An insidious snobbery has taken root in parts of progressive Britain. Working-class voters have flexed their political muscles and helped to change the direction of the country, but in doing so they have been met with disdain and even abuse from elites in politics, culture and business. They have been derided as uneducated, bigoted turkeys voting for Christmas, as Empire apologists patriotic to the point of delusion.
At election time, we hear a lot about 'levelling up the Red Wall'. But when the votes have been counted, what can actually be done to meet the very real concerns of the 'left behind' in the UK's post-industrial towns? In these once vibrant hubs of progress, working-class voters now face the prospect of being minimised or ridiculed in cultural life, economically marginalised and abandoned educationally.
In this rousing polemic, David Skelton explores the roots and reality of this new snobbery, calling for an end to the divisive culture war and the creation of a new politics of the common good, empowering workers, remaking the economy and placing communities centre stage. Above all, he argues that we now have a once-in-a-century opportunity to bring about permanent change.
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
Number of pages: 320
"David Skelton is, once again, excellent. For those baffled by the new snobbery - the disdain directed towards working-class people for daring to think for themselves or for wanting a better future for their families and local communities - this brilliant book is essential reading." - Nick Timothy, former Downing Street chief of staff, Daily Telegraph columnist and author of Remaking One Nation: The Future of Conservatism "Insightful and informative, The New Snobbery is a must-read for anyone aiming to understand the politics of the 2020s." - Nadhim Zahawi MP "If you want to understand why Labour's Red Wall crumbled and why the Conservatives are not only winning but changing, read this thoughtful book by one of our most prescient and empathetic social and political writers. Highly recommended." - Jason Cowley, editor-in-chief, New Statesman "For many years David Skelton has been a political pioneer in his attempts to develop a distinct 'blue-collar' conservatism. In recent times, with talk of 'levelling up', his party has moved decisively in his direction. In this vital book Skelton urges them to complete the journey by embracing a new pro-worker settlement: one built around dignified and fulfilling work, which renews our vocations, empowers and rewards workers and strengthens their voices and communities. He makes a compelling case, not just in terms of political calculation but in the name of justice. I don't know if the Tories will listen to and embrace Skelton's ideas, but if they do, my party should really start to worry." - Jon Cruddas Labour MP and author of The Dignity of Labour "David Skelton writes with passion and perception about the fear and loathing that progressives feel for the working class." - Maurice Glasman, Labour life peer and director of the Common Good Foundation