“Propaganda is a soft weapon; hold it in your hands too long, and it will move about like a snake, and strike the other way.” ~ Jean Anouilh
I’m no big fan of the Labour Party. I’d like to be but it’s falling so far short of its potential that its only use to me, at the moment, is in the urgent necessity of applying the brakes, even if only slightly, to the cruel incompetence of the Coalition. The disconnect between Ed’s often quite astute anti-neoliberal rhetoric and his actual policy proposals is infuriating and distressing. He’s failing so miserably to produce a whole narrative that I know exists and so bent on proposing Tory-lite policies like they’re going out of fashion – which, of course they should be – that there are days when I despair for us all.
But Labour did not “crash the car”. Not on its own. Both it and the Conservatives have been sharing the driving for more than three decades. In fact, just about every government in the ‘developed’ world was on the same road at the same time. There was an almighty pile up. That was to be expected, really. Visibility was very bad, the music was lung-poppingly loud, the road was wet, the tyres were worn and everyone was driving with all the recklessness of coked-up, hormone-charged teenagers, with complete disregard for both the Highway Code and all pedestrians. After the crash, no police or vehicle recovery companies came to properly investigate what had happened or to clear away the wreckage but lots of private ambulances showed up and, well, thank goodness for insurance because it included no claims protection as well as automatic vehicle replacement.
Unfortunately Labour seems content and obliged to be the foil that cops for the points on its licence. It’s such a pity because now they’re being told that not only would it be madness to give them the keys back but that they should never be allowed behind the wheel again and that anyway, their Tory co-drivers (with added Liberal Democrat) have decided to outsource for chauffeurs. That way, Tories say, they can be as merry-hell high or as mean-drunk as they like and carry on carrying on blaming anyone and everyone but themselves.
It would be great if Labour said sorry for their party’s mistakes and its complicity in global meltdown and admitted why the last decades have been to the enormous long-term detriment of 99. whatever % of the world but that, curiously, for a party with a supposed reputation for fiscal competence, the Tories, having constructed a narrative of outright scorn for Labour, have yet consciously and happily, adopted and built upon many of the stupid things Labour did on top of those things for which they, too, and the whole neoliberal world are responsible and are still busy doing to a far worse effect.
Labour may not be the sharpest tool in the box and I’m not trying to defend its members but anyone who believes that the Conservative Party (or, by default, the Lib Dems) has any better a clue about finance and the economic health of this country – or is it four countries or three and a bit, now – is deluded, frankly. None of them really knows what the heck they’re talking about. And neither does the Media.
It’s not as if there’s no evidence, either, as a simple online search of, say, “did Labour really crash the economy?” or “how do Tories feel about banking regulation?” or “who’s the most fiscally responsible: Labour or Conservatives?” or perhaps “why did mainstream not see the financial crisis coming?” would amply demonstrate.
Labour is its own worst enemy; it doesn’t have a clue how do itself a favour. The Conservatives, on the other hand…