Sunday, 3 December 2017
Give it a whirl
In the 1970s the UK was in the grip of strike fever. Union officials gleefully called wildcat walk-outs, sympathy strikes, occupations, mob picketing and any form of action that could bring an organisation to its knees. Even some private companies found themselves caught up in the madness, choosing to close their doors rather than give in, resulting in their work-forces picketing the dole office instead. In nationalised industries, days-long ‘beer and sandwiches’ meetings were held, during which union moochers flexed their muscles and managements were held to ransom.
Inevitably these strikes achieved little to nothing. Necessary redundancies went ahead anyway, in some cases hastened by the very industrial action intended to prevent it. And in the case of the most militant of unions, longer term plans were put in place to render them impotent within a decade. As a result, the Labour Party, the former party of the workers, was banished for a political generation. Talk about shitting on your own doorstep.
It is the job of opposition to oppose. But it is not the job of any responsible party to simply obstruct. Decisions have been made with which you may not agree, but continuing to fight a battle long after the victor has left the field is denial and folly. Whilst politics itself may be a game, governing the country should not be; at a time when differences should be put aside for the national interest, undermining our position is tantamount to treason.
But it isn’t just here and it isn’t just Brexit. Across the developed world populations are awaking, trudging to the ballot boxes and saying no to the entrenched positions of increasingly socialist regimes. Fed up of being ignored, alarmed at mass migrations, the apparent elevation of minority rights above the rest, the fiscal failures of welfare states, ordinary men and women have found their voice. And the left doesn’t like it one bit.
Donald Trump was elected President of the USA. He didn’t just break in and assume control; he was voted in, democratically. And Hillary Clinton lost, democratically. The Conservative Party are the elected government of the UK, albeit by a thread. Angela Merkel cannot form a government, because the German people no longer want what she wants. Those who were promised a socialist utopia are disillusioned and no longer afraid to speak out.
Like the union wreckers of old, the left are not interested in giving the majority of people what they have said they want; they exist to oppose, to frustrate and to generally get in the way of progress. This is somewhat ironic for a movement that calls its politics ‘progressive’, but then, just like the so-called ‘anti-fascists’ their headspace is an irony-free zone. Meanwhile, Momentum pushes ahead with its takeover of local councils, despite what voters actually want – which is credible governance, not ideology.
The left love to talk about everybody else as dinosaurs; dull, lumbering beasts who should be extinct. But if anything it is the resurgent hard left who are the dinosaurs, harking back to the smoke-filled rooms of the seventies and the destructive deployment of union muscle. Then as now, it is the young who are taken in by promises of what will never be; aimless cannon fodder, all too ready to swear allegiance to a false prophet in the guise of Labour’s latest ‘Uncle Joe’, Jeremy Corbyn.
Did you ever wonder what being
on the winning team was like?
Like generations before them they will surely come to learn how they were used, then look on in exasperation as the next wave of recruits marches and chants and does all it can to be part of the problem. But instead of always being against, how about a little experiment? How about a year – one, single year – in which those clamouring for a change they are not going to get stand silent instead? Or, even better, get on board. Try being on the winning team for once; you never know, you might even get to like it.