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A roar from the suburbs

The pollster at the heart of Blairism recalls his upbringing among the people that Labour forgot-the new middle class of the sprawling suburbs of middle England

By Philip Gould   December 1998

I did not have a deprived upbringing. I had an ordinary upbringing, in a twilight suburbia where postwar council estates nestled alongside small, detached red brick Victorian villas. I learned my politics there. Not in great northern cities, the Welsh valleys or crumbling urban estates. Not in places with great political traditions and dramatic folklore. I learned my politics in the small town of Woking in Surrey, where most people were neither privileged nor deprived but nearly everybody was struggling to get by, where university was out of the question for most and where nearly everyone went to secondary modern…

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