Brexit on a bicycle


My article on cycling around the North of England in the aftermath of Brexit has been published this week in the New Statesman.

Based on conversations during my book tour of Island Story, I set out to explain why many working class people voted Brexit. The horizons of political possibility have been hemmed in by economic hardship, I argue, and I look at the roles of work, welfare and insecure housing on how political choices are imagined.

The piece is a little late in its publication! I wrote separately about my journey and its findings for Fair Observer back in October, where I focused on the effects of poverty, debt, and the formation of a new kind of working class, unrepresented by any political party.

While Island Story certainly hasn’t transformed the zeitgeist of the nation, it has had a warm reception. It was reviewed by the Financial Times, the LSE Review of Books, and the Manchester Review of Books. There were interviews with Nottingham’s Left Lion and About Manchester, and it had favourable coverage in the Morning Star and the venerable Wakefield Express. Individually, Natalie Bradbury, John Hutnyk, and John Ledger generously responded to it. It was also book of the week at the London Review Bookshop.

Given its unwieldly length, I applaud anyone who’s read it cover to cover as a worthy companion in an epic adventure.


One response to “Brexit on a bicycle”

  1. Reblogged this on John Ledger and commented:
    This week’s edition of the Newstatesman features Brexit on Bicycle, a piece by JD Taylor reflecting on both his 4 month cycle journey around the British Isles in 2014 (which became the book: Island Story: Journeys around Unfamiliar Britain), and his shorter cycle journey around the Midlands and North in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. The first journey was the reason I asked if he’d like to speak at our exhibition/event Fighting For Crumbs (Art in the Shadow of Neoliberal Britain) which was incorporated into his second journey. The magazine is well worth a read this week.

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