Mean spirited and wrong… October 4, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
…are the words that come to mind reading some of the overviews of the Labour Conference in the Guardian. Now, I’ve got to admit that I’ve never held to the line that the Guardian must of necessity hold to a pro-LP approach, or pro-LP leadership approach, come what may. It is an entity that has its own course – vaguely left liberal, with, increasingly the emphasis on the liberal. Indeed its identification with certain strands of liberalism is so over that while it was something of a surprise to see it endorsing at an editorial level the Liberal Democrats in 2010 it wasn’t a complete bolt from the blue. And consequently the attitudes exemplified by some of its staff – I’ve already noted Barbara Ellen’s very curious critique of Corbyn and the Labour Party – is interesting more as a symptom of a broader disengagement from the left by tranches of left/liberal leaning commentators than anything else.
What is particularly telling is that for all the emphasis on flexibility and adaptability those presenting such critiques appear utterly beholden to a style of Labour that was exemplified by the Blair leadership. For them there is, apparently, one way and one way only to regain power and that is by an essential emulation of Blair in some form or fashion. That this contradicts their own supposed adherence to engaging with a protean world doesn’t seem to concern them overmuch. That Corbyn could actually be a somewhat appealing figure, that he could grow into the role of leader, appears to escape them entirely.
But above all that is the sense that for them the actual Labour Party is really nothing much more than a tool whose history, rhetoric and structure is to be largely ignored most of the time and whose function is to deliver the very mildly very very slightly left of centre approach they cleave too. And so we get pieces like Marina Hyde’s which treat the Labour Conference as if attendance at it was equivalent to visiting another world.