Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Anarchy in the Labour Party

From reading the headlines, you'd think the  battle for the soul of the Labour party was being fought between moderates * and the far left.**  Judged by their sound-bites, though, most of the self-described moderates are starting to sound a lot more like anarchists. Not anarchists in any sense that Proudhon, Bakunin, or Kropotkin would have understood, but anarchists as memorably defined by the Sex Pistols:
I am an anarchist,
Don't know what I want
But I know how to get it
The Corbynites' Unique Selling point, it seems to me, is that they know what they want, unlike their opponents, who seem to stand, if anything, for some vague and almost imperceptibly less harsh version of the status quo, with the odd tweak to conform the media barons' current interpretation of what public opinion ought to look like.

The moderates' USP is that, although they may not know what they want, they know how to get it - by winning elections. Even here, though, there's an anarchic lack of clarity - Tony Blair might reasonably claim to have some experience of winning elections, but Neil Kinnock ... Gordon Brown?*** Pull the other one.

Their other USP is that the moderates are - also in some vague, undefined way - more 'modern.'  But guys, we're seven years on from the defining political event of our generation, the Great Crash of 2008. You've had seven years to come up with a clear alternative to a status quo that's obviously broken. You can't carry on claiming to be the ones with all the fresh new ideas if you still can't come up with anything more convincing than a watered-down version of the swivel-eyed Tory conspiracy theory that the official version of 2008 was a cover-up, with Lehman brothers, RBS and all the the other high rollers taking the rap for a global crash that was really a false flag operation, designed to fool the sheeple and cunningly engineered by uk.gov, with its reckless overspending on sure start centres, libraries and suchlike Babylonian excesses.

The allegation that the Corbynites are out-of-date dinosaurs would be more convincing if the alligators looked less like a bunch of sold-out, ageing punks trying to make a few quid by having their photographs taken with the Leicester Square tourists.

*'Moderate' here seems to be the Westminster Bubblespeak word for 'a wee bit to the right of the pre-Thatcher Conservative Party.'

**The best translation I've see of the Bubblespeak phrase 'Far left' is 'a fairly moderate Nordic/European centre-left social democratic menu' by Alex Dawson, who goes on to reflect that 'Only in this hysterical country would we allow that to be painted as communism.' (fair comment, apart from that 'only' which ignores the American right's endless blather about Obama being a communist, when he's not too busy juggling his other multiple identities as an un-American, gay-loving Muslim atheist).

*** Maybe this is over-generous to Blair and unfair to Brown, in the sense that political fortunes are probably less about having that special leadership sauce than about an opaque mixture of judgement and dumb luck - Brown's fate was sealed by failing to call a snap general election he could have won, then being in the wrong place at the wrong time - big time - in 2008.
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Photo credit


Anonymous said...

The trouble is that most people believe the austerity myth and they are never going to hear an alternate analysis from the MSM.I watched a Channel 4 correspondent interviewing people waiting to see Jeremy Corben express scornful disbelief when somebody pointed out that the majority of voters wanted to re-nationalise the railways.Apparently oblivious to the fact that several polls have shown 80% in favour even Tory voters are 50-50 on it.Nobody,unfortunately,is going to be able to compete against this