Tuesday, 25 February 2014
The future is bland
So, Labour wants to get back to its roots, widen its appeal and connect with ordinary voters from all walks of life. Despite all the state bribes, some of the most disaffected and least engaged voters are Labour’s core constituents; they love the benefits but they just can’t be arsed to vote, or maybe they haven’t the literacy to spell ‘X’. The only thing they can be relied on to do is not to vote Conservative, but as their default setting is simply ‘not’ that’s only getting half the job done and the party machine is already working at capacity finagling the postal votes from the future islamic caliphate. The day we get e-voting via the telly is the day they will finally bury the Tories. But to what depths will Labour have stooped by then?
Once upon a time they represented an enormous number of manual workers in brute labour-intensive industry, living short lives in sickness and squalor and without a voice. Quite rightly they managed to mobilise the downtrodden and greatly improve their lot. I have always applauded that, but that great mass of muscle is all gone. Most of the people Labour first fought for are long dead and their descendants have never known their struggle. And ever since New Labour had to become Tory-Lite to get Blair elected in a triumph of politics over reason, the ‘party’ has been more like the American pronunciation, ‘parody’.
So Ed Miliband’s latest plan sounds all very noble, taken at face value; offer cut-price, easy access party membership so that finances or closed shop union rules are no bar to entry and enlist the man in the street to join the cause. But the big problem is that Ed’s cause is ONE Nation, not several million of them and in trying to be all things to all people you become an atomised clown car of an administration, the doors and wheels threatening to fall off at any moment. How do you square the concerns of the displaced former working class with that of housing those you have imported to replace them? And how are the needs of small businesses addressed while simultaneously introducing a raft of workers’ rights that make illegals the preferred employee? How much positive discrimination is too much and how far do you hobble the gifted to give the mundane the impression of equality?
To counter the charge of cabinets being entirely staffed by the political elites you have an enormous problem. Partly because quite frankly anybody without an upbringing based on House of Cards won’t last five minutes in Westminster and partly because whoever you choose they will immediately be confronted with protest that they represent too narrow an interest group. Too black, too white, too left, too right – as absolutely, definitely not-racist Sadiq Khan remarked only yesterday on the Daily Politics, the Tories are a racist, sexist party because they are “male and pale”. Fuck me imagine, if somebody white had described Diane Abbott as “black and slack”?
Candidates for selection should consider the following advice: You must not have money, beliefs, more than one house, any filial connections in royalty, government, history, literature or art or talk posh. You should be as bland as it is possible to be; not too tall, short, fat or thin and you should never have claimed benefits, or picked up a parking fine or had a row with a neighbour. Oh, no kids either; no number of kids is the correct family size and they would only embarrass you anyway. While we’re on the subject, as the notion of family is always a touchy subject, it’s best you have no settled relationship or former spouse to come back to haunt you.
You also shouldn’t be male, white, middle class or live in the south. Rather than run the risk that any hobbies or interests might attract the charges of oddness or privilege you should neither keep newts, collect stamps nor have played rugby in fact, your past will preferably be so magnolia it defies interest or investigation. Also you mustn’t hold strong views –especially not about paedophilia. Or sex of any kind. With anybody. In fact it would be even better still if your gender is a mystery. Like your past; because parents can also say the wrong things at times its better you have none. Oh and you shouldn’t have too many qualifications or be particularly successful – the British hate success.
Ladies and gentlemen I present the prototype for next Labour Prime Minister: An androgynous, single, black, orphan of average height, weight and intelligence. A former plumber with a college education and a bit of a bad back, with no history or hobbies or interesting features of any kind. Speaking with a soft Midlands burr in a voice so soporific and unexciting that nobody ever remembers what they promised, this is the perfect candidate to represent what Britain has become. Just so long as they don’t resemble a black, female retarded Ed Miliband.