Policy vs Personality – b0rken memes from Borg HQ

The Labour party’s unfortunate tendency towards a borg like level of central control over it’s members is rarely far below the surface, and never is it more visible than when they’re getting a kicking for something.

Since they’re currently getting the kicking of a lifetime, it is unsurprising – though profoundly irritating – that the comrades talking to the newsies are all very much – and very obviously – singing from the same hymn sheet.

I’m sure the press wranglers are very pleased with their ability to keep everyone ‘on message’ at all times, but like all centralist systems this one has some fatal flaws.

I hope to return to this subject at length, but for now let us pick just the two most fatal, the two that I suspect are about to contribute to Brown’s discomfort. I’d say his demise, but his rhetoric today continues to be very much of the “from my cold dead hands” variety, so who knows.

The centralist method of media wrangling encourages the individual borg drones party members to suppress any creative or critical impulse that they may have, which leads to two very large systemic vulnerabilities.

First : Since individuals are not free to construct their own argument for supporting the party line, the media, the opposition, the bloggers and the public are left with a very narrow range of attack vectors. Rather than having to pick apart 300+ individual arguments, the number of bullshit packets to be refuted is reduced to the dozen or so dictated from borg HQ. Once these have been knocked down – and it doesn’t usually take long, the likes of McBride might seem very clever to the mongs in Westminster, to themselves and to the running dog lackeys lobby journalists, but to the rest of us they look like febrile children – the drones are left looking extraordinarily foolish on TV, parroting the same discredited lies and spin like the automatons they are while interviewers look on incredulously.

Second : Slavish adherence to the party line means that if the 12 year olds who are apparently in charge of the Labour Borg’s press strategy come up with a meme that is actively harmful to the collective it will propagate outwards through every available mouthpiece and media channel without anything to stop it.

The Drones aren’t thinking about what they’re saying, they’re just saying what they’re told. If they were thinking about it, it’s unlikely that that the leading pro Brown meme since Saturday afternoon would have been allowed out.

If you didn’t spot it, it was simply that “any leadership contest should be about policy, not personality”. Clearly whatever smug git thought this up thought they were on to a winner. Not so though, which is why, I suspect, we haven’t heard it much since Sunday lunch. Borg HQ must have realised their mistake and pulled it from today’s hymn sheet.

The contention is that since none of the (as yet mythical) contenders for leadership have any new or different policies, then there isn’t any point having a contest because none of them have anything new to offer. Can you see the hole yet ?

This argument falls down in at least two ways that I can think of. Firstly, whose policy is it ? Surely it’s the party’s policy, not Gordon’s ? Claiming that all the policy is his will only inflame the back bench borg who are (rather late) starting to get sniffy about being no more than lobby fodder now that they aren’t going to be getting all those lovely expenses.

Secondly, if it’s the policy that’s so important, and it’s the personality that’s dragging you down, keep the policy and get a new personality.

It’s an argument that is weak even by the standards of the pro Brown arse wash that has been dripped all over the media in the last few days. It is also very dangerous for team Brown, so easily is it corrupted into an argument against the status quo.

Either borg HQ did this on purpose, having been compromised by someone hostile to Brown, or they are panicking and spewing crap out into their drones. Either way it illustrates the foolhardiness of trying to exercise an iron grip from the centre. A lesson unlikely to be learned by the borg, of course, since they evidently believe themselves to be infallible.

It will be interesting to see if this argument turns up being used against the pro Browners later on when the counts are in and the extent of the damage is evident.

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