Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Right Reasons for Moving North

Most working class people in Jarrow would like to live in Primrose. It's almost as pleasant as its name suggests. Biggish semis, built before the war, when it still seemed like a good idea to provide ordinary people with decent housing. My mam and dad lived there from the late 70s until they got their pensioners' bungalow a couple of years ago. We often talked about moving there, in terms of an aspiration. Until a month ago.

It was interesting to read this article in the Guardian about the rise of the Right in Stoke on Trent. It's a story my townspeople will be familiar with: a Labour party that's been in power for generations and has evolved into an arrogant nepotistic clique. Natural Labour voters eventually need to rebel. If the Liberals don't stand, what are they to do?

Memories of the 80s will mean that most Jarrow people are reluctant to vote for the party they still associate with Pinochet's Pal. But the BNP stood in Primrose. And a really frightening number of people voted for the bastards, despite Jarrow being a very white town, with none of the Nazis' usual issues of migrants, asylum seekers, crime, or "Islamicisation". So I kind of understand why it happened, but I don't want to be chatting over the fence to the same sort of wooden-headed twat whose dislike of the Weimar regime allowed Hitler and his pals to sleep-walk into power.

Mind you, I do like the way that the South Tyneside Info's pie chart graphic has coloured them in pink. Cute, eh?