Monday, August 10, 2015
Not a nice guy, never been a good MP, certainly not making the weather...
I'm a little surprised that Alastair Campbell (best known as the inspiration for the funniest political satire of recent years) still troubles the world with his opinions. I understand he used to work for a Mr Blair, who had a large majority fall into his lap, lacked the wit or courage to do enough with it and then dragged us into a murderous illegal war.
Campbell's desperate attempt to oppose UNISON's preferred candidate for Leader of the Labour Party tells us that its author is arrogant enough to think his views of significance - but it doesn't tell us much else really.
He goes on a bit. He speaks up for the positive achievements of New Labour (which aren't negligible, just less than John Smith would have achieved) and he reminds readers of the names of some half-forgotten bogeymen of the 1980s left.
So far so mundane.
He goes on a bit more. He says Corbyn is too left wing and that he has lots of experience and knows that Corbyn can never win a General Election.
If this is what passed for intellect when Blair was in Government the New Labour Emperors really always were stark naked.
Alastair Campbell, like Alan Johnson and all the other "Party grandees" who are frantically trying to warn people off the candidate who has momentum because he is advancing arguments and actually believes in something, is applying his knowledge and experience of the politics of the past.
He does it lazily, without really bothering to analyse or persuade - but that's not why he's missing the point (as they all are).
Corbyn's campaign has tapped the desire for an alternative, the desire for hope, which can find no other expression in the political mainstream. There is no relevant precedent for current circumstances, so all the world weary cynicism of even the most experienced hack counts for very little in understanding what's going on or what might happen next.
If the pundits who now tell us Corbyn could never win a General Election are the same people who utterly failed to foresee his current popularity (as they failed to foresee the Tory majority in 2015, or the economic crash of 2008) why should we listen to them?
The Guardian (which seems to be the centre of anti-Corbyn propaganda for now) thinks Mr Campbell's views are worth reporting, but I think Malcolm Tucker's views would be far more interesting.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.