September is the party conference season in our sceptre isle, something which should not bother normal people most years.  This year, however, there are sinister political currents flowing.   We should be wary of this autumn’s neap tides.  Because for ordinary Britons everywhere they may become an inundation.

There are three political parties, three conferences.

Vince Cable

The Liberal Party Conference, which doesn’t really count because they are represented by twelve Members of Parliament and led by amiable geriatric, Vincent Cable.  It was last week, so you missed it, but don’t worry, so did everyone else.

This week, though – this week is the conference for the Labour Party, represented by 257 Members of Parliament.

Theresa May and Jeremy

‘Tis said among those whose delight is argument that the quickest way to lose your point is to bring Hitler into the conversation.  So I’m going to lose mine straight away, because to me, at least, this year’s Labour Party Conference resembles nothing so much as a 1930s rally of the Third Reich.  Leader of the party and aspiring Fuhrer is  Jeremy Corbyn; rather middle class-looking, much the sort of figure you would expect to tick you off for stepping on his flowerbeds, but do not be deceived.  He is a class A zealot who yearns to plant his red socialist standard in the Prime Minister’s parking space.

Corbyn sailed to power in his party on a tidal wave of idealistic students and far-left socialists who he encouraged to become party members so they could vote for him.  He charged them a special cheap membership fee of £3 a head.  This group persists and burgeons beneath the banner of ‘Momentum’, driving out more moderate members of their party.  I like to think of them as ‘The Momentum Youth’.

In its time the British Labour Party has had many different manifestations – this is one of the least pleasant.  Far from the centrist politics of their last Prime Minister, Tony Blair (think WMD), Corbyn’s affinities are unashamedly with the Trades Unions.  His declared intention to nationalise everything that moves is a transparent attempt to restore the Union despotism of the 1970s which brought his country to its knees.

The problem seems to be a reluctance to learn:  nobody, par exemple, who experienced the nationalised railways the first time around would want to see those dirty untended carriages or suffer those relentless strikes again.  No-one would want to buy from manufacturers ruled by their union conveners whose power could halt production lines at any time.  Yet it just might happen:  Corbyn might snatch power in a General Election soon, not because of his popularity as a potential Prime Minister but because of the inadequacy of the present one.

Next week will feature the Conservative Party Conference.  A genial bunfight in normal years, sometimes this can throw up great boiling geysers of schism and outrage, and this is potentially just such a year. The cause of such foment?

That damnable Brexit chappy!

Everybody knows a national referendum clearly showed a majority of the British people wanted to leave the European Union.  To some, however, that democratic defeat was like the proverbial red rag to a bull.  They have been trying, by fair means sometimes but mostly foul, to scare the socks off the general populace with horror stories and selective use of terms like ‘falling off the cliff’ and ‘crashing out’.  They have produced barrel-loads of ropey statistics and dubious long-term prognostications, while accusing those in favour of the decision of ‘populism’ (which is apparently some kind of offence, unlike Machiavellianism, their stock-in-trade).

So far, these tactics have been so transparently redolent of self-interest they have only succeeded in hardening attitudes in the country at large, but they prosper in the belly of the Conservative Party.  To Prime Minister Theresa May has fallen the odious task of reaching a ‘negotiated settlement’ with the disdainful bureaucrats of Brussels.  Her inability to come up with a recipe that is satisfactory to everybody has proved her undoing, and she is nobody’s favourite at the moment, espoused by neither the gun-toting-bring-back-the-navy-and-blockade-the-English-Channel ‘hard Brexiteers’, nor the hand-wringing ‘Remoaners’ who don’t want us to leave the EU at all.

The Conservatives at Conference have a recipe for crises such as these.  They deny any possibility of a ‘split’, they swear fealty to their Glorious Leader, and they stand in rapturous applause for the stirring words of her rallying call, while those whose work it is are eyeing her back for the exact position to deliver the knife-thrust.  Meanwhile, in a well-attended fringe meeting, her successor in title makes his pitch…

Conference Season in the UK is not always so entertaining, or disturbing, as the closing weeks of this September promise to be.   There is a real risk that the established political parties will be rent asunder by internal strife, delivering the UK back into the clutches of the Federal Republic of Europe against common consent.  If that happens there will certainly be hell to pay, and possibly even revolution.

In a parallel universe, Jeremy Corbyn may grasp the reins, plunging the country into a dark neo-communist age.  That would be a real ‘crash out’.  On balance, I think not.  The Momentum movement seems unable to shake off the taint of anti-Semitism, and in this country no-one likes racial prejudice.

Perhaps, after all, it is a matter of a few ripples in the lapsang souchong and there are halcyon days ahead.  Perhaps it is time for revolution, because none of the principal political parties represent the people anymore.  At my age, why should I care?  I can sit back and watch, popping my pills and drawing my pension as the political world passes by, and nothing is likely to cause me direct harm from all this, is it?  Yet somehow I do care.  Could that be because I have seen it all before, and what distresses me is our tragic inability to learn?

12 Comments

  1. Interesting to read your perspective on this. Our politics differ, and I only read the US press, so always good to read something from the other side—of the Atlantic and of the political aisle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really not on either side of the aisle. I only have two passionate, if that is the word, positions: I am firmly anti-European (I was not always so) because the EU is really a Franco-German alliance of the worst kind, and I fear Corbyn because his following is fanatical and dangerous. Otherwise, in common with most of the British people, I am unrepresented. But it will be a fascinating close to this year, and maybe something good will arise from it?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda! I admit Corbyn scares me. There is a fanaticism and an anti-Semitic thread amongst his followers uncomfortably close to the Bolshevik model, but it is the looming cloud of another Winter of Discontent that concerns me most. The Conference has already passed a resolution making it easier to deselect the Party’s moderate MPs, so the Labour Party’s keel far from even at the moment. Either of the main parties could split over the European issue, or over reorientation of policy. Corbyn is anti-Europe, some of his moderates are not, but most Labour constituencies are also anti. Conservatives have some of each, although they are similarly divided in Parliament.

      Like

  2. Oh Fred, you are right in that I missed the Liberal conference completely. I am dismayed by the barracking and general lack of consensus of any kind. You have to admire Theresa May for hanging on to the poisoned chalice handed her by Cameron, who high tailed it so fast you couldn’t see his backside for dust! I stopped reading the papers and watching the news many moons ago, as I prefer to trawl for my own unbiased information. Now there the internet is useful. I was visiting Mum and Dad last week and Dad had the lunchtime political program on. I was dismayed to see Alistair Campbell spouting forth, to the detriment of anyone else. If he’s a necessary energy to shift Corbyn out into the boondocks, then great. Corbyn’s socks and sandals look is but a guise and it would come as no surprise to see him frothing at the mouth with his beliefs. Frightening, because, yes, I do care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Jane. I’m glad someone else sees through Corbyn. It would be a shame though, to have to put our trust in Alistair Campbell to dislodge him. ‘Alien versus Predator’ all over again. For Theresa, sadly, although I think she has grown to the job, salvation may have come and gone, but you never know. She is, by her own admission, a ‘bloody difficult woman’. Grass too wet, BTW – another mission aborted!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How rude of the grass being wet. It’s a beautiful sunny day here, but chilly. Hello Autumn…..I hope you get your grass cut today. Maybe Campbell is the catalyst, we shall see. My first married name was Campbell, at the grand age of nineteen. What was I thinking! Autumnal, sunny hugs flowing to you Fred. xX

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can barely stomach any of them. The disconnect between the people and their elected representatives in this country is almost beyond belief. Though, in fairness, that’s hardly new. Herself’s dad gave me a couple of plays by Aristophanes’ as a gift a while back; it’s always been this way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, as ‘the people’ we always hope for progress and gain none. Politically, though, polarisation between the dissolute and the fanatical is a very dangerous recipe, and I honestly believe tolerance is reaching its limits. A Marxist government in UK? It could happen,

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.