Over 20 years ago, a sinister death cult – made up of young and idealistic members and led by a charismatic leader - immolated itself after a stand off with the authorities at Waco, Texas. It was called the Branch Davidian and its strange leader was David Koresh.
The denouement might not be so dramatic but it reminded me of the Labour Party conference at Brighton this week under its new Leader, Jeremy Corbyn. A party totally cut off from reality and (metaphorically) picking fluff out of its own navel, as if the General Election had never happened. Who cares about Corbyn’s mandate from several thousand grungy dog-on-a- string Twitter “activists”, when set against the 11 million votes polled in a free and fair election on May 7 by the Conservative Party?
Mr Corbyn even had to recycle a 30 year old memo for his “authentic” set piece speech to the party faithful and we had lots of spin about a “new kind of politics” but it really isn’t.
Yes, he didn’t fall over, threaten slaughter of the first born or combust live on British television but what was there that was new or refreshing or any evidence of profound thinking about his party’s second heavy defeat?
The truth is, Labour are in their comfort zone and a self-regarding bubble of smug sanctimony, sucking up to their trades union paymasters and anti-Tory spite which they nurse like a warm pint of beer. It’s the same regurgitated, extremist, hard Left recipe of high taxes and regulations, debt and borrowing, class envy, bashing “the rich” (that’s everyone who has a business and generates tax revenues), attacks on Britain’s role in the World, rolling over like a puppy on anything to do with the EU and attacking what they (i.e. the State) can’t control, like free schools and academies.
I actually believe that a failure to address the big issues on which the voters judged Labour so harshly – economic competence, leadership and being the welfare and not workers’ party – is a huge mistake and an insult that the electorate will surely pick up on.
Corbyn’s belief that immigration is a wonderful thing – FULL STOP – will not go unnoticed in our area.
It speaks to an attitude which says: “You were really too stupid to understand how good we were”. Really? The number one rule in politics: The voters are never wrong….
Why does it matter? Precisely because our (unwritten) Constitution demands a plausible and coherent alternative to the existing administration to keep it in check, keep it honest and on its toes, so it is accountable between elections.
All governments of whatever stripe get cocky and make (honest) mistakes and who is to call them out?
What we have now for an Opposition is a rabble, without any clear policies and a leader who isn’t sure what leadership is and thinks followship might be a good bet in the interim.
I don’t care if Labour implodes but in its current state it really isn’t good for our country.