Saturday, 25 April 2015
The Stepford Milibands
Something strange has happened to the Labour Party. No, I mean something even stranger than that. Ed Miliband and Douglas Alexander yesterday both spoke with the same voice and I do mean with the same voice; not one of human origin, but with the identical measured monotone and mock estuarine accent that Blair had downloaded into RAM from Labour spin central. Dropping their aitches and glottal stopping for all they were worth and constantly saying “Ah’ll do” and “Ah said…” the pair of them sounded utterly soulless. We all have verbal and vocal tics, but few of us go out of our way to sound like clones of a discredited political laboratory creation – at least once we have grown out of the teenage faux ‘strine accent phase.
So it is my considered hypothesis that whatever shred of humanity remained in the corpus of the Labour shadow cabinet it has been extracted and replaced with some form of alien replicant serum; because that stuff exists you know! Before you leap on the naysaying bandwagon I have to declare my theory is at least as credible as anything Labour have presented as a policy since they were kicked into touch by the British public last time round. While the Tories have such obviously flawed but hugely entertaining joke humanoid-imitating robots as Boris Johnson and Eric Pickles and Ukip, of course, has the mighty Farage, the Labour line-up looks like the clients in the Star Wars bar.
Stiff, wooden, inarticulate, humourless, condescending and devoid of any warmth, Rachel ‘Morticia’ Reeves is clearly in the final stages of Milibandification. She looks like Ed, sounds like Ed, has Ed’s adenoidal timbre and like many of her opposition colleagues displays the self-awareness of a particularly nondescript pebble. And forget the oily, buffed-up Uncle Tom Umunna, the closest thing Labour comes to colour is Ed Balls and even his remaining ruddiness is steadily being drained from those chubby cheeks as he Milibandises from within. Soon you will not be able to tell one from another which, if you think about it, is exactly what Len McCluskey has wanted all along.
Mourning the decline of identikit, Labour-voting, production line workers, paying into union coffers every Thursday, Len has had to resort to some lateral thinking. Instead of a bunch of indistinguishable drones in the mills and factories he has instead sought to appeal to a workforce that is no longer interested in the nuances of politics. Who needs difference, he has reasoned, when the technology exists to manufacture a matching set of politicians without an individual thought or personality to their name?
And he’s onto a winner. Forget about voting for the individual best able to represent your interests at Westminster. That would involve you taking an active part in democracy – weighing up your options considering the pros and cons – something Labour voters became incapable of doing long before the New-Labour/Tory-Lite experiment. No all you have to do now is listen to the hypnotic whine of lefty aphorisms and place your ‘X’ in the box secure in the knowledge that if you vote for any single one of them, you will get the whole damned lot.