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Get Your Bling and Adidas Tracksuit, Wayne, a British Class War Is Raging
Hence the old Marxist notion of false consciousness is back, and working class good sense must be attributed to an elite conspiracy to turn working class people against one another.
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This aversion to believing working class people often really do want right-of-centre policies also leads the author to attack New Labour time and again for any moves it made in government towards political and economic realities. Jones seems deeply nostalgic for the Labour Party of the s, and Tony Blair is arguably every bit as much a villain of the book as is Margaret Thatcher. He is at his fiercest towards politicians who admit and deal with the scarcity of government resources, or rather, with the unwillingness of taxpayers to pay ever more for ever less in return.
So the idea that council housing should be prioritised for those in greatest need, rather than be a lifetime bonus, irks him greatly. In the preface to the new edition of the book, he skates over the point very briefly but does nothing to rebut it.
Chavs : the demonization of the working class (eBook, ) [yxicavicox.ml]
He argues rather persuasively, if obviously, that drinking too much extends very much beyond working class people and to middle class people. Working class and middle class people have far more in common with one another than either has with the alcohol-fuelled louts, motiveless in their hostility, who generate so much anti-social behaviour and crime. It is only by falsely conflating them with working class people that Jones can make them seem sympathetic.
But the author still has phases of hilarious partisan blindness. It must have been Labour governments that ended food rationing, oversaw the prosperity of the s, the early s, the s and s, gave control over trade unions back to their members, introduced the assisted places scheme and the right to buy council homes, scrapped the exchange controls that among other effects limited severely family holidays, brought immigration under control in the early s and again in the early s, and began the major fight-back against crime by growing the prison population in the early s.
And that is to ignore the pre-World War II Tory reforms that improved the lot of the working classes, such as extending the franchise repeatedly.
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His account of salary determination gives far more credit to trade unions than to productivity, which he mentions once. He seems unsure whether Tories are deeply class-conscious, and fighting a secret war on working class people, or oblivious and contemptuous of the very notion of class.
Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class (Unabridged)
He goes so far on page 47 as to accuse Margaret Thatcher of both loathing working class people and hating thinking of people in class terms. The book is very journalistic. A new book, Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class , by first-time author Owen Jones … has thrown the word into the spotlight all over again.
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