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The Tribe The Tribe
The Liberal-Left and the System of Diversity
by Ben Cobley. £14.95
Paperback, 263pp
From Islamist terror to feminist equal pay campaigns and the apparent Brexit hate crime epidemic, identity politics seems to be everywhere nowadays. This is not entirely an accident. The progressive liberal-left, which dominates our public life, has taken on the politics of race, gender, religion and sexuality as a key part of its own group identity - and has used its dominance to embed them into our state and society.
Reviewer Derek Sterling

[eurofacts (Vol 24 No 11-12) – 19th July 2019]

In this very topical and interesting book the author shows how far from helping certain sectors of the community into becoming part of the wider community, the opposite appears to be happening.

The author Ben Cobley is a journalist by trade and a former Labour Part activist. The term ‘Tribe’ is used to mean any kind of ‘group’ or ‘grouping’.

In defining grouping he quotes Vasily Grossman who said;

“Human groupings have one main purpose; to assert everyone’s right to be different, to be special, to think and live in his or her own way. People join together in order to win or defend this right. But this where a terrible, fateful error is born; the belief that these groupings in the name of race, a God, a party or a State are the very purpose of life and not simply a means to an end. No! The only true and lasting meaning of the struggle for life lies in the individual, in his modest peculiarities and in his right to these peculiarities.”

The author starts by explaining what he means by ‘the liberal-left’, or ‘progressive liberal-left’ and the association with, and need for an identity. The identity he explains is fixed and based upon things like; the colour of our skin, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion (in the case of Islam). This appears to fix the sort of roles we can take on; as members of victim and/or oppressor groups, as representatives of victim groups, and lastly as the people who make space for these roles in the wider public sphere.

The question of so-called community leaders and their influence over society in general is investigated, with some interesting conclusions about the way this influence is used.

Then comes the item of Diversity as a systems he refers to the infrastructure of identity-based favouritism that has been spreading rapidly through our public institutions, the more so the more linked in to the political left they are.

Favoured and unfavoured identity groups are listed as;

Favoured/protected identities

female

non-white-skinned

foreigner/immigrant

Black and minority ethnic (BAME)

Muslim

homosexual

transgender

disabled

Unfavoured identities

male

white-skinned

non-immigrant

ethnic British/English

Christian

heterosexual

‘cisgender’

able-bodied

In a hard-hitting analysis of the Rotherham abuse cases he thinks that favouritism and protection of a favoured group has been etched into the fabrics of local government and police operations to the extent that it overwhelmed another sort of protection they were meant to be practising - of children.

Hate crimes and the EU referendum of 2016 are also covered. For the often quoted rise in hate crime after the referendum he quotes the guidance for police dealing with such crimes;

“For recording purposes, the perception of the victim, or any other person, is the defining factor in determining whether an incident is a hate incident.... The victim does not have to justify or provide evidence of their belief, and police officers or staff should not directly challenge this perception. Evidence of hostility is not required for an incident or crime to be recorded as a hate crime or hate incident.”

This could well account for the perceived idea that hate crime in the UK is rising.

The campaign run by London Mayor in May 2014, Sadiq Khan is also discussed and the claims made;

* The fact is that if you are black or Asian in Britain today;

* You are significantly more likely to be unemployed.

* You will then earn less

* And you will live a shorter life than your white neighbours.

In the authors view-point this was a clear use of the ‘us’ and ‘them’ racial dividing line, he then shows how these facts are not based on proper understanding or actual research into the facts.

He has explored the consequences of offering favour and protection to some people but not others and how this system has almost totally captured the Labour Party and other major institutions, even our language in terms like ‘equality’ etc., while denying a voice to those who do not play along.

the june press