Friday, July 31, 2015

The sexy old sea dog and the rudderless ship

Following on from Mark Steel's acidic commentary on the Labour leadership race is this piece by fellow comic Frankie Boyle, which avoids irony in favour of a blunt attack on the party's overall refusal to condemn the Tories' welfare bill. Boyle suggests that they "might as well ... be managed by an out-of-office email" and concludes that if you fail to oppose the sort of draconian measures set to be introduced as part of the bill, then "you have stated that you don’t want to fight injustice but are simply looking for your own role in serving it".

There is some hope, though. Jeremy Corbyn has - rather unexpectedly - now taken a 22-point lead in the leadership race, and appears to have found particular favour among the young. The reaction to these developments has been mixed. Some Tories and Blairites have come out in favour of a Corbyn win in the belief that it would be complete folly and serve to undermine the Left - when in fact it would give visibility and mainstream credence to precisely the sort of principles and values on which Labour were founded and for which they should stand. Meanwhile, others have predictably responded by attempting to belittle or mock Corbyn as a hopeless idealist, or to caricature or demonise him as a Marxist bogeyman - though he's also found the positive press somewhat "embarrassing".

(Thanks to Phil and Peyman for some of the links.)

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