On Meaning and Labour

21 Jul

Blair is not ‘centrist’ or ‘moderate’.  He’s a right wing war criminal with a pathological and craven desperation for the approval of the rich and powerful.  He’s a George Bush fanboy.

Owen Smith abstained on a vote that cut benefits, and supported the Iraq War before he was even an MP.  For most sane people, that would prevent him being called a ‘left-winger’.  He also worked as a lobbyist for Pfizer International.  For most sane people, that would be incompatible with the behaviour of a sincere ‘left-winger’, and the very epitome of the political establishment.  The only way you could be more of the political establishment is to have a dad who led the Labour Party to defeat twice and then to attend the College of Europe, marry a future Danish Prime Minister, be parachuted into Ramsay MacDonald’s old constituency, and then claim the commute doesn’t get in the way of your work.

But, since the English and Welsh left have kept Corbyn in place in the Labour Party against the wishes of the party’s right-wing, being perceived to be of the Left is suddenly a useful political quality.  Since Brexit, and the way it has brought ‘ordinary people’ to the forefront of politics, appearing ordinary is suddenly desirable.

For the next few weeks and months, then, expect an epidemic of deliberate left-right confusion from Owen Smith’s supporters.  And a vast pile of – unprovable – stories about how wonderfully ordinary the Pfizer lobbyist warmonger always was; alongside allegorical and unreferenced recollections of how “ordinary people” on “the doorstep” don’t think of Corbyn as a natural leader.

I will, of course, remind you later that I told you so.

 

 

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