If ‘Make America Great Again’ was the political slogan of the 2010s that not only served but exceeded its purpose, the ones that stick in the head from this side of the pond during the same decade tend to be remembered because they ended up as sticks with which to beat those who spouted them. Sure, ‘MAGA’ was swiftly turned into a term of abuse when in the hands of the anti-Trump opposition, but for the devoted it was a virtual mantra; by contrast, no crowd on the campaign trail greeted Theresa May in 2017 by passionately chanting ‘Strong and stable! Strong and stable!’ In the disastrous Tory aftermath of that year’s General Election, if the uninspiring phrase that had been endlessly repeated up until polling day was uttered again it was done so with a sneer, a snigger and a shake of the head. During the Coalition, George Osborne declaring that we were all in it together was patently untrue, so it was a phrase universally mocked beyond the safe space of the conference hall; and Old Mother Cable’s embryonic Biden-ism of gloriously hilarious incoherence, ‘exotic spresms’, was both punch-line and punch-bag within seconds of tumbling out of the befuddled dodderer’s mouth.
A different phrase from the Con-Dem era has been exhumed this week, though as with Jeremy Corbyn recycling Blair’s old slogan, ‘For the many, not the few’, Keir Starmer has half-inched it in the belief his target audience will be ignorant as to the source of the plagiarism. I only know of it myself due to the pure serendipity of encountering it when revisiting my old ‘25 Hour News’ YT series. Uploading another five-minute spoof of news headlines from 2014 to my Patreon channel, up popped a clip of David Cameron from that year’s Conservative Party Conference in which every sentence I put in his mouth contained the word ‘hard-working’; he spoke mainly of ‘hard-working people from hard-working families’, constantly repeating it so that it was rendered as mind-numbingly meaningless as the actual usage of the phrase by Cameron in the real world. And, lo and behold, merely days after renewing my acquaintance with a soulless sibling of Nick Clegg’s ‘Alarm-clock Britain’, there it was cosying-up to a grateful Sir Keir, so desperate for any ear-catching buzzword on the eve of his first in-person conference as party leader that he had rehashed a Cameron cast-off.
An evident absence of inspiration when it comes to slogans or catch-phrases is something of a minor concern for the Labour leader, however. After the conference season was reduced to a glorified Zoom chat in lockdown-riddled 2020, Starmer now finally has his opportunity to address his party face-to-face and give them the kind of performance his abundance of charisma has been threatening ever since his election as leader. And it is the subject of elections that has presented the anxious Auton with a pre-conference flop that doesn’t exactly generate confidence in his authority. Keen to prevent a future repeat of the leadership coup that put his predecessor in charge, Starmer seeks to change party rules on internal elections and return to the electoral college system that Labour used to elect its leader for a quarter of a century until Ed Miliband introduced the ‘one member, one vote’ method. By putting power back in the hands of the Parliamentary Labour Party, Starmer clearly hopes to neutralise the threat of the Left; but his meeting with union leaders to garner support for the proposals has been described as a ‘car crash’.
Keir Starmer appears to have badly misjudged the mood within the unions whose support he depends upon when it comes to the NEC. Arrogantly expecting to receive the green light from them to take his rule change proposals to the NEC for approval (and then onto conference), the Labour leader has instead had to return to the drawing board at the eleventh hour. Unsurprisingly, the proposals were criticised and condemned as an ‘attack on democracy’ by the Labour Left – who, after all, stand to lose out the most should they be accepted; but the fact that union leaders publicly panned them as well effectively killed the idea and ensured the so-called Blairite Right will continue having to contend with the Momentum wing. Had Starmer been able to have these proposals approved by the NEC, they would’ve been brought to conference and served as a means of making the Labour leader come across as a man capable of flushing the unelectable elements out of his party. To be fair, though, that would have been an impression restricted to the faithful; there are far more elements to the Labour Party that make it unelectable than merely Momentum or even the far-from inspiring Starmer himself.
Starmer’s deputy, Angela ‘Thingle Mother’ Rayner, has once again exhibited her immaturity and ultimate disqualification from holding high office by pre-empting the party’s conference with a juvenile rant worthy of a Jezza groupie. Ever since Team Corbyn seized control, Labour seems to have encouraged an adolescent mindset amongst its newer recruits that just looks retarded to outsiders, like the grownups have permanently left the room and the alternative to ‘Tory Scum’ is a foot-stamping brat whose default mode of attack is to hurl childish insults that are toe-curlingly embarrassing to anyone over the age of 14. Every time this kind of behaviour is broadcast to the nation, the amount of potential Labour voters lost must be sizeable, yet someone like Angela Rayner can’t help herself; even Keir Starmer winced over the latest example of his deputy’s infantile attitude. Rayner, like Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips, has also long-since soured any credibility beyond the diehards by excessively playing to the minority gallery.
Rayner may as well have the fatuous hashtag of #BeKind attached to her every statement, which is the hypocritical hallmark of what Julie Burchill refers to as the ‘snow-fakes’, those irredeemably unpleasant online Labour activists forever condemning the other side for being guilty of every ‘ism’ and phobia available whilst dishonestly portraying themselves as sensitive paragons of virtuous inclusivity. Their vicious assault on Labour MP Rosie Duffield – a former darling of the victim mindset who then had the outrageous audacity to declare only women have cervixes – has resulted in the Member for Canterbury declining to attend her own party’s conference because of the ongoing abuse; and the silence from the likes of Angela Rayner, who once showered Duffield in praise for her feminist sentiments and Remoaner rhetoric, is deafening.
The Labour Party’s nihilistic embrace of Identity Politics comes at the expense of any wider understanding that such issues only matter to a minority chattering class that carries no clout in old ‘Red Wall’ seats; the Tories were able to steam in and clean up because there was no other alternative to a party that spends most of its time obsessing over first-world trivialities and demonising its former supporters as ill-educated and unenlightened racist bigots. The inadvertently iconic image of Starmer and Rayner rushing to take the knee when last year’s BLM protests had barely even got going just made the pair of them look like trendy parents desperate for their kids to see them as ‘cool’ when the kids themselves were cringing.
That photograph seemed to sum up so much of what the Labour Party and its leadership keeps getting wrong, and it’s hard to see how it can get it right at the moment. When the Labour leader claims it was wrong for Rosie Duffield to state the biological fact that only women have cervixes – ‘It’s something that shouldn’t be said. It’s not right’ – it’s no wonder the nation shakes its head and rolls its eyes in unison. This is the alternative? The party can’t even be regarded as a fragile coalition of competing interests in the way it was under, say, the stewardship of Harold Wilson, when its rival wings could at least sacrifice their individual visions for the greater good of governing the country. Right now, the country needs a strong Opposition more than at any other time in living memory – and it simply hasn’t got one.
© The Editor
11 thoughts on “MISSION OPPOSITION”
It’s sad when a party with such valuable history in terms of campaigning for the average working voter should lose itself in its internal squabbles and, more importantly, lose its touch with regard to its core voters. It’s astonishing that so many traditional working-class Labour voters now consider that the wealthy, Eton-educated, Latin-quoting, Bullingdon Boy, Boris more accurately delivers what they really care about, whilst the Leftie Labour intelligentsia merely examine their fraternal navels over the trivia that is identity politics. It’s as though they have forgotten the simple electoral mathematics so well exercised so recently by Wilson, Blair etc.
That said, it’s also sad when such important issues as politics have become a game for slogans and soundbites, rather than genuine, well-presented policies targeted at improving the lot of all citizens. We deserve better.
Sir Kier, despite his manifold faults as a professional deceiver, is really fighting a losing battle – the Corbyn period so empowered the brain-dead Left that he faces an even more difficult challenge than Blair faced almost 30 years before. Blair didn’t have to deal with the same scale of internal opposition and at least he had Thumper Prescott and Machiavelli Mandelson to keep the lid on any dissent in their different ways.
Since losing Scotland to the SNP, the likelihood of a majority Labour Government at Westminster is now vanishingly small, indeed the whole party may vanish before that happens if they continue this public self-destruction exercise, at which point who leads it is entirely irrelevant. Shame.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Looking back at Kinnock taking on the Militant faction in the 80s, it does indeed resemble a schism in a teacup compared to the divide between loony left and spineless right in Labour ranks today. The Party has really painted itself into a stupid corner on the ‘trans issue’, and just can’t see how bloody ridiculous it is to anyone outside of Westminster Village. And then there’s the liability that is Angela Rayner. I said to somebody earlier today that she and Jess Phillips were like the worst members of a hen party you’d cross a dozen city centre streets to avoid. Looks like we’re destined to remain a one party state for the immediate future.
That header picture of yours looks like a frame from a gripping, gritty 1960s film drama set in Tees/Tyne side. What a poser.
He has coom oop Nor’ to see wat’s gone wrong with this branch of his operation.
Waiting for the local council elite crooked wide boys to come an tip him over the parapet of this brutalist, multi-award winning mult-storey car park.
The woman of course has betrayed him, and drives off in her new E-type.
Long pan back and credits.
LikeLiked by 1 person
It is hilariously bad, that photo. ‘Get Starmer’, I guess – though that would be like ‘getting’ shingles or chicken pox…
Thus could the inconvenient but planned resignation of a Corbynite shadow minister during the party conference count as ‘The Caine Mutiny’ perhaps?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Back of the net!
“Slags like your Angela can get with it 👊🏻 can’t they!?” “The Rosie Duffields of this world can’t 👊🏻 can they!?” 😵☠️
LikeLiked by 1 person
Like pissholes in the snow.
“You’re a big man but you’re out of shape, with me it’s a full time job!” 👍
LikeLiked by 1 person
‘Didn’t you kill Alf Roberts?’ About time someone put that question to the man himself!
He is Max Headroom with slightly better CGI. But less charisma.
His name is a nod, or if you are a poseur aussi , an homage to Max’s speech impediment.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Comments are closed.