Labour is United

Labour is united
Despite how much it’s fighting
And says it shares
The same true cares.
So all the double-glazing
I’m watching is amazing,
From sycophants
To fire-worn pants.
At one end, pseudo Tories
The other: Corbynory –
A jumble sale
And broad church fail.
With hubris and projection,
So little self-reflection –
Pert ideologues
In whiny mobs.
The confirmation bias
On which so much relieth –
So stark the split
In consciousness.
But when the leader cometh
They say they must be done with
The value slights
And reunite…

false economies

What is gained and what is lost
When priorities become criss-crossed
And fixed upon a template?
And how much extra is the cost
Such effort takes,
Engraving deeper
Every recognisable mistake?

Laborious

When I first joined Twitter I had a little refrain that went: Conservatives: they con us and serve themselves – Labour: making hard work of everything. I’ve seen many variations on the Tory one over the last three or four years. They are true, though, for both parties have become parodies of themselves, Labour being the most disappointing.

I really wanted to support Labour throughout the whole of the last Parliamentary term and, where possible, I did try but the Party made it so difficult that, in the end, I realised they were unlikely to provide the political answers and vision I was looking for. Though I exerted the majority of my contempt on the Cons because they were the ones in charge, I bashed Labour quite often on this site but, at the same time, I still hoped they would win this General Election because I knew that in a FPTP system, we needed them to, just to be rid of the Tories. Getting rid of the Tories became paramount. It was an odd circumstance, therefore, to ridicule and encourage, to bemoan and support Labour but I knew I couldn’t pretend they’d come good just because I wished they would. There can be a fine line between positive thinking and delusion.

Wishing and needing Labour to be the main governing party was, in the end, then, mostly to provide a brake; a breathing space. I remember writing that, when they won, we wouldn’t be able to relax for long; that we would have to push for the changes we wanted in all matters, from Foreign Policy to Social Justice; from democratic reform to environmental responsibility. I think all but the loyally blind knew this, too. Labour, in its present form, with its prevailing mindset, could only be temporary caretakers – willing facilitators at best – while we created something real and reflective of those who knew we could well do with turning ‘left’.

Like the neo-liberal groupthink of economics that thinks super-strength homeopathic treatment is appropriate when, really, we are in amputation territory, Labour seems intent on reaffirming the very characteristics that so many of its would-be, wanna-be voters have clearly and repeatedly expressed as loathing with a vengeance.

After the Scottish Independence Referendum, when Jim Murphy was installed as the Scottish Labour leader, I laughed and sighed and knew that the Party had learned absolutely nothing from the enduring impact of Thatcher and the negative effects of Blair. Since Ed Miliband resigned, the inevitable wallowing has begun and the Party is doing it again. They keep talking about how they must ‘learn the lessons’ and mustn’t go backwards but they can’t seem to move much beyond 1997. They are as misguided and nostalgic; as uselessly sentimental, in their own way, as Ukip and the Conservatives.

The Party still thinks and speaks of people in terms of top, middle or bottom boxes and of aspiration by categories of economic class. It still thinks of aspiration as something only ‘hard-working families’ possess and still imagines that our individual hopes and dreams are predominantly economically motivated and, when it says, like the Cons, that it is a ‘One Nation’ party, I feel it probably means conformist; homogenised, rather than nuanced and inclusive.

Too many in the Party still think and speak of ‘wealth creation’ and enterprise as being purely Business and Market led and that wealth and ambition are always about status and financial enrichment. They present as though only the poor old squeezed middle has aspiration and as though to lack it, in a recognisable form, is a failing. They think they didn’t win because they failed to talk about it enough… They think too much like the Conservatives and that is the last thing we need: more imitation. It is neither necessary to copy nor does it flatter the people of the country/countries – whichever the heck we are, now.

Aspiration is like growth, devolution, choice, Big Society and British Values – just another nebulous concept noun for nodding dogs that greases the wheels of policy but translates down into a patronising sop and an overly shepherded reality. Besides, not only do many people not wish to live by such intangible, politically arbitrary terms but aspiration is a disingenuous, deeply patronising hopium in a system that is knowingly manufactured as one big Ponzi scheme.

Sadly, the more some Labour folk try to explain what they think ‘went wrong’ and what it needs to become, the harder it is for me to even imagine being able to identify with the Party. I watched Liz Kendall on Sunday with Andrew Neil and I liked her. She seemed authentic and resonant, enough that I even thought I might want to give her more time of day. Afterwards, I came across a couple of articles that proclaimed her Blairite credentials which I had not recognised at all from her interview. I sighed. Again. She was going to be too far left of Blair’s, Mandelson’s or elder Miliband’s ‘centre’. Oh, they’ll choose Chuka Umunna, I mused. They’ll never let her lead. And I wondered if I would have liked her sufficiently to want her to and if I’d even get the chance to genuinely find out. How cynical…

Oh, where does all the money go?

Oh, where does all the money go?
Coz where it’s needed, it don’t flow

The Greedies eat it, don’t cha know

We seed, they mow
We bleed, they feed
We serve, they crow
And holy Horus, don’t it show!

Observe how fat the buggers grow
With everybody else’s dough.

One, two, three, four, five

One, two, three, four, five.
Once I bought dodgy advice
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then saw so had all my friends
Why did you bother, so?
The Law is soft on those with dough.
Which Law has eased this might?
Whatever he says on my Right.

One, two, three, four, five.
Once I sought to cheat to thrive
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then my luck began to end
Why did your luck run out?
Because we’d always leased our clout.
What clout is that then mate?
The one that operates the State.

One, two, three, four, five.
Once is fooled but not so twice
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
We must turn the tables then.
How shall the temple fall?
Its altar has outgrown the walls.
Cometh the hour, lends
A new beginning in its end.

 

#pmqs in blue

Jeering
Sneering
Relying on his peers
To mock with a crock load
Of bull between his ears
He avoids
He evades
With an unalloyed contempt
For the offices of service
He’s supposed to represent
He parades
And he trades
Asymmetrical tirades
To deflect the criticism
That his leadership has risen
Go compare
Look over there
Is his default ammunition
Having little substance other
Than the relativist’s cover
No contrition
No humility
Devoid of the ability
Preferring the MO
Of I don’t know
I don’t recall
It wasn’t spoken of at all
And where were you
What did you do
Because we’ve only had five years
And I’ve been servicing the gears
Just ask my donors
They’ll attest
That I work hard for them the best
And stop your moaning
About how I’ve sunk the country
Into terminal distress
Because my cronies love
My monumental mess.

 

“It’s time Britain had a pay rise”

“It’s time Britain had a pay rise”
cries the latest copied in haste
and pasted neocon fix to this
interminably
long-term economic plan.
Look! There it is!
Away and over the horizon
hence why
no serf can perceive it
and no self-serve business man
will voluntarily conceive it
more than meaninglessly
light request and clear
electioneering scam.