We are sorely in need of a consistent scale for the measurement of political Party decline and disorganisation. It’s not that the current crop of descriptors are that bad; but as always when it comes to legislators, hype and overuse have conspired to make them almost homoaeopathic in their effect.
The first stage in the existing hierarchy of political anarchy is one of Party members being at odds, then split right down the middle and next, all at sea. After that comes open warfare, disarray, and finally meltdown. It must be tough for any leader contending with people having a domestic and axing each other in half before sailing away to have a Fred Karno’s civil war before disappearing beneath the waves on their way to China.
This is especially true of the Labour Party at the moment, in that Hattie Harman is only an acting leader, and she’s acting out her role as if she was Chair of the 1922 Committee: lots of selfish gits vote with their wallets, and so Harperson says Labour must cater for them. If she catered for others by eating such people, I could understand: but it has taken Jeremy Corbyn and 48 rebels to remind this essentially haut-bourgeoise Sister that she’s supposed to lead the electorate, not jump about on a lead as if she was their pet Chihuahua bitch.
Anyway, the traditional Labour post-drubbing slangfest is predictably unpleasant, but equally depressing is the paucity of language being applied by the gloaters elsewhere. I earlier received an unintentionally LOL email from UKip’s Alan Nuttall pointing out that a disgraceful 184 Labour sheeple had done HRH’s bidding (fair point) without acknowledging that this alone is 183 more MPs than UKip’s got. It didn’t surprise me therefore that the Deputy Leader of one MP managed only “meltdown” as his disaster-noun of choice. [I often wonder, by the way, what lone UKip MP Dougie Carswell thinks about having Farage and Nuttall to report to: it must feel a little like Theresa May reporting to Dan Hannan and Louise Mensch].
But I digress: back at the point of this post, I’d like to put forward a motion, if you’ll pardon the expression: ‘This House believes that Party disunity nouns have become clichés, are morphing into bromides, and ought to be more appropriately funny’.
I know there must be a better plan, and that together yes, we can move forward to the sort of meaningful change that makes us in this country a beacon of light for the world.
The Conservative Party, for example, should not suffer splits, but instead inflict cuts upon itself. As it represents a fundamentally feral and brutish Hobbesian view of existence, it should not have Committees, but rather clubs. In honour of its various Newscorp connections, the Tories would not having slanging matches, but instead hack each other to death.
The Liberal Democrats will not in future have meltdowns, but suffer downsizing instead, during which former leaders sort of melt away. They will not be in disarray, but instead be heading for disappearance. Not for the LibDems a civil war: disagreements will be settled with a boxing match…so long as there are enough MPs to make up the necessary seconds, and a referee. The Party will never again be all at sea, merely taking a seminar cruise on the Marie Celeste.
And so we come to UKip. Given it has just the one MP, the Parliamentary Party won’t be at odds, merely odd. It will thus be impossible for the Kippers to be all over the place, but highly likely that Douglas Carswell will be the odd one out for some time to come. There’ll be no disarray, just Independent viewpoints; and Carcrash won’t suffer a split, because he’ll only have himself to argue with…although he could of course do the splits in order to achieve such an outcome.
But I end where we started with the Labour Party, and its uniquely dire need for disaster similes that sound, well, less disastrous….but instead rekindle some connection with its supporters, and a traditional role in uniting the underdog against the top dogs.
I honestly think Labour should never again have splits. All internal strife going forward should be renamed collective bargaining about whereTF the Party is going. The spin boys will be briefed to tell the media that any factions they refer to are fictions. Debates and compromises on policy will become trades in order to Unite the Union – viz, a positive Trades Union Congress in the best traditions of this Great Movement of Ours.
Meltdowns will be rebranded as Updates. Warfare will become concern for the welfare of the Nation. And most important of all, disarray will be repositioned as an exercise in intellectual diaspora, whereby Labour becomes more inclusive of oppressed majorities….and not quite so exclusively concerned with oppressive minorities.
Ultimately, the thing for Labour’s new Leader to face will be the diaspora becoming less intellectual and more physical. The Party has seen that happen with the SNP – and UKip in England; it could well be about to witness a similar desertion to the Greens.
In short, the Labour Party might disappear up its own diaspora. That could very quickly lead to the dismissal of liberal democracy in favour of literal corporatocracy. Which – as I’ve been trying to point out since the Blairite/Unite split led to the disastrous election of Ed Miliband as leader, electoral meltdown and then disarray – leaves Britain-soon-to-be-England with no serious Opposition.
Sadly, there’s nothing funny about that at all.
Earlier at The Slog: Greece, China, and Fool’s Gold in Camerlot