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Episode 56: Love thy country – can patriotism be reclaimed by the left?

with Jon Cruddas and Ash Sarkar

It seems some things don’t change after all. A now familiar row has broken out in the Labour Party over the idea of patriotism and nationality. This has been a continuous theme of the party’s travails in the post-Blair era. But as debates go it’s pretty thin gruel: lots of angst but little in the way of ideas. In this episode we try to go a little deeper and lay out the pitfalls and power of patriotism as a way of doing politics. To shed light on these topics, hosts Zoe Williams and Luke Cooper are joined by Labour MP Jon Cruddas, who has argued for some time now the left need to engage pragmatically with the politics of land and territory associated with nationality, and Ash Sarkar, Senior Editor at Novara Media, who has repeatedly told the likes of Piers Morgan and David Starkey that criticising your country doesn’t mean you hate it. They discuss George Orwell’s famous essay, ‘Notes on nationalism’, and the work of Stuart Hall, the founder of Cultural Studies and one of the most eminent figures on the post-war new left.

For more information on ideas discussed in today’s podcast check out these links:

George Orwell’s “Notes on nationalism”
Stuart Hall interview: “we need to talk about Englishness”
Jon Cruddas critque of “cyborg socialism”

Editor: Camilo Tirado
Producer: Luke Cooper

The podcast is published as a collaboration between the Another Europe Is Possible team and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung London office.

7th May 2020