I didn’t post yesterday because I did not have time. This blog is an unpaid, spare time activity fitting in amongst others, like duties to my family. But maybe it was right not to post anyway. I did write several mind maps to explore my own thinking. I suspect this was much more useful.
Let me offer a few thoughts now. There will be others to come.
Of course I am disappointed. Disappointed, that is, that we have a Tory government, that is. Angry too that a prime minister who knowingly lies is now our prime minister. On so many levels I think this wrong for the country, and that it will end in tears, as some once put such things.
I am frustrated too. That’s mainly with Labour. More so with Corbyn. From his inability to even tell his glasses were wonky onwards (and yes, these things matter) he ran a bad campaign. But the fault was not his alone. Those running the campaign, from Milne onwards, were very obviously clueless as to what was required.
I admit to also being angry about a manifesto that was so obviously off mark, from nationalisation onwards. It did not reveal an ability to prioritise. That was fatal. However good bits might have been as a message it very clearly did not work.
And I am upset that others - notably the SNP - showed that it was possible to fight the Tories and win, as they did. This result was of Labour’s creation then.
But all this being said, I reiterate that I am not a member of the Labour Party. For better or worse I decided for a great many reasons not to try to be an MP. I last seriously considered whether to pursue the option in 2008 - 10. For a great many reasons I did not. I think that was the right decision for then. It’s certainly too late to revisit it now.
So, I remain a critical friend of progressive politics. And I make no claim to have got all my judgements right in that capacity. Although I never joined People’s Vote and went to only one of their events I did, for example, perhaps consider for too long that Remain was right when a very soft Brexit might have been a better option, electorally.
But we will never know. All we have is where we are now. And that is in a very difficult place, with the left hopelessly divided. Its dogmas and divisions are going to become more apparent over coming weeks and months. Its ability to create a common platform may be tested in the extreme. The People’s Front will, to misquote Monty Python, tear lumps out of the Front for the People, and vice versa. None of that will advance the interests of the people the left should be representing one iota. And I am not very interested in partaking in that fight, precisely because it will nit advance the interests of those people.
What I am interested in doing is in stepping back and asking what the left should be doing if it is to win in 2024, in whatever approximation to a democratic process survives by then. This seems to me, a much more useful exercise when I have no more interest in engaging in the Labour Party leadership election now than I had in 2015, when I would not pay £3 to vote for the candidate who used my ideas to get elected, and then promptly abandoned them.
The outcome of my thinking may nit appeal to all in the left, or right. But I am a pragmatist. Without power the progressive cause goes nowhere. It really is time it realises that. It’s a lesson it has long forgotten.