Was going to reply to this in the current thread but decided to post as a new thread.
We are all individuals and at the same time members of larger society.
I have an identity as a mum (not a grandmother yet but still hoping!), but as a mother who is working class (in the Marxist not the British class system sense) I depended on government to provide the education I needed for my child.
As an elderly person I depend on government that will address the issue of pensioner poverty both now and in the future (it is going to get worse unless something is done).
As a patient with heart failure on a lot of medication I depend on a government to continue to supply my medication free (It would cost me £60 pm and I couldn’t afford that).
In this context I am viewing government as the means by which essential services can be provided for all especially those who cannot afford to pay for them privately. Thus redistrubting wealth from rich to poor.
I need to be able to influence the government, Now there are individuals who can do that by they have the wealth power and influence most of us don’t have. Most of us cannot influence the government as individuals they just don’t listen. The people without wealth, power and influence are generally described as working class.
So we need to combine with other working class people to obtain the strength that can come with collective action.
This does not actually prevent individuality, its not necessary for me to martial the whole working class for every issue. If its pensions I can call up the national Pensioners Convention, as a worker I could call on the support of my union, on NHS matters The Patients Association can organise. In each of these cases the active participation of individuals strengthens the organisation. But this not ‘identity politics’ as this is generally understood.
To quote the old Labour Movement motto ‘Unity is Strength’. It what gave us free state education, the NHS and the Open University state pensions as we know them and unemployment insurance.
But we need a voice in Parliament. We used to have it, it was called the Labour Party. In the 70’s and 80’s, identity politics namely fighting sexism and racism, instead of forming an important part of united working class politics they actually replaced it.
This has resulted in great advances for mainly middle class women and blacks leaving all the working class (women, blacks, Asians and white working class men) with no voice in the party.
AS a result the traditional Labour constituency has been lost. For the first time independent Labour candidates have in some cases beaten the official Labour candidate.
This is the identity politics that I am talking about. It is this agenda that created Nulabour and it is this agenda that the Guardian supports and I maintain, defends it with modding policy on Cif.