Sunday, October 06, 2013

Today's Observer on "identity"

(please ignore the hair in the top left of the picture - one of the dogs decided to intrude into the shot).

For such an important subject, the page in today's Observer on "identity" was surprisingly lightweight. 

An article by Sunder Katwala of British Future (sic) quoting statistics that did not seem to have any provenance.  An inauthentic use of marketing segmentation jargon.  A slapdash use of celebrity photographs.

The whole thing looked as if it had been thrown together at the last minute.

In his piece Sunder Katwala once again took it upon himself to talk about the First World War.  It might help if Mr Katwala could tell us what role his own family played in the war.  Otherwise his pronouncements invite the riposte:  what's it got to do with you. 


SunderKatwala said...

What an absurd argument. Are you excluding from a national commemoration anyone whose relatives weren't there??? Since you ask, my children's great great grandfather was injured in the war. We were looking at the telegram the other day, which their grandfather had dug out.

Evidence for the identity groups, with less journalistic labels, can be found in these reports. We added some regional, gender and generational factors, based on other evidence
(6 groups: we break down 'identity ambivalents' by region to give 7 groups)

Generational effects on identity

Angry rejection at 1 in 10

Attitudes to the commemoration of the first world war are based on extensive deliberative work and a national poll.

If you disagree with that Commonwealth and integration argument, then 4% of people are with you, and 80% are with me, according to a representative YouGov poll.

a from l said...

Thank you for the clarification Mr Katwala, although I hope you will overlook my incivility in pointing out that your connection with the Great War seems rather oblique. For someone who has written often and with sincerity about your duel heritage I was curious why you had omitted any personal information in this case. And I must confess I do not fully understand your answer - are you saying that YOUR great grandfather was injured in the war?

There is no question of excluding anyone from the commemoration, but perhaps you are failing to understand the sensitivity of the anniversary? The Great War was England's holocaust. Would you argue that the Jewish holocaust should be picked over by outsiders and made a political football by a left-leaning think tank?

Regarding the use of "labels" for the research, I take your point that these things often get sexed-up to make them more sensational, but I think whoever did this sexing up has failed to understand that labels need to be accepted by the people being labeled (otherwise they just become an exercise in name calling).

And why "angry" rejectionists? Why not calm rational rejectionists who are insisting that democracy is respected?