Who is united for change?

Peter Henley
Political editor, South of England
@BBCPeterHon Twitter


Labour's convulsions over anti-semitism show no signs of reaching a conclusion, as the Boris Johnson Burka letterbox comments push Conservatives inwards over Islamophobia.

And the wider country? Mostly shrugs. Which is why we need a new approach.

If you are Moslem or Jewish it feels different though. I had a fascinating morning in Sussex with a Jewish film-maker, Peter Rosenbluth, and a local councillor Damien Enticott who admits posting anti-semitic material on-line.

Image caption,
Damien Enticott and Peter Rosenbluth

Damien received thousands of hate messages when Labour Party disciplinary action hit the headlines, and he admits he was short with Peter when he phoned him. But something about his approach intrigued and they agreed to meet for a short chat.

Two hours later they had found agreement on a huge range of areas, from Jewish history to the need for equality and maybe most important, a person to person approach to politics.

Fighting ignorance and prejudice

Peter Rosenbluth believes fighting ignorance and prejudice is better done one-to-one in the local community. That's why he rang Damien that morning.

Damien believes local action where he lives can improve people's lives, that's why he stood for the council. When he found himself trapped in the social media nightmare of Labour's anti-semitism whirlwind this was his way out. Now he plans to continue on Bognor Council as an Independent.

Perhaps the new Simon Franks funded United for Change Party could start with that. Not just keeping out established Westminster figures, but positively aiming to engage people within local communities, one-to-one.

It could give politics a very different atmosphere from the Westminster hothouse. What do you think?