Why do I live in a lefty city?

I remember telling a friend that I was moving to Bristol in the new year. His reaction was “why would you want to move there, it’s full of lefties!” This isn’t something I could contest. Bristol, most notably Stokes Croft, is known for its left leanings, and the demographic reflects this.

My decision to move to Bristol was not one to do with the predominate ideology of the city. It was simply because I was fed up of my hometown. It is a semi-industrial commuter town a few dozen miles outside of London, filled with proles, ne’er-do-wells and perhaps a few nubile sixth form students who will eventually move away to university and stay there. Politically it is very conservative, with the area being predominately Tory for as long as I can remember. In the council estates, the BNP have been known to do their rounds. There is very little to do and it is very much one of those towns in the UK where you might be started on out of boredom. I had to settle for mediocre temporary warehouse jobs with people who were doomed to do such work.

But why would I move to a city? Cities, according to the rightist narrative, are ugly grey places riddled with crime, noise, pollution and hipsters. Whilst this at least somewhat true, I found that the higher population obviously lends itself more to ‘the craic’ had greater employment opportunities and a higher chance of meeting like-minded people. Having the chance to become independent of my parents and have a half-decent social life again was worth all the trials and tribulations that came with moving away and the frustrating and at times depressing 6-week search for employment.

I am currently residing in a quiet neighbourhood just off Cheltenham Road, which if you follow towards the city fades into the bohemian realms of Stokes Croft. In short it is basically a mix of numerous shades of SWPLs, white middle-class rebels and the spill-over of the Afro-Carribean community that has its epicentre in St. Paul’s. It is known for its strong localist culture, made famous by violent protests against the opening of a Tesco store this year. In future blogs I will be commenting on my experiences and observations living in such a community, with all it’s tensions and contradictions. In spite of all that, I would still take this area any day over the proletarian stagnation of my hometown. It’s a weird one, and it comes with a different feeling when I’m walking down the street.

I’ll keep you posted on my musings.

~ by CallistoRising on May 31, 2011.

2 Responses to “Why do I live in a lefty city?”

  1. Woking?

    • No, but you’re not far off. If I reveal it I risk removing a layer of anonymity but my hometown is probably not distinct enough from Woking for the sake of the post.

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