Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Labour Party may be dead. All the noise and flag-waving means we haven't yet noticed.

The Labour Party

Part of me wants to crack open the champagne, let off party poppers and party the night away - after all I'm a Conservative. The rest is just a little more circumspect. The Labour Party - one of Britain's two great parties - has taken collective leave of its senses and set itself on the path to oblivion. And so long as it proceeds zombie-like to lurch across the land there's no room for a sensible, intelligent left-of-centre opposition to the current Conservative majority government.

Perhaps I'm wrong about this. Maybe Jeremy Corbyn will show himself to be a pragmatic, responsive politician able to bridge the gap between the worried public sector workers and students who've elected him and the bedrock of labour support. But Corbyn's record over a lifetime of political activism doesn't indicate that this is very likely. We're going to get opposition based solely on the politics of protest and the championing of the Left's unique sense of moral entitlement.

Corbyn is the man who signed a motion that said this:

"Humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet and [we look] forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the earth and wipes them out, thus giving nature the opportunity to start again"

More than the fraternising with terrorists and murders, more than the knee-jerk anti-Americanism, more than the hugging of communist dictators in attractive and warm South American countries this little quote sums us the utter childishness of Corbyn's politics. For this man it's not a serious business of try to manage a complex system of government so as to better the lives of ordinary folk, rather its a long march to an infantile socialist paradise. And we know the cost of these marches - they take us tramping to penury and oppression than striding, as if in some Soviet poster, into a future of freedom and wealth.

Strong opposition isn't about taking to the streets. It's not about direct action or strikes or signing endless petitions calling for something or other to happen or not happen. Strong opposition isn't about unyielding adherence to a line even when it's clear that line means nothing and does nothing to get closer to government. Good opposition is about holding the government to account - debating and questioning its policies, amending and adapting its bills, and above all setting out a credible and believable agenda for government.

However much I try, I can see none of this good opposition in Jeremy Corbyn. All we see is posture, flag-waving, an echo chamber of left-wing indulgence, and the complete refusal to engage even slightly with the concerns of the British public. This may seem like a revolution to starry-eyed students and like revenge to a bunch of old trots and useful idiots but it's actually a stake rammed through the heart of the Labour Party.

And for all my smiles at the prospect of another ten years of Tory government, I can't help but feel sorry for those good people on the centre-left of British politics who've seen their Party taken away from them by the very forces of reaction that tried to destroy it thirty years ago. As a very good friend posted:

I am taking a break from Facebook. After 34 years as an active labour member and 36 years as a labour supporter and voter I can't watch an old friend commit political suicide.


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