The Labour Heartlands: Ground Zero of the Brexit Class War

#VoteLabourOnThursday Image cover George Orwell, Road to Wigan Pier

The Labour Heartlands will decide the most important election in the United Kingdom’s recent history. 

It was once the old traditional Labour Party Heartlands, but Brexit has changed everything. The Red map of the Labour Party has declined from Scotland to Kent, it came after years of false promises and centrist politics by the Blairites and Brownites. It came after our trust in politicians dropped to its lowest, following illegal wars and the expenses scandal. But more so it came after the very real feeling of neglect and the loss of touch between the people and the Westminster bubble.

Since the 1980s, when the north rose up against Margaret Thatcher, the Tories have largely been considered unelectable in the region. But Brexit has muddled the situation. After decades of deindustrialisation and globalisation, residents of the former coal-mining region voted by a large majority to exit the EU and many are angry that it hasn’t yet happened, According to Onward, a center-right British think tank, this could play into Johnson’s hands.

It claims the Tories need to work hard to attract northern, middle-aged white men without college degrees who live in the countryside or in so-called “rugby league” towns, struggle financially and are disappointed by Labour’s undecided position on Brexit. Onward has named this type of voter “Workington Man,” after a former coal-mining city.

Once it became clear these voters would be decisive, the Tories began performing strange political contortions. Johnson and his allies are flattering and seducing the very people whose lives they have made miserable over the past decade, with promises of millions in spending. And in a crazy turn of events, even in these crazy times, the strategy could work. The Tories have made this election about Brexit and the very nature of our democracy and to a large extent, it’s true. But what the Tories have left out of the equation is the age-old fight class war.

Democracy has always meant more to the northern working class!

A Yorkshireman in the South will always take care to let you know that he regards you as an inferior. If you ask him why, he will explain that it is only in the North that life is ‘real’ life, that the industrial work done in the North is the only ‘real’ work, that the North is inhabited by ‘real’ people, the South merely by rentiers and their parasites.

The Northerner has ‘grit’, he is grim, ‘dour’, plucky, warm-hearted and democratic; the Southerner is snobbish, effeminate and lazy – that at any rate is the theory.

Hence the Southerner goes north, at any rate for the first time, with the vague inferiority-complex of a civilised man venturing among savages, while the Yorkshireman, like the Scotchman, comes to London in the spirit of a barbarian out for loot.” – George Orwell, Road to Wigan Pier

The Labour Heartlands, are ripe for the picking.

This feeling of indifference and neglect was amplified more so with the people outside the metropolitan cities. We had been left behind. we had less investment less hope and less representation than ever before. Successive governments had done nothing to address the years of Thatcherite ruin.

Our communities were shattered our hopes were destroyed. Margaret Thatcher had left a dark legacy that has still not disappeared. Here in the Labour Heartlands, we see the rusting shells of industry, we see the brownfields of knocked down factories the winding wheel memorials left to show we once had a community of workers and miners.

Forty years ago the words Labour Party, trade union and democracy were part and parcel of the very fabric of the people within the Labour Heartlands. Card-carrying and proud. These words expressed who we were as much as Friday night at the social club followed by fish and chips or curry.

The industrial revolution brought change for us. The people organised and worked together, from the valleys of Wales, the shipyards of the Clyde and Scotland, the coalfields of Yorkshire, the Midlands Wales and Kent to the mills of Manchester. We created the Labour party, we the people made the unions the very organisations established to represent the people and fight on our behalf in that age-old class war.

We had come together over centuries as one, we marched fought and protested to get the recognition that we the working class deserved.

Our biggest achievement was not the NHS, it was the Labour Party that built the NHS. The Party we created to represent the working class in parliament, to win government, to address social injustices to make change for the working class giving the people all the rights we hold dear today. The Labour Party’s purpose is to create a society of equal opportunity, a pooling of resources for the benefit of the many, not the few.

We had come together to build a land fit for all, a land where all were deserving of the minimum we expect in any society, education, health and the prospects of decent work. Work that gives us the comfort of a decent life for us and our families with rights and protections from abuses.

We fought for a welfare state that could protect the least fortunate in society. we created a system that stopped people from falling by the wayside and into abject poverty giving protection and security provided by the state and funded by us all.

The Labour movement brought a certain amount of balance that we relied on for social justice, the party we had built to ensure we the working class and our children had an equal shot at life through education, health, through legislation to give us equal opportunities a party that irrespective of sex, creed, race, or colour made laws that address inequity both in the workplace and civil life. The Labour Party helped move society from one of intolerance to tolerance.

We all know the Labour movement is not perfect. The fact is it lacks in many ways, none more so than its drift away from the working class. Its preference for the London Westminster bubble and continued disconnect from its traditional supporting Heartlands is evident in almost all it does.

The illusion of democracy

Do I mean by all this that England is a genuine democracy? No, not even a reader of the Daily Telegraph could quite swallow that.

England is the most class-ridden country under the sun. It is a land of snobbery and privilege, ruled largely by the old and silly.

But in any calculation about it one has got to take into account its emotional unity, the tendency of nearly all its inhabitants to feel alike and act together in moments of supreme crisis. -George Orwell

By the Rich, For the Rich

More than any party leader in recent memory, Jeremy Corbyn, has made inequality the crux of his policies. Ever since the socialist was unexpectedly chosen to head Labour, he has repeatedly reproached the Tories for the grim consequences of their budget cuts. In this election, Corbyn has rigorously tried to brand Boris Johnson’s Tories as an elite clique pursuing policies by the rich for the rich.

Labour is promising 83 billion pounds in investments and Corbyn intends to raise that money from large companies and wealthy citizens and place it in a “social transformation fund,” the likes of which the country has never seen. The north, in particular, would profit from the fund. The policy is popular among large swathes of the population, but it doesn’t seem like Corbyn will ever be able to implement it. No matter what he promises, Corbyn’s promises are overshadowed by Labour’s stance on Brexit.

Some Labour policies seem more in tune with the liberals than the Left, especially for many of us that voted leave. None more so than the second referendum the ‘confirmation vote’. I have personally struggled with this policy and feel the anger at my own Party who have through some grammatical gymnastics told me my vote did not count, I voted the wrong way do it again. My inbox is full of LeFT wing leave voters expressing their dismay at this vote losing policy and even suggesting they would find it hard to vote Labour.

The fact is if anything loses this election for the Labour Party it will not be Jeremy Corbyn or even the strategy of continually pushing project fear of a US-UK trade deal. It will be the confirmation vote, the second referendum.

Barry Gardiner previously stated:

“If you then say to people: ‘We did give you a vote here and we, the remainers, lost the vote, but because you were stupid enough to do what you wanted rather than what we wanted … we’ll give you another chance to get it right,’ that undermines the whole principle of democracy in this country.”

He went on: “You never give as much succour to the extreme right as when you cut off the mechanism of democratic change.

“If people want to be able to achieve change through democratic means, if they feel that that is being denied to them, they then turn to other, more socially disruptive ways of expressing their views, and that is the danger here.”

These are the dangers of a second referendum and asking the people twice because you did not like the answer. However, that is a discussion we all must have after the 12th, for now, we must remove the common enemy the Tories.

However, what we as LeFT wing leave supporters must be is pragmatic.

We have to weigh our choices and evaluate the cost of that choice. If we are to abstain tomorrow or even betray our own class and vote Tory what are the consequences of that action. What have we become when we allow the establishment to divide us and remove the working class from supporting the Party we created that very Party we created to represent ‘we the people’

We must vote Labour tomorrow not because Labour offers the best choices on Brexit but because Labour offers the best policies for the people. Labour offers the only policies that can create positive change for the country. We must vote Labour tomorrow because there is still a class war and the Labour party is the only Party we have that can make the changes we need to succeed as a people and win this class war they would all rather we forget.

We must vote labour tomorrow because if we lose we are condemning hundreds of thousands of people to more hardship to the desperation of a Tory government. 

The Labour Heartlands needs to transcend from this lost generation and build on Labour’s Green industrial revolution embracing a 21st-century socialism.

Labour will kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution that will create one million jobs in the UK to transform our industry, energy, transport, agriculture and our buildings while restoring nature. Our Green New Deal aims to achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030 in a way that is evidence-based, just and that delivers an economy that serves the interests of the many, not the few.

Just as the original Industrial Revolution brought industry, jobs and pride to our towns, Labour’s world-leading Green Industrial Revolution will rebuild them, with more rewarding, well-paid jobs, lower energy bills and whole new industries to revive parts of our country that have been neglected for too long. For some, industrial transition has become a byword for devastation, because successive Conservative governments were content to sit back and leave the fate of whole industries and communities at the mercy of market forces. A Labour government will never let that happen.

Johnson will never deliver Brexit just BRINO.

There is also the truth that Boris Johnson’s deal is not going to take us out of the EU the truth that in reality, the establishment for the sake of their profits will only allow BRINO 

The Tory Party are culpable for failing to deliver on a Brexit over the last 3 and a half years. The Tory party even when they had a large majority did very little to ‘get the job done’ they failed on their own promise to leave the EU. The reality is the Tory Party’s own MPs have done just as much if not more to stop Brexit than any of the opposition after all the Tory Party never intended us to leave the EU in the first place it was always their baby, they took us into the EEC then the common market; the fact is left to the Tories we would all be spending Euro’s right now.

Tomorrow that war, that struggle of generations will fight the biggest battle in our lifetime. Will we throw away hope and allow the Tories to continue to dominate the people to beat us down through austerity and cuts. Will we allow the lies to continue none more so than we are all in it together or that Boris Johnson will get Brexit done!

Come what may tomorrow I will be voting for the only party in this election that supports the working class. win or lose after tomorrow I will be embarking on a campaign to win back the Labour party from the Blairites and so-called moderates. I will be fighting the corner for leaving the EU and upholding democracy the only real weapon the working class can wield.

But if we lose I will be pointing my finger directly at all the remainers that have followed peter Mandela and others pushing the labour party to compromise its integrity and having a policy of a second referendum.

Tomorrow the Labour Heartlands will be ground Zero use your vote wisely.

#VoteLabourOnThursday #GE2109

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