Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Pejorative? No thanks, I'm with the Prudential.
Chocolate stabber, shirt lifter, fudge packer – who hasn’t used a homophobic epithet or two? And if you say you haven’t you must be a bit of a poof. I say a ‘bit’ of a poof because your actual full-on, shove-your-cock-up-another-man’s-arse, out-and-proud gayers are not shy with the self-effacing pejorative. And quite inventive with the invective. Queer dear? Who isn’t, these days? In a world where whatever you last feverishly dreamed you might imagine you wish to be, so be it. You could even come out as a gender ambivalent toast rack and nobody would be allowed to so much as bat an eyelid.
So, the sanctimonious trashing of Jared O'Mara by both left and right is a bit rich. Let he who is without sin and all that... Okay, some of it was maybe a bit strong and all of it now spectacularly misjudged, especially coming hot on the heels of Clive Lewis and on-your-knees-bitch-gate. But the sad thing is that while elements of the Labour Party are feverishly doing the work of the Tory spin doctors, it is a disappointment that those Tory spinners haven’t chosen to just ignore it all and let the opposition bring itself efficiently into disrepute.
The British used to have a reputation for being good sports and preferred a fair fight; this is far from even-handed. Yes the man seems to have been a bit of a low-life by current standards, serially insulting pretty much every possible identity grouping, but at least he hasn’t singled out one minority to bully. So it’s a tad embarrassing to see the side which really should hold the moral high ground – the real party of the workers – jumping aboard the trash train. In a shit-slinging competition nobody ends up smelling of roses.
Anyway, you don’t want to get the Labour whip withdrawn, for heaven’s sake. Let him dangle there, stinking up the place and bringing the party's moral standing under scrutiny again and again. After all, if you’re offended you’ve almost certainly chosen to be, unless you have really never, ever used mocking, hurtful words aimed at individuals or at specific groups of individuals. I know I have and I reserve my right to continue doing so. Judge me, why don’t you? Oh, wait, you already did.
So what? Our political class have long been exposed. Far from being solemn upholders of the law and defenders of the nation they have become hostages to fickle fortune and bend, like delicate straws, in the slightest of breezes. To court popularity the Tories rip off Labour slogans and policies; in desperation to gain the throne Labour appeals to the lowest common denominators. Standards in public life went out of the window a good few decades ago, so here’s the open goal to aim for:
Brexit, Trump, Sebastian Kurz, Le Pen, Geert Wilders, Ukip... These aren’t any more ‘far-right’ than Tony Benn was Joseph Stalin. Their ‘rise’ is a reaction to the indifference of mainstream politicians to the real lives of their constituents. The surge in what is derisively referred to as populism (it used to called 'democracy') is exactly because of the grandstanding condemnation of idiots who would better be ignored. The electorate really doesn’t care how virtuous you are; it cares about what you can actually do for all of us; not just for discrete groups of us.
Rule Number One: No pooftahs!
Nobody apart from the members of these discrete groups cares one jot about the ever more finely chopped and diced UK population. Ghettoes, physical or merely suggested, do none of us any good, but for too many years that’s the way our supposed multiculturalism has driven us. When a party appears that can truly put identity politics to one side and stick to a simple narrative of single nationhood, driven by the common good, that party will deserve its victory. Until then I guess it’s back to politics as usual... you big bunch of pooftahs.