The purpose of patriotism

John Denham | Renewal 29/4

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Labour’s relationship to patriotism is more than an inconvenient electoral problem. Without a clear sense of the nation and its people, we cannot hope to develop a politics of the common good. Building a progressive future requires grappling with uncomfortable histories, fragmented identities, and the politics of the Union.

In the spring 2021 edition of Renewal both James Stafford and Eunice Goes examined Keir Starmer’s ‘patriotic turn’.1 They shed useful light on how Starmer has approached patriotism to date, but also epitomise the limitations of Labour’s current debates and of the Leader’s office strategy. Their contributions were written before Starmer’s conference speech and the publication of his lengthy Fabian essay, The Road Ahead. This article considers the arguments made by Stafford and Goes, and more recently by Starmer. It suggests that there is potential for Labour to frame its politics in an ambitious programme of ‘progressive patriotism’ that can appeal across the different nations and revitalise the Union itself.

Both Stafford and Goes presume that patriotism is an essentially electoral problem. In this view, a significant section of voters, including many who have previously voted Labour, are patriotic but see Labour as unpatriotic. Labour has no choice but to engage with patriotism if it is to bring and hold together Labour’s electoral coalition of voters. According to Stafford, ‘minimal displays of reverence for the coercive arms of the state are simply the price of entry into national electoral competition’. For Goes, Starmer’s patriotic turn suggests ‘his roadmap to victory relies mostly on winning back … those older voters who felt abandoned by Labour’.

They see clear limits to Starmer’s approach to patriotism. Stafford thinks Starmer is just the latest in a string of Labour leaders – naming Brown, Miliband and Corbyn – who ‘display their allegiance to ideas of British identity that have no room for them and never will’. Though seeing the risks of risks of Labour defining patriotism in narrowly conservative terms, Goes thinks that, with development, the Labour leader’s trajectory ‘might just about fly’. Both agree that Labour’s national story needs to draw on a broader and more radical history, weaving in ‘popular movements, past and present’ (Stafford) and ‘radical dissent and the fight for democracy and equality’ (Goes). They highlight the need to offer a future that includes the concerns of Labour’s current supporters who, on average, are younger, educated to a higher level, and hold more liberal and cosmopolitan values.

It is certainly true that Keir Starmer in front of a Union Jack does not look very different to Robert Jenrick in the same pose, but the criticisms of ‘flag-shagging’ so widespread on social media are ill-judged. Long before a voter considers party policies, let alone ideology, they ask more visceral questions: ‘Do these politicians understand me? Will they stand up for people like me on things I really care about?’. It’s the most fundamental relationship in politics, and one that continually frustrates the left.

Most people in Britain, including Britain’s ethnic minorities, see themselves as patriotic, and are instinctively suspicious of those who are not. They have few problems with flags, a monarchy seen as being above politics, or a military composed primarily of working-class recruits. This is true in the ‘Red Wall’, amongst the southern English conservatives whom Labour must also woo, and amongst a significant if often overlooked part of city electorates who share similar values.

Politicians of the right take care to press these buttons, while the left disdains them. The horrified reaction of activists to the very idea of a patriotic Labour only confirms to many voters that Labour neither understands them nor wants to stand up for them. Within its limits, Starmer’s identification with mainstream symbols of the nation he wants to lead makes sense. As Goes observes, his record of public service provides an authenticity that Jeremy Corbyn lacked.

But for all that Labour cannot get elected as an unpatriotic party, there are not many votes in symbolic patriotism itself. The rewards of patriotism will be thin unless it accompanies a more persuasive and inclusive story about nation and people that can give a richer meaning to the idea and symbols of the nation.

Patriotism and Labour

The discussions in Renewal highlight the narrow terrain of the debate within Labour. The failure to speak clearly to the different ideas of nation, identity and sovereignty within the UK have underpinned every defeat of the left over the past twenty years. But in Labour’s debates, patriotism is seen as an issue to be handled or negotiated, rather than one that might play a central role in left politics. And Goes and Stafford share a remarkably Anglo-centric view of the politics of patriotism, making no mention of patriotism in Scotland or Wales, and assuming that to be patriotic in the UK is to be British.

When patriotism is framed as electoral issue it reduces the question to one of ‘what’, and ‘how much’ Labour must do to attract patriotic voters without putting off those wary of the symbols of conservative patriotism. The debate becomes about the length of the spoon with which to sup from the inherently distasteful bowl of patriotism. Patriotism itself becomes framed in the most conservative terms as Stafford and Goes describe.

Reducing patriotism to a segmented electoral demand represents a very limited conception of what patriotism can be. It does not see patriotism – understood as a pride in and affection for the nation and its people – as an integral part of Labour’s politics. That many Labour activists and a part of its current electorate are not particularly patriotic or may be actively hostile to the very idea is not seen as a problem (except in that they might be offended).

This is a break with the historical traditions of social democracy. It is hard to think of any significant social democratic success – from the emergence of Swedish social democracy in the 1930s to the rise of the radical Syriza in Greece much more recently – that did not express its politics within a positive story of the nation and its people. As David Edgerton has argued, Attlee’s socialism was distinctly British nationalist.2 It combined an appeal to the idea and symbols of the nation with the politics of change. Labour’s 1945 poster ‘Now Let’s Win The Peace’ was clear that a better society had to be fought for. As Goes acknowledges, Wilson and Blair also appealed to a sense of the nation that went beyond narrow sectional interest. In more recent years the left and centre has lost interest in creating a shared and unifying national politics. When its leaders have tried to appeal to a conservative patriotism, much of the membership has rejected the very idea of a patriotic national politics.

Yet there is a good case that patriotism, as an integral element of progressive politics, should play an important role in forging a popular left strategy in the twenty-first century. A shared sense of nationhood is not only necessary for the election of a Labour government; it is also essential for generating support for the progressive transformation of society. Only a popular progressive patriotism can create a shared sense of nationhood in our fragmented society.

A strategy for our time

Despite the massive social and economic changes of the past decades, and the entry into mainstream politics of issues of identity, sexuality, gender, race and discrimination, two of the core challenges facing social democracy remain essentially unchanged. Twentieth-century social democracy was the political response to the inherent instability, insecurity and inequality of free market capitalism. And its primary terrain was the nation state. Internationalism always existed within social democracy, but effective internationalism rested on the ability of social-democratic parties to be in government at national state level.

Though much has changed, the 2008 crisis demonstrated how instability, insecurity and inequality remain integral to an unrestrained liberal market system. Its lethal drive toward total unsustainability is now clear. Though globalisation and global interdependence present a very different picture to the national (and imperial) economies in which social democracy was born, this primacy of the nation state is deep-seated and has never gone away. While the pandemic has forced – albeit temporarily – the suspension of some of the operating rules of market liberalisation, nation states remain the primary area of political action. Despite the achievements of the international institutions established after the Second World War, the formation of European Union, and the domination of politics and culture by internationally minded elites, the nation remains the primary identity for most. It won’t go away when the ‘new normal’ is established, whenever and whatever that may be. It is perfectly legitimate to wish this were not the case, but not to refuse to acknowledge it in our political strategy.

The left’s strategic challenge remains the search for a way of building a national political majority that wishes to restrain the excesses of market liberalisation and, at the least, to bend the economy to serve the common good. This is more difficult than in the past. Capitalism once forged its own opponents in the form of a collective, organised and (at least partly) class and nationally conscious working class, which could ally with middle-class and liberal voters. Today’s capitalism is fragmenting our experiences by geography, age, ethnicity, education, wealth, income and employment. Across Europe, social democracy has been losing its electoral base – to social conservatism amongst predominantly (but not exclusively) white working-class voters, and to socially-liberal, green or radical politics amongst a younger, more cosmopolitan electorate. And although this once apparently terminal decline has slowed, these social-democratic parties now carry a much-reduced political weight.

The UK has failed to implement any coherent national economic industrial policy, leaving it particularly open to the vicissitudes of global free markets. And the UK – and England in particular – has the added problem of a state, political and economic system structured to transfer resources from the majority to the asset-owning (and often offshore) minority. The PPE procurement scandal, the penetration of Tory finances by property and Russian money, Conservative disdain for the national ownership of public services and private companies alike, the expansion of the for-profit but publicly-subsidised rental sector, along with the scandalous neglect of the health and welfare of the children of the nation – these are the outward signs of a state in which those who wrap themselves most tightly in the Union flag are also those working most actively against the true national interest.

This is a society crying out for a progressive patriotism that defines the national interest as the interests of the people, and which can reclaim the symbols of the nation for the people of the nation. As the popular response to the diverse English football team shows, an inclusive Englishness has been slowly evolving in our towns and cities, too often unobserved or ignored by the left.

Starmer’s vision

In September 2021 we got some further insight into how Keir Starmer wants to approach the politics of patriotism, with the publication of The Road Ahead, and his first in-person speech to a Labour conference. Surprisingly, the two did not seem to be entirely in sync. Starmer’s rhetoric is clearly a work in progress.

Three themes emerge strongly from The Road Ahead: nation building; the insistence on a British national economic project; and defining British identity against both (Scottish) nationalism and Conservatism. It also included a clear rejection of nostalgia – whether a nostalgic Labour view of its own past achievements (notwithstanding Starmer’s own foregrounding of Attlee, Wilson and Blair), or the right’s nostalgic ‘re-litigating the war effort’. For Starmer, Labour must use ‘history as a guide, not a parable’.

Starmer’s nation-building rests on the idea of a ‘contribution society’, which rewards work and effort, and on the need to build a partnership between government and business. His approach to the latter is explicitly economically nationalist, backing Rachel Reeves’s promise to ‘buy, make and sell in Britain’, with a national economy that ‘must be actively built, nurtured and developed’, and aiming to maximise ‘the use of British material and firms’ in infrastructure. This alone makes a sharp break with the globalising approach of New Labour. This national populist tone was reinforced during the conference by, for example, Lucy Powell’s promise to stop developers selling new properties off-plan to overseas investors.

The idea of a shared national economic interest begs many questions, not least because (unlike in the post-war years) the structure, ownership and financial interests of much ‘British business’ lies in extracting wealth and not in serving the national interest. But for a leader whose party has no reputation for economic competence, and who will have seen Ed Miliband’s difficulties in defining ‘producer’ and ‘predator’ businesses, it may not be a surprise that the argument here is under-developed.

Starmer argues that the British interest is ill-served by the Conservatives – ‘power for the sake of being in power’ – or the SNP ‘obsessed with nationalism’. But his British nationalism, for that is what it is, makes him unable to speak to the multiple – local, national and British – identities found in real life. He claims Britain is the most centralised nation in Europe when that is only true of England. He defines Labour’s Scottish challenge as defending the union – the obverse of the SNP – when others might want Labour to be the best party for Scotland. Wales is mentioned only for its well-being policies.

There was little sense in either speech or essay that Starmer is competing with the Conservatives for the same telling of national history. The conference stage was completely absent of union flags, while the speech made only a necessary and justified reference to the armed forces and Britain’s membership of NATO, and emphasised Starmer’s role in the Crown Prosecution Service. On patriotism, he drew a dividing line between his own position and that of government ministers who condoned the booing of England’s football players for taking the knee; and he drew on his life story to claim that his values of ‘work, care, equality and security’ were British values ‘that take you to the heart of the British public’.

Perhaps most striking, though, were the differences between Starmer’s two statements. The ‘contribution society’, with its echoes of New Labour’s ‘rights and responsibilities’, was touted as the big idea from The Road Ahead, but it survived only as a passing sub-clause in his conference speech. Likewise, neither the essay’s emphasis on nation-building as an organising principle, nor its explicit exploration of nation and people, made it to the conference speech. While nothing in the speech contradicted the essay, it certainly didn’t grasp an opportunity to remake conceptions of the British national interest. Whether the differences between essay and speech reflect a lack of confidence in his own ideas, or a more pragmatic difficulty in translating them into conference rhetoric, we can only speculate.

Judged by this evidence, Starmer sees patriotism as more than a transactional issue to be negotiated, but his vision falls far short of a progressive patriotism that is both radical and able to respond to the politics of a multi-nation union.

The common good

Progressive patriotism argues that only a compelling story of the nation and its future can allow millions of people who otherwise live quite different lives and hold different values feel they share a common sense of purpose. Goes describes that as ‘appealing to two sets of voters who have almost diametrically opposed views on most issues’. But, in crudely practical terms, what is the politics that can bring together the white, socially-conservative voter of the ‘Red Wall’ with the young BLM activist in London – two groups divided by their very experience of life as much as their values – unless it is an appeal to some sense of sharing the same nation in which all should have a voice?

Changing society cannot simply be a matter of electing a government by corralling enough people who disagree wildly to vote the same way on polling day (and without a sense of shared national identity you are unlikely get elected). Both Blair and Corbyn promised to be ‘for the many not the few’. But to be a political force, ‘the many’ need to think of themselves as the many; they need to believe they share
common interests and be prepared to make common cause, common effort and even common sacrifice, in their collective interest. They must have a shared identity, a sense of responsibility towards each other and a determination to work together to build a different society.

Progressive patriotic politics defines the national interest as the common good. It is patriotic because its focus is on the nation and its people. It is progressive because it is inclusive, seeking fairness, prosperity and security for all. It is radical because it has no hesitation in calling out the powerful who work against the nation as unpatriotic (even when they wrap themselves in the union flag). It is political because it is rooted in a belief in the sovereignty of the people and their ability to shape the nation in which they live.

It places the national interest at the heart of economic policy. Instead of asserting that markets must always produce the best outcomes, or that internationalist values must always trump national or local concerns, progressive patriotism has the confidence to say that what actually happens to and for the people of the nation is the measure of policy. It will make national-interest judgements on issues of foreign ownership and investment and actively engage with private business in shaping Britain’s economy. It would reform the rules on corporate governance; restructure investment and finance; support innovation; and shape regulation, procurement and long-term infrastructure in order to create new market opportunities and investment certainty for Britain’s most competitive companies. It would demonstrate new confidence in the public sector’s ability to deliver for the public good.

Progressive national patriotism runs with the grain of the politics of place and local belonging. It can provide the framework for decentralisation, within which devolved and empowered local leadership will be the key to improved economic performance, regional economic growth, and more equal and inclusive distribution of resources. The same empowered leadership and stronger local institutions can provide the cultural creativity and leadership that will strengthen local identities.

A progressive patriotism does not of itself resolve the issues of identity, belonging and values that are such a potent element of recent politics. But it does provide an inclusive and unifying framework within which those issues can be resolved, over time, in the national interest. Of course, some political identities, like those of the racist right, whose very function and rationale is to divide, exclude themselves from a shared national story. Though we can’t be complacent, the trend for some years has been for the centre ground of public values to become more liberal and more inclusive. Provided the left itself does not create its own barriers to a shared national story, there is every reason to believe that a progressive patriotism can be successfully shared.

Instead of regarding patriotism as an electoral issue of importance only to a section of the electorate, Labour needs to recognise the potential power of patriotism to unite large sections of society in a positive and progressive view of the nation. It could, in short, meet the need for something stronger than what Goes calls Starmer’s ‘vague and timid futurism’.

This conception of progressive patriotism is, clearly, a long way from both Labour’s active membership and Keir Starmer’s advisors, and it is not clear whether today’s Labour Party can realise its potential. Starmer’s essay, and the work of shadow ministers like Reeves and Powell, represent some progress towards a popular national economic story.3 There was refreshing work on social ownership under Corbyn, and some innovative work by a few local authorities, as explored in these pages.4 But these are hardly themes that echo across Labour’s front bench or its local government leadership, and were very muted in Starmer’s own conference speech.

Which nation?

The focus on ‘lost’ patriotic voters has also diverted attention from the problematic way in which Labour sees nation and people. For Labour to adopt a progressive patriotism, it not only needs to understand its potential as a means of defining the nation and national interest in a radical manner. It also needs to place its politics within the reality of nations, identities, territoriality and belonging with the United Kingdom today.

Progressive patriotism can only have any meaning in the context of actual nations and real national identities. Starmer, Goes and Stafford all illustrate how far we need to go. Starmer’s Labour – like its predecessors – resolutely refuses to name England even when discussing the vast areas of England-only policy. Beyond vague platitudes, Labour has nothing to say about how England is governed at national level and little about the devolution of power within the nation. Labour routinely calls England ‘Britain’ and the inability to use language that distinguishes between England, Britain, the Union, and the United Kingdom is ubiquitous. On Northern Ireland, where Labour does not organise, we might presume that Labour maintains the principle that the future of the province is for its people to decide, but in the rows over the Northern Ireland protocol, Labour has had little to say about relations between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Stafford talks of the right’s ‘increasingly successful purge of both liberalism and social democracy from British political culture’. But, to the extent that this is true, it is only consistently true in England. Labour has not lost to the right in Scotland but to a nationalism of distinctly social-democratic and broadly liberal values. Welsh Labour has sustained a national politics that is both Labour and progressive. Goes describes Starmer’s aim as to ‘articulate a cross-generational patriotism that will unite the four nations of the UK’. Yet, the time when Britishness served as a unifying national identity across the UK is long dead. Not only is it the primary identity of far too few people, but it means quite different things in different nations.5 The ‘British’ in Scotland tended to vote Leave while the ‘British’ in England were far
more likely to vote Remain.

Every Labour defeat since 2005 has hinged on a failure to frame Labour politics within a clear vision of nation (or nations), their people, what they stood for and what their future would be. The left has lost every battle about what it is to be British in the twenty-first century, or to be English or Scottish too. It has generally preferred to talk of anything but nation and identity. Labour opposed Scottish independence on grounds of narrow economic self-interest, conceding the progressive debate about Scotland’s future to the nationalists. The party fought the EU referendum on similar economic grounds that – however justified in themselves – failed to address core issues of nation, identity, democracy and sovereignty.

‘British politics’ – the idea that politics is primarily played out between the same British political parties contesting the same issues across all the mainland nations – appears to be coming to an end. 2005 was the last time one party won in all three mainland nations. From 2015 onwards each nation has been contested by different parties on largely different issues, and different parties have won. Labour facilitated this change. Devolution was both desirable and irresistible, but Labour’s flawed approach took nation and identity for granted. Labour thought it was a one-off change to be absorbed and forgotten. It assumed that Scotland would always vote Labour, and that devolution would kill nationalism ‘stone dead’. It assumed England would never care about how it was governed. These assumptions were all wrong. Devolved institutions took on a life of their own. Scotland chose the SNP to represent its best interests. Disgruntled English-identifying voters provided the bedrock of Brexit and of Johnson’s English landslide.

Labour did not have to lose. The right didn’t have a better story about England or Britain: it is simply that the left did not have one at all. Rather than contested debate between progressive and conservative ideas of nation and the national interest, the right in England has been given a free hand in which to frame their politics of nation. Where once the left could at least contest patriotism and national identity, today it has allowed the right to define ‘nation’ as inward looking and hostile, and ‘the people’, in ethnic and racial terms. Over two decades, Labour has ignored England and spurned voters who identify as English. The rise of Conservatism over this period has taken place entirely amongst the majority of voters with a strong English identity. Absenting the political battlefield, the left allowed English resentment of economic decline, political marginalisation and concern at the pace of cultural change to be mobilised in support of a ‘Greater’ Britishness.

Nationalist success in Scotland turned on Labour’s inability to weave a coherent fusion of national aspiration and Union solidarity, and its preference to change the subject rather than meet it head on. Labour’s success in Wales is barely acknowledged in England and Scotland. Over twenty years, Welsh Labour, through its First Minister and success in the Assembly (now Senedd), has increasingly developed a distinct Welsh political space. In its first decade it was able to define a Welsh Labour project separated by clear ‘red water’ from New Labour. As a unionist party it has managed to define itself against nationalism without seeking sectarian confrontation with nationalists. Given the electoral system, its politics have been necessarily pluralist. Its fusion of progressive politics and nationhood has much to teach the rest of the Labour Party.

In losing to both the Conservative right and to Scottish nationalism, most of the Labour Party has shown itself incapable of responding to the complexities of an evolving United Kingdom. Step by step the post-imperial unitary state is moving inexorably towards something that will feel more like a union of nations with shared and common purposes.

Most of Labour hasn’t responded to this changing world. As Starmer’s essay and conference speech demonstrate all too clearly, he has made little adjustment to the realities of a multi-nation politics. He and his advisors are not the only people who cling to the certainties of the post-war Union state. In this old politics, Labour could aspire to speak for a unified British working class (and a progressive British intellectual elite). That world is gone.

Across the different nations of the Union, Labour has no consistent and principled approach to territoriality and belonging. Labour cannot become a progressive patriotic party while it remains so hopelessly confused about the Union, its nations, and its national identities.

The task of telling a different story is complex. Being British will remain an important element of identity across the Union, but its relationship to national identities will vary. Labour’s difficulties in England may well reflect a lack of concern about England’s governance and the marginalisation of English identity, but England’s future identity will be both English and British. The story of England will include the stories of everyone who is making their lives here, not just those of the island’s past. It is only by ensuring that all those stories can be told that the conflicted and often painful histories of empire, slavery and colonialism will be able to find their place within a radical vision of the future. But does Labour want to play that role?

Much of Labour’s membership – at least in England from where I write – has little empathy with ideas of nation and patriotism. Hostility to the ‘patriotic turn’ is obvious, but equally important is Labour’s difficulty in responding to England or Englishness. Most activists tend to identify as ‘more British than English’ (while the majority of voters are either ‘more English than British’ or ‘equally English and British’).

Towards a new left patriotism

This ‘Britishness’ of the left is distinct from that of patriotic British and English voters. It expresses no strong commitment to the existing institutions of the British state (often being quite supportive of the idea of Scottish independence) but opposes changes that would allow England a voice. It says it is British, but it is not quite sure where and what Britain is. Ask it for a flag and it will reject the Union flag and spurn the St George Cross. England’s ‘British’ left activists often combine a casual disregard for the actual union on which Britain is based with a total absence of interest in England’s own lack of democratic institutions. But they lack any serious strategy for the Union that might see the people of England, Wales, Scotland and, indeed, Northern Ireland become part of a shared project to build a stronger, fairer and more inclusive union.

The left’s disdain for patriotism stems from a belief that ideas of the nation and national identity are fixed and immutable. In this view, patriotism must mean buying into existing power structures and a particular telling of British and English history. It continues to insist that Englishness is a white and racist identity long after this has shrunk to a minority view. National identities are always changing. The surprise with which the left greeted Gareth Southgate’s diverse and socially aware England football team revealed how few had noticed that this new Englishness was already living and breathing in the towns and cities of England. National identities can be shaped by political, social and cultural interventions. Across the British Isles, today’s Irish, Welsh and Scottish identities have all reflected a conscious and deliberate process of cultural engagement and institution building.

A progressive patriotism addresses the nation as it is and as it can be, not as it once was. It obviously rejects the idea of national identity as defined in cultural, ethnic or racial terms. The search for shared national stories of England starts from the principle that both England and ideas of English identity must belong to everyone who is making their lives here. There seems to be no good reason why a progressive patriotism for each part of the UK and its constituent nations could not embrace those ‘idealistic young people [who] have a role to play in the nation’s future’ (Stafford). Indeed, they can be encouraged to see their future through the prism of the nations they can play a key role in building. Progressive patriotic politics won’t just happen, and it can’t just condemn those who aren’t yet on board. It must take responsibility for ensuring that it happens. Those in England who rejoiced in Gareth Southgate’s powerful advocacy of a patriotism that was both rooted and progressive need to ask themselves what contribution they have made to shaping that Englishness outside the stadium.6

Shaping such a progressive patriotism will require a confident political leadership and a supportive and engaged membership. It does appear that Starmer can see patriotism as more than a transactional issue to be negotiated, and may be working towards a language that much of the membership can accept. Yet, he seems unable to negotiate the realities of a multi-nation union and leaves too many unanswered questions about what really serves the national interest. He is, as yet, some way from realising the full potential of progressive patriotism.

John Denham is Professorial Fellow and Director of the Centre for English Identity and Politics at the University of Southampton. He has served as Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and for Housing, Communities and Local Government. He is former Labour MP for Southampton Itchen.


1 James Stafford, ‘Editorial: the patriotism problem’, Renewal, Vol 29 No 1, 2021, pp5-10; Eunice Goes, ‘Wrapped up in the Union Jack: Starmer’s patriotic turn’, Renewal, Vol 29 No 1, 2021, pp49-59.
2 David Edgerton, ‘How and why the idea of a national economy is radical’, Renewal, Vol 29 No 2, 2021, pp17-22.
3 Rachel Reeves, ‘Labour will make, buy and sell more in Britain’, 2 July 2021: See also Rachel Reeves, The Everyday Economy, 2018:
4 For instance, Joe Guinan and Martin O’Neill, ‘The institutional turn: Labour’s new political economy’, Renewal, Vol 26 No 2, 2018, pp5-16; Martin O’Neill and Councillor Matthew Brown, ‘The road to socialism is the A59: The Preston Model’, Renewal, Vol 24 No 2, 2016, pp69-78.
5 Ailsa Henderson, ‘Brexit, the Union, and the future of England’, Political Insight, Vol 9 No 4, 2018, pp32-35; Ailsa Henderson and Richard Wyn-Jones, Englishness: The Political Force Transforming Britain, Oxford, Oxford University Press 2021.
6 Sunder Katwala, John Denham and Steve Ballinger, Beyond a 90-Minute Nation: why it’s time for an inclusive England outside the stadium, British Future, 2021: