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  • #16
    Originally posted by Arran View Post

    Have a look at London. It was a very Conservative city back in the 1980s where Labour was almost entirely cut back to inner London constituencies. In 2019 it was a very Labour city where the Conservatives only hold an odd few constituencies mostly on the outskirts.
    London is one of the few areas of Britain where a centre of a city can get a safe Conservative seat - not many other cities can achieve that, but then again, the Bigwigs who are in charge of this country are based there so it's not surprising. The House of Commons and Downing Street has had the irony of bring the Cities of London and Westminster constituency - according to Wikipedia I have only ever read about Conservatives being elected there.

    It's interesting that I associate Liverpool with being very working-class and so I was surprised that the Liverpool house in A House Through Time was in an area which seemed to be Liverpool's answer to London's Kensington and Chelsea area just after it was built - 100 years later it was a different story where it could be the scene for Rising Damp. Ditto with Newcastle in series two.





    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
    I'm having so much fun
    My lucky number's one
    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by George 1978 View Post

      They are both from the North East whichever way you look at it - I have always wondered whether being a Geordie meant that they had to be from Newcastle or anywhere in the region.
      Geordies are only from Newcastle, call someone from Sunderland a Geordie and you're liable to get a smack in the face. Being from the north east myself I'm definitely not a Geordie.
      The only thing to look forward to is the past

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      • #18
        Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
        The two-party system works in the United States
        The US is a constitutional republic and not a democracy in a similar sense to that in European countries. A system where one party governs and the other party keeps check, rather than a system where the two parties have significantly different policies and ideologies.

        and I think that three's a crowd if more than two parties are involved, which is why the Lib Dems don't get as many seats.
        The Lib-Dems are basically a relic from the 19th century. A party with limited appeal that exists as a third alternative more than anything else whilst the Green Party, BNP, UKIP, Brexit Party, SNP, and even Labour were established with a specific purpose and ideology in mind.

        The Liberals / Lib-Dems have metamorphasised over the decades.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
          London is one of the few areas of Britain where a centre of a city can get a safe Conservative seat - not many other cities can achieve that
          It's the City of Westminster.

          The Westminster North constituency is Labour. It is effectively the successor to the Paddington North, Paddington South, and St. Marylebone constituencies which were once all solidly Conservative. Paddington North went Labour in 1945 but the other two remained Conservative areas into the 1990s.

          The demographics of the constituency must have changed significantly since the 1990s.

          It's interesting that I associate Liverpool with being very working-class
          Liverpool was once a staunch Conservative city. The Conservatives controlled the council in the 1960s and had more MPs than Labour did. Liverpool Walton - now one of the safest Labour seats - wasn't won by Labour until 1964.

          The Conservatives haven't had a single councillor in Liverpool since 1995.

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          • #20
            Some parts of London have changed over times, Notting Hill was well to do in the 1880s, but by the 1940s was one of the cheapest places in London to live, which was why a lot of Windrushers settled there. Recently it's become gentrified with young professionals moving there.
            The Trickster On The Roof

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
              Some parts of London have changed over times, Notting Hill was well to do in the 1880s, but by the 1940s was one of the cheapest places in London to live, which was why a lot of Windrushers settled there. Recently it's become gentrified with young professionals moving there.
              Battersea was very much a working class area from the 1940s to the early 1980s, and quite solidly Labour apart from a few suburbs towards the south. In the 1980s, it became a home to yuppies and elected a Conservative MP. From 1997 it's been a Labour Conservative marginal constituency.

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              • #22
                The old working class comprised of blue collar industrial workers is a fraction of its former size, but what has emerged since the 1980s is a new working class in low skill low paid positions in the service sector – retail, call centres, hospitality, fast food, delivery drivers, and warehouse work, along with agency temps and workers on zero hours contracts.

                The trade unions have not been anywhere near as effective at winning support and members from this new working class in the service sector as they did from the blue collar industrial workers. Instead, they prefer to stay within their comfort zones of representing public sector workers and other traditionally unionised sectors, like railways, rather than making serious efforts and attempts to reach out to workers in the service sector. It's commonplace to find teachers and nurses who are members of a trade union today, but not retail or fast food workers.

                It's true that there are 20 somethings today who work in low skill low paid service sector jobs that have no idea what a trade union is! IMO, the trade unions themselves are squarely to blame to retreating into their comfort zone and failing to adapt to the changes in the economy and employment patterns in order to reach out to the new working class as well as younger workers.

                This almost certainly has had an impact on the Labour Party since the 1990s, resulting in them living in the bubble of the public sector whilst failing to address the needs and requirements of the new working class in the service sector which is largely unrepresented through the trade unions.

                Labour had some difficulty attracting this new working class in the service sector back in the 1980s and early 1990s. There is some anecdotal evidence that a significant fraction voted Conservative in the 1992 general election, for reasons like: my job isn't traditional working class; or it's more of a non-manual than a manual job; or because I don't have trade union shop stewards threatening me to vote Labour, or else the sky will fall, at my workplace.

                In more recent years a situation has arisen where Labour has not been able to effectively reach this section of society in a similar way that they reached out to the blue collar industrial workers in bygone decades. The result is that the new working class in the service sector are significantly disenfranchised by politics. Some have ended up supporting the Lib-Dems or the Green Party. Others have dared to venture into the realm of the BNP. Since 2010 a sizeable number have been attracted to Nigel Farage's politics – more as a result of populist rather than economic policies. However, the majority of them feel that no party really represents them, so they end up not voting at all.

                Over the past 25 or so years Labour has failed to look at why so few people in the private sector are members of trade unions and whether anything can (or should) be done about it. There is some evidence that Labour relied on the public sector worker vote, rather than the working class vote, during the period from 2003 to 2015 after Blair's charisma had faded, then later when he was succeeded by two lacklustre leaders. Labour has also failed to consider whether falling turnouts in elections is a result of the political disenfranchisement of the new working class in the service sector, and whether it has cost them seats.

                There doesn't seem to have been anything to replace the emasculation of trade unions and bring workers in low skill low paid service sector jobs together. As well as being politically disenfranchised they are an atomised sector of society.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by HG View Post

                  Geordies are only from Newcastle, call someone from Sunderland a Geordie and you're liable to get a smack in the face. Being from the north east myself I'm definitely not a Geordie.
                  I take it that the G in HG doesn't stand for Geordie either...
                  I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                  There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                  I'm having so much fun
                  My lucky number's one
                  Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Arran View Post

                    Liverpool was once a staunch Conservative city. The Conservatives controlled the council in the 1960s and had more MPs than Labour did. Liverpool Walton - now one of the safest Labour seats - wasn't won by Labour until 1964.

                    The Conservatives haven't had a single councillor in Liverpool since 1995.
                    It's almost like Nottingham City wards - apart from Wollaton and Clifton, all the wards are Labour. However there was a Conservative landslide in 1977 - someone my family used to know was a Labour councillor from at least 1973 and had lost his seat very marginally. By 1981 most had gone back to Labour.

                    This was around the same time as the 1977 Ashfield by-election, the last Nottinghamshire constituency to have a by-election of the 20th century until Newark in 2014. Conservative Tim Smith was elected in Ashfield; lost his seat at the 1979 General Election, and was elected again at the 1982 Beaconsfield by-election where he defeated the Labour candidate, Tony Blair, and future Lib Dem MP Paul Tyler. And to think that Sedgefield is Conservative now...

                    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                    I'm having so much fun
                    My lucky number's one
                    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      A hard demarcation line between the 1920s (possibly earlier) and the early 1950s was home ownership. Being a homeowner was almost a prerequisite to being a member of the middle class whereas renting was the norm for the working class.

                      Starting in the late 1950s, home ownership became increasingly affordable to the masses, resulting in a rise in the number of working class homeowners during the 1960s and 70s, and the appearance of DIY shops in towns. The council house sell off in the 1980s created even more working class homeowners. By the early 1990s, it had reached a point where home ownership had become the norm for both the middle class, and much the working class, with only students and the poor still renting their homes.

                      A significant number of working class folk who became homeowners in the 1980s and early 90s turned their nose up at Labour and voted Conservative in the 1992 general election, even if they were quite poor and didn't have a very good job. The number, and geographical locations, of such voters may have been enough to result in a Conservative victory in that election.

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                      • #26
                        Here's something: has any working class person who has won the National Lottery jackpot since 1994 been financially recognised as being middle class because of how much they had won? - a hypothetical question of course. I doubt that it has (or ever will) happen to those who gamble, visit their local Ladbrokes on Saturday afternoons when the Grand National is on in order to bet on Red Rum, or get all the numbers while playing Bingo. Those who win the WWTBAM jackpot seem to be well-heeled in any case and so any chance of gambling and taking the plunge wouldn't do them too much harm in the long run.
                        I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                        There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                        I'm having so much fun
                        My lucky number's one
                        Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                          Here's something: has any working class person who has won the National Lottery jackpot since 1994 been financially recognised as being middle class because of how much they had won?
                          Nouveau riche. The sort of people who sport a gold Rolex and have a Rolls Royce in the driveway, but still eat corned beef and brown sauce sandwiches and watch trash on TV like X Factor.

                          Money doesn't (in the short term at least) buy cultural capital. Culture is really what seems to separate people from different social classes nowadays.

                          A fee paying independent school had an entrance exam with a general knowledge test that included questions about which wine to pair with particular meals. This was to help to differentiate between children who come from families with a high level of cultural capital and the academically clever council estate kids (who can ace the maths and English entrance exams) but usually lack cultural capital.

                          Some home educating parents from less well off backgrounds think it's a good idea for their children to learn cultural stuff known by families from higher class backgrounds, and a bit of Latin as well, as it will help them with career development by making them appear to come from a higher class background than they actually do.

                          I'm of the opinion that successive governments have failed to notice this cultural capital dimension when carrying out educational reforms.

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                          • #28
                            I'm surprised that there hasn't been more discussion on the topic of social class, especially matters relating to trade unions and the changes in the economy over the decades from #22, and home ownership from #25.

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                            • #29
                              In other countries there doesn't seem to be such an issue over home onership, my ex-girlfriend's German Mum mentioned that in Germany it's quite common for middle class people to rent, especially in the cities.
                              The Trickster On The Roof

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                              • #30
                                We were lower middle class, Dad drove a delivery route for a bakery for much of my childhood before becoming the produce manager at a supermarket. We were always a little behind in getting the 'luxuries' that some children from the nicer houses got. Vacations were being dumped off your grandparents mostly, knew kids with push-button phones and colour tvs long before we had either. But we did have our own home thanks to my mother being set-up with no-interest payments through a godparent to take over their house which was just a few doors down the street from where she grew up. They moved in in 1965 a couple of years before I debuted at the Royal Jubilee Hospital nearby, and this is also the house I am typing this from right now.

                                I never had the 'cool' brands of clothing or spectacles but didn't much care. When I got a morning papers round I started having what seemed like real money for the first time and I really spent! Made up for all those years of comparative deprivation, but not conspicuous consumption to show off, though now I could go with others to see lots of films instead of more rarely.

                                I just remembered, when Dad moved up in employment we did get slightly more expensive eye wear frames and regular dentistry. My Mother worked in a school for a couple of years teaching home economics to girls; they presented her with a gift at the end of each year (the girls I mean).
                                Last edited by beccabear67; 4 weeks ago.
                                My virtual jigsaws: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/beccabear67/Original-photo-puzzles

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