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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale

The Intellectual Left... Behind #again

Updated: Feb 22, 2019

This is controversial. It seems that our country’s left wing has been allowed to become swamped by petty point scoring and a failure to actually offer any viable valid alternative position in our world of political chaos. Divided Government vs divided opposition.

On my old and now non-existent website brainpain, I published a blog with this exact title sometime around spring 2015, I think. The bitter irony being that the bulk of the trajectory that I am willing to chastise here, is that they are unable to recognise their being in any sense the cause of this dire political situation. They can choke on their quinoa for all I care, or at least just keep their own naïve and idealistic hallucinations toward the realms of our political system.

Of course, this was in a different political environment, when Labour’s leader Ed Miliband faced the orchestrator of Brexit AKA David Cameron as the leader of a weak opposition of the Coalition (first since ‘70s and sustainable one since the last world war) ran by the Tories and Liberal Democrats. Without wanting to sift through the momentous political developments that have taken place since then, I’ll just reflect upon the appalling state of our current political arena.

This has allowed to our current disgusting and disgraceful coalition being able to move our country further to the right, without being effectively challenged on anything with any real substance. I may have had the exact inkling that this is what could easily happen, at the time of Corbyn’s election as leader to the Labour Party around autumn 2015.

I do quite like the man. As somebody to maybe sit next to for a bit at any middle class ale festival or fair trade, free range farmer’s market! Never would I ever claim to have any crystal ball or offer anything other than former twice serving Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s claim that a week is a long time in politics. But to me, it was always clear that returning to a tired and albeit long tested political rhetoric was never going to be an effective way forward. Corbyn’s controversies, including allowing copious amounts of internal bickering over claims of appalling anti-Semitism and it really being too late in the day for the ex-vocal Europhobe to simply allow the incompetent Government to keep fudging their own beastly Brexit. This is an issue of prime concern to millions of our own native and overseas beneficiaries and the widespread reluctance shown to take a position on it is almost farcical.

This comes in the wake of 7 Labour MPs [Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffe] vowing to quit their party in Now, it seems to have taken this long for widespread disgruntlement within the Labour Party to be formally recognised. I find it to be an abhorrent example of abhorrent treachery.

Memory is far from a forte of any on the intellectual left side. Okay, it is now over 35 years ago since the Labour Party were in such political wilderness. Lead by the hapless Michael Foot, the infamous ‘Gang of Four’ [David Owen, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins and David Owen] broke off to form the Social Democratic and Labour Party. Now as much as I can be a nerdy anorak with this sort of information, it is surely of relevance that they took 25% of the vote share in the 1983 General Election. Labour then only took 27% of the vote. Due to our long established First Past the Post (FPTP) electoral system, they only took 26 seats, as opposed to still principal Labour’s 209.

Fast forward from this in-representational statistic to the referendum in 2011 over whether to establish an Alternative Vote (AV) system was crushed.

These facts surely must prove that dividing parities and creating factions does not work. Are certain politicians sanctimoniously oblivious towards learning from any hind-sight? Whatever you think towards our electoral system, it looks as though we are stuck with FPTP for the foreseeable and surely it is preferable to just be pragmatic and work with what you can obtain from it collectively?

Thus being a zealot and branching off, must serve no interest to anybody. You must hardly need to be a statistician to recognise the need for unity and strength. The keenness with which some of my most admired figures – including JK Rowling, though her ruthless mocking of ‘saint Corbyn’ absconds her from too much blame in my eyes – have sympathised with a breakaway Labour Party, is a cause of my disdain. More so, it perhaps echoes of the fact that this pathetic group of mindless busy bodies who are indulging in joy at the current state of the Labour Party, are not serving the interests of anybody; they need to learn that they’re never going to get anywhere.

It may just be cruel, but I cannot help but feel as though people seemingly determined to self-sabotage can only be compensating for deflecting inadequacies from their own lives.

So yes, I do have respect for Corbyn’s views. Though, as a thrice married and public school boy, back-bencher (who almost consistently opposed the party he happily served for – whoever his family consisted of at the time – a wage packet), I always doubted that he would be the man to stand as a strong leader to our party; let alone country.

What I’d say that we now need is a unified and progressive Labour party. Ideally, this should be chaired by a much too long awaited female or union leader. Ultimately we need to work with what we’ve got and splintering our already too weak party against an ineffectual Government that should be able to be easily toppled blindfold. People thriving off of their divided state and their purist leaning need to just get a life. Together everybody with enough sense and social conscience can beat all odds; kept apart we can just continue to sink.

And anybody proudly claiming to be the real ‘hard-left’ or any lunacy of that sort should just try to be hard in some more fun and productive ways.

Recent developments in Britain’s political sphere since then have been about as rapid in their vapidity as they have been detrimental to the state of our country’s democracy since the past general election. The Labour Party need to come together and be string, else I doubt that I shall be the only paying subscriber to soon feel forced to quit from being a member.

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