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Labour’s lost tribe: winning back the working class

Berry, Craig (2018) Labour’s lost tribe: winning back the working class. Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy, 26 (4). pp. 56-68. ISSN 0968-252X (In Press)

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Labour’s working-class support rose at the 2017 election, but by far less than working-class support for the Conservatives increased. Amid some stunning victories in affluent areas like Canterbury, Reading, Leamington Spa and Sheffield Hallam, there were disheartening losses in predominantly working-class seats in Mansfield, Middleborough, Cleveland and North-East Derbyshire. This is a rapid acceleration of a longer-run trend which Labour ignores at its peril. This article will focus on the deepening problem of working-class political disengagement, and what Labour can do to reverse the trend. The emerging Corbynite policy agenda has many worthwhile elements, but in terms of addressing class inequalities, and offering a route to working-class empowerment, it leaves much to be desired.

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