The Tribe: some more details, including blurb and cover design

Imprint Academic has made available some details of my book, The Tribe: the liberal-left and the system of diversity, on its website here.

[Update: it is now available for pre-order via Amazon here and on the Imprint website here]

The Tribe: book cover

The blurb reads:

From Islamist terror to feminist equal pay campaigns and the apparent Brexit hate crime epidemic, identity politics seems to be everywhere nowadays. This is not entirely an accident. The progressive liberal-left, which dominates our public life, has taken on the politics of race, gender, religion and sexuality as a key part of its own group identity – and has used its dominance to embed them into our state and society.
In The Tribe, Ben Cobley guides us around the 'system of diversity' which has resulted, exploring the consequences of offering favour and protection to some people but not others based on things like skin colour and gender. He looks at how this system has almost totally captured the Labour Party and continues to capture other major institutions. He also looks at how it is capturing our language, appropriating key terms like ‘equality’, ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusion’, while denying a voice to its outsiders.
The system of diversity makes a challenge to us all: submit, or risk exclusion from society itself.

The website page states that publication date will be 1st July this year, but my understanding has been that it will not be available until later than that. I will update will any further details.

Update: the publication date should be 1st July as listed. 

I wrote a few more words about the argument here.


  1. Sounds like a challenging book Ben. I am not decided where I stand on all of this, I haven't made up my mind. Like I believe in and have fought for LGBT equality, I still do and still would, but I am not at peace with the hounding of eg Tim Farren for his religious views because I know that there are a lot of religious people in this country of varying religions who hold those views. In hounding eg Tim Farren are the media saying that people who take that interpretation of their religion should have no place in public life at all? But then for those of us who want equality maybe we have to keep raising awareness and fighting till we get it, and not tolerate people seeing and treating gay people etc as second class citizens. But then what happened to tolerance and live and let live? Maybe we don't have to all like and approve of each other. I don't know. But I do know what it is like to be on the wrong side of the left consensus when your views become beyond the pale. And I have censored myself in certain company with what I say but that hasn't changed what I really think one bit so I guess that is also true of others. Being able to hold and express your own opinions is a human right (Article 19) so the left consensus is on shaky ground. I don't know.. Are you anti equal pay for women? Or are you sticking up for people's right to see things differently?

    1. thanks for your comment And another! - lots of interesting thoughts and conundrums there. On equal pay for women, it really depends on what you mean. One of the issues I explore in the book is the way 'key terms' like equality and tolerance are used in different ways and in many ways have come to mean their opposite.

      I think the equal pay campaigns at least partly fit in to this, because they tend to look rather selectively at the evidence to produce data that suits their case for *preferential* treatment - i.e. pay based on sex/gender and not performance, hours worked, negotiated contract etc. On individual cases this approach is sometimes starkly exposed, as with the recent McEnroe-Navratilova expose. McEnroe had one type of contract with extensive work requirements and Nav had another with much more limited ones, yet this was presented as some kind of outrage of unequal pay. A fair situation would have been if some committee sat and made sure that for every contract awarded to a man there was another, equal, one awarded to a woman. This is a recipe for a bureaucratic nightmare and a further retreat in the importance of work as work.


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