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I'd like to know how so many journalists know for sure that working class British voters who support Brexit are all 'Labout supporters'. I keep hearing this, over and over, but nowhere have I seen clear evidence that this is so. The assumption that working class === Labour has not been valid since the Thatcher years. There are working class Tories, floating voters, Greens, Lib Dems, the whole spectrum. Our media seem happy to concede that the middle and upper classes have varied views -- and indeed may be right wing on some things, left wing on others, centrists on yet others. But the working class? No, they are only one thing. Oh, and when the radio and tv do vox pops, working class voices predominate in the clips of pro-Brexiteers. It's the old, old fallacy, that everything we dislike in our society can be laid at the door of the poorest.

The leaders -- the cheer-leaders -- of the rampant xenophobia are all of them highly privileged people, middle class, upper class. Farage, Johnson and all their friends are at the top of the economic hierarchy. So are their friends at the Mail, the Express, the Sun. But they have aides to help them concoct their speeches and steer them away from overt xenophobia. They are given pass after pass when they slip and show their deeper views.

I'd like just once to see the BBC or ITV or Sky take their vox poop cameras and microphones into the cushy enclaves of the right wing middle classes. I'd like to hear the posh xenophobes for once, caught at their own game. I'd like to see the real culprits -- the people who have enabled the weakening of employment laws that allow employers to undercut wages, to exploit loopholes and pay migrants less; the people who want to erode maternity leave, holiday pay, the minimum wage so that they and their friends can make more money -- I'd like to see this lot interviewed and made to look mean and unkind and narrow-minded -- which they are. I'd like the media establishment to stop the classism and show us the truth, which is that xenophobia is not simply a property of the poor, but a tool of the rich.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2016 05:05 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear. The Brexit campaign is largely (not entirely) a tool of the rich seeking to entrench their position, at the expense of everyone else.
Jun. 14th, 2016 05:22 pm (UTC)
When fascism comes to the UK, it will wear a tweed jacket and a cheeky grin, carrying a pint and a noose.

As in all other fascist states it will rely on a coalition of the ultra-wealthy and the angry lower-middle-class who feel they have just enough to lose to be worth fighting for.

And I'd say we've got all the preconditions in place right now.
Jun. 14th, 2016 06:32 pm (UTC)
George Orwell described a 'rather genteel' British fascism which sums it up horrible well!
Jun. 14th, 2016 06:32 pm (UTC)
You forgot to mention that appalling foreigner, Murdoch, whose titles are pushing most of this shit.
Jun. 14th, 2016 07:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, his papers and other media outlets are complicit. I hate him, but his nationality isn't relevant to that hate.
Curious how his 'friends' never mention that he's a non-Briton, though.
Jun. 14th, 2016 06:53 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear!
Jun. 14th, 2016 09:49 pm (UTC)
If it helps, I just caught the tail end of a documentary on Arté that had a montage of various English folks say "Stay" or "Go" (with The Clash's Should I Stay Or Should I Go as soundtrack) and they seemed -- to my Frenhch eye -- to have a pretty even spread of socio-economic statuses on both sides.
Jun. 15th, 2016 06:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's my observation, too. I'm glad the French media are being more even-handed.
Jun. 15th, 2016 03:36 am (UTC)
Good God, this whole Brexit thing sounds all too freaking familiar to this West Coast American. It's a similar phenomenon to the Trump support--though I missed a big news day today due to six hours on the road from Portland to Enterprise. I gather various people went tap-dancing on Trump.

Why do I keep thinking about the 1930s?
Jun. 15th, 2016 08:48 am (UTC)
Why do I keep thinking about the 1930s?

Because we're 75-80 years on, the '30s are rapidly expiring from living memory and those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it (which is most of us), all that is old is new again, and so on and so forth.

Some time in the 22nd or 24th century there will be a fascinating work of comparative history studying the turbulent preconditions leading up to the emergence of global states of authoritarian panic.
Jun. 15th, 2016 06:12 pm (UTC)
I think, in fact, some of this already exists, a propos of people like Charles I (of England) and Louis XIV. And Robespierre. This is Deep History, and something many people are already working on.
Jun. 15th, 2016 06:11 pm (UTC)
It's all too similar. And the Brexit leader Boris Johnson even has the personality cult and the Hair.
Jun. 16th, 2016 08:28 pm (UTC)
Vox poop is a brilliant way to sum up this kind of slanted reporting.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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