Smart people saying smart things

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First of all, Grayson Perry. In the New Statesman. Mandatory reading for anyone interested in gender studies; or class studies, or identity studies.

“When we talk of identity, we often think of groups such as black Muslim lesbians in wheelchairs. This is because identity only seems to become an issue when it is challenged or under threat. Our classic Default Man is rarely under existential threat; consequently, his identity remains unexamined. It ambles along blithely, never having to stand up for its rights or to defend its homeland.”

Then, a series of interesting reactions to UKIP winning the by-election in Clacton:

First, a Fabians report on “Labour’s UKIP Problem” and how it can be overcome; by Marcus Roberts, with research from Ian Warren and Rob Ford (No, NOT the mayor of Toronto, the academic from Manchester who wrote “Revolt On The Right”!).

“There are five critical and high-risk seats under direct threat by UKIP, for both Labour and the Conservatives each:

• Labour seats under direct UKIP threat: Great Grimsby, Dudley North, Plymouth Moor View, Rother Valley, Rotherham

• Con seats under direct UKIP threat: Clacton, South Thanet, Thurrock, Great Yarmouth, Waveney”
IPPR’s Alice Sachrajada: UKIP argue that the UK needs to ‘get back control of its borders’ and should limit ‘the overall numbers of migrants’. Their main vehicle for doing so is leaving the EU, coupled with even tighter controls on non EU migrants. Whatever the merits of these policies – and at IPPR we’re convinced they would damage the UK’s national interests – reducing immigration in such ways would not, in the short to medium term, necessarily reduce the impacts of immigration.”
And finally, William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), on why Europe needs to make immigration easier
“The high-road scenario for migration has to start with a fundamental shift in perceptions; we need to correct the myths and misconceptions that surround migration, and so restore public confidence in governments’ ability to manage migration effectively. That means we need to reaffirm that discrimination and violence against migrants is intolerable. Above all, perhaps, we must create recognition of the overwhelmingly positive contribution migrants have made throughout history by launching an open dialogue about the role of migration in contemporary societies.”
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