Tuesday 9 August 2022

Toads Revisited

I want to see them starving,
The so-called working class.
Their wages weekly halving,
Their women stewing grass.
When I drive out each morning
In one of my new suits,
I want to find them fawning
To clean my car and boots.

Philip Larkin would have been 100 today, and he would have written as only he could have done on the fact that he had provided the nearest thing to an ideology that the Labour Party had ever had.

That party is already being outflanked on the left by the Liberal Democrats, who were the more pro-austerity and pro-war party to the Coalition, as the record of the subsequent Governments confirms beyond doubt. In 2010, Nick Clegg ruled out new nuclear power, because it would not have been ready until 2021 or 2022. Labour is more pro-austerity and pro-war than the Coalition was, as almost all Labour MPs and the whole of the party's staff have been throughout the last 12 years. Jeremy Corbyn would never have become Prime Minister.

Corbyn's fundamental error was that he did not sack the entire staff on Day One and start again from scratch, and even if he had won, then the Parliamentary Labour Party would have swung into action during Election Night to tell the Queen that, while a Labour Leader might have been able to have commanded an overall majority, this one would not have been. Far from becoming Prime Minister, Corbyn would still have lost the whip. The Prime Minister would have been Keir Starmer.

Central to these machinations would have been the people who, having been terrified beyond endurance by the near miss in 2017 after all the effort that their friends on their party's paid staff had put into engineering a landslide for the other side, seceded to Change UK. At least three of those have since washed up in the Lib Dems. But now that that party is seeking to annex the admittedly vast expanse to the left of Starmer, then whither Angela Smith, Chuka Umunna or Luciana Berger? Starmer said that the test of his Leadership would be that Berger would re-join the Labour Party. He has failed his own test.