This essay, on the debate about the “white working class”, was my Observer column this week. It was published on 18 October 2020, under the headline “Being white won’t hold boys back. Being working class just might”. White, working-class boys fare badly at school. About that, almost everyone is agreed. More contested is the reason why. Last week, the first witnesses gave evidence to the commons select committee on education’s investigation into “Left Behind White Pupils From Disadvantaged Backgrounds”. The hearing made […]
This essay, on Steve McQueen’s new film Mangrove and “black history”, was my Observer column this week. (The column included also a short piece on the public being more liberal than the government on immigration.) It was published on 11 October 2020, under the headline “Mangrove isn’t simply a ‘black story’, but central to our country’s history”. “It’s quintessentially a piece of British history. It is about British citizens who dealt with injustice and triumph.” So says director Steve McQueen about his new film, Mangrove, which […]
Categories: Culture & Books, History, Race & Immigration • Tags: black history, black history month, bristol bus boycott, british history, clr james, ep thompson, haitian revolution, identity politics, mangrove, mangrove nine, paul stephenson, peterloo, police racism, racism, steve mcqueen, the black jacobins, the making of the english working class
This is the opening section to my essay in Prospect on white identity politics. Read the full article in Prospect. ‘White Lives Matter Burnley!’ ran the banner trailed by a plane above the Etihad stadium, Manchester City’s ground, during a match with Burnley in June. Since the Premier League resumed after the coronavirus hiatus, players and officials have ‘taken the knee’ at the start of matches in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement against racism and police brutality. The […]
Categories: Britain, Politics, Race & Immigration • Tags: alain de benoist, black identity, black lives matter, enlightenment, identity politics, nouvelle droite, racial science, racism, universalism, white identity, white working class, working class
This essay, on racism and ‘white privilege’, was my Observer column this week. It was published on 14 June 2020, under the headline ”White privilege’ is a distraction, leaving racism and power untouched’. The transformation has been bewilderingly swift. Six years ago, most Americans thought that police killings of black suspects were ‘isolated events’. Now, three out of four accept that there exists a systemic problem. Support for Black Lives Matter has risen more in the past two weeks than over the past two years. And […]
Categories: Class, International, Race & Immigration • Tags: african americans, black lives matter, identity politics, police killings, police racism, racism, usa, white guilt, white privilege, working class
Last year, I gave an interview to the philosopher Stine Jensen, for a series she was making for the Dutch TV company Human on the politics of identity called Dus Ik Volg (‘So I Follow’). The programme in which I appear is broadcast this Sunday, and here’s a video of the whole of my interview uncut (including the coughing fit…).
This essay, on why fascism failed in Britain, was my Observer column this week. (The column included also a short piece on working class writers and publishing.) It was published on 3 May 2020, under the headline‘British fascism has never thrived but its failure has been useful for the mainstream’. The history of British fascism is a history of failure. In a new book, Failed Führers, the historian Graham Macklin retells that story through biographies of six fascist leaders, from Arnold […]
Categories: Britain, Politics • Tags: alain benoist, british fascism, british nationalism, conservative party, failed fuhrers, far right, fascism, graham macklin, identity politics, john tyndall, margaret thatcher, nationalism, nazism, nick griffin, nouvelle droite, oswald mosley
I gave a talk last year on ‘The history and politics of white identity’ to the Literarisches Colloqium Berlin. This is a video of the talk and the discussion afterwards.
Categories: Kenan Malik, Politics, Race & Immigration • Tags: democracy, enlightenment, haitian revolution, herder, identity politics, immigration, nouvelle droite, racial science, racism, talks, universalism, white identity, working cla
This essay, on how mainstream politics helps nurture far-right beliefs, was my Observer column this week. (The column included also a short piece on the costs of Jeff Bezos’ philanthropy) It was published on 23 February 2020, under the headline ‘Beware the politics of identity. They help legitimise the toxic far right’. ‘Hate is a poison that… is responsible for far too many crimes’, said the German chancellor Angela Merkel after the killing of nine people in a far-right terror attack […]
I have been involved in a long debate on Twitter with the writer and activist Thomas Fazi, which began with his critique of my article on social conservatism and the working class and ended as a debate about immigration and the left. The debate consisted of very long threads from both of us (the four threads amount to more than 5000 words!), and inevitably was Twitterish in form and tone, peevish and crabby at times, but it got to the […]
Categories: Politics, Race & Immigration • Tags: blue labour, identity politics, immigration, labour party, left, national identity, nationalism, racism, social conservatism, thomas fazi, working class
This essay, on the debate about social conservatism and the working class, was my Observer column this week. It was published on 152December 2019, under the headline ‘The idea that the British working class is socially conservative is a nonsense’. ‘It is easier for the right to move left on economics than it is for the left to move right on identity & culture.’ So tweeted politics professor and TV pundit Matthew Goodwin on the morning of the Tory election victory as […]
Categories: Britain, Class, Politics • Tags: british politics, conservatives, grunwick strike, identity politics, immigration, labour party, left, liberalism, matthew goodwin, metropolitan liberals, social conservatism, trust, working class
This essay, on the legacy of Harold Bloom, was my Observer column this week. (The column included also a short piece on techno-utopia and techno-dystopia.) It was published on 20 October 2019, under the headline ‘Harold Bloom was right to extol great literature, but was often blind to who was neglected’. There are good ways of being old-fashioned and there are bad. One may seek to preserve important practices or ways of thinking in the face of fashion. One may also […]
This essay was published in the Swedish newspaper Göteborgs-Posten on 21 July 2019. The shift has been dramatic. Even a decade ago, discussion of ‘white rights’ and ‘white identity’ belonged to the fringes of politics. It was Nazi-speak. Today it has become a major political issue on both sides of the Atlantic. Not just the far-right but many mainstream commentators now argue that whites should be able to assert what the political scientist Eric Kaufmann calls their ‘racial self-interest’. Why […]
This essay, on race and class in contemporary Britain, was my Observer column this week. (The column included also a short piece on the politics of human fossil finds.) It was published on 7 July 2019, under the headline ‘Working class versus minorities? That’s looking at it the wrong way’. Officials eyeing you with contempt. Police treating you as scum. A sense of being constantly watched and judged by professionals. Living in fear of benefit sanctions. A lack of community facilities. […]
Categories: Britain, Class, Philosophy & Ethics, Race & Immigration • Tags: britain, ethnic pay gap, hostile environment, identity politics, migrants, minorities, precariat, race and class, runnymede trust, white working class, working class
These are audios of two events from my recent trip to Australia in which I discuss the politics of identity. The first is a talk I gave at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. The second is a discussion on Melbourne’s community radio RRR. . What’s wrong with identity politics? A talk at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne . Talking identity on RRR
. . This is an interview with Alex Hochuli, George Hoare and Ben Fogle for the podcast Aufhebunga Bunga, mainly on questions of immigration, identity, class and the left (though it opens with a discussion of the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire). . The image is Untitled by Hans Hartung.