The end of class based politics? Watch

londonmyst
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#41
Report 4 weeks ago
#41
Yes.
I think the focus of most uk politics has shifted away from class, as has much of day to day life over the last 25 years.
Mainly due to populism, nationalism and the rise of alternative forms of identity politics (diet, feminism, gender identity, race, religion, militant atheism, sexuality, woke).
1
reply
ChaoticButterfly
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#42
Report 4 weeks ago
#42
(Original post by Arran90)
The irony is about aspiration. The employee with just a few GCSEs to their name probably has lower aspirations than the person with a degree does. They accept their (academic) limitations and know that they are probably only suitable material for a basic simple job for the rest of their working life, whereas the employee with a degree thinks that they can potentially find a graduate job or a job that is better paid than working in Greggs in the future. Labour traditionally enjoyed the support from people with low aspirations whereas people with higher aspirations tended to gravitate towards the Conservatives.
Firstly I doubt this worker with a few GCSEs is voting for the Tories. They are probably more likey not to vote than do that. Or vote for a party like UKIP. It's the older poeple that have voted conservative. They tend to actually have some stake in the capitalist system, and have more attachment to notions of British nationalism which has totally replaced other forms of spiritual nurishment, eg the now dead labour movement they used to be a part of.

You are highlighting exactly what is happening. There is a breakdown of the thatcherite and New Labour promise. What you have here is working class poeple unable to progress and "escape" into the middle class, and poeple from the middle class falling back down into the status of working class. I'm an example of the latter. Even though my parents both have degrees and I have qualifications in higher education, and have a "middle class job", my situtation is in fact very proletarian. I do not have enough money to get on the housing ladder. If I move out of my parents house I would have to pay near to half my income on rent. And my job is heavily proletarianised. I have rigid set hours that I must be sat at my desk for and have little autonomy at work. There is a growing 21st century working class that is highly educated and has to sell their immaterial labour to make a living. It's totally epected that the Labour party is more appealing to these poeple than the conservtaive party who's class base ensures they must do everything they can to make my classes life harder.
1
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#43
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#43
(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
Firstly I doubt this worker with a few GCSEs is voting for the Tories. They are probably more likey not to vote than do that. Or vote for a party like UKIP. It's the older poeple that have voted conservative. They tend to actually have some stake in the capitalist system, and have more attachment to notions of British nationalism which has totally replaced other forms of spiritual nurishment, eg the now dead labour movement they used to be a part of.
I take it with good faith that they voted Conservative. I'm clutching at straws here, but I'm beginning to wonder if you are part of this degree educated metropolitan faction from a middle class background who has no understanding of the real working class and the reasons why they would vote Conservative.

Working class Conservatives are a strange breed and they are not all that well understood by people outside of the fold. Now it seems that the number of people in the C2DE socioeconomic groups has reached a magnitude to seriously impact on the outcome of the election (not just 25% of the vote in West Bromwich, but the Conservatives actually winning in West Bromwich) that they can no longer be ignored in political analyses.

You are highlighting exactly what is happening. There is a breakdown of the thatcherite and New Labour promise. What you have here is working class poeple unable to progress and "escape" into the middle class, and poeple from the middle class falling back down into the status of working class. I'm an example of the latter. Even though my parents both have degrees and I have qualifications in higher education, and have a "middle class job", my situtation is in fact very proletarian. I do not have enough money to get on the housing ladder. If I move out of my parents house I would have to pay near to half my income on rent. And my job is heavily proletarianised. I have rigid set hours that I must be sat at my desk for and have little autonomy at work. There is a growing 21st century working class that is highly educated and has to sell their immaterial labour to make a living. It's totally epected that the Labour party is more appealing to these poeple than the conservtaive party who's class base ensures they must do everything they can to make my classes life harder.
Are you implying that there is now a new social class in society? One which ticks many of the working class boxes in terms of career and income but has higher education and often comes from a traditional middle class background.
0
reply
anarchism101
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#44
Report 3 weeks ago
#44
(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
I disagree, class politics is still here, it just looks different from the past and a new form of class antagonisms are emerging that look different from 20th century ones based around industrial workers. The divide between anyone of working age and retired is extreme and their has been nothing like it before. What looks like young vs old is actually a class cohort effect. This is summed up well by this sociologist

"The working class our "blue collar Tories" and their Blue Labour analogues get into a lather about is the working class of the past. The contemporary working class, the socialised worker is disproportionately young, more likely to be disengaged from official politics, but also largely spontaneously anti-Tory thanks to how the Tories are barriers to getting on and have vested interests in keeping this state of affairs so their voter coalition can hold together.

Why the old and the retired then. Why are they prepared to return governments who actively make life tougher for their children and grand children. Well, obviously, they don't see it like that. At its most conscious it's going to be articulated as tough love but ultimately, as a group of voters and a segment within the wider class structure there are certain structural characteristics conditioning their choices. The first is property. After a life time of work under a more benign economic and political settlement than now, they are more likely to own a home and have a decent pension. A decent number hold small quantities of shares. As modest as this property ownership is, you want to keep hold of it. And so suggestions Labour are going to tax the rich is code for 'they want to nationalise my bungalow'. Property, therefore, is something to be jealously guarded."
Very intriguing. Never considered the generational gap quite like this, but it certainly does make sense. It's almost as if we're dealing with two generations who both perceive, for different reasons, themselves to be genuinely "working class" while also emphasising the characteristics of the other that they perceive as not "working class".
1
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#45
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#45
(Original post by anarchism101)
Very intriguing. Never considered the generational gap quite like this, but it certainly does make sense. It's almost as if we're dealing with two generations who both perceive, for different reasons, themselves to be genuinely "working class" while also emphasising the characteristics of the other that they perceive as not "working class".
Two things have changed since the mid 1990s:

1. The decline in home ownership and the rise in private renting amongst the younger generation.

2. The increase in the percentage of the younger generation with a degree.

I mentioned in #12 that the new class divide could be home ownership more than anything else. A phenomenon has emerged where a high proportion of the older generation above 55ish are homeowners (and those who aren't live in council houses or care homes, but rarely private rent) including those who tick many of the boxes for working class, because they bought their house when it was more affordable - or bought their council house or used an inheritance. At the opposite end are 20, and even 30, somethings who are priced out of the housing market and private rent despite a significant proportion who tick many of the boxes for middle class. Back in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s it was the norm for people in the C1, C2, and even the D socioeconomic groups to save hard in their 20s and buy a house, but now the younger generation has appeared to have significantly given up on prospects of home ownership, and is happy to private rent for life and more often than not blow their money on gadgets, entertainment, and holidays to exotic places whilst in their 20s rather than save it. The housing situation with the younger generation is more acute in London and the trendy cities where housing costs are high (and also a higher than average proportion of 20 somethings have a degree) and less acute in provincial towns in the north and midlands where housing costs are lower and it's still commonplace to find 20 something homeowners even without degrees.

Therefore could the housing policies of Labour be one of the most attractive policies to the priced out 20 somethings who don't have much interest in home ownership but are happy to private rent for life but want to do so in a more tenant friendly way? Analogous to the blue collar workers I mentioned in #14 that had no interest social mobility but instead wanted a comfortable life as a member of the working class. At the same time the majority of older homeowners could have an I'm alright Jack attitude when it comes to housing.

The situation is further complicated by a faction of society (and I'm probably part of this faction) that blames much of the rise in house prices since the late 1990s and the buy-to-let craze on mass immigration. This faction generally believes in a return to home ownership being the norm even for much of the working classes and the way to solve the housing crisis is to pull up the drawbridge and send the eastern Europeans packing. It's a faction that votes for Brexit.
1
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#46
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#46
Was the installation of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of Labour a direct consequence of the increase in the percentage of the younger generation with a degree since the mid 1990s? If the percentage of 20 somethings with a degree in 2019 was similar to what it was in the early 1990s then would it have been more likely that Labour would have had a middle of the road leader, or even a leader that took a real interest in the working classes who are not degree educated, instead of Jeremy Corbyn?
0
reply
nathan_nacu
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#47
Report 3 weeks ago
#47
(Original post by Arran90)
Does the general election result indicate that the traditional Labour Conservative political divide based on social class is coming to an end?

Where do you think the dividing lines are now in politics? Is it age? Is it location? Is it education? Is it social values rather than economic matters? Is it knowledge of a foreign language?!

In Scotland the SNP appears to be very successful at transcending social class to the point where they are effectively a classless political party.

The Brexit Party and formerly UKIP are deemed to be to the right of the Conservatives but they more strongly attract people in the C2DE socioeconomic groups or those without higher education than those in the ABC1 socioeconomic groups or those with higher education, or what you could call left behind folk in the provincial towns of England.

In contrast, the Green Party is a party of the political left that tends to attract comfortably well off (but not wealthy) people with degrees who live trendy lifestyles and read the Guardian and listen to Radio 4, but they are ineffective at attracting manual and menial workers, the poor and downtrodden, or even what you could call common folk.
Not really, just showed that ppl are sheep
0
reply
ChaoticButterfly
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#48
Report 3 weeks ago
#48
(Original post by anarchism101)
Very intriguing. Never considered the generational gap quite like this, but it certainly does make sense. It's almost as if we're dealing with two generations who both perceive, for different reasons, themselves to be genuinely "working class" while also emphasising the characteristics of the other that they perceive as not "working class".
This the blog post I got that quote from.

http://averypublicsociologist.blogsp...ury-class.html

The author is an academic that researches the conservative party.


Yeah. Although i think a lot of the young people don't have any self awareness of where they are in society. The one's without degrees working in warehouses have no idea what a union is. The more "middle class" ones with degrees working in offices probably think of themselves as middle class even though they sell thier labour in an increasingly proletarianised way (autonomy you could find in middle class professions is dissapearing) and have very little chance of getting on the property ladder. They don't have a class consciousness but they do know they don't like the Tories. They are however very switched on when it comes to being woke and despise social conservatism. Makes it even harder for the conservatives to win votes from these poeple. Best they can do is to suppress that vote. The problem Labour have is not enough of these poeple vote, especially in red wall type seats where the ageing relics of the industrial era (who often own property now) do vote.
Last edited by ChaoticButterfly; 3 weeks ago
0
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#49
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#49
(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
This the blog post I got that quote from.

http://averypublicsociologist.blogsp...ury-class.html

The author is an academic that researches the conservative party.
This blog is new to me (so I haven't had much time to look at it) but the author is a raving Trotskyist and a former member of the Socialist Party. He is basically not a 'normal' person. Like almost all Trotskyists, he probably lives in a bubble and is out of touch with both the blue collar working class of old and the new working class in low skilled low paid positions in the service sector.

Another concern is the sheer volume of blog posts. It paints a picture that the author is an obsessive or a person with too much time on their hands.

The one's without degrees working in warehouses have no idea what a union is.
They would have known what a trade union is 40, or even 30 years ago, and may even have been a member of one. It would be disingenous to blame the youngers nowadays for having no idea what a trade union is. The trade unions are squarely to blame for failing to adapt to the changes in the economy and employment and reach out to the younger generation outside of a few select sectors of the economy. It's still commonplace to find 20 something teachers and nurses who are members of a trade union but not 20 something warehouse or food service workers.

They are however very switched on when it comes to being woke and despise social conservatism.
No self respecting British gentleman or working man (or ladies) would ever use the term being woke!

Something I have wondered is whether the true purpose of mass university education is not about learning academic material or skills for the purpose of employment, but is about instilling socially liberal values. A phenomenon seems to have emerged where a high proportion of 20 somethings who went to university voted Remain in the EU Referendum, support Corbyn's Labour Party, and despise social conservatism. In contrast, a sizeable proportion of the 20 somethings who didn't go to university voted Leave in the EU Referendum, are critical of Corbyn's Labour Party, and are to a considerable degree socially conservative.

Therefore could society be dividing less along social class, but more on whether one is socially liberal or socially conservative and their economic and career status plays second fiddle?

Makes it even harder for the conservatives to win votes from these poeple. Best they can do is to suppress that vote. The problem Labour have is not enough of these poeple vote, especially in red wall type seats where the ageing relics of the industrial era (who often own property now) do vote.
The real problem facing Labour followed by the failure of Corbyn and his policies is identifying what sort of party they want to be and which demographics they want to represent.
0
reply
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#50
Report 3 weeks ago
#50
The point about social values being tied to identify and new politics is a good one. How one voted in the EU referendum was actually more correlated with social values than anything else (liberal/social conservative).

That said it's hard to say how important this is. 2017 and 2019 aside most people don't vote for social policy, they vote largely on economic values. This may return to being the case once Brexit passes.
0
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#51
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#51
(Original post by Rakas21)
The point about social values being tied to identify and new politics is a good one. How one voted in the EU referendum was actually more correlated with social values than anything else (liberal/social conservative).
I disagree with this. There were many variables but, after factoring out immigration and British sovereignty, a prominent deciding factor (for anybody above the age of approximately 30) was whether they personally felt that they benefitted materially from Britain being a member of the EU. In effect, their bank account decided which way they voted.

That said it's hard to say how important this is. 2017 and 2019 aside most people don't vote for social policy, they vote largely on economic values. This may return to being the case once Brexit passes.
I suppose time will tell. The Lib-Dems might end up living on as the elect us and we will rejoin the EU party, but there is a big question hanging over Labour whether they should call quits on Remain or whether they should stubbornly ignore the disasterous election result (not just for themselves but also Change UK) and press on with being a pro-EU party because that's what the 20 somethings with degrees who live in London and the trendy cities want.

What could add a new dimension to British politics is the creation of an anti-EU centre party with mostly sensible policies. Could one emerge from The Brexit Party?
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

What's stopping you doing a masters?

It's too expensive (19)
23.17%
My career doesn't need one (11)
13.41%
I'm sick of studying (14)
17.07%
I can't find a course I want to do (3)
3.66%
I don't know enough about them (9)
10.98%
Nothing, I'm going to do it! (26)
31.71%

Watched Threads

View All