After being parachuted out of New Labour’s Milbank Palace into a safe seat in Stoke, the biographer of Engels and picket line-crosser spent five years slashing Labour’s majority before letting it be known that he would be giving up the seat at a time when the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn were at their most embattled.
A blog established in the aftermath of a catastrophic stroke necessarily dwells on issues of personal identity. There have certainly been plenty of those sorts of posts over the past three-and-a-bit years.
But last week found me thinking about the origin stories and “values” of various countries. The French and the Americans have theirs, of course. Forged in, respectively, the white hot heat of revolution and, er, revolution. Eras that demanded flags and symbols and identities around which to rally. Their own spasm-ing bouts of apoplexy, if you will.
So, where does that leave national constructs closer to home?