The Sue Gray report didn’t change much, much to the disgust of the Labour luvvies in the media who think they can rule on who the PM should be. Of course people are sick of ‘Partygate’, but they were even sicker of an offer to: carry out the denationalisation of British Rail, fund the NHS and social care to a higher level, scrap tuition fees, build one million new homes over five years, abolish zero hour contracts, a National Education Service, breaking up the big six energy companies, more investment in mental health, and promotion of the green economy.
All the right-wing tropes have re-emerged with galliant chutzpah, and emboldened with two new Freeview channels the facilities for promoting an ideological cesspit has never been easier. Whether or not Boris Johnson knew he was lying has been one of semantics for his lawyers (it’s funny how Johnson suddenly wants to instruct ‘leftie lawyers isn’t it?) But the cabal of Beth Rigby, Robert Peston, Pippa Crear, James O’Brien and Jonathan Freedland now bore me senseless with their sanctimonious dissection of one issue, Partygate, when they have been patently sleeping at the wheel prior to the Starmer golden era of Labour.
It’s very difficult for somebody like me, who had voted Labour all his life, to support the Labour Party given how much it tried and succeeded to assassinate politically its leader despite winning two leadership elections twice. It cannot also be ignored how toxic the perception that Labour wanted to reverse the referendum had become, with the carrot of a second referendum. It soon became a stick whereby Brexit supporters couldn’t support a Knight of the Realm, wealthy, lawyer wanting to look neutral. The right wing can do the politics of envy, as best as the next man or woman.
Of course it was optimistic and foolish in equal measure for the establishment automatically to support ‘Remain’ especially with Alan Johnson and Sir Stuart Rose leading the charge of the very light brigade for ‘Remain’. There was no serious attempt to dissect the Northern Ireland Protocol from Starmer. Labour rightly wanted to stamp out all racism, but we have heard little about their progress on this year, and heard even less about the infamous Forde Report.
So instead of talking about social care reform, reform of the energy markets and so on, we’re in a never ending cycle of discussing whether the rainbow symbol and Ukrainian flags are overused, whether transsexual athletes should compete in international tournaments, whether risqué comedians and academic should be cancelled, whether icons as great as Churchill or Oswald Mosley should necessarily be ‘cancelled’ and so forth. In a weird utopia, there’d be 57 channels devoted to various varieties of Dorries TV, discussing the same thing: how Starmer ate a pasty. Result: a hung parliament, with Scotland voting SNP.
Andrew Rawnsley famously wrote a piece called ‘End of the Party’, and in a way I want it to be the end of the Partygate. I am sick that they lied and others died, of course I am. But there’s a debate to be had about whether all the quantitative easing in previous Tory governments has helped with the ‘cost of living’, as well as maximising shareholder dividend for all the privatised industries. But Tory voters aren’t thick. Please hold my non-alcoholic beer.
Starmer doesn’t do it for me. A London cabbie told me that, despite being a lifelong socialist, we should now rally behind Starmer, who’s so forgiving that he has expelled socialists from the Labour Party. But in the same breath that London cabbie told me we must root out benefit scroungers.
It never fails me how Tory England is, nor Boris Johnson’s interminable ability to ‘get away with it’.