Guardian writer and former Independent editor Archie Bland today says:
Linekerology is only prominent because, even if you think his comparison of Suella Braverman’s rhetoric to that emanating from Germany in the 1930s is excessive …
(Not sure I do, but that’s by the by.)
… it is obviously the product of a moral clarity that has eluded the actual opposition.
Most people are now clearer on where a television presenter stands on the small boats crisis than where the Labour party, which has largely confined its critique to a managerialist argument about Home Office asylum application backlogs, does. If you’d rather people didn’t view every story through the prism of celebrity, you have to offer them a more compelling alternative.
Indeed. But Caitlin Johnstone’s incisive assessment of democracy – which contrary to Leonard Cohen’s promises has not yet come to the USA – on that side of the pond applies equally on mine:
The US doesn’t have political parties, it has narrative control ops disguised as political parties. One of them overtly promotes capitalism and imperialism by appealing to Americans’ worst impulses, the other covertly diverts their healthy impulses back into capitalism and imperialism.
An elephant and a donkey fight in a puppet show and the crowd cheers for one or the other while thieves pick their pockets. And when people start to notice their wallets are missing, they’re told they can stop the pickpocketing by cheering louder for their favorite puppet.
People ask why the Democrats never codified Roe vs Wade into law, and the answer is, because that’s not their job. Their job is not to enact the policies you elected them to enact. Their job is not even to win elections. Their job is to keep you staring at the puppet show.
Even Mr Bland’s observation that …
BBC director general and former Conservative council candidate Tim Davie has acquiesced to a vision of the corporation’s responsibilities that is wholly the creation of those who would rather it did not exist
… applies equally to a Labour Party safely returned to Blairism by Starmer and the victory of dark politics. But Mail, Express and their ilk are out of step with cannier currents in the British establishment. Not for the first time – see Labour won’t save Britain’s public sector– I’ll end with this observation from steel city reader, bevin:
The natural political division in the UK right now is between Blairism and Socialism. The Tory ‘brand’ is no longer fit for purpose – Blairism serves the ruling class far better. And when it is opposed by Toryism it is unbeatable because the only alternative is a clumsier version of itself.
* * *
For most of Thursday March 9 much of the Labour Party hierarchy spent every opportunity to side with the Tory Party in attacking Lineker on this matter. One example:
By Friday March 10, after seeing which way the wind was blowing in the public mind, they did a U-turn in a cynical attempt to re-present themselves as the opposite of what they were standing for/against 24 hour earlier.
Presumably they got wind of today’s boycott* by presenters in solidarity with Lineker which has led to at least five scheduled TV and Radio sports programmes being cancelled.
*sidebar: On the subject of the boycott I’m told that earlier today Sheffield Wednesday Football Club re-iterated its twenty three year boycott of Match of the Day.
Widening this back out to the general state of HM Loyal Opposition recent articles from the Skwawkbox, among others, reveal the Party is readmitting at least some former members of the now defunct ‘Change UK Party.
Including Mike Gapes and Lucinda Berger.
Oh, nearly forgot: A funny tinge happened on the way to the forum;
The Party Rules are quite clear, anyone standing in an election against the Party – which Smith did in 2019 – has an automatic five year ban from membership. This is not so much driving a coach and horses through the rules more a double decker bus.
Presumably driven by Smith’s husband, and former agent and Parliamentary ‘researcher’ Steve Wilson (who I was informed a while back – though I’ve no way to verify this – was last seen driving buses somewhere in the West country)
However, lets just put all this in context:
Following the practice of selectively applying the rules to suit convenience by trawling social media to ban members from voting for Corbyn in earlier leadership contests for all sorts of reasons; – from liking the Foo fighters to retweeting posts from other Political Party’s – followed by retrospectively removing from membership anyone with any association whatsoever with a number of organisations on the left which were proscribed in July 2021; the Party recently issued instructions to Party Units banning affiliation with the following organisations/groups:
All African Women’ Group;
Health Campaigns Together;
Jewish Voice for Labour;
Labour Campaign for Nuclear Dis-armament;
London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign;
Palestine Solidarity Campaign;
Sikhs for Labour;
Somalis for Labour;
Stop the War Coalition;
The Campaign Against Climate Change;
Trades Union, Peace and Justice Project.
As a consequence, bearing in mind that I am a member of one of the organisations proscribed in July 2021 and have been since before it was proscribed,* I recently made a formal attempt, via the local CLP, to elicit under what rule this was carried out; along with the more important matter of what criteria had been applied by the NEC in making this decision – ie was it because these organisations were considered inimical to the aims and values of the Party as laid out in Party Rules?
*sidebar: the alert will ask the obvious question as to why I’m still a member and have not been expelled? Long story. The gist is that this situation attests to the total incompetence operating at every level.
The point being that if this was the case than for the sake of consistency under the rules, if anything else, would not any member associated with these named groups also be in breach of the rules and due for expulsion from the Party if such criteria was applied consistently?
Despite the local Constituency Party – whose offices are elected locally by members or delegate members – having responsibility under the rules for upholding the constitution and Rules, and therefore being the legitimate first point of contact for such clarification, this simple request for clarification was declined and I was advised to direct the clarification request to unelected paid Party managers at Region.
[From what I am led to understand the barge pole was so long the local CLP Executive could barely fit in the room].
And yet favoured individuals, like Gapes, Berger, Smith and others, who have used every opportunity to trash the Party and its values are being given the Red Carpet treatment.
You would not trust this lot, at any level from PLP down to the local Party Units to count the railings never mind run the Country. Such is the corruption of values.
Odious as her record is, Angela Smith (and her hubbie) are the faces that best fit HM Loyal Opposition
Back in 2019 she was bellyaching like a professional grifter something along the lines of not being able to afford her mortgage if she did not retain a comfy seat in the Commons (not forgetting the pension benefits upon reaching age 60 – no WASPI penalty operating here).
With The Tinge (Change UK) Party having gone belly up – see here:
….and the Lib-Dems already having picked their PPC for Smith’s seat she ended up fighting a seat somewhere in or not far from the Cheshire area for the Lib Dems.
Like the grifters of the SNP in Westminster its probably worth a flutter down at the bookies that Starmer will find her a safe seat somewhere so that she can retire in a few years on a Parliamentary pension.
Presumably with a hefty severance parachute payment and medal which Steve Wilson can be in his optimum niche in life polishing.
I have to say that the (now defunct?) SWP have been right all along about the supposed ‘Labour’ Party, since I joined them in 1978. Labour are a mere safe substitute to be emplaced at those odd times when the tory party renders itself un-electable. Labours roots in the Fabian/gradualist tendency and it’s lack of a basis in Marxism have rendered it inherently unfit for use by the working class. It’s a party of illusion – the illusion that it will ever do anything really radical. It won’t.