Just when you think Labour couldn’t be any more two-dimensional in its imagination, centrist dads “are middle-aged men who cannot come to terms with the world and politics changing”. “He’s white, middle-class, wears a leather jacket and probably watches Top Gear on Amazon Prime.”
1) Well, derr, of course they can’t when they can see how risky it is. It is not the changing but the manner of the changing. And 2) Is he, though? Does he, really?
What looks quite funny and almost clever, at first glance, is actually a bit sinister. Corbyn disciples seem to think that any opposition to their ideas for change is opposition to all change. That to advise caution, whether based on experience or evidence is merely to defend the status quo.
Maybe those currently being so casually labelled as centrist dads just do not approve of rebellion that blindly throws out the babies with the bath water. They need to be convinced. This is a reason why they did not all vote for Brexit. This is a reason why variants of “national” and “socialism” raise alarm bells when they keep appearing together. This is why they respond with ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ to the utopian manifestos of populists riding in on fake unicorns.
And by any chance, are those slagging off centrists and conflating them with dinosaurs in a fresh sweep of generalisation the very same people who hated the mainstream until Corbyn declared that his Labour had taken the centre ground and gone mainstream? Isn’t Jeremy a centrist dad, now? Or does having no rhythm, taking pride in his allotment and a love of drain-spotting in an anorak not count? And are these people the very same who rail against the expedient stereotyping and demonising of whole demographics? Why, yes they are.
Not only have they inappropriately neologised an already subjective and relative term but, in so doing, increase divisiveness by a) undermining the tangible cause they have against real ageist/sexist patriarchal condescension in return for indiscriminately insulting reasonable men over some arbitrary age, who cannot object, lest it prove their point in a when did you stop beating your wife sort of way. And b) distorting the substance of party-political arguments through an ever-convoluted defensiveness against people who cannot help but challenge current Labour thinking and do not much rate Jeremy Corbyn – of which, ironically there are many women. Go moderate mums, you still invisible angels…
Perhaps it is easier to imagine that you are on “the right side of history” when you’re hell-bent on reintroducing the past and literally rewriting its meaning.