Labour must stop obsession with ‘identity politics’ & focus on white working class - MP

© Kevin Coombs
Labour MP Stephen Kinnock has blasted what he terms Labour’s “obsession” with “identity politics” and called for the party to focus on social mobility for white workers.

He also urged the leadership to “manage immigration” and argued that this was a key role of the state in politics.

Commentators on both the left and right say identity politics routinely prioritizes single issues like race, gender and sexuality at the expense of broader kinds of analysis based on socio-economics.

We’ve been obsessing about diversity. We have been a party that has been increasingly associated with standing up for certain groups in our society and not standing up for all in our society,” Kinnock said in a speech at the London School of Economics (LSE) on Tuesday.

He said it had been a “huge mistake” for Labour to play “identity politics and identified groups, whether it is by ethnicity or sexuality or whatever you might want to call it, rather than say, ‘we stand up for everyone in this country and that includes you, the white working class.’”

What we need to see in the progressive Left in the country is an end to this identity politics. We need to be talking far more about commonality rather than what differentiates from each other. Let’s talk about what unites us.

Kinnock said Hillary Clinton’s mistake in her failed 2016 presidential campaign was to “shout out” to groups like African-Americans and Latinos while ignoring other groups.

It doesn’t matter what the color of your skin is or what your background is,” Kinnock said.

What matters is that you’re poor and you’re disadvantaged and we’ve got to be there to help and engage with every single one of you – not just those who seem to have been taken priority over others,” he added.