This is our truth, tell us yours
I feel as if I’ve been writing the same post for three years about the Labour party.
Guess what? I’ll keep writing it.
Labour has to have an all consuming passion for being in power, and an all embracing vision of the benefits that would bring. That’s how Labour wins elections with a sufficient majority and mandate to change the word for the better.
The current leadership contest, the second in a year, lest we forget, is that it focusses on the disputes within the party. Passionate authors, new to Labour and shllow of thought, rush to the interweb as if their life, and mine, depends on them getting their preferred option as Labour leader. And who do they want as leader? An ascetic outsider who makes friends badly and refuses to contemplate change or compromise.
Labour is almost certain to split now. Its choice, bluntly, is whether it manages the great divorce, or is destroyed by it. I’m tired of being told by those who’ve only just discovered the party that if the new recruits would rather spend their time in fruitless protests and idiotic meme mangling on the interweb, it’s somehow my fault. I’m tired of being told by shallow self promoting social media stars that the right way to address those they disagree with in the party is to accuse them of corruption.
Let me give you an example. To the Corbynistas Alistair Campbell is the devil’s enabler, accomplice to Tony Blair. To endorse him, or to try and explain it’s a bit more complicated than that, is to be dismissed as an apologist. But read this tribute by Campbell to his brother, and you can hear the authentic voice of a man who loves well, if not wisely, and who supports the NHS as part of a vison for a kinder, more decent Britain that the current government would erode. It is, simply,an authentic Labour voice. Disagreeing with him should not require an attack on his morals, just on his conclusions.
Next time you read an attack by a Corbynista on Owen Smith for having worked for a drugs company ask yourself about the messy compromises people make every day to get by. I don’t support the National Lottery, and think of it as a tax on stupidity, but I’m happy to support National Lottery funding for sports and community projects I support. Am I morally compromised? Is it possible to promote a dugs company but not believe in its ways of working? Actually, for millions of workers, that’s reality. Deliveroo drivers going on strike may not believe their employers business model is ethical or right, but they need a job more than they need their principles.
If Labour cannot resolve its ideological tangles it would be better for it to split, and admit it has no future as one united party. Better that than the tyranny of those who choose the comfort of standing by whatever their principles are today.