Building the table
Where do I fit in and belong? Who are ‘we’? Anxieties and conflicts around identity and culture are a reaction to the disruption and insecurities created by three decades of global economic transformation. Clashes on culture and identity never seem far from public debate nowadays. Social media can often make our society feel more divided than united. A populist mood divides the country into ‘us’ versus ‘them’: rich against poor, young versus old, London against the rest of the country, our big cities against our towns, the North versus the South, Leavers versus Remainers.
Now more than ever we must create a democratic politics that can build a broad national coalition. It must be based on a reconciliation of our differences. Reconciliation does not mean avoiding the real political conflicts that exist. Unity cannot be forced. Labour needs to create at all levels of its organisation, the kind of political leadership that can build bridges, respect difference and reconcile opposing interests. Working together does not mean surrendering our own values. Consensus has to be worked for. Labour must be the space where we can create relationships in which we each know our difference and we each recognise the difference in the other. We have our own identities but we also share a common bond. Our party needs to function like a table where each can keep their own identities while working together to find common ground and work out how we can belong.
Clashes on culture, identity and race never seem far from public debate nowadays. Social media can often make our society feel more divided than united. Our election review found that Labour needs to construct a big change economic agenda that can sit alongside a robust story of community and national pride, which bridges social and cultural divisions. How can Labour achieve this in the context of culture wars?
Speakers include: Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future, Kim Leadbeater MP for Batley and Spen, Nick Lowles, Chief Executive of Hope Not Hate and Kirsty McNeill author of Counter Culture: How to resist the culture wars and build 21st Century solidarity.