Darren McGarvey (2022)
A troubling tale of disaffection between classes in Britain – it’s resolute in its class-based analysis, despite how out of fashion that is, and after reading this book it’s difficult to disagree. That makes it an uncomfortable read for any middle-class person, since it’s the middle class who takes the brunt of Garvey’s assignment of blame. By allowing the working class to be demonised, and by allowing the creation of a benefits and support environment at least as “hostile” as that facing immigrants, the stage has been set for a breach between people that allows everyone to be manipulated by those in power.
All this came about (in Garvey’s telling – and I have to agree to a large extent) because social mixing across class lines has collapsed, leaving groups in echo chambers that exclude views that might challenge their established beliefs. And indeed it’s hard to think of counter-examples, beyond perhaps sporting and music events (and even they are now segregated by ticket price).
There are some very uncomfortable ideas in this book, and for that reason it should be recommended for everyone in Britain wanting a challenging explanation of how we find ourselve in our current predicament.
4/5. Finished Wednesday 3 August, 2022.
(Originally published on Goodreads.)