Patriotism is a touchy subject for Labour. Its very concept, usually in the form of a jingoistic nationalism, has long been the reserve of our opponents on the right. Too often, the Conservatives, and other more extreme groups, have been able to wrap themselves in the Union flag and so tie it in to their appeal and (damaging) message. Meanwhile Labour – with pride in our national flag/s muddied by its association with the extreme right – have been unable, or unwilling, to do likewise.
This is both worrying and frustrating, and we know we are not alone within the Young Fabians or the wider Labour Party. It is possible to be a Labour member and a patriot – we must find a way to disassociate patriotism from the negativity and exclusivity of nationalism.
Much good work has been done with the creation of 'One Nation Labour' under Ed Miliband. However, this does not go far enough in offering a definition of patriotism that can offer an alternative to the right.
And so, this project will attempt to deal with the ambivalent nature of patriotism and make it something coherent: defining what could be termed an “inclusive patriotism” for One Nation Labour.
As such, the project will take in to account and include in its research the UK's national divisions; the importance of local or regional outlook; the nature of modern Britain; and the spectrum of left-wing political thinking.
If you are interested in helping us with this project, please sign-up.
Chair: Jack Eddy
Vice-chair: James O’Connell-Lauder