From education to employment

General Election: Labour have won a landslide victory. What does this mean for FE & Skills?

Labour Win an Election landslide, what does this mean for FE and Skills?

The Labour party has had a Landslide Victory in the General Election. The Labour Party needed to secure 326 seats in the General Election to win the majority and it is predicted they will have over 400 by the exit polls, giving a significant majority over the Conservatives.

The House of Commons consists of 650 seats or Members of Parliament (MPs). According to the General Election exit poll, the projected seat distribution will be as follows:

  • Labour Party: 412 seats
  • Conservative Party: 121 seats
  • Liberal Democrats: 71 seats
  • SNP: 9
  • Sinn Féin: 7
  • Other parties and independents: 29

    This means that Labour have secured a substantial majority of 172 seats in the House of Commons. While this is a significant margin, it falls short of the historic 179-seat majority achieved by Tony Blair’s Labour government in 1997.

    All Change

    The Conservatives have been in power for 14 years. The Labour Party hasn’t won a general election since 2005, they last won a general election as the opposition party back in 1997 under Tony Blair. Which is a long time (eg in the 20th Century). So there will be significant changes in Government.

    So there will changes in the characters in Parliament. Reform UK’s Nigel Farage has won his first ever seat in the Houses of Parliament. This is after eight times as running to be an MP and this is the first time he’s been successful. So fairplay, he is definitely keen to get into Parliament and will be a regular ‘face’ to anyone who is an ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’ fan. Here is the Reform UK Contract and what this could mean for FE and Skills, after all of that trying to get into Parliament, we predict he has bigger plans in the future.

    Previous Education Secretary Gillian Keegan lost her seat in Parliament to the Lib Dems. Gillian Keegan was appointed Education Secretary by Rishi Sunak in October 2022. She was the 10th Education Secretary since 2010, 6th since the 2019 election! Gillian previously was Skills Minister for apprenticeships and skills in 2020 – 2021 and was a former Apprentice. We wish her all the best in the future.  

    So we are already seeing significant changes in the landscape of parliament and new faces.

    The What next for FE and Skills?

    The strap line for the Labour Party during the election campaign was Change. On hearing the news that the Labour Party had won the election, the next Prime Minister, Keir Starmer says “change begins now”.

    So we need to expect significant change in the coming weeks and months. What do know should be coming are the Labour promises and plans sketched out over the General Election period.

    Skills England

    We know that the Labour party pledged Skills England to oversee Post 16 skills delivery, but what will this look like in reality and how quickly will this be rolled out. Will this be as fast as next week?

    In their election manifesto, the Labour party said: We will establish Skills England to bring together business, training providers and unions with national and local government to ensure we have the highly trained workforce needed to deliver Labour’s Industrial Strategy.

    Skills England will formally work with the Migration Advisory Committee to make sure training in England accounts for the overall needs of the labour market. And we are committed to devolving adult skills funding to Combined Authorities, empowering local leaders to have greater control of skills development in their areas, alongside a greater role in supporting people into work. Skills England will co-ordinate between local areas to ensure everyone can access all the opportunities available.

    Lesley Giles recently wrote an article How Would A New National Skills Body Work in Practice? Which could provide a snap shot of what to expect from a new Skills Body.

    FE Colleges into specialist Technical Excellence Colleges

    Labour also promised to transform Further Education colleges into specialist Technical Excellence Colleges. These colleges will work with businesses, trade unions, and local government to provide young people with better job opportunities and the highly trained workforce that local economies need.

    Apprenticeship Levy will be replaced by the Flexible Growth and Skills Levy

    Labour also pledged to replace the Apprenticeship Levy will be replaced by the Flexible Growth and Skills Levy.

    Labour plans to overhaul the Apprenticeships Levy introduced by the Conservatives, which they view as flawed. The existing system’s strict regulations don’t account for crucial skills and training necessary for entering apprenticeship programs. In its place, Labour proposes to establish a more adaptable Growth and Skills Levy. Under this new system, a body called Skills England would review and approve eligible courses, ensuring that qualifications provide good value for the investment made.

    Youth Guarantee

    Currently, one in eight young people are NEET (not in education, employment, nor training). This issue particularly affects those with limited qualifications or mental health challenges. Labour proposes to address this by:

    1. Creating a youth guarantee program for all 18- to 21-year-olds. This will consolidate existing funding and entitlements to ensure access to:
      • Training opportunities
      • Apprenticeships
      • Job search support
    2. Introducing a mandatory two-week work experience program for all young people.
    3. Enhancing careers guidance services in schools and colleges.

    These measures aim to reduce the number of young people who are not engaged in learning or earning activities.

    Careers Advice and Work Experience in Schools and Colleges

    After the main manifesto pledges, Labour made a significant amendment on the 26th June 2024 (so under 10 days to go until the General Election) to promising more careers advice and work experience in Schools and Colleges as part of its plans to usher in a revolution in work readiness and drive opportunity for young people. Which is a brilliant amendment, but we are at the start of the 4th industrial revolution, how about an all age Careers advice and guidance service for everyone to navigate the correct courses and careers?

    So change begins now. Let’s see what this means for Further Education, Skills and Employability.

    Sector Reaction to the Labour Party General Election Victory and it’s impact on the sector

    David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said:

    “The nation wakes today to a Labour government elected on a manifesto of change and with a strong focus on achieving economic growth in order to invest the money so sorely needed across the public sector. I am clear that colleges will need to have a central role across the government’s missions and ambitions if they are to deliver the change they want to see.

    “Our work with the shadow education ministers makes me optimistic that they understand how important colleges are and will engage with us to take forward their manifesto commitments. I am looking forward to meeting the new ministerial team and offering them my congratulations, but I will also set out two other things. Firstly, that their leadership of the education and skills systems can transform lives and is an immense privilege as well as a responsibility, but in doing that they can rely on educators to help them design a better system, policies and ways of working. Secondly, I will be reminding them of the actions and decisions that they can take in the coming weeks to show that they truly have been listening and that the change they want will start from day one.

    “While we know that budgets will be tight, I will also be urging them to make the case to Treasury that investing in skills should be seen as part of the infrastructure spend, because without it, capital projects cannot be built and the benefits of them will be weaker. Investing in human capital is for the long term, with returns on that investment that should be measured differently to other revenue spending. This will be particularly important to free up resources for colleges to be able to support the industrial strategy that Labour has promised.

    “Across the college sector, we are looking forward to working with the new ministers to help build a tertiary education system which is fair, efficient and effective, and meets the needs of 100% of the population.”

    Responding to the results of the General Election 2024, Stephen Evans, Chief Executive of Learning and Work Institute, said:

    “Congratulations to the Labour Party on their election victory. The next government needs to deliver employment and skills improvements to boost growth and widen opportunity. We look forward to working with them to deliver on their ambitions for an 80% employment rate by improving and widening employment support and to improve skills through Skills England and a new Growth and Skills Levy. Delivering change will require the Government, trades unions, employers, devolved administrations and community groups to work together. The prize is a fairer and more prosperous country.”

    Kirstie Donnelly MBE, Chief Executive of City & Guilds, said:

    “City & Guilds would like to express our congratulations to the Labour Party on their election win. We look forward to supporting the new government in driving forward an ambitious skills agenda and look forward to discussing how we reboot the skills system, address issues such as the apprenticeship levy and the need to take a step back on qualification reform. As an organisation with a proud history in skills and training, we understand the life-changing link between skills development, social mobility, productivity, and success.

    “We eagerly anticipate now working, together with employers, on the big issues impacting our economic growth and productivity. We need to invest in skills and aspiration and in that way address inequity, employer need and ‘how’ learners want to learn. There are big challenges, funding cuts have halved the number of adult learners in the last decade, while young people not in education, employment or training are going back to levels of a decade ago.

    “As the Learning and Work Institutes research shows, a lack of investment in skills has a clear link with a lack of economic growth compared to OECD countries. We know Investment in quality skills intervention leads directly to jobs. This is not just a national issue but a global one, with huge opportunities becoming clear around blended learning on a global scale and the vital need to harness innovation.

    “This is a once in a generation chance as Labour confirms its plans for Skills England and how that can meet both national priorities and opportunities for local inclusive growth and investment in skills and City & Guilds are here to support with the work that lays ahead.”

    Commenting on Labour’s victory in the UK General Election, Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive, said:

    “With a decisive mandate in hand, this new government has goodwill from businesses and support for its core goal – getting growth and prosperity flowing across the UK. Only business can deliver this – so a strong partnership is necessary.

    “A credible industrial strategy, as promised in the Labour Party manifesto, is essential but can only work if it is based on people. There is no doubt that Labour cares about the workforce – but what matters now is how they deliver. The labour market has changed over the past few decades – of course workers need to be treated well, but that includes choice and opportunity on how and when they work. Workers and businesses across the country understand the goals of Labour’s plan but its implementation must support a growing economy and accept that there is no one best way of working. That is not what people want. By working in partnership with businesses and unions, and committing to the value of our flexible labour market, this new government can learn the lessons of past Labour successes such as the National Minimum Wage and pensions automatic enrolment. We can deliver big change when we tread carefully and take the practical experience of firms into account.

    “Nowhere is the value of the flexible workforce more apparent than in the health, social care and education sectors. Attacks on flexible work during the campaign – when agency workers are keeping these services afloat – mis-represented the true picture of public sector workforce planning that has been in chaos. This new Labour government has the chance to change all that by getting public sector employers, unions and agencies together to address procurement issues and deliver better, more efficient services for voters.”

    Dr Marc Warner, CEO, Faculty  

    “With Labour now in power, it is time for the UK to release the handbrake and fully embrace the benefits of safe, narrow AI.  

    “For too long, governments have accepted managed decline in public services – with worsening outcomes eroding trust in institutions. AI offers an opportunity to arrest that slide, and to create experiences for citizens akin to those they receive in the private sector. 

    “Remember – AI has been safely and successfully used for decades, from predicting train arrivals or preventing bank fraud.  

    “So Starmer must unashamedly embrace narrow AI – tools with specific, predetermined goals, and proven to be both safe and effective.”

    Rachel Solomon Williams, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said:

    “With this result, the public has recognised the economic and social benefits that a strong climate and environmental policy programme can deliver for the country. Business leaders, too, have been consistent in calling for a credible plan to deliver emissions reductions and protect nature: they know that this will be vital to place the UK economy on a strong footing for the future, and address the chronic levels of underinvestment that we’ve endured in recent years. They will be looking for the policy signals they need from the new government to drive the investment that can boost prosperity. 

    Rachel added:

    “Now focus must turn to delivery. To meet the ambitious goals that it has set out, and with a clear electoral mandate in support of driving green growth, Sir Keir Starmer’s government must swiftly outline the details of its policy programme and get to work ensuring they are implemented at pace. Businesses and investors are ready and waiting to play their part, but stability and clarity will be critical to enable them to do so. Urgent progress is needed to decarbonise the economy, from power and industry to electric vehicles, while ensuring the UK is a global hub for green finance. We also need to see rapid action to support the restoration of nature. The UK has fallen behind international competition in the race to secure green investment – it is now imperative that the new government acts with urgency to address this and put the economy on a strong footing for the future.”

    TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: 

    “It looks like Labour is heading towards a significant victory.

    “After 14 years of national decline this is a historic opportunity to repair and rebuild Britain. 

    “The trade union movement stands ready to work with this new government to deliver the change working families desperately need.

    “This means tackling the scourge of insecure work and boosting living standards. It means fixing our crumbling public services. And it means reversing over a decade of Torystagnation with a proper plan for growth and industrial revival.

    “It’stime to make Britain work for working people, their families and communities.”

    Professor Peter Fonagy CBE, Chief Executive of Anna Freud, comments on the incoming government’s potential impact on children and young people’s mental health:

    “We welcome the new government and are eager to collaborate with both new and returning MPs to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people throughout the UK. Labour’s campaign included several pledges that, if realised, could significantly improve current services and support systems. This includes increasing mental health support within schools and communities, the introduction of a Teacher Training Entitlement for best practice updates, and measures to address the lengthy waits many currently face for mental health services. 

    “Labour’s promise to reform the Mental Health Act to better respect patient autonomy and reduce inequalities is particularly promising. This is a crucial step towards addressing the overdue needs of individuals with autism and learning difficulties, as well as tackling racial disparities in mental health treatment.  

    “The incoming government has also expressed a commitment to early intervention, which is encouraging, but more detailed policies and a robust strategic approach are needed. As outlined in Anna Freud’s Thinking Differently manifesto, we’re calling for a unified mental health prevention strategy and the establishment of a cross-government task force. This task force would assess the impact of all government policies on the mental health of children and young people, ensuring their voices are heard and actively considered. 

    “It is essential that the Labour Party commits to engaging directly with young people. Their voices must be heard and decisions about them should never be made without them.” 

    Gareth Jones, Managing Director of In-Comm Training, reflects on Labour coming into power and why Apprenticeships need to be front and centre of its approach to skills.

    “To be fair to the Conservatives, they did put apprenticeships back on the map and reignite its credibility among learners, parents and employers.

    “This was no small feat, but now the baton has been passed to Labour to build on this evolution and there have already been some big promises leading up to this election – widening the scope of the Apprenticeship Levy would be a very welcome move for example.

    “Channelling further funding to schools to boost English and Maths standards is the right thing to do. Too often, young people leave without achieving these GCSEs and we have to step in to deliver the functional skills they require to start a pathway into vocational learning. Why should we have to do something in a short period of time that schools haven’t achieved in five years?

    “The future of skills provision will be very interesting under the new Government. In recent years, capital grants and funding have been strategically available for the right projects and the right private sector providers, and this has ensured that access to training is more employer-led, impactful and delivering the skills industry actually requires.

    “This must be maintained, and we can’t go back to the period where money was just given to public-owned universities and colleges.

    “Going forward, Labour’s manifesto states that it will push decisions on skills spend out of Westminster and into local communities to decide what they require, presumably continuing with the theme of devolution.

    “We would welcome this as long as the funding is open to the best providers and organisations and not ringfenced for the few.

    “Industry requires a long-term strategy to build trust and give companies confidence to invest. To have a strong economy we must be making product – I’ve said it for years, yet many companies are dying with their owners choosing to retire rather than succession planning. We want a strong industrial sector with pathways to jobs for all.”

    Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

    “After 14 years of decline, the country has voted for change that must now deliver a new deal for children’s education and for those who work in our schools and colleges.

    “The Government has the opportunity to enter a new era of social partnership working that will deliver the changes needed to make this the best country in the world for children and young people to grow up and be educated. 

    “The last 14 years have been deeply damaging for children and young people as teacher training targets have been missed year after year, and as more and more experienced and qualified teachers have left the profession prematurely.

    “Improving opportunity and outcomes for children and young people requires a national workforce plan that is capable of making teaching the profession of choice once again.

    “Members of the NASUWT are looking to the new Government to listen to their concerns and take the steps needed to secure the world-class conditions of service that our teachers deserve.

    “We look forward to working with the new Government to secure a New Deal that will deliver for teachers and for their pupils.”

    Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

    “Today’s election result represents an important moment not just for the country, but also for schools and school leaders. A change of government means a fresh start and new opportunities.

    “School leaders have been clear about the scale of the crisis facing education and the new government will have a range of pressing priorities as it assumes power. More than anything, I call on this new government to restore education as a national priority.

    “In our manifesto, we identified a range of crises that any incoming government would need to address. These include the current state of SEND provision, the major challenges with recruitment and retention and the dilapidated state of school buildings. Alongside this, there is an urgent need to address the broken accountability system and an ongoing funding crisis.

    “NAHT is a politically independent union. As we have done before, we will continue to provide freely of our expertise to make this parliament a successful one for schools, for children and the communities they support. When we need to speak out for our members, we will continue to do so. Where we think the government needs to go further, we will always speak out – fairly, and with proactive solutions to hand.

    “We stand ready to work with the new government to help ensure that this nation’s children and young people receive the world-class education they richly deserve.”

    Fabienne Bailey, Business Growth and Transformation Director of AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group, said:

    “As an awarding body, we view Labour’s 2024 manifesto with a mix of optimism and caution. Labour’s promises to overhaul the skills system and better integrate further and higher education are ambitious and aim to address many long-standing issues. The creation of Skills England to coordinate between businesses, training providers, unions, and government is a positive step towards a more streamlined approach to skills development. (FE News)​.

    “However, the lack of clarity on how the proposed changes will be implemented raises concerns. For instance, Labour has not detailed how they plan to review the regulation of vocational qualifications, leaving uncertainty about the future of these programs.​ The manifesto also includes plans to transform Further Education colleges into specialist Technical Excellence Colleges and reform the apprenticeship levy, which could bring significant changes to how vocational education and apprenticeships are delivered. (FE News)​​ (The Labour Party)​.

    “While the emphasis on local control and flexibility in funding is encouraging, the specifics of how these policies will be executed remain vague. The potential for policy churn and the need for stability in the sector are critical considerations that Labour must address to avoid repeating past mistakes. Overall, while Labour’s vision is promising, the success of these initiatives will heavily depend on the execution and detailed planning that follows.”

    British Safety Council’s Chairman Peter McGettrick said:

    “After years of political uncertainty and turbulence, the prospect of a more settled and stable political environment in the UK is welcome for businesses and workers alike, and we congratulate Sir Keir Starmer and the Labour Party on their election success. We want to see people’s health, safety and wellbeing at the heart of future economic growth, and we will be looking to Labour to deliver on its promises to improve employment conditions as well as support businesses to succeed and grow.

    “New and emerging technologies not only open up new prospects for greater prosperity and efficiencies, they can also help to protect people and prevent risks, but we must make sure we regulate and govern them well. The new Government must remember that wellbeing is broader than just mental health, and we also want to see more support for training which supports people’s health and safety, while we upskill our workforce so they can make the most of new opportunities. Labour set out positive and imaginative policies in their manifesto on work, technology and growth and we stand ready to work with the new Government for the benefit of people’s health, safety and wellbeing across the UK.”

    Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), said:

    “We look forward to working with the new Government on the key issues affecting our innovation ecosystem and the universities and businesses that power it. We were heartened to see how central research and innovation was in Labour’s manifesto and hope the Government delivers on its promise for ten-year budgets and stability.”

    Marshall concluded: “Innovation should be at the forefront of the Government’s economic plan to recover and should form the base of their new Industrial Strategy. We hope the new Government starts as it means to go on. We need strong and decisive action if we are to be a true competitor in the global research and development market, as well as developing the workforce skills needed for future success.”

    Stuart Wells, Managing Director for Executive Education at Alliance Manchester Business School, said:

    “The Labour Party’s proposed expansion of the Apprenticeship Levy into a ‘Growth and Skills’ Levy is a transformative step towards increasing the flexibility of funding for professional development in England.

    “This policy would allow organisations to use up to 50% of their levy contributions for non-apprenticeship training, aligning England’s training subsidy approach with that of other UK regions and comparable countries.

    “As a business school which aims to foster lifelong learning, we’re pleased that this will benefit aspiring managers and leaders at a more advanced stage of their career. It gives them the opportunity to enhance their capabilities, driving innovation and efficiency within their organisations.

    “This initiative not only bolsters individual career development but also addresses the broader economic and productivity challenges by fostering a skilled and adaptable workforce. By lowering the barriers to advanced training, this policy has the potential to significantly contribute to education advancement and economic growth through accessible and impactful learning opportunities.”

    Dr Katerina Kolyva, CEO of the Education and Training Foundation, said:

    “Following this historic election result, the Further Education (FE) and Skills sector must harness the energy and enthusiasm of a new administration to ensure we can continue to best meet the needs of learners, and our wider society and economy. 

    “Uniting people, ideas, research and best practices from across the sector, ETF will work with the new government and its policy makers to build a sustainable future for FE and Skills, those working within it and the learners who benefit from it. As the new government embraces its mission of ‘change’, we call on ministers and policy makers to prioritise FE and Skills workforce development, including quality initial teacher education and embedding professional status, to equip the sector to deliver high-quality education that develops the skills the nation needs. Our ultimate focus is to foster social mobility and economic prosperity, and to ensure the sector’s continued growth and impact.”

    Michael Lemin, Head of Policy at NCFE, said: 

    “NCFE would like to congratulate Labour on today’s election result. We look forward to working collaboratively with the FE and skills sector to help the new Government shape the detail on their plans for education and skills reform. We believe there is a real opportunity to invigorate the sector and harness the required expertise to develop excellence on this complex area of policy.

    “There are some key decisions that can be made in the short-term that will have an immediate impact, such as pausing the defunding of qualifications before August to ensure all learners can enrol on a programme which supports their progression. There are other pledges that will require a longer period of consideration and engagement to ensure that they deliver the intended outcomes, such as plans for a Skills and Growth Levy and a promised review of curriculum and assessment.

    “Finally, in a time of constrained finance, it is important that the new Government recognises the vital role that skills must play in a prosperous economy, and seeks to protect and invest in a sector that will deliver solid returns in the long term.”

    By Ben Rowland, Chief Executive Officer, AELP

    “This is clearly a historic result for the Labour Party. The size of the majority represents an opportunity to be ambitious in tackling some of the major economic and societal challenges we face, such as low growth and the high number of young people not in employment, education or training.

    The Labour Party has promised to be a mission-led government. Getting skills policy right and improving investment in skills will be necessary to achieve each these missions. We know Labour has ambitious policies for skills such as reform of the levy and Skills England, but it does not have to wait to make positive changes to the skills system. There are small changes that could be made today that would have an immediate impact on economic growth and people’s lives.

    AELP looks forward to working with the next government to make sure that Labour’s skills policy delivers for employers and learners and helps transform this country.” 

    Pepe Di’Iasio, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

    “We’d like to congratulate Labour on their election victory and look forward to working collaboratively with the new government to find solutions to the problems we face in education, on behalf of children and young people. ASCL has worked closely with Labour’s education team and we are optimistic about the future. The many challenges faced by schools and colleges will not disappear overnight, but we are confident that there will be a new spirit of cooperation.

    “Only by working together can we take the steps needed to end child poverty, fix the special educational needs system and ensure schools and colleges have the staff and resources they need to give all children and young people the best possible support. By working in partnership with the profession, Labour has the opportunity to put education at the front and centre of policymaking and we will be doing all we can each and every day to encourage this.”

    Clare Howard OBEChief executive of Natspec, said:

    “I look forward to working with new MPs and ministers on Labour’s manifesto commitments for education. There are also implications for specialist FE relating to commitments on health and social care, and it will be important to emphasise the role of our colleges across different sectors. It is clear that the Labour party values further education and I hope that new ministers take note of what the sector has been saying about the issues that need to be addressed.  

    “There are clear links between specialist colleges and the headline policies such as the introduction of Skills England, devolving more funding to the combined authorities, the commitment to pause and review qualification reform, and promises to increase the workforce in education, health and social care. It is therefore essential that new ministers understand the role that our colleges can play, and I urge them to invest relatively small sums to support it.  

    “For example, there is an urgent need for capital funding to build high quality facilities for students with EHCPs, as specialist colleges have been excluded from investment since 2013, and modest investment into staffing is required to help create effective transitions and partnerships between schools, colleges, employers and care providers.

    “I hope that there can be closer links between the briefs of the ministers for Skills and Children and Families. On skills, specialist colleges are in a unique position to attract investment from employers and contribute to closing the disability employment gap, and our vision for SEND in FE can provide a basis for our work with the new Children and Families Minister. I urge ministers to address some of the serious issues for specialist FE that have emerged as a result of financial pressures on the system, and take note of our published position on what an inclusive FE system looks like.  

    “Working together with the new government, Natspec and its colleges can create a fairer, high quality system for SEND in FE which will equip all young people with the skills, knowledge, behaviours and attitudes to gain and sustain employment, participate in their communities, and live healthily and independently.”

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    1. I’m old enough to remember the euphoria of 1997 (and it was euphoric form me, because all I knew was Thatcherism, at the northern sharp-end).
      This time feels different and not just because I’m no longer a 30 year old new mam. The world is not what it was back then, terrifyingly not.

      One week into the new Government, what’s bringing me a quiet sort of hope is the narrative I see playing out. Time will tell how good intentions translate to sustainable change but I fundamentally believe that how we behave towards one another will shape our future – even our survival. A toxic politics has trickled into our culture. But it can be reversed – if those of us who are sick of it refuse to indulge.

      I’m directing these words respectfully to people on either side of any divide. **Please just stop**. The more of us who can occupy space in the middle of any debate – being awkward, brave and kind, daring to disagree – the more ridiculous the dichotomous few will seem.

      As Margaret Wheatley wrote, the answer is community. No matter what the question. And we all have a part to play in that.