Monday, 27 September 2010

Confusion or delusion?

I'm a little confused about the election of the work experience boy to the big chair in the Labour party. I guess ageism trumps racism and sexism, eh, Diane?

Anyhow, if Ed is as 'Red' as we're led to believe, and if he lurches to the left, as some have predicted, I can only stand and applaud the wisdom of the trade union members who decided to cast their votes for him. If he's the heir apparent to Michael Foot then Labour really will be unelectable for years to come. Remember Labour have never unseated a leader, it just doesn't happen.

Clegg seems to have divorced himself from the membership of his party, that lot who are neither liberal, nor democratic. I'll hand it to the LimpDim membership though, they do have principles, one of the advantages of never having a decent shout at getting power. Unfortunately for Nick, he seems to have thrown one of the biggest principles (that being an abhorrance of the idea of getting into bed with the Tories) out of the window just so he can have a go at pressing a couple of the buttons that Cameron can't be fagged to press himself.

All we need now is for Cameron to be secretly filmed by the News of the World putting kittens into microwaves and the job will be done.

The Lib Dems will haemorrhage support, they're done before they even start. This coagulation government (as Leg Iron so beautifully puts it) will surely result in the death of the Lib Dems. This is probably not a bad thing, as the Liberals can go back to being liberal (assuming there are some properly liberal people amongst them) while the Social Democrats can go back to. . . well, where?

If Mr. Ed really does want to usher in a new era of swivel eyed socialism, those Social Democrats won't be welcome there. SDP, anyone?

I've always felt quite sorry for Labour members. I thought the way the New Labour agenda was smuggled in without the members' consent was a pretty shitty trick. The euphoria of government after so long out must now be dissipating, and the awful, awful truth dawning. But perhaps I was wrong? Surely if Miliband Minority was the best candidate to reflect what I always thought were the core opinions of the Labour party membership, then the membership would have turned out in their droves for him? They didn't.

Indeed Andy Burnham was probably an even more traditional (?) old (?) new old (?) Labour leadership candidate and he hardly got out of the blocks.

So we now have this odd situation where the person who I thought was the closest to the traditional membership was shunned by the membership and elected by the unions. A fact that I'm sure Woodley, Simpson, Serwotka, Crow, et al will remind him of at every available opportunity. If I heard Boulton on Sky News correctly, turnout amongst the trade union portion of the vote was around 10%. So hardly a ringing endorsement of any of the candidates on offer then.

So it leaves with me four questions:

1. What do the Labour party members want?
2. What are the Labour party for?
3. How does a party abdicate responsibility for their leadership elections to a load of people that don't even care enough about the Labour party to join?
4. Why would anyone vote Labour?

I've been saying for a couple of years that it wasn't the election just gone that was the important one, it'll be the next one. Let's hope that the Lib Dems tear themselves apart, that the Tories disgrace themselves and the coalition falls apart and that Labour go back to their old ways, with the unions cracking the whip. If we can get a snap election in, ooooh, 12 to 18 months, all bets will be off, especially if any AV referendum carries a 'yes' vote.

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