Monday, June 11, 2007

The Vitally Important and Exciting Battle for Nothing

Unyielding as ever in the pursuit of truth, I decided to look into the contest for deputy leadership of the Labour Party. I don't care about it, of course, but the pol bloggers and the columnists seem to find it fantastically exciting, so, I reasoned, there must be something to say. I began - and ended, I am afraid - with Andrew Rawnsley's column in the Observer. Rawnsley gives two reasons why the contest is important - 'because the campaign and the result will send a message to the country about the state of the Labour party' and because it is something to do with 'the relationship between the deputy and the new occupant of Number 10'. Daily the country gets half a dozen messages about the state of the Labour Party - pretty bad, on the whole - and, well, yes, it is about the relations between Gordo and his deputy just as it would be about relations between the crazed Scottish moralist and his deputy minister of banana imports if that's who they happened to be electing. This contest seems to be important because it's important.
Rawnsley then goes on to say what a nice, gentle campaign it has been - it has not 'exposed a huge ideological chasm within the Labour party' and no one has come up with a 'strikingly original and sound new policy, even a single memorable phrase'. Wow, how important can you get? The truth is, of course, that this election is about precisely nothing. It is the empty apotheosis of the process that began in the mid-nineties whereby politics was virtualised as the media slavishly bought into the Blair project. Politics is now taken to mean what happens at Westminster and nothing more. That's why intelligent, informed people like Rawnsley have no choice but to take seriously a meaningless contest between a few cringeing greasy-pole climbers. Papers have this space and it must be filled. But you will, of course, be wanting my recommendation. I say vote here and here, now and often.

8 comments:

  1. It might be interesting if some of these politicians were asked to give their understanding of the word democracy and if they believe it might have any relevance in the world of today. A day in the stocks for anyone mentioning War on Terror in the offered response.

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  2. I think you might need to provoke your wider audience into a renewed burst of responses, Bryan. I suggest a softly softly approach under the thread title, Come On You Assholes.

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  3. These polls, how do you vote? There are no boxes to tick or web stuffies to click.

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  4. Mark, those links take you straight to boxes.

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  5. I think if you put all dep leadership candidates in a blender, you might produce on half way acceptable politician.

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  6. I'm not sure about the science behind that theory, Bryan, but it would surely be worth a shot. A worst case scenario still seems like a winner.

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  7. Just wondering... do you find the intricacies of the US political system as boring as we find your's?

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  8. Who but a moron wouldn't find the intricacies of all political systems the apotheosis of boredom?

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