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A brief history of progressive patriotism

Orwell, Woolf and Priestley can inform today’s debate

By Jason Whittaker  

Photo: PA/PA Archive/PA Images

Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long Bailey’s call to champion progressive patriotism at the close of 2019 led to a brief flurry of opinion pieces regarding the possible pros (and more often cons) of such a position for the party. She very quickly drew back from a detailed consideration of what such a position would look like, not least because as left-wing intellectuals discovered during the Second World War, any attempt to invoke such patriotism…

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