Friday, October 09, 2015

An intelligent left-wing view of Manchester

A great deal of ink has been spilled about the events of Manchester.

The majority of commentators, including many on the left, have suggested that David Cameron and George Osborne have made a shrewd pitch for the gigantic area of political space in the centre which Labour is visibly vacating.

Some on the left have taken a cloud cuckoo-land view, as with the comment by Polly Toynbee which I referred to last night that David Cameron is supposedly more right-wing than Margaret Thatcher.

Others on the moderate left, like The Times journalist Philip Collins, have turned their guns on their own side - if you obtain the pleasure of schadenfreude from watching internecine warfare among socialists, Mr Collin's "Guilty Men" diatribe against Gordon Brown, Tom Watson and Ed Miliband in today's Times is a classic.

A more intelligent and entertaining left-wing view of the conference was presented by John Harris in the Guardian at

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/08/hate-tories-conservatives-dominance-pointless-protest

He points to the disconnect between a Labour party which seems happy to become a party of protest rather than one of power, and a Conservative party which is making a grab for the centre ground.

The film clip showing him interviewing both protestors and delegates is more nuanced and interesting still, and he points to the biggest problem the Conservatives have - the fact that we need more members and particularly more younger members.

However, the reality is that this is a problem for the other parties too - and will remain so unless they can turn the legion who joined by paying £3 to vote for Jeremy Corbyn to become activists willing to do the hard work on the ground in the constituencies - and I mean the real bread and butter work of politics, not going to Manchester to shout "Tory scum" at cleaners and journalists - Labour will not have solved it.

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