The Left Behind: Reimagining Britain’s Socially Excluded



Examines the ways in which the ‘Left Behind’ have been used to symbolise and foment social divisions in contemporary Britain.

‘The Left Behind’ is a defining motif of contemporary British political discourse. It is the thread that knits together the 2016 Brexit referendum, the crumbling of the fabled ‘Red Wall’ in the North, and the pernicious culture war being waged today. But who are the Left Behind?

James Morrison goes in search of the reality behind the rhetoric, offering the first comprehensive, historical analysis of the origins, uses and meanings of the term. He interrogates the popular archetype of the Left Behind – as a working-class, Leave-voting white male from a former industrial heartland – and situates the concept in the context of longstanding, demonizing discourses aimed at communities seen as backward and ‘undeserving’.

Analyzing national newspaper coverage and parliamentary discussions, and drawing on interviews with MPs, community leaders, charities, and people with direct lived experiences of poverty and precarity, The Left Behind grapples with the real human cost of austerity for neglected post-industrial communities and other marginalized groups across the world, and the stigmatizing discourse that does little to serve them.

ISBN: 9780745344621
Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)
Pub Date: 08/2022
Format: Paperback
Weight: 0.97lbs
Size: 8.43h x 5.51w x 0.87d

Additional information

Weight 0.97 lbs
Dimensions 8.43 × 5.51 × 0.87 in