Friday, August 14, 2015

Labour? Intensive...

Apologies about this but here comes a confession, to being one of those infamous Labour leadership election "entryists".
Cynically ponying up the price of a cup of coffee, as a "registered supporter", solely to vote for that radical outsider ... Liz Kendall.
So-called "Corbynmania" may well be sweeping the nation (/north London/south-eastern England), and his coronation somehow appears now in the air, so apparent.
And yet, for all the supposed fervor he's (almost inadvertently, even embarrassedly) attracting, is this *really* a good thing?

Not just for the party (natch, Andy), but for the country (love it, Liz)?
Nigel Farage fills halls. Enoch Powell did so too - had his own processions as well. (Oof, an Enoch namecheck. Apologies. But still.)
And how many votes, in the grand scheme, on balance, did either one win for all that impressive sound and fury?
Corbyn seems a gentle and modest and decent man (some embraces of allies aside). Some of his shrill supporters, less so.
Dissent even a nuance from accepted-wisdom leftism and be forever condemned a f***ing Tory.
(My asterisks.)
Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham both appear to offer competent solidity. And yet both also flunked their better chance in 2010.
Cooper in allowing her husband, the even-less-electable Ed to stand instead. And Burnham in running such a lacklustrely polite Blairite campaign, ceding central ground to the even-less-oddball Miliband.
Kendall, meanwhile, even if only elected that year, does nevertheless care. Why, she used to be employed as a carer. And has made a point since of not only questioning just why do we attach so little attention to, well, caring for our ever-increasing proportion of older people, yet also at the other extreme so few nods to those so young.
So much for uni fees, and the never-met debts so many will theoretically rack up - how about helping merely more kids in their most formative most early months and years, as Kendall occasionally mentions - against the grain because these folk won't for a while, well, vote...?
Oh, and she also talks human(ly), at least when unrestrained by this robotic-making campaign. Willing to admit past Labour mistakes, strident in sticking up for welfare gains, eager to be agile enough to make a better fist of what power once won may enable.
Okay. Of course she won't win. Nor even come close. And not only because of that #Jezwecan momentum, even though that newly-newsworthy phenomenon has helped now cloud any other issues.
Corbyn wins, Labour's screwed and divided.
Corbyn somehow doesn't win, Labour's screwed and divided.
The nice-guy idealism is winning - 'entryism' pleas/complaints ignored - enthusiasm from many more than voted for Ed Miliband the other month, sure. But will any more than these, who've lately signed up, well, sign up? That is, er, actually vote?
Hope so. Do wonder so.
Nuneaton - not too long ago a safe Labour seat, somehow this year a crucial (lost) marginal may well differ from (the echo chamber of) Twitter.
Felt proud in 1997 to have voted for Gisela Stuart, against odds and xenophobic protests and pessimistic expectations, in a Birmingham Edgbaston seat that proved to be seen as a barometer for the emphatic Labour victory ahead. Things could only - well, you know the rest...
And now, the left left left ahead.
Some say the middle of the road is where anyone'll invariably end up run over.
Yet others could make it the place to be, put in power to either steer right for safety and cruise or veer left when available and cruise.
Or else, sheer another dire strait and straight into the hard shoulder.
At least knowing where we are - and, well, things can only get better? ... oh.

1 comment:

Chris Gardiner said...

Stopping Corbyn now is foolish and dangerous.
For one thing he brings a lot of enthusiasm and that is in terribly short supply.
Modernising the labour party was never going to be quick but for my money any change that is constructive is going to be gradual.
Personally I believe Corbyn and Sturgeon are politically more or less the same. Sturqeon is like a terrier on a lead. She can make a lot of noise without being able to do much damage.
Corbyn has put a bomb under labour progress. That takes five minutes and is great fun.
It can only be rebuilt brick by brick or sometimes wall by wall.
The really important thing is to carry the Corbyn supporters along each step.
Leadership must come from within and must work as quickly as possible.
Upsetting Corbyn personally is not a problem.
Upsetting his supporters will be.
I think that a computer based voting machine on issues will be a huge asset in this process.
I think it should be able to display members only opinions and wider public opinions. Referendums on each policy.
That will turn shouting matches into visible power points for all to see.