CRANK up the music and strap yourself in. It’s the age of anger, baby – and it’s all flowing in the wrong direction.

You can feel it in the air. It’s in every overflowing bin on the street, every half-empty town centre that’s been left to rot, every service with only half the staff needed to keep things running – amid the promise of more cuts to come. There’s a feeling, a buzz, that things aren’t quite right; that things are on the edge of slipping, slowly at first then all at once. The United Kingdom is angrier than ever, and it has every right to be.

We’ve dragged ourselves through back-to-back crises for at least the past two decades, from the economic crash in 2008 to the recession that’s just getting started gnawing its way into our lives. And for what? To be told we have to quietly suffer stagnating wages and toxic workplace practices lest we make worse a problem we didn’t cause?

READ MORE: Unspeakable ‘anti-Scots’ pursue power as recession looms

We have a recession. We have spiralling fuel and energy costs while the energy companies announce record-breaking profits. We have an unaccountable Westminster government that has been brazenly stuffing its pockets while bringing in legislation to make it harder and harder to hold them to account or even protest. There’s the looming threat of climate change while countries and companies bulldoze ahead with planet destroying policies and profit generation without a care for the future. If you’re not angry yet, you should be.

It’s like someone knocked over Pandora’s Box while partying at Downing Street circa ’97 and let forth the deluge of misery we’ve been dealing with ever since – except instead of hope trailing out at the end we got 12 consecutive years of Tory rule instead.

And what services existed to deal with the misery have been so stripped down and undermined by the Tories as to be rendered basically ineffective.

If you’re looking for a reason for the fury, look to the above and then some. The anger is valid. Justified. But its targets are not.

Research is showing that since the Covid pandemic, the amount of abuse staff and shop workers are having to deal with is rapidly increasing. It’s the reason you may have noticed more signage while out and about asking people not to abuse staff just trying to do their jobs.

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: Liz Truss is playing to the Tory crowd with ignorance and arrogance

The working class has become a shield for bosses to hide behind. The workers don’t set exorbitant prices. They don’t leave stores and services vastly understaffed and under-equipped. They don’t keep you on poverty wages while jetting off to their holiday homes. No. That’s the choice of the bosses, confident they can slip out the back while frontline staff face the consequences.

Throw into that a glut of social media services that thrive on abuse and misinformation, and you’ve got a burning match sitting awfy close to a powderkeg.

Britain is a fortress of class, replete with media mechanisms and institutions that protect the wealthy by turning our ire on to each other rather than them. Misplaced anger is as British as talking about the weather. It’s one of the many reasons that these islands avoided the revolutions of the past that swept across Europe and seemed almost certain to reach the streets of London and Glasgow – but didn’t.

As long as the working class is fighting among itself, how can it organise to take on the powerful?

The situation is a perfect breeding ground for far-right recruitment, fascists who blame the worst excesses of capitalism and class not on the chief executives and parliamentarians cutting welfare and healthcare, but instead on the migrants, the queers, women and minorities. Neo-Nazi groups are organising in the UK right now. Fascist party Patriotic Alternative was protesting outside Drag Queen Story Time events in England last week, complete with white supremacist and anti-LGBTQ+ slogans.

There’s a reason hate crime is on the rise in the UK, alongside attacks on reproductive healthcare services and LGBTQ+ charities. So-called “traditional” values won’t save us. Arguably, they’ve played a role in bringing us to this precipice.

Instead of punching down, we need to be punching up at the real culprits behind our predicament – no easy thing given the existentially dire nature of the task.

The popular Netflix documentary Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 feels particularly timely on this front – and not just because it’s filling a hole left over from Fyre Festival.

I wasn’t even aware there had been more than one Woodstock until the documentary was released, to be honest – but what seems clear was that the greatest factor on how the event went from music gig to flaming riot was the greed of the organisers.

Price gouging young people at a festival, where bottles of water were reportedly being sold for $12 a pop in extreme heat, no doubt led to revellers turning on the festival as they did and, frankly, I can’t blame them for it.

We need class solidarity, and that means supporting our fellow workers – not taking your anger out on them. When strike action looms, remember that it is because of the behaviour of the bosses, not the workers. I’m angry. We’re all angry. But let’s not lose sight of who is really to blame.