Friday, October 16, 2015

Jamie Reed's "Last Word" column today in progress

Regular readers of this blog will not be under any impression that I am a fan of the MP for Copeland.

This does not make it right for his own party to encourage people to send him abusive messages, which appears very close to what the Labour whips' office has done to those Labour MPs who abstained on the financial responsibility Charter.

Jamie writes the "Last Word" column in Progress magazine and today's column has this to say on the subject:


"A Winter’s Tale

Winter’s edge has become an uncomfortable feature of life in the barren wasteland of opposition. The rime of denial continues its creep.

The new footsoldiers of this hoarfrost can be found on social media. Abstaining from the pointless public relations gimmick that is George Osborne’s fiscal charter on Wednesday evening, I was introduced to a new kind of Labour politics from new kinds of people on social media.

In no particular order, I am to be spat upon, sent to the gulag, condemned to the salt mines, ‘lined up against a wall’, deselected and more. Dutifully obedient and centrally controlled, this is genuinely a new form of politics.

The revolution will not be televised, but the #purge will be live-tweeted."

Not sure that the poetry would be any replacement for the day job but for a party which a few months ago was the main challenger to form the government of this country to be encouraging that sort of message to one's own party's MPs is not a welcome development for the health of British democracy. It's not just the Labour party that will be hurt if this sort of thing becomes regarded as acceptable.

Jamie also has some interesting notes on the analysis that John Cruddas, one of the more reflective Labour MPs who has not entirely lost touch with reality, has been doing on why the party lost the election. His comments include:

"Historians should mark 22 September 2015 as a critical point in the evolution of the Labour party. Delivering an address at the Queen Mary University of London, entitled Labour is Lost in England, Cruddas established the base-camp of the next Labour government:
The economy is transformed. We are living in a post-industrial age; new kinds of work, a changing class system. Labour has struggled to change with the times. It has lost its connection with the English people. Many do not know what the party stands for. In May we lost everywhere to everybody."

Jamie optimistically expresses the hope that this is the start of the thaw. He might be right but I wouldn't bet your shirt on it.

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