Column / Investigation

Identity, Empire and the Culture War

Byline Times explores the weaponisation of Britain's past as a key tool in a dark project of division and distraction

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Author: Hardeep Matharu
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Authors:

The Identity Trap: No One Narrative Can Encompass the Different Dimensions of Diversity

, 18 November 2022
As Britain welcomes its first Asian Prime Minister, Hardeep Matharu explores how our pluralistic society is reflected in the multiplicity of its migrant experience – as demonstrated by the different reactions to Rishi Sunak’s rise 

‘Out of the Picture: After the Queen’s Death, Will Britain Finally Confront Itself?’

, 15 September 2022
Britain has hidden a key part of our story from ourselves. With the Queen’s death marking a decisive shift, it’s time for us all to start building a better picture of our country and its past, writes Hardeep Matharu

The Identity Trap: Race, Representation and the Rise of Conservative Diversity

, 11 August 2022
Rishi Sunak is in the running to be Britain’s first prime minister of colour – but the debate around whether this will be a good thing for ethnic minorities has laid bare conflicting ideas about the 'individual' and the 'collective', writes Hardeep Matharu

Backwards Britain: Having Rejected a European Future, We Can Only Hark Back to an Imperial Past

, 5 April 2022
Hardeep Matharu explores how the Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed the UK's perilous retreat – at a time when collaboration and a new vision of itself is required to navigate the dangerous realities of a changing world
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‘A Deeply Dangerous Power Grab by the Home Secretary’: Conservative Peer Calls for Plans to Strip Citizenship Without Warning to be Scrapped

, 6 January 2022
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi told peers that immigrants' fears that future generations would be treated like outsiders and second-class citizens are not unfounded

‘Deserving’ or ‘Undeserving’ Refugees? Johnson and Patel’s Afghanistan Problem

, 16 August 2021
With a key pillar of the Government’s ‘culture war’ protecting our island nation from unpalatable ‘others’, Hardeep Matharu explores the crass and complex classifications at the heart of the Government’s neocolonial immigration policy

‘Diversity’: A Smokescreen Not A Solution

, 25 March 2021
As Buckingham Palace conducts a ‘diversity review’, Hardeep Matharu explores how the focus on ‘opportunity’, minority recruitment drives and Boris Johnson’s ‘most diverse’ Cabinet actually sidesteps the issue of tackling systemic racism in Britain today

Beyond the Masquerade: The Real Powers Behind the Hollow Crown

, 9 March 2021
Hardeep Matharu explores how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have exposed the real power structures in Britain – now in full destructive, neo-imperial retreat

Anti-Woke Crusade Igniting Threats to Safety and Careers: ‘There’s So Much Hatred Projected at Women in Public Life’, Warns Historian

, 11 February 2021
Hardeep Matharu reports on how the history of the English countryside has turned into a dangerous battleground as various forces try to provoke an uncivil culture war

Johnson’s ‘Woke’ Rambling Reveals his Alt-Right Alliance with Trump’s Culture Wars

, 21 January 2021
A simple question about Joe Biden put to the Prime Minister exposed the deep and historic ties of his Vote Leave regime with the ethos of the former US President – the last thing Johnson wants to confront, argues Hardeep Matharu

Blinding Exceptionalism: The Insidious Attacks on British Democracy Are No Less Dangerous than Trump’s America

, 7 January 2021
Hardeep Matharu explores why the attacks on the rule of law and accountability by Boris Johnson and his Government are not interpreted to be as alarming for the UK as the more overt destruction being waged by Donald Trump in America

‘You See What People Can Do to Other People, People they Lived Side-By-Side With’: Ending the Silence on Partition and Empire

, 23 December 2020
As discussions of Empire and Britain’s imperial history have come to the forefront in 2020, Hardeep Matharu speaks to BBC journalist and author Kavita Puri to explore what she learnt from those who lived through the end of the colonial project in India about divisions tearing societies apart for her book ‘Partition Voices’

Britain’s Descent: Supremacy Not Sovereignty was Always the Dark Heart of Brexit

, 14 December 2020
The central myth of Britain leaving the EU reveals the country’s insecure imperial ambitions and unresolved identity crisis, says Hardeep Matharu

The Powerful Lure of the Soft Fascism Within

, 1 December 2020
Hardeep Matharu with a personal account from the psychological frontline of the culture wars exploring the inner appeal of hate, division and xenophobia

Britain’s Rump Trumpocracy: An Imperial State – Without An Empire

, 12 November 2020
As the US moves away and Brexit crumbles, former Prime Minister John Major has exposed the isolation and colonial nostalgia of Britain, argues Hardeep Matharu

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