English 4.0: Collars and colours

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    Transcript: English 4.0 — Collars and colours

    Erin Perry: Finally, is there a connection between the colour of someone’s collar and their politics?

    Eamonn Fitzgerald: Traditionally, blue-collar workers were members of trade unionGewerkschafttrade unions. And they voted for either communist parties or socialist parties or social-democratic parties. And the white-collar workers tended to be more conservative and voted for more conservative parties. But this is changing and a very good example was provided by the most recent US presidential election. Donald Trump could not have won if he hadn’t won the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania. Now, these states, which are called “blue states” because they are usually Democrat states, have lost millions of jobs. And those jobs were seen as being exported to China and Mexico. And so the blue-collar workers of the past this time to turn aroundhier: seine Meinung ändernturned around and didn’t vote for the Democratic Party but voted for the Republican candidate. If we look at another very important election — in this case, a referendum that was held in Britain about the membership of the European Union — the people who work in very well-paid jobs in London, the financial industry, are very open to a more diverse society. They welcome migrants. But in other parts of England and Wales especially, people there saw the arrival of more immigrants as increasing the labour poolArbeitskräfteangebotlabour pool, making more and more people available for the limited number of jobs that were there and thus sending down the cost of labour. And they voted for Brexit, which many people would have said was completely against their interests. But they did that. And in the future, we’ll probably see that a candidate who supports environmental policies and is against climate change will win the support of the green-colour worker. And politicians who promise bigger and better pensions will get the votes of the grey-colour worker. So we can look forward to a time when politics and work will get more colourful.