Politicians and media must stop fabricating culture wars | Identity politics

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Much of the attention to so-called ‘crop war’ issues in the UK is based on fictional controversies, a think tank analysis suggested, with the debate being artificially inflamed by politicians and commentators. , then amplified by social media.

While some countries have waged such battles over more genuine societal divisions, the UK’s cultural wars have simply pitted disadvantaged communities against each other and have tended to ‘caricature’ equality movements, said the Fabian Society.

The left-wing organization’s report charted the course of a series of recent controversies attributed to culture wars, such as the debate over whether Rule, Britannia! set to be played on the last night of the Proms, and the supposed efforts to “cancel” the movie Grease, concluding that these do not reflect real divisions and are largely stoked by politicians and the media.

He warned politicians on the left and on the right to avoid taking part in such antics lest political discourse in the UK become as fractured as that in the US.

“The public deserves better than fabricated fights,” said Kirsty McNeill, a charity executive and former Labor adviser who co-wrote the analysis.

“The temptations for all political parties are clear. Gathering a base and pointing it at an imaginary enemy is much easier than doing the tough jobs involved in realizing the Prime Minister’s ambition to “take it to the next level”. Likewise, ignoring his rivals’ attempts to divide him will not help Keir Starmer assemble a large and diverse coalition to support his vision of a more just country.

Roger Harding, the other author, who heads the youth charity Reclaim, said: “Cultivator hawkers often use made-up stories to pit working-class communities against each other and caricature racial equality and LGBT movements.

Boris Johnson’s government has been accused of seeking to capitalize on issues of the Culture War to stoke its grassroots, with attacks on so-called ‘awakened’ culture and a campaign to keep institutions such as museums and galleries from critically re-examining the UK. past.

One of the most vehement criticisms came in June when Samuel Kasumu, Johnson’s former racial adviser, said he feared such provocations could spark another scandal like the Stephen Lawrence or Jo Cox murders.

The Fabian Society analysis warned left-wing politicians to avoid the temptation to engage in such culture war battles, arguing that they tend to simply divide opinions on the prospects for positive change.

Another report on the issue, released last week by the Center for Right-Wing Political Studies, based on public polls, argued that while genuine differences of opinion on values ​​existed between Conservative and Labor supporters , the bulk of voters were more concerned with issues such as paying bills.

The study, compiled by veteran US pollster and communications expert Frank Luntz, revealed what he called “alarming” findings of discontent with UK politicians. Asked to rank 18 descriptions of how Britain’s political leaders made them feel, split between positive and negative emotions, the top eight picks were disappointed, ignored, irrelevant, tired, betrayed, forgotten, left behind and angry .

Andrew Harrop, general secretary of the Fabian Society, said those on the left “must focus their energy not on winning the culture wars, but on their call.”

He said: “It will not be easy to end the culture wars which have become a valuable tool for right-wing cynics. These bogus controversies create a wedge between people with common economic needs and they distract the public from a libertarian, loosely regulated and low taxed worldview that few in Britain support.



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