Monday, 10 June 2013

The Betrayal of the Working Class, Part One

This two part blog was supplied by Colin Harrow and was extracted from his essay “The Betrayal of the White Working Class by the Intellectual Left.” After a working life as a journalist he retired as Managing Editor of Mirror Group Newspapers

However he was born in the East End of London and has never forgotten his working class roots. A lifelong “Old” Labour supporter he describes himself as being on the radical left, a “Blairite” as in Eric (George Orwell) rather than Tony.

Although retaining an interest in politics in retirement he has re-invented himself as a painter and his work can be seen on www.colinharrowart.co.uk  

One of the most significant changes in UK politics since the 60s  has been the Labour Party’s abandonment of the white working class as its natural constituency..

For most of the 20th. century its vote gave the  party its legitimacy. Without it no Labour government would have been elected.  Labour was first and foremost the political voice  of the working class.   However their relationship has now changed fundamentally and the growing alienation of the white working class (WWC) from its former natural political ally means it has been all but  disenfranchised.

When this happens to any section of society it is an affront to social justice. But when those affected are the largest single population group it threatens  democracy itself. Universal suffrage becomes a hollow pretence.   

People who feel unrepresented create a political vacuum, and when numbered in millions and parties like the BNP wait in the wings, warning bells should ring, not just within the Labour party, but in the country at large. 

The rise of parties on the far right in Europe who've capitalised on working class resentment over  immigration, cannot be ignored.  By moving its focus away from the interests of the WWC Labour has committed the biggest act of betrayal in British political history, and their acknowledged policy on immigration has been a major factor in this.

Peter Mandelson's recent statement  that Labour encouraged mass immigration, even to the point of sending out “search parties,”  and his admission that this had created employment problems, confirmed it, because those most affected were the WWC who constituted the bulk of the UK's workforce and it was their jobs that were most likely to be taken by immigrants.    

Mandelson's admission followed “New” Labour advisor Andrew Neather's revelation that the party encouraged immigration to make the UK “truly multicultural” and to “rub the right's noses in diversity.”   In fact  most of the  noses rubbed in multiculturalism and diversity belonged to  those without whose votes Labour would never have enjoyed a day in office. 

The old socialist left values Labour once espoused, based on the Utilitarian principle of “ the greatest good for the greatest number” had mutated into those of the modish, middle class,  metropolitan, metro-sexual,  liberal-left elite  obsessed with individual and minority rights. 

Their goal of inclusivity and special protection for minority groups, often out of all proportion to their numbers in the population,  was relentlessly pursued in all areas of public life even if this was at the expense of long-settled communities and meant air-brushing some of them, particularly  WWC males, out of the picture of British society.   

An example of this can be seen in the post office of a small town in the north of England (no doubt replicated elsewhere) where there are three shop window sized display posters promoting the GPO as “an essential part of everyday life.”  They are the only posters displayed.

One shows a young, mixed race boy, the second a woman in a sari carrying a young girl, and the third a Eurasian man also with a child.  The racial mix represented bears no relation to the town’s population which is overwhelmingly white.  

A second example was provided when I recently applied to renew my passport.  Of the 20 or so sample head shots advising how to present picture identification to accompany the application more than half showed either a mixed race male or an Asian/mid-eastern woman wearing a headscarf.  The others featured an elderly white woman or a child.   

There was not one representation of a white male. Seeing these would lead a visitor from another planet to conclude that white males, and in fact white women other than the elderly , were as much aliens in the community as the visitors themselves.

Of course minorities should not be ignored, or sidelined.   The extent to which any society protects their rights and includes them as full members of the community is a vital measure of any claim to call itself civilised. 

But to do so by pretending the politically acceptable image of society is one in which the  majority population is marginalised  is madness.   Minority rights should never be subservient to those of the majority.  They are equal.   But when they are given precedence, particularly when this is detrimental to the majority population in social housing and other public services , is not only perverse but a recipe for disaster for any political party promoting such policies.

However for the new liberal left any new minority group that could be identified and used “to rub the right's noses in diversity”  appears to have been automatically championed, invariably at the  expense of the WWC.

A clear demonstration of this was Harriet Harman's proposals on “equality” in employment giving employers the right to use race, ethnicity and sex as the ultimate arbiter in their choice of who should, or should not, be given a job. 

As the majority of employees in Britain are WWC males they were bound to be most affected by this legislation as every other group who could claim to designate themselves by sexual orientation, religion, colour, ethnicity, age, disability and sex, had recourse to law if they alleged discrimination in employment opportunities on any of these grounds.
Only white, heterosexual, able-bodied males, most of whom would, by sheer weight of numbers, be working class, were disbarred from doing so if they felt they had been discriminated against in favour of a member of one of these other groups.    They would be the sole victims of such “affirmative action.” If ever proof was needed of “New” (liberal-left) Labour's betrayal of the WWC it was Harman's so-called “equality” proposals.

Concludes tomorrow.

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