So far, the Labour party conference has been dominated by party infighting and attempted purges. Knifing each other in the back is supposed to be the Conservatives’ USP but the Labour party decided to spend the first couple of days of its conference in a naked attempt by Corbynites to rid themselves of a deputy leader whom they can’t stand. And we’re told that Jeremy knew nothing about it. Aye. Right. Uh huh.
Now with today’s decision to uphold the leader’s fence sitting on Brexit, it’s a conference which is defined by granting even more power to the leader to act in an authoritarian and unchallenged manner. So exactly like the Conservatives then. Equally incompetent, and equally hopeless. They’ve been watching the Tories at War documentary and have decided that they want a piece of that too.
However on Monday the Labour party decided to take its hopeless incompetence to the next level. The party voted to throw away the next General Election. It was never likely to win it anyway, but the decision at the party conference not to take a firm position on Brexit will condemn the party to irrelevance in a General Election which is going to be defined by Brexit. Labour wants people to vote for it, so that it can decide at some unspecified point in the future whether or not it wants to remain in the EU or to leave it. Labour has gazed upon an almighty mess created by the Conservatives, and said “Hold my beer. We’re serving stale fudge.” The only position that the Labour party has on the most important, the only topic, facing the UK at the next election is not to have a position at all. Gods help us.
Now what Labour canvassers will be telling punters on the doorstep in the next General Election campaign is that if they vote Labour, the party will negotiate a good Brexit deal, and then might campaign against it afterwards. Mind you, there’s no more such a thing as a good Brexit deal as there is such a thing as good dysentry. The only Brexit deal which is going to protect jobs and guarantee the full rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU is no Brexit at all. But Saint Jeremy doesn’t like the EU any more than the Tories do. With Lyin’ Bastert Johnson, his opposition to the EU is entirely transactional and pragmatic. For him it’s all about what’s best for his career and his ego. Jeremy on the other hand is a true beLeaver.
Even the way this confused and shambolic decision was taken was itself confused and shambolic. It’s possibly the only way in which the Labour party is a model of consistency and clarity. After a series of speakers, there was a show of hands on what is potentially one of the most important decisions in the party’s recent history, and the motion calling for a clear anti-Brexit stance in the election was defeated. Or at least it was apparently defeated. There were many hands raised in favour of the motion, enough to cast a shadow of uncertainty, yet calls for a card vote to ascertain the numbers for or against with certainty were rejected. Now one half of the Labour party is implacably opposed to the other half. Just like the Conservatives, the main political enemy of most of those in the Labour party are other people in the same party as themselves.
As the official opposition, and the second largest party in the Commons, Labour has a responsibility to provide clear leadership on the most important issue facing the UK. Yet the party has abdicated from that responsibility, preferring instead to hide itself away in the daydreaming politics of socialist goodies that it’s never going to be able to implement because it’s refusing to face up to Brexit. Labour has turned itself into a bar room fantasy football team making up pretendy positions, when it ought to be playing in the Premier League. They’ve had over three years to come up with a stance, yet the only stance they’re able to adopt is the one that involves ramming the party’s collective head up its collective arse. The party’s descent into fantasy was unwittingly summed up by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell when he hailed the Scottish branch office manager Reingold Lardlicker as the next First Minister. Uh, and indeed, huh.
There are many Labour supporters who say that the only reason why the party is not cutting through to the electorate is because Jeremy Corbyn is the subject of a media barrage of stories designed to undermine him. While it’s certainly true that there is heavy media bias against him and his policies, the exact same applies to the SNP yet that party is forecast to do exceptionally well at the next General Election. Despite the media barrage arranged against it, the SNP is getting through to the electorate in a way that Labour could only dream of. Recent opinion polls also suggest that the SNP is well placed to increase its representation in the Scottish Parliament too. Yet the media in Scotland does little else but indulge itself in SNPbaddery, while the party is regularly sidelined and ignored by a state broadcaster that wouldn’t dare no-platform Labour in the same way. So no, Corbyn apologists, it’s not all because of the media. Yer man really is useless.
For Scotland, the descent of Labour into irrelevant madness means that there’s only one realistic choice for this country in the General Election to come. Labour, just like the Tories and the Lib Dems, refuses to acknowledge that Scotland has a right to decide its own fate. The Scottish branch office manager Raymundo Lionsdinner has even gone so far as to deny that pro-independence parties winning a majority in Holyrood would be enough to demonstrate support for another independence referendum. He’s denying the basic principles of parliamentary democracy itself.
The British nationalist parties are only demonstrating that they are a danger to democracy. On top of that, we now know that Labour – like the Tories – will not respect the decision of Scotland to remain a part of the EU, or failing that a part of the single market and the common customs area. It is imperative that at the next election Scotland demonstrates to Rodney Lavalamper that this country has no time for him or his party.
Tomorrow we find out whether the Prime Minister broke the law in order to silence Parliament, but the malaise in British politics goes much deeper than a single rogue proroguer. The entire British party system is irredeemably broken. British politics can’t be fixed, and any solutions offered by Scotland would not be listened to even if it could be. Labour’s selfish self-implosion means that the chances are that the next election is only going to return a victory for a Prime Minister with authoritarian tendencies who will take the UK out of the EU without a deal, if he hasn’t already done so by then. Labour’s self-inflicted contorsions on Brexit only make the choice of independence for Scotland an even simpler one to make. For the Labour party, solidarity means that everyone gets stabbed in the back.
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