Tuesday, 4 September 2007

A more human take on citizenship

I am in the process of joining the Fabian society, and was impressed by this piece of research by two Labour politicians. Citizenship and feelings of national pride can't be ignored by the non-Right, but there are better, more nuanced approaches than the broad-brush simplemindedness we read in John O'Sullivan.

I think they are also being quite politically shrewd here. A points-based system for citizenship would be popular, but can be managed positively. And their take on the Tory problems with this subject, as they write here:

Moreover, it will provide a vitally important new dividing line with
the Conservatives and the twentieth century politics they dominated.
The right’s concept of identity is inextricably linked to tradition. In the
past, this was one of their electoral strengths: it is increasingly a
liability. Their typical noxious tactic is to play on the politics of fear
about change, to call for a return to the Britain of the past. This is the
equivalent of looking in the rear-view mirror instead of the road
ahead. Far easier to fall back on John Major’s evocation of maids
cycling to church in the dusk, or Michael Howard’s dog-whistle
politics, than attempt to apply established values to the reality of

This inheritance remains hardwired into much of the Tory party. It still
traps them, dramatically diminishing what they have to say about
Britain’s future at a time of great change. David Cameron may claim to
be different, but his party simply do not have the intellectual traditions
which allow them to respond effectively to the modern world.

1 comment:

Jackart said...

If you're joining the Fabians, you ain't a swing voter. You're a socialist! Might as well admit it before you fall in with the wrong crowd!