I am a believer that one good turn deserves another. The working class North and Midlands came out strongly for Brexit. Had they not done so, the avalanche of Europhile votes from London would have won the day for Remain and buried us in the EU, possibly forever. But the working class towns came out strongly for Brexit.
As the results poured in, there were few initial surprises. Scotland and London were voting overwhelmingly for Remain. It would all hinge on how the provincial towns and cities voted, towns which almost without exception had feverishly committed Europhile Labour political leaders. I held my breathand to my delight, the results started coming in. Oldham. Sheffield. Burnley. Barnsley. Sunderland. Wolverhampton. Preston. Walsall. All of them voting for Brexit. Some were topping 60% vote for Brexit. The snooty London-left had sneered for decades at the peasants in the North, and having sown the winds of contempt, they were now reaping the whirlwind of patriotic fightback.
The working class came out strongly for Brexit. One cannot help but admire this faith in Britain. In many mill towns, unemployment, drug addiction and family breakdown are the order of the day. Yet despite this, they dared to dream for better and voted for Brexit. Unlike the Remain campaign, Brexit painted a picture of an optimistic better future, one that clearly captured the hearts and minds of our urban poor. It is easy to forget that despite a rather rough exterior, the people of the urban North and Midlands frequently have a heart of gold and an optimism and patriotism that is unmatched.
Rochdale is a good example. Rochdale is a typical working class mill town. Rows of flat fronted terraced houses creep up steep hills, and one can easily imagine the mournful trumpet sounds of the opening credits to Coronation Street being filmed somewhere like this. Derelict mills with smashed windows are dotted around the town and vacant shop units dot its town centre. One estate in Rochdale has more adults on benefits per capita than anywhere else in Britain. And yet Rochdale is typical in other ways. It was the birth place of the Co-Operative movement, where the honest poor came together to make a better future with what little they had. When the call came for King and Country, it gave thousands of its young men to Pals’ Battalions, many of whom walked down the flat fronted terraced streets en route to the trenches of the Somme and Ypres, many never to return. The shop keepers cheerfully greet complete strangers as ‘love’ and ‘darling’. Every pub and working men’s club has collection tins for Help for Heroes or the Poppy Appeal. The notice boards of pubs frequently feature appeals for help to families with disabled children who have expensive care costs. These same pubs and working men’s clubs are full of men who themselves served the UK in Northern Ireland, the Falklands or the Gulf.
Rochdale voted by 60% plus for Brexit.
The working class have shown faith in Brexit. Now Brexit must show faith in them. What better way to do this than to spend a significant chunk of the independence dividend on reviving their declining but proud towns?
In places like Rochdale, Tyne and Wear and Barnsley young men don’t aspire to be doctors, they just want something better paid and dignified than benefits or shelf stacking. Now we can stop mass migration and wage depression in the skilled trades, vast amounts of money should be spent on training courses in construction skills, motor mechanics and other traditional working class professions. This would revive employment and have a knock on economic and social effect. Just a few short years of men being able to earn a good wage and do dignified work would revive our working class towns. With more money to spend, the town centre shops and businesses would revive. The benefits trap would be broken. And something else would be broken. The electoral support for the Labour Party. Whilst people are on benefits and have few options, they will vote Labour. When they have money, dignified work and independence, they might look elsewhere for a political home. Is Labour’s century long dominance of the North and Midlands about to end?
The first Brexit government should take vast amounts of money that would have been wasted on EU membership and create funding streams for training, employment and entrepreneur grants. Priority should be in the towns that voted Brexit. One good turn deserves another as they say. We would not now be on the road to independence were it not for the men and women of these towns who have been so cruelly ignored by the London parties. To take a leaf out of the EU’s book, why not put up big posters advertising that this training centre was ‘Paid for by Independence’? If people are getting a chance in life, why not let them know they are getting their own money back to help them do it? People would quickly get used to being trained for meaningful work, break their dependence on benefits and revive their dying towns. The Labour Party preach a miserable message of dependence on benefits, a message that would be dead in the water for a generation of working class men and women who could now thrive in their towns with meaningful work.
With the possible departure of Scotland from the UK, the money spent on propping up the SNP’s welfare racket could also be re-directed to boost this working class England regeneration scheme. In poor towns in the English North, there is resentment over Scotland’s spending. Now the London government doesn’t have to worry about that, we can use the Barnett method money to further boost renewal of working class England.
Bright days ahead for our working class. They stood up for us in two world wars and the Brexit vote. Now let us stand up for them.