Labour’s pitiful hysteria can be seen from Space. The not-Corbyn Labour leadership candidates have managed to turn a bad workman always blames his tools into a delicious, idiomatic dish of self-reflecting irony. They’re all running around like headless chickens, blaming everyone and everything but themselves. How Tory. Speaking of which: did you read Tony Blair’s tragi-comedy in ‘The Guardian’, where, with melodramatic language, he pleads and threatens like a professional ham and metaphorically wrings his grubby hands? It’s outstanding.
It’s a wonder, to me, frankly, that Jeremy hasn’t left Labour and become an independent or joined the Greens. What a confused and indignant bunch the other candidates are. A piece appeared in ‘The Mirror’ on Wednesday, about how Burnham, Cooper and Kendall suspect that Corbyn is getting access to registration data before them (his team says not). They assume this is giving him campaign targeting advantage. “That means they’ll have to wait until almost half way through the election before they can start pitching to would-be voters,” the paper explained. Whereas Jeremy Corbyn just pitches to all who would listen. Anyway, it would seem that the creaking Labour machine has still managed to ban Mark Steel (and Ken Loach!) from voting because he “doesn’t support their values”. Mark Steel, for goodness’ sake! So the fact that Mark Steel thinks he can support the values of Jeremy Corbyn, sufficient for a renewed hope in Labour, enough to bother registering, makes him undesirable? Labour is clearly determined to lose any advantage offered to it. The Party has lost the plot, big time.
What fools Burnham, Cooper and Kendall are if they think that this spoilt brat behaviour will ingratiate them to anyone but those who already support them. The not-Corbyns have already proved that they are socio-economically inept (that doesn’t mean Jeremy has no blind spots; he does) and now they demonstrate this dreadful sportsmanship and expect no one to notice how much they lack the necessary leadership qualities (I don’t know if Corbyn has many but I don’t think he can have fewer). What bad form, though. And fancy boasting that you represent a ‘one-nation party’ and then having a hissy fit because you need a list of voters to lobby. Imagine one of them or their teams purposefully and directly haranguing you…
There’s Yvette who thinks public ownership is modelled on British Leyland and whose manner is suited more to the patronising receptionist in a company that depends upon outward sincerity while not letting anyone past her desk. There’s Andy who wants to be everyone’s friend, likes to keep his principles in storage and should probably have been a football journalist. And there’s Liz who is gutsy but defensive of her Conservative twitches even as she bemoans ‘preservation societies’ and whose capacity to repeat a complete lack of substance is remarkable.
As you know, I’ve struggled to support Labour and I’m not full-on for Corbyn but no one else stepped up so it’s him or a right-wing clone. Burnham, Cooper and Kendall just aren’t credible and they seem to neither understand nor really want to know why. And that’s worse than them not caring because their recalcitrant groupthink is exactly what poor old Corbyn, if/when he wins, will have to face on both sides of the House. Both sides of the House… I’m just hoping, regardless of the outcome, that all citizens will have the opportunity to engage in the debate that he is enabling because I believe, if space is given for rational, productive arguments, this will shift the centre back to somewhere near an actual, recognisable middle. The state and challenges these isles face – and the rest of the world – are way bigger and far more urgent than this silly, confused, imploding party can comprehend.
Incidentally, if progress and prosperity depend upon correcting the most awful mistakes of the past forty years, then is it really ‘going backwards’? Hardly. Still, this is what detachment, complacency and a sense of entitlement can do to your mass-produced, vacuum-packed politician.