Warring Fictions: Left Populism and its Defining Myths

Warring Fictions: Left Populism and its Defining Myths

by Christopher Clarke


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December 2019 was a catastrophe for Labour. After nearly ten years in opposition, the party has suffered its fourth straight defeat and is approaching fifteen years since it last won.

As the soul searching begins, Labour's broad church will have to ask: at what level do we disagree? Since Jeremy Corbyn became leader this has been a central question for the two sides of the left. There is constant discussion of 'splits', 'coups' and 'purges'. Anger and impotence are felt on both sides. Everyone seems to hate each other, but no one can agree on why.

Writing from a centre-left perspective, Chris Clarke points to where the guts of the dispute lie. He argues that disagreements come down to narrative, not core values. Belief or otherwise in the central myths which drive left populism - conflict, insurgency and decline - represents the true dividing line between pro- and anti-Corbyn factions.

Combative but constructive, Warring Fictions makes the case for pluralism and questions the premise of Corbynism. Rather than a call for 'faux harmony', it's an attempt to break the deadlock - providing a route-map for the centre left, an explanation to the far left, and the foundations for a genuine debate between the two.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786612915
Publisher: Policy Network
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.48(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.65(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Christopher Clarke is a communications expert in local government. He specialises in cohesion, and in building bridges between values groups. Previous roles and experiences: • Labour press officer in South Thanet for the 2015 election, and previously to a Labour MEP • Leadership bids of David Miliband, Liz Kendall and Angela Eagle • Contributing to reports by the Labour Cruddas Review, the TUC, and values polling to understand the 2017 election • Organiser in Virginia for the 2012 Obama campaign • Designing segmentation on migration attitudes • Presenting on values and cohesion to the London Riots Panel, MHCLG, the LGA and the Constituency Labour Party • Monitoring online extremism, writing a guide for local councils on building trust, developing narratives to tackle the far right in Greenwich • Extensive opinion research in communities across the UK

Table of Contents

1. Left Populism and Left Pluralism 2. What Do We Want? 3. Distorting Myths Myth One: The Dark Knight 4. What is the Dark Knight? 5. The Appeal of the Dark Knight 6. The Case Against the Dark Knight (People) 7. The Case Against the Dark Knight (Policy) Myth Two: The Puppet Master 8. What is the Puppet Master? 9. The Appeal of the Puppet Master 10. The Case Against the Puppet Master (government) 11. The Case Against the Puppet Master (society) Myth Three: The Golden Era 12. What is the Golden Era? 13. The Appeal of the Golden Era 14. The Case Against the Golden Era (global economy) 15. The Case Against the Golden Era (politics) 16. The Case Against the Golden Era (psychology) Conclusion

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