10 October 2017

Nihilist dad

Two weeks ago the Corbynite members of the bloggerati were having a high old time of it. And who can blame them. Having endured the carping of more or less everyone else for two years that their man had all the electoral appeal of soiled trousers, events since June must seem like the biggest vindication. And I include myself in that list of carpers.

So having lowered all expectations to the point at which a small failure felt like victory, they needed to mark the likes of me clearly with a Scarlet Letter for our ideological shame. The insult that seems to have landed the best turns out to be Centrist Dad, which is both suitably dismissive and witheringly accurate. Who could be more uncool than a dad? Ironically impotent, a figure of irrelevance - not significant enough to be even be evil. A pitiable fool, a Falstaff dressed in Fred + Florence. Fairly pointless, until the time comes to borrow a stepladder.

It's a tag I'm happy to wear. Both as my comeuppance for not recognising Corbyn as an Ayatollah for our times and that a shadow front bench devoid of talent is a government in waiting. Corbyn's strength has been talking the language of socialism without actually moving the policies much beyond Ed Miliband. His socialist credentials and record allow him to stand for a set of values that people can believe in, without looking too closely at his actual policy successes or stances. He's the J├╝rgen Klopp of British politics.

In a normal world, he wouldn't stand a chance, based on his personal position on everything from the nuclear deterrent to nationalisation. His basic lack of experience in a decision-making position with real consequence. His underwhelming leadership skills. But this is not a normal world. It's one in which the most unimpressive, grasping imbeciles are in charge of the most important political challenge of our lifetime. Where a walking hardcore suicide pact in Saville Row suits seems determined to trash everything in pursuit of an ideological mirage. Where a government is so divided even the Prime Minister's voice seems determined to split from the body politic.

A modern tulip fever of fuckwittery is catapulting everything over a cliff against the direct wishes of almost everyone who's not been trying Dan Hannan's Kool Aid, because some people didn't like others speaking Polish on the bus. And we are all paralysed from acting by the yellowing legitimacy of a popular mandate to do something non-specific involving a shotgun pointed at our feet.

So, under the circumstances, why not Corbyn? Why not free university tuition, 50 million council homes, and end to trident and a trillion more on the national debt. If nobody in charge of anything cares whether the country descends into a jam-infested backwater, drunk on nostalgia, then let's bet the farm on stuff that helps people. Not so much hung for a sheep as a lamb, but a whole flock. Then at least we can make a nice curry for everyone, not just the few.

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