Confront Othering

On Monday, we shared with you the first of Bishop John’s three resolutions, made in the light of the General Election, this coming June. Here is the second.

You’ve said you have three resolutions. Tell me about the second.

I was at a conference recently where someone talked about us living in a world which is ‘othering’. What he meant by that was, it’s making people into ‘others’ – not in a good way. By making them ‘other’, they are diminishing, making them less – less than me – less important than me.

So my second resolution is to resist any tendency to do that, to make groups of people different and therefore less than I am or anybody else is. We are very good at sticking labels on people, whether they’re Muslims, or Jews, or Christians, or Westerners… it’s happening all over, it’s not just something that happens in Britain, it happens all over that we put a label on someone and then somehow we can treat them as less important than we are.

I’m not prepared to put up with any of that in the election campaign, let’s do away with all that kind of labeling. And let’s try and work for the common good – for everybody. Because the consequence of othering is that you have excluded groups, and we’ve seen too much of that.

I want a politics that overcomes that.