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The Red Wall firebrand is a myth Lee Anderson is the tribune of an imaginary working class

Hang 'em, flog'em, bring back the cat (Credit: GB News/YouTube)

Hang 'em, flog'em, bring back the cat (Credit: GB News/YouTube)


February 13, 2023   5 mins

Some roles in Westminster are not dished out by party leaders or formal elections, but pass by natural succession from generation to generation. One such position is the firebrand Tory “rent-a-quote” — the Honourable Member most relied upon to voice those views that sit just beyond the pale of parliamentary language. They bellow things that would drop jaws at a nice dinner party but barely raise an eyebrow in a small-town pub.

The Tory Tribune of the Plebs is there to talk “common sense”; to say those things which connect with a section of the electorate most politicians would like to ignore. Teddy Taylor was one. An MP first in Glasgow and then Southend, he would use his prominence in parliament to call for the return of the birch. Geoffrey Dickens was another, a former boxer who campaigned to ban teddy bears and suggested homosexuality be criminalised to stop the spread of Aids. Both also, naturally, tried to bring back hanging. Theirs is a blokey, nuance-free politics, whereby villains get what they deserve, the sick filth is banned, and honest people live in peace. Lee Anderson has established himself as their heir.

Anderson is never short of things to say. He calls himself “30p Lee” for his pronouncements on how easy it should be for poorer households to live on a budget. He’s hawkish on crime and immigration, and an advanced fighter in every aspect of the culture war — even boycotting England for “taking the knee”. Perhaps inevitably, an interview emerged last week where he endorsed the death penalty. Since his election in 2019, the MP for Ashfield has established himself as the most well-known of the Red Wall MPs. Across social media, he is loathed by his opponents as well as the more liberal, cosmopolitan wing of the Conservatives. He probably doesn’t care that much, buoyed by the supporters who seem to adore him. Some call him the most controversial man in parliament, others a genuine voice of the people. Either way, he’s made his mark.

Anderson, like Taylor, Dickens and others before him, is pugnacious and uncaring for niceties. Unlike them, however, he has been able to harness social media to boost his profile even further. Whereas the firebrands of the Seventies and Eighties had to wait for a journalist to call them, Anderson has shown he can make himself the party’s main character in just a tweet. Twitter has boosted his profile and advanced his political career — crowned last week by his promotion to Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. Not bad, for someone who was a Labour councillor until 2018.

There is, of course, a a cynical edge to all this. Once, MPs commanded attention on the streets and in the broadsheets, either as a fighter in their constituency or an intellectual, policy-minded-grandee. Today, however, it’s all in the retweets and social media. The most well-known MPs, certainly beyond the front benches, have a carefully curated online presence. Dehenna Davison TikToks herself into being the “cool” Tory MP. Stella Creasy lip-syncs on Instagram after voting to ban protests around abortion clinics. Anderson’s a social media star in the same vein — curating a larger-than-life version of himself to stand out among his colleagues. It’s not that he doesn’t believe what he says, but he chooses to express it in the most performative way possible.

This does have its uses: Anderson occupies a useful niche, both for himself and the party. Tory MPs generally sit to the Left of their voters on most social issues, including crime. Many of the party’s rank and file support the death penalty. Around a third of voters do too, with that number increasing with more specific questions, such as when it comes to terrorists or murderous paedophiles. It’s a faction the Tories are never actually going to yield to, but that they want to keep inside the political tent. These are older, poorer voters — exactly the demographics the Tories are increasingly reliant on. Figures such as Anderson give them some red meat without really changing anything.

But is this useful to the party in the long term? On current predictions, Anderson will struggle to save his seat at the next election. It probably won’t even be close, and he may well slump to third behind the local Ashfield Independents. The picture is so bleak for the Tories, his defeat will be just a footnote as more famous faces fall and far bigger majorities are overturned. A reversion to the meanness of hang’em and flog’em policies won’t do much to stem this.

Serving him up as antidote to Sunak’s gloss is far from guaranteed to work either. As much as the party wants to appeal to an authoritarian base, its electoral coalition is much broader than many assume, and it’s hard to embrace it without pushing others out the other side. Many Tory voters see the death penalty as abhorrent and are largely conciliatory about immigration and poverty. About a quarter of Conservative voters oppose the Rwanda scheme, for example, while about half think it is “difficult” for the poor to raise their incomes.

Rather than win them over, Anderson’s approach could alienate these voters, especially in his more outlandish moments. He was previously suspended from Labour when his action to block Travellers from a field led to a charge of fly-tipping, and his parliamentary comments on Gypsies have also drawn strong criticism. Elsewhere, Private Eye has reported on his links to those who flirt with the far-Right, and his tussles with journalists are far from edifying. The praise he garners from “common-sense” Tories will be matched by dislike from The Sensibles. In the southeast, where the Tories are struggling to hold on to the professional classes, Anderson is unlikely to shore up anything.

Even in the Red Wall, it’s wrong to assume that everyone is a budding “30p Lee”. These areas were originally defined as being demographically Tory when it came to wealth and age profiles but alienated from the party culturally, largely because of Thatcherism. They are more varied in their outlook than most would admit. You might be able to pick up a street house for £70,000, but many of Lee’s voters will sit in comfortable detached houses with mid-six-figure asking prices. They’ve probably paid them off and are receiving generous pensions. The Tory success in these northern seats is linked to Brexit, but is driven by many of their traditional political factors.

Yet even if the Tories are wiped out, the party will always have its Andersons — just as Labour will always be a home for the hard Left. Where else are they to go? But this is where the Conservatives should take care. When the Conservatives have been successful, it’s been because they have been able to knit together the shy Tories, the quiet Tories and the wet Tories, along with the broad-chested, pugilistic tribune archetype. Taylor and Dickens, after all, were always on the outside of the party establishment, more tolerated than loved. As Labour learnt with Corbyn, giving too much prominence to the outliers alienates far more voters than it brings in — and, after their inevitable electoral failure, they tend to leave chaos in their wake.


John Oxley is a corporate strategist and political commentator. His Substack is Joxley Writes.

Mr_John_Oxley

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Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

A very poor smear article on Lee Anderson. Latching on to a few selective phrases without context is the stuff of the poor click-bait journalism that is all-pervasive these days.
I suspect the author has avoided the hard yards of actually listening to Anderson during interviews.
It is certainly naive to suggest that stifling the views held by much of the population will enhance an attempted ‘big-tent” approach.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Martin Butler
Martin Butler
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Anyway who suggests the death penalty might be a solution to anything is not a serious politician in my book. The biggest deterrent to crime, as anyone who comments on this topic should be aware, is being caught. Going on about the death penalty won’t hid the damage done to policing in this country by the massive cuts imposed by Tories. Cuts that they are now desperately trying to undo. Something Anderson fails the mention.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

He doesn’t “go on about it”

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Maybe ‘your book’ needs an overhaul. To begin with you charge ahead with the assumption that those advocating the death penalty do so on grounds of deterrence. In doing so you overlook the need by a society for a true sense of justice. When Rigby was murdered in cold blood, caught on video, by Islamists Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo every part of me (and of millions of others) feels that justice is not served until these two are killed by the state. I do not care if that would be a deterrent, probably not, but unless it occurs there is a sense that justice has been avoided.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

I have tried via gov.co.uk petition site to get Trooper Lee Rigby a posthumous honour. All to no avail. On both occasions the petition wasn’t accepted.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

I don’t think that even now ‘Bomber Command’ have received their own campaign medal despite years of protest!
So what chance would the late Trooper Rigby have?

In fact the wretched State is far more interested in prosecuting octogenarian Northern Ireland veterans and killing them with COVID, as in the case of the late Corporal Major Dennis Hutchins of the ‘Life Guards.
HMG is an utter disgrace!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

I don’t think that even now ‘Bomber Command’ have received their own campaign medal despite years of protest!
So what chance would the late Trooper Rigby have?

In fact the wretched State is far more interested in prosecuting octogenarian Northern Ireland veterans and killing them with COVID, as in the case of the late Corporal Major Dennis Hutchins of the ‘Life Guards.
HMG is an utter disgrace!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

I have tried via gov.co.uk petition site to get Trooper Lee Rigby a posthumous honour. All to no avail. On both occasions the petition wasn’t accepted.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

He doesn’t “go on about it”

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Maybe ‘your book’ needs an overhaul. To begin with you charge ahead with the assumption that those advocating the death penalty do so on grounds of deterrence. In doing so you overlook the need by a society for a true sense of justice. When Rigby was murdered in cold blood, caught on video, by Islamists Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo every part of me (and of millions of others) feels that justice is not served until these two are killed by the state. I do not care if that would be a deterrent, probably not, but unless it occurs there is a sense that justice has been avoided.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Agreed,

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Anyway who suggests the death penalty might be a solution to anything is not a serious politician in my book. The biggest deterrent to crime, as anyone who comments on this topic should be aware, is being caught. Going on about the death penalty won’t hid the damage done to policing in this country by the massive cuts imposed by Tories. Cuts that they are now desperately trying to undo. Something Anderson fails the mention.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Agreed,

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

A very poor smear article on Lee Anderson. Latching on to a few selective phrases without context is the stuff of the poor click-bait journalism that is all-pervasive these days.
I suspect the author has avoided the hard yards of actually listening to Anderson during interviews.
It is certainly naive to suggest that stifling the views held by much of the population will enhance an attempted ‘big-tent” approach.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

“Yet even if the Tories are wiped out,”
If they are, it won’t be Anderson’s fault.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Too right. But I wish more attention was given to the vast silent army of Quiet Provincial Conservatives away from the attention grabbing Red Wall. It does not have a sexy title. But it led the fight against the ghastly Progressive EU London Establishment and is the heartland of moderate pro enterprise national Conservatism. I think this class has now finally worked out that the entire political legal media and admin metro class – including the current Non Tories – is hostile to its core traditional values and interests. Why is no one asking what Provincial England is thinking? And what it can or will do next as it becomes ever more clear we exist in a One Credo State??

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Too right. But I wish more attention was given to the vast silent army of Quiet Provincial Conservatives away from the attention grabbing Red Wall. It does not have a sexy title. But it led the fight against the ghastly Progressive EU London Establishment and is the heartland of moderate pro enterprise national Conservatism. I think this class has now finally worked out that the entire political legal media and admin metro class – including the current Non Tories – is hostile to its core traditional values and interests. Why is no one asking what Provincial England is thinking? And what it can or will do next as it becomes ever more clear we exist in a One Credo State??

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

“Yet even if the Tories are wiped out,”
If they are, it won’t be Anderson’s fault.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Lee Anderson seems like the sort of normal, common sense bloke who means what he says and we need more of (and not less) in Parliament.
Last week we read here about the “Civic Future fellowship”. Frankly, I’d far rather see more Lee Anderson’s than more “fast-tracked” “high flyers”.
Of course, the media pack all despise people like Lee Anderson. Just as they were blind to the Red Wall. Once you’ve deemed a set of views “unacceptable in modern society”, you stop listening. As Gordon Brown proved with Gillian Duffy.
He’s also a better communicator than 95% of the media hacks. As is Nigel Farage. Never discount the professional jealousy of the mediocre – and dare I say it privileged.
I have never supported the death penalty and am unlikely to ever do so. But a lot of people do and deserve representation.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Very reasonable comment and viewpoint. More of the same, from more people, would be good.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

I agree, except that in his opening sentence Peter said “less” when he should have said “fewer”.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

I agree, except that in his opening sentence Peter said “less” when he should have said “fewer”.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Very reasonable comment and viewpoint. More of the same, from more people, would be good.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Lee Anderson seems like the sort of normal, common sense bloke who means what he says and we need more of (and not less) in Parliament.
Last week we read here about the “Civic Future fellowship”. Frankly, I’d far rather see more Lee Anderson’s than more “fast-tracked” “high flyers”.
Of course, the media pack all despise people like Lee Anderson. Just as they were blind to the Red Wall. Once you’ve deemed a set of views “unacceptable in modern society”, you stop listening. As Gordon Brown proved with Gillian Duffy.
He’s also a better communicator than 95% of the media hacks. As is Nigel Farage. Never discount the professional jealousy of the mediocre – and dare I say it privileged.
I have never supported the death penalty and am unlikely to ever do so. But a lot of people do and deserve representation.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

Trying to create equivalence between Anderson and the hard left in the Labour Party is profoundly wrong. Unlike Momentum and the rest of the Tankie left, Anderson has no faction around him trying to infiltrate and dominate his Party. He is simply expressing a point of view shared by many of his constituents (interestingly, the same constituents who almost certainly supported him when he was a Labour councillor). And herein lies the rub; both mainstream parties use figures like Lee as a pressure valve (which Mr. Oxley acknolwedges) while they cling on to their grey, centrist, steady-as-she-goes politics. The sort of politics that won’t get them labelled nasty at dinner parties, or threaten their post-political corporate careers. I can’t wait for Sir Keir’s Labour to come into power – apart from some Kulturkampf posturing it will be more or less exactly the same as the shower of merde we have now.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

Trying to create equivalence between Anderson and the hard left in the Labour Party is profoundly wrong. Unlike Momentum and the rest of the Tankie left, Anderson has no faction around him trying to infiltrate and dominate his Party. He is simply expressing a point of view shared by many of his constituents (interestingly, the same constituents who almost certainly supported him when he was a Labour councillor). And herein lies the rub; both mainstream parties use figures like Lee as a pressure valve (which Mr. Oxley acknolwedges) while they cling on to their grey, centrist, steady-as-she-goes politics. The sort of politics that won’t get them labelled nasty at dinner parties, or threaten their post-political corporate careers. I can’t wait for Sir Keir’s Labour to come into power – apart from some Kulturkampf posturing it will be more or less exactly the same as the shower of merde we have now.

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago

I’m afraid, John, that this mean-spirited article reveals a lot more about you than it does about Lee Anderson.

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago

I’m afraid, John, that this mean-spirited article reveals a lot more about you than it does about Lee Anderson.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

Really poor article. Well below par.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

Really poor article. Well below par.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

I come from a neighbouring constituency to Lee Anderson’s. There is nothing ‘imaginary’ about the working class people who support him, or why they do so. These are people who are despised by his former party because they are mourning the deaths of their pits and coal-fired power stations and the end of their status as a proud, high-earning, industrially powerful working class. Labour is only interested in ‘the poor and the vulnerable’ and those with an ‘identity’; white former miners in depressed coalfield towns are not it! There is also a distrust of Nottinghamshire on the Left because it created the UDM and continued working in 1984. It is still known as Scab County in some circles.
Supporting the death penalty is not unusual in working class areas; my stepfather, a retired train driver, used to ask every candidate who came to the door whether they supported it, though he still voted Labour because that’s what you did. That world has gone. The traditional working class is opposed to illegal migration, thinks ‘Transgenderism’ is ridiculous and elected Lee Anderson because of his actions against the travellers that regularly plague the East Midlands and his assertion that benefit claimants should be sent to live in tents and made to pick vegetables. And it is Labour that called him 30p Lee.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago

Thanks for that, and particularly for the correct attribution of ‘30p Lee’. What a shoddy article that couldn’t even get that right and I assume is written by someone who knows nothing at all about the true working class. From which I guess he must be a Labour supporter!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

“someone who knows nothing at all about the true working class. From which I guess he must be a Labour supporter!”
Yup.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

“someone who knows nothing at all about the true working class. From which I guess he must be a Labour supporter!”
Yup.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago

Thanks for that, and particularly for the correct attribution of ‘30p Lee’. What a shoddy article that couldn’t even get that right and I assume is written by someone who knows nothing at all about the true working class. From which I guess he must be a Labour supporter!

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

I come from a neighbouring constituency to Lee Anderson’s. There is nothing ‘imaginary’ about the working class people who support him, or why they do so. These are people who are despised by his former party because they are mourning the deaths of their pits and coal-fired power stations and the end of their status as a proud, high-earning, industrially powerful working class. Labour is only interested in ‘the poor and the vulnerable’ and those with an ‘identity’; white former miners in depressed coalfield towns are not it! There is also a distrust of Nottinghamshire on the Left because it created the UDM and continued working in 1984. It is still known as Scab County in some circles.
Supporting the death penalty is not unusual in working class areas; my stepfather, a retired train driver, used to ask every candidate who came to the door whether they supported it, though he still voted Labour because that’s what you did. That world has gone. The traditional working class is opposed to illegal migration, thinks ‘Transgenderism’ is ridiculous and elected Lee Anderson because of his actions against the travellers that regularly plague the East Midlands and his assertion that benefit claimants should be sent to live in tents and made to pick vegetables. And it is Labour that called him 30p Lee.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I don’t know this Anderson guy very well – I’m from Canada – but I’m not seeing a lot of substance to the critique here. He supports the death penalty. Meh. I don’t support the death penalty, but lots of people do and that’s their right. It’s certainly not some far right position. If the guy is a loud mouth who doesn’t get anything done, that’s a valid criticism.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Philosophically capital punishment is a much more left wing position. If you care more about about a community’s right to permanently remove dangerous criminals than the bourgeois idea that a criminal has individual rights or that human life is sacred then you’d be more inclined to CP.
The rights of an individual against the community is a liberal individualistic concept. The right of a community to act against individuals who threaten the community is a democratic communitarian concept. Capital Punishment is left wing.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The bloke is a clown. According to him he can cook a nutritious meal for 30p (less than the price of two eggs), he got caught getting his friends to pose as concerned voters when he was filming himself door knocking and finally claimed any nurse who claimed to be struggling to live on £30k was a liar, completely ignoring that rents of £20k-£25k in the capital aren’t uncommon. Even amongst the rest of the charlatans in Westminster he stands out as being particularly useless

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Philosophically capital punishment is a much more left wing position. If you care more about about a community’s right to permanently remove dangerous criminals than the bourgeois idea that a criminal has individual rights or that human life is sacred then you’d be more inclined to CP.
The rights of an individual against the community is a liberal individualistic concept. The right of a community to act against individuals who threaten the community is a democratic communitarian concept. Capital Punishment is left wing.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The bloke is a clown. According to him he can cook a nutritious meal for 30p (less than the price of two eggs), he got caught getting his friends to pose as concerned voters when he was filming himself door knocking and finally claimed any nurse who claimed to be struggling to live on £30k was a liar, completely ignoring that rents of £20k-£25k in the capital aren’t uncommon. Even amongst the rest of the charlatans in Westminster he stands out as being particularly useless

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I don’t know this Anderson guy very well – I’m from Canada – but I’m not seeing a lot of substance to the critique here. He supports the death penalty. Meh. I don’t support the death penalty, but lots of people do and that’s their right. It’s certainly not some far right position. If the guy is a loud mouth who doesn’t get anything done, that’s a valid criticism.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

A typical petit bourgeois view from someone who would not last 5 minutes in an industrial working mens pub…. If he did, he would realise that an overwhelming majority of British working class voters loath the ” racism/ Lbgt/ global warming” national socialist fifth column ” trident, and were the LM C ToileTories to work this out, they could create a landslide victory.

Those of us who have had the enjoyment and honour to work with soldiers, and stable lads, and in our youth on building sites and in factories have a respect for our manual working bretheren that the modern lower middles, themselves often only one generation away, do not, due to the Pooteresque snobbery that this part of our society literally wallows in.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Bit overly nostalgic that NST – ‘…industrial working men’s pubs’? ‘…youth on our building sites’? ‘…manual working bretheren’? You seem stuck in a decade that has long gone.
Majority of the first have long since closed, and the latter two much more likely these days to be immigrants – and proper grafters too.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

We even have such pubs in swanky left wing South-West London. Thank you very much.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

We still have pubs full of working class tradesmen up North, and no, they aren’t all immigrants. And immigrants are not all grafters either.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

the latter two much more likely these days to be immigrants – and proper grafters too.

Yeah believe it or not j Watson not any old immigrant can turn up and be an electrician or carpenter or plumber or builder in the UK. There’s actually a fair bit of skill and knowledge involved in doing these jobs, it’s normally accepted that you’re no good until you’ve done five years around different sites and different jobs. We have to do calculations, tons of regulations, building inspectors, paperwork chain, we have to have multiple insurance policies, we have to have yearly inspections etc etc. We get done for not complying with this stuff, people can die if we do our job wrong. Electricution is no joke. Gas leaks are no joke. Ive never come across a responsible SME in the construction industry that uses unskilled immigrant labour.
You have clearly never been near a building site nor comprehend the construction industry.
I also hate the woke American progressive trident.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

the latter two much more likely these days to be immigrants – and proper grafters too.

Yeah believe it or not j Watson not any old immigrant can turn up and be an electrician or carpenter or plumber or builder in the UK. There’s actually a fair bit of skill and knowledge involved in doing these jobs, it’s normally accepted that you’re no good until you’ve done five years around different sites and different jobs. We have to do calculations, tons of regulations, building inspectors, paperwork chain, we have to have multiple insurance policies, we have to have yearly inspections etc etc. We get done for not complying with this stuff, people can die if we do our job wrong. Electricution is no joke. Gas leaks are no joke. Ive never come across a responsible SME in the construction industry that uses unskilled immigrant labour.
You have clearly never been near a building site nor comprehend the construction industry.
I also hate the woke American progressive trident.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

We even have such pubs in swanky left wing South-West London. Thank you very much.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

We still have pubs full of working class tradesmen up North, and no, they aren’t all immigrants. And immigrants are not all grafters either.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Bit overly nostalgic that NST – ‘…industrial working men’s pubs’? ‘…youth on our building sites’? ‘…manual working bretheren’? You seem stuck in a decade that has long gone.
Majority of the first have long since closed, and the latter two much more likely these days to be immigrants – and proper grafters too.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

A typical petit bourgeois view from someone who would not last 5 minutes in an industrial working mens pub…. If he did, he would realise that an overwhelming majority of British working class voters loath the ” racism/ Lbgt/ global warming” national socialist fifth column ” trident, and were the LM C ToileTories to work this out, they could create a landslide victory.

Those of us who have had the enjoyment and honour to work with soldiers, and stable lads, and in our youth on building sites and in factories have a respect for our manual working bretheren that the modern lower middles, themselves often only one generation away, do not, due to the Pooteresque snobbery that this part of our society literally wallows in.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago

That was a rubbish read. Apart from anything else, the comments on Teddy Taylor are nonsense; he was a highly intelligent nuanced thinker, with a great understanding of the various strands of liberal (old fashioned meaning) Tory philosophy and the practicalities of being a Conservative in a democratic society. Yes, he supported the death penalty in limited circumstances, but that was just one part of his philosophy and not a very important part.

Graeme Archer
Graeme Archer
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Thank you for posting your comment. The unkind comments about Teddy Taylor stood out for me too. Unfortunately for the writer, some of us who remember the 1980s very well are only just middle-aged, with intact memories, so we can tell when they’re talking nonsense*. Teddy Taylor was a funny, intelligent man whose contributions always made you smile as well as react. He was not a ‘hanger-flogger’. I hope for the sake of his fragility that the writer never comes across videos of Lord Tebbit.

*A propos of nothing i.e. quite o/t, we noticed that when The Crown made it to the 1980s it became unwatchable to us, because we remembered the events that were being so grotesquely misrepresented. At that point, we reflected, it was safer to assume that everything in the drama had been likewise perverted. And stopped watching. But this is what the Left does, isn’t it? It rewrites history as ‘drama’, creating a narrative at odds with reality (see The Miners’ Strike for example) , but one which catches on and thus displaces reality. I suppose the only difference with the current obsession about gender is that the Left used to insist only that it could rewrite historical realities; now it claims to be able to rewrite reality in the present.

Last edited 1 year ago by Graeme Archer
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme Archer

Very well put, and quite rightly said. That subtle distortion of the truth of recent history is extremely dangerous. We need a Truth and Reality Commission to comment on all these damaging changes!

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme Archer

Very well put, and quite rightly said. That subtle distortion of the truth of recent history is extremely dangerous. We need a Truth and Reality Commission to comment on all these damaging changes!

stephen archer
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Teddy was one of a kind, untouchable. A conservative MP from Cathcart or anywhere in central Scotland for more than 15 years is an impossibility in today’s politics. How I long for politicians with such integrity as he had.

Last edited 1 year ago by stephen archer
Graeme Archer
Graeme Archer
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Thank you for posting your comment. The unkind comments about Teddy Taylor stood out for me too. Unfortunately for the writer, some of us who remember the 1980s very well are only just middle-aged, with intact memories, so we can tell when they’re talking nonsense*. Teddy Taylor was a funny, intelligent man whose contributions always made you smile as well as react. He was not a ‘hanger-flogger’. I hope for the sake of his fragility that the writer never comes across videos of Lord Tebbit.

*A propos of nothing i.e. quite o/t, we noticed that when The Crown made it to the 1980s it became unwatchable to us, because we remembered the events that were being so grotesquely misrepresented. At that point, we reflected, it was safer to assume that everything in the drama had been likewise perverted. And stopped watching. But this is what the Left does, isn’t it? It rewrites history as ‘drama’, creating a narrative at odds with reality (see The Miners’ Strike for example) , but one which catches on and thus displaces reality. I suppose the only difference with the current obsession about gender is that the Left used to insist only that it could rewrite historical realities; now it claims to be able to rewrite reality in the present.

Last edited 1 year ago by Graeme Archer
stephen archer
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Teddy was one of a kind, untouchable. A conservative MP from Cathcart or anywhere in central Scotland for more than 15 years is an impossibility in today’s politics. How I long for politicians with such integrity as he had.

Last edited 1 year ago by stephen archer
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago

That was a rubbish read. Apart from anything else, the comments on Teddy Taylor are nonsense; he was a highly intelligent nuanced thinker, with a great understanding of the various strands of liberal (old fashioned meaning) Tory philosophy and the practicalities of being a Conservative in a democratic society. Yes, he supported the death penalty in limited circumstances, but that was just one part of his philosophy and not a very important part.

Andy Moore
Andy Moore
1 year ago

Well that was a few minutes wasted, not a good start to the week.

Andy Moore
Andy Moore
1 year ago

Well that was a few minutes wasted, not a good start to the week.

odd taff
odd taff
1 year ago

The views of Mr Anderson are not mainstream but they are probably closer to the electorate than most MPs. There’s a huge gulf in values between the political classes of all parties and the people they purport to represent. Many people despair at the failure of the police and justice system to protect law abiding citizens and punish wrongdoing. The restoration of capital punishment may be a blind alley but desire to bring in robust deterrents would find a lot of support.

Last edited 1 year ago by odd taff
odd taff
odd taff
1 year ago

The views of Mr Anderson are not mainstream but they are probably closer to the electorate than most MPs. There’s a huge gulf in values between the political classes of all parties and the people they purport to represent. Many people despair at the failure of the police and justice system to protect law abiding citizens and punish wrongdoing. The restoration of capital punishment may be a blind alley but desire to bring in robust deterrents would find a lot of support.

Last edited 1 year ago by odd taff
Richard Stanier
Richard Stanier
1 year ago

I laughed at a “street house” for £70k. Does this plonker mean a terraced house?

Richard Stanier
Richard Stanier
1 year ago

I laughed at a “street house” for £70k. Does this plonker mean a terraced house?

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

Good to know our leaders decide our fate at ‘dinner parties’.The author should look at Lee’s old Facebook page. Many comments there wishing he was their MP. He has a strong following in his constituency, I dare say if he were to jump to Reform they’d go with him. As it is he’s a bit too forceful for their dinner partyites. He’d tear them to pieces for only having 7-8% at this time of dissatisfaction with government.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

Good to know our leaders decide our fate at ‘dinner parties’.The author should look at Lee’s old Facebook page. Many comments there wishing he was their MP. He has a strong following in his constituency, I dare say if he were to jump to Reform they’d go with him. As it is he’s a bit too forceful for their dinner partyites. He’d tear them to pieces for only having 7-8% at this time of dissatisfaction with government.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago

What a snobby article or do I miss the point?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

It is and you don’t.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

It is and you don’t.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago

What a snobby article or do I miss the point?

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
1 year ago

Wasn’t it always so, the tribune of the plebs given the power to speak for them alone, yet always in the pocket of the ruling class? To speak of the worst imagined voices and thus the stain the workers as the worst sort of savages. Along with that other witless class the journalists; who do their job of spreading division amongst the ruled even if not intentionally. They are always rewarded for their efforts, like dogs being given a treat for barking at the unknown. Even when they know what they do, the lure of the, very, greasy pole is too great.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Leejon 0

It’s an interesting point, but no, it was not always so. The job of the politician is, or should be, to reconcile the different strands of opinion among the populace and produce workable policies and strategies to satisfy the needs and desires of the citizenry, that includes leading debate and trying to change opinion.
And generally, in the UK, that job has been done well; Attlee, MacMillan, Wilson, Thatcher, in particular, but others also.
Same applies to journalists who mostly until 20 years ago did a good job and were true professionals, most of them. Not much now, I agree.

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Perhaps, but 80 years out of thousands is not representative. Although I do agree that period you highlight was a golden age of politics for all of the people rather than just a subset. I can see no politicians now who have the gravitas and determination of those you mentioned. I am still in awe at what Attlee achieved against the odds in such a short period.

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Perhaps, but 80 years out of thousands is not representative. Although I do agree that period you highlight was a golden age of politics for all of the people rather than just a subset. I can see no politicians now who have the gravitas and determination of those you mentioned. I am still in awe at what Attlee achieved against the odds in such a short period.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Leejon 0

It’s an interesting point, but no, it was not always so. The job of the politician is, or should be, to reconcile the different strands of opinion among the populace and produce workable policies and strategies to satisfy the needs and desires of the citizenry, that includes leading debate and trying to change opinion.
And generally, in the UK, that job has been done well; Attlee, MacMillan, Wilson, Thatcher, in particular, but others also.
Same applies to journalists who mostly until 20 years ago did a good job and were true professionals, most of them. Not much now, I agree.

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
1 year ago

Wasn’t it always so, the tribune of the plebs given the power to speak for them alone, yet always in the pocket of the ruling class? To speak of the worst imagined voices and thus the stain the workers as the worst sort of savages. Along with that other witless class the journalists; who do their job of spreading division amongst the ruled even if not intentionally. They are always rewarded for their efforts, like dogs being given a treat for barking at the unknown. Even when they know what they do, the lure of the, very, greasy pole is too great.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
1 year ago

I am neither old nor poor …

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
1 year ago

I am neither old nor poor …

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
1 year ago

*Populism (which is what we’re really talking about here) is not synonymous with authoritarianism, as the Left and the squish Right love to characterize it. It is harsh on criminality and cultural decay and refuses to cater to good manners hiding bad actions, but is the opposite of the Progressive all-knowing, all-controlling authoritarian state (of the sort we saw all too clearly during Covid).

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
1 year ago

*Populism (which is what we’re really talking about here) is not synonymous with authoritarianism, as the Left and the squish Right love to characterize it. It is harsh on criminality and cultural decay and refuses to cater to good manners hiding bad actions, but is the opposite of the Progressive all-knowing, all-controlling authoritarian state (of the sort we saw all too clearly during Covid).

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

There’s an article worth writing to say that someone like Anderson is a figleaf for the bland mediocrities who run the party, a Tory John Prescott. Suggesting that their views have no resonance among a large portion of the electorate doesn’t make sense. I listened to Anderon being interviewed by Peter Whittle and he came across as down to earth, sensible and in tune with real issues for real voters. The question then for the article worth writing is whether someone like Anderson is genuine, and if so, does he have a place in the modern Tory Party?

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

There’s an article worth writing to say that someone like Anderson is a figleaf for the bland mediocrities who run the party, a Tory John Prescott. Suggesting that their views have no resonance among a large portion of the electorate doesn’t make sense. I listened to Anderon being interviewed by Peter Whittle and he came across as down to earth, sensible and in tune with real issues for real voters. The question then for the article worth writing is whether someone like Anderson is genuine, and if so, does he have a place in the modern Tory Party?

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
1 year ago

Lee Anderson is one of those rare politicians who says what everyone else is thinking.

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
1 year ago

Lee Anderson is one of those rare politicians who says what everyone else is thinking.

William Goodwin
William Goodwin
1 year ago

Another intellectually bankrupt London denizen masquerading as an expert on the northern working classes. I wonder what qualifications or, more importantly, what authority the author has to opine on the authenticity of a working class MP? Still, knowing nothing never deterred the cognoscenti, did it?

William Goodwin
William Goodwin
1 year ago

Another intellectually bankrupt London denizen masquerading as an expert on the northern working classes. I wonder what qualifications or, more importantly, what authority the author has to opine on the authenticity of a working class MP? Still, knowing nothing never deterred the cognoscenti, did it?

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

Geoffrey Dickens also tried to expose political paedophiles. Unfortunately he gave the evidence he had collected to Leon Brittan.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

Geoffrey Dickens also tried to expose political paedophiles. Unfortunately he gave the evidence he had collected to Leon Brittan.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago

Not actually stated, but we can be confident that he has no actual influence in Cabinet or the Conservative Party as a whole; just a noisy facade.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago

Not actually stated, but we can be confident that he has no actual influence in Cabinet or the Conservative Party as a whole; just a noisy facade.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“He’s … even boycotting England for “taking the knee”.”
Good man!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“He’s … even boycotting England for “taking the knee”.”
Good man!

Thomas O'Carroll
Thomas O'Carroll
1 year ago

John Oxley speaks of “murderous paedophiles”. On average, one child is killed around every 10 days in England and Wales alone at the hands of their parent (NSPCC), often in cases of partner infidelity that attract little publicity. By contrast, the murder of a child in a sexual contact, is always huge news but is extremely rare, which is why individual cases stick in the mind and generate outrage. This outrage is well justified but unintentionally selective and prejudicial against minor attracted persons, who generally behave as well as others.
Media commentators should avoid collective libels, which in Oxley’s case looks casual and careless. The YouGov poll he links to in order to support his point actually makes no mention of paedophiles. The relevant question asked in the poll says, “Should the death penalty be reintroduced for the murder of a child?”

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
1 year ago

DNA testing of children at birth to establish paternity should be routine.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Why? So it can go on the Google-GCHQ-CIA world panopticon database?
What if the mother declines the State’s ‘kind offer’? What shall the penalties be? Jail? Whose child is it? Not flucking HMG’s!

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Why? So it can go on the Google-GCHQ-CIA world panopticon database?
What if the mother declines the State’s ‘kind offer’? What shall the penalties be? Jail? Whose child is it? Not flucking HMG’s!

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
1 year ago

DNA testing of children at birth to establish paternity should be routine.

Thomas O'Carroll
Thomas O'Carroll
1 year ago

John Oxley speaks of “murderous paedophiles”. On average, one child is killed around every 10 days in England and Wales alone at the hands of their parent (NSPCC), often in cases of partner infidelity that attract little publicity. By contrast, the murder of a child in a sexual contact, is always huge news but is extremely rare, which is why individual cases stick in the mind and generate outrage. This outrage is well justified but unintentionally selective and prejudicial against minor attracted persons, who generally behave as well as others.
Media commentators should avoid collective libels, which in Oxley’s case looks casual and careless. The YouGov poll he links to in order to support his point actually makes no mention of paedophiles. The relevant question asked in the poll says, “Should the death penalty be reintroduced for the murder of a child?”

George Venning
George Venning
1 year ago

“As Labour learnt with Corbyn, giving too much prominence to the outliers alienates far more voters than it brings in — and, after their inevitable electoral failure, they tend to leave chaos in their wake”
Whatever else, Corbyn was, he wasn’t an example of “giving too much prominence to the outliers.” Corbyn won the leadership of his party fair and square. He won among the existing membership and he won among the incoming membership as well as the £3 supporters. The party trebled in size. It’s still a small sliver of the population but it’s a mandate.
Instead of buiding on that (ahem) momentum, the Parliamentary Labour Party resisted him as fiercely as they dared. They ran a leadership election in which Corbyn wiped the floor with them, they briefed against him on all sorts of issues about which the public didn’t give a toss (too republican to accept a post to the Privy Council was especially stupid I thought) and, as is now well known, they actually tried to lose the 2017 election in order to be rid of him. Instead, Corbyn’s manifesto achieved a huge and unforeseen swing towards Labour which rubbed out the Tories’ majority and hamstrung Theresa May. It wasn’t a win, but it wasn’t bad for someone whose own Parliamentary party actively loathed him and his politics.
My point being that, at least, in 2017, Corbyn was far more appealing to voters than he was to his own MPs
It’s true that 2019 was a wipeout but, that was, primarily because a) he was persuaded to come out firmly against Brexit, which was economically correct but politically an elephant trap and b) because the PLP finally found a charge that stuck – anti-Semitism. No matter that the charge has now been largely debunked by the Forde Report, Labour Leaks, Al Jazeera’s reporting etc. The narrative is that “the public won’t accept some beardy old Lefty because they hate leftiness.”
You’re entitled to hold that opinion if it makes you happy. But it isn’t a very good explanation for what actually happened.
Which makes the analogy with the Tories inexact. Whatever, disdain old school parliamentary Tories might have had for fringey ideas like No Deal Brexit, they either nodded along or got purged. That’s how Liz Truss’ fringey brand of dead-eyed lunacy made it into Number 10 and drove the UK headlong into avoidable disaster in a matter of weeks.
The Tories enable and coddle their “loonies” in the hope that they may one day prove to be electoral assets. Labour repudiates theirs in pursuit of “respectability”. And thus, our politics drift ever rightwards.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  George Venning

I wish the UK were ‘drifting rightward’. Thatcher would be far to the right of today’s ‘green’ conservatives, and they are about to get stomped by Labour in the next election.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  George Venning

I wish the UK were ‘drifting rightward’. Thatcher would be far to the right of today’s ‘green’ conservatives, and they are about to get stomped by Labour in the next election.

George Venning
George Venning
1 year ago

“As Labour learnt with Corbyn, giving too much prominence to the outliers alienates far more voters than it brings in — and, after their inevitable electoral failure, they tend to leave chaos in their wake”
Whatever else, Corbyn was, he wasn’t an example of “giving too much prominence to the outliers.” Corbyn won the leadership of his party fair and square. He won among the existing membership and he won among the incoming membership as well as the £3 supporters. The party trebled in size. It’s still a small sliver of the population but it’s a mandate.
Instead of buiding on that (ahem) momentum, the Parliamentary Labour Party resisted him as fiercely as they dared. They ran a leadership election in which Corbyn wiped the floor with them, they briefed against him on all sorts of issues about which the public didn’t give a toss (too republican to accept a post to the Privy Council was especially stupid I thought) and, as is now well known, they actually tried to lose the 2017 election in order to be rid of him. Instead, Corbyn’s manifesto achieved a huge and unforeseen swing towards Labour which rubbed out the Tories’ majority and hamstrung Theresa May. It wasn’t a win, but it wasn’t bad for someone whose own Parliamentary party actively loathed him and his politics.
My point being that, at least, in 2017, Corbyn was far more appealing to voters than he was to his own MPs
It’s true that 2019 was a wipeout but, that was, primarily because a) he was persuaded to come out firmly against Brexit, which was economically correct but politically an elephant trap and b) because the PLP finally found a charge that stuck – anti-Semitism. No matter that the charge has now been largely debunked by the Forde Report, Labour Leaks, Al Jazeera’s reporting etc. The narrative is that “the public won’t accept some beardy old Lefty because they hate leftiness.”
You’re entitled to hold that opinion if it makes you happy. But it isn’t a very good explanation for what actually happened.
Which makes the analogy with the Tories inexact. Whatever, disdain old school parliamentary Tories might have had for fringey ideas like No Deal Brexit, they either nodded along or got purged. That’s how Liz Truss’ fringey brand of dead-eyed lunacy made it into Number 10 and drove the UK headlong into avoidable disaster in a matter of weeks.
The Tories enable and coddle their “loonies” in the hope that they may one day prove to be electoral assets. Labour repudiates theirs in pursuit of “respectability”. And thus, our politics drift ever rightwards.