Open Tribe

Open Tribe

Jul 2014

This book discusses the possibilities that would be opened up to the Left if it could combine the values of solidarity and belonging with curiosity and openness towards difference.


As markets become global and social welfare is cut back, many people feel exposed and vulnerable. Too often the response is to become defensive, to turn inwards, to look for comfort in ‘people like us’ – both on the left and the right. Sue Goss argues that the left can only flourish if it is open to difference and new ideas, and that this is possible while also retaining a necessary sense of belonging and solidairty.

Goss has discussed how to think about change in a series of conversations with politicians, academics, campaigners and thinkers. The book draws on these conversations to explore the worlds of politics, work, community and the state. Some powerful themes emerge across each discussion – about the ‘battle for the human’ – a different way of looking at ourselves and at each other – and a set of shared values from which to challenge and rethink all our social and economic institutions.

Open Tribe interviews - original footage:
Introduction by Sue Goss
Interview with Sue Goss and Hilary Cottam
Interview with Sue Goss and Jon Cruddas MP
Interview with Sue Goss and Ruth Lister
Interview with Sue Goss and Professor Francesca Klug
Interview with Sue Goss and Natalie Bennett
Interview with Sue Goss and Baron Victor Adebowale
Interview with Sue Goss and Lisa Nandy

Chapter 1 – The Open Tribe - FREE CHAPTER
Chapter 2 – What are we like?
Chapter 3 – Why is politics so childish?
Chapter 4 – On the side of the people not the machine
Chapter 5 – Can the state love?
Chapter 6 – Already on the journey
Chapter 7 – ‘We are the 99%’

‘We all have something that drives us to be political, but we will be held back if we are not open to connections with others, and what drives them. Hence the idea of the open tribe. Sue Goss’s insightful book takes us into the future of a politics that might actually work.’

Neal Lawson

‘This wonderful book is true to the conversations that inspired it. Sue Goss takes us with her on an exhilarating journey as she explores a politics of generosity and openness. In doing so, she underlines the importance of curiosity and listening to democratic citizenship.’

Baroness Ruth Lister

‘This is a book for our times.’

‘Sue Goss asks fundamental questions about what humans need.’

‘her book raises thought provoking questions. Her aim is to create a society that is tolerant and respectful of opposing views.’

Pat Bowker, NW Labour History Journal