From tabloid columnists to Job Centre snoopers, Britain’s obsession with the less well-off owning flat-screen TVs has become a symbol of how inequality is blamed on those at the bottom, rather than at the top.
‘Peterdown’, David Annand’s novel of class and regional divides, threatens to be the state-of-the-nation novel we badly need – but settles too often for easy caricature.
The British novelist’s works, currently being reissued, encompassed witches, communist revolutionaries, and medieval monasteries – but running through them all is her formal invention and socialist politics.
A sharp fall in book sales is accelerating the dominance of Amazon and a handful of giant corporations – while pushing radical publishers and small bookshops to the brink.
In 2017, Labour’s victory in Crewe seemed to be a sign of renewal in one of its former strongholds. 2019’s result shows that the party’s problems in towns like this run much deeper – and won’t be solved easily.