Friday, 1 November 2019

Avoiding the argument is a cop-out

A fundamental part of the argument, insofar as there is one, for an electoral pact between the Tories and Nigel Farage plc is that many of what are over-simplistically referred to as ‘Labour leavers’ in places such as the north of England and Wales will never vote for the Tories, but will willingly vote for a completely different party which stands for much the same things.  And I’m afraid that it’s probably right.
It’s hard to find a better example of why the Labour Party’s demonization of ‘the Tories’ is such a bad idea (and it’s a demonization which has been copied by others, including, sadly, Plaid here in Wales).  Concentrating on the party and basing opposition to it on historic folk memories rather then engaging with the political disagreements in their own right has been far too easy a cop-out for decades.  As long as there was only one party representing a particular viewpoint, making that party the basis of an irrational and emotional hatred has ‘worked’ for Labour in Wales.  But because the arguments for conservatism have, as a result, gone largely unrebutted, when those arguments are put forward by a different organisation trading under a different name, that hatred is essentially non-transferable.  Treating the electorate like tame committed anti-Tory sheep, and assuming that they will blindly follow for ever an argument which is both emotional and at an ever-increasing historic distance, is a recipe for allowing the growth of an organisation like Nigel Farage plc.  The Labour Party can and will blame everyone else for this, but that party is the midwife which has allowed ‘the right’ to grow in strength in Wales as elsewhere in the UK.


Simon Neville said...

It is indeed. In point of fact, certain elements in Welsh Labour - what we might call the George Thomas Tendency - *are* the Right. Labour has for generations been the effective embodiment of Toryism in this country. To that extent, then, the actual Tory Party has been redundant within our national politics.

Now, however, the ground is shifting. It strikes me that, for reactionary bigots beginning to identify themselves as such, a vote for the Brexit Party could be the gateway drug for a future addiction to Toryism.

dafis said...

Simon above describes a kind of "Consensual assimilation" which sounds alarmingly like a deviant act, but when one considers that the likes of George Thomas and the grasping Kinnocks are exemplars of this tendency then it is not so far fetched to regard it as deviance.

However when this mindset catches on with ordinary folk out in the electorate we have reason for alarm. A blind adherence to the Union Jack and other trimmings of AngloBrit dominance creates a very real neo-Fascist/Nazi condition. Like all else there will be differing degrees of intensity, but the creeping intolerance of anything that doesn't conform to the approved menu is a sure sign that things are not so well in the political arena. Add to this the Labour party's own internal troubles with antiSemitic outbursts, the Tories' dislike of Islam and you have the makings of a good old flare up at some point, possibly soon.