Listening to Doncaster

‘We Can Win’ in Doncaster- Why I Decided to Join The Campaign

tobias Thursday February 8 2018

On the 23rd of June, 2016, my home constituency of Doncaster North voted 69% in favour of leaving the EU – a margin of more than two to one. Since the referendum, I have seen people who voted leave dismissed as ‘idiots’, ‘racists’, ‘chavs’ and pretty much any other tired old stereotype you could care to apply to the ordinary people from somewhere such as Doncaster.

However, Doncaster is not the home for those hurling insults, they do not know the legitimate anger many people feel in post-industrial working class communities, and they do not know the multitude of complex reasons I heard people give for voting leave. I firmly believe that the decision of many to vote leave in Doncaster, and places like it, was intended to give themselves a voice they felt they had long been missing.

That’s why I wanted to get involved in this campaign. I believe that through actively engaging in my own community, together we can strengthen the voice of ordinary people, and address their concerns in order to build a fairer, more open and democratic society.

Doncaster has, as I’m sure many feel about their own hometowns, long been struggling. With the collapse of industry in the 1970s and 1980s, many are left questioning what Doncaster is for. It used to be the home of the pits and the factories, Doncaster could take pride in its part in keeping the country running. Now, however, it remains unclear. We need to re-engage members of our community in order to build a better vision of what Doncaster can be, a place where the old do not have to witness the decline of their hometowns, and where the young do not feel they have to move away in order to make something of themselves.

It’s a big goal, but it can only be achieved by empowering the voices of ordinary people.


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