Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class

chavsauthor: Owen Jones

book published: 2011

This is a book to make you angry, and wonder why you weren’t at one of the street parties celebrating Maggie Thatcher’s passing.

Jones’ argument is that successive governments have- consciously or stupidly- marginalised the power of the working class and put all their effort into making sure that those who already have the money can make ever more at the expense of the rest of us. Along the way, they’ve destroyed whole communities and managed to convince most people that the country’s ills are the somehow the fault of the powerless and poor.

The destruction started with the Thatcher government, though she was just acting out a long-held Tory dislike of the “lower orders”. Blair and Brown continued her work rebranding “New” Labour so that it appealed to the middle classes whilst abandoning its core supporters, and now Cameron is taking advantage of our powerlessness to dismantle the NHS and welfare state.

Jones’ logic is impeccable, and made me see links between facts I already knew but hadn’t figured out myself. The only problem is that he can’t offer much of a solution. You’re left with a feeling of impotent rage- something should be done to stop the theft of our country out from under us, but the odds are so stacked against us we don’t know where to start.

Source: Ian Pattinson Goodreads reviews