The attempt by the Conservative Party in Britain to rebrand itself as the ‘Workers’ Party’ will provoke both mirth and dismay from people who can remember the long, distinguished and continuing history of that party in destroying the lives of working class people.
But such a rebranding is not intended to win the hearts of all workers. Rather, what it seeks is a mainstay of Tory policy for decades: winning over just enough working class people in order to maintain political hegemony, as part of the striving towards the dream of a bourgeoisie without a proletariat.
What is perhaps new is the way the opposing pole of ‘Worker’ in this system of signs is not ‘Capitalist’ (there are no longer capitalists, only entrepreneurs) but those who do not work – the ‘workshy’, those who are dependent on benefits to survive, those culturally represented as ‘chavs’. The division between the…
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