Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A wail from the darkness

Maybe because it 1a.m. and I can't sleep, but thinking about the travails of the British Labour Party, I'm almost in despair. The whole situation is such an Augean stables scale mess. It is actually - if we're honest - impossible to really blame anyone for it.

If you wanted to be unfair, you could blame Corbyn for it. But he didn't really want to be leader and I doubt he does. But he's caught in a trap, because he is leader, and he is going to be the last even vaguely left wing leader elected for a very long time. There won't be any more sympathy votes from the PLP to broaden the debate. They might be useless coup-ers, but they aren't stupid enough to fall for that again. So he has to cling on, until ... Well, I doubt he knows what his end game is any more.

If you wanted to be unfair, you could blame the PLP for it. After all, they made Corbynism happen, by being so utterly useless and unappealing and at odds with their membership that said members voted en masse for the Monster Raving Loony candidate. And for being so stupid as to turn this into a desperate fight to the death between the wings of the party. Aren't Blairite's meant to be the great compromisers and triangulators? Couldn't they have finessed a better solution than the current mother-of-all-messes? Can anyone actually conceive of a bigger mess?

You could, if you wanted to be unfair, blame the unions. But the unions are in an insane position. Traditionally they have been on the right of the party. Earnest Bevin was a union man and he was one of the right wing voices in Attlee's government. But the Labour party - which is meant to be their party - has drifted so far to the right that they find themselves ideologically supporting the furthest left (though not, in fact, very far left) Labour leader in recent history.

If you wanted to be unfair, you could blame the membership, for being so ridiculous as to vote for Corbyn. But can you blame them, after Blair, after Brown, after Milliband, and alongside Burnham, Cooper and Kendall? After decades of slimily polished Oxbridge nabobs who had never had a job that wasn't Politics and who had their careers and their slithery route up the ladder planned from BEFORE THEY WERE CONCEIVED, can you blame them for voting for someone who profoundly wasn't like that?

If you wanted to be unfair, you could probably blame the media, for being hysterical and partisan and rubbish; but that is like blaming water for being wet or fire for being hot. It is just in their nature. They are always going to scheme up a good story if they can. If it happens to bear some slight resemblance to something that might - if you squint at it - resemble the truth, that is a bonus, but hardly a pre-requisite. From their point of view, it would be a waste of a good boot if it wasn't being used to kick someone.

So, I blame you all, individually, 100% responsibility to each of you. It is entirely your fault, each of all five of you. Because 500% blame is the least this big a mess warrants.

I suppose the next step might be to stop worrying about blame and start trying to imagine a solution ... But can anyone conceive what that would look like?

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