Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Price of Labour's Lack of Principles

Labour Party members are generally rather tribal, which is to say that they group together to the exclusion of all else. This, needless to say, is odd for a political party. Parties are supposed to be about representing the people, advancing a cause, furthering an interest or some form of combination of the above. Labour always accuse Tories of being like this. In fact they represent it themselves to a much greater degree. They are wont to talk of their love for Labour and for the Labour movement. It's an odd outlook. No Tory ever professes a love for the Conservative Party. It is a means to an end. I vote Conservative because by and large it represents a philosophy and an outlook with which I agree. But I could easily be cured of this if the party were ever led by someone like Donald Trump. Or Chauncey.

And so one could not help but feel a certain respect for those in the Labour family who refused to serve in Chauncey's shadow cabinet and who tried to oust him from the top job.

Turns out however that many declined to do so, not because of a principled disagreement with his policies and his ignominious past. It was just because they thought him a loser. Now he is a loser but in a manner that they consider might one day be a winner they are rallying to his cause. And letting it be known that their formerly principled stance was nothing like as principled as formerly. We were wrong many are now saying. Wrong about what exactly?

Presumably they are saying that Chauncey's stance on nuclear weapons is now okay with them? His fondness for the IRA? For Hamas? His belief that terrorism can all be laid squarely at the door of western foreign policy even though countries like Sweden have also suffered terrorism? Are they now okay with his policy of rampant nationalisation? Are they okay with his belief in a vast spending spree in the event of his ever winning an election? Are they okay with his tolerance for anti-Semitism?

What they are really saying then is that their principles will only stand the test of Labour, not so much winning an election but losing in a manner that is not a complete humiliation as they had hitherto expected. Those are pretty cheap principles aren't they. They certainly seem to be because this week they actually stood and cheered and applauded the man who led them to defeat last Thursday. The Tories, who won the election, looked sullen and angry and are still deciding what to do with their electoral liability for a leader. Labour have decided what to do with their loser. They have abandoned their principles for him.

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