Ever have one of those moments of total frustration? I get them when arguing with intransigent members of the Labour left who refuse to realise that the game is up. And it’s even more frustrating when they react to suggestions that the Labour Party is irredeemably lost (talk about something that’s obvious from the outside) as though you’ve just insulted their Mum.
Apparently I’ve pissed off Susan of GrimmerUpNorth by stating the obvious point that there is no mechanism, no agency within the Labour Party for its left (even were it able to stop atrophying) to assert some kind of control in order to implement alternative economic policies. That is quite simply true, and indeed was finally tied up by the unions’ collective hari-kiri, giving up their most crucial democratic rights within the party since the 2007 conference in Bournemouth. She finds having the point stated to be “exceptionally tiresome”. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t; either way it certainly isn’t hard to see that it’s founded on hard facts.
What is noticeable, is that neither Susan nor anyone else amongst the remnants of the Labour left has come up with a reason why what I’ve said on this subject could actually be incorrect – all one sees are shrugs, expressions of “we’re not all like Tony Blair”, or “but the SWP/SP/Galloway are really crap”. None of which, regardless of the validity of the statements in themselves, is an answer to the question put.
As I’ve said before, this is one of those questions where I’d like nothing better than to be wrong. But I rather suspect I’m not. It seems to me that the fact is, no matter how well attended yesterday’s LRC economics conference was, it will have come up with ideas that have no chance at all of being implemented by a Labour government. And Susan telling the truth about that is not “sitting at home moaning”, it’s a call for a reality check. Because the Labour Party’s membership (even if most of it wanted to) cannot move it to the left in any meaningful way.
“Tiresome” or not, them’s the breaks.