Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Frank Furedi on Labour's campaign in Crewe

From an article on Spiked:
New Labour’s ‘anti-toff’ crusade in Crewe and Nantwich is only a caricature of old-fashioned class politics. Traditional class politics was not simply about targeting the rich – it was also about providing an alternative vision of the world, where what your family did for a living need not determine your destiny. This class-based politics promoted and argued for a real and positive vision of the future. The current anti-toff campaign, by contrast, simply encourages resentment towards the better-off.

It is actually about targeting those who are different or who are outsiders. So it is perhaps not surprising that New Labour activists have not only targeted toffs in Crewe and Nantwich but have also tried to foster local chauvinism against Polish immigrants in a scare campaign about ‘uncontrolled’ migration. In this sense, far from being in any way progressive, the anti-toff campaigning has much in common with current attempts by populist politicians to politicise antipathy against immigrants and outsiders.

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