The only sensible thing I’ve seen written about the election result since the day it happened.

Taken from @Sheff_socialist with link at the end:-

A long thread about my own personal experiences during this election dealing with my Labour voting family deciding to out themselves as casual racists by voting Tory / Brexit Party in traditional Labour “Red Wall” heartlands

I come from a genuine working class family .

Grandparents were miners and domestic cleaning staff
Dad was butcher , mum was a cleaner and when she remarried after their divorce she married a miner .
I grew up in a two up two down terrace house that my parents rented from the local Co-op society and then moved into a council house in Kendray (Barnsley) when my mum remarried

One grandad was a NUM union rep ( at Woolley Colliery alongside Scargill )

Other grandad was a NUPE union rep .

Mum and her sister were both UNISON union reps .

I guess what I’m trying to get across is that we were a proper Labour supporting family , cut us in half and we would have Labour running through us like a stick of Blackpool rock .
And yet in this election I was the only one still voting Labour, in traditional “Red Wall” Lab areas.

I’m in Sheffield but my family is split across the Barnsley area, some in Dan Jarvis’ constituency, some in Steph Peacocks and some in the Penistone area that’s just turned Tory.
How the hell did this happen ?

Why did my mum and step-dad and my Dad and step-mum all vote Brexit Party ?

Why did my brother and his wife and my aunt and uncle both vote Tory ?

They’re not stupid people , my step-mum is a nurse and educated to degree level , my brother an accountant and educated to degree level and my sister-in-law a teacher educated to degree level .

We all lived through Thatchers annihilation of our communities when she went after the unions and destroyed Barnsley after and during the Miners strike .
My step-dad lost his job when Woolley Colliery was closed and never worked again .

So how the hell did they all come to abandon Labour and vote for parties whose policies are the complete antithesis of their own needs and aspirations ??

To answer that you’ve got to look further back than just this last few weeks or months or the last couple of years .
You’ve got to look a lot further back .

Before the Miners strike everyone I knew lived and worked in Barnsley , my grandparents jobs were in Barnsley , my parents jobs were in Barnsley , my aunt’s and uncle’s all worked in Barnsley as it seemed did all my friends families.
The aftermath of the strike changed that .

Most people were employed at the Pits or in industry connected to the Pits or in the service industries like retail , pubs etc where the Miners spent their wages.
When those wages went then so did the local economy.
New Labour in 1997 gave people hope of a change but all they brought to the area were low paid minimum wage jobs to replace high paid skilled industrial jobs .

People thought that New Labour when they got in would regenerate and revitalize these traditional working class Lab heartlands.
They didn’t.

Yes we got a far better funded NHS and Sure Start etc.
But areas like Barnsley just got left behind , their Labour votes taken for granted.
Life had changed .
Only my mum still worked in Barnsley .

I moved to Sheffield because of work . My dad ended up in Stoke were he met my step-mum before they returned to Barnsley .
My brother , his wife and most other family members worked in other nearby towns and cities , even though they still lived in Barnsley .

Some like my Step-dad and aunt and uncle relied on the benefits system to see them through to retirement age .
Then along came the banking crisis , followed by the high street crisis that saw the likes of Woolworths bite the dust .
Quickly followed by a Tory & Lib Dem government pushing their disastrous Austerity policies.
Areas like Barnsley took another hammering .

Jobs lost in the local economy which had never recovered from Thatcher thanks to New Labours indifference.
Cuts to essential council services and cuts to the NHS locally meaning longer waiting lists and crowded doctors waiting rooms .
And in amongst all this comes Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson .
The poisonous bastards gave everyone in areas like Barnsley exactly what the needed , exactly what they wanted …….

Someone to blame.
Immigrants .
Immigrants let into this country by the EU.
Immigrants taking our jobs .
Immigrants using our NHS
Immigrants taking our council houses
Immigrants filling up our doctors waiting rooms
You see it couldn’t just be the Tory’s fault that things were rough because it hadn’t gotten any better whilst Labour was in power.

So it has to be someone else’s fault .
So Farage and Johnson must be correct when they blame immigrants and tells us all politicians are the same
Both narratives that have been pushed relentlessly by Farage , Vote Leave and Johnson
Farage and Johnson must be correct if the news on the telly says the same thing and asks them to come on all the time to talk about it .

Farage and Johnson must be correct if the newspapers all print the same stories blaming immigrants for taking our jobs and our houses and clogging up our NHS .
And Farage and Johnson must be correct if everyone on Facebook is posting the same Memes especially if greasy Brenda from the local chippy is posting it cos she obviously knows here stuff !!!!

Under Thatcher we knew who to blame , the Tory’s.
But under Blair who did you blame for life getting no better because of New Labours indifference ??
The politicians , both sides because they are all the same , none of them give a stuff about us .
Under austerity who do we blame ?

Not the Tory’s cos they’ve told us that we are all in this together and there is no other way , we have to all make sacrifices .
So we blame the immigrants , the ones that the EU are forcing us to take .
And by default because we tend to class anyone who’s different to us as a potential immigrant then we blame any and all ethnic minorities

All of this whipped up to a frenzy since 2016 by the likes of Farage , Vote Leave , Tommy Robinson , Katie Hopkins , Hartley-Brewer , Rod Liddle and Boris Johnson and his Tory cohorts.
Aided and abetted by the usual cast of idiots at the BBC , ITV and Sky .
Sadly I watched this unfold with my own family over the last 3-4 years and didn’t do anything like enough to try and counter it

I ignored the initial flurry of anti EU comments and social media posts partly because I was voting leave too, albeit for completely different reasons
I spent far too long just telling them to stop spouting racist bollocks when they moaned about immigrants instead of actually sitting down and explaining why the stuff they were reading , watching and sharing was wrong and factually false .
I ignored the anti Corbyn comments because I just assumed that when it came around to election time they would just hold their noses and vote Labour as we had all done for years before regardless of the leaders popularity , just as they all had in 2017

I finally realised I hadn’t done enough when the election campaign kicked in .
I only work part time now and that’s from home so I’d decided to get fully involved in the campaign both on the ground locally and on social media .
Boy did I get the shock of my life when I started posting stuff about Labours plans and manifesto on Facebook .
I got absolutely frigging mullered ………..
by my own family members and friends.

My posts were full of comments from them with arguments and rhetoric that had been drummed into them by Farage and Johnson over the last few years .
My timeline was full of anti Labour Memes .
It got that bad that I ended up deleting my Facebook account .
Most of the family aren’t speaking to me and Boxing day this year when we traditionally all meet up at my mum’s is going to be an absolute nightmare .

Then you realise it’s not just yourself and your own family thats experiencing this .
You speak to a friend in Rotherham and find they’ve had the exact same experiences.
You get a call from your oldest son in the armed forces to tell you that he’s up on a charge after getting into a scuffle with some of his colleagues after being called a muslim loving terrorist supporting traitor just for sharing some Labour stuff on social media

Living in Sheffield possibly led to me being a little insulated from Labours problems .
It’s a multi cultural city and apart from the usual quota of nobheads and Tommy Robinson types we all live side by side with few serious problems.
Brexit didn’t seem to be as big an issue inside the city as it did in the out-laying towns .
But in fairness things never got as desperate or demoralizing in the cities as they did in the town’s and old industrial area’s
We weren’t looking quite as hard for someone to blame
Corbyn had a definite image problem on the doorsteps .
He had a massive target on his back and there’s no denying that the media were able to hit it’s bullseye with alarming regularity

But this hadn’t been insurmountable during the 2017 election even in areas like Barnsley and Rotherham.
And I genuinely believe that had Jeremy Corbyn been just as intolerant towards immigrants and ethnic minorities as the Tory’s were we would have had a very different result.
After all the country happily elected an absolute racist bigot instead of Corbyn

That’s an absolutely disgraceful situation to find ourselves in especially when you also come to the realisation that members of your own family voted this way .
How do Labour get voters like my family back ???
More to the point do we actually want them back ???
I’m not sure I want to be related to my own family members at the moment because of their willingness to blame immigration and ethnic minorities for all our ills .
And yes we may have had the policies that would have addressed the problems that led to them voting for the Tory’s / Brexit Party but you can’t enact those policies if you don’t get into government in the first place .
Would a different leader have made a difference to these voters ??

Yes to some of them .
Would a different Brexit policy have made a difference .
Definitely , to most of them
Did they vote this way because they’re racist ???
Who genuinely can say ???
I hope that for the ones related to myself that it isn’t a deep seated racism , rather just a reaction to a constant and unrelenting malign influence of the mainstream media , targeted Facebook memes and snake oil salesmen like Farage , Johnson and Cummings .

But I guess we won’t know that until 2024 when we go to the polls once more , with a different leader , with Brexit no longer an issue and with the realisation that even outside of the EU nothing has changed in Barnsley and similar towns under this bastard of a Tory government

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