Let joy be uncontained, for hath not the Labour Party once more shot itself through foot and mouth at the same time?
Under normal circumstances – and twenty-five years ago – I’d have said yes, Labour’s done it again. But rejoicing is way, way premature: partisanship is beginning to cloud judgement in some quarters of the media at the moment.
Firstly, Ed Balls is a visceral creature who sweats in the manner one somehow expects of unpleasant, bullying blobs. But he is already charming the radical commentariat – and attracting observations from the neutrals like ‘robust economics’, ‘alternative strategy’, ‘will wipe the floor with Osborne’ etc etc. All drivel (save perhaps for the last one) but all likely to be effective among the deluded folks.
Secondly, we would all do well to remember those extra-Parliamentary forces of the Left who are intrinsically undemocratic, divisive and sectarian. As the Slog pointed out earlier this year, the very hard and nasty clique working EM from behind – the Mob who got Ed elected as an acceptable Fluffy – remains a Harman/Dromey/Unite axis of progressively obvious madness. This tendency now controls enough MPs and Party machinery to be firmly in charge of the Labour Party….and spoiling for a fight.
We could well be heading for an era where most of what happens to Manifestos and in Commons debates is rather less important than widespread, agitated violence where the police are somewhat unclear about whose side they’re on.
This leads directly into my third point: events. Things are going to get a lot more serious before too long. We have become a pain-avoiding, gratification-obsessed culture, 55% of whom depend on Government jobs and/or welfare. When the cuts bleed next year, watch them returning to Labour in droves….and see those unhappy LibDem Ministers deserting in favour of a possible anti-Clegg coup.
Today in the Sunday Telegraph, Janet Daley dismisses as ‘shrill anti-capitalism’ criticism of things that are simply open and shut abuses of an already dysfunctional form of capitalism: one that is increasingly about greed and monopolies and strangling the little guy and doing Let Them Eat Cake with too obvious an air of insouciance. Above all, this represents a perversion of capitalism where risk has been replaced by vicious concentrations of power.
Defending this indefensible and illiberal mega-rich set of wreckers simply won’t do. Last week, the Torygraph ran nine articles saying Vince Cable is mad. They were all petty, childish and completely wrong. A huge proportion of the electorate across all shades of opinion agree with Cable about the banks – as do I. They remain the Tory Party’s UNITE.
But Daley’s piece also thinks wishfully on the subject of how attractive or otherwise Mr Ed might be to the natural majority – who only narrowly failed to keep the Mad Folks in last time. She needs to get out more – and would be amazed just how many otherwise sane people still wonder if the Will Huttons and Ed Balls might not be right. Discerning people think the Miliband-fronted pc-warmist team to be potty and impractical, but even in that company, bonus grabbers are pretty ghastly. ‘Spivs’ I believe Mr Cable called them. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Personally, I have learned the hard way that calling things too early as ‘inevitable’ is a mug’s game.
Events could make a mockery of this prevalent expectation of Labour’s history repeating itself: Ed Miliband is indeed a jerk, but he is not Michael Foot – and there is no Margaret Thatcher across the political alleyway of the Commons to truss him up on a weekly basis.