I appreciate some may have felt that the coverage on here has been a tad one-sided recently, so hopefully what you're about to read deals with any perceived imbalance.
I remember this rather well - about fifteen years ago the perception held by a significant number of people (rightly or wrongly) was that the government and establishment were devoting a disproportionate amount of their time to the pursuit of 'minority causes' (be this ethnic minorities, LGBT crusades etc). Processing the situation through something of a 'zero sum game' lens, what would soon go on to become 'the white working class' saw this essentially as validation and resources that could and should have been spent on them, especially given their 'indigenous' status as well as their sheer number. The embryo of an all-new 'identity politics victim group' was up and running.
During the campaign leading up to the 2005 General Election, the Tory candidate Michael Howard tapped into this emerging zeitgeist by claiming to be representing 'the Silent Majority' - although he went on to define this 'group' in a deliberately vague 'catch all' fashion (see 'hardworking families' for a more recent example of this magnolia everyman-speak). Basically 'the Silent Majority' was a label that could apply to just about anybody who worked, paid income tax, didn't break the law and generally felt they had been 'left out' or 'ignored' by the political class in recent years. As an absolute minimum this 'White Working Class' were a significant subset of the group Howard was referring to.
Straight away we've touched on the main issues with this new 'group', its apparent motives and indeed its entire reason for existence. Although the 'White Working Class' sets itself up as a response to identity politics and perpetual victimhood based solely on 'group membership' rather than the real events of people's real lives, the unavoidable truth is that the creation of this 'group' is a mirror image using the same modus operandi, a competing version of identity politics and the whole 'auto-victim' thing rather than a principled rejection of it. Moreover, far from being part of some oppressed group that has been silenced, these uber-snowflakes appear never to shut up.
Michael Howard deserves some credit on a political level for identifying these resentments within society and marketing a political response to them that was mildly effective, especially as he did it through a widely despised organ like the Conservative Party. Sure, he was never going to win the 2005 election but slashing the government's majority by 100 was a significant achievement, without which the results of 2010 and 2015 wouldn't have been possible. It was also the point at which many working people resolved 'never to vote for Labour again', as some ultimately turned to Toddler Right outfits like UKIP or the BNP, while most stopped voting altogether.
However, that this self-identified 'White Working Class' represents a significant voting bloc does not confer any greater rectitude (moral or otherwise) on its interests than would be the case with any other form of group or identity politics. It's worth pointing out that just as there is a difference between the guy across the road who happens to be gay and militant LGBT bullshit, the 'White Working Class' is not a reference to every 'White European' individual who happens to have been born into a low to middle income background. It does not include (say) the aspirational like myself, who work towards a more affluent existence and don't feel like 'traitors' for wanting that.
Just as the antics of those who choose to define themselves by their sexual orientation or 'transgender identity' serve as something of a 'rolleyes' moment, you have to question the wisdom (and in some cases the sanity) of anyone who makes a point of wearing their skin colour or the dirt under their fingernails as a badge of honour. It implies 'specialness' and a sense of entitlement at the expense of others, based solely on 'identity' rather than some objective, universally acceptable reason (disability or mental illness, for example). By extension it creates an idea of there being 'issues' uniquely important to that group, but which must be given immediate priority by everybody else.
I mean...who can forget 'the pink bus' run by the Labour Party to represent 'women's issues' during the 2015 election? Strokes like this actually cause me to ask the old counter-intuitive question:- just remind me, who's the sexist here? As a bloke looking at it from the outside, I find the suggestion that a homogenous block called 'women' are interested solely in free childcare and how much maternity leave they can get (so therefore need their own bus to promote these issues) rather insulting and, dare I say it, more than a tad sexist. So...how long before we get a 'White Working Class' bus (painted white, presumably) to bang on about 'evil Muslims' and immigration?
If we're taking this madness to its logical conclusion, what about a 'Black Bus' for black people or a 'Yellow Bus' for the Chinese? Seeing as pink has been taken we'll now need a 'Lavender Bus' for LGBT and please suggest your own bus colour/causes combos in the comments section.
Look, whatever shade you paint this bullshit, it's still bullshit - and back to the original point, this 'White Working Class' is no less infantile, no less pernicious and no less transparently false than any other form of identity politics.
I might be pale-skinned and have lived in a council house when I was younger, but I reject this idiocy just as any sane, rational, responsible individual should.
Since I mentioned the pink 'women's issues' bus it seems expedient to quickly deal with the gender-driven equivalent of the rather dismal 'White Working Class', namely Men's Rights Activists. I have had dealings with a few and was sort of friendly with an American MRA at one point who used to publish mainly political and economic stuff with a bit of Men's Rights Activism thrown in. Now, based on the 'stopped clock' principle it's possible for anyone to be right as long as they essentially focus on the failings of 'the other side' - what the worst Feminists and worst MRAs tend to say about each other is invariably balls-on accurate (apologies for the pun).
However, saying "all women are the same" is just as bigoted and discriminatory as the most sweeping generalisations that radical Feminists make about men. Moreover, if there's one thing worse than listening to an army of embittered women whining and playing the victim, it's having to endure the husks of what are supposed to be grown men doing exactly the same thing. Apparently women are privileged, they all go round falsely accusing men of rape and ruining their lives for kicks. The Family Courts are inherently biased in women's favour, it's all like the Dark Ages in reverse polarity and men are 'oppressed' now. This bunch of whining pussies need to grow up.
I was going to write a case study on the Family Courts/Fathers 4 Justice thing separately so very quickly:- 90 per cent of couples who split up manage to sort their childcare arrangements out without getting the courts involved. More than half of those who remain settle in preliminary discussions and reach a resolution that everyone can live with. It's true that in the majority of cases amongst the remaining 3-4 per cent the mother ends up with Primary Custody, but this is because the overwhelming majority of the time that mother has been the principal caregiver to the child, perhaps having put her own job or career on hold in order to do so. This is fair enough.
The MRA/Fathers 4 Justice cry of "bias against men" in the system and calls for an assumption of shared custody deliberately seeks to ignore what the arrangement was while the couple was together. For some bloke to say "I know I pursued my career and liked to go out on the piss every weekend but now we've split up I've suddenly decided I'd like to be this modern, involved parent - and the courts should give me what I want" is a request for privilege and not equality, a demand that other people comply and fall into line with whatever Dad wants. It's a self-centred form of bullying based around 'parental rights' and not child welfare as is claimed - and it stinks to high heaven.
Having watched several documentaries about F4J and seen interviews with their key players, I came away with the unequivocal view that in the unlikely event of being caught up in a custody battle I wouldn't want these arseholes anywhere near it. One of their founders, a bloke called Matt O'Connor, admits to alcohol and mental health issues which no sensible person should hold against him on a personal level, but that has to be factored into a balanced assessment of how much access he gets to his kids. Demanding that a child serves as some sort of crutch to keep Dad off the sauce or away from the dark places his mind sometimes ends up in is totally unreasonable.
To ask my usual question...who's the parent here?
Like all other forms of group advocacy, the noise generated by the 'White Working Class' or Men's Rights Activists is driven by the pursuit of the unearned, an infantile sense of entitlement and not simply the claiming of their own rights but an assertion that their rights are somehow more important and/or worthy than the rights of other people. One of the great tragedies of representative democracy is that this irrational nonsense has to be listened to, with nothing buying votes quite like acknowledging victimhood based on 'group' membership. Individual freedom and responsibility may be 'where it's at' philosophically, but there are demonstrably less than zero votes in it.
So...the Toddler Right have latched onto MRAs and the perpetually angry 'White Working Class', just as the Toddler Left have welcomed their 'natural enemies' historically.
Like I say, two sides of the same toxic coin - please don't ever accuse me of not being logically consistent.
Democracy was 'sussed' economically and degenerated into a ponzi scheme several decades ago, maybe what we're currently witnessing is the exposure of its equally obvious flaws on the social axis.
I'll leave you with an unlikely cover of a 'working class anthem' - keep your head, stay rational and let's catch up midweek to discuss vigilante Paedo-hunters. Thanks for reading once again.