Finding uncommon ground: working-class identity politics after Labourism

Finding uncommon ground: working-class identity politics after Labourism[1]

Don’t talk to me of fucking representing
the class yer were born into any more.
Yer going to get ’urt and start resenting
it’s not poetry we need in this class war.

Yer’ve given yerself toffee, cunt. Who needs
yer fucking poufy words. Ah write mi own.
Ah’ve got mi work on show all ovver Leeds
like this UNITED ’ere on some sod’s stone.… Read the rest

Finding Uncommon ground : re-thinking  working class identity politics in post Brexit Britain 

 

Part One : Subtle Dialectics,Crude Thoughts

 ‘In order to save the Party we had to destroy it’ (with  acknowledgement to Bert  Brecht)

After the so called uprising of June 23/When  business and political leaders /had leaflets distributed /stating that the people/had forfeited their confidence/and could win it back only/by redoubled efforts  in another referendum /Would it not be easier in this case /for the government/to dissolve the people/and elect another?/Such a subtle dialectic/Trading places with  such crude thoughts.Read the rest

BOTH SIDES OF THE LINE Stuart Hall and ‘New Ethnicities, then and now

In June  1992 Stuart Hall came to the University of East London to give the inaugural lecture for the Centre for New Ethnicities Research  to which I had just been appointed director. I had been working for a number of years at the Institute of Education developing an approach to  anti -racist work with young people  based on  ethnographic research  in schools, playgrounds, housing estates and neighbourhoods  in East London.… Read the rest

FINDING COMMON GROUND: mappings of community and activism

Full text of a talk given to the Opening Plenary of the MeCCSA conference on Communities  at Canterbury,Christchurch University   

Looking Forward, looking back: the avatars of modernity

It is that time of year when the commentariat like to look back at the year that has just gone, to award prizes to those who have lived up to their expectations and brickbats  to those who have not, and  also look forward  to the year to come to find new principles of hope or despair.… Read the rest

Young East Ender’s Views of Regeneration: The North Woolwich Story

North Woolwich is part of the Royal Docks  but is physically isolated by virtue of its physical  geography and for many years was  subject to neglect by planners and politicians alike . It has a large  concentration of social housing and has been home to a large , and increasingly ethnically diverse  working class community. East Europeans are the latest immigrants to an area which .… Read the rest

Race, Ethnicity and the Unconscious

This is an excerpt from a seminar I gave in Vienna in which I explore some of the problems and possibilities of applying  psychoanalytic concepts and insghts to understanding and tackling  the culture of popular racism.… Read the rest

Empires of the Mind

This film was originally made to accompany the Open University Course on ‘Race, Culture and Society’ and explores the popular imagery of  race, nation and empire that was in circulation in the Victorian school.… Read the rest

Labouring Under Whiteness

This text explores the history and forms of working class racism in Britain  since the beginning of the Industrial revolution  up to the present. It examines the way the English working class was positioned as a both a ‘backbone of the nation’ and a ‘race apart’ in the dominant discourse and how this shaped  the internal development of its culture and politics, especially within the labour movement.… Read the rest

Tricks of the Trade – Issues in MultiCultural Education

In the 1990’s I ran a series of projects designed to develop a cultural studies based approach  to anti-racist education, to get away from the moral, doctrinaire and frankly authoritarian methods and rationalist pedagogies that were then in vogue. In this text I outline the theory and method of an alternative approach, illustrated with examples of the classroom practice.

Read the full text here:  Tricks of the Trade

This  video was made to accompany the teaching materials , and explore some of the thinking behind the project.… Read the rest

Its Racism Wot Dunnit – Some Notes on Theory’s Other Scene

This text was written for a course  developed for the Open University by Ali Rattansi and James Donald on ‘Race, Culture and Society’ in the 1990’s. The course  sought to bring to bear  some of the new ‘post structuralist thinking  about  discourse, power and culture  on issues of ethnicity  and identity politics  that were then dominated by essentialist and reductive  concepts of who and what was ‘racist’ and this text develops  this critique especially in relation to anti racist education.… Read the rest