Author: Carlo Massimo

Between Hartlepool and Hampstead—Paul Embery on the British Labour Party and the Working Class

In December of 2020, Paul Embery published his first book, Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class, in which he argues that the working class no longer has a voice in British politics. Embery is a firefighter, trade union activist, and UnHerd columnist, and he believes that the typical Labour voter—like the typical Labour MP—has lost touch with the party’s former base. The catastrophic loss of Labour’s Red Wall of parliamentary constituencies in 2019 was the inevitable result. Embery identifies as a “conservative socialist” and considers himself unambiguously leftwing, whether or not the Left will have him. I spoke with him in early March 2021 to discuss his book and his unusual political perspective. *     *     * Paul Embery, tell us about the background of this book. Was there a key moment when you realised, I should really write a book about what’s happened to the Labour Party? There wasn’t a key single moment, but there were a series of events if you like, which occurred in the first decade of this century. …