A 'dark knight' conflict between good and evil; control by elite puppet masters; nostalgia for a golden age: these are the core myths of populism. And these narratives, argues Chris Clarke, have seduced the Left in Britain, causing bitter division and electoral disaster. Only by breaking this narrative spell and moving towards pluralism can Labour hope to fix itself - and to one day hold power again.
Previously published by Rowman & Littlefield and Policy Network under the title Warring Fictions.
'Richly nuanced, the most stimulating book I have read on Labour in ages' Martin Kettle, Guardian
'A brilliant book ... a reading of left-wing politics that suggests a road ahead' John Rentoul, Independent
'The best book written about the Labour Party in recent years... An indispensable guide to Labour's internal politics and a must read for those of us wanting the Labour Party to learn from recent defeats and become once again a Party of Government' Douglas Alexander
'Anyone on the centre and centre left of politics could do much worse than read [Warring Fictions]... Clarke argues for what he calls "pluralism" on left and right. This is a recognition that, though better worlds can be created, they have to be fashioned through persuasion, strategy, and the capacity to deal with complexity' David Aaronovitch, Times
'Wide-ranging, clever and original;... a vital read for anyone interested in not just left populism, but any sort of populism at all' Andrew Sparrow, Guardian
About the author...
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.