[Marxism] This Labour meltdown has been building for decades | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Dec 14 07:20:09 MST 2019

For decades, their party took much of the north, the Midlands and Wales 
as its birthright. It was the “red wall” that would repel invading Tory 
forces. As one Labour county councillor in Derbyshire, the region that 
lost Dennis Skinner as an MP on Thursday night, told me: “They barely 
bothered to campaign.” While the party bigwigs threw their weight about, 
the mines and the manufacturers, the steel and the shipbuilding were 
snuffed out. With them went the culture of Labourism: the bolshy union 
stewards, the self-organised societies, most of the local newspapers. 
Practically any institution that might incubate a working-class 
provincial political identity was bulldozed.

In North East Derbyshire last month, I saw up close what was left: 
warehouses and care work. Bullying bosses, zero-hours contracts, poverty 
pay and social security top-ups. Smartphones to tell you whether you 
have a shift that morning, and Facebook to give you the news, or some 
dishonest fragment of it. Across the UK, mines were turned into museums, 
factories swapped for call centres, meaningful local government replaced 
by development quangos.


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