Embed from Getty Images I try to show complete political neutrality when I tweet or blog and this is made quite easy for me by the fact that whilst I understand that many politicians are decent people, as a group I generally dislike all of them.
What I do like is democracy, as imperfect as the British one is. Unlike many, literally anyone can become an MP and we have seen some odd characters over the years. Love him or hate him, John Prescotts’ rise within the New Labour ranks was significant, especially for a man with no society connections, or rich friends, JP was a ships steward and a union man and genuinely comes from a ‘normal’ background; if there is such a thing, proving the truth of Britains’ open politics. Getting the top job without connections and rich friends, well that’s a different matter.
All that said, one of the things that keeps our democracy and country in rude health is strong governance and strong opposition, and at present in the UK we see neither of these at a time when these traits are more important than ever. With the Conservative party only in power thanks to the DUP and the magic money tree, the labour party will never have a better chance of influencing change and potentially winning power and yet it seems to be wallowing in a dank pool of introspection and in fighting. Political factions such as ‘Momentum’ have seized the opportunity to force their agenda, the label of anti-Semitism blights the party and apparently muddled thinking and wishy washy inaction by Jeremy Corbyn is allowing these problems to grow.
Here is where we find the core problem with democracy. Jeremy Corbyn has won two leadership elections, so you cannot dispute his right to lead the party, however while he does, Labour will not win an election on its own merit. Should #brexit lead to what many believe will be an economic catastrophe, then its very likely that the Conservative government will implode and Labour could take power under these circumstances but that prospect even has an atheist like me praying to a higher power that this does not happen. The current shadow front bench would struggle to decide on what sandwiches to have at the election night celebration party in case they choose something that might offend an ethnic minority in some intangible way, and heaven forfend that someone might ask for a black coffee rather than one without milk.
You see, under Jeremy, the labour party looks and sounds more like a local Labour council than a government in waiting. Too busy ‘sweating the small stuff’ to concentrate on the big issues, illustrated by JC asking at a recent PMQs about ‘Bus Passes’ at a time that the country is looking down the barrel of financial collapse due to #brexit and the utter incompetence of the Government in making anything remotely positive come from the #brexit vote.
I’m not suggesting that some group of Labour grandees force a kind of coup, rather that the Labour membership recognise that although all the evidence suggests that Jeremy Corbyn is someone that genuinely wants to look after the voters and is a decent man, his inability to unite the party, his naive selection of people for his shadow front bench and his weak answers to questions about the defence of the nation render him unsuitable to be prime minister.
The current labour shadow front bench makes all the sounds of being able to lead, talking tough on big issues like law and order, energy and defence, but if its bluff is called by the collapse of the Tory government, they will be left with a level of power that they are completely unprepared for.
That will certainly not lead to the jubilant celebrations seen on the night of Tony Blairs’ New Labour win.