Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Where's Jezza?

Autumn, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, when people of a certain bent turn their minds to party political conferences.....

You don't - can't -  expect much sense from Conference season. After all, they're basically big freebie jamborees for the converted: It pretty much doesn't matter what you say from the podium, you'll get a cheer.

Having said that, what has been emanating from the Conservative Party Conference would be genuinely jaw-dropping in the breadth of its inanity, asinine attitudes, and dementedly cheerful willing capacity to ignore basic truths, were it not for the fact that Brexit has inured us all to such lunacy.

Look at what's been said: We will essentially cut the continent off from the mainland; Africa is, according to Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, a country; the future of the poor will be picking fruit for the rich; we can sell English Air to the Chinese; We'll train more doctors and kick the foreign ones out by 2020 (I'll point out that it takes six to seven years to train as a doctor), or maybe 2025 by the latest if we really like you; And as for rich foreign students, well, there'll be fewer of them and they can only do approved courses at approved universities - though who or what will deign a course to be worthy of study, or what constitutes a 'proper' university is not mentioned.

Add in the fact that the two-year negotiation process to leave the EU will start, apparently, in March 2017, that this process will work entirely in the favour of the EU, and will almost beyond a shadow of a doubt lead to the withdrawal of the financial Passport from The City and other financial institutions, and you can hear something.

Can you hear it?

That's right, the deafening silence of nobody beating a path to our door.

The Conservative Party Conference has set out its vision for the future of this country, and it turns out to be one that is pallid, grey, monolingual, aged and unfit for purpose. There is no vibrancy to this vision, just a tired reliance on old tropes an outmoded images of a past that never existed. It is one that is fearful-  of the world, of the future, of those from any other background other than a misshapen concept of what The English are.

Note I say 'The English' rather than include the Welsh, Scots and Irish- that's because this whole farrago is peculiarly English in inception and execution.
And then there's another peculiarity - another deafening silence: The protest-shaped hole where Labour should be.

Where the hell is Jeremy Corbyn? Where are the voices of the Left? They should be tearing lumps out of the Conservatives right now, yet can't seem to make a dent.

What is happening?

Now, I like Jeremy Corbyn: He's principled and steadfast in those principles. He has a clear political philosophy and sticks to his guns. He's also an advocate of scrupulous politeness and respect within political dialogue.

But.....the trouble is, he's just not very effective. And importantly, he doesn't seem to be able to lead his party right now, just when we need it.

Is this a failing? Well, yes, obviously - but the fact is that all political lives are, in essence, doomed to fail in one way or another: All political discourse requires collaboration and compromise. I suspect conviction politicians have a bit of difficulty in getting their heads round this concept. You see, it's all very well having the moral high ground, but if you then refuse to engage in order to keep your ethics pristine and nothing changes as a consequence (or gets worse), then you are just as morally compromised as your opponent, no matter the height of your ethical hillock. It seems, unfortunately, that Jeremy is determined to be seen as being right, rather than doing right, to the detriment of us all.

Right now, we need another voice calling out the bland lunacies of the Conservatives for what they are, but we don't have one. For the sake of our countries, for the sake of our future, we need to give a counterblast to this arid unhappy vision being laid out in Birmingham.

And the really depressing thing?

It's still only Tuesday.

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