Saturday 24 January 2009

Stoke Marxists on the Box

Stoke Socialist Party will be hitting the TV screens tomorrow lunch time. No, we haven't got cameos in Coronation Street or Hollyoaks, nor will we be featuring in Animal Park (though offers were received). A couple of our comrades, Andy and Matt, recorded an interview earlier in the week for the West Midlands segment of The Politics Show.

This week's
focus is on the white working class and its growing alienation from the political mainstream, mainly (but not wholly) because of New Labour's abandonment of any kind of class politics. For the feature, brave BBC journalists ventured from their snug base in Birmingham to visit the West Midlands town where the break down in traditional political affiliations are most acute - and that would be Stoke-on-Trent.

For readers unfamiliar with the politics of the Potteries, the council chamber has gone from being all-Labour (that's right, 12 years ago all 60 Stoke councillors sat for Labour) to a low of just 16. It supports the city's Labour mayor
, Mark Meredith in coalition with the Lib Dems and a motley alliance of Tories and "independents". Nine BNP councillors sit in opposition, so do nine (or is it 10?) 'City Independent' councillors, a flotsam and jetsam of "non-aligned" independents, petty two-councillor groups, and a single Libertarian LibDem. The BNP have the highest profile of the beneficiaries of this decomposition, but are by no mean the only ones doing well off the back of it.

What our comrades will be doing is giving Stoke SP's take on the city's political crisis. How much of their interview makes the final cut is anyone's guess - hopefully it will be more than a 10 second soundbite!
The Politics Show is on BBC One at 12pm, Sunday. For those outside the West Mids, you can view it by going to BBC One West Midlands on channel 979 on Sky. The programme will also go up on the show's website, which will be linked to from here as soon as it is available.

Edit: The programme can be viewed on BBC iplayer at The Politics Show url above. Interesting to see leading BNP councillor Michael Coleman admit his party uses misery to fulfill its objectives.


Anonymous said...

"This week's focus is on the white working class and its growing alienation from mainstream politics, and in particular, the abandonment of them by New Labour. "

Do you really buy into the view that NuLabour have abandoned the 'white working class'?

That the LP has abandoned the working class seems obvious. That this abandonment applies only to the 'white working class' needs substantiation.

Derek Wall said...

Hi Phil,

any chance of blogging on Jerry Hicks, your own SP, the SWP and Green Party members of Unite are backing him for General Secretary, a real grassroots trade union lefty and a pretty eco friendly one with his support for environmental engineering, no heathrow, lots of renewables...any way his blog is here,

go on give his campaign a bit of support

Phil said...

I'm sure the comrades will have made the point that Labour has abandoned the working class in its entirety. That was just my clumsy wording and the main contention of the programme - as I understand it.

Robert said...

Mistakes that use word like white working class are danerous, I know a dam lot of Asians and coloured and black people who have worked with me in shit paying jobs, the whole working glass black white Asian are in this together.

Anonymous said...

obviously the interview has been cut to a sentence and a panning view of two pints of bitter and a pair of sideburns.

Phil said...

Aye - I sent Matt my congrats for his stirring performance. But anyway, 10 seconds are better than no seconds.