The UK has voted to leave the EU, the UK itself hangs by a thread as Scotland and Northern Ireland mull over all plans to keep them in the EU, the Tories are stabbing each other in the back but it seems now that Andrea Ledsom is emerging as the serious candidate to challenge Teresa May which should scare us all even more as EU nationals being repatriated is something on the agenda, financial markets may have recovered some of their losses but they’re in a holding pattern waiting to see what happens and meanwhile, the Labour Party, still the official opposition, are ripping themselves apart over the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
I used to be a Labour member and supporter. Being a good socialist in Glasgow that was almost burned into my DNA, and once I’d moved to England that carried on as I helped Greville Janner get elected in Leicester. Yeah, sorry about that. In 1997 I helped get Patricia Hewitt get elected. Yeah, sorry about that too. In 1997 I did what I could to get Tony Blair’s Labour get elected. Listen, I’m really bloody sorry about that.
What I’m saying is I was part of the Labour machine. I understood it and even in 1997 I had doubts about Blair, but we had to get rid of the Tories as it couldn’t get worse. It did. By the end of 1998 I was washing my hands of Labour. By the time of the Iraq War I hated Labour. When the Scottish Independence Referendum came round and Labour acted hand-in-glove with the Tories and used the suffering both they and the Tories had imposed upon people to scare pensioners and the working class to vote to stay while laughing about it, I despised Labour as much as the Tories.
Yet when Jeremy Corbyn became leader I was hopeful he’d sort Labour out. Sure, I’d still not vote for them personally but I’d be glad to see an actual leftish Labour Party take on the Tories rather than one that helped us get where we are right now in the most fucked up mess I’ve ever seen in my life. But for those Blairite MP’s who clung onto power bitterly and refused to speak to the SNP or Lib Dems in 2010 to form an alliance to keep the Tories out, instead choosing to leave office and let a bunch of psychopaths gain power, are now the same leading the charge against Corbyn.
As for Corbyn I don’t think he’s the answer for Labour. He’s weak, advised by some terrible people like Seumas Milne and Neil Findlay, not to mention he’s just as abstaining, just as distant to people in the North of England as the hopeless Ed Milliband was. Corbyn’s main problem is being a London MP, a resident and MP of Islington, and whose support is centred in London and the larger English cities, he appears distant and of another class to people with little or nothing who Labour gave up trying to represent. I’ve said to Labour supporting friends John McDonnell is a better choice, even if he’s also rooted to a rigid 20th century form of socialism not to mention Labour’s own support for the Union, a structure by itself helps create inequality.
But if the answer is Angela Eagle, then fuck knows how bad the question must be. Replacing a poor leader but one with hundreds of thousands of supporters at a grassroots level, with one with virtually no grassroots support, the support of Iraq War supporting MP’s and a craven London based media (I’m looking mainly at The Guardian here) is political suicide, especially when the UK is as we speak essentially broken probably forever. Right now the Tories are vulnerable and open for real attack so the official opposition tears itself apart because they’re more interested in having power for the shits and giggles rather than using that power for us all to have better lives. The Tories are allowed to have their ceremonial appointment of the next Prime Minister and the official opposition aren’t functional either as that, or a political party anymore.
So well done Labour. You’ve helped make this week even worse.