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November 26, 2009


David Heigham

The people who emphasise identity politics in the UK at the moment seem to be, in rough order of virulence: the BNP, the DUP in Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein, Mebyon Kernow, UKIP, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the non-Marxist left. All those down to Plaid Cymru are selling an identity; and I suspect that they feel that if selling their identity limits their appeal, they will just have to be content with the support of the true faithful.

Isn't the internal contradiction (a term dug out of the midden left by old left debates) of the non-Marxist left's position on identity politics that they are simultaneously trying to raise people's awareness of their own ethnic identities and trying to get them to identify with a wider, 'left' tribal identity? The people they are trying to persuade are probably much less ethnic than they say they are (just as I have to admit that my behaviour is much less Yorkshire than I would expect from someone announcing themselves as "Yorkshire"). But isn't that just an added confusuion for the identity politics warriors*?

* I would have written 'crusaders' but 'warriors' seems to be the politically correct not-quite-adequate near-synonym.


"Or was he, as I suspect, inflicting the wrath of God upon the Irish people as punishment for giving us Jedward?"

My only reason for disagreeing with this is such a punishment is far too lenient. What ever happened to rivers of blood and plagues of locusts?


Chris - slightly off topic, but ...

How exactly do you pick up on these 'recent papers' ? I'm presuming you didn't stumble across it while randomly browsing some Basque academic website - after all, there are a lot of academic websites in the world. And half the papers in the world are hidden behind academic publisher paywalls or the Athens portal.

Do you have some sort of social sciences feed, or are there academic blog aggregators, or what ?


PS - what planet is David Heigham on ?

"in rough order of virulence: the BNP, the DUP in Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein, Mebyon Kernow, UKIP, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the non-Marxist left"

Sinn Fein/IRA have a couple of thousand murders to their credit - as far as I know the only party listed above with a paramilitary wing.


@ Laban - I subscribe to Repec's new economics papers service:

David Heigham


I should have said "in rough order of current virulence." Historically, Sinn Fein leads with the DUP second. Today, you must give them some credit reformed behaviour; even if repentance is hard to spot.


Cheers Chris ...

David - even on the current virulence, it's former Shinners who are trying to get back to the good old days of shooting and bombing - and the current Shinners know exactly who they are, but 'lay low and say nuthin'.

And how many people have the DUP killed ?


we often over-estimate the importance of “character“ as a determinant of behaviour, and under-rate situational forces.

But is this experiment not an example of differing responses to the same situation? Perhaps "character" is overblown, as in a kind of virtue ethic - practice makes perfect - but it would seem that personality type, probably inherited, would be more in play here.

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