Goodbye Mr Brown, And Good Riddance

If the polls are anywhere near correct, and they may not be, Labour will loose today’s election. Whatever the outcome, it seems likely that gurning fuckmuppet Gordon Brown will finally loose his death like grip on the Labour leadership, And I will rejoice. If you’re unfortunate enough to have read any of this blog, you will know that I am – to put it mildly – no fan of the Labour party.

And yet, I am not a Conservative, or even a Conservative voter. Nor am I a Liberal Democrat.

Like many of Labour’s actual voters, I come from a long line of people who were unionists and Labour supporters, a family tradition that has it’s roots in the Northumberland mining industry. If you spend long enough wading through the grainy archive footage of the miners picnics of the 1940s and 1950s, you will find my father as a boy and his father marching under the banner. Proud.

So you might, given only this, assume that I would be one of the blindly loyal tribal fuckmuppets I’ve been so aggrieved by recently. But I’m not.

Dad was in the union for his industry all his life, went to the meetings, voted in the ballots. He drove a Lada. I want you to take a moment out here and think about that last one because I grew up in Cheshire, in what is now Boy Osborne’s constituency. And my dad drove a Lada. I walked places a lot. He never told anyone how he voted, so I can’t be sure, but really, the Lada is a pretty hefty clue. Especially considering that before we moved to Cheshire he drove a Renault.

My mother, I always suspected was an unreconstructed old Tory. Something we were able to confirm years later, although eventually we managed to ween her off the Daily Mail and get her to form some opinions of her own. She is still suspicious of foreigners, which includes the Scots. She was active in student politics in her college days, when it meant something, but it’s hard to judge a party affiliation from that. In those days student politics wasn’t simply the preserve of mouthy wannabe communists who grew out of it and bolshie future Labour party apparatchiks who didn’t. That came later. Like my dad she never discussed how she voted.

Their attitudes were fairly similar. Neither of them, for instance, were particularly kindly disposed towards homosexuals, foreigners, or people with skin colours other than their own. In those days, of course, Labour supporters weren’t ostracised for not liking ‘puffs or darkies’, something the current crop of drones would rather you forgot.

He was a Catholic, she a Protestant. Perhaps as a result of these disparate backgrounds, they never pressed the issue of party loyalty with their children. Instead they made the concious choice to bring us up to think for ourselves. Naturally, they assumed that this would end up with us coming to the same conclusions as them, but they were wrong about that, and somewhat ungracious when they found out how wrong, if I recall.

So I never had a tribal fealty to any particular political group or party, which is not to say that we never talked about politics or weren’t exposed to it. Growing up in the Thatcher years and through the miners strike, with a family background in the mining communities made it difficult to avoid.

And so, anyway, it came to pass that on 2 May 1997, despite having spent the run up to the election appalled by the grinning shit weasel Blair and his evil puppet master Mandelson, I sat in the sunshine on the steps of my university sharing a celebratory spliff with a group of other people who were – as the saying goes – up for Portillo, optimistically chatting about how things would change for the better. Call it the natural left tendency of the student, or maybe it was the marijuana, but after some dismal years the Torys had been comprehensively chucked out of office and ‘our people’ were in. What could possibly go wrong ?

Well, as it turned out, practically everything. I won’t use up space with a long list of the things that ‘New’ Labour have done which have assured that they will never receive my support or sympathy again, there’s plenty of that on other peoples blogs, their record in office really does speak for itself if you look at it at all objectively. But let me pull out just a couple that piss me off. We were promised ‘reform’. And boy did we get it. Only not the way we expected, and not in the places we expected.

I’m all in favour of reform. I’d like to see the voting system reformed, for instance, into something that more closely approximates a democracy. I’d bite my lip and lose the Lords, despite the fact that it has been a buffer against some of the worst excesses of the ‘reforms’ of the New Labour age. If we had a properly functioning democracy we wouldn’t need the Lords as a backstop. I’d reform parliament, in fact, I’d turn parliament into a museum and build a new one whose architecture would support my visionary new democratic system.

I don’t, as it happens, think much of our ‘democracy’, it’s just less shit than not having any at all. People fought and died to get it, and I don’t think we should insult them by regarding it as anything other than a work in progress. A great work that is by no means at an end. Plenty of hard work still to be done.

Blair et al though, didn’t reform any such thing, other than to stuff the Lords with their cronies and placemen. Lots of the things that I do (or did) respect and care about a great deal were reformed though. Particular among these is our system of common law, our right to trial by jury, our right to be presumed innocent until proven – beyond reasonable doubt – guilty, the right not be held without charge. The basics, if you will, of our justice system.

Justice, my old law tutor drilled into me, must not just be done, but must be seen to be done. New Labour reformed most of these away. Some things you just don’t fuck with.

Perhaps realising that they were eroding the very foundations upon which our society is built, and feeling a bit guilty about it, or perhaps (more realistically) in a shameless bid to claw back some support from the people who realised that this was an assault on civil liberties of unprecedented nastiness, they passed into law the Human Rights Act. And promptly wrote themselves a metric shitload of exemption clauses so that the Act would never apply to them when they needed to trespass on the rights they were apparently so keen on.

Worse, they subsequently ignored not only the Act, but the judgements of the High Court and of the European Court of Human Rights, the final arbiter of cases brought under the Act, against them. Appeal after appeal, loophole after loophole, weasely interpretation after weasely interpretation. Control Orders, DNA retention.

Under the guise of national security they reinstated the sus laws that were the bete noir of so many lefty activists, including most of them.

They lied about WMD in Iraq and started a war of aggression on – at the very least – extremely dubious legal grounds. Then they lied about it some more. Then they connived at torture. Knowingly. Then they lied about that.

Then there was the expenses. I wouldn’t, personally, have needed that extra straw, the camel’s back was already thoroughly shattered by then, but, well, Jesus Christ. This party that had once championed the working classes – and still pretends to, though that link has been severed for many years – with their noses so deep in the trough. No party came of that scandal looking good, but New Labour had promised us that they were better, purer, cleaner than the dreaded sleazy tories.

And then, to add insult to injury, the representatives of the party of the people in the shape of Harriet Harman and her brood of flying monkeys and the unspeakable Speaker Martin tried to bury it and to exempt themselves from further scrutiny. And they would have got away with it to, they very nearly did.

It could be argued that there have been some redeeming factors to this catalogue of horrors. I see a lot of people banging about on the NHS for instance, but given that my father died in a filthy hospital from a post operative infection I am not minded to agree.

Whatever, it simply doesn’t matter. There are some things that are, simply, indefensible. In the run up to the count tonight, there has been a relentless stream of grass roots propaganda which, like the rest of the campaign, invites you to forget these things. To forgive the Labour party because the hated tories must not have power at any cost.

To put it succinctly. No. Fuck Right Off. The Conservatives will not be worse. The worst possible case scenario is that they will be just as bad. In which case we can, as Call me Dave suggests, kick the fuckers out in another five years.

To an extent, I don’t care how the election turns out. I favour a hung parliament because some kind of electoral reform leading to PR would be a step forward. But there’s time for that later. We have bigger problems than that to deal with right now, real, serious, Greece, IMF, Oh My God We’re All Going To Starve To Death problems.

All that matters to me tonight, as I line up the red bull and popcorn and drag computer screens around the place so that I can monitor SKY and the BBC while I watch C4s comedy coverage is that Labour lose.

Ideally, I’d like to see them crushed. Their support and their mandate drained away like so much blood from the exsanguinated corpse of their body politic. That probably won’t happen, which is going to make for a pisser of administration for the Conservatives. The tribal fuckmuppetry of British politics may see to that.

So I’ll settle for them just losing. And in all honesty, if it’s a long, painful drawn out death in an almost hung parliament, so much the better. For once they’re out of power, the thin veneer of solidarity that they’ve preserved in order to maintain their desperate hold on office will come off and they will splinter like the Judean Peoples Front on a bad PMT day.

Good fucking riddance.

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