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A Brummie’s lament

The Birmingham council estate I grew up on has just elected its first BNP councillor. The working-class defensiveness and isolation I fought so hard to escape are alive and well

By Lynsey Hanley   July 2006

My husband and I were walking in circles around Regent’s park the day after the May local elections, having the same conversation we have when we’re walking, drinking in the pub, or having dinner at home: the one about the workers. About how we hold such high hopes for the people we grew up among, and how they always, ultimately, disappoint us. About how we both feel a tangled mix of shame and pride in our origins, combined with guilt and pleasure at having escaped them.

That day, the BNP had won its first Midlands council seat outside the Black…

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