The IRR publishes today two responses to the report ‘Fear and HOPE: the new politics of identity’ by Searchlight Educational Trust (prominently fronted by David Miliband, MP in the Guardian on 28 February).
The report drew heavily on an opinion poll. IRR researcher, Jon Burnett, exposes the methodological weaknesses in such an approach. IRR director, A.Sivanandan, who was attendant at the birth of the Searchlight magazine, takes the Searchlight Educational Trust to task for suggesting that one can fight new manifestations of far-Right extremism by conceding to arguments on national identity and multiculturalism. He takes issue with the oversimplified Searchlight position on far-Right and Islamic extremisms – ‘a plague on both your houses’, questions the tactic of moving the fight from the streets to the polling booth and finally decries the move from a class-based to an identity-based politics at a time of hardening recession.
Guardian, 28 February 2011: ‘David Miliband attacks David Cameron’s “muscular liberalism”‘
Read the Fear and HOPE report here
Read an IRR News story: ‘Searchlight: polling the “new politics of identity”‘
Read an IRR News story: ‘Fallacies and policies: the “Fear and HOPE” report’