My cousin Sue has been a Labour member for thirty years, and is deeply enough involved in the party and its campaigning to have given speeches at the annual conference and appeared as a disability advocate on the BBC.
In the wake of Labour’s three-line whip mandating MPs to vote for Theresa May’s hard-Brexit bill irrespective of whether any of their amendments were accepted (they weren’t), Sue tweeted “There’s only ever 1 question for me. Is today the day I let stupid idiot humans beat an ideal?”. At which point I went off on one and posted a series of tweets in response. I reproduce them below, lightly edited.
WARNING. This will be boring to many people, and infuriating to others. It surely exposes my political naivety. Yes, a case can be made that I should just get over it. Don’t read on if you don’t want to.
The problem comes when they [the stupid idiot humans who beat an ideal] are the very humans who are meant to stand for that ideal.
To be honest, I expect Conservatives to be venal and short-termist. But because I never expected anything better of them I never felt betrayed by Cameron, Osborne, May, etc. — just disgusted by them. They did what they said they would do. Like the guy in the political ad.:
My problem with Labour is that they were supposed to be the opposite of that. That is the whole point of them. To be hurt by someone you expect to hurt you: nasty, but OK. But to be kicked in teeth by someone you trusted? that is pain.
And if that is true for Labour in general, it goes double for Corbyn’s Labour, when we all believed he was the Great Rebel. My friend Andrew Rilstone wrote a series of superb pieces on why it’s worth supporting Corbyn, which at the time I wholly agreed with. The fact that it is he, of all people, who has deliberately and repeatedly taken a dump on us, over and over, is intolerable.
I registered as a Labour supporter to vote for Corbyn the first time he was up to become party leader. Andrew actually joined the party to vote the second time. I nearly did the same, because Corbyn alone out of all the options looked like a man of principle and integrity.
But now we clearly see that he’s not. Whatever he used to be, he’s now just another opportunist pursuing “electability”. Which, by the way, is also terrible strategy, as you can’t get elected by posing as a Slightly Less Competent Tory.
So a pox on Jeremy Corbyn. A pox on him and the horse he rode in on, and all his contemptible blow-with-the-wind Tories-in-red-ties party.
Transmission ends. I am done with them.