So Jeremy Corbyn is fighting for the soul of the Labour Party is he? Well good for Jeremy, but what he doesn’t seem to realise is that Tony Blair suffocated it years ago. It was wrapped in a red flag and buried up at Highgate Cemetery on the 21st of July 1994. There was a rumour that, in 1997, someone placed a single red rose on the grave and named it The Tomb of the Unknown Socialist, but the rose and any external markings have long-since disappeared.
Irrespective of whether he splits the labour party or somehow and miraculously mends all those burned bridges, before leading the new-old-Labour Party into the electoral sunrise of a socialist nirvana, Jeremy Corbyn, will surely learn what Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock, and Viscount Stansgate, and all those other hoary old left-wing anachronisms learnt some years earlier. . .
You can either have principles or you can have power, but you can’t have both
And on the subject of that. . .
It seems Sir John Chilcot has decided that Tony Blair was somewhat less than entirely truthful with Parliament and the country, when he put an arm around the then U.S. President George Walker Bush, and said, ‘don’t worry, George, I’ll be there with you when you invade Iraq’.
For G.W. Bush it was unfinished family business, but for Tony Blair there was no personal motivation in deceiving the electorate, his Parliamentary colleagues, and himself. It was simply Tony Blair being Tony Blair.
Anyone with half a brain already knew what Tony Blair was like. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves. He joined the Labour Party and immediately saw that social conscience and fiscal irresponsibility go hand-in-hand. More importantly, he saw that Old Labour’s ‘tax the rich and feed the poor’ mentality was never going to be elected in a post-Thatcher Britain.
And so he hijacked what was left of the Labour Party, after Thatcher had finished doing what Thatcher did so well to the trade unions, dumped both his and the Labour Party’s ‘socialist principles’ at the nearest recycling plant, and set about building New Labour.
All of those once strongly held principles went straight out of the window, along with Labour’s traditional reliance on ‘the working class vote and trade union memberships.
At Party Conferences, The Red Flag was hauled down in favour of a single-stemmed red rose.We’ll Keep the Red Flag Flying Here was replaced with Things Can Only Get Better (and just about anything by Oasis) and all those unpopular taxes on the rich were similarly and unceremoniously junked in favour of a breadth of celebrity and big business courtships.
Now why anyone would believe that a man who could dump his beliefs, his principles, and the once-proud history of The Labour Party, so easily and so quickly in the pursuit of power and popularity, and then instantly become a reformed character once that same power and popularity was his to command is beyond me. . . But believe it they did.
And on the subject of power and popularity, it seems that Theresa May is the new ‘anointed one’, and Britain is about to truly understand why the country so desperately needs a credible opposition.
According to Theresa May, Brexit means Brexit and there will be no new general election before 2020 (As Theresa makes no mention of achieving a sudden and unexpected clarity of vision, I have to assume that she meant the year).
Let’s face it we haven’t had a British Prime Minister with an ounce of brain and a full set since Margaret Thatcher. Like her or loathe her Thatcher did restore Britain’s democracy, economic strength, and international repute.
I mean, John Major was a likeable enough individual, even though he suffered from a severe case of charisma bypass, but he was no Thatcher. History records that he was ultimately betrayed by all those right-wing “Bastards!” (Now who does that remind you of?). It also records that his laying of the soon-to-be Secretary of State for Health, proved a whole lot easier than his laying of the ghost of Margaret Thatcher.
Then along came Tony Blair; who saw Thatcher’s phenomenal jump in popularity following the Falkland’s War, and tried the same thing in Iraq, with tragically predictable consequences, or at least according to the Chilcot report.
Glossing over the short and thoroughly unremarkable premiership of Gordon Brown, we then come to David Cameron, who has, sadly, proved to be no exception to this rule of the unexceptional.
On a personal note I like David Cameron. He seems a genuine sort of man who actually tried to do the right thing, but in terms of a place in history, and let’s face it that is what this quest for political power always eventually comes down to, his premiership will be seen as a disaster for Great Britain and a disaster for democracy.
Maybe Theresa May will prove to be the real deal. Maybe she will unite a bickering Conservative Party, galvanise Her Majesties’ official Opposition, re-unite a bitterly divided country, halt excessive immigration, strengthen Sterling, reinvigorate the NHS, lower taxes, increase productivity, boost exports, reduce imports, cancel the national debt, restore the empire, and make Marks & Spencer profitable again.
Or maybe, just maybe, as she takes her unelected place in both Downing Street and the history books, she will come to learn what David Cameron and all those who went before her learnt to their individual cost . . .
That promises can sometimes become prisons.
Have a good one