A typically pithy Sir Winston Churchill remark and typically accurate.
For all its faults, and there are many (including the fact that it takes an age to get anything done and too much energy, time and money is wasted on infighting and looking inwards, starving the project in hand of precious time and resources) it is clear that, as that other great wordsmith John Fitzgerald Kennedy said: ‘Democracy has many failings but you never had to build a wall to keep your people in.’
So mature is our democracy that we, the voting taxpayers, even pay the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition as a job of work, day in and day out, to oppose Her Majesty’s Government.
So we should all take more than a passing interest as to who will be the next leader of the opposition. After all, it is the taxpayers (regardless of whom they voted for at a general election or whether or not they are party members) who pay for that person to do the job. Democratic tolerance in action I guess.
So a good look at the current situation regarding the Labour Party might be an intrusion into private grief but is also our right.
The main opposition party has major, possibly terminal, issues facing the next leader. On 12 December last year they sank to their greatest electoral defeat since 1935; northern and Midlands constituencies that have never ever voted Conservative not only did so, but (in an enormous V-sign to the present Labour Party, its leadership and its policies) did so in huge numbers.
The politburo at the head of the party did not do the honourable thing and resign, but instead decreed there would be ‘a period of reflection’ followed by leadership and deputy leadership elections concluding in April. Looking at the way the whole exercise has been dragging on, we may well ask ‘which April?’
Rule One of the Marxist Creed is: once you get power, never ever let it go. So spinning it all out would enable the hard left party bosses to get their placewomen or placemen into pole positions to continue and unassailably cement the take-over of a once-great party.
So what has this ‘period of reflection’ concluded?
l That essential to winning the next general election is denying the existence of biological sex.
l That a Labour Party-affiliated women’s group, which wishes to ban a man who is self-defining as a woman from a refuge for women who have been physically and mentally abused, and worse, by men, is condemned as a ‘transphobic hate group’ and faces expulsion from the Labour Party (I am NOT making this up!).
l That the majority of the Labour Party membership believes that embracing gender-driven identity politics will deliver electoral success. (Note to the Labour elite of Islington: in the Don Valley or Blyth, in West Bromwich or Stoke they do of course talk of little else.)
l That they realise that in the 120 years of its existence, the Labour Party has been in power for just 30 of them, but that they hate and fail to appreciate that nearly half of those (13) were delivered by the two men the hard left politburo and their worshippers hate: Blair and Brown. Their vilification of these two (and especially the former who was the most successful Labour leader in history, having never lost an election, winning three on the trot) prevents them in their bigotry from analysing quite how they did it and from looking for what they can learn. Don’t listen to what politicians say; watch what they do. By their speech and actions, they have learned nothing.
l That it’s a good idea swiftly and summarily to suspend Trevor Philips from Labour Party membership for alleged Islamaphobia when it has taken literally years to reach the same stage with certain members for alleged anti-semitism. They even suggested in the letter informing him of this decision that he should not feel alone during the process but can always go and seek help from his GP, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or the Samaritans. What?! Being suspended from an asylum where the lunatics are now completely in charge will make you so depressed you may think about killing yourself, will it? The letter also talks of protecting the reputation of the Labour Party; and what reputation is that, exactly?
l That one candidate for the deputy leadership believes that our country should not go to war without a Labour government obtaining the consent (stay with me, I’m not making this up) of the members of the Labour Party. Unbelievable! So a Labour Prime Minister would announce that, for example, some Middle East dictator can carry on raping and murdering for a few more days because the conference centre in Brighton/Blackpool/Birmingham isn’t available till a week on Wednesday.
l That one candidate for leader gives Corbyn (who has lost two elections in two-and-a-half years, including a record and humiliating defeat) 10 out of 10.
l That nearly all the candidates for both positions believe that the election defeat was just to do with Brexit and that there was nothing wrong with the policies or leadership of the party. (Note to members: the average, ordinary voter in the Midlands and the North whose family had voted Labour for generations showed last December that she or he will not vote for a party that at least needs to answer questions about some members or policies which are anti-business, unpatriotic, anti-semitic or Marxist... or sometimes people or policies which have more than one of those traits.)
l That it was the personal attacks on Corbyn by ‘the media’ that caused the cataclysmic defeat. Grow up!
It was Albert Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. As Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott and co leave the stage (although one leadership candidate has suggested Corbyn might be offered the position of shadow foreign secretary. God help us!) it is worthy of enquiry as to whether the Labour Party has taken leave of its senses and actually learned nothing over the past few months. Carry on like this and there won’t be a Labour Party in a couple of elections’ time.
And why does that matter?
Our country always needs a quality opposition, constantly holding Her Majesty’s Government to account. Constantly setting out alternative policies that get the electorate thinking. Constantly providing an effective and different and believable and respected voice in the maelstrom of execution of policies by a government with a big majority.
What it doesn’t need is Her Majesty’s Opposition shouting in an echo chamber, embarrassingly showing on a regular basis how out of touch with the woman or man in the (especially outwith the M25) street they really are, and taking our tax cash in wages as they frankly but, sadly, predictably go mad.