We need to create a culture that combines a sense of belonging with openness to new ideas. To get away from the idea that we are individuals to be consulted and not just consumers or components of some machine. Politics needs to be based on dialogue rather than Party bigwigs telling us what is best for us.
The starting point will be the idea of the Open Tribe which was developed in a series of interviews with politically active people and refined into a book by Sue Goss. It is to do with reconciling the supportive but restrictive nature of belonging to a specific group or tribe and the openness to novelty but risk of isolation that comes from not belonging.
From 1971 to 1987 I worked for the Child Poverty Action Group, the last 8 years as director. I joined the Department of Social Sciences after 6 years as Professor and Head of Department of Applied Social Studies, Bradford University. Between 2005 and 2007 I spent some time at the University of Glasgow as the first Donald Dewar Visiting Professor of Social Justice. I retired in October 2010 and joined the House of Lords as a Labour peer in February 2011. I was elected hon president of CPAG in December 2010. I currently sit on the Joint Committee of Human Rights, the board of the Smith Institute and am vice-chair of the Fair Pay Network and a patron of JustFair. In the past I have sat on a number of independent commissions, the National Equality Panel and the Community Development Foundation, as well as numerous other voluntary organisation and research advisory committees. In 2010 I received a life-time achievement from the Social Policy Association. In 2005 I was co-recipient of the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher & Further Education awarded to the university for its contribution to social policy.