Labour and cultural change (Soundings 63, Summer 2016)
Author: John Chowcat
This article looks at two key areas where Labour can contribute to cultural change – through the greater involvement of its own membership, and through campaigning to change the reality on the ground for those whose anger is currently being channelled by the populist right. The suggestion is that plans could be devised to involve a wide range of new members to become help buildpart of a direct or indirect party presence inside an array of important socially useful sectors. This would have the beneficial effect of involving more members, helping to change the culture of the party, and bringing a wide area of expertise to bear on issues of policy and practice. To counter the culture of populism, on the other hand, it is necessary that the wider social environment has to start to improve. This takes political will and real resources, but represents the sole effective remedy – alongside an associated culture based on egalitarian, as opposed to individualist and competitive, values. This cultural progress may best be advanced by a consistent emphasis on the main social challenges facing most people today, and by the interaction of people from widely different backgrounds as they seek to overcome these¬†problems.