Below is the synopsis for Warring Fictions, along with a short author biography.

Why do we disagree? Since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader this has been a central question for the two sides of the left. There is constant discussion of ‘splits’, ‘coups’ and ‘purges’. Anger and impotence are felt on both sides. Everyone seems to hate each other, but no one can agree on why.

Writing from a centre left perspective, this essay points to where the guts of the dispute lie. It argues that disagreements come down to narrative, not core values. Belief or otherwise in the central myths which drive left populism – conflict, insurgency and decline – represents the true dividing line between pro- and anti-Corbyn factions.

Underpinning all of this are two convictions about the state of modern British politics. The first is that regaining a rational, civil and democratic debate should be the number one priority for people of all leanings. The second is that the crisis of social democracy, which has put progressives out of power across Europe, is easier to solve than we think. Yet this is impossible when every conversation is distorted by sacred falsehoods and an atmosphere that straitjackets debate.

Combative but constructive, Warring Fictions makes the case for pluralism and questions the premise of Corbynism. Rather than a call for faux harmony, it’s an attempt to break the deadlock – providing a route-map for the centre left, an explanation to the far left, and the foundations for a genuine debate between the two.


Chris Clarke has worked in local government and the third sector, and as a press officer for Labour. He specialises in work around values, narratives, engagement and social cohesion.