Looking for the Liberalism of the ‘left-behind’

by Peter Sloman

The British party system is a tough old beast, but as the UK prepares to head to the polls for its third major national vote in three years, there are signs that the tectonic plates of political identity are finally shifting. The Liberal Democrats have been quick to position themselves as the voice of disgruntled Remainers, but Peter Sloman points out that there has always been another side of the Liberal heritage -- the deep vein of liberal populism that has been the foundation of the party's support in Scotland, Wales, and the West Country. If Labour and the Liberal Democrats are to regain ground in the wake of the Brexit vote, they will need to reach beyond the cosmopolitan cities and find new ways of connecting with the provincial culture of the Celtic fringe.

The revolt of the country: Brexit, history, and English nationhood

by Helen Thompson

For a country said to be obsessed with its past, Britain has a politics in which there is often little understanding of the legacy of history. Having long looked politically insignificant, the idea of English nationhood has resurfaced in the past few years -- not least in relation to Brexit. Helen Thompson argues that Englishness has been such a potent force in the debate over Brexit because it builds on a long history of Country resistance to a cosmopolitan Court, which dates back to the Norman Conquest. “Take back control” was such a powerful message precisely because English identity has so often been premised on that very political imperative.