|"If you don't vote for Corbyn, you're a TORY SCUM""|
I've paid more attention to the Labour leadership contest than perhaps I should. Not because it's unimportant but because (given I've no vote in the matter) it isn't something I can influence. Still it's a fascinating episode in our political history - we're watching one of the UK's dominant parties split into two factions that are, to be mild, aren't getting on together very well.
As an outsider I can only observe that the moderate wing of the Labour Party is experiencing what those of us who really are Tories have experienced for decades - a seemingly unstoppable tirade of, often childish and seldom intelligent, abuse. Those chants of "Tory scum, here we come" still echo and we smile as we watch uncompromising left-wingers applying the term 'Tory' to anyone who is slightly to the right of Dennis Skinner - I'm sure that none of us ever expected people like Harriet Harman, Gordon Brown and Neil Kinnock to attract that epithet.
At the moment the focus is on the fact that these abusive left-wingers are 'Corbyn supporters' making their relentless offence on Labour's mainstream part of that campaign, a sort of pressure on MPs, councillors and others seen as representatives of the Party. The message is consistent - you're not properly committed to 'change' or 'progressive politics' unless you publicly come out in support of Jeremy Corbyn. And this cavalcade of baseless personal attack is accompanied by those very same supporters posting Corbyn's repeated claim that he "doesn't do abuse". Truth is that Corbyn doesn't have to do personal attacks, character assassination and trolling of Labour members who don't support him because he has an army of unpleasant folk who will do that work for him.
And these extremists don't just stop at abuse they extend this to a direct threat:
She revealed that one Labour councillor, who she declined to name, had been threatened with deselection for supporting her. “You cannot have people being threatened because they have different views or support different candidates. That is unacceptable,” she said.
When someone as dependably left-of-centre as Karl Turner gets this treatment you know that the Party has a problem. And it's a problem that won't go away once the leadership question is settled - too much insult, vitriol and threat has been thrown about (overwhelmingly by the hard left supporters of Corbyn) for the wounds to heal easily. Are those Corbyn supporters currently directing abuse at a councillor who has come out in support of another leadership candidate going to turn out in the rain to deliver his leaflets, knock on doors and make the case for someone they think is a Tory?
The sad fact in all this is that, as a real Tory for forty years, I understand entirely how the left behaves - the lunatic fringe is violent, vulgar, aggressive, judgemental and bigoted and the rest of the left smile benignly at all this as they secretly punch the air at this sort of quote:
No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.
Those same Labour supporters who downloaded 'The Witch is Dead" when Margaret Thatcher died are now getting upset because some more-left-wing-than-thou comrades as spewing the same insulted in their direction. The left indulges its aggressive, violent bigots but now the campaign is inside the Labour Party those same people who used to polish their anti-Tory credentials by quoting Nye Bevan or Clement Attlee find themselves attacked as 'Tories'. As I wrote a while back:
You see Nye Bevan was wrong. Comprehensively wrong about almost everything. But this did not matter as this man could wallow in ignorance and bigotry, could opt for the insult above the evidence and could paint his opponents as evil. And his Party loved him for it. Loved him for his insults, for his uncompromising hatred of not just the Conservative Party but of Conservatives.
Men like Bevan set the tone for the manner in which Socialists debate - not just the 'lower then vermin' gibe but the genesis for "Tory scum, here we come". All this ferocious insult mixed in with hyperbolic predictions of gloom and despondency - or what the layman might term "outright lies".
The aggression, the insults, the damning caricatures - all these things cover up the fact that the far left's agenda is an agenda of despair and, as we know from Russia, from Cuba, from Venezuela, from any number of African countries, a recipe for poverty, economic chaos and oppression. The far left sanctifies racist murderers like Che Guevara, idolises terrorist apologists like Sinn Fein, and defines its position on the basis of hating Conservatives. And proposes state confiscation of private property accompanied by the economics of the madhouse - price controls, protectionism, high taxes on investment and the effective hounding out of anyone brave enough to try and create new value or new wealth.
Those Labour moderates with their head in their hands dreading the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn leadership need to remember that it is their indulging of the nasty, bigoted far left that made it possible. Whether its laughing at Dennis Skinner's snippy little comments or hosting Cuba solidarity events, the moderate left failed to remove the nasty cancer of extreme socialism. Now those moderates see the far left for what it is - extremely unpleasant. As a Tory, I've known this for forty years. Welcome to the club.