A Working Class Alternative To Labour
How can we get the 500,000 to 700,000 unemployed 18-24 year olds to work to harness
their idle hands to Britain’s recovery. To do so we have to acknowledge a few unpleasant facts:
1.There is an unwillingness of the banks to invest in new British companies. 2.Many young people
leave school so badly educated that they are more or less unemployable.
The education system, even at so called university level is failing to produce people who can form
an intelligent and able workforce to enable a British recovery to take place, especially in engineering.
We have to ensure that there is sufficient investment in new and existing industries to expand
This means, as we have already seen, significant changes in the banking system, since, as the large
investment banks are not investing sufficiently in small to medium businesses. The deposits of
small investors and account holders should be used to fund loans to local businesses.
Looking to large foreign companies to build assembly plants for cheap labour, as governments have
been satisfied to do in the past, is not the way forwards for British industry or British workers,
unless we want to stay poor and get poorer.
Education and industry
We also have to discard the recondite educational theories of the middle class left, which
have gone so far in destroying the chance of working class pupils to achieve even a decent basic
level of education. We should involve industry, big and small, and practising teachers, in forming
education policy. It has to be said that the middle class Labour Party and their education advisors
of the last decades are chiefly responsible for the destruction of education for the working classes. It
is a destruction that plays a significant part in the decline of British industry.
It is difficult here to deal with the specific problems of our education system, since it has draped
itself in a jargon and self-referential marking system that actively conceals its own failure. The
grade inflation used by successive governments to present failure as success to the public is a
large part of the deception. But there is a deeper set of ills to do with the attitude to knowledge
itself which teacher training manuals have downgraded. To a large extent, over the past 20 years
measuring and assessment has replaced learning. The other problem is a mechanistic and
jargon based marking system at GCSE and A level, that has made individual thought and
analysis almost impossible, almost outlawed, despite routine claims to the contrary. The specific
result of that had been a drastic fall in the ability of children to think independently enough to
write essays. Education is in a crisis as never before, and at present we haven't even reached the
stage of identifying it.
The middle-class version of left-wingism has tried to use the education system as a
'political' weapon to achieve some of its aims, which are largely only theoretical, and of worse
than no use to the working classes who now more than ever, fail in education. The distortion and
confusion that has found itself into the classroom is especially baffling to children of lower
academic ability. And still, after so many decades of state education, schools remain primarily
places where middle class notions of what constitutes education prevail, and where working class
children fail. There is a direct relationship between this fact and the way our education system is
It is a matter of urgency that children who do not speak English are taught it as a priority over
other subjects until they speak good enough English to participate. At present they are left to
struggle in lessons they cannot follow.
A working class government should ensure that, at last, a demanding and knowledge-and-
practice-based curriculum of science, engineering, and technical and practical subjects,
including all aspects of manual labour, are given an equal status to academic subjects in
schools. It can easily be seen that this would not just benefit the working classes, but also the
whole country, and it is long overdue.
Grammar schools at the same time, should be available to all who want them, un-tested to
ensure that working class children have access to the academic elite, and thereby access to the
political and economic elite. Testing children at 11yrs too easily excludes children of non-academic
parents, and deprives grammar schools of able children. Note, the purpose of this policy is not to
make grammar schools less academic or the level lower or the work easier; it is to make sure that
working class children who want it have access to teaching on a high academic level.
A Board of Industrial Co-operation.
British industry has suffered from bad management, poor investment, bad education, poor pay and
industrial unrest, and an overall lack of common purpose; we need to co-ordinate and co-operate in
1. Owners and management.
2. Workers and unions.
4. The education establishment (schools, universities and colleges).
One way to achieve this would be to create a "Board of Industrial Cooperation" which would meet to
co-ordinate the needs of the sectors; this board would only have a consultative role but it provide
continuity and could serve to focus public scrutiny on governments' attention to planning.