Owen Jones: Labour needs these Brexit heartland towns. And they need Labour | Owen Jones

My trip to Doncaster in South Yorkshire made one thing clear: the party must find a way to reconnect with its traditional communities. They need hope

The Labour party wasn’t born in Doncaster, but it was conceived here. Every day, thousands of commuters in the town’s red-brick train station walk past a shiny gold plaque commemorating two local trade unionists, Thomas R Steels and Jimmy Holmes, “founding fathers of the Labour party”. It was Steels who, on the eve of the 20th century, penned a motion calling for an alliance of unions, socialist and working-class organisations to secure “a better representation of the interests of Labour in the House of Commons”. It was a proposal that the Trade Union Congress narrowly accepted and, in 1906, the Labour party was born.

Towns like Doncaster are divided along lines of class, education, race and, perhaps most strikingly, age

Related: Limehouse review – timely account of Labour’s 1981 split is beautifully acted

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