Several years ago I had the chance to go to the United States with a Labour Party group to canvass for Barack Obama in his re-election campaign. It seemed like an attractive idea, but I decided against. For one thing I wasn’t a fan of the hero worship of Obama that many engaged in at that time. Also, I felt that I would be an imposter there, that it was really none of my business, that it was the Americans’ election and not for me to rock up and tell them on how they should vote. Colleagues told me that the reception on the doorstep was generally favourable and the Americans didn’t mind. But I was uncomfortable. I felt I would be an interloper. So I didn’t go. Roll on a few years and Obama had no such compunction about coming the other way and lecturing the British on how we should vote in our EU referendum. Indeed in April 2016 our Prime Minister David Cameron placed a nice presidential podium in front of him to do so in front of a salivating press pack. Barack Obama tell
Showing posts from November, 2017
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I have just finished writing a book. The title is ‘The Tribe: the liberal-left and the system of diversity’ and it will be published between August and November 2018 by Imprint Academic. [ Update: the publishing date is now scheduled for 1st July 2018 ] The Tribe picks up on many of the themes I have been exploring on this blog about the politics of identity. However, it reaches towards a wider understanding of what is going on: of how and why the politics of gender, skin colour and other forms of ‘fixed’ and quasi-fixed identity have come to dominate our public sphere in recent years. This is where the idea of ‘the system of diversity’ comes in. With this idea, I am not talking about the sort of social system which covers the whole of society like some accounts of capitalism, patriarchy and colonialism do. Rather, the system of diversity appears as a system of relations , which offers possibilities – for involvement, inclusion, social approval and also material reward.