As Theresa May’s government is involved in one political car crash after another the big question has to be why the Labour opposition vehicle is not in better shape.
Will 2018 be the year the Labour party gives British politics some much needed Opposition? Might Labour find a leader who - a. can lead b. is not soiled by Iraq c. is not scared of Brexit or tainted by not campaigning to Remain in Europe?
Jeremy Corbyn does not realise that his catastrophic dithering over Brexit is already his legacy just as Iraq (plus global terrorism, private sector infiltration of schools and hospitals and generation-obliterating tuition debt) is Blair’s.
NOT actively campaigning for (or even declaring a sentient position on) Brexit, left the Remain campaign with no engine. Brexit was not won. No one was paying attention so the conmen were able to yell into the electorate’s bad ear as EU membership slipped out of Britain's arthritic fingers.
As I’ve written many times on this little blog and in letters published by newspapers including The Guardian, The Independent, The National and others - everything from 23rd June 2016 onwards has been about damage limitation. Britain is fighting over which bits of the socio-economic corpse can be used in political organ donation.
Even Corbyn’s blanking of Brexit at the 2017 Labour Party Conference mattered little although it showed he was capable of being politically grubby. It showed he had one skill; despite his faux revolutionary, misguided out-of-touch social sentiment and his snail pace intellect, Corbyn can look the other way when the big issues of the day are screaming for attention. You have to envy him the ability to calmly and genuinely – for example – flag wave for the NHS having done nothing to keep EU workers, on whom the institution now relies, IN BRITAIN. That is a sort of skill. Like being able to make fart noises with your armpit… mesmerising and useless.
Experiencing Corbyn’s end-of-2017 announcement it occurred to me he must be the only ‘leader’ in history who could say “We are a government in waiting” and sound as if he just said ‘does anyone want that last digestive biscuit’.
And for those getting exorcised about the recent activities in Haringey, the London borough where sitting councillors have complained about being replaced by others who intend to campaign against an unpopular local development – chill - that is actually how democracy is supposed to work. The irony is that any benefit gained by Momentum – the group that formed to support Corbyn’s leadership – will be so outweighed by the harm to the British working class by Brexit that they may as well have handed Haringey council to G4S.
For people whose memory lasts longer than an episode of a soap opera – Blair will forever be the little shit who went against overwhelming public opinion, common sense, intelligence and history and illegally invaded Iraq. Corbyn will be the knacker who failed to go in, political guns blazing, righteous indignation to the fore and fight to prevent a plainly foreseeable catastrophe; a catastrophe driven purely and simply by Cameron’s inability to deal with the dough-boy fascists in the ‘nastier party’. Cameron played Russian roulette with Britain’s future with all the chambers full, the barrel pointing at Britain’s foot. Corbyn was unable to make political capital because he was still pointing his blunderbuss at Thatcher’s ghost.
While Farage (with his EU pension) and Boris Johnson (rewarded with a front bench position in government) and Gove (who derided ‘experts’ during the EU referendum and is now Secretary of state for the Environment) all lied and lied and lied and lied and were not challenged – Corbyn hunkered down and did a big grey nothing.
Yes I know it’s becoming increasingly unpopular to say all this. Shut up and get on with it, is the popular mantra. Discombobulated MPs have taken refuge behind the British public, bleating on about respecting Democracy as if the referendum – won on prattle and xenophobia – had anything at all to do with real democracy. History will point to the EU referendum not just as the tipping point when Britain lost its seat at the top table in the world, it will also be the focus of much debate concerning the end of real democracy in the so-called oldest democracy.
Currently MPs are enjoying some welcome relief from blame, pointing the finger at Google, facebook and other online social media platforms over issues of ‘fake news’ and information manipulation. However, there is a deafening silence regarding the older media whose favour they slavishly court. The BBC, infamously unrepresentative of ethnic minorities or the working class majority who pay its licence fee, continually platformed Farage. The tabloid newspapers fed a celebrity-T.V.-anaesthetised public a diet of bigotry and jingoism and anti-EU nonsense for DECADES – from the plague of straight bananas to the idea that we are all being oppressed by Health and Safety legislation from Brussels – well – tell that to the victims of Grenfell Tower.
Iraq was Blair’s Vietnam – except the effects are global not national. Corbyn’s dull, dull mediocre, grey, pathetic, didn’t-need-to-happen ‘Iraq’ is Brexit…