Labour is, at least, a doorway to better alternatives

Jeremy Corbyn is having a pretty good campaign. Of course, this is the bit he does best so I imagine that, for all that I have criticised Jeremy Corbyn, I shall continue to do so. Still, he and his party have much reason to be pleased with this interactive media performance and the national resonance with his general narrative. Away from his truly dreadful social media fan base, his campaign has been warm, sporting, humorous, relevant and refreshing. It’s good to see some unapologetic confidence without the arrogance of the Tory disposition.

I haven’t changed my mind about what I like and don’t like about him and his team but I still hope for a Labour government. I’m really angry about his lacklustre EU referendum campaign effort and his blind alignment with the government. I worry about his ‘pacifist’ record: I wonder who he would confront and how far he would appease in international matters. I really dislike his us and them-framed punishment populism. I have a natural suspicion of all utopianists. I think there are some massive flaws in some his socio-economic intentions. I’d be anxious about his dithering managerial style and some of the people and advice with which he surrounds himself. But. But, but, but

I could live with Corbyn as the PM (for little while, anyway) because, 1) this binary choice is relative, isn’t it? And Theresa May is having a laugh: she makes Jeremy Corbyn look almost statesmanlike, let alone competent. And 2) as him winning would take a miracle in the first place, I am reassured that his administration would be tempered by the parliamentary make-up of other parties’ numbers.

What Conservatives like to describe as a “coalition of chaos” looks, to me, like several parties who, potentially, have much more in common than divides them. I’d much rather a potentially malleable Labour minority government, bolstered by a load of softBrexit/remainer parties than Theresa May’s Cons.

And if this miracle does not come to pass? I would hope for a hung parliament in which every party but Conservative/UKIP held the weight. Failing that, then May being returned with the smallest possible majority and facing a mighty, multiparty opposition.

As regular readers know, I hate Brexit and I can’t stand this tory government. They also know that, contrary to what’s being framed as popular opinion, I think that having a second referendum reflects my personal sovereignty and is a democratic right. Things I thought Brexit said it wanted more of.

I’m in the south-west and I shall be voting Liberal Democrat – even though I dislike the candidate – because I’m a remainer, wanting a second referendum and it is the best, probably only way that I can do my bit to rid a marginal seat of a Con man, whom I like, even less. If I lived in a different marginal, I’d vote for any party except UKIP that stood the best chance of defeating the Conservatives.

All domestic agendas are hopium until the shape of Brexit is known and in effect. Tories and right-wing press pretending otherwise is insulting and irresponsible and, for all the infuriating muddle-headedness of Labour, at least, even if Corbyn is indifferent, his Brexit team does seem to get the complexity and the potential for harm in a Toryfied deal/no deal.

Anyway, we can’t achieve or sustain a strong economy with an insecure, impoverished, paranoid and divided population and May would continue to inflict damage on the country whether Brexit was happening or not. She and her party have to go. Labour is, now, at least a doorway to better alternatives.

 

Ergot ergo…

Greased slopes
Long rope
Peak poise: ergot
And enough is enough, right?
Vote human, not bot.

 

Nuance of a hinge

Muse:
The hallowed husk
Of platitudes
The crucible
Of old disquieting views

Political androids
Source of Good News
Pop-ups
Say one; mean two
Speak
Easy nothing

She is emptiness
A husk of blue
Playing truthiness
He is too full of know-it red
A work of doubt
In progress

Choose your equivocating quicksand:
Badly programmed robot
Human hologram

Brexit Bull

”We just don’t know,” said Brexit Bull
”Our heads are with fantasy, already full.
Experts and facts to the back of the queue
We’re busy with wishing and making that do.
We’ve got ifs in derivatives; hedges in coulds
And a spitfiery spirit you can’t overlook.
We are pedlars in miracles and magic beans;
We spin rich over-egging and push mighty memes.
We add garnish and condiments, relish and dread
To our circus and clarion (bring your own bread).
We’re the Bulldogs of Blighty who know what we want:
Passports that honi soit qui à bordeaux pense.
We want rid of the regs that endorse workers’ rights
And to loosen the standards that dignify life.
We’ll trade anything, anywhere, any old how
And swear we’re putting Great back in Britain now
We’ll screw everything, everywhere, for everyone
And declare it is you in control of what comes.”

Post-mortem

Post-truth
Post-expert
Post-nuance
Post-fact
Post-mortem
Post-route map
Post-context
Post-democrat
Post-trust
Post-logic
Post-expat
Post-welcome mat
Post-satire
Post-hoc
Post-optics
Post-thermostat

Papasaurus

Dinosaurs did not fall off
When Earth stopped being flat
As Papa built a modern model
Taking care of that

With pockets full of fogeys and
A briefcase packed with bogeymen
He scaffolded an abstract shelf
From which to make pretend

He ironed out the irksome bits
Where people creased his politics
And starched the floppy profiteers
‘Til stiff for TINA’s private bits

He dressed himself progressive
And he groomed himself designed
To make his platitudes and actions
Seem ahead of evidence and time

He said we’re doing all we can
To mitigate the state that drifts
Into potential evolution
With some minds that do not shift

His groupthink roamed the thinning crust
Insisting this and that on trust
As creatures due extinction do
Deny their own entropic thrust

What works is not what works, he said
What doesn’t work is under threat
What works is not what works, he said
My order lives though it be dead

The “Compassionate” Con

Why do the Tories have to insist, so profusely, that they are “compassionate”? They’ve recently started slipping it in and tacking it on again, at every opportunity. It’s as though they suddenly think we might need reminding. Or they are doing that positive affirmation thing in order to convince themselves. As though conservatism and compassion were not natural bedfellows…

OED: “Compassionate: Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or        misfortunes of others.Middle English: via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin compassio(n-), from compati ‘suffer with’.

Passion from Old English:
The word passion comes via Old French from Latin pati ‘to suffer’. The Passion refers to the suffering of Jesus Christ. The sexual sense dates from the late 16th century. Passionate in late Middle English included the senses ‘easily moved to passion’ and ‘enraged’. Passive (Late Middle English) comes from the same root, from the sense of ‘being acted upon’, and compassion (Middle English) is literally ‘suffering with’ someone, while compatible (Late Middle English) comes from the Latin for ‘fit to suffer with’.”

Fancy a political ‘One Nation‘ party actually having to qualify ‘Conservative’ with ‘Compassionate’ just to reassure and soften its image! How ridiculous is that! And how sad. They’ll be telling us it’s a ‘British value‘ next.

And how insultingly patronising is the term “Compassionate Conservatism”? What is it saying? “Oh, we feel really sorry for you”? – “There, there, Daddy will take of you”? – “We feel your pain and anger and we understand”? – “We suffer with you”? – “We’re all in it together”?

By the way: “The root of suffer, is Latin sufferre, from sub- ‘from below, under’ and ferre ‘to bear’. As well as ‘to undergo or endure’, it can mean ‘to tolerate’, and this is the sense you are using when you say that someone does not suffer fools gladly. The expression is biblical, from the second Epistle to the Corinthians: ‘For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.’” – OED

“We suffer you” – that’s the one, isn’t it? They believe We, the People, are the fools that they, being better than us, can afford to – are fit to – accommodate. We are tolerated. Just about.

Of course, there are individual Conservatives who demonstrate sincere compassion; empathy, even but, as a collective; as a political party, they certainly do not. The Cons aren’t compassionate towards us beyond the expedient lip service of self-preservation. And, as for suffering with us: well, that’s almost funny.