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15 Jan 11:37am

Class, language and localism in the Labour leadership race | Letters

The Guardian
Guardian readers share their views on the contest and its candidatesIn the recent statements by candidates for the leadership of the Labour party there are two expressions that deserve attention: “community” and “the working class”. Most of the candidates invoke these groupings without, it seems, giving much thought to their meaning. Communities are not the glorious locations of consensus and mutual support that they are presented as. Often they were, and are, locations of exclusion and prejudice, even coercion. “The working class” is a term that might have been appropriate for manual (usually male) workers, but quite what it means in the complex contemporary labour market is much more problematic. The protests about the 1% were perhaps rather more accurate, since they did point to extreme forms of social inequality and the fact that the vast majority of us do have to work in order to support ourselves. By all means identify inequality within paid work, but not with divisive, and redundant, labels.
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