18 days to go – nationalism in a global world

One of the few frissons of excitement in an otherwise dull national campaign was the spat between Nicola Sturgeon and Ed Miliband in the opposition parties TV debate held on Thursday. Ms. Sturgeon, let us remind ourselves, offered Ed Miliband a deal saying ‘I can help Labour be bolder’. Ed refused and ruled out both a pre-election arrangement and a post-election deal.

I cheered the television. As someone brought up in South Wales, living in England, and having worked in New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore I dislike nationalism in all its forms. As an economist of a socialist persuasion I believe that the solutions to the problems that really matter – social justice, equality of opportunity and inclusion – demand international action. Moreover there are countless examples, most recently in the Ukraine, of how easily nationalism can take an ugly turn.

In the past I have been critical of Ed Miliband’s leadership but on this occasion I can only say ‘Well done Ed’.


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