic. After #19 I’m not so sure.

PS I love the way that cretin OHOC talks about investment. Hey idiot have you ever made any of the money to be invested ….Yes I ` am talking to you OHOC you parasitical pointless noise……

Have you been following me around and making detailed notes on my life? Because there is no way you could make assertions about my income and work like that without some intense stalking.

This is twice now you’ve made the baseless assertion that I don’t work and its a pointless distraction. If you are so desperate to know, yes I do work and I do pay taxation. Do my points magically become valid now?

Now, if you’re finished throwing abuse at me and everyone else who dares voice an opinion contrary to your own, maybe you’d like to put an argument forward for a change?

Lee , you are talking bollocks . The left wing and Liberal middle -classes are exactly the group within the Labour Party who impose what they call a progressive agenda on working class voters who are indifferent at best about it .

Actually, Lee is right. Your and Charlie’s arguments rely on the idea that the Labour Party is actually influenced by their membership. On the contrary, since Tony Blair came to power, internal Labour democracy has been gradually eroded by removing the traditional voting framework.

The Labour Government is the group within the Labour Party (as you’d like to put it) which are responsible for the Labour Party’s failure to address the issues that are affecting the white working classes. Even now, the main issue of housing is actively avoided by the Labour Government, despite Gordon Brown’s commitment to 3 million more homes by 2020. This country hasn’t had a proper, sustainable housing plan for over 20 years at least. The current problem is a failure of policy in housing and the economy, not of multiculturalism and immigration.

30. The inability of the left wing middle class who dominate education and have done done so since 1945 have been unable and unwilling to produce any craft training comparable to W. Germany. During the days of YTS , a 2 year course in Britain would be covered in 6 months by a W . German teenager. The ability to produce a good craft training system enables people to progress up the social and and economic ladder and therefore helps to reduce the gap between the poorest and wealthiest in society.

during the 70s and 80s, in the UK , approximately two thirds of the union membership was unskilled or semi-skilled. One of the reason Liverpool has suffered is that employment was largely unskilled and based upon the docks. Therefore when more advanced manfuacturing has developed, many people in Liverpool have lacked the relevant skills. This was a reason put forward by the late Eric Heffer , a MP represnting a Liverpool constituency . Birmingham contained far more skilled craftsmen than Coventry whose largest form of employment was semi-skilled car assembly. Therefore Birmingham suffered less in the collapse in manufacturing in the early 80s. By craftsmen I mean someone who has passed a 5 year apprenticship as minimum and preferably they have completed 2 additional years of more advanced training.

If someone increased their skill so that they went from being unskilled to skilled( had completed a 5 year apprenticeship minmum) then they invaribaly had to change union; for example going from the NUR to ASLEF or TGWU to EETPU( electricians). The power and income of a union is proportional to it’s membership. In addition, productivity was low in the UK partly due to over-manning , especially by un and semi-skilled personnel. The ever increasing advances in technology over the last 300 years has meant employing fewer but more skilled personnel in industry. The more people employed in a factory who were by a un or semi skilled and members of a an unskilled union , the more power the union wielded , especially within the Labour Party ( due to the block vote). Therefore , there was no benefit to a un or semi-skilled union for members to increase their skill to the level of craftsman or for the company to invest in more advanced technology requiring fewer unskilled personnel but more craftsmen, as they would lose numbers and income.

The massive job losses in the late 70s and 80s in the UK were in part because of the over-manning in much of industry.In the UK employment of un skilled and semi-skilled personnel was 25-50% higher han in Germany, in the 70s and 80s. Therefore, when computere aided manufacturing was brought in throughout the World , the UK job losses were much higher.

The unskilled unions also worked hard to reduce the pay differentials between the unskilled and skilled , especially those who were charge hands or foremen. A former electrician foremen told me he was only paid 15% more than someone who was semi-skilled in the 70s. A foremen whould probably be in charge of 3 charge hands who in turn would be responsible for 3 craftsmen and 3 apprentices. Consequently many craftsmen emigrated and those who stayed in the UK, voted for Mrs Thatcher. It was the large number of strikes and the undermining of the foremen’s authority by shop stewards , particularly those in the un/semi-skilled unions which persuaded many craftsmen to vote for the Conservatives in 1979.

There is not a single member of the Labour cabinet who is a craftsmen, held the position of foremen and who has worked in manufacturing/industry; and probably few Labour MPs. Therefore there is no Labour cabinet member who has the practical experience to understand the type of craft training this country needs in order to move from it’s over reliance on financial companies in S England and Edinburgh to greater levels of manufacturing in the rest of the country. The inability to move the unskilled to semi skilled and semi skilled to skilled and the skilled to technician level by providing adequate educaton and training is a major contribution to the decline in manufacturing amd the problems facing the white working class.

That’s a very informing post, Charlie.

When Labour came to power in times of prosperity and growth, work permits were running at 40k and that was before the open doors to Eastern Europe. In a recession year with rapid unemployment, they issued 150k work permits to non-EU migrants. British jobs for British people. LOL!

Your lies are exposed, we all know that mass immigration benefits the wealthy and punishes the poor and you will pay for it at the next election.

35. Chavscum- thank you for your compliment.
Mass immigration into manufacturing industries helped the employers by keeping wage costs down and was of no threat to the unskilled and semi skilled unions (TGWU) because the new arrivals joined these unions. The predominant un/semi skilled unions and the employers failed to invest in the education , training and advanced manufacturing technologies. For example , for every pound spent on computers , two pounds needs to be spent on training.

In the early 60s , British engineers put forward the designs for motorbikes which the Japanese introduced in the 70s. In the early 60s , the electrical component of mechanical goods was more less just an off /on switch. If one looks at the elctronic components of the top end cars today – Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Porche then it is now very significant. Consequently, a highly skilled and sufficiently large workforce is needed to support the German car industry. The components for the German cars are made in 1000s of small and medium sized , often family run firms.
In the UK we have a small highly skilled workforce which supports many of the Grand Prix teams( mainly around Witney and Silverstone ). The joint masters in car design between Imperial College and the Royal College of Art used to produce designers who were snapped up by car companies from around the World. The problem was that our inadequate education and training system does not produce enough skilled personnel to support a German car manufacturing capability both with respect to size and advanced technology. A degree in humanities from an ex-poly is not much use in aerodynamic or electronic design or constructing the initial prototypes( usually done by the best craftsmen).

In the 1960s , if all the left wing middle class humanities graduates had instead read engineering and technoloogy subjects , perhaps we would be like Germany: entering a recesion with £100s Billions in the black rather than £1Trillion in the red. When people talk of green technology, this will require people with advanced training in science and engineering . For example, a major problem with wave generated electrical power is corrosion of the bearings. A degree in cultural studies is unliley to be much use in solving this problem. I suggest a 75% reduction in all humanities education post 16 years of age and the money transferred to science and technology . Shakespeare , Bronte, Austen , Dickens , Kippling, Churchill and Orwell all finished their formal education by the age of 16. None of the investment in humanities education for those over 16 years of age since 1965 has produced any writer of comparable stature ;whereas the UK is still producing Nobel prize winning scientists , vast number of parents and people such as the dsigner of the iPod and Berners Lee of WWW fame. The education and training budget is primarily to benefit this country not just large numbers of mediocre middle class humanities graduates , the Labour Party and the public sector unions. In 1680 Britain was heavily in debt to France and had an economy half the size or less. Due to the technical skill , education ,hard work and innovation of those who started the industrial revolution (who were largely skilled craftsmen and tradesmen )by 1800 our economy was twice the size of France . 75% of the humanities graduates of today are like the scholarly clergymen of the 17 and 18 centuries versed in the classics and divinity : they are a break on the development of manufacturing in the UK.
Dennis Healey has just said half the civil service should be sacked .

A manufacturing based economy similar to Germany would do much to break down the gap between the rich and the poor in this country. The income of the skilled craftsmen would be higher than those in the Uk and the directors would be lower than the investment bankers here. In Germany many craftsmen earn £40K and directors are probably on £240K . Therefore wage differential is probably only 6x rather the 40 or 50 times in the UK ( average salary £25K and investment banker earning £1M).


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