Friday, 23 September 2016
Labour Will Die Tomorrow Lunchtime
Indulge me just for a moment and let us together go on a short flight of fancy and imagine that we are all wrong about tomorrow's Labour leadership election result and that Owen Smith has pulled off a shock of the sort of proportions not seen since last year's leadership election and won it. Oh how the moderates would high five one another. But then what?
Well then they would look at Owen Smith and.....oh shit! They would find they have someone even more flimsy and unimpressive than Wallace leading them. Still at least he would be their useless and unprincipled shyster. A huge improvement.
Smith's USP for this election seems to have been that he doesn't disagree with Chauncey about policy. But he would be a better leader. Run that by me again? You, a sometime Blairite, now a dyed in the wool lefty but not quite so much of a zealot. A kind of moderate lefty, a socialist lite offer greater leadership?
Say what you like about Chauncey but you cannot fault him when it comes to consistency. He is still holding the same vacuous, absurd positions on more or less everything that he was when he first started obsessing about politics back in the 1970s. He is the anti Blair, the anti politician. He is the sort of politician that people say they want until they realise that this is what he looks like when they get him. Unfortunately the polar opposite of Chauncey seems to be Owen Smith, a man who says he agrees completely with Chauncey about everything, but would do so looking smarter and would be firmer about it.
We are currently engaged in open mouthed wonderment on this side of the Atlantic at the depravities and inanities of the American Presidential election. How is it that the two parties in America ended up with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? But this is is our own party of opposition and it cannot remove someone as deranged, facile and bovine (even for a vegetarian) as Chauncey, a man who cannot even answer a question about biscuits without sounding like a new puritan bore.
Where does Labour go from here? Where can it go? Chauncey will sweep all before him and entrench power. His opponents have shot their bolt. What can they do? Where can they go?
Do they go back to his shadow cabinet? They came up with the brilliant ruse that shadow cabinet positions should be elected by the PLP, but Chauncey looks to have seen that one off. So do they go back anyway? Do they serve at his pleasure? If they do, how do they answer the question that will be asked of them endlessly all the way to the next election: do you consider a man you resigned from serving under as fit to be our prime minister? How so?
Alternatively do they stay on the backbenches and mutter and chunter away in the background until they find another excuse to depose him? What happens if he refuses to go again?
In truth this is a leader who is useless and delusional at the head of a party that is deranged and has been taken over by entryists and trots. But those who call themselves moderates are little better. They consider themselves to be the progressives and the true standard bearers of the left. Yet they have lost touch with Labour voters just as surely as the middle class metropolitans who have flocked to Chauncey's banner have lost touch with them, if indeed they were ever in touch. Labour is a party that doesn't know what it is for anymore and that represents only themselves and their narrow mindset. Chauncey and his fans are talking to themselves and imagining that they are part of some new and exciting mass movement. The moderates are talking to themselves just as they have always done and ignoring the views of the people whose votes they always complacently relied upon until those voters decamped to the SNP and Ukip and even to the Tories.
Just imagine what might have happened if only someone truly inspiring and bold and forthright had taken on Chauncey these last couple of months. Just imagine if someone had told him that he is a hopeless and hapless figure who is a career politician, the accidental leader, a man stuck in the 1980s and seemingly determined to continue his selfish and self indulgent path to disaster. He has spent a career rebelling against his own party only to now demand fealty and allegiance from those who disagree with him. Just imagine if someone had laid into his teenage politics, his appeasement of our enemies, his sorry and pathetic excuses for his terrorist friends and dictator friends. Just imagine if someone had laid into this silly little man who is not sufficiently organised to get himself a decent suit and tie. He could have bought several from Savile Row just with the money he has earned from working for Iranian television or Russian television.
This is a pathetic excuse for a politician, a man who thinks that looking and sounding authentic is to wear brown, grow a beard and talk softly of how awful it is that people are rude about him. A man who is as banal as his clothing and talks in slogans and passive aggressive language dressed up in a mellow demeanour. He hates his own country and is on the side of all of its enemies. Our enemies are his friends.
There are many people within the ranks of the parliamentary Labour Party who have aspirations to be leader, but who did not have the balls to take on a man they consider to be useless. Why is that? It certainly cannot be loyalty. If only one of them could have stepped up rather than leave it to little Owen Smith or indeed to Angela Eagle then perhaps Labour could have been saved from itself. Anyone with an ounce of charisma and gravitas would have seen him off, but Labour has nobody. So now there is simply no hope for it. Whatever happens it is hopelessly compromised and unelectable. Its best and only hope is that Theresa May calls an early election and puts it out of its misery.
Labour will die tomorrow lunchtime when Chauncey is named leader again. It will die whatever happens. If his parliamentary colleagues continue to refuse to work under him as they must in good conscience do, then it will die. If they do what this blog has been recommending they do and create a mini constitutional crisis by mounting a parliamentary coup against him and thus deny him the votes to be leader of the opposition, then it will die. If they continue their war of attrition by other means, then it will die. And if they grumpily agree to serve under him until the next time they find an excuse to resign, then the nation will fall about with laughter at their stupidity. And then the Labour Party will die.
There is no honourable, respectable or reasonable outcome. Labour is dying. It has been dying for some time because it no longer knows what it is for. It turns out that this is probably what it is for.