The Past and Future of Labour England

Eight out of ten citizens in England identify strongly as English. Since Michael Foot and Tony Benn championed its radical tradition forty years ago, England has been absent from the language of Labour politics. Although devolution means England and the other nations of the UK are governed differently there has been no serious discussion of English political representation on the left. Indeed, for many in Labour’s ruling circles from Kinnock to Corbyn, Englishness is conservative, parochial and racist, out of kilter with supposedly dynamic, inclusive and multicultural Britain, and so best ignored. It’s hardly surprising that people who identify as predominantly English feel alienated from Labour.

The aim of the workshop is to initiate an intellectual project to further an inclusive, left of centre English politics. It will do so by bringing a group of scholars, political commentators and political leaders together, to think about the relationship between Labour and England in the past, present and future.

The workshop's central theme will be the relationship between identity and political power. Recognising that political languages shift quickly, the speakers will trace the way England has (and has not) figured in the Labour and the left’s attitudes and practices in the past; analyse the state of things now, and trace possible paths towards a reconciliation between Labour and England in the future.

Speakers currently confirmed include Anthony Barnett, John Denham, David Edgerton, Colm Murphy, Nick Pearce, Emily Robinson, Anna Rowlands, Florence Sutlcliffe-Braithwaite and Jon Wilson. Further speakers to be confirmed.

Organised in conjunction with English Labour NetworkRenewal and King’s Contemporary British History by John Denham (University of Winchester) & Jon Wilson (King’s College London).

You can register via Eventbrite here.