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A class-ridden society FOR the [...]; FEEDBACK.

A class-ridden society FOR the past fortnight I have been listening to BBC Radio 4's Matters of the North presented by Melvin Bragg exploring the history, culture and character of the north of England and its beautiful landscape.

The north was the centre of the industrial revolution, the workshop of the world with its railways, artists, engineers, innovators, canals, coal and the textile industry.

Despite all this success less than 2% of the population were entitled to vote and when 60,000 workers and their families held a peaceful demonstration at St Peters Square, Manchester, agitating for the right to vote yeomanry attacked the crowd, killing 11 people and injuring at least 140.

This was followed by the Chartists who organised mass rallies throughout the north of England and the rest of the country with their six point plan for voting.

In Bradford there were riots against the poor law, the suffragettes fought for women's right to vote and the Trade Union Movement, Co-op and the Labour party were created to fight such injustices.

The Labour Party was founded as a coalition as a way of working together to shift power from the wealthy to the poor and Melvin Bragg noted that the rich don't give up their power willingly.

Former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson said the 'Labour movement is a crusade or it is nothing.'.

The likes of Labour leadership contender Owen Smith and his supporters who say Labour is not a party of protest have chucked the towel in and wouldn't say boo to a goose.

The right to vote is under attack, the government have made it harder to register to vote, they are set to introduce boundary changes in favour of the Tory Party and former Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg said recently that David Cameron and George Osborne opposed the building of council housing on the basis that it encourages those tenants to vote Labour!

We really do live in the most class-ridden society and we need more protest not less.

John Appleyard Liversedge

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 9, 2016
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