The trouble with David Goodhart's Britain
The Political Quarterly, 78, (2), . (doi:10.1111/j.1467-923X.2007.00853.x).
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This article argues that David Goodhart's manifesto for ‘progressive nationalism’ is gravely misconceived, indicative of the entire cohesion and integration agenda. What he talks about as the making of a common culture involves dusting off tired traditions, scaling back individual rights to protect the ‘common good’, and ultimately retreating onto safe ground for Middle England. Since such measures to strengthen national solidarity are responsive only to the anxieties of the demographic majority, those who are deemed to be most prone to social marginalisation continue to be so. Goodhart, like many in New Labour's orbit, chooses to ignore that belonging is reciprocal.
The article advocates an alternative culture of citizenship - one that widens democratisation, brings individuals them into the political process and thereby engages the ‘reciprocity of belonging’ that the post-7/7 consensus neglects. To build a cohesive Britain, the first step - but not necessarily the last - is to conceive sustainable routes towards social and political inclusion for all
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