Monday, 16 December 2019
Remember when we were colourblind? Britain has long been a pretty tolerant country; we put up with a lot before we kick off. But our attitudes towards black and brown and yellow people have been questionable in the past. The days of Bernard Manning were effectively over while he was still performing his racist schtick to, it has to be said, almost exclusively Labour-voting audiences. That kind of blind prejudice had never been acceptable, however, and by the end of the eighties it was pretty much dead. In the meritocracy we were building it mattered not from whence you hailed, rather it was what you brought to the table.
How things have changed. I have almost finished Douglas Murray’s excellent exposition of the über-woke and their obsessions and infighting – The Madness of Crowds – and the big takeaway for me is the impossibility of what they insist they want. Demanding to be understood, the various sub-groups of the LGBTPQI++ ‘alliance’ simultaneously insist that unless you are them you can never understand them. It is a Catch 22 of their own making, wilfully aided and abetted by academics, policy twonks and a plethora of rent-seeking ‘experts’ who seek to realign society.
The trouble is, their vision of society is as seen through a kaleidoscope – disjointed, jarringly symmetrical and ever-shifting. (I do recognise, by the way, the irony of invoking a 19th Century child’s toy to describe the world view of a cohort who have likely never peered into one.) The problem remains; you can’t demand special treatment whilst also demanding that you are accepted as an equal; you can’t force both diversity and equality to rub shoulders without friction. So Labour adopting the multitude of positions they have in order to achieve this improbable thing have set themselves a challenge which may be insurmountable.
The Labour Party is in deep trouble. Again. They have been here before and the outcome was exactly the same; eventually the grown-ups had to step in and wrest back control from the Marxists. But that certainty shows no sign of coming about just yet because the left-wing grievance machine is still firmly in control. Having eschewed their founding voter base for the inanities of identity politics they remain convinced that what is blindingly obvious to everybody else is yet another manifestation of the bigotry they are determined to find all around.
Labour lost because the people they claim to represent didn’t want their representation. They lost because their drift to the left has left their voters behind. They lost because the vote they so much need to court belongs to people they have come to abhor and denigrate. So they have to decide what they want to be; they have to resolve their own identity crisis. The workers? Or the Islington Set? The coming Labour leadership contest will truly be a battle for the soul of the party. Ah, soul…