On 24 June, as the Brexit referendum result hit the school where I work, both students and teachers were aghast.
The idea that this was a “working-class revolt” inflicting “a massive reverse” on the rich and powerful had no takers in a school whose catchment area is among the 5% poorest in the country. Some students told me “I have dual nationality, Slovak and British [or whatever it might be], so I’ll be all right. But...” And they’d sigh.
How much of the Brexit vote was based on insecurity of employment, and a sense that migrant workers from Europe reduce the bargaining position of workers against employers? And how much of it is based on a sense of resentment of London, as the rich and powerful centre that neglects the rest of the country, especially leaving people outside London with less satisfying, lower paid or even no jobs? I think that the left needs to develop and campaign for more specific demands and reforms aimed at enabling everyone to have meaningful work with decent conditions. Without that it will be difficult to persuade people that their anxiety about immigration is misplaced.
Rather close to Martin's take.