The People’s Decade, by Brendan O’Neill.
For this is the decade that begins with Gordon Brown insulting a northern working-class Labour voter as a ‘bigot’ and ends with the northern working classes revolting against Labour in their hundreds of thousands.
It begins with the Gillian Duffy crisis, when Brown unwittingly exposed his increasingly middle-class party’s contempt for the lower orders by being overheard referring to this 65-year-old lady from Rochdale as a ‘bigoted woman’, and it ends with the mass switching of traditional ‘red wall’ Labour voters to Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party — and, by extension, to Labour’s worst drubbing at the polls since 1935.
If the 2010s tell a story, it is one of a peaceful, understated working-class revolt. Of ordinary people pushing back against elites that had come to view them as bigots. Of the long sneered-at and interfered-with and re-educated sections of the public rising up against their so-called betters and restating the case for national sovereignty and community values. Of the people reprimanding the powers-that-be and forcing them, via the ballot box, to respect the people’s will and the people themselves.
This has been a thoroughly democratic decade. The People’s Decade, in fact, in which democracy has done what democracy is meant to do: marshalled the wisdom of the crowd to correct the jaundiced, elitist, anti-democratic drift of the governing classes.
The globalists deliberately misunderstand what the complaints are about, and dismiss them as “racism” and “bigotry”:
The Brown-Duffy stand-off at the start of the People’s Decade exposed the colossal clash of values that existed between the new political oligarchy represented by Brown, Blair and other New Labour / New Conservative machine politicians and the working-class heartlands of the country.
Brown on the campaign trail in 2010 met Gillian Duffy . Back in the privacy of his government car, Brown complained vigorously about her as a “bigoted woman.” But the mike was still on, and everyone found out.
To Duffy and millions of other people, the relationship between welfare and nationhood was of critical importance. That is fundamentally what she collared Brown about. There are ‘too many people now who are not vulnerable but they can claim [welfare]’, she said, before asking about immigration. Her suggestion, her focus on the issue of health, education and welfare and the question of who has access to these things and why, was a statement about citizenship, and about the role of welfare as a benefit of citizenship.
But to Brown, as to virtually the entire political class, it was just bigotry. Concern about community, nationhood and the impact of immigration is just xenophobic Little Englandism in the minds of the new elites. This was the key achievement of 13 years of New Labour’s censorious, technocratic and highly middle-class rule — the reduction of fealty to the nation to a species of bigotry.
The New Left lost the working class. Well more than that, it despises them.
Labour has become a thoroughly middle-class party … The party’s apparatus was … ‘taken over by identikit professional politicians who had been to the same universities (often Harvard as well as Oxford) and worked for the same think-tanks’. These ‘freeze-dried specimens’ now dominate every layer of Labour …
The end result is a Labour Party whose proportion of working-class MPs fell dramatically — from 37 per cent in 1951 to 13 per cent in 1997. And today, according to a study by Royal Holloway University, just seven per cent of Labour MPs come from a ‘manual background tradition’. There are now more MPs who have studied PPE at Oxford than have ever muddied their hands in a working-class profession.
Immigration and nationalism. People value family. On a larger scale, we value race and culture — what is kinship and nation, but a larger extended family? Tribal identity runs deep, but the new left deliberately flouts and betrays it:
Strikingly, New Labour’s embrace of mass immigration was fuelled by this same ideological indifference to tradition and the instinct to transform the UK from a nation state into merely a member state of the new globalist order — in particular, of course, of the European Union.
As a Labour government adviser revealed at the end of 2009, there was an express political intent to New Labour’s decision to ‘open up the UK to mass migration’. There was a ‘driving political purpose’ — which was to make manifest New Labour’s goal of a ‘truly multicultural society’ and to allow government officials to ‘rub the right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date’.
In essence, mass immigration became a tool of political and social engineering. The aim was less to bring in migrants who were required to do certain forms of work, but rather to use migration as a means of underlining Blair’s brave new world of post-nationhood, indifference to tradition, and valuation of difference over citizenship and multiculture over British culture. Over time, anybody who questioned any of this, who stood up for the values of democratic solidarity, would find themselves denounced as a bigot.
The immigrants nearly all vote left. Funny that.
These electoral revolts, in which large numbers of working-class voters defected to UKIP, were the first significant acts of popular pressure on the out-of-touch elites. They made it virtually essential to hold a referendum on EU membership. It is not a coincidence that when David Cameron stood on a platform of holding a referendum — in the 2015 General Election — he won the majority government that he failed to win in 2010. A year later, in 2016, the EU referendum took place, and the rest is history. …
We all know what happened next. The elites launched the most reactionary campaign against the democratic will in living memory. They used every legal, parliamentary and propaganda tool at their disposal to demonise the electorate and delegitimise their vote. It made Brown’s off-air insult of Mrs Duffy look like small beer in comparison. In the past three years of elitist fury with the masses — especially the non-London, non-university-educated masses — establishment figures and their backers in the media have said continuously, loudly and with increasing hysteria the thing that Brown only dared to say in the back of a car when he thought he couldn’t be heard: that they are all bigots. All those old people, all those working-class people, all those uneducated people — bigots, trash, scum. What was once whispered behind closed car doors is now said in full public glare — a testament, surely, to the Last Days of Rome vibe of an elite that feels its eccentric and unpopular worldview is well and truly under attack by the people. …
And so the People’s Decade ends with perhaps the most important electoral revolt of all: a clear, irrefutable working-class revolt against Labour and against the globalist, relativist, indifferent values it had come to embody from Blair to Brown to Corbyn.
Read it all.
Every single time the electorate in a western country this century has had a chance to vote for less immigration, they’ve taken it. The outcome of every election is predictable just on the basis of if and how it impacts immigration.
So politicians, want to win? Just campaign for less immigration.