Showing posts from June, 2016

I have left the Labour Party - a few words

I left the Labour Party this morning. I won’t go on for ages about why because I don’t want this blog to be about me, but I will say a few words. Firstly, people who have read some of my witterings on here will be aware that I’ve always been critical of the Labour Party, quite stridently in some cases. I think Labour has deep institutional and cultural problems, albeit I think these are really issues of the liberal-left ‘tribe’ and the systems of identity group favouritism it has spread into much of our public life rather than just about Labour. Labour simply provides a focus and a centre for them. My 2015 leadership election ballot paper Nevertheless, in looking at all this as I’ve done here, and on LabourList while I was allowed to write there, I’ve seen myself as a critical friend – as someone who is basically on the same side and wants us to change and become more responsive to all the people rather than just minister to certain groups and our own – mostly middle-clas

René Cuperus on 'the populist revolt against cosmopolitanism'

In 2011, the Dutch writer René Cuperus wrote a chapter on 'the populist revolt against cosmopolitanism' for a Policy Network pamphlet ‘Exploring the cultural challenges to social democracy’. I think most readers will agree that the class divide he identifies appears starkly for us now with our EU referendum just a few days away*. Cuperus says: “One could argue, and thinkers like Manuel Castells made this point long before, that globalisation implies two contradicting things at the same time: 1. The world grows more together, becomes more ‘familiar’, interdependent, connected, better-known, better reported and visited and travelled, because of revolutionary changes in transportation, media (the world wide web) and the economy. The world is becoming flat. 2. But, ‘at home’, within nation states, globalisation implies that through global migration or by mergers and acquisitions, national societies become more global, more diverse, more ‘strange’, more fragmented an