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Synopsis

For David Cameron and ‘Big Society’ Tories, folk culture means organic food, nu-folk pop music, and pastoral myths of Englishness. Meanwhile, postmodern liberal culture teaches us that talking about a singular ‘folk’ is reductive at best, neo-fascist at worst. But what is being held in check by this consensus against the possibility of a unified, oppositional, populist identity taking root in modern Britain? Folk Opposition explores a renewed contemporary divide between rulers and ruled, between a powerful elite and a disempowered populace. Using a series of examples, from folk music to football supporters’ trusts, from Raoul Moat to Ridley Scott, it argues that anti-establishment populism remains a powerful force in British culture, asserting that the left must recapture this cultural territory from the far right and begin to rebuild democratic representation from the bottom up.

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