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  • So many speeches, so little time

    by Sunny
    25th November, 2005 at 4:10 am    

    The Fabian Society are holding a talk on ‘The Future of Britishness’ on 14th January. They say: “British identity is up for grabs… how should we shape it? Debate the future of citizenship, faith, foreign policy, education, equality, community and security with over 50 of Britain’s leading thinkers and 800 delegates.”

    Speeches and debates by: Tim Garton Ash, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Ed Balls, Hazel Blears, Madeleine Bunting, Ted Cantle, Shami Chakrabarti, Nick Cohen, John Denham, David Edgar, Paul Gilroy, David Goodhart, Tristram Hunt, Tessa Jowell, John Kampfner, Jude Kelly, Sadiq Khan, David Lammy, John Lloyd, Gordon Marsden, Shahid Malik, Ed Miliband, Fuad Nahdi, Tom Nairn, Trevor Phillips, Tariq Ramadan, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Zia Sardar, Ben Summerskill, Gisela Stuart, Stephen Twigg, and more..

    Full program. That line-up looks quite tantalising… I’m going anyway. I managed to snag a complementary ticket. If anyone else is heading down, do let me know.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Party politics,Race politics

    17 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Leslie — on 25th November, 2005 at 9:25 am  

      Great idea for the day but surely looking at what the future holds also looks at how we include people.

      For example, by holding it on a Saturday, you won’t find any orthodox Jews being able to make it.

      So the title - Who Do We Want To Be? The Future of Britishness

      How about who do we not want to include?

      I know there are issues in choosing days eg: Sunday might be out for most practicing Christians. But mid-week is unlikely to cause any problems.



    2. Siddharth — on 25th November, 2005 at 10:03 am  

      But mid-week is unlikely to cause any problems.

      Except for Britishers who work for a living.

    3. leon — on 25th November, 2005 at 11:26 am  

      Hmmm, I should really get to this but a Saturday?!

    4. krazie — on 25th November, 2005 at 11:44 am  

      Gary Younge’s doing at speech on Wed. 30th Nov.
      Will post details later

    5. sonia — on 25th November, 2005 at 11:47 am  

      ive put details up on my blog. its called the “Cricket Test to Citizenship Test: How the war on terror is wrecking Britain’s racial landscape”

    6. sonia — on 25th November, 2005 at 11:55 am  

      sorry may as well stick it here for people who might not want to click any further!

      Wed 30 Nov : 6.00 p.m. @ New Theatre, East Building, LSE

    7. krazie — on 25th November, 2005 at 11:56 am  

      Cheers Sonia (being bit lazy)

    8. sonia — on 25th November, 2005 at 1:44 pm  

      he he he i can fully understand that!

    9. sonia — on 25th November, 2005 at 1:45 pm  

      oh yes and its free and also no need to get tickets in advance - first come first serve

    10. Jez — on 25th November, 2005 at 2:29 pm  

      “who do we not want to include?”, assumes that such an occasion needs self appointed community leaders of different persuasions, and only then can it be resolved – precisely why the left has never found any solution over the issue of identity.

      The concept is flawed:
      1)To come to a debate on Identity, where the participant is only being invited because the person is a proxy for a group and thus becomes bartering event. Supposedly a consensus is reached, which they then have to sell to their theoretical constituency.

      2) We assume there actually is an answer, when in reality identity can never be forced down the throat of an individual and is something that is personal, which evolves over time. I suppose concepts can be created for people to attach themselves to, but again different people will have different interpretations.

      So I shall dismiss this as a PR stunt by the fabians – the self appointed arbitrator of the left.

    11. krazie — on 25th November, 2005 at 3:29 pm  

      I have to echo jezs sentiments. Can’t see any real community leaders on the itinerary.

    12. Maharajah Ranjit Singh — on 25th November, 2005 at 3:45 pm  

      How the war on terror is wrecking Britain’s racial landscape?

      Isnt that a bit one sided?

      Dont other factors such as stupid and murderous religious fanatics and their smarmy semi-apologists in the media and identity politicians have a teensy-weensy bit to do with it?

      Obviously not.

    13. Maharajah Ranjit Singh — on 25th November, 2005 at 3:47 pm  

      The question is always phrased, also, in terms of race and religion as a question of Islam in British society. Its astonishing how Sikhs and Hindus and other groups seem to have disappeared and become invisible all of a sudden.

      Better watch out, before I pop like a bubble.

    14. Jez — on 25th November, 2005 at 4:52 pm  

      So we’ve got jewish and a sikhs complaining they are not being represented … sheesh, with Mr Singh threatning us that we “better watch out, before i pop like a bubble” - is he suggesting he wishes to emulate suicide bombers simply to get an invite to the fabian event.

      I can see Mr Singh at the conference, standing like a sore thumb with his yellow turban and long black beard, with a label saying “im a sikh fool - not a mussie, got it ! “, pushing his way through bewildered crowd, leading a procession of fellow sikhs, carrying a sword and chanting “govinda jaya jay” (Kula Skaker Remix ). .

      By using psydonym Maharaja Ranjit Singh ( who was a secularist ) , you bring shame on his name. Take off your shirt and bowe down to take 50 lashes for disrespecting the late maharajah.

    15. Jai Singh — on 25th November, 2005 at 5:07 pm  

      =>”“govinda jaya jay” (Kula Skaker Remix ). ”

      That’s a Hindu chant. As we keep saying, Sikhs are not Hindus. Claiming that they would sing this is as logical as stating that Sikhs would chant “Allah-u-Akbar.”

      Also, the original Maharajah Ranjit Singh was definitely a Sikh, not a secularist. The egalitarian, multi-ethnic/multi-religious worldview is integral to Sikhism and was reflected in the Maharajah’s governing style, his religious tolerance and his political ethos.

    16. Jez — on 25th November, 2005 at 5:13 pm  

      Oh really, well, you learn something every day. But i was funny thought wasn’t i? anyway my point still holds, which is that certain people feel left out over the identity debate which focuses on muslims more.

      I have actually got the kula skaker remix, highly recommended.

    17. sonia — on 26th November, 2005 at 4:06 am  

      yeah jez’s point about not being to shove identity down someone’s throat as it evolves over time is crucial.

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