Thursday, September 28, 2017

Labour: What the Hell?

A year ago, Jeremy Corbyn was widely hated by the powers-that-be in the Labour party. This year, at conference, those same powers-that-be have been lauding him as the second coming, with their chants of "Oh Jeremy Corbyn", the bearing of the portrait of the sainted one, and other such nonsense. It's turned into a really bizarre cult of personality.

And let's not kid ourselves: this isn't due to some mass conversion to Corbyn's policies. Rather, it's due to one thing only: Labour's election success.


Labour lost the election. Worse than that, Labour ran the most energised and successful campaign of the last 20 years, were up against the most pathetic Tory campaign for a similar length of time (though, in fairness, it's a toss-up whether Major in '97 or Hague in '01 was worse), and still couldn't win.

Sure, it's a kind of success, but only relative to the utter pounding that they (and I) thought they were going to get. It wasn't an actual success, as indicated by the current inhabitant of No. 10.

So all this business of being on the "threshold of power" is a nonsense. Firstly because there is unlikely to be another election for four years, and it's damn-near certain the Tories won't make the same mistakes again (which isn't to say that they won't make all-new mistakes, of course). Frankly, though, all of this triumphalism feels awfully like the exact same mistake the Tories made earlier this year - that of taking the voters for granted.

So, really, I'm wondering what the Labour party are currently thinking? Is it just sheer relief that they're still in jobs? Or is it perhaps that the country is so screwed that they figure they might as well party before the apocalypse comes?

(And, also, I'm wondering just how to deal with all of this. Within the UK, the only choices are a Tory-led government or a Labour-led one. The thought that this represents our only hope is pretty galling.)

#41: "Pathfinder: Vault of the Onyx Citadel", by Larry Wilhelm
#42: "Go Set a Watchman", by Harper Lee
#43: "Surface Detail", by Iain M. Banks

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