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Brexiteer Lord Glasman calls on the Left to offer transformative vision

22 March 2019


Left to right: Selina Stone, Hannah Rich, who chaired the discussion, and Lord Glasman

Left to right: Selina Stone, Hannah Rich, who chaired the discussion, and Lord Glasman

FEELING overwhelmed by the task of reconciliation after Brexit is “right and normal”, a tutor and lecturer in political theology at St Mellitus College, Selina Stone, has said.

Speaking at the Tawney Dialogue, organised by Christians on the Left, Ms Stone said, however, that “we risk further pain if we wait to move forward”, and that “reconciliation is the pursuit of genuine peace”, and “reconciliation is God’s mission.”

She was speaking alongside the Labour peer Lord Glasman, a prominent supporter of Brexit, who said: “I do not know if I am ready for reconciliation yet.”

Lord Glasman, who coined the term “Blue Labour”, meaning socially conservative socialism, said that he hoped for a “democratic renewal” after Brexit.

He said that a new “leadership of the poor” was needed once the UK left the EU: “The people most attracted to Brexit were the poor, and there was no leadership for them.”

Lord Glasman argued that capitalism “has a structure of sin in it”, and that the EU is “unmediated, unfettered capitalism”.

He said: “At least Christians do not think that the free market created the world.”

Ms Stone told the audience: “Divisions persist [between Remainers and Leavers] because we have not been taking time to build relationships. Who are we actually getting to know and engaging with?” She also said: “We are a long, long way away from Eden.”

Lord Glasman argued that there was already a narrative of betrayal as Brexit appeared as if it will be delayed.

He said: “Without a transformative vision from the Left, the power will go to the far Right. We need to build a country and a politics that addresses the things people love. There needs to be a renewal of our civic heritage.”

When asked what people can do to encourage reconciliation, Ms Stone said: “Make some space in your diary for a dinner, conversation, coffee with someone in your local area who you don’t agree with. Open your heart and be prepared to change.”

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