The future of the left since 1884

Who speaks to England?: Labour's English challenge

This collection explores what it means to be English and how the left can build an authentic English radicalism.


  • Who speaks to England?
  • By Tobias Phibbs
  • Published 26 October 2016

Questions of identity, culture and nationhood have barged their way to the fore of political conversation in recent years as globalisation has disrupted traditional loyalties. A rise in English identity, in particular, has been stirring for some time, as more and more English people identify themselves principally as English. Such a resurgence in English identity does not have to be right-wing or xenophobic, but it risks being so if the left dismisses it. And with English radicalism a distinct and proud part of our national heritage, it is time that the left excavates and articulates an authentic English radicalism for the 21st century.

Our new book, Who speaks to England? Labour’s English challenge begins to define some of the cultural, political challenges Labour face in response to questions of English identity and a new political settlement for England.

Introduced by John Denham and Michael Kenny, the book includes contributions from Polly Billington, Liam Byrne MP, Ruth Davis,  Robert Ford, David Goodhart, Andrew Harrop, Paul Hilder,  Eric Kaufmann, Ben Lucas, Tariq Modood, Mary Riddell,  Emily Robinson and Julia Stapleton. The book is jointly published by the Fabian Society and the Centre for English Identity and Politics at the University of Winchester

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Tobias Phibbs

Tobias Phibbs is a researcher at the Fabian Society.

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