Bridging cultural divides during re-alignment - Blueprint for Starmerism?

in politics •  9 days ago 


While everyone has been focused on Covid-19 and, more recently, the BLM protests the political realignment in most democracies has been advancing. Initially there was a pronounced 'rally round the flag' effect in most countries but this is now wearing off rapidly in most places. What it did was temporarily conceal the reality of the continuing realignment (which is driven by structural factors such as the development of the world economy and the way the labour market increasingly works in affluent societies).

The lockdowns actually fed into the division of society along new lines because there was a correlation between attitudes to them and apparently unconnected political questions like Brexit. The big public protests in the US and elsewhere have also fed into it. Initially this was by strengthening the new divide over cultural and identity issues in a way that firmed up the emergent 'right' on that divide.

I think though, that the biggest effect of this will be to intensify the knock-down, drag-out fight that is starting up to see which quadrant gets to dominate the alternative side of the new divide: liberal cosmopolitans or radical leftists. (The economic hit most economies are going to take this year and next will help to shift the centre of gravity of the nationalist side of the new divide clearly towards the collectivist end, I fear.) This is partly the context for the Labour Party's very impressive and thorough examination of exactly what happened in 2019 and before.

This article from the New Statesman gives a pretty good reading imo on what it means for the new leadership's strategy - they are going to try to hang on to the woke metropolitan left voters but if they have to choose between them and traditional more working class Labour voters they'll go for the latter. In concrete terms that means rejecting the demands of radical protest groups like BLM or taking decisive actions like firing RLB. There's a going to be a big fight on the UK left in the next couple of years. Mind you, it will be nothing to the fight I can see shaping up between liberals and progressives on the other side of the Atlantic.

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