Thursday, 7 May 2015

Fucking up the fuck ups

This was written a year ago!  "All very well to put out a string of populist policy announcements - end the pasty tax, free dentures for the long-term unemployed, fuel allowances for cabbies, new tramlines in Maidenhead, whatever - but this is just noise until it's part of a resonant 'vision'. And Labour just doesn't have a clue what its 'vision' is … Because not only does the Labour leadership love the smell of its own farts - so does the media chorus. Every time Miliband pops out another vaporous soundbite, the news - always desperate for novelty, fond of power, and particularly fond of right-wing Labour leaders - makes it sound as though he has written the Grundrisse. Now these thematics must be heavily focus-grouped and polled, yet I see no evidence that they catch the remotest echo in the popular imagination. And there's a reason for that. It's that they are utter, uninspiring, incoherent bollocks. It is not just that they do not represent any systematic alternative to the policies being pursued by the coalition. It is that, as with both 'Blue Labour' and 'One Nation Labour', these themes attempt to hybridise an extremely mild reformist language with a half-hearted co-optation of reactionary traditionalism, an ideological blend that neither pleases nor motivates anyone … What are we supposed to think? "Let's have compulsory apprenticeship schemes because We Are One Nation"? Or "Cap fuel bills to save the squeezed middle"? Who the fuck would go out and vote on that basis, much less - I don't know - form a picket line or mount a barricade? Of course Labour are going to lose the next election ... They are an opposition which can barely bring itself to oppose. They cannot even act intelligently, because they are structurally compelled by their investment in neoliberal accumulation strategies, to be stupid. They even fuck up the fuck ups. The Tories don't have to actively win it. They just have to play their hand in a reasonably smart way, placate their base, and wait for Her Majesty's opposition to defenestrate itself."
Richard Seymour -“Why are Labour going to lose the next election”, May 15 2014


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