Re: Perry Anderson Ukania Perpetua? pt 3 Archived Message
Posted by Keith-264 on October 24, 2020, 1:55 pm, in reply to "Re: Perry Anderson Ukania Perpetua? pt 2"
1 Attracting criticism that began with Edward Thompson’s famous essay, ‘The Peculiarities of the English’, in Ralph Miliband and John Saville, eds, Socialist Register 1965, vol. 2, and has continued, from different directions, to this day: of late, see Mike Wayne, England’s Discontents: Political Cultures and National Identities, London 2018, pp. 73–80, 141–4, 186–7, 252–3. These arguments, often referred to as the ‘Nairn–Anderson theses’, were far from the only original lines of work in the nlr of the period. The introduction of different streams of thought from Western Marxism; the development of a series of experiential reports on work, manual or mental; and the first re-theorization of the position of women since de Beauvoir, were no less important for the character of the Review. Nor would writing on the uk itself be confined just to the matrix of its originating ideas about it. But for obvious local reasons, it was these that first established the identity of nlr in an unmistakable way. |
2 See, for this section, Tom Nairn, ‘Landed England’, nlr i/20, Summer 1963; ‘The British Political Elite’, nlr i/23, January–February 1964; ‘The English Working Class’, nlr i/24, March–April 1964; ‘The Nature of the Labour Party’, nlr i/27, September–October 1964 and nlr i/28, November–December 1964; Perry Anderson, ‘Origins of the Present Crisis’, nlr i/23, January–February 1964. The nucleus of the arguments developed in these texts came from ‘La Nemesi Borghese’, an essay published in the Italian journal Il Contemporaneo in 1963 by Tom Nairn, responsible for over half the articles on the uk written by its editors to date. Tom Nairn, ‘La Nemesi Borghese’, Il Contemporaneo, vol. 6, no. 63–64, 1963.
3 Tom Nairn, ‘Labour Imperialism’, nlr i/32, July–August 1965.
4 Robin Blackburn and Alexander Cockburn, eds, The Incompatibles: Trade Union Militancy and the Consensus, Harmondsworth 1967. nlr also published the first substantial interview with the new leader of the Amalgamated Engineering Union (aeu), Hugh Scanlon, whom the Labour Cabinet had done everything in its power, including resort to mi5, to stop being elected its president: ‘The Role of Militancy’, nlr i/46, November–December 1967.
5 For the role of the early nlr in these, see Perry Anderson, ‘The Left in the Fifties’, nlr 1/29, January–February 1965.
6 Robin Blackburn and Alexander Cockburn, eds, Student Power, Harmondsworth 1969.
7 Perry Anderson, ‘Components of the National Culture’, nlr i/50, July–August 1968.
8 Tom Nairn, ‘The Three Dreams of Scottish Nationalism’, nlr i/49, May–June 1968. In the following year developments in Northern Ireland were covered in a discussion of People’s Democracy (pd) strategy with leaders of the movement, accompanied by a study from Peter Gibbon, ‘Dialectic of Religion and Class in Ulster’: nlr i/55, May–June 1969.
9 Tom Nairn, ‘Enoch Powell: The New Right’, nlr i/61, May–June 1970.
10 Robin Blackburn, ‘The Heath Government: A New Course for British Capitalism’, nlr i/70, November–December 1971.
11 Anthony Barnett, ‘Class Struggle and the Heath Government’, nlr i/77, January–February 1973.
12 Tom Nairn, ‘British Nationalism and the eec’, nlr i/69, September–October 1971, preceding ‘The Left Against Europe?’, nlr i/75, September–October 1972; the latter too subsequently appeared as a Penguin Special.
13 Tom Nairn, ‘Scotland and Europe’, nlr i/83, January–February 1974; ‘The Modern Janus’, nlr i/94, November–December 1975.
14 Arthur Scargill, the outstanding union leader of the time, recounted in detail the successive confrontations with the state that led up to this outcome, and the tactics and strategy behind these, in ‘The New Unionism’, nlr i/92, July–August 1975.
15 Tom Nairn, ‘The Twilight of the British State’, nlr i/101–102, January–April 1977.
16 Tom Nairn, ‘The Future of Britain’s Crisis’, nlr i/113–114, January–April 1979.
17 Tom Nairn, The Break-Up of Britain: Crisis and Neo-nationalism, London 1981, pp. 365–404.
18 Anthony Barnett, ‘Iron Britannia’, nlr i/134, July–August 1982: a notable farewell to the journal, Barnett leaving shortly thereafter, then founding openDemocracy.
19 Robin Blackburn, ‘Themes’, nlr i/140, July–August 1983.
20 Perry Anderson, ‘The Figures of Descent’, nlr i/161, January–February 1987.
21 ‘After the longest epic of collective resistance in the annals of British labour’, the isolation of economic struggle, in the pits and at storage depots, from any political relay beyond them was decisive, for reasons indicated already in the sixties: ‘The Limits and Possibilities of Trade Union Action’, in The Incompatibles, pp. 260–80.
22 Perry Anderson, ‘A Culture in Contraflow’, nlr i/180, March–April 1990 and nlr i/182, July–August 1990.
23 Its historic disposition having been, in the words of a description on the eve of Thatcher’s raking of the academy: ‘decidedly Anglican in temper, aware of higher things but careful not to become tedious on that account, and not really in much doubt of the basic good sense of the nation and those who governed it’: Francis Mulhern, ‘“Teachers, Writers, Celebrities”: Intelligentsias and Their Histories’, nlr i/126, March–April 1981, the first fully comparative analysis in the journal of a sector of English society, here set against its counterparts in France and America.
24 Perry Anderson, ‘The Light of Europe’, English Questions, London and New York 1992, pp. 302–53.
25 Tom Nairn, ‘Ukania under Blair’, published in the first issue of the new series of the journal: nlr i, January–February 2000, introducing his now standard sobriquet for Britain, coined after Robert Musil’s mockery of the kaiserlich-königlich Austro-Hungarian Empire as Kakania in The Man without Qualities.
26 Francis Mulhern, ‘Britain after Nairn’, nlr 5, September–October 2000.
27 Tom Nairn, ‘Mario and the Magician’, nlr 9, May–June 2001.
28 Susan Watkins, ‘A Weightless Hegemony?’, nlr 25, January–February 2004.
29 Susan Watkins, ‘Toryism after Blair’, nlr 38, March–April 2006.
30 Tony Wood, ‘Good Riddance to New Labour’, nlr 62, March–April 2010.
31 Susan Watkins, ‘Blue Labour?’, nlr 63, May–June 2010.
32 Susan Watkins, ‘Casting Off?’, nlr 100, July–August 2016.
33 Tom Hazeldine, ‘Revolt of the Rustbelt’, nlr 105, May–June 2017.
34 Daniel Finn, ‘Crosscurrents’, nlr 118, July–August 2019.
35 See Stuart Hall, ‘Authoritarian Populism—a Reply’, nlr i/151, May–June 1985; The Hard Road to Renewal, London and New York 1988; Martin Jacques and Francis Mulhern, eds, The Forward March of Labour Halted?, London and New York 1981; Eric Hobsbawm, Politics for a Rational Left, London and New York 1988; ‘Farewell to the Classic Labour Movement?’, nlr i/173, January–February 1989. Critics: Kevin Bonnett, Simon Bromley, Bob Jessop, Tom Ling, ‘Authoritarian Populism, Two Nations, and Thatcherism’, nlr i/147, September–October 1984, et seq; Ralph Miliband, ‘The New Revisionism in Britain’, nlr i/150, March–April 1985.
36 Writing under Reagan, of the ‘Californianization of America’ and ‘Americanization of Europe’ in ‘The Political Economy of Late-Imperial America’, nlr i/143, January–February 1984, p. 13.
37 ‘What it actually bestowed, in conditions of gathering recession, was modest opportunity for the financial sector and galloping de-industrialization up North’: The Break-Up of Britain, pp. 328, 396.
38 Susan Watkins, ‘Continental Tremors’, nlr 33, May–June 2005, after the rejection of the Draft Constitution for Europe by French and Dutch voters; ‘Another Turn of the Screw?’, nlr 75, May–June 2012, after the introduction of the Fiscal Compact.
39 Over forty years, see—inter alia—‘Why the us Working Class is Different’, nlr i/123, September–October 1980; ‘The Barren Marriage of American Labour and the Democratic Party’, nlr i/124, November–December 1980; ‘The New Right’s Road to Power’, nlr i/128, July–August 1981; ‘Nuclear Exterminism and Extended Deterrence’, in Edward Thompson et al, Exterminism and Cold War, London and New York 1982; ‘The afl-cio’s Second Century’, nlr i/136, November–December 1982; ‘The Political Economy of Late-Imperial America’, nlr i/143, January–February 1984; ‘Reaganomics’ Magical Mystery Tour’, nlr i/149, January–February 1985; ‘Urban Renaissance and the Spirit of Postmodernism’, nlr i/151, May–June 1985; ‘The Lesser Evil? The Left and the Democratic Party’, nlr i/155, January–February 1986; ‘Who Killed Los Angeles? A Political Autopsy’, nlr i/199, May–June 1993; ‘Who Killed Los Angeles? Part Two: The Verdict is Given’, nlr i/199, May–June 1993; ‘The Dead West; Ecocide in Marlboro Country’, nlr i/200, July–August 1993.
40 How relevant a metric, it may be asked, is growth of gdp in any case for assessing the course of a society from the left? By Extinction Rebellion standards, it is actively pernicious. The time has yet to come, however, when it fails to matter politically, as a glance at the distribution of life-chances across the globe makes clear. The form it takes, rather than whether it should exist at all, is the political question.
41 Andrew Gamble pointed out the relationship between the two question-marks, over the nation and over decline—he had written powerfully about both—at the turn of the century: ‘Theories and Explanations of British Decline’, in Richard English and Michael Kenny, Rethinking British Decline, Basingstoke 1999, pp. 17–19.
42 Nicholas Crafts, Forging Ahead, Falling Behind, Fighting Back: British Economic Growth from the Industrial Revolution to the Financial Crisis, Cambridge 2018, pp. 107–17.
43 In 1979, financial investment was a third of the level of manufacturing investment; in 1989 it was one third higher: Andrew Glyn, ‘The “Productivity Miracle”, Profits and Investment’, in Jonathan Michie, ed., The Economic Legacy 1979–1992, London 1992, pp. 77–81, 84–5.
44 Michie, ‘Introduction’, The Economic Legacy 1979–1992, p. 6; Michael Kitson and Jonathan Michie, ‘The Rise and Fall of uk Manufacturing 1870–2010’, in The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain, Vol. II, new edn, Cambridge 2014, Table 12.1, p. 314.
45 Michael Kitson, ‘Failure followed by success or success followed by failure? A re-examination of British economic growth since 1949’, in The Cambridge Economic History of Britain, Vol. III, Cambridge 2004, Table 2.1, pp. 32, 51–2, also showing that labour productivity from 1979–90 grew at half the rate of 1964–73.
46 Crafts, Forging Ahead, p. 105; likewise, investment in the literacy and numeracy required for the production of high value-added goods saw a regression, with pupil-teacher ratios in public education rising under Thatcher and Major: Simon Szreter, ‘British economic decline and human resources’, in Peter Clarke and Clive Trebilcock, Understanding Decline: Perceptions and Realities of British Economic Performance, Cambridge 1997, p. 99.
47 North Sea oil more or less exactly covered the increased costs of unemployment benefits, while the sale of council housing would prove the most lucrative of the privatizations: Colin Leys, ‘The British Ruling-Class’, Socialist Register 2014, vol. 50, p. 110. For council housing, see Kevin Albertson and Paul Stepney, ‘1979 and all that: A 40-year reassessment of Margaret Thatcher’s Legacy on her own terms’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol. 44, no. 2, March 2020, pp. 326–7.
48 Stephen Cecchetti, M. S. Mohanty and Fabrizio Zampolli, ‘The Real Effects of Debt’, Bank of International Settlements Working Paper no. 352, September 2011, Table A2.1, p. 24.
49 See Table 1, in Florian Pelgrin, Sebastian Schich and Alain de Serres, ‘Increases in Business Investment Rates in oecd Countries in the 1990s: How Much Can be Explained by Fundamentals?’, oecd Economics Department Working Paper, no. 327, p. 24.
50 Maurice Mullard and Raymond Swaray, ‘New Labour Legacy: Comparing the Labour Governments of Blair and Brown to Labour Governments since 1945’, Political Quarterly, vol. 81, no. 4, October–December 2010, p. 513, who in a by no means hostile account were nevertheless obliged to note that: ‘New Labour became increasingly dependent on the success of financial markets to generate economic growth, high-paying jobs and revenue to finance the increase in public expenditure. Income inequality was not of major concern.’
51 Michael Kitson and Frank Wilkinson, ‘The Economics of New Labour: Policy and Performance’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol. 31, no. 6, February 2007, p. 814.
52 Dan Corry, ‘Labour and Economy, 1997–2010: More than a Faustian Pact’, Political Quarterly: Reassessing New Labour, vol. 81, special no. 1, September 2010, pp. 133, 135. Corry was Head of the Downing Street Policy Unit under Brown.
53 Ben Ansell and David Adler, ‘Brexit and the Politics of Housing in Britain’, Political Quarterly: Britain Beyond Brexit, vol. 90, special no. 2, April 2019, p. 106.
54 John Mills, ‘The Demand-side Solution’, in Christopher Bickerton, ed., Brexit and the British Growth Model, Policy Exchange, July 2018, pp. 75–7. qe totaled £435 billion in the same years.
55 Francis Green et al, ‘What Has Been Happening to the Training of Workers in Britain?’, llakes Centre for Research on Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies, Research Paper 43, London 2013, p. 27.
56 Crafts, Forging Ahead, p. 117; Crafts and Terence Mills, ‘Is the uk Productivity Slowdown Unprecedented?’, Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, Working Paper 429, Warwick University, July 2019.
57 For vivid details of the succession and Macleod’s reaction to it, see Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Strange Death of Tory England, London 2005, pp. 1–20.
58 As would later become clear, matters were not quite so simple: see below footnote 60. The passage of powers was more protracted and less complete than the impression often given by Thatcher’s overwhelming dominance as a personality; she herself was indifferent to the social origins of her colleagues, caring only about their political opinions.
59 Tim Bale, The Conservatives since 1945, Oxford 2012, pp. 188–9.
60 Parliamentary Privilege 2019: Educational Backgrounds of the new House of Commons, Sutton Trust, 13 December 2019.
61 Tim Bale, Paul Webb, Monica Poletti, Grass-Roots, Britain’s party members: who they are, what they think, and what they do, Mile End Institute, January 2018, pp. 9, 36. The rudimentary categories of market-research used in this and other studies precludes any precise calibration of the class composition of this Conservative membership, 86 per cent of whom are tabbed ‘abc1’—as likewise 77 per cent of Labour members, and 88 per cent of Lib Dems.
62 P. J. Cain and A. G. Hopkins, British Imperialism 1688–2015, 3rd edn, Abingdon 2016, p. 724.
63 Eventually, he went on, Brown’s ‘City-led strategy of post-industrialism will presumably bring a graveyard quietus to these ex-industrial zones. Until then, however—while New Labour’s successor Britain is finding its feet—it is if anything more essential that Old Labour plays its servile part, by staying loyally in charge of “the North”’. Tom Nairn, Pariah: The Misfortunes of the British Kingdom, London and New York 2002, pp. 90–2.
64 Peter Oborne, The Triumph of the Political Class, London 2007, pp. 3–25, passim. For Oborne, a conservative journalist, the arrival of an admirer and imitator of Blair at the head of the Tory Party signalled its generalization. A glance at Charles Moore’s biography of Thatcher indicates the gulf between this glabrous layer and the country-house entourage surrounding her, still continuous with ruling-class patterns of old even at the end of her reign, when she fell in part because of its performance during her final crisis. On November 1, 1990, the day Geoffrey Howe resigned, triggering the countdown to her eviction: ‘Peter Morrison [Eton: Parliamentary Private Secretary to Thatcher], like Renton [Eton: Chief Whip], was out of London, having invited Nick Ridley [Eton: recently resigned as Minister for Trade and Industry] to shoot on his family’s Scottish estate on the Isle of Islay’; November 2: ‘The next morning, Renton returned early and unwillingly to London and saw Mrs Thatcher at 10 Downing Street’; November 3: ‘Taking advantage of the brief parliamentary recess before the new session, he (Renton) kept his engagement to spend the following Monday shooting in Lincolnshire rather than trying to secure Mrs Thatcher’; November 5: ‘Peter Morrison returned from his Islay shoot just as she (Thatcher) left for Geneva. He brought back a brace of pheasants for John Whittingdale [Winchester: Private Secretary to Thatcher] and of duck for the secretary in his office. Sitting in his plus fours at the shooting tea in Lincolnshire, Tim Renton was telephoned by Cranley Onslow [Harrow], chairman of the 1922 Committee’; 14 November: ‘Younger [4th Viscount, Winchester: chairman of her re-election campaign in 1990] had explained in advance that, since he had just become chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, he was very busy in Edinburgh. Besides, he was shooting that Saturday.’ Drily reporting the political cost of these preferences to Thatcher in her hour of need, Moore tactfully assigns them to gender rather than class: ‘As with the shooting in which, each November, December and January, so many of her colleagues indulged, this was a male world almost completely closed to her.’ Charles Moore, Margaret Thatcher, Vol. III: Herself Alone, London 2019, pp. 650, 654–5, 658, 666, 661.
65 Bernard Alford, ‘1945–1951: years of recovery or a stage in economic decline?’, in Clarke and Trebilcock, Understanding Decline, pp. 188–9.
66 Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s verdict: Yo, Blair!, London 2007, a savage obsequy of the individual and his record, to set beside Oborne’s collective diagnosis of New Labour, published in the same year; both required reading on the left, which produced nothing really comparable.
67 For this, see David Kogan, Protest and Power: The Battle for the Labour Party, London 2019, p. 95.
68 In 2010, 2.7 million ballots had been sent to trade unions and lesser affiliated organizations in the leadership contest won by the younger Miliband, of which just 234,000 were returned, 15 per of them invalid, without the union block vote of 50 per cent being in the least affected: The Collins Review into Labour Party Reform, February 2014, p. 25. Ray Collins was a former stalwart of the tgwu, on the left of the tuc. The parliamentary delegation retained the consolation prize of being able to strike out any candidate for the leadership from its ranks who enjoyed less than 15 per cent of its support.
69 Labour gained 9.6 per cent in 2017; Blair’s peak figure was 8.8 per cent in 1997. The Labour vote in 2017 was over two million more than in 2001, and three million more than in 2005.
70 Asked to what social group they belong, a majority of the population continues to answer ‘working-class’, subjective identification exceeding objective situation: Geoffrey Evans and James Tilley, The New Politics of Class: The Political Exclusion of the British Working Class, Oxford 2017, pp. 21–58.
71 Class differences regarded as fairly or very wide: 51 per cent in 1970, 77 per cent in 2015; society more polarized: 12 per cent in 1970, 31 per cent in 2015: The New Politics of Class, p. 53.
72 Or, coquetting with Marx, and renaming the first as the Bourgeoisie, the second and third as the Intelligentsia, the last as the Proletariat, they demonstrate that since the 1960s the proletariat has always been the most left-wing and the most culturally conservative, the intelligentsia always the most culturally liberal and more right-wing than the proletariat, and the bourgeoisie always the most right-wing and less culturally liberal than the intelligentsia: The New Politics of Class, pp. 80–1. Description of the new middle class as an intelligentsia on the grounds of a high level of education is obviously forced, and need no more be accepted than the misleading use of ‘social’—an American usage—for cultural values, as substituted above, without affecting the validity of the taxonomy itself.
73 The New Politics of Class, p. 152; Geoffrey Evans and Jonathan Mellon, ‘The Re-shaping of Class Voting’, British Election Study, 6 March 2020, p. 1.
74 Wayne has recently and rightly criticized much nlr writing on Britain for underrating the importance of liberalism in the ideological make-up of the ancien régime: England’s Discontents: Political Cultures and National Identities, pp. 73–80, 141–4, 186–7, 252–3. In his account, while economic liberalism was a natural component of the conservative aristocratic settlement after 1815, by the end of the century a social liberalism had emerged that created space for the subsequent rise of social-democracy. Under Thatcher, a resurgent economic liberalism moved away from traditional conservatism, while social liberalism became increasingly detached from social-democracy, the two fusing in the cultural energy with which Thatcherism captured c2 workers with a cult of meritocracy. Obviously, much depends here on what is meant by social liberalism. Writing in 2018, Wayne judged the current revival of the left quite shallow, given the deficiencies of its political culture after 40 years of defeat. At present the only way forward lay in the creation of a new historical bloc around a radical version of social-democracy, one that allowed ‘a knight’s move to socialism’, pushing those identifying with liberalism towards socialism as envisaged by Hobson before the First World War.
75 For samples of this literature, still capable of shocking, see Susan Watkins, ‘A Weightless Hegemony’, pp. 21–4.
76 Stefan Collini: What Are Universities For?, London 2012, and Speaking of Universities, London 2017; Andrew McGettigan: False Accounting, London 2012, and The Great University Gamble, London 2013.
77 A current, ultra-quantified survey, covering all of Europe, comparing the outlook of university teachers with that of managers and professionals, and finding that they are invariably to the left of the latter, takes it for granted that support for further European integration is a marker of a left/liberal orientation, like more equal income distribution and tolerance of immigration: Herman van de Werfhorst, ‘Are universities left-wing bastions? The political orientation of professors, professionals and managers in Europe’, British Journal of Sociology, vol. 71, no. 1, January 2020, pp. 47–73.
78 abc audited figures: Telegraph falling from 691,000 in 2010 to 317,000 in 2020; Guardian from 302,000 to 130,000; ft from 390,000 to 157,000; The Times from 508,000 to 360,000. Three-fifths of the ft’s circulation is overseas, its domestic sales running at 58,000. It should also be said that, because its online version is free, reaching younger readers who never look at a physical paper, the Guardian’s influence is considerably wider than its print sales.
79 abc figures which reflect neither the economic position nor the intellectual influence of those with an international readership. World-wide print sales of the Economist are around 830,000, of which only 14 per cent are domestic (British Isles including Ireland); for the lrb, total sales are 76,000—48 per cent domestic; for the tls, 24,000—50 per cent domestic. The readerships of the Spectator, New Statesman and Prospect, by contrast, are overwhelmingly national—respectively 88 per cent, 87 per cent and 87 per cent domestic.
80 For this reality, see the observations of Tim Bale, who distinguishes between ‘the party in the country’ (members), ‘the party in central office’ (machine), ‘the party in public office’ (elected politicians) and the ‘party in the media’ (press), remarking that ‘the latter may well be as influential in determining a party’s overall direction and its composition as those who are formally its members and its employees—if not more so’: The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron, Cambridge 2016, pp. 19–21. In the case of the Tories, editorialists and columnists not just in the Telegraph but in the Mail and the Sun, to a lesser extent The Times, play this role; under Blair, the Sun and The Times played it on the Labour side, before reverting to the Conservatives. Only the Telegraph and Guardian combine organic connection to their respective parties with non-tabloid readers.
81 The Great British Dream Factory: The Strange History of Our National Imagination, London 2015, p. xxx.
82 Sometimes taken as a commendable measure of democratization redeeming, or at least offsetting, the seamier sides of New Labour rule, devolution was typically cynical in conception, designed in Blair’s words to ‘remove the danger of separatism’, or as George Robertson, the Scot who was his first Minister of Defence, later Secretary-General of nato, famously put it: ‘devolution will kill nationalism stone-dead.’
83 For the circumstances, see Iain Macwhirter, Road to Referendum, Glasgow 2013, pp. 270–1.
84 For this, see Gerry Hassan and Simon Barrow, eds, A Nation Changed? The snp and Scotland Ten Years On, Glasgow 2017, the most acute and best documented survey of the party and its performance, pp. 17–23, 63, 67, 75, 106, 117–20.
85 Chris Bambery, A People’s History of Scotland, London 2018, pp. 307–9, 333.
86 Proportional representation favours the snp because its vote is more evenly spread across Scotland than that of any other party: James Mitchell, Lynn Bennie and Rob Johns, The Scottish National Party: Transition to Power, Oxford 2012, pp. 10–11. On the other hand, the same spread works against it in first-past-the-post elections to Westminster, where many of its seats have small majorities, and are vulnerable to tactical voting by Tory, Liberal Democrat and Labour supporters.
87 Author of The Case for Left-Wing Nationalism, Edinburgh 2013.
88 The position taken by Neil Davidson, ‘A Scottish Watershed’, nlr 89, September–October 2014, pp. 12–13: a text also containing an outstanding cartography of the vote.
89 Winning 60 per cent of the working-class and 45 per cent of the middle-class vote: Evans and Tilley, The New Politics of Class, p. 179.
90 In 2008, Ireland had both the highest birth-rate and the highest net immigration rate in the eu.
91 In 2017, the Catalan government held a referendum on independence, but since participation was denounced as illegal by its opponents, so essentially confined to its supporters, the result—92 per cent in favour, on a turn-out of 43 per cent—was not a measure of the actual balance of opinion in Catalonia. For modern comparisons between Catalonia and Scotland, see J. H. Elliott, Scots and Catalans: Union and Disunion, New Haven ct 2018, pp. 225–64: hostile to secession in both, especially in the Catalan case, warm in admiration of the restored Bourbons.
92 As late as 2013, Europe was still an important issue for no more than 3 to 7 per cent of voters: Chris Gifford, The Making of Eurosceptic Britain, Farnham 2014, pp. 166–7.
93 Tim Shipman, All Out War: The Full Story of Brexit, London 2017, p. 308: much the best account of the contest.
94 Andrew Cooper, Remain’s leading pollster, would later estimate that over 80 per cent of these new voters chose Leave: All Out War, pp. 463–4
95 See successively David Innes and Gemma Tetlow, ‘Delivering Fiscal Squeeze by Cutting Local Government Spending’, Fiscal Studies, vol. 36, no. 3, September 2015, pp. 303–25; Sascha Becker, Thiemo Fetzer and Dennis Novy, ‘Who voted for Brexit? A comprehensive district-level analysis’, Economic Policy, vol. 32, no. 92, October 2017, pp. 601–50; Thiemo Fetzer, ‘Did Austerity Cause Brexit?’, American Economic Review, vol. 109, no. 11, November 2019, pp. 3849–86; Nicholas Crafts, ‘The Fall in uk Potential Output due to the Financial Crisis: A Much Bigger Estimate’, Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, Working Paper No. 399, January 2019. The loss per person from the cuts ranged from £177 in the City of London to £914 in Blackpool. On the assembled evidence, Crafts concludes that ‘Remain would probably have won in the absence of austerity.’ Housing costs were another critical factor, mapping the same kind of divide.
96 Ipsos-Mori, ‘How Britain voted in the 2016 eu referendum’, 5 September 2016; Ashcroft, ‘How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday . . . and why’, 24 June 2016.
97 Danny Dorling and Sally Tomlinson, Rule Britannia: Brexit and the End of Empire, London 2019, p. 24.
98 Evans and Mellon, ‘The Reshaping of Class Voting’. Of the 54 seats the Conservatives took from Labour, 52 were in areas which had voted Leave; Labour gained just one solitary Remain seat, in Putney.
99Ashcroft, ‘How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday . . . and why’.
100 Displacement is the striking theme of Anthony Barnett’s analysis of 2016 in The Lure of Greatness, England’s Brexit and America’s Trump, London 2017, which argues that the Leave vote should be understood as a frustrated expression of the rational need for an English parliament in a democratized constitutional settlement in Britain.
101 For a powerful early conjecture of how England might develop as an heir to Ukania, see Francis Mulhern, ‘Britain after Nairn’, pp. 63–5.
102 It might be wondered whether Tom Nairn’s diagnosis of Powell could eventually acquire some bearing on Johnson, let alone the die-hard Brexiteers who backed him—the very extremity of an attachment to tradition undermining its strengths in flexibility and adaptation?
103 Shipman, All Out War, p. 608.
104 Responding to critics of The New Politics of Class, Tilley and Evans write, in a somewhat Delphic penultimate sentence of their reply, ‘Party differences today are increasingly aligned around issues that also divide the electorate by occupational class and education, but divide people by age to a much greater extent’: ‘The New Politics of Class after the 2017 Election’, Political Quarterly, vol. 88, no. 4, October–December 2017, p. 714. As it stands, the last clause is ambiguous. Does it mean that divisions by age are much greater than they were previously, or that today they are much greater than divisions by class? The preceding sentence of the reply could suggest the former, the subsequent sentence the latter.
105 Will Jennings and Gerry Stoker, ‘The Divergent Dynamics of Cities and Towns: Geographical Polarisation and Brexit’, Political Quarterly: Britain Beyond Brexit, vol. 90, special no. 2, April 2019, p. 16; a collection (also issued as a book) of like-minded contributors brought together by the Chief Executive of the Resolution Trust, Gavin Kelly, and the former Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr), Nick Pearce. The Resolution Trust, bankrolled by insurance millionaire Clive Cowdery, a donor to the ippr, who bought Prospect magazine in 2016, is a regroupment of former New Labour nomenklatura for a political comeback. Kelly was Deputy Chief of Staff to Brown in Downing Street; Pearce was a special adviser at the Home Office, and Tom Clark, parachuted into the editorial chair at Prospect, a special adviser at Work and Pensions, both under Blair.
106 Tom Nairn, ‘The Nature of the Labour Party–1’, nlr i/27, September–October 1964, pp. 55, 41, 64–5.
107 See Tom Nairn, Gordon Brown: Bard of Britishness, Cardiff 2006, pp. 5–42.
108 Ashcroft, ‘How Scotland Voted and Why’, 19 September 2014. Post-Brexit his opinion poll reported five years later an overall majority of 52 per cent for independence: Holyrood Magazine, 5 August 2019. By August 2020 it had increased to 53 per cent, with nearly three-quarters of voters under the age of 34 wanting independence: YouGov, 12 August 2020.
109 David Torrance, ‘Scotland’s Progressive Dilemma’, Political Quarterly, vol. 88, no. 1, January–March 2017, pp. 52, 59, who points out that so far as socio-economic posture was concerned, Salmond was for a period in many ways Blairite before Blair. In a striking recent analysis, Rory Scothorne has deepened the analogy with a sociological reading of it, suggesting that New Labour and the snp represented different ways of resolving the unsettled identities of upward mobility in the post-war era—‘England’s expanding home-owning class’ finding in the sequence from Thatcher to Blair a ‘narrative which allowed them to justify openly abandoning the politics of social solidarity’, whereas ‘their equivalents in Scotland found in devolution a means of pretending they hadn’t done the same, benevolently granting the class they’d left behind a voice instead of a future. The self-image of Scotland’s centre-left is, in this sense, impeccably Blairite’: ‘Scotland’s Dreaming’, London Review of Books, 21 May 2020.
110 Gavin Kelly and Nick Pearce, ‘Brexit and the Future of the British Model of Democratic Capitalism’, Britain Beyond Brexit, p. 4.
111 Duncan Weldon, ‘The British Model and the Brexit Shock: Plus ça Change?’, Britain Beyond Brexit, pp. 20–1. The author, formerly a special advisor to Harriet Harman—the most prominent female minister in Blair’s successive Cabinets; under Brown, Deputy Chair of the Labour Party—is now at the Economist, having been Associate Editor at Prospect.