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On Burnley Road : Class, Race and Politics in a Northern English Town

Makin-Waite, Mike
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Lawrence and Wishart Ltd (N/A)
Published: May 1, 2021
ISBN: 9781913546021
280 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom


What was happening in Burnley Town Hall when the British National Party was winning and holding seats there? What lay behind the far right’s advance, and what effect did it have on local government and wider policy trends? How did mainstream parties respond?This is the inside story of these developments, written by the council worker responsible for promoting good race relations in Burnley during the turbulent years following the ‘northern town disturbances’ of 2001. The book connects the story of one Lancashire town to contemporary social divisions and political trends across the UK:- The rise of right-wing populism, widespread antipathy to immigration, and a deep distrust of established politicians- The success of Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in offering nationalism as an answer to some people’s sense of abandonment in deindustrialised areas- Labour’s attempts to ‘reconnect’ and win back support in northern constituencies like Burnley, which voted 67 per cent for Brexit and was one of the ‘red wall’ seats that Labour lost at the 2019 general election. On Burnley Road is both a remarkable example of granular social history and an urgent contribution to current debates on issues which affect us all.

MakinWaite’s perspectives on political identities, multiculturalism, and the potential of ‘civic mediation’ will interest anyone who is looking for effective ways forward to overcome racism and inequality, and to rebuild our democratic culture.

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