Saturday, September 17, 2016

Why Jeremy will win

Watching Andrew Marr's insightful TV programme about recent political history in Scotland, I was struck by one of his observations: that the decline of Labour and the Trades Unions was a direct consequence of deindustrialisation. Scotland, he said, is now a post-industrial country with all the political and cultural diversity which comes with that.

Something else I read, relating to the evolution of the Labour Party (I have forgotten who wrote this): the Labour Party has walked away from its working class base and been colonised by its other historical support group, the urban leftist middle class.

OK, you knew that, but the real point was what came next: the middle class is largely unaffected by whichever party occupies government. Consequently, its political activism is fuelled not so much by righteous indignation on behalf of its own (mostly aspirational) problems, but by idealised, sacralised issues, often relating to other, less fortunate segments of society. [Example].

So do we think the future is more social, economic and political atomisation, more middle class overproduction and more cultural-tribal politics .. movement politics?

Or are we going to revert to the kind of proletarian solidarity formerly found in industries such as ship building and the mines?

To ask is to answer.

Forget those socialist-realist posters of cloth-capped workers united in storming the barricades. They are history.*

We have seen the future and it is Jeremy.


* Those posters have been history for a long time. This 'present conjuncture' so reminds me of the politics of the late sixties and early seventies, a time of protest, demonstrations and exciting left-wing politics.

The weasel Owen Smith's fundamental problem in this leadership election is that he thinks the 'Jeremy problem' is lack of competence in an electoral/parliamentary context.

Listen up, Owen! The new membership doesn't care about remote parliamentary antics - it's the movement, stupid!

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