X Close

The political power of Deano An internet meme could decide the next election

(Billy Stephens)


April 21, 2023   10 mins

“Imagine a village consisting of a few shops, a public-house, and a cluster of dirty little houses, all at the base of what looked at first like an active volcano,” wrote JB Priestley after visiting Shotton Colliery in 1933. The volcano was the notorious Shotton Tip, a giant slag heap that towered over the Durham pit village, smoke billowing from its peak, children tobogganing down its slopes. Priestley had never seen anything like it. It was like Pompeii before the explosion, he wrote, evidently appalled.

Shotton is barely half an hour from where I grew up, but it is a world apart. Today it is not just a place of literary interest, but real political significance. In 2019, it was one of the last solid bricks in Labour’s Red Wall. Under Boris Johnson, the Tories managed to win over other mining towns in the area, but failed in Easington — home to Shotton. Many psephologists believed that the demographic trends which had swept the Tories into the area had not yet run their course and more parts of the Red Wall could still fall, including places such as Easington. Now though, according to the polls, Labour is on the brink of rebuilding the Red Wall all over again, throwing the Tories back not only in Easington but across the north east. I returned to Shotton to find The Most Important Man In Britain. Apparently he holds the key to the next election. His name is Deano.

Deano, I should stress, is not a real person. He is an avatar, an internet meme, a representation — the personification of a certain type who can be found almost anywhere in the country. He is an everyday man; a middle manager with a new-build home and a car on finance, a large TV and a PS4. According to one of the more popular memes online he is, more specifically, “deputy assistant head of sales targeting” who arrives home every day to a wife “already home from her work as a Team Leader in a call centre”. You can almost see the disdain dripping from the page.

To many, Deano is a figure of fun: a low-brow, low-status provincial man with bad taste and too much sway over the nation’s cultural life. But the more I read about him online, whether on Reddit, Urban Dictionary, Twitter or YouTube, the more I realise his was not a life to be mocked but cheered — and even envied. Deano owns his home, gets back from work early, and has enough disposable income for new furniture and nice food. He is doing well and is a responsible, decent citizen. He isn’t rich enough to dodge his taxes and is more likely to be found in the gym than in the pub or the bookies.

In some senses, Deano is a lifestyle choice as much as an identity, which might even be boiled down to not moving to London. For many London graduates, earning £40,000 but spending all their money on a shared rented flat, Deano is the road less travelled. Deano decided not to move somewhere else; he is happy to earn slightly less while enjoying more disposable income and more space. Ninety years after Priestley’s famous journey, I thought I would find this lifestyle in Shotton. Where there were once miners and children tobogganing down slag heaps, there would now be Deanos; not folk to feel sorry for or to romanticise — just ordinary people living ordinary lives. The problem was, after a few hours in Shotton, it was quickly evident that I was only half right.

Today, the colliery has disappeared and so too has the tip. Where Priestley’s volcano stood, there is now a monument to all the miners killed. A small industrial estate has been built next-door as well as a sky-diving centre. Call centres are now one of the main sources of employment in the area. At first glance, then, it should be a perfect home for Deano. And yet, if the old Shotton tip was a symbol of economic iniquity, a real-life metaphor used by Priestley to highlight the exploitation of ordinary workers, its disappearance seems to signify something just as bad: a loss of economic purpose which seems necessary for any community to thrive. The unfortunate truth is that Shotton is now a soul-sapping place. Pubs are boarded up, hotels turned into halfway houses, poverty high and drugs rife. Kids no longer toboggan down slag heaps but compete to torch cars. With no real industry in the area, or even an economy to speak of, old miners watch helplessly as their community withers. 

This was not the story I’d come looking for. In fact, if you were seeking the kind of lasting Northern stereotype that Priestley helped create, then Shotton was it. Judi, who I met in the community centre, had actually met Priestley when he visited in the Seventies. “He was a strange character,” she told me. “Very dry, very droll
” But while she didn’t like what he’d said about the village — “something about urchins wasn’t it?” — she liked him. “He was very English, you know. Very English. You don’t see much of that anymore. You have to hide it under a rock.”

This is exactly the kind of place that tickles Westminster’s imagination, a place about which well-meaning seminars might be held to discuss why it no longer feels represented by Labour and its liberal, metropolitan leaders, much to the frustration of those who live there. And yet, unlike other parts of the Red Wall, the surrounding constituency of Easington stuck with Labour in 2019 and will almost certainly do so again next year. In many ways, it is simply too poor for the Tories to touch. There simply aren’t enough Deanos. For the residents of Shotton, their primary need is plain and obvious: a big and redistributive state willing to spend more money on the area. And you don’t get this from the Tories.

Continuing my searching for Deano, I headed south to Stockton-on-Tees, another town Priestley had visited and disliked. “The real town is finished,” he wrote. “It is like a theatre that is kept open merely for the sale of drinks in the bars and chocolates in the corridors.” The problem was that even by 1933, the industry had gone and wasn’t coming back. Stockton just did not have the geography to sustain its industrial base. And so it declined. Today, the town feels as old and tired as it did then. Deano was nowhere. Cross the River Tees, though, and a different picture emerges. Stockton South went Tory at the last election, part of an unbroken Tory band of blue that runs from Redcar on the east coast to Copeland on the west. If Sunak is to have any chance of remaining Prime Minister, he’ll need to retain some of these seats. 

Stockton South might be one of his best shots. On this side of the river, traditionally speaking, you are in North Yorkshire, just a few miles from Sunak’s own constituency of Richmond. On this side of the river lie the prosperous suburbs of Middlesbrough and Stockton, as well as pretty little market towns such as Yarm, Eaglescliffe and Guisborough. But what really makes Stockton South interesting is an odd little place that didn’t exist when Priestley came touring, Ingleby Barwick. It is not a pretty market town or poor pit village. It does not fit the usual Red Wall iconography of terraced houses and working mens’ clubs. It is the biggest private housing estate in Europe, a sprawling suburb on the southern bank of the Tees, sandwiched between Middlesbrough and the north Yorkshire countryside. It is a place of red-brick homes and Audis in the drive. It is the land of Deano. 

“Probably not the main point, but why on earth do they live in a shit Deano Barratt estate newbuild?” wrote one journalist after photos emerged of Nicola Sturgeon’s Glasgow home being raided by police last week. Let’s just stop for a second to put this in context. Her home is worth around £400,000, has four bedrooms, a garage, garden, drive and conservatory. This is not a modest home, but a big one. Similar homes spread out, street after street, in Ingleby Barwick: big and detached with drives and garages. Ingleby Barwick is far from grim. It is home to thousands of people living good lives: teachers and doctors, small businessmen and middle managers. New schools have been built along with a swanky leisure centre at its heart. The latter costs £275 for the year, all-inclusive; a David Lloyd family membership in London is £300 a month.

The blog In The Sight Of The Unwise was one of the first to explain the political power of Deano to Westminster. Its anonymous author told me that Deano had been misunderstood. He is an aspirational figure, living the life most people aspired to — and governments of all stripes have long encouraged. Deano, he told me, enjoys a day at the races and weekend trips to Europe, spends money and owns his own home. There are black Deanos and Asian Deanos. There are also plenty of female Deanos. And while they might not read the Guardian, that doesn’t make them some kind of Jim Davidson parody. Their views are likely to be run of the mill, in line with the majority opinion of the country.

If Deano is in any sense working-class, it is upper working-class. But what he really is is nouveau riche — petty bourgeois. These people have always come in for more abuse than the romanticised northern worker. As Dr Dan Evans — author of A Nation of Shopkeepers: The Unstoppable Rise of the Petite Bourgeoisie — has pointed out, they are Harry Enfield’s “Loads a’money” character, Hyacinth Bucket, Boycie from Only Fools and Horses. Today, the author of the In The Sight Of The Unwise blog told me, they are Molly Mae from Love Island or the influencer Mrs Hinch.

“Look at Thatcher and Tebbit and how they almost take pride in the rigid populism of their political thought,” wrote Tony Blair in an admiring letter to the then Labour leader Michael Foot back in 1982. “The Tory party is now increasingly given over to the worst of petty bourgeois sentiments,” he concluded. Those petty bourgeois sentiments, of course, would win the Tories landslides in 1983 and 1987 and keep them in power until 1997, when Blair would take over, accused by his own party of pandering to the same apparently “petty” sentiments. Then and now, this same group is the key to winning elections. For what is Deano if not the “Essex Man” of today, or “Mondeo Man”, or perhaps even the “Worcester woman”? They are all ciphers, characters who most closely resemble the everyday man or woman of England who decides elections, not because they are concentrated in one swing town, but all the swing towns of the country: in Middlesbrough and Swindon and Batley and Droitwich Spa.

Deano is everywhere. And for the past year he has been screwed. 

Deano is not rich and he is not poor. He relies on cheap credit, low taxes, good public services and stable prices. All of this has disappeared. In the wake of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both public borrowing and inflation rocketed and so, in time, did interest rates. Then came the madness of Liz Truss who sought to light a fire under the British economy in order to burn away its problems, only instead to burn it all down — hitting Deano in the pocket all over again. 

In the chaos that followed the Truss budget of September 2022, as many as 1,700 mortgage products were removed in the space of a week. When they came back on the market, they were at rates 1-2 percentage points higher. For Deano in Ingleby Barwick, who might have a £200,000 mortgage left to repay, the monthly repayment costs would have risen over £500 a month — or around £6,000 a year. The interest rate rises have also increased the cost of leasing a car and anything else bought on credit. And this is before the food and energy price rises are taken into account. For the first time in Deano’s life, his standard of living has dropped. He was born into a world of low interest rates — and that has suddenly disappeared.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan asked voters whether they felt better off than four years earlier. The problem for the Tories is that their core constituency of voters clearly does not and are almost certainly not going to by next year. Perhaps that’s why those now advising the Conservative leadership on its election strategy are urging a greater focus on the Deano class that handed the party its victory in 2019: stop focusing on the poor in places like Shotton who do not vote Conservative, and start focusing on the petty bourgeois in Ingleby Barwick who do. These are the voters the Tories need in 2024: Deano and Deano’s parents. They are also the “hero voters” Labour is targeting as well. What that means for Shotton and places like it is a depressing thought, for they remain nobody’s priority.

It is fashionable to think of today’s post-Brexit Conservative Party as being some kind of seismic shift away from its traditions, not only from the moderate One Nation Tory leaders such as Macmillan and David Cameron, but also from Thatcher. The truth, though, is that the Tory coalition of 2019 marked something of a return to the traditional Disraelian coalition of the wealthy elite and the provincial petty bourgeoisie. This is the coalition the Tories have always needed to win. David Cameron never quite managed to assemble it in the way that Macmillan, Thatcher and Johnson did. When Margaret Thatcher stood against Ted Heath for the Conservative leadership in 1974, she gave an interview to the Daily Telegraph setting out her vision of conservatism. Headlined “My Kind Of Tory Party”, she argued that the party had failed the people by failing to control inflation and losing focus on the day-to-day reality for ordinary people. There was nothing wrong with defending “middle-class values”, Thatcher argued. “International interest rates must be thought of in terms of the young couple’s mortgage as well as of the balance of payments.” The same is true today.

One southern Tory MP told me their 2019 coalition was the closest the party had got to Macmillan’s landslide-winning bloc of 1959. And Macmillan, of course, rose to prominence as the MP for Stockton. For the Tories, Deano has always mattered. Today, Deano’s mortgage is rising and so are his taxes. Meanwhile, the few state benefits he does have access to are means-tested and the public services he uses are deteriorating. In short, he is not on the breadline, struggling to put food on the table, but he is paying more for less and can feel it. Another Tory MP, this one from a Red Wall seat, told me he worried Sunak’s vision of the North was as a great extension of Richmond: all dry-stone walls and market towns basking in gentle, rural prosperity. It’s a vision as out of touch as that which sees the North as one giant Shotton. In fact, the bits of the Red Wall that the Tories won in 2019 are not so very different from anywhere else in the country. 

Priestley came away from the North East exasperated by the failures of economic governance that had left people and places to rot. “The planning did not take into account the only item that really matters — the people,” he wrote. “The final question must always be, not how are England’s imports and exports, not how many ships we are building, how many tons of coal we are getting out of the ground, but how are the English People.” He is still right. But the English people do not fare well if nothing is being imported and exported, built and sold, for without it an area is robbed of its purpose. Where there is economic life, there are Deanos. And for the Tories, where there are Deanos there is life.


Tom McTague is UnHerd’s Political Editor. He is the author of Betting The House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election.

TomMcTague

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

56 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paul Cree
Paul Cree
1 year ago

I enjoyed this article. One thing that it could’ve touched on, but didn’t, is whether or not that demographic will actually vote.

I’m from a similar background, and have known lots of people that fit the description of the ‘Deano’ but many just won’t vote.

If I had a pound for every person that has responded ‘no’ to the voting question, by saying ‘they’re all a bunch of c**ts’ – I reckon I’d have at least ÂŁ15 squid.

Hard not to agree with them either


Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Cree

The political parties are nearly undistinguishable nowadays. The only reason I still vote is to prevent the bigger evil
 it is so depressing

Paul Cree
Paul Cree
1 year ago

Indeed.

Paul Cree
Paul Cree
1 year ago

Indeed.

Andrew Daws
Andrew Daws
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Cree

I think Labour will win not because they have better policies but because we are all heartily sick of being the playthings of a few rich Tories who manipulated us into Brexit and then put a bomb under the economy with Trussonomics. Starmer’s attack ads suggest that Sunak was responsible for all the Tories’ misdemeanours but he wasn’t an MP until 2015. His current insistence on Brexit purity when the country is losing its love for it may be his downfall.

Chris Hunter
Chris Hunter
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

Labour won’t win – Starmer will make the same foolish mistake as the Welsh Windbag, and assume that he has won long before the election. Starmer’s dreadful, inept reign as DPP is only eclipsed by the utter ineptitude he shows now as “leader” of Labour. One good shove – like the revelations about his time as DPP – will destroy any slight vestige of credibility that Starmer still has.
Labour’s ONLY chance is a complete clear out of their utterly useless Front Bench – they have to get rid of Crayons, of Diane “Mensa Candidate” Abbott and all the rest of the dross. They won’t – of course – so they’ll lose badly again, even up against the hopeless Sunak.

mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Hunter

Well i hope so but i think apathy might win this time, Liebore second due to the shere weight of the media, civil service and other bad actors, and of course bridari. Poor old nasty party coming third, which is sad because they are the least dangerous by quite a margin.

mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Hunter

Well i hope so but i think apathy might win this time, Liebore second due to the shere weight of the media, civil service and other bad actors, and of course bridari. Poor old nasty party coming third, which is sad because they are the least dangerous by quite a margin.

Chris Hunter
Chris Hunter
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

Labour won’t win – Starmer will make the same foolish mistake as the Welsh Windbag, and assume that he has won long before the election. Starmer’s dreadful, inept reign as DPP is only eclipsed by the utter ineptitude he shows now as “leader” of Labour. One good shove – like the revelations about his time as DPP – will destroy any slight vestige of credibility that Starmer still has.
Labour’s ONLY chance is a complete clear out of their utterly useless Front Bench – they have to get rid of Crayons, of Diane “Mensa Candidate” Abbott and all the rest of the dross. They won’t – of course – so they’ll lose badly again, even up against the hopeless Sunak.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Cree

The political parties are nearly undistinguishable nowadays. The only reason I still vote is to prevent the bigger evil
 it is so depressing

Andrew Daws
Andrew Daws
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Cree

I think Labour will win not because they have better policies but because we are all heartily sick of being the playthings of a few rich Tories who manipulated us into Brexit and then put a bomb under the economy with Trussonomics. Starmer’s attack ads suggest that Sunak was responsible for all the Tories’ misdemeanours but he wasn’t an MP until 2015. His current insistence on Brexit purity when the country is losing its love for it may be his downfall.

Paul Cree
Paul Cree
1 year ago

I enjoyed this article. One thing that it could’ve touched on, but didn’t, is whether or not that demographic will actually vote.

I’m from a similar background, and have known lots of people that fit the description of the ‘Deano’ but many just won’t vote.

If I had a pound for every person that has responded ‘no’ to the voting question, by saying ‘they’re all a bunch of c**ts’ – I reckon I’d have at least ÂŁ15 squid.

Hard not to agree with them either


AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

An interesting piece setting out how the Conservatives are presently a disappointment to Deano. And yet you could argue that Labour have been a bigger disappointment to Deano for longer.
Deano (and White Van Man, the Worcester woman etc.) will worry about what they can gain by voting for a particular party but they will worry far more about what they will lose. Humans generally find giving up what they already have far more upsetting, not just the Deanos.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Good point although I wonder to what extent Daily Mail/Express fearmongering will reach Deano. Social media will likely be key to shaping his voting intentions (if he votes at all).

Selwyn Jones
Selwyn Jones
1 year ago

I suspect he will abstain in vast numbers. The very language of modern politics will reek to him of insincerity and its concerns appear as totally detached from his.

Selwyn Jones
Selwyn Jones
1 year ago

I suspect he will abstain in vast numbers. The very language of modern politics will reek to him of insincerity and its concerns appear as totally detached from his.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Good point although I wonder to what extent Daily Mail/Express fearmongering will reach Deano. Social media will likely be key to shaping his voting intentions (if he votes at all).

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

An interesting piece setting out how the Conservatives are presently a disappointment to Deano. And yet you could argue that Labour have been a bigger disappointment to Deano for longer.
Deano (and White Van Man, the Worcester woman etc.) will worry about what they can gain by voting for a particular party but they will worry far more about what they will lose. Humans generally find giving up what they already have far more upsetting, not just the Deanos.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a pure Deano, as I appear to tick many of the boxes, but hail from a comfortable rural middle class background and did live in London for some years. However, this has resonated with me as I do own my home, management job, types of holidays my wife and I take etc. I’m sure we’ve all noticed the price of everything keeps going up and you often get less for more.

While I don’t need to cut back on certain comforts, my spending is a bit more constrained and I feel like we are going to be increasingly squeezed for sometime more to cover the blunders of others.

Geoff Wilkes
Geoff Wilkes
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Weirdly, the writer describes Deano both as “noveau riche” and as “petty bourgeois”; one right after the other. He appears not to know what either one means.
I presume you wouldn’t describe yourself as either – at least in economic terms?

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Wilkes

Somewhat close to petty bourgeois I would say, but that doesn’t reflect my upbringing which was definitely bourgeois.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Ahh I’ve found out his surname… He is Deano Leounge- Settee…

Geoff Wilkes
Geoff Wilkes
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Just my opinion, and not your “lived experience,” but I would have thought that the management job you mentioned initially would make you full-Monty bourgeois rather than petty.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Wilkes

Depends on what kind of management. Managing a call-center or car dealership is very different to managing an HR department for a very large company.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Wilkes

Depends on what kind of management. Managing a call-center or car dealership is very different to managing an HR department for a very large company.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Ahh I’ve found out his surname… He is Deano Leounge- Settee…

Geoff Wilkes
Geoff Wilkes
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Just my opinion, and not your “lived experience,” but I would have thought that the management job you mentioned initially would make you full-Monty bourgeois rather than petty.

Vici C
Vici C
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Wilkes

I don’t think either term applies. Nouveau riche traditionally meant actually rich – rich enough to want to ape the upper classes and throw their money around. Petty bourgeois also sounds French, is French and describes a French social group. I think what is attempted to be described here is simply lower middle class, gusting to middle middle class. The people with the most to lose in a squeeze and whose loss to the nation would be felt the greatest. The backbone of Britain sounds corny but so be it.

Dominic English
Dominic English
1 year ago
Reply to  Vici C

Very much the backbone of England. But our main political parties seem to take this group for granted.

Vici C
Vici C
1 year ago

Indeed. As we all take for granted that which works well and doesn’t make a fuss. It’s the squeakiest wheel that gets oiled first.

Vici C
Vici C
1 year ago

Indeed. As we all take for granted that which works well and doesn’t make a fuss. It’s the squeakiest wheel that gets oiled first.

Dominic English
Dominic English
1 year ago
Reply to  Vici C

Very much the backbone of England. But our main political parties seem to take this group for granted.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Wilkes

Somewhat close to petty bourgeois I would say, but that doesn’t reflect my upbringing which was definitely bourgeois.

Vici C
Vici C
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Wilkes

I don’t think either term applies. Nouveau riche traditionally meant actually rich – rich enough to want to ape the upper classes and throw their money around. Petty bourgeois also sounds French, is French and describes a French social group. I think what is attempted to be described here is simply lower middle class, gusting to middle middle class. The people with the most to lose in a squeeze and whose loss to the nation would be felt the greatest. The backbone of Britain sounds corny but so be it.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

The problem is that there is no accountability nor responsibility for brazen fiscal criminality by Westminster MPs, the Government, the Civil Service and criminal lobbyists representing psychopaths like Bill Gates, George Soros etc.
In my view, every MP that voted for the Coronavirus Act should lose 100% of their assets, without any right to legal due process. All the academics spouting lies about Covid19 like Ferguson, Whitty, Vallance, Bell and Walport should suffer similarly. The top 1000 civil servants across all departments should be the same. Every media ‘personality’ earning more than 100k a year should lose 100 percent of their assets to pay for the debt that they so encouraged to be run up. Not to mention their racism about the unvaccinated.
It’s time to make politicians pay personally for their incompetence, their criminality and/or their ignorance and all those who conspired with them need the same.
Only when this happens will the organised crime that has been Western government for 200 years start to stop….

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

I said the same (apart from last sentence ) to many of my friends (or former friends due to Brexit and covid).
But they just shrugged their shoulders and say nothing will change and no one will be punished.
Nothing happened after banking crisis…

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

I said the same (apart from last sentence ) to many of my friends (or former friends due to Brexit and covid).
But they just shrugged their shoulders and say nothing will change and no one will be punished.
Nothing happened after banking crisis…

Geoff Wilkes
Geoff Wilkes
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Weirdly, the writer describes Deano both as “noveau riche” and as “petty bourgeois”; one right after the other. He appears not to know what either one means.
I presume you wouldn’t describe yourself as either – at least in economic terms?

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

The problem is that there is no accountability nor responsibility for brazen fiscal criminality by Westminster MPs, the Government, the Civil Service and criminal lobbyists representing psychopaths like Bill Gates, George Soros etc.
In my view, every MP that voted for the Coronavirus Act should lose 100% of their assets, without any right to legal due process. All the academics spouting lies about Covid19 like Ferguson, Whitty, Vallance, Bell and Walport should suffer similarly. The top 1000 civil servants across all departments should be the same. Every media ‘personality’ earning more than 100k a year should lose 100 percent of their assets to pay for the debt that they so encouraged to be run up. Not to mention their racism about the unvaccinated.
It’s time to make politicians pay personally for their incompetence, their criminality and/or their ignorance and all those who conspired with them need the same.
Only when this happens will the organised crime that has been Western government for 200 years start to stop….

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a pure Deano, as I appear to tick many of the boxes, but hail from a comfortable rural middle class background and did live in London for some years. However, this has resonated with me as I do own my home, management job, types of holidays my wife and I take etc. I’m sure we’ve all noticed the price of everything keeps going up and you often get less for more.

While I don’t need to cut back on certain comforts, my spending is a bit more constrained and I feel like we are going to be increasingly squeezed for sometime more to cover the blunders of others.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

Deanos have something that politicians, civil servants, celebs and the media class increasingly lack: common sense. Unfortunately, the more centralised government becomes, and the more it is captured by institutional vested interests, the less influence their common sense has.

Dominic English
Dominic English
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Agreed. It’s weird though. Voters seem to both blame the government for all their problems. Then demand ever more of it to fix them. https://open.substack.com/pub/lowstatus/p/the-government-is-rubbish-more-please?r=evzeq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Dominic English
Dominic English
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Agreed. It’s weird though. Voters seem to both blame the government for all their problems. Then demand ever more of it to fix them. https://open.substack.com/pub/lowstatus/p/the-government-is-rubbish-more-please?r=evzeq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

Deanos have something that politicians, civil servants, celebs and the media class increasingly lack: common sense. Unfortunately, the more centralised government becomes, and the more it is captured by institutional vested interests, the less influence their common sense has.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago

The author is all over the place with his descriptions – you can’t be petty bourgeoisie, nouveau riche and working class. Class isn’t about money. At the beginning of the article “Deano” and his wife are described as managers. This is middle class. “Upper working-class” would be a skilled labourer who might well earn more than “Deano”, not what the author describes.

As with most general elections the next one will come down to who people think is most trusted with the economy.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

I thought middle class was about aspirations and culture not just work status?
So you could be sales manager but have aspirations and habits of working class.
But poorly paid art worker is considered middle class?

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Not exactly. Working class people can have lots of aspiration; self-employed tradesmen will likely earn more than junior managers if they are any good. I work in a working class company where managers will refer to themselves as working class but if asked to do the job of the workers they manage couldn’t last a day. It’s all a matter of opinion though.

By art worker you could mean an artist or artisan (working class) or an arts grad (once you have been to uni it is a pretty safe bet that you aren’t working class any more unless you are doing a job that doesn’t require a degree).

Last edited 1 year ago by Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Not exactly. Working class people can have lots of aspiration; self-employed tradesmen will likely earn more than junior managers if they are any good. I work in a working class company where managers will refer to themselves as working class but if asked to do the job of the workers they manage couldn’t last a day. It’s all a matter of opinion though.

By art worker you could mean an artist or artisan (working class) or an arts grad (once you have been to uni it is a pretty safe bet that you aren’t working class any more unless you are doing a job that doesn’t require a degree).

Last edited 1 year ago by Milton Gibbon
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

I thought middle class was about aspirations and culture not just work status?
So you could be sales manager but have aspirations and habits of working class.
But poorly paid art worker is considered middle class?

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago

The author is all over the place with his descriptions – you can’t be petty bourgeoisie, nouveau riche and working class. Class isn’t about money. At the beginning of the article “Deano” and his wife are described as managers. This is middle class. “Upper working-class” would be a skilled labourer who might well earn more than “Deano”, not what the author describes.

As with most general elections the next one will come down to who people think is most trusted with the economy.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

Deano, Mondeo Man, Worcester Woman, Bozo Boy, etc.
I have to wonder whether the people who come up with these stereotypes have ever met a real human being.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

Deano, Mondeo Man, Worcester Woman, Bozo Boy, etc.
I have to wonder whether the people who come up with these stereotypes have ever met a real human being.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I think the political winds have changed direction.
When Rishi Sunak became PM in October, LAB had a 36% lead on CON in Redfield and Wilton’s opinion polls.
Here is what has happened to the LAB lead since February:
26 Feb – 27%
5 Mar – 26%
12 Mar – 21%
19 Mar – 21%
26 Mar – 19%
2 Apr – 17%
9 Apr – 14%
16 Apr – 12%
If the Conservatives can keep their heads, if inflation drops and the small boats legislation leads to Rwanda flights taking off, I can see things getting back to level pegging by the summer.
I suspect the voters cut the government more slack for having had to deal with the pandemic and the knock on effects of the invasion of the Ukraine than most commentators – above and below the line.
The great unknown is Scotland. If the SNP support transfers to LAB, Starmer might win anyway.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

This is dangerous, I agree.
With SNP winning most of Scotland Westminster seats, at least Conservative could play “vote Labour and loose Scotland”.
Assuming price for NATs support would be referendum…
Still, if Labour wins, especially with many Scottish seats, we will see even more money going from England to Scotland to fix their rotten country…

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

SNP has simply occupied former Labour heartlands in Scotland. They pretty much vote with Labour anyway on non-constitutional issues in UK parliament, don’t they?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

All the more reason for England to get rid of Scotland soon as is humanly possible.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

This is dangerous, I agree.
With SNP winning most of Scotland Westminster seats, at least Conservative could play “vote Labour and loose Scotland”.
Assuming price for NATs support would be referendum…
Still, if Labour wins, especially with many Scottish seats, we will see even more money going from England to Scotland to fix their rotten country…

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

SNP has simply occupied former Labour heartlands in Scotland. They pretty much vote with Labour anyway on non-constitutional issues in UK parliament, don’t they?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

All the more reason for England to get rid of Scotland soon as is humanly possible.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I think the political winds have changed direction.
When Rishi Sunak became PM in October, LAB had a 36% lead on CON in Redfield and Wilton’s opinion polls.
Here is what has happened to the LAB lead since February:
26 Feb – 27%
5 Mar – 26%
12 Mar – 21%
19 Mar – 21%
26 Mar – 19%
2 Apr – 17%
9 Apr – 14%
16 Apr – 12%
If the Conservatives can keep their heads, if inflation drops and the small boats legislation leads to Rwanda flights taking off, I can see things getting back to level pegging by the summer.
I suspect the voters cut the government more slack for having had to deal with the pandemic and the knock on effects of the invasion of the Ukraine than most commentators – above and below the line.
The great unknown is Scotland. If the SNP support transfers to LAB, Starmer might win anyway.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago

Sadly the rallying cry today is vote for my Party and we promise to ignore you

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

As the next to worthless so called Tory Party have proved so lamentably over the past ten years and more.

Dominic English
Dominic English
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

If only they would ignore us Andrew. They seem to see it as their mission to meddle in ever more aspects of our lives, while failing at the basics. Leave me alone, and get on with the job we pay you for, would be my plea. https://open.substack.com/pub/lowstatus/p/please-stop-ruining-literally-everything?r=evzeq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

As the next to worthless so called Tory Party have proved so lamentably over the past ten years and more.

Dominic English
Dominic English
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

If only they would ignore us Andrew. They seem to see it as their mission to meddle in ever more aspects of our lives, while failing at the basics. Leave me alone, and get on with the job we pay you for, would be my plea. https://open.substack.com/pub/lowstatus/p/please-stop-ruining-literally-everything?r=evzeq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago

Sadly the rallying cry today is vote for my Party and we promise to ignore you

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

The Reform candidate for Sinfin, Derby describes voting Tory or Labour as choosing between one disgusting portaloo and another at an outdoor event. Deano’s patch would seem ripe for Reform UK if only they’d spend less time preaching to the converted like GBNews. I notice Alex Phillips and Belinda de Lucy are rising to the Party’s surface. Better looking than the rather moribund ex UKIP middle aged men usually seen, they have something to say. Sunak and Starmer have their speeches written for them and they are hardly eye candy.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  James Kirk

There’s a reason Nigel Farage failed to get elected seven times, in apparently friendly seats, in apparently friendly times, and that’s because the majority of voters in every single constituency across the country are decent people. So, luckily, we will never see a NewKip MP.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Was he not elected as an MEP?

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

No. That’s not how the European Parliament Elections worked.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

UK Members in the European Parliament 2014-2019

.
There are 73 UK MEPs. They are elected in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Other EU member states elect MEPs from their countries. European Elections take place every 5 years and the last elections were held on 23-26 May 2019.*

(*European Parliament
Liaison Office in the United Kingdom.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

No-one voted for any single individual, regions voted for parties, and MEPs came from a list. The turnout was low, much lower than in a General Election and susceptible to protest voting. My point was that no constituency in the country would want their town or whatever associated with Nigel Farage MP or any of his flying monkeys.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

The fact that Nigel Farage failed to get elected 7 times says more about how simply rotten our electoral system has become.

When you think of some of the other morons who have been elected, the mind boggles. But if one the three degenerate major political Parties selects you, you are almost ‘home and dry’.

I rather see Farage as a later day Tom Paine, and likely, as you hint at, to suffer the very same fate.

As an aside you can understand the revulsion many feel for the EU when you read their epistle (above) about how our 73 MEP’s were ‘elected’.

Thank God we are rid of them.

ps: the remark “ any of his flying monkeys” was unnecessarily coarse and should have been left behind on ‘Twitter’, would you not agree?

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

I, on the other hand, see Farage as a massive fraud and the ultimate welfare Queen. 19 years ‘representing’ the South East of England and yet there is no piece of legislation, no report bearing his name. After the referendum he stayed as an MEP, taking taxpayers money, but spent most of his time in the US trying to get Trump to give him a job.

Brexit has made us poorer, more divided and with less global influence than ever before.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Why fraud? Deranged possibly, but NO fraud.
As a lone MEP it would have been simply astonishing if he had managed to enact a single piece of legislation would it not?

Brexit may have made ‘us’ temporarily slightly poorer, but the wretched COVID much more so.

As our ‘global influence ‘ that chimera vanished in 1916, and
jolly good too. We are not the worlds Charity Shop, and should stop luxuriating in our bogus grief.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

A man who sells himself as a great patriot but shouts up the RA for £80? A man who stands on a fishing boat for a photo op but can’t be bothered to turn up for meetings of the EU committee where he’s meant to represent UK fishermen? A man who says he’s taking a sabbatical and goes off to the US but is still paid to represent the people of SE England? Not a fraud? We can agree to disagree on that.

Brexit has not delivered the benefits that were promised in the referendum and people are more and more aware they were deceived.

Even after the Second World War, even after Suez, Great Britain had a degree of soft power that has been increasingly squandered. Again we can agree to disagree as to whether this is a good thing.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Thanks for an amicable discussion.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Thanks for an amicable discussion.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

A man who sells himself as a great patriot but shouts up the RA for £80? A man who stands on a fishing boat for a photo op but can’t be bothered to turn up for meetings of the EU committee where he’s meant to represent UK fishermen? A man who says he’s taking a sabbatical and goes off to the US but is still paid to represent the people of SE England? Not a fraud? We can agree to disagree on that.

Brexit has not delivered the benefits that were promised in the referendum and people are more and more aware they were deceived.

Even after the Second World War, even after Suez, Great Britain had a degree of soft power that has been increasingly squandered. Again we can agree to disagree as to whether this is a good thing.

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  John Murray

Well said!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Why fraud? Deranged possibly, but NO fraud.
As a lone MEP it would have been simply astonishing if he had managed to enact a single piece of legislation would it not?

Brexit may have made ‘us’ temporarily slightly poorer, but the wretched COVID much more so.

As our ‘global influence ‘ that chimera vanished in 1916, and
jolly good too. We are not the worlds Charity Shop, and should stop luxuriating in our bogus grief.

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  John Murray

Well said!

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

I, on the other hand, see Farage as a massive fraud and the ultimate welfare Queen. 19 years ‘representing’ the South East of England and yet there is no piece of legislation, no report bearing his name. After the referendum he stayed as an MEP, taking taxpayers money, but spent most of his time in the US trying to get Trump to give him a job.

Brexit has made us poorer, more divided and with less global influence than ever before.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

The fact that Nigel Farage failed to get elected 7 times says more about how simply rotten our electoral system has become.

When you think of some of the other morons who have been elected, the mind boggles. But if one the three degenerate major political Parties selects you, you are almost ‘home and dry’.

I rather see Farage as a later day Tom Paine, and likely, as you hint at, to suffer the very same fate.

As an aside you can understand the revulsion many feel for the EU when you read their epistle (above) about how our 73 MEP’s were ‘elected’.

Thank God we are rid of them.

ps: the remark “ any of his flying monkeys” was unnecessarily coarse and should have been left behind on ‘Twitter’, would you not agree?

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

No-one voted for any single individual, regions voted for parties, and MEPs came from a list. The turnout was low, much lower than in a General Election and susceptible to protest voting. My point was that no constituency in the country would want their town or whatever associated with Nigel Farage MP or any of his flying monkeys.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

UK Members in the European Parliament 2014-2019

.
There are 73 UK MEPs. They are elected in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Other EU member states elect MEPs from their countries. European Elections take place every 5 years and the last elections were held on 23-26 May 2019.*

(*European Parliament
Liaison Office in the United Kingdom.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

No. That’s not how the European Parliament Elections worked.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

In 2015 UKIP under Farage won over 12% of the vote, putting them in 3rd place overall. Unfortunately for them their vote was evenly spread throughout the country so this translated as only winning a single seat out of 650.
By contrast the Tories won 330 seats on 36% (so 3x the vote won 330x the amount of seats) and the SNP won 56 seats on less than 5% of the vote.
It wasn’t Farage that kept UKIP out of parliament in their heyday, it was the electoral system

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Was he not elected as an MEP?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

In 2015 UKIP under Farage won over 12% of the vote, putting them in 3rd place overall. Unfortunately for them their vote was evenly spread throughout the country so this translated as only winning a single seat out of 650.
By contrast the Tories won 330 seats on 36% (so 3x the vote won 330x the amount of seats) and the SNP won 56 seats on less than 5% of the vote.
It wasn’t Farage that kept UKIP out of parliament in their heyday, it was the electoral system

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  James Kirk

There’s a reason Nigel Farage failed to get elected seven times, in apparently friendly seats, in apparently friendly times, and that’s because the majority of voters in every single constituency across the country are decent people. So, luckily, we will never see a NewKip MP.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

The Reform candidate for Sinfin, Derby describes voting Tory or Labour as choosing between one disgusting portaloo and another at an outdoor event. Deano’s patch would seem ripe for Reform UK if only they’d spend less time preaching to the converted like GBNews. I notice Alex Phillips and Belinda de Lucy are rising to the Party’s surface. Better looking than the rather moribund ex UKIP middle aged men usually seen, they have something to say. Sunak and Starmer have their speeches written for them and they are hardly eye candy.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago

Excellent essay. Deano also represents a cohesive society where people are happy to pay their taxes to provide public services for their own communities. What we have at the moment is a gigantic welfare dependent class supported by a gigantic army of State employees, all of whom believe that, if only some far off “rich” people (not them, naturally) were forced to cough up more taxes, their problems would be solved.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

Ahh… State employees real tax contribution is zero, as the tax that they ” pay” came from the tax payer and the gilt investor in the first place.

40% of all taxation is in any event wasted due to gross innefficiency- Lower taxes with individuals spending money into GNP/GDP, investment is far more efficient, but the majority of voters are too stupid to understand.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

Ahh… State employees real tax contribution is zero, as the tax that they ” pay” came from the tax payer and the gilt investor in the first place.

40% of all taxation is in any event wasted due to gross innefficiency- Lower taxes with individuals spending money into GNP/GDP, investment is far more efficient, but the majority of voters are too stupid to understand.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago

Excellent essay. Deano also represents a cohesive society where people are happy to pay their taxes to provide public services for their own communities. What we have at the moment is a gigantic welfare dependent class supported by a gigantic army of State employees, all of whom believe that, if only some far off “rich” people (not them, naturally) were forced to cough up more taxes, their problems would be solved.

Dominic English
Dominic English
1 year ago

An excellent article. Both main parties have abandoned/mischaracterised the English ‘working class’. It’s time for something different, or perhaps a return to older values.
https://open.substack.com/pub/lowstatus/p/in-praise-of-populism?r=evzeq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Ole H.Johansen
Ole H.Johansen
1 year ago

Why isn’t anybody see the obvious?
The party who see this,will win.
And yes,I’m thinking of the White and working class people.
But it’s also clear signs that we don’t have much time left.

Ole H.Johansen
Ole H.Johansen
1 year ago

Why isn’t anybody see the obvious?
The party who see this,will win.
And yes,I’m thinking of the White and working class people.
But it’s also clear signs that we don’t have much time left.

Dominic English
Dominic English
1 year ago

An excellent article. Both main parties have abandoned/mischaracterised the English ‘working class’. It’s time for something different, or perhaps a return to older values.
https://open.substack.com/pub/lowstatus/p/in-praise-of-populism?r=evzeq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Cam Marsh
Cam Marsh
1 year ago

The author is looking for Market Rasen. Deanoville.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam Marsh

Perhaps he flew English Electric F.6 Lightnings from nearby RAF Binbrook?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam Marsh

Perhaps he flew English Electric F.6 Lightnings from nearby RAF Binbrook?

Cam Marsh
Cam Marsh
1 year ago

The author is looking for Market Rasen. Deanoville.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Can Deano tap with a stick, ? Could offer him a job as a beater next shooting season?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Isn’t the NE a Coldstream recruiting area. Or is it perhaps Grenadier?

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
1 year ago

Coldstream

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
1 year ago

Coldstream

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

or perhaps whitening my Hunting boot garter straps?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Isn’t the NE a Coldstream recruiting area. Or is it perhaps Grenadier?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

or perhaps whitening my Hunting boot garter straps?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Can Deano tap with a stick, ? Could offer him a job as a beater next shooting season?