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In defence of the Woke Left Young progressives have abandoned traditional working-class politics

She's trying her best. (Photo via EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images).

She's trying her best. (Photo via EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images).


May 13, 2021   6 mins

During the giddy Noughties years before the Great Crash, I was a twenty-something graduate with a first-class degree, living in London. Most of my peers jumped straight from university into the City or management consulting, and had put down deposits on then still-affordable London flats by the time we were in our mid-twenties. I, on the other hand, was an early adopter of economic insecurity.

At the time, precarious work felt playful and varied, like something you could always reverse later. I skipped between temp and short-term employments, lived hand-to-mouth and spent my energy on hipster art projects, experimental writing and fiddling about on the then still-nascent internet. It was fun and interesting. I wrote unreadable novels and was permanently skint. And, over time, I watched my resources and lifestyle diverge ever more sharply from those enjoyed by my university friends.

Much has been written in the last week about how the civil war within the modern Labour Party is a fight between working-class and bourgeois factions. Labour has been stolen, in this view, by a gaggle of North London poshos for whom Left-wing views are as obligatory as a Daunt Books cotton tote and something “ethnic” decorating the living-room wall.

Writing in UnHerd, veteran Labour campaigner and unionist Paul Embery recently blamed this on the party’s turn against the cultural values and priorities of the “traditional working-class base”: values that, in his view, include “communitarian impulse, traditional values, desire for belonging and sense of national pride”.

But while the tension between the woke Left and the “traditional” one is real, well-documented and hitting Labour hard, the conflict between Islington and Darlington is not the whole picture. For if there’s one thing my lucky escape from flatshares and gig-work taught me, it’s that a key line of battle in the 21st-century class wars is not guacamole versus mushy peas. Rather, it’s how liquid someone’s life and working conditions are.

These days, my life is the old-fashioned illiquid bourgeois package: a marriage, a family, a home. But my lucky escape from temporary housing, temporary jobs and so on only came about because I married someone who’d managed a long enough stint in the corporate salt-mines to buy a home. Others have not been so fortunate: ONS data in 2017 showed that people aged 35 to 44, my cohort, are three times more likely to be renting than 20 years ago.

In the years since I was pioneering millennial precarity, the balloon of home-ownership has gone on rising; the average house deposit is now 72% of an individual’s gross salary, or 137% in London. That blessed state now eludes not just feckless bohos like me but many who are striving as hard as they can to catch it — and still falling back. Previously, I’ve called this group an “Everywhere precariat”: the also-rans emerging from a higher education machine that now processes 50% of young people, before disgorging them into a shrinking job market with £30,000-£60,000 of debt, elite values and expectations of a middle-class lifestyle.

Those in this precariat who don’t score an inheritance, win the cryptocurrency lottery or otherwise roll a lucky six in the resources casino are left clutching their tickets for a middle-class party bus that seems to have departed without them. The US blogger Venkatesh Rao describes this lifestyle as “premium mediocre”: a kind of performance of bourgeois tastes and lifestyle, just about funded by hand-to-mouth spending.

For Rao, an increasingly critical class distinction here is whether or not you work “above the API” — a reference to the “application programming interface”, a software intermediary that allows two programmes to talk to one another. In other words, whether you issue commands to the digital networks that shape our lives, or whether they issue commands to you.

To illustrate, think about the difference between a freelance graphic designer and an Amazon warehouse worker. One operates Photoshop for a living: that is, “above the API” in Rao’s terms, telling a computer what to do. In contrast, the warehouse worker is monitored throughout the day, has their pick rate tracked and is “operated” by AI-powered performance optimisation algorithms — in other words: below the API.

But in terms of income, security, and prospects, there may be very little to distinguish them. As James Bloodworth detailed in Hired, warehouse operatives often compete through gangmaster-style agencies for insecure, unpredictable work with low-skilled migrants from all over the world. And they do so in a legislative environment that offers very few employment protections. Similarly, graphic designers compete through websites such as PeoplePerHour, against other designers from all over the world, in an environment that offers very few employment protections.

And such precarious work is increasingly normal, especially for young people. These jobs are also the first to go in a pinch: the ONS reported in April this year that 53% of the employees who have vanished from PAYE over the last year were under 25. Both the warehouse worker and graphic designer have low-paid and sporadic income, funding at best low-cost and insecure rental housing; forming a family and having kids for many such people will feel nigh-on impossible.

Of course, there are plenty of occupations that don’t meet Rao’s description. But it disproportionately describes working life for the young, where a perfect storm of insecurity, rising costs and shrinking opportunities is driving them sharply Left: 56% of 18-24-year-olds who voted Labour in 2019, compared to 35% in my cohort (40s) and 14% in my mum’s (70s).

This group is increasingly militant. It’s a viewpoint epitomised by commentator Grace Blakeley, who is critical of Amazon while treating issues of culture and community as secondary to those of economic insecurity. What’s driving the civil war on the Left is that a life defined by instability tends to produce a worldview radically at odds with the core values that gave birth to “traditional working-class” politics.

The “traditional” Left – let’s call it the Proletariat Left – was born out of the industrial revolution: a transformation in working people’s lives that both displaced workers from agriculture and homogenised lives en masse. Think of the start and end bells marking factory shifts, the neat rows of workers’ cottages built in terrace style, the routinised movements of an assembly line or the sheer level of coordination needed to keep shift work running smoothly.

As well as being able to work en masse, this cohesion made it easier to organise en masse. Over time, what emerged was the potent blend of intellectuals, the quietly patriotic and the fiercely revolutionary that characterised twentieth-century Leftism. That Leftism humanised the rapacity of 19th-century industry, and softened raw capitalism with social-democratic infrastructure such as the NHS.

In contrast, the Precariat Left was born into the post-industrial era, and many of its members have no personal experience of any other. They are defined by, suffer under, and also celebrate the absence of the very stability, cohesion and homogeneity that formed the bedrock of the Proletariat Left.

Stable jobs are dwindling — as is the cohesion that made it possible to unionise for better conditions. Above the API, how is a freelance graphic designer meant to negotiate for a better piece rate, when he or she is competing against workers all over the world? And below it, you don’t need to be a xenophobe to see how much more difficult it is to form a trade union if your co-workers are on zero-hours contracts, come from all over the world, and mostly talk to their fellow-countrymen during breaks. But at the same time, the Precariat Left welcomes diversity — because that’s the world they grew up in.

From the vantage point of the Proletariat Left, obviously what’s needed is more solidarity. For example, Blue Labour — perhaps the last remaining sub-group within the party that voices Proletarian Left concerns — sometimes discusses trade-offs between cultural cohesion and immigration. But from a Precariat Left point of view, talking about cultural cohesion simply doesn’t make much sense — and routinely traduces Blue Labour as racist.

Instead of Proletarian Left-style stability and solidarity, the world of the Precariat Left is shifting, provisional and temporary — whether in terms of identity, lifestyle, or domestic arrangement. It’s international; it doesn’t look askance at people with minority sexual identities or gender expressions; it’s suspicious of anything too conventional-looking — perhaps because those things now feel profoundly off-limits.

Coalition-building among the Precariat Left is not just between Hampstead and Hartlepool but across barriers of language, culture and values, as well as above and below the API and between graduates and non-graduates. At its best, “woke” identity politics is trying to do just that: build solidarity in a world fissured by difference.

Yet it runs into difficulty on two fronts. Firstly, the Precariat Left preference for identities and alliances rather than values and solidarity is understandable on its own terms, but has also morphed into an aesthetic for many who are in fact comfortably “above the API” and always likely to remain so. In the process it risks turning against its own: consider how protests against police brutality in impoverished communities rapidly morphed into arguments about abolishing the police — in truth not a popular policy among the actual precariat, though still appealing to elite anti-authoritarians from safe neighbourhoods.

Secondly, as we’ve seen recently in Britain, hearing their entire worldview traduced as obsolete bigotry understandably incenses the Proletariat Left. And this group, despite the tectonic demographic shifts away from its worldview, is still numerous, and electorally essential for a Left-wing party.

This may change, though. Most of the giants of the 20th-century labour movement are old, or already gone. Most attendees at the Durham Miners’ Gala have no first-hand pit experience. The last industrial jobs in the West are falling to robots, and both the mass culture and the labour movement it created are a distant memory for most.

But it’s not as though working people no longer need advocacy. Amazon recently apologised for falsely denying that its drivers are sometimes compelled by tight delivery schedules to urinate in bottles. In response, the new post-industrial Left seeks to challenge Amazon and its ilk today, not via the old union style but forms of solidarity that celebrate instability, diversity and inclusion.

Will they be successful? This version of the Left has shown a poor record so far of evading those gilded entryists who love to play with instability but will never live amid the consequences of their games. And it remains to be seen whether the new Left is capable of organising at the scale needed to take on our new corporate overlords. But for the sake of the new precariats, let’s hope they are.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago

Nice piece from Mary Harrington which definitely hits a few salient points particularly the clash between the proletariat left and the precariat left. But I can’t help but feel that the woke are so profoundly self-absorbed and cult like that I struggle to feel any sympathy for them. Struggling to buy a house? Then stop clamouring for open borders and mass immigration. Complaining about the gig economy? Stop supporting virtue signalling corporations and stop celebrating the multicultural mush that ensures competition for the lowest paid most insecure work. Hate your own country for its ‘colonial past’ but worship the EU which not only is stuffed full of countries with colonial pasts but busy expanding a new Empire sucking in every country around it. It appears to me that being Woke has a strong correlation with being dumb. Should have saved their money and swapped a useless uni education for a house deposit frankly.

Lee Floyd
Lee Floyd
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Yeah, I’m with you on all that. ‘Woke’ just means ‘immature’ regardless of age.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Floyd

‘Woke’ = ‘identity politics’ totalitarian, which has its roots a century ago in blaming the ordinary workers for the failure in Europe of the predicted Marxist revolution. It was idiotically supposed that ‘capitalism’ ‘repressed’ the workers and they in turn their families. This is the origin of the core of ‘identity politics’ in contemporary extreme feminism. When this baloney crossed the pond, the new Left co-opted the civil rights and Stonewall movements, thereby (after unjustifiable extension from the specific to the generic) expanding the ‘victim’ class from one domain to three. So by inversion ‘the workers’ — the masses — were in effect retro-stereotyped as male + ‘white’ + hetero. It’s all sophistry as a cover for hating the masses because we wouldn’t play ball. So it’s not immaturity: it’s virulent hatred; though yes, you have to be an adult child to be dumb enough to buy and spout the bull.

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Moxon

Its not even grounded in Marxism
Its just grounded in anti white racial resentment from black people.
Like from Shola Mos-Shogbamimu,Afua hirsh, who are all well off.

Think about one of the most anti white woke south asian American commentator saira roa,she’s a wall st millionaire who just spends all day being viciously rude about white people.

Zero concern about economic issues

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake C

“Its not even grounded in Marxism” 100% grounded in Marxism, and Freudian Existentialism, founded in the Wiemar Republic in the Goethe Institute by academic intellectuals and called ‘The Frankfurt School’. Google it, and especially the 11 Points:
“The 11 Point Plan of the Frankfurt School
 1. The creation of racism offenses.

2. Continual change to create confusion.

3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children.

 4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority.

5. Huge immigration to destroy identity.

6. The promotion of excessive drinking.

7. Emptying of churches.

8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime.

 9. Dependency on the state or state benefits.

10. Control and dumbing down of media.

11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family.”
https://celticsavageyoutube.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-11-point-plan-of-frankfurt-school.html

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Why can’t you just accept its just black people pursuing anti white resentment.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Steve_Sailer/status/1394619238556389379

This American gets it

Rob C
Rob C
2 years ago
Reply to  Jake C

Can’t it be both, two separate factions in the Woke ranks?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Floyd

I’d agree that using the term woke to describe people you disagree with is immature, regardless of age.

John Standing
John Standing
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Why, little boy, is moral to oppose the life-interests of native British people on their own soil?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  John Standing

How adult. (Now you’ve got me at it!)

Michael Harrington
Michael Harrington
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

No, they coined the term and use it on themselves. It’s a bit of doublespeak, no?

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Floyd

This whole piece is wrong.
Grace blakey isn’t woke.
The woke are typically BAME super successful young professionals who own property portfolios love finance capitalism but love attacking white people an Britain i know these people personally. The are unreasonable vicous and nasty.

Think more afua hirsh and Shola Mos-Shogbamimu and kehinde Andrews than
Grace blakely

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Couldn’t agree more. I would say that ‘woke’ is not cult like, but is a cult in every way shape or form – it has all the hallmarks.

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff H

Hmmm. Is climate change woke?

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

Stop changing the subject.

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I wasn’t. Just wondering if that’s why climate change is also like a religion.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

Climate change is not testable. IE the stats show no overall change since the mini ice age, and before that last change was the medievil warming. Yet warmists are convinced its true. So it is technically a religion like Marxism or Christianity. It cannot be falisfied or verified so must appeal to some imagined “authority” to obtain its credibility. Notice that wokists, marxists, national socialists and freaks of all hues follow warmism, it gives them a chance to vent their hate, damage property and send global power consumption/emissions sky high with their smart phones and crypto currencies etc etc.

T J Putnam
T J Putnam
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Humour here or bad humour?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

“So it is technically a religion like Marxism or Christianity.” Nice bit of gratuitous hate thrown in there Mike. But how is Marxism like Christianity? Do you believe Carl is a secular god you worship? That his words are divine and his morality and rules are from ultimate truth?

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago

It’s a religion until it happens. And then it will be something else.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

What you mean you Don’t believe shreiking Scientifically illiterate St.Greta?….

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago

One definition of a religion is ‘a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion’.
I would say you are spot on with your assessment, and I have long said this to anyone who would listen, in fact I would say it is a cult.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff H

That is no definition of religion, it is mere stupidity sounding clever.

Religion is best defined simply as:
‘That which is of Ultimate Importance’. (beyond the mundane. Death in its self is mundane, it is just what is. What is ultimate is greater than that, than everything)

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You are quite right sir! I shall write straight away to Oxford Languages and let them know at once how stupid and clever sounding they are trying to be, and ask, nay, demand they alter their dictionaries – immeadiately!

davidjacksmith3
davidjacksmith3
3 years ago

It’s dope.

John Standing
John Standing
3 years ago

It is a deception practised on the gullible by corporate and political interests seeking to generate The Globality.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Standing
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Yes its is; So An odd Coalition of Marxist Greens &Capitalist multinnationals Can have Ever rising Energy prices with stupid Windfarms & Solar Panels (made from oil ,hydrocarbons &imossible to recycle) Climate We have had Coldest April &possibly May in over 100 years (See Met office archives, Climate4u.com)..Forest fires have been made worse,but No natural ‘Firebreaks’ in Forests,woodlands…Arsonists arrested in Caifornia,and New South wales have not been covered by BBC…Sky news etc..

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

It is also pushed by China behind the scenes to aid in disruption of the West.

Frank Nixson
Frank Nixson
3 years ago

In my experience about a 70% overlap. If you’re woke, you believe in AGW. If you’re traditional, you don’t.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

“Hmmm. Is climate change woke?”

Meaningless. Climate change is climate change. The RESPONSES being pushed for are mostly Woke, as the way they are being pushed will lead to the West being vastly harmed by self inflicted damage for very minimal returns. Much saner responses would be even more effective, but warming is a tool being used to wreck the Western economy more than to fix warming.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Do you not think the Western economy is already wrecked? There are plenty of countries proving they can do well in the global economy with a version of capitalism unencumbered by pesky concepts like democracy or freedom. If you believe in freedom and democracy maybe it’s time to reconsider the capitalism (in the West) because freedom democracy and capitalism are clearly not joined at the hip.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff H

I can’t see how abandoning the prejudices and delusions of the Left and replacing them with the prejudices and delusions of the Right are going to solve the problems of the ‘precariat’. They’re still going to have the same problems. It’s not a matter of the woke hating the masses. The masses hate themselves, because they’re losers, because in liberal capitalism 90% of the adult population are losers (i.e. working class). At some point some of them should start rethinking things.

Rick Sharona
Rick Sharona
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Those losers live better than 99% of the rest of the people on the planet.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Rick Sharona

And yet they still want more – including trying to improve the lives of the other 99%.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Rick Sharona

No, they don’t. They probably live better than a majority of people in the world, though even there you have to take into account such things as price levels and degrees of job security. But nowhere near 99%, not by my reckoning anyway.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff H

Actually WOKE is not a cult as a cult requires a messianic leader who’s word is law. Woke is a back behind the curtain led conspiracy where Global Elites AND China trolls are trying to destroy the west by getting us to destroy ourselves from inside. Woke is a Conspiracy.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Agree. It’s been mentioned on our side of the pond as well. The younger wokesters have problems equating their naĂŻve political choices with the issues they rant on about. Their social conscience demands they support green vanity projects and mass immigration but fail to appreciate the direct damage those inflict on their other personal wants of good jobs and housing.
‘Affordable housing’ is a popular sore point and in reality a load of nonsense. House prices are a supply and demand deal. If houses are selling quite well at $1M then they are obviously affordable but young progressives, when they’re not complaining that they can’t afford such prices, will happily don a “Save the Squirrels” t-shirt and support anti-development ‘a blight upon the land’ activism or vote for political red-tape that can delay development for years. If you refuse to increase supply then you have to reduce demand.

Last edited 3 years ago by Walter Lantz
Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

It is also diametrically opposed to current green thinking. Expanding the population perforce increases the demand to expand infrastructure. The UK is a densely populated country, particularly the south east where the most opportunity exists.
If there was a triangle (like the cost/quality/time one used in manufacturing) for a nation, it may look like like population, quality of life and environment. It’s necessary to pick one or a lesser combination of the three.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

I have read a Leftist claiming that house prices are not affected by supply and demand. Presumably that is why they feel comfortable simultaneously suppressing supply by arguing against the building of new homes and increasing demand by suggesting that all borders should be open to the world, his wife, their children, and maybe their dog as well.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

What they say isn’t entirely wrong though. Take NZ for example, since 1990 the number of average people per dwelling has remained steady at 2.7 despite a large population growth. However the average house price has risen from $100k (about $170k in today’s money when taking into account inflation) which was around 4x the average salary, to $900k today, which is around 17x the average salary. I can’t find the figures for the UK, and whilst they won’t be as extreme I’d imagine they’ll paint a similar picture.

Rick Sharona
Rick Sharona
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Have enough homes been built to satisfy the demand of the new population growth, regardless of how many are per unit? If not, you’ve made his point. And if not, why not?

Anakei greencloudnz
Anakei greencloudnz
3 years ago
Reply to  Rick Sharona

No, there are not enough houses to go around, largely because of a punitive Resource Management Act that is expensive to navigate, and so skews new building to large, expensive houses. (The Resource Management Act is going to be replaced by – wait for it- 3 Acts which will make new house building easier -not)
There is a hidden population of poor people living in government supplied motel units, or in cars and campsites, because there is not enough public housing, and private rental accommodation suppliers are being demonised as “greedy landlords” and have increasing levels of cost loaded on them, which in turn raises rent and excludes those without jobs and with bad rental histories. These are the people that would normally be housed in council houses, that have been sold off and not replaced.
There is much tinkering around the edges, but house prices in NZ won’t come down until supply starts to catch up with demand.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago

Greedy landlords are a major cause of NZs problems. They’ve been allowed to leverage themselves massively, pushing prices out of reach of first time buyers, knowing full well they won’t have to pay any Capital Gains on their investment. The properties they rented out were also of a shocking standard, closing to a Brazilian favela than what you’d expect from a first world country

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Housing doesn’t have to be something bought and sold on the free market. There are any number of things which aren’t, and historically it often hasn’t been. Many other things are sold on the market but not necessarily on a pure supply and demand basis.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Good points. Turkeys voting for Christmas, which incidentally is one of their go-to insults whenver the working class votes the “wrong way.”
But then again, their other favourite pass-time is hypocrisy .

Robbie PPC
Robbie PPC
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Absolutely Cheryl Jones, I wish I could upvote your comment 1000 times.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Agreed. The average electrician is more intelligent, i.e. has a better grasp of applied logic, than the average gender studies graduate.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

If the electrician did not have such a grasp, s/he’d kill us all.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

That;s shocking?..

T J Putnam
T J Putnam
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Don’t accept the implication that the Woke have some kind of monopoly on self righteousness, especially when your account of antiWoke positions is suffused with the same. Wake up enough to see that.
And why are the antiWoke so self righteous? Any clues? To those of us not buying into this type of skirmish, it’s a tell ( and comical unknowing self mockery.)

Last edited 3 years ago by T J Putnam
Steve Wesley
Steve Wesley
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

You covered every point I was going to make Cheryl, well done. I do however feel some pity for those caught up in the ridiculous race that is London and other expensive locations. That said, I left school in Manchester in the summer prior ‘the winter of discontent’. Jobs were scarce, and those available were crap and poorly paid. I was 28 before I could afford a deposit for an ex-council house costing ÂŁ29,000. I lay awake at night wondering how I’d afford it. My diet was beans on toast, I drove a 25 year old car, and never went abroad.

Now I realise this is getting a bit like Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch, and my name isn’t Obidiah, but it was worth it in the long term. I still have never had a new car, and I still have some of the old furniture I bought from 2nd hand shops and refurbished. I’ve been debt free for a decade and paid off my mortgage recently so I wasn’t indebted to anyone. I see people of my acquaintance and at work who are supposedly struggling. Yet they go out all the time, have phones worth ÂŁ500, drive new cars etc. They never bring sandwiches to work but buy them at a stupid cost. As for their coffee bills!

Now I don’t expect younger people to live like paupers, but at work they are tech savvy but can’t string together a coherent written sentence, and then spend every other working minute grousing about how crap their lives are. There seems to be a generation who can’t seem to accept that ‘stuff’ only comes for ordinary people if you’re prepared to avoid debt and easy credit, and wait a while.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Wesley

Beans on toast? You were lucky! In my day, we only had beans on toast for Christmas dinner. Most days we made due with grass seedheads, served on clumps of roof moss.

julian rose
julian rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Totally agree with you. Just to point out a paragraph from MaryÂŽs comment that never fails to put a smile in my face, the one “… but my lucky escape from temporary housing, temporary jobs and so on, only came about because I married someone whoÂŽd managed a long enough stint in the corporate salt-mines to buy a house”.
Yeah, women can always do that, fall back into the safety hands of the poor salt miner when breeding time starts to appear in the horizon. Clever move that we chaps never seem to visualize in time. Never mind, I didnÂŽt myself whilst in the salt mines.

Rob C
Rob C
2 years ago
Reply to  julian rose

Only the more attractive women can do this. For most it isn’t an option.

Dawn McD
Dawn McD
2 years ago
Reply to  julian rose

I’m sure it is mostly women, but not always. I’ve personally met three female doctors (two surgeons and a urologist), just in the city where I live (population less than 200,000), who have stay-at-home husbands taking care of their kids. I have no doubt all of these men are well educated and can keep up their end of the conversation at dinner, but the lifestyles they are living would be out of reach if not for the “lucky escape” of their marriages.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Self pitying whinging, that almost everyone now days is a Lazy, Entitled, Idiot is the real problem.

Like the writer claims,. I dropped out of the real world at 18 and lived totally poor and rough for 22 years, just running around the world looking at stuff and working manual work as needed. And then I hit 40, living in a camp in the Sub Arctic making a very meagre living off the Taiga, and thought how un-cool, and miserable, it would be to be a poor old person. All I owned was a dog, 25 year old truck and falling apart trailer, so I headed to a big city to get some real money. I had basic construction skills, not a skilled tradesman by far, but was iron hard physically.

So I talked my way into a piecework Industrial electrical job which worked 13 hour shifts, and then worked general construction on the days off – for myself. I then worked 12 hours a day (with setup time on top, and commute, about 14 hours a day) 7 days a week for 5 1/2 years not taking a single break – I could not take time off as if I was sitting about my mind saw the money I was losing dancing past – So I worked, slept, ate, and that was it 5 1/2 years – at HARD construction, dangerous, miserable, tedious, painful often, and slept a day away when I ‘Hit The Wall’ or was too hurt, otherwise I worked.
In those years I earned about 15 years pay as I had some really good work sometimes. I spent NOTHING but very small rent, much of my work was being put up in hotels and meals paid, I saved everything (My wife began her own business and kept the house and dog and did laundry for me so every penny I made was pure profit). (and I am now a skilled tradesman is a couple trades)

Naturally I ended up with a load of money and owned a couple houses – in all close to half a million dollars clear. Made with my own hands and back – and head as I worked smart too. I was fried at the end of it though – it is fantastically hard to do this, but I was on a mission. We dropped out then and went back to living on the road a wile, and later I began building again, but just 50 hour weeks as I hate construction, but at mid 60s still build houses myself – by hand, but part time now as I do not like building, but feel it is a waste to not build – like throwing away food – to waste my skills and not build real things, that people need – and to make the money, is why I still do it.

Anyone tough enough could do this. Work 2 full time jobs. Get a skill like helper at some trade, work 80 hour weeks till you are going nuts, then do it a couple more years, buy a nice house for cash, or two falling down ones and rebuild them (as I did later). Anyone who works 40 hours a week and does not have children, and complains about money is just a lazy wa* ke r.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

PS, in today’s degenerate world some people think working two jobs is taking a job from someone else, BS! By working 2 jobs you are making growth, you are making the nation prosperous, you are creating money, jobs for others, you are REAL GDP GROWTH, because you are making more for others to consume and use, and you are making much more for you to spend, and so make others money. It means you are doubling productivity. The West is doomed because so many people will not work hard, but expect money anyway.

My Scottish Grandfather left his farm at 14, Walked 500 miles to the big cities to find opportunity (around 1900), worked 12 hour days , and later Put him self through professional school wile working, then raised 10 children, through the Great Depression, with always broke relatives staying too, took about 18 people through the depression – poor but sheltered and fed well, and worked every minute he did not sleep. He retired at 92!

Sam McLean
Sam McLean
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

My Scottish Grandfather left his farm at 14, Walked 500 miles”
And then walked 500 more?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Sam McLean

The thing is, all the above is true. I could tell so many stories I have heard first hand from my long and weird life that are a lot harder than that – and again this is true, I met a guy who had worked from when he was 3 years old, supporting him self, and at 70 he had never had a holiday/vacation. people like him are gone now in the west, we are a soft and weak people.

(That guy’s story was great, during the Great Depression his parents died and he was sent to live on a big farm by the Sheriff. The Family were German Immigrants who had a children of their own and had him live in a room in the barn, his job was to feed and water the chickens from the start, He was not allowed to even eat with the family, he was from low class and they were hard times, and this was how it was. At 9 – 10 he began hanging with the Rail Road crews when they were in the area, and more and more he was working in their camps full time for tips and food, doing chores, washing, laundry and such, for traveling RR maintenance crew camps, living with them just as a sort of camp-follower. At 14 he was old enough to be hired on by the Rail Company and knew the work and they got him on, and so was hired – becoming a steam engine worker eventually – a machinist, then WWII started and….). This is 100% true, as my Grandfather set out on foot at 14 with his kit and some food and a tiny bit of cash to find a life.
I knew another guy who was sold to a remote oil rig camp by the Sherrif. Again late depression, this guy had run away from his hellish home as a boy and was trying to get by, a young ho-bo, and in a Texas town the police picked him up as a vagrant and told him he was going to jail, and youth home (prison) as a suspected thief, unless he wanted to work it off.

He was driven way off in the rough lands to a remote oil rig, told if he ran away he was going to jail, the head of the rig gave the sheriff some money, bought him, – and he worked for them for free for about 6 months till they ended up hiring him. Living with the old ho-bos on the road as I did for years I heard the wildest stories – in USA and Europe, that were not too distant past, people could not believe. Times were hard, the people hard as steel.

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Your interesting stories also reveal a different side of the so-called woke problem I think. Our generation and those prior to us grew up freer, on the loose, compared to the woke generations. I was out playing amongst other children on the estates and streets where I lived from the age of 3, older girls or siblings kept an eye on the little ones, but we learnt young about ourselves – our abilities and our limitations and those of others. We also learnt young how to recognise the dangerous bullies and avoid them.
All this early experience and the physical health of playing out of doors so much, gave us the confidence to launch ourselves out into the world in the way you describe.

I think it is important to recognise out of fairness to the woke ones that this experience has vanished. They have grown up protected almost totally, their childhoods circumscribed by the timetables of their parents, or simply confined within the home and garden (if they were lucky enough to have one).
At the same time all the history they’ve been taught has focused on WW2, the ev il Na zis and the ensuing Holocaust.
That’s a recipe for disaster in my opinion.
We were very lucky.

Last edited 3 years ago by Claire D
Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

I completely agree with you. I learned so much playing on the streets during twilight hours, I don’t think children are learning this at all these days. I’m a teacher and many parents I speak to are happier for their children to be behind devices than outside ‘getting into trouble’.

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Okay if you insist, I still think house prices should still be cheaper.

None of this has anything to do with the anti white woke.

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

This piece is wrong ,the woke left doesn’t even comment on economic issues.

The woke left actually consists of financially successful BAME people and upper middle class luvies.

This whole piece is wishful thinking.
I know of Grace blakey she is basically a crypto proletariat lefties who was sympathetic to brexit.

The woke left are really all just minimising white economic challenges and presenting black people as the ultimate victims (despite them typically being well off)

So the contradictions you point out don’t exist.

One of my mixed race friends is becoming increasingly “woke” anti white.but she inherited her house and is still a classist snob.

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

But Grace blakey isn’t really woke.
She’s great,she highlights economic problems.
The “woke” people are typically BAME professionals or business owners in their 20’s and 30’s who make huge salaries and have secure housing(even property portfolios).And they devote all their online Energy to attacking white people,with sneering contempt and Britain-but they don’t have a problem finance Capitalism.
It also includes BAME commentators who want to get rid of the St George flag,Kehinde Andrews, Afua hirsch who wants to take down nelson column, and ofcourse Shola Mos-Shogbamimu who insists UK is racist and only white people can be racist.

Antipathy towards white people and the country.that’s what woke is.

Grace Blakey focuses on economic issues and was even sympathetic to Brexit.

The woke left is not interested in building coalitions.

This piece is way too sympathetic and minimises the malevolence and malicousnous of these people.Of whom Grace Blakey is hardly a representative.

I think to author just tried to look for someone she could most sympathise and seem the most familiar and then presuppose that “oh these people aren’t so bad”

Grace blakey is basically a crypto proletariat left worrying about capital accounts and

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

I agree with all of that. I would add one more: if you really make a virtue of insecurity, you might want to re-think that. That just floors me. I can understand other things such as diversity and multi-culturalism – though I think them fatal to a social cohesion that I believe necessary to a happy country. But still it does have its appeal. (In my case, it’s largely to having a variety of cuisines available,)
None such exists for economic insecurity, unless it’s well-off Woke individuals talking about others’ precarious situations, of which they can take full advantage. But it’s a devil’s bargain for the Precariat. Pity that with their education they can’t see that. If they did, making common cause with the Proletariat would make sense to them. And really, since they own so little, how far removed are they – if at all – from that status? The old working class had its little baubles and such like as well.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

I agree with every word of this.

J Bryant
J Bryant
3 years ago

An interesting perspective from Mary Harrington. She just touches on one significant aspect of progressive politics which is the influence of relatively wealthy people (living well above the API) who, in effect, play at being part of the Precariat. It’s clearly visible in California where tech elite are drivers behind much of the state’s progressive politics but they don’t have to live with the consequences of the policies they support. They can always retreat to fashionable, expensive zip codes or simply leave the state if necessary.
Until we give young people a chance at a stable job, financial security, a family, I doubt we’ll ever get past wokedom or whatever destructive ideology takes its place. The young have little reason to identify with their own society if that society has economically abandoned them. Instead, why not give the world the middle finger, man the barricades, scream injustice, and see if something better comes along. Easy to do when you’ve little to lose.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

But how will the house supply ever match demand if the woke insist on importing rapidly reproducing populations from Africa / M.E.? And where would all those houses be built? With what money? What would counterbalance the impact of population growth on the welfare system, infrastructure, healthcare, education etc.? Or even on the job market, as presumably some of the immigrants would seek work. The longer the woke stay woke, the less chance of them ever reaching financial security. And of the unwoke rest of us too, which is the problem. I wouldn’t shed a tear for the woke screwing over themselves, but they are pulling down everyone else too in the process.

Bertie B
Bertie B
3 years ago

The main failing of the wokary is that they seem to fail to see that its only the unfairness in society that allows it to move forward. If we equalised wealth, access to education, health, rights across the world – yes the people in africa / india would get a boost, a very small one, but the disadvantaged communities and groups here would actually be worse off.
Wokness is a race to the bottom.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Bertie B

One way they could get around their problem-supposing they have to work in London is for a group of friends with families to buy a big house in the country for say ÂŁ1 million to accomodate them all & use a helicopter to get into work in London. This would work out cheaper than each family trying to afford a mortgage on a one-bed flat in a dangerous area in London.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Ha ha, maybe you’re right. I’d like to see that costed out!

Rob C
Rob C
2 years ago
Reply to  Bertie B

But everyone is at the same bottom and that’s okay with some people. But I don’t think most Wokes realize that this is where their ideas will take them.

Julian Townsend
Julian Townsend
3 years ago

In most rich countries, fewer babies are being born, as people delay marriage, are content to be childless, remain single or enter non-conventional relationships that are not necessarily straight. This social change both reflects and is a product of the new precarity. Also, people now live much longer than they used to, which increases the pressure on the housing supply because houses are now typically not inherited until the heirs are themselves old. As the proportion of non-economically active people increases, so does the call upon all service industries, but especially the health and care services. These services are labour-intensive. If there are not enough babies being born even to replace people who are dying, where are our doctors and nurses, not to mention our delivery drivers, mechanics, electricians, to come from? And if we want to attract workers, we must of course make it possible for them to bring their families. Thus the ethnic composition of the population changes.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago

That’s not exactly how it works. Firstly, the majority of the non-EU (thirdworld) immigrants are functionally ineducable / unemployable – and so will be their offspring, by and large -, they present a large cost in every possible aspect. (The EU migrants – whom you may have had in mind when writing – don’t intend to settle, they go home after a few years’ work. Don’t conflate the two.)
Second, the immigrants grow old themselves too.
And thirdly, more to the point: it’s not some predestined, irreversible cycle. Look at Hungary’s example: not long ago they had one of the lowest birthrates in Europe, and with a number of targeted policies they managed to turn it around so the birthrates are steadily on the rise. It’s only a matter of good governing.
In any case, the ‘ageing society’ issue is a temporary one – within a few generations it rebalances itself. You can see the effects of a “young society” if you look at the abject, ever increasing poverty in the child-rich African countries. Now compare that to aged Japan.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

Firstly, the majority of the non-EU immigrants are functionally ineducable / unemployable – and so will be their offspring, by and large
Why do you think that is? What is it about them that makes them and their children ineducable and unemployable? Is it genetic?

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

No. Cultural / environmental. Things like prenatal / infant malnutrition, the practice of inbreeding (cousin marriages) etc. do have an ongoing effect on the “gene pool” so to speak, which are hard to break away from. And a long, protracted process to break away from.

Is it genetic?

I see what you’re trying to do. Nope, i don’t take offence in being called a raycisst. Feel free as you please.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago

Non EU immigrants are ‘ineducable’ and ‘unemployable’? How so?

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Obviously i didn’t mean the Australians or Canadians etc. But those from s u b s a h a r a n* Africa / MENA are, by and large. You may want to familiarise yourself with the statistics (UK + EU alike).

(* for some odd reason that’s one of the words blocked by the censorfilter, hence the odd typing.)

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago

I have no problem with some immigration. I have no problem with a multi-racial society. I have massive problems with a multi-cultural society. Let them in but let them adapt to us not us to them.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
2 years ago

But surely behavioural genetics has shown that cultures are pretty much rooted in genetic differences because traits are heritable, and so each culture and its population co-evolve. Every society selects for some traits and against others.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yes, a nice article. But ironically, all the wokeists are constantly buying stuff from Amazon, whereas I refuse to do so. And they love immigration while complaining about the lack of homes.

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

And the immigrants they clam to love generally hate gay people, who they also claim to love.

andy thompson
andy thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

They generally hate ‘us’ full stop.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  andy thompson

Yes, for people so in favor of “inclusion”, they seem to hate an awful lot of people, don’t they?

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

The woke are useful idiots and as such will be eliminated if ever their Marxist masters gain power and control; after all, who wants a load of, now unneeded, proven troublemakers (‘activists’) hanging around causing dissent.

Last edited 3 years ago by Geoff H
David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff H

Yes, Stalin was very keen on eliminating veteran Bolsheviks. Although a Red I encountered on Twitter told me that that was a lie.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

…and then when the woke have families, they often decide they need to move away from the ‘vibrant and diverse’ areas because there is a ‘crime problem’, or an issue with the ‘local school’.

Toby Josh
Toby Josh
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

but so true


Lizzie Soden
Lizzie Soden
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

So what about the traditional left that buy stuff from Amazon or are in favour of immigration? Your viewpoint of the traditional left appears to be extremely narrow and blinkered, reminiscent of a bygone age. ‘Immigrants stealing homes’ is a spurious 1970’s argument in terms of taking an anti immigration stance. In 2021 the issues seem to include the lack of the impact of such initiatives like the buy-to-let scheme on affordable housing for example. I often hear similar demonisation of the whole demographic of the young supposedly middle-class ( does that mean graduates?) as all being ‘the same’ coming from people in the same vein as the identitarians they despise. Class, seems to be the last bastion of permitted massive generalisations. I wonder if critics of the young’s ‘woke’ outlook politics, (which actually works against them in terms of the divide and rule principle,) may do better in terms of understanding their situation. Many of them are from working class backgrounds and are the first generation in their families to go to university, propelled by the immense pride of their family. This is a direct result of the ‘50% at university’ push, and of course those new gleaming university’s business models. Maybe the arguments should focus on economics, and what those Amazon workers and laptop cafe-based creatives have in common. Without parents who own property, basically poverty and insecurity. The left should be focussing on less simplistic antagonistic narratives, and building empathetic responses understanding and solidarity perhaps?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

‘Immigrants stealing homes’ is a spurious 1970’s argument in terms of taking an anti immigration stance.

I have no idea who makes such an argument, but the fact is that we have let in 8 million people at least while not building homes for 8 million more people. It is simply beyond argument that mass immigration has caused a housing shortage.

In 2021 the issues seem to include the lack of the impact of such initiatives like the buy-to-let scheme on affordable housing 

I’m not sure if you meant Help-To-Buy rather than buy-to-let? But as it happens buy-to-let has made a huge and crucial contribution to mitigating the housing crisis. The average density of occupation is higher in rental property than in owner occupied – it’s something like 25 square meters per person versus 33. Housing that’s let out accommodates a third more people.
Tax attacks on landlords are therefore deeply misguided. A 5-bedroom house that’s an HMO may house 16 people. Divested into the owner-occupied market, it will house a family of perhaps 5 to 6. The family may have previously been renting, but even so, forcing the house out of the rental sector turns 6 tenants into owner-occupiers but leaves 16 evicted tenants looking for a new tenancy in a rental market that has just shrunk by one house.
Interventionist measures to make housing cheaper always end up making it more expensive. If there’s somehow a way to buy a house for half the usual cost, the asking price will double.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jon Redman
Lizzie Soden
Lizzie Soden
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I understand your point about buy-to let. However there is as always another way of looking at it. This does not negate your points in theory. From my perspective the figures you cite in terms of data do not seem relevant in terms of real life experience of a person who is renting, with all of the massive insecurities that brings. I am not a homeowner for reasons beyond my control and I am 60. I could class myself as one of those precariat as a freelancer who is only able to work sporadically due to a health condition. Since I left home at 18, I have never had a stable home for more than 4 years. I would get settled and the landlords who were looking at their property as an investment would necessarily not keep long term tenants in order to release capital etc. With my two kids I was reliant on fixed term one year contracts and have moved 18 times in 30 years. I have now been where I am for the last ten years due to the landlord wanting a long-term reliable tenant. This is very hard to find. However I have been priced out of good quality housing. I pay far more than I would could I get a mortgage but the house condition is more akin to student housing in the 80’s. I am not alone. The upkeep by the landlord constitutes the bare minimum he can get away with. Buy to Let has contributed to the growth of property portfolio careers and of course there are some good outcomes. But being a renter is often idealised. Young people mostly have no choice.
“the fact is that we have let in 8 million people at least while not building homes for 8 million more people. It is simply beyond argument that mass immigration has caused a housing shortage.”
I would say that of course mass immigration has impacted the housing shortage, but the problem is not the immigration per se but the lack of building in the need of affordable housing to accommodate our whole population, immigrants included. To be clear, I meant that immigrants are not the problem. The short-sighted lack of resources and planning for them is. Recent immigrants are of course also more likely to be the ones in overcrowded low standard housing, unable to claim wage subsidy benefits yet benefitting landlords increasing rents based on the lucrative property market.
It’s complicated.

Lizzie Soden
Lizzie Soden
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

I note your point about ‘financial envy’ of the Left on a later post, and I would concede there is a semblance of envy in my thinking, but that has nothing to do with my politics. It is to do more with security. Financial envy can come from all over the political spectrum. 😉

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

I suspect the reason why it’s the problem it is is that there are simply no straightforward or obvious solutions.
Building more houses alone does not build more roads, schools, buses, train capacity, surgeries etc, which are obviously required alongside. We can’t really require developers to build all this as well, because then the price of a new house would have to include a lot more than the cost of the dwelling itself. Making new builds more expensive in this way would either inflate local house prices, or if local prices are already maxed out, would mean the developer would have to absorb these costs; meaning s/he would probably not develop at all.
BTL was in effect an inadvertent but quite effective way of extracting more capacity from the same stock of houses. I wonder if part of the answer might be to extend this, eg charge council tax via a formula based on how many people the property could accommodate, with an add-on if it houses fewer than that. So the charge for living alone in a five-bedroom house would be more than that if it has five people living in it. It might encourage people to downsize as soon as they don’t need the space. You’d probably have to abolish stamp duty as otherwise you could create a class of people who can’t afford either to stay in their house or sell it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jon Redman
ChrisK Shaw
ChrisK Shaw
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I get your point but it’s possibly overstated. Surely buses, trains and doctors will appear proximate to their customers? Your base case that government should jump in and provide these services sounds like you have been living somewhere where the role of the entrepreneur has been neutered. Needless to say I’m on the other side of the pond but here in Tx the developers build huge housing estates and within weeks or months there are strip malls with every service you can imagine manned by small business owners.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  ChrisK Shaw

Up to a point, but train lines don’t build themselves and bus routes tend to lose money unless in cities. Health care is socialised over here so someone’s got to build and pay for a surgery and hire and pay staff.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  ChrisK Shaw

No, they don’t, or at least not in England. Where I lived until recently, the housing stock increased by about 18% in four years. The strip mall, or in this case the shop and garage disappeared around the same time, because they were sold to have houses put on their sites.
The GP practice lost to early retirement both its senior – and excellent – doctors, who had lived and worked in a fairly traditional and cohesive community. They just didn’t want to cope with a heavier workload of people with big city expectations.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The price of a new house already CAN incorporate extra social costs through a Section 106 agreement – not really an agreement but conditions and fees imposed on the developer by the council

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

… the effect of which is to reduce supply, driving up price.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Of course.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

More accurately, reducing profit, which the suppliers compensate for by reducing supply to increase price.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Until your Tory Council has an 8 year ;;Build everywhere’better” philosophy beloved of conservatives, and lib-dems,labour, &other Globalists

Philip Burrell
Philip Burrell
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Actually most of those costs (roads, schools, surgeries etc) are already factored into house prices via Section 106 payments which are part of the Planning process. Of course that doesn’t stop housebuilders trying to wriggle out of paying these costs, as well as their obligations to provide social housing. This despite the fact they have plenty of money to reward handsomely both their executives and their shareholders, not to mention the gift that keeps giving for developers known as Help to Buy. I speak from some knowledge as I live with someone who has been on a local planning committee for the last 15 years

Last edited 3 years ago by Philip Burrell
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Philip Burrell

Affordable housing According to Most MPs,Councillors are ÂŁ 400-950,000!

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Try to Get an Appointment with a GP..,Most are still cared of SARS2 ,but ok to give innoculations,paid ÂŁ12 a jab…that is already a problem,even in Small towns

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

45 minutes waiting on the phone to speak to a receptionist.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

Need of affordable housing ? – i.e. social housing, largely.

Agreed.

But there’s no public money with which to build it.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

You think there is an inexhaustible supply of suitable land for housing and associated infrastructure (roads, schools, hospitals, shops etc)? England is already one the most densely populated countries in Europe, and its agricultural sector is one of the smallest in the world in terms of the proportion of food consumed which is supplied domestically. Then there are non-housing uses. Land for recreation, land for nature, land for other species. You might want a concrete jungle and the destruction of the environment. I don’t. And I haven’t even mentioned all the different sources of pollution from high population densities. The problems brought about by overpopulation are many and varied and immense. And immigration is a major contributor.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

Also Pandemics Spread easily in Cities ,Megaopolis? As John Cleese said ”Stating the bl8888 obvious”.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

Help-to-buy was/is one of a vast number of government grant schemes, from at least cavity wall insulation onwards, which have filled the pockets of contractors.
The market sets the price of a commodity. HMG announces that a grant will be available, at 50% of the price of that commodity. Suppliers of that commodity know that the market will bear a price of x, and immediately increase the price to between 1.9x and 2x, because if people were willing to pay x before, they’ll still be willing to pay x, and even happier to pay the “bargain” price of .95x.

Last edited 3 years ago by David Brown
T J Putnam
T J Putnam
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

Back in the 70s 40% of the population were owners/mortgaged and another 40% secure public tenants. Thatcher sold off council housing to tenants and subsidised buying a house pushing up prices so much it’s finance of the housing market that’s the driver now not the cost of housing supply. Only the end of the house price bubble or big New public secure renting programmes will offer more secure, sound housing.

Antonino Ioviero
Antonino Ioviero
3 years ago
Reply to  T J Putnam

“Back in the 70s 40% of the population were owners/mortgaged and another 40% secure public tenants.”

The population of the UK fell between 1971 and 1981. That’s what enabled the Right-to-Buy policy.

The removal of credit controls removed the suppression of house prices. Remember mortgage waiting lists?

T J Putnam
T J Putnam
3 years ago

You miss the point. It’s the tricks that inflated house prices which make housing unaffordable now for the young unless there’s a house price crash or secure tenancies expanded so more people can live well outside the house purchase system.

Nick Pointon
Nick Pointon
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

If we had controlled immigration rather than mass immigration, we would have been able to plan the infrastructure accordingly. Not complicated if you don’t over-think it.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

“‘Immigrants stealing homes’ is a spurious 1970’s argument in terms of taking an anti immigration stance.”
So importing millions of extra people and wondering why there’s no housing is “spurious”? Millions of extra people also means lower wages and people less able to afford accommodation. This is basic maths and, dare I say it, just common sense so lacking in the Left.

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

 just common sense so lacking in the Left.”

If only common sense was more common!

p minto
p minto
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

Nothing spurious about the fact that immigration increases demand and therefore raises prices in a market which has to build 7 houses a minute just to meet immigration demand. And that figure comes from 2016 not the 70s. The spurious bit is the straw man that migrants “steal” homes. Pathetic.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Lizzie Soden

Towns and cities have become unrecognizable. I observe the different clothing-some ladies are not only covered head to toe but have strange grille bits to see out of-must be difficult for them ? I was in a shop and suddenly a lot of people scuttled out from the cellar-where they obviously live.I don’t think a lot of people who come here do get a better life-I would imagine they are being exploited. This is a situation that benefits only a few.

Alan Bright
Alan Bright
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

No, I really do think life here is better for many immigrants than it was at home.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Bright

I don’t think the people who come here are escaping absolute poverty because how could they afford to get here? We are obviously receiving what is their country’s version of the middle class and they often end up doing zero hour work in order to pay back money they or their family borrowed. When my grandparents came to England they were single and so could marry someone from that locality which meant they became part of the community-I noticed as a teacher the amount of Polish surnames for example. If your community arranges your marriage with an unknown person from another country , you are always going to remain a stranger.

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

A sort of not wanting their cake and eating it.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

…the woke millenials and those that followed are always the ones with plastic bottles of water in their hands, using uber instead of buses and getting dropped off and picked up from school on a daily basis. They have also been by far the generations that have made use of international travel and weekend breaks in Paris/Berlin etc, but at the same time regard themselves as the most virtuous when it comes to Green issues.

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Thats not true the woke don’t care about the housing crisis.

Grace blakey isn’t woke,she was sympathetic to brexit even.

Explicit complaining about white people,and/or open borders immigration is whats required to be woke.

Think afua hirsh,Shola Mos-Shogbamimu,kehinde Andrews.

And most BAME young successful professionals who love liberal capitalism and they frequently own property portfolios.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

And the people that vote for them.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

So socialism’s answer is to import millions of people which is what Blair did. And you wonder why wages are low and housing in short supply?

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Jobs doing what? Globally we overproduce (and over consume) so what can these people do that actually benefits society? We need more fruit pickers (or so they’re saying on TV) would they like to try that?

Labour said loads should go to university. They do and come out with a degree in media management or art (graffiti ) and can’t find anything to do with it. Unfortunately, they and the others, have been told whilst studying for their degree that they’ll get tremendous well paying jobs. What they ended up with was a large debt and disinterest from most employers.

Maybe what we should be doing is educating young people to the fact that what society needs is plumbers, carpenters, electricians not golf course managers.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Or diversity Officers, Media monitors, Gender studies etc..

Nigel H
Nigel H
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

but they don’t have to live with the consequences of the
policies they support. ”
Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t live next door to their opinions


Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel H

Richmond,Surrey has around 92% White is also A Capital of wokeness and regularly elects lib-dems..

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The wealthy Precariat also benefit from the cheap labour and off shoring that they can tap into as a result of globalisation and immigration. They have cheap people to serve them their lattes, clean their offices and homes and look after the kids. They can also offshore all manufacturing to cheap locations before importing it.

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago

At its best, “woke” identity politics is trying to do just that: build solidarity in a world fissured by difference.”
Really? So what happens when one identity group comes up against another?
Gays and muslims?
Transexuals and feminists?

andy thompson
andy thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

Now now, that’s all supposed to be brushed under the carpet. Go and stand in a corner!

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

A few years ago there were violent clashes between police and miners. A number of miners were killed.
Ordinarily the left has no problem knowing who to side with here, but in the case I refer to, the country was south Africa and everyone involved was black. So the left’s prejudices failed to instruct it; this situation did not compute. Both sides were beyond reproach.
I don’t see anything new in the left today. It’s the same old victimhood hierarchy based on identity, with no actual moral underpinning or informing it. The most saintly and irreproachable person imaginable to the left today would probably be a transgender Palestinian Muslim terrorist. Any such person who existed would promptly be killed by some other Muslim terrorist, of course.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

That situation (Marikana) was further complicated by the order to break the strike (not an order to shoot) having been given by a leftist government and the strike having been organized by an “upstart” union which was a response to the mainstream unions having become too cosy with the government.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Indeed, Mark. What to do, what to do? They’re police ( = the left hates them) but they’re black ( = the left worships them) and they’re implementing the agenda of a black leftist government ( = the left is swooning).
On the other they’re miners (swoon), black miners (double swoon), police-victimised black miners (triple swoon) and members of an insurgent leftist union (4x swoon).
What a dilemma!

T J Putnam
T J Putnam
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Tosh

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  T J Putnam

A well argued and logical response worthy of the wokest.

Last edited 3 years ago by Niobe Hunter
Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

 So what happens when one identity group comes up against another?

The noble science of intersekshunalism has the answer. You look up the intersectional charts, graphs and tables to determine the power-dynamics between the groups based on skin colour, mental disorders and political affiliation, and whoever is the darkest / leftest / barkingest wins. Colour is not the sole deciding factor, as many black individuals (Kemi Badenoch, Trevor Phillips, Shaun Bailey, David Kurten etc. etc.) are regarded as the “oppressor enemy”, due to their “internalised raycisum”.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

You make a joke, but that’s exactly how it’s worked out. I think it was Kimberle Crenshaw that designed the intersectional grid.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

They invent intersectionality. Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. [Job 5:7]

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

But how can you build solidarity in a world that is obsessed with pointing out peoples differences, encouraging and celebrating them, punishing those who don’t acknowledge them in one way or another? Surely, the way to solidarity is to point out peoples similarities and build on those and celebrate them rather than what separates us. But of course, that is not the agenda; getting people to separate themselves makes them easy round-up targets for when the bidding of their masters is done.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago

I can understand the woke youth feeling aggrieved, but I cannot understand their complete lack of logic in looking for a solution. In fact they are actively ensuring their demise.

Last edited 3 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago

For there to be logic, they must have brains, sadly many don’t. Their brains got taken from them at university.

Lizzie Soden
Lizzie Soden
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

Ha ha! That’s sadly often true.

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago

There is no logic in a cult. Their masters have no intention of them finding a ‘solution’ for they are the solution – to their masters agenda.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff H

If you think there’s no reason in cults, check out the elaborate dogmas of religions and political organizations, especially the more authoritarian ones. They’ve got it all worked out.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Geoff H said “logic”, not “reason”. And you seem to be confused as to two different definitions of “reason”. The elites of the Middle Ages had reason to subjugate the masses, but that didn’t make the period the Age of Reason.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago

You’re not going to find a lot of logic in the fables right-wingers tell each other about the left-wingers, nor vice versa. It’s mostly tribal hooting and tub-thumping. Evidence and reason and reality are hard. So much easier to make up fables and thump tubs.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

The woke do not represent the entire left.

Nick Pointon
Nick Pointon
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Politics in a nutshell.

Adam Steiner
Adam Steiner
3 years ago

In other words, as a predominantly white middle class movement, what the new progressives really object to – the root cause of their discontent – is that their generation has missed out on the “systemic privileges” which their parents enjoyed. Ironic given that it is exactly these privileges that they spend their political lives protesting against.
New progressives are on average better paid, better educated and from wealthier geographies and families than the majority of the population, let alone the traditional left. What this article seems to describe to me is not a justifiable complaint about having been left behind, but rather an overwhelming sense of entitlement – to a job which provides both self-actualisation and an upper middle class standard of living, and to have their political views not only heard, but accepted without question.
More than any generation before them, the woke believe that the world owes them not only a living, but also a hearing.

Last edited 3 years ago by Adam Steiner
Lizzie Soden
Lizzie Soden
3 years ago
Reply to  Adam Steiner

That seems to be an extremely uncharitable argument, which contains the same prejudices and inaccuracies you are accusing the young of perpetuating. Many in the traditional left own property for example. Those student revolutionaries from the 80’s who bought dirt cheap houses in the run-down East End or Islington for example, are now sitting on considerable assets, potentially topping a million, and are able to leave whopping big inheritances to their kids. The original East End residents are now able to sell up and buy huge houses in Essex just by virtue of being resident of a particular area.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Adam Steiner

I think that’s largely right, Adam. At bottom, every leftist cause arises from economic envy of someone else.
There is a website called housepricecrash for people who think the housing market is about to crash. Many there have thought this for 20 years, and have paid rent for that long – almost an entire mortgage term – in the belief that any minute now, they will be able to step in and grab a post-crash bargain.
All they want, of course, is to be able to buy in at a lower price, so that post-crash, as hose price inflation resumes, they can enjoy the same advantage they biliously observe others enjoying.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

‘..every leftist cause arises from economic envy of someone else.’
I wonder if that isn’t imposing a version of some rightist motivations onto leftist thinking? The ideas behind capitalism, economic competition, free markets and so on are unashamedly based on economic envy, and indeed its merit, as a motivator for organising economies and societies.
You could describe ideas of national or ethnic identity (in the white West) as being something that is under threat from immigration are based on a fear of losing economic benefits for the indigenous population due to other people’s economic envy. I think there is probably more to it than that but it is often couched in economic terms (around employment, wages and housing).
That’s not to say all people with conservative or right wing views are motivated by fear or greed – that would be as reductive as saying all leftist people are motivated by economic envy.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The acquisitive impulse is certainly important, but the difference between right and left is that the right doesn’t begrudge others what they have, whereas the left does; if everyone can’t have a Rolls-Royce nobody should have one. If you ask someone of the left where they’d rather live, in a country where everyone has ÂŁ5, or in one where everyone has ÂŁ6 apart from the top 10% who have ÂŁ50 and one who has ÂŁ1000, they often genuinely struggle to say.
Envy doesn’t really work to explain antipathy against immigration because immigrants tend to be poorer than the indigenes.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Envy doesn’t really work to explain antipathy against immigration because immigrants tend to be poorer than the indigenes.
I was trying to say that antipathy to immigration is partly based on the assumption that the immigrants are envious of the wealth of the existing population – they begrudge it – want to take it.
If you ask someone of the left where they’d rather live, in a country where everyone has £5, or in one where everyone has £6 apart from the top 10% who have £50 and one who has £1000, they often genuinely struggle to say.
I would struggle – within the question are lots of assumptions based on made up numbers that don’t look at the material consequences of the inequality.
In the UK the top 20% have around 40% of total income earned and the bottom 20% have 8%. The richest 10% have 44% of wealth. If you ask someone on the left whether they’d rather live in a country where income and wealth are more equally distributed among the population they would say yes. I don’t think that is necessarily related to envy but to a desire for fairness.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

To simplify the question, would you rather live in country A where everyone is equally poor, or in country B where there is disparity in wealth but everyone is richer than in country A?
By way of examples, think of Soviet Russia versus say Switzerland.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I’d rather live in Switzerland than Soviet Russia. But I’d rather still live in a world where there was less disparity between Soviet Russia and Switzerland. And I’d also want to reduce the disparity within Switzerland.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The soviet empire has fallen 30 years ago, but that aside the wealth inequality in the Soviet Union was multiple times higher than in Switzerland.
There are many other factors determining wealth per capita. If those GDP-poor but child-rich countries of Africa stuck to near-replacement level birth rates since the 1950s, where do you think they would be now? It’s not that they lack natural resources.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

I know you think it is because they are inherently inferior to Europeans.

Nick Pointon
Nick Pointon
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

So would you make Soviet Russia more like Switzerland or Switzerland more like Soviet Russia?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Pointon

Soviet Russia more like Switzerland. These questions are getting more and more bizarre.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I believe it was Switzerland that installed a policy that the CEO of a company cannot earn more than twelve times the lowest paid employee.

Last edited 3 years ago by Brian Dorsley
Adam Steiner
Adam Steiner
3 years ago
Reply to  Adam Steiner

I’m not sure I follow the economic argument. But it’s hard to feel charitable towards people who believe they have a direct line to moral rectitude, shout their opinions loudly, judge anyone who disagrees with them as evil, and use public pressure to degrade institutions and end people’s careers.
There was a great quote in Quilette the other day from a professor who’d had a medical course shut down because some wokesters didn’t like the implications of the science:
“Universities used to be a place where young students sought to be educated by experts in their fields. Now its a place where an expert in their field goes to be re-educated by young students.”
However intellectually uncharitable I may appear, I suspect my overall outlook is significantly more charitable than that of your average woke activist. I happily admit I could be wrong about just about everything.

Last edited 3 years ago by Adam Steiner
T J Putnam
T J Putnam
3 years ago
Reply to  Adam Steiner

We ALL have the right to claim BOTH, surely?

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  Adam Steiner

No,
The woke are BAME professionals who have no problem with capitalism but do what a grudge with white people and Britain.

They congregate on twitter, own property and even portfolios and they insist they are systematically oppressed.they are very unreasonable and have a lot of sneering contempt for white Britain.

jdmoorephotography
jdmoorephotography
3 years ago

I attempted to set up a union in the call centre that fundraised for the labour party back in 2005. An uphill struggle to put it mildly, in a workplace filled with international middle class woke actors, artists etc on zero hours contracts.
Many of them had utter distain and incomprehension at the idea that mass immigration may possibly have a negivitive impact on housing, wages or resourses.
Also worth mentioning the labour party offered no support either.

Last edited 3 years ago by jdmoorephotography
Nick Wright
Nick Wright
3 years ago

I’m always a fan of Mary’s writing, so the headline surprised me. Having read the article, the headline baffles me.

This is not a defence of Woke politics, which is a misguided religion in all but name, but a very reasonable and rational explanation of why many of us aged 35-44 (and younger) feel disenfranchised and underrepresented.

The Left won’t save us, but an association of progressive thinkers across the traditional party divides might.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

Small-p progressive, yes perhaps.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

“Progressive” is a moch abused word. there is nothing “progressive” about the Left who want to take us back to 1917 Communism.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

The article author does not necessarily, or even very often, think up the headline.

David Fitzsimons
David Fitzsimons
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

For what it’s worth, many of us in our 50’s (and I’d guess older) feel disenfranchised and underrepresented too.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago

The older one is, the more disenfranchised one is. The world has moved on at a frantic pace, values have been turned upside down, and we can but stare and wonder where our world has gone. We are now irrelevant. But because we (mostly) own our houses, we are obviously standing in the way of the younger renting generation, which has no conception of the hard work and sacrifices most of us made to get on the housing ladder., sacrifices which they don’t want to make.

Nick Wright
Nick Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

For context, I’ve spent my career in the City or management consulting jobs Mary mentions in the first paragraph. Amongst my peers who bought, only a select few paid for a deposit solely by their own means and not family money. I’m yet to own a house simply because I moved back to the UK from abroad in 2015 and not a few years earlier, when property prices were last at affordable levels. It’s certainly not the result of a lack of hard work.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

Precariat my er, foot. The wokists generally come from the top few centiles of wealth and income. They can either scrounge from their parents or obtain a sinecure in one of the many thousands of non jobs in the public or “third” sectors. Normal people on low wages whether in traditional or digital sectors are regarded with horror and contempt by the woke. They are a typical elitist movement like their 1930s forebears. This is why they tend toward anti-semitism and judge character by irrelevent issues like skin colour or sexual preferences. They are simply rich kids behaving badly and “wokism” is their rebel flag like Rock n Roll, Delta Blues or Jazz was in the past.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

‘Precariat my er, foot. The wokists generally come from the top few centiles of wealth and income. They can either scrounge from their parents or obtain a sinecure in one of the many thousands of non jobs in the public or “third” sectors.’
Well said, so true.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

They are a typical elitist movement like their 1930s forebears.
it’s a bit ironic how much they resemble the very thing they claim to hate.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Look at their fashion – often militarised, BDSM influenced, androgenous and clearly desperate for some physical affection. Their resemblance to messrs Ernst “Geil” Rohm, Edoard Pfieffer and even England’s own Nick Crane is more than just ideological, its physical and sexual as well.

Last edited 3 years ago by mike otter
Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

Mary raises many points in her article.
The first that springs to my mind, is that 50% of the young go to University, but they still think that this will bring them rewards only available to the top 20%. Perhaps before choosing a course they should look at the jobs market and not waste their time and money on useless courses. If they insist on taking courses that have a poor financial reward, do not complain later that they receive a poor financial reward.
Secondly housing, this is largely tied up with an increasing population and a green mentality. The increasing population comes from immigration, the more people who come to the UK the more houses are required. However, as soon as new houses (and roads, and infrastructure) are proposed out comes the green lobby to try to stop them being built.
Thirdly, Mary writes about her gadfly existence in her twenties and then says she escaped this “because I married someone who’d managed a long enough stint in the corporate salt-mines to buy a home”.
Lastly, changes to the jobs market have been taking place for a long time. If you wish for improvements in peoples standard of living then you need to increase productivity and innovations. Think back over the last 200-300 years, think the spinning jenny, railways, cars, planes, washing machines, freezers, indoor toilets and bathrooms, the internet and vaccines.
Therefore, in conclusion, the woke left is emotional, self indulgent and illogical and it deserves to fail

Adam Steiner
Adam Steiner
3 years ago

The “corporate salt mines” comment is very telling. The writer clearly sees work as some kind of punishment, rather than a necessary and reasonable exchange of labour for money. Presumably industry should be reshaped from the production of goods and services that society actually wants, and realigned with the woke generation’s need for self-actualisation.

Last edited 3 years ago by Adam Steiner
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Adam Steiner

That remark reminded me of my sister in law, who spent her 20s happily working in TV and rubbing shoulders with minorly famous faces, but then got to 40 and realised she was unemployable in an ageist, sexist profession. She was then bitterly envious of people like me, who spent their 20s checking boring documentary letters of credit and indemnity, and boring bills of lading, and boring demurrage calculations, and who thereby found a line of work that paid more not less as you get older.
As far as she’s concerned it’s very unfair that we have a better house, car, holidays etc, and she does not see that being poor now is the price she paid for having all that fun; much as I tolerated boredom with a longer term reward in mind.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Not quite sure if you’re celebrating the sexism and ageism that meant your sister lost her job or celebrating your own lack of joy in what you do for a living.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

He’s trying to explain the trade off between enjoyment and commitment at work.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Niobe Hunter

I thought he was saying of his sister ‘being poor now is the price she paid for having all that fun.’
Even though she was working and lost her job because of ageism and sexism – not because she was having fun.
People can do work that is fun and offers security – it’s not a moral failing to enjoy what you do and there’s nothing morally superior about doing a job you don’t like. Although, of course, many of us do.

Rob Mcneill-wilson
Rob Mcneill-wilson
3 years ago

Buying a house in the early 80’s was not an easy ride for young workers with 17% mortgages. A lot of young complainants chuck a lot more money around on clothes, holidays and entertainment than their parent’s could or did.
There are plenty of good paying jobs and I know lots of young craftsmen/tradesmen who are not saddled with debt from doing questionable-value degrees, work hard – and take pride in it and enjoy it, make a good living and, consequently have a good standard of living. None of them have any woke tendencies.

Peter LR
Peter LR
3 years ago

“woke” identity politics is trying to do just that: build solidarity in a world fissured by difference.“
I’m really not sure that is what is happening. This whole movement seems driven by something in the ether. There’s no reasoning going on; its adherents seem to be following on autopilot. Can anyone guess what the next madness will be, or from whom or from where it will come?
One of the ways I try to keep free of its influence is by not watching the main news outlets or opinion debates but reading widely and comparatively instead. I know older intelligent people who do follow those media sources and are quite hooked by the opinions of the latest groupthink.

Lizzie Soden
Lizzie Soden
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter LR

Yes, it makes sense to focus criticism on the ideas as opposed to demonise people. If you show the young contempt and ironically intolerance and venom, why would they be open to any connection and solidarity.? Why would they want to listen to other arguments and explanations?

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter LR

Your right,its not trying to unify anyone.

Its entirely fueled by anti white resentment.

The author took her cues from Grace blakey who isn’t really woke.

Woke people are largely BAME professionals, business owners who have no problem with capitalism and they largely do well.but they still have a sneering contempt for white people and Britain and insist Britain is racist.
There commentators are shola
Shola Mos-Shogbamimu,
Afua hirsh
Kehinde Andrews
Priyamvada Gopal
Saira roa

And another one I forget her twitter handle but it might come back to me

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago

Very good essay. Reminds me of the work of Emile Durkheim who wrote about anomie, translated often as normlessness leading to alienation. This alienation can be social, political or alienation from the self; self estrangement as seen in those suffering from identity problems.
starting with the world wars, to the fall of Berlin Wall and now the digitisation of the self, one could argue that increasing alienation has become the human condition, especially for the young. This is a sociocultural problem and not an economic one. Throwing money at youth centres is easy; but building a support structure of shared norms and values is much harder. Especially when forces of stability and norms- faith, family, community – are systematically being dismantled by the left. Trite observation but very true- the right won the economic argument, but the left has won the cultural war.

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

I keep saying we need to revive Durkheim.

Paul Sorrenti
Paul Sorrenti
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

absolutely, but I’d add that the right are perhaps just as responsible for the dismantling of faith, family and community. Neoconservatism being the main culprit – the unfettered faith in the market separating families and communities as work is delocalized. And I agree that in recent history the right won the economic argument and the left won the cultural, but do you not sense those polarities switching?

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Sorrenti

I don’t know if the polarities have switched or political distinctions erased

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Sorrenti

The dismantling of family and community definitely the work of the right. Done deliberately in UK to remove obstacles to ‘free’ market capitalism and destroy the base of the political opposition to the Conservatives.
Striking how Tebbit was telling people to get on their bikes and Johnson says he wants to create jobs where people live. Would suggest the left won the cultural argument as well as the economic.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Yet it’s groups like BLM, so much favoured by the woke Left, that are in favour of destroying the nuclear family and defunding the police and other dimwitted ideas.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

The official BLM in USA is a very different beast from how BLM as a general concept is understood in UK – or even what the official UK BLM stands for. Defunding the Police and destroying the nuclear family are not objectives of BLM in UK.

ChrisK Shaw
ChrisK Shaw
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The inference is that you know what BLM UK stands for. Pls elucidate.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  ChrisK Shaw
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

If BLM UK do not support the basic tenets of the original US BLM (Marxism and destruction of the nuclear family), then best UK gets a new name.

Susannah Baring Tait
Susannah Baring Tait
3 years ago
Reply to  ChrisK Shaw

I have read many of Mark Bridgeford’s posts, and he strikes me as a born ‘contrarian’. Whatever the subject under discussion, he will naturally take a contrarian position. Whether this is unconscious or deliberate I haven’t yet fathomed. Additionally, in his defence, I seem to remember that he once mentioned he was a person of colour so his (often prickly) opinions will be formed from a different perspective from many posters on this forum.

Last edited 3 years ago by Susannah Baring Tait
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

I’m not a person of colour or a born contrarian. I thought the purpose of UnHerd was to enable discussion outside the Herd – if I appear contrarian it might be because my views are different from the UnHerd Herd.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

You’re either Stupid or So blinkered sanctmonius Virtue signaller/ess ….BLM were on Talkradio earlier this year & Torn apart ,They DO want to defund the Police ,the Do want to Smash Shops ,and destroy Families …

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Well they they were objectives when I looked at their website last Summer in an attempt to ‘ educate myself’.

zac chang
zac chang
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

BLM was a protest movement against black people being executed in the street by the police.Thats why its supported by 99% of black people.Funny its mostly white men that hate it so much isnt it?I wonder why that is….defunding the police is about de-militarizing the police in the USA, a very sound idea.

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago
Reply to  zac chang

Some rather hysterical claims there. Care to provide some supporting evidence?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  zac chang

Well more whites are killed by police than blacks in the US, so out of the gates you are dead wrong.

Nick Pointon
Nick Pointon
3 years ago
Reply to  zac chang

“That’s why its supported by 99% of black people”. You’ve interviewed them all I take it.

Rob C
Rob C
2 years ago
Reply to  zac chang

It was the Clinton administration that started militarizing the police.

Lee Buerz
Lee Buerz
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Yes spot on, a lot of reframing of recent socio economical vandalism and blaming the young for a culteral enviromental situation that they live within yet didn’t create.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The dismantling of family and community definitely the work of the right.
One might expect just a single example to support such a statement. It is the left that speaks of “borthing People rather than mothres, the left which supports a welfare state that makes fathers superfluous, the left which rails against the nuclear family. But, sure; work of the right.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I gave the example of Norman Tebbit. It’s UK specific – the idea that if there is no work in your town you should leave your town and your family to find work.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Who advocates ‘leave your family’? Leaving one’s town has existed for much of human history. There are jobs of the past that are gone, and jobs today that did not exist when I was born. Something like work-from-home is very recent. But, your point about “dismantling the family” is firmly rooted on the left.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Could you give an example of a mainstream left movement that has advocated dismantling the family?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Sure:
–in the US, the rise of the welfare state in the 60s made fathers expendable, with particularly devastating consequences in black communities.
–A tenet of the BLM movement is hostility towards the nuclear family, though it’s not the first group to hold that opinion.
–The attacks on women who choose to stay home with kids, almost always led by feminists.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Rise of the welfare state – you think that was designed to make father’s expendable or to ensure families without work or where work didn’t pay a decent wage could feed and clothe themselves?
Nuclear Family – those references have been removed from BLM’s current webpage. But this is what it said: We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable. Reads more like a call for greater community than less.
Attacks on women who choose to stay at home led by feminists? Where? Do you mean equal pay for equivalent jobs for women and men?

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Do you mean equal pay for equivalent jobs for women and men?” – that’s been enshrined in law in the US and UK for 50 years.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

When welfare payments are contingent on the father NOT being in the home, what else is that but an intentional result? And black poverty had been dropping since the 40s, so people were working and feeding/clothing families. More importantly, they were families.
Curious how BLM removed that reference, isn’t it? It wasn’t due to a change of heart. As it is, the word “father” is conspicuously absent, and the only mention of ‘men’ is in regard to any threat they pose to women.
if I could women who were equally experienced and skilled as male applicants, why would I ever hire a man? And yes, attacks on women who CHOSE to stay home. It’s not crazy right wingers attacking them.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

On welfare payments in the US I’ll defer to your greater knowledge of the US system..
On BLM I still don’t think there is evidence of it being ‘hostile to the nuclear family’.
On the women at home issue I really don’t know what you are referring to with regard to attacks on women who choose to stay at home.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

When the manifesto has no mention of ‘fathers,’ that’s not an oversight. It manages to mention q u e e r s and trans and whatever else, but no positive affirmation of males at all. The group took down its What We Believe section because people finally took the time to read it.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Our network centers those who have been marginalized within Black liberation movements. BLM
Maybe they don’t think black straight men have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.