Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Bitter Northern Scum ©All Newspapers
Well, perhaps not all newspapers. The liberal ones will send their Toynbeebots up to the dreadful slums once every five years to wring their hands about why the proles are bitter fat racists. The rightwing ones will pay some toff to churn out 800 words from a golf course bar about why the proles are Speaking For Britain while still being Unwashed, fat, racist and northern.
What they won't do is spend any time there or ask whether the inhabitants of places like Stoke are reacting to a polity and economy that has absolutely no interest – whoever is in government – in managing the transfer from full, mass, employment (Stoke had potteries, coal and steel) to a post-industrial economy. The liberal ones send in the Tristrams now and then like ineffectual missionaries to explain why globalisation is brilliant and they have to get with the programme, and then wonder why the oiks fall for the constant stream of racist bile delivered in simple words by the right. And poor old Labour has to run an election campaign with the lotto voce slogan 'We know Tristram was a selfish prick who ran away at the first sniff of a canapé, but this time it'll be different'.
There's a distinct air of David Attenborough about the media and state's attitude towards places like Stoke, except that he loves his subjects while they are embarrassed by or cynical about those left-behinds. Poor old Stoke - hard to find a babycino or a hedge-fund trader there. What hope do they have? For the people of Stoke, politics is like the weather: it happens to them and there's nothing they can do about whatever is thrown their way.