How Will Starmer Unite the Unruly, Acrimonious Left? – The Daily Sceptic (2024)

The other day, David McGrogan wrote an excellent piece for this site called ‘Why the Labour Party Will Win‘. He pointed out that we are subject to a cycle of hope and disappointment when it comes to government. After the farce of the Tory years it is inevitable that the voting public will turn to something else as a reaction, and that will in turn lead to its own disappointment.

All those who march proudly into the House of Commons in a few weeks, the new Government strutting along with self-righteous zeal, will soon hit the obstructive wall of reality.

On December 19th 1666, Samuel Pepys wrote in his celebrated diary after meeting an acquaintance at Westminster:

Sir R[ichard] Ford did make me understand how the House of Commons is a beast not to be understood. It being impossible to know beforehand the success almost of any small plain thing. There being so many to think and speak to any business and they of so uncertain minds and interests and passions.

I’m in the unusual position of being able to read his shorthand so I’ve just transcribed that passage from the original text, and that is what it says. It’s a brilliant observation which is as pertinent now as it was then.

The difference today of course is that politicians and government have far greater pretensions than they had in Samuel Pepys’s day. When the Plague hit in 1665 no-one in power had the slightest idea what to do except decamp to the countryside. When the Great Fire burned down most of London in 1666 it was down to Charles II and his brother James, Duke of York to lead the blowing up of houses to create fire breaks. But really all they could do was wait for the wind to change and let the conflagration burn itself out.

In our present age, politicians and government fall over themselves to pretend they are in control. They aren’t, but it doesn’t stop them coming up with all sorts of schemes as part of the masquerade. Various commentators have popped recently to point out how most of our present ills can be tied in some way to the measures adopted during Covid. It doesn’t matter what you think about Covid and whether it was real or not. What matters is what the Government did.

Net Zero is much the same. The illusion of state power over the natural world. Hubris beyond belief and doomed almost certainly to making things worse, only at vastly elevated expense and economic ruin.

The best column I read was Janet Daley’s piercing ‘The toxic legacy of lockdown is destroying our political system‘ because what she flagged up is the remarkable mystery of how lockdowns and the wreckage they caused have been virtually eliminated from the entire election campaign:

Locking people up in their homes and paying them not to work destroyed the possibility of creating new wealth and saw governments print mountains of money thatdebased the currency. Energy bills were subsidised by even more money from the Treasury.

But the governing party was not alone in its responsibility for creating this disaster. Labour was not only complicit in these plans, it was positively exuberant about them. Indeed, Sir Keirwanted earlier lockdown, more lockdown and longer lockdown.

It is truly extraordinary. The outgoing Government came to power considerably less than five years ago, but it seems like a century now, given the fallout that has followed.

But we face a probable new Labour Government by the end of this week. The shape of that victory is at the time of moment no more than the shadow of a dream. Within 48 hours the result will be a fact, set in stone for all time.

A shift to the Left is qualitatively different from a shift to the Right. I was cast back to the winter of 1977-8 and the firemen’s strike. I was at university (Durham). I was fascinated by my first introduction to the preposterous world of privileged students (we had grants back then, and our fees were paid by our individual local authorities) believing they had some sort of absurd affiliation and co-identity with the firemen’s cause. Sound familiar?

I made the mistake one morning at breakfast in my hall of residence of attempting to summarise the various ways of looking at the strike and whether it could be justified or was unreasonable. Another student, whom I had thought of as a friend, was enraged. His face became riven with anger and revulsion – do bear in mind I had not actually adopted a position myself – and he blurted out “you disgust me!” and threw his fist at me. He missed luckily, but he picked up his breakfast and stormed off. He never spoke to me again.

This is one of the features of the juvenile Left: a tendency to monocular vision, total intolerance of other views and also the belief in some sort of collective identity. The truth is the absolute opposite.

There is no such thing as the Left. What passes for the Left is a hopelessly inchoate ragbag of movements all dedicated in some way to idiosyncratic causes, only held together by not being in government. Each believes its particular trope and ideology is the path to utopia, but they are all fundamentally at each others’ throats. People’s Front of Judea and Judaean People’s Front and all that. Splitter!

I had a friend who was an unreconstructed Trotskyite. We got on well and I enjoyed our chats. I found him amusing but he took himself very seriously. He lived in a world which saw “Tory plots” at every turn, but he reserved his real ire for any faction of the Left not exactly on the same page as his brand of revolution. He’s dead now, but I treasure the memory of him expostulating:

You know what Guy, I hate Tony Blair so much that I hate him even more than I hate Margaret Thatcher. That’s how much I hate him.

No matter that Blair had pulled off the remarkable feat of getting Labour into power. This chum of mine rode through life on the crest of a wave powered by hate. He defined everything by how much he hated it. He defined historical figures by how much he hated them, and he could explain how much he hated any variant of Left ideology other than his own. Oh yes, he was an archaeologist, and he particularly hated the archaeologist and now GB News presenter Neil Oliver for being a “disgusting traitor”.

This is what Keir Starmer will probably face on Friday. The euphoria will dissipate in hours. The factions, all greedily counting down the hours until Friday morning, will emerge from the darkness and the unravelling will start.

Labour’s dream of exerting yet more control over our lives (though after the Conservatives it will be a tough call to outdo them) will, as it always does, decompose quickly in the face of the infighting and hate that will erupt. The fake unity will evaporate when confronted by events and the political hatred, of the type only Leftist movements can really pull off when battling it out for pre-eminence among themselves, will take over.

Every dog must have its day. In truth, the new Government will do some good and probably a great deal of bad. But whatever it does it will be a great deal less than it claimed it would do, and it will lead to disappointment and disillusion. If Labour wins, the tone will be that brand of spiralling internecine self-destruction it specialises in.

We are on the cusp of change except that, as always, nothing will change at all except the colours of the wind.

Tags: Conservative PartyGeneral Election 2024Keir StarmerLabourLeft-wingLockdown

How Will Starmer Unite the Unruly, Acrimonious Left? – The Daily Sceptic (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Stevie Stamm

Last Updated:

Views: 6505

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Stevie Stamm

Birthday: 1996-06-22

Address: Apt. 419 4200 Sipes Estate, East Delmerview, WY 05617

Phone: +342332224300

Job: Future Advertising Analyst

Hobby: Leather crafting, Puzzles, Leather crafting, scrapbook, Urban exploration, Cabaret, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is Stevie Stamm, I am a colorful, sparkling, splendid, vast, open, hilarious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.