The Daily Smackdown: Labour’s Pitch For Power Is A Child’s Temper Tantrum

Labour - Save Our NHS

Thus far, Jeremy Corbyn’s elevator pitch for power would be more at home in the school playground than the adult political debate

When your core political argument and pitch to the electorate can be easily summed up in crayon by a seven year old girl, it’s time to develop a more robust vision for government.

A first good step for Labour to take would be to stop fomenting or tacitly condoning behaviours like these, from activists and supposed supporters:

Shouting “Tory Scum” at opponents

Vandalising war memorials

Shrieking about nonexistent human rights abuses

Physically threatening MPs

Being insufferable online

Pretending that there will be no offsetting behavioural consequences to dramatic tax hikes

Stubbornly believing in the magic money tree

I’ve written before about how, in their incoherent rage at the supposed transgressions of the Evil Tories, the Left are in great danger of becoming the British left wing equivalent of the American Tea Party – morally certain, impervious to facts, intolerant of the slightest internal dissent and quick to anger when contradicted by outsiders.

Where the Tea Party blindly venerate the US constitution (though they read it selectively, and from a highly originalist perspective) and would see the federal government shrunk back to its nineteenth century bare bones, the Corbynite Left venerate “our NHS” (genuflect) and the other monolithic edifices of the welfare state stemming from the socialist post-war consensus.

Neither seem very comfortable living in the present. And the worst excesses of both would be more at home stapled to the wall of a primary school classroom than reported and printed as serious ideas in the pages of a national newspaper.

Tory Protests

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3 thoughts on “The Daily Smackdown: Labour’s Pitch For Power Is A Child’s Temper Tantrum

  1. Music Block January 27, 2016 / 3:42 PM

    Another great and direct reply, thank you Sam. It’s a pity that your view of what constitutes “sovereignty” and your distraction by (and legitimate frustration with) fringe elements of the nominal Left, should dilute the many good points you have to make on this blog.

    A conservative party could indeed reject the authoritarian policies of Cameron’s government, fix our broken voting system, and even implement a basic income to free people from the slavery of inescapable poverty, although a party of a different stripe could just as well champion liberty in this country.

    In the absence of such policies from the government, I think that it is the duty of all opposition parties, as well as principled people within the Conservative party itself, or of no party, to criticise the policies that this government is implementing, which amount to an attack on our public services, our public servants, and the most vulnerable in society, and across the world.


  2. Music Block January 25, 2016 / 9:45 PM

    “When your core political argument and pitch to the electorate can be easily summed up in crayon by a seven year old girl, it’s time to develop a more robust vision for government.”


    “When the problems in this country are so obvious to the electorate that they can be easily summed up in crayon by a seven year old girl, it’s time to elect a government with a more robust vision.”

    Are right-wing parties “tacitly condoning” the racist attacks on Muslims and other minorities in this country, by not publicly condemning the attacks each time they happen? That is a tempting notion, but it is more reasonable to accept that if parties kept bringing attention to deplorable acts and saying “Don’t worry, we’re not all like that”, it would just cement the connection in people’s minds.

    That’s not to say that Labour (or any other party) haven’t made statements which explicitly do condone indefensible things, but until you can find me the picture of Corbyn graffitiing a war memorial, I think you should stick to the relevant facts and not guilt by association.


    • Samuel Hooper January 26, 2016 / 12:02 AM

      I totally agree with what you say – we do need to elect a government with a more robust vision. No argument from me there at all!

      One of my greatest irritations (and gnawing fears) is that David Cameron’s self-entitled, born-to-rule, authoritarian centrism is ensuring that British small-c conservatives are all tainted by association, while we get almost none of what we want in terms of genuine small-government, pro-liberty policies. That we are taking all the flak for being cold-hearted, unfeeling monsters while actually pursuing a very centrist (and soul-sappingly unambitious) agenda. When the pendulum eventually swings back in favour of Labour or some reconstituted party of the left, as inevitably it will, what will we conservatives have to show from David Cameron’s time in office? Tumbleweeds. Absolutely nothing that you might find on our policy wishlist. By virtue of being a nominal conservative, David Cameron is wasting “our turn”, treading water, keeping power for the sake of it while doing virtually nothing worthwhile with that power.

      As you’ll know from reading my blog, I have considerable respect for Jeremy Corbyn, and certainly would not imply his guilt by the actions of some zealous Labour activists. I do think that anti-Tory hysteria on the Left was and is a problem (see my Left Wing Hate Watch series) but Jeremy Corbyn himself is almost never guilty of the kind of shrill “Tory Scum” hyperbole and hysteria that you see among some of his MPs (and too many activists).


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