Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Seven Deadly Sinners

The newly formed Independent Group of ex-Labour MPs say they want a new politics, not driven by ideology. But wait, what is politics, after all, if it doesn’t pursue a vision? Mere governance need not cleave to left or right, but simply acts in the best interests of the majority, surely? Yes, look after the helpless, but otherwise act for all. Ideologies on the other hand seek more, well, ideological outcomes. And Labour comes from the soak the rich, kill the rich, tax the rich, banish the rich (but still tax them), hate the rich, harry the rich end of the spectrum. Where does this put the band of seven?

There were said to be seven capital vices, otherwise known as the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. Just for a bit of fun, let’s look at the sinners a little more closely.

Pride, they say, goes before a fall and Chuka Umunna simply can’t help himself. As a closeted gay Tory in real life, he clearly chose the Labour Party as one in which his dusky skin tones gave him more of a leg up than his natural parliamentary home. Alas his bid for leadership fell at the first hurdle and consigned him forever to be the bridesmaid and never the bride. No doubt he sees himself as leader of this new group... watch out for that tumble!

Chris Leslie, who supports a deeply unpopular soft Brexit with a customs union and single market membership, has criticised Labour for not demanding a second referendum, with Remain an option. He claims his Constituency Labour Party has been infiltrated by the intolerant hard left which seeks to deselect him. It doesn’t look as he has much to lose by quitting. Oh how he must envy Chuka’s suave, Tory presence and winning ways with the, er, laydeez.

Gavin Shuker (who he?) at only 37, is the whippersnapper of the gang of seven. But greedy for power he has founded a secretive company  ‘Gemini A Ltd’ who are said to be the backers behind The Independent Group. As the sole director, wee Gavin clearly hopes his grip on the purse strings will deliver him the attention he craves. And as for Mike Gapes carrying, as he does a few extra pounds, are we to detect a touch of the glutton?

Then we come to the ladies and who would wish to feel the wrath of a woman scorned? Still less the incandescent fury of Luciana Berger – the anti-anti-Semite’s anti-anti-Semite. Or indeed Angela Smith whose slip of the tongue over ‘funny-tinge-gate’ betrays, maybe, an obsession with the dusky. Methinks, however, her lust will go unanswered by the chhekily mocha Chuka. As for Ann Coffey, in a vox-pop from her ward a constituent claimed she had never done a thing for the area, so a sloth in sheep’s clothing, or simply the left, ever quick to turn on their own?

Still waters don't always run so deep

Of course, Ms Coffey has form in backing losers. She nominated Liz Kendall for the Labour leadership in 2015 and endorsed Owen Smith in same failed endeavour in 2016. Whatever the truth behind it all, what seems by now abundantly clear is how few ripples this has really caused in the political talent pool. If you are going to start a breakaway movement you really need some bigger headline acts than this. Maybe seven deadly sinners was too big a label; they are more like the seven dwarves, which begs the question: which one is the most Dopey?

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