Labour needs a real class analysis and it needs it now

Soundings - ISSN 1362-6620
Volume 2020 Number 76

Labour needs a real class analysis and it needs it now
David Byrne pages -
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.76.04.2020


In her book The New Working Class - How to Win Hearts, Minds and Votes, Head of Policy for the Labour Party Clare Ainsley has got class absolutely wrong. She seems to have no sense of the nature of post-industrial capitalism as a form of capitalism, including the role of finance and property capital, and what that means for the way class is structured, understood and lived. If the Labour Party works to this view of class it will not be able to develop the necessary class base for a transformational politics. It needs a more in-depth analysis of the class implications of post-industrial capitalism and of work experience within it; this would include, in particular, a recognition of the significance of households (as opposed to individuals) for incomes and wealth, especially in relation to home ownership and pensions, which have benefitted those in possession of assets and had a major impact on generational inequality. It also needs to understand the experience not just of the poor but also of the ‘squeezed middle’, a group that - rather than being dismissed as embodying metro-cosmopolitan values (something that applies to only a very small fraction of the middle class) - needs to be a key focus of political action.

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To cite this article
David Byrne (2020) Labour needs a real class analysis and it needs it now, Soundings, 2020(76), -.

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