One has to wonder if there isn’t a contagious disease ravaging Labour parties around the world. Something to do with searching for the centre, fear of lefties, and, down under, fear of women? In the current UK leadership battle a longtime, hardworking, leftie MP – Jeremy Corbyn – has surged to the lead, signed up new members in droves. There is concern non-Labour voters are also signing up in droves, small ones happily and hardly Corbyn’s fault. Rampaging back from the right are Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell freely (yes, no fees) giving unsolicited advice. Could there be anything more unreal than those two luminaries offering advice on how to save a nation from a very principled man?
I’ve followed the drama in The Guardian online. George Monbiot’s piece ‘Jeremy Corbyn is the curator of the future. His rivals are chasing an impossible dream’ is excellent, thoughtful. He argues that Corbyn can’t win the next election but neither can his rivals, and that Corbyn’s task is to pull Labour back to the left.
FINDING NEVERLAND’s CENTRE IN NZ
Local Labour stalwart Rob Salmond, commenting on his own behalf, popped up on the Public Address blog to rebut Monbiot. He argues the centre matters. It’s easily located on his graph! Eureka! Monbiot anticipated the Salmond approach and wrote: ‘dreamers argue that Labour has to recapture the middle ground. But there is no such place; no fixed political geography. The middle ground is a magic mountain that retreats as you approach. The more you chase it from the left, the further to the right it moves’. Indeed. Go on, read Monbiot’s article, it is beautifully crafted.
I can’t say the same for Salmond’s simplistic effort. There was I weighing up his thesis when halfway through came the hellfire and brimstone words: MAN BAN. I’M ASHAMED OF BEING A MAN. My highlighting. It was a stellar piece of disconnection. Dogwhistle politics, surely National’s terrain? Grandsons of brave ANZAC’s sobbed? Women thought ‘get over it’? Am I to deduce these words were the defining moment in Labour’s election failure? Curiously, Salmond overlooked the most serious stuff up: a proposed capital gains tax. It was badly and inadequately explained to unprepared middle NZ. Which shuddered. Now, to the detriment of the country, it is not even up for discussion.
Women are the wreckers. Eve and Pandora, creatures of MANmade myths, started the rot. In the face of regular buckshot from Labour’s anti-identity politics brigade (a right bunch of charmers and arguably advocates of male identity politics but let’s not go down that vortex) Labour women have been regularly silenced, women’s issues sidelined.
I may have written ‘let’s not go down that vortex’ but I haven’t the slightest intention of obeying this injunction. In deference to preferred male conduct I’m just copying their hypocrisy and double standards. Couldn’t some of the above charmers enlist the help of leftish comedians of all genders to counter National’s lavishly paid for jibes, propaganda. And point out that identity issues are hip pocket issues. Clue: they affect work opportunities, pay, promotion etc. And children’s development, confidence etc.
Labour won the women’s vote when women mobilised around abortion in the 1970s but they have since squandered it. Accessing abortion, a hip pocket issue if ever there was, can require three days off work, travelling and paying for child care if you live in the wrong locality. It is banned from Labour’s agenda. The sex education shambles (also Labour’s legacy) isn’t a man’s issue? Rape, Roastbusters culture is a rare aberration? Yeah, right!
FREE ADVICE FOR LABOUR
To quote Salmond, albeit at the risk of prolonging a PFJ/JPF situation, some Labour luminary such as Jacinda Ardern’s boss, Andrew Little, should have stood up to geriatric hunk and mischief maker, Graeme Lowe, who described Ardern as ‘a pretty little girl’. Ideally Little would then have paid tribute to Lowe’s better qualities. He was a great League player and a very courageous man.
If you didn’t know what Salmond’s cutey reference to a PFJ/JPF situation was on about and, like me, couldn’t be bothered checking the link, my helpful son did and recognised the scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian where different factions of various judean peoples’ fronts debated their positions. It’s very funny, quite apposite. Rob might care to look in the mirror.
SIMPLIFYING LABOUR’S CHALLENGES:
STOP CRINGING. USE HUMOUR. ANGER WHEN APPROPRIATE. ADOPT, RECLAIM ACTIVISM. GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA.