The kindest way to view the antics of the Labour Party when in government, particularly since the Year Zero of 1997 when the Brown/Blair Terror really kicked off, is to regard them as a bunch of unprincipled opportunists, thirsting for power , for power’s sake.
That’s being kind.
The alternative would be to actually take at face value the drivel about moral compasses, political philosophy, caring socialism etc etc that they all trotted out, which in a way makes their catastrophic mismanagement of virtually every part of the British state an even more heinous business. To this day, the two Eds, like their mentor Broon, claim a spurious philosophy, or merrily lie to pursue a failed economic concept.
Happily for them, when in years to come they are inevitably propping up the House of Lords and writing their memoirs, I have the
ideal quote to sum up all this relentless malfeasance:
The necessity and the inevitability of (our) struggle represented our bet with history. Well, we lost that bet, and our isolation and defeat are the price we paid for having defined reality by abstract theories which oversimplified it, for having concentrated the social reasons for change in an instrument unable to express it, for having diminished our own force and capacity for change and isolated them in an absurd and futile project.
Perfectly put. The author however is Antonio Savasta, a repentant Italian Red Brigade terrorist, active in the quite horrific terror campaign of the 1970’s , and quoted in Michael Burleigh‘s magisterial and indispensable history of terrorism, Blood and Rage (available as a free e-book here), the only difference is that he was referring to an armed struggle. One of several other parallels is the tendency for ageing terrorists and politicians to survive the consequences of their misdeeds, and embark on a gratifyingly bourgeois and lucrative old age, as the Irish writer Colm Toibin pointed out recently:
I was brought up by terrorists and that it was never a problem because they always become very conservative in the end, when they get certain things given to them. They become fine upstanding members of the community.
Burleigh’s book is a fast-paced revelation and should be essential reading for all those in government, and oddly enough, Dave claims to have read it, when he was a mere MP.
That aside, the failure of leftist terrorism is remarkably similar to the failure of attempts to implement and sustain left wing economic policies. They both inevitably lead to disaster, hence the broad utility of Savasta’s concise confession.
Perhaps I should send a copy to Ed Balls.