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Broadly, the RTs and the BLs  have much in common — believing that social capital is as important as economic capital,  and in communitarian politics and cultural identity, supporting but restraining the excesses of capitalism and, yes, of  Brexit. They are mainly to be found in towns and smaller cities up and down the country, and will vote Conservative or Labour according to their cultural tradition but are increasingly switching between the two. Often they may be working, but struggling, with one family member working all day and one at night just to keep their heads above water. They are not against entrepreneurship but want good public services and are susceptible to Corbynista arguments about nationalisation and austerity, when they see rail services failing, no police on the streets, and the NHS creaking. They also want lower taxes and would probably cut the overseas aid budget by half. While patriotic and traditional, the RTs and BLs are  more socially liberal than is often imagined and believe in controlling rather than opposing immigration. To paraphrase David Goodhart, the RTs and BLs are “Somewheres” as opposed to the ABBC/Lib-Dem “Anywheres”.

For a while, at least in the early days of her premiership, it looked as if Theresa May understood this, when she talked of helping those “just about managing” and addressing burning injustices. Her poll ratings rocketed because she was reaching millions of RT and BL voters, who felt they had been under-represented for some time. It was only after the 2017 manifesto reverted to an old Tory “Alan B’stard” attitude (cut free school meals, take away the winter fuel allowance) that the BL and RT voters deserted once again — leading to the Conservatives losing their Commons majority.

In the Westminster cauldron, there are  significant numbers of Conservative and Labour colleagues who are both RT and BL. Already there are intellectuals and pressure groups building the foundations (albeit not together) of an RT/BL movement — people like Lord Glasman and John Cruddas on the Labour side and Phillip Blond and the pressure group Tory Workers on the Conservative wing. The first step post-Brexit may not be a new party but a caucus of Blue Labour and Red Tories, operating in the interests of working people.

The fog of Brexit has obscured many of the political arguments that are going on. The Red Tory/Blue Labour movement is beginning to emerge through the haze.
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