Monday, 13 February 2017
Labour's Annual Leadership Election
And they're off. Again. It's now official: Labour has become so pointless, so irrelevant, so ineffectual and risible that it is reduced to having an annual leadership contest in order to get people to talk about it.
Last week Chauncey accused the BBC of peddling fake news with regard to the story that he is planning on standing down in time for the next general election, assuming that it does not happen imminently. This weekend the papers were full of the same story once again. Labour is planning its succession we are told.
And who are the luminaries who will shortly inspire the country to elect Labour once again? Brace yourself. They are Rebecca Long-Bailey, Clive Lewis, Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer, all of whom have, since they became the great young hopes of their party, been exposed as being preening half wits without the intellect to answer a few questions from MPs or TV interviewers let alone drag Labour from its current state of near obsolescence. Is this really the best that the party of Wilson, Callaghan, Healey, Attlee, Foot, Benn, Smith, Bevan or even Tony Blair has come to?
When it lost power in 1979, Labour went through various leaders before it became even half electable again under first John Smith and then eventually Tony Blair. Since it lost power in 2010 it has had Wallace and now Chauncey. It is actually going backwards. Wallace was marginally better than Michael Foot was in the early 80s on account of fitting a suit better. In most other respects he was not fit to lace Foot's shoelaces, even if they were both equally wrong about almost everything. Chauncey is however a country mile worse than even Neil Kinnock. But from Chauncey they should next be electing as leader a figure as estimable as John Smith if they are ever to recover. Instead they are contemplating such political colossuses as Ms Long-Bailey and Clive Lewis, the supposed front runner, who makes vain little Chuka Umunna look like Gladstone. Then again they have at least concluded that it isn't Diane Abbott's turn to lead the party after her fine exhibition of half principles last week including a diplomatic headache at one point followed by a sullen vote for Article 50 when she couldn't think of an excuse the second time.
David Davies went to sarcastically kiss her in thanks after the vote only to be told to fuck off by the moody Ms Abbott who, like most lefties, is a sore loser with no sense of humour on such occasions. Yet we have all been made to laugh over the weekend as Mr Davies has been accused of being sexist for saying he didn't want to kiss her anyway. He didn't say why but we may infer that he thinks she's fat and ugly, which she undoubtedly is. Why has it become sexist to not want to kiss someone we don't find attractive? She is unattractive both physically but more importantly intellectually. Her pious hypocrisy makes her repellent. But her being a minger doesn't help either.
There are very many good and decent Labour MPs who have sound instincts and who genuinely want to make the world a better place. But Labour as a party is out of touch with the people it used to represent. Instead it represents the Chaunceys and the Abbotts of this world, the Lewis tendency, the Long Bailey one too. They think that they are 'progressive' just because they cling to an outdated view of the world that their own constituents don't share. Chauncey and co are just a more extreme version of a long term disconnect with the views and aspirations of ordinary working class people who don't have much money, work hard at jobs they don't enjoy and who are frustrated or even furious at a political class who obsess over issues like climate change, gay marriage and the urgent need for transgender rights and who, until recently, called anyone who questioned the need for such high levels of immigration racist. They wonder why it is that their patriotism is sneered at and why membership of the EU is seen as 'progressive' when in reality the EU is just a protectionist racket that actively works against the interests of ordinary people and indeed has put millions out of work across Europe in defence of principles that have actively made people poorer and less secure.
Political parties are about winning power and then using that power to enact change. That ought to be a statement of the obvious. But for Labour it seems to be something they regard with the same sneer that they regard anyone who thinks immigration is not always a good thing. They self indulgently elevate their own principles and prejudices above the needs of their constituents and the country they serve. Indeed such is their disdain for this country they used to applaud the activities of crooked lawyer Phil Shiner so keen were they to believe that our armed forces, drawn from the working classes, could behave despicably and criminally in Iraq.
Labour has lost its way. It needs to reinvent itself or it will die. Perhaps it is already past the point of no return and the talk at the moment of a new centrist party will be the future. A point of caution there too though. Those talking of this new phoenix from 'progressive' ashes are the very same people who led Labour to disaster in the first place. This is a process that started when Labour were at their pomp under Tony Blair but when they again only talked to themselves and ignored the wishes of those who had voted for them and given them their trust. Then on so many issues they engaged in their own agenda. This new centrist fantasy is essentially that same agenda all over again. It is a fantasy to try and stop Brexit.
So when you hear talk that Chauncey may be preparing to go and hand over to the next generation you should smile and shake your head. Labour is preparing to go through its annual leadership election once again. It may even elect someone else this time, someone less grumpy, more photogenic. But it won't change. It never changes. It just expects the rest of us to change. They never listen and they never ever learn.