I look across at the UK political landscape. New Prime Minister, Brexit has happened but isn’t going to happen this year, Boris Johnson is the UK Foreign Secretary. That really is a ‘fuck you’ to the rest of the world.
Of course, these things might pass me by. I feel indifference to the new PM (a Tory is a Tory is a Tory), only distant frustration at Brexit, and general amusement at Boris Johnson (I mean, fucking hell, did anyone think about that decision properly?).
My main source of woe is Labour, and what a topsy-turvey party it has become. It makes me feel sad, to see friends so torn and angry, and unfocused. Really unfocused.
The problem, of course, is the chasm of belief between MP’s and Jeremy Corbyn. There seems to be a genuine schism between the need for integrity (which Corbyn is perceived to have), and leadership (for which he is less so renowned).
I have all kinds of problems with this scenario. A good leader must have integrity, but not everyone with integrity is a leader.
Corbyn, for me, is not a leader. He lacks conviction, and his approach to the stories is remarkably passive. When the Tories were last in opposition they turned the narrative into ‘if we were in power we would do A,B and C’. This meant questions to the Labour government were put in the context of Tory policy, not government. That wasn’t the only problem Labour had back then, but it was a central one.
Labour under Corbyn though, is generally of perspective of ‘what are you going to do about these problems?’ It allows the Tories to give any answer they want, and the narrative is still about Tory policy.
Ed Miliband’s biggest problem was that despite some excellent, sensible and popular policies, he failed to provide a narrative for his leadership. Like Corbyn, he became leader thanks to the trade union block of voters, and a sizeable chunk of regular members. Corbyn’s victory was more emphatic of course, but both sourced from the same place.
Despite this popular support from members, Corbyn has failed to materialise with a narrative. In fact, far worse, he has failed to materialise. He has made no headway in Scotland. His canpaigning on Brexit was woeful, and the victories trumpeted in his name are minor in electoral terms (London mayor, for which he had little to do with, and Bristol mayor, which should have been won anyway).
I find disturbing the lack of critical perspective from his supporters. There is a willingness to back despite acceptance that he will probably lose a general election anyway.
It’s even more alarming that there is no real alternative. The PLP’s best offerings are not likely to set the world on fire. Although in fairness, this is uncharted territory.
I’m losing my train of thought. Already at Freo. I’ll continue this tomorrow, or maybe I won’t.