We need to understand that the democratic deficit has been a long time reaching this state and it’s time to create new kinds of employment, training and skills that fit in with the need of working class and ethnic minority communities across the lifespan. These new kinds of jobs will reconnect the country and they’ve been a long time coming.
Thinking of the Covid period, people who were already in employment could have second or even third jobs to ‘do their bit’ for the country while the still excluded working class and ethnic minority communities lost their jobs, were furloughed or were re-employed on extractive agency contracts.
It’s important to remember that since the end of the second world war the kind of reconstruction we’ve had in the UK has kept working class and ethnic minorities permanently on the move and en debted. So-called ‘slum’ clearance instead of rehabilitation of housing combined with tying whole working class communities down into buying expensive yet inferior imported and home mass produced household products on expensive credit. This provided employment stability while embedding pre- second world war class, race and gender hierarchies about access to quality and judgement being something that you could only access through heredity not democracy.
When working class people went to war they put to one side their educational, political and social aspirations believing that there was a terrible evil in Germany: the progress of the interwar period had made them feel patriotic and hopeful for a just war. During the war they lobbied parliament for support against employers, landlords and people who sold credit.
The command economy reconstruction of Britain in the post war period was a form of shock and awe to democratic aspirations for greater representation for working people. Instead of the franchise and thankyou for the massive contribution and sacrifice they got a reconstruction of the worst aspect of the class, race and gender propaganda of the pre war colonial era as well as social exclusion through credit.
You can see how and why so many people shunned the safety of mass employment in factories, organisations and institutions preferring to work for themselves, be their own boss. In the post war furniture showrooms that sold the inferior furniture that people were conned into paying for on expensive credit.
The people ushered in to look at the showroom were made to feel that it was an honour. Don’t look too closely at the quality of what you’re buying you’re joining the support Great Britain Club putting your money into the new Britain, whether you buy from your neighbour via a catalogue or from the credit based furniture retailers that masqueraded as legitimate businesses during the fifites, sixties and seventies. Becoming one of the working class credit elite underplayed democracy and overplayed the desire to belong and to be part of the group but also ushered in the aspect of gambling and addiction to the straightforward desire to work, earn and buy the things that are needed to keep heart and soul together.
This is how and why all the technologies that have developed since the second world war have the element of addiction connected to them within the new organisational and institutional structures but the pre war aspiration for learning, the social, civil, cultural, economic lobbying for equality in peace time prosperity continued in the displaced/’new’ neighbourhoods.
Although people who’d fought together across the world wanted to come back to neighbourhood opportunities that welcomed them, to the world of further education, university aspiration of the pre war era which re-introduced and through gatekeeping reinforced a class and race hierarchy found before and during military service, endless hateful propaganda from the media, expensive credit, catalogues then social exclusion from the credit system even though that exclusionary credit system was paid for by the working class communities who bought their expensive low quality furniture and household goods on credit.