Monday 10 May 2021

"Shoot the Mad Dogs!"

"We demand the vermin and all their followers be mercilessly exterminated!" Not Andrej Vyshinsky, Stalin's chief jurist at the show trial of Karl Radek and Georgy Pyatokv, but Peter Mandelson in the wake of Thursday's calamities. With the dust settling following Angela Rayner's move to another set of briefs that allow more time for her permanent leadership campaign, the pod people on the PLP's right are chuntering away, as per Mandelson about the need to change the party. And "changing the party" always, always means attacks on the left and the trade unions. As everyone with a bit of history in the labour movement knows, even the Labour right themselves when a moment of honesty flickers across their consciousness, these moves are entirely cynical and about winning and holding power inside the party. I.e. the only struggle for power they've ever been serious about. But how is this justified to themselves, and why - in as far as they truly believe anything - does it present itself as the tonic to shrug off defeat?

It's pretty straightforward. If the left amount to anything more than door knockers and leaflet pushers, it will prove to be a drag on the party. The public don't like nationalisations, "impossible demands", critiques of foreign policy, and anti-racism, and the whiff of such sends Labour's polling through the floor. When reality disproved this thesis in 2017, the Labour right did everything it could to confirm their dire warnings by the time 2019 rolled around. In the terms of their stunted imaginary, the shenanigans, scabbing, and second referenduming were nothing of the sort. The left was already unpopular, they were just letting the public know what the, um, public already thought and had minds their minds up on.

As Labour in 2021 is lousy with the left's legacy, Keir Starmer - if he is serious - has to stand up to his party and win back trust by publicly flaying his critics, and greenlighting branch and constituency parties to help themselves to an orgy of bloodletting. Then and only the, when voters or, more accurately, their proxies in the press judge Labour to be sufficiently purged does the party stand a chance of getting anywhere. And besides, treating one's party with brutality can pay electoral dividends. Just see how Boris Johnson was able to convince his electorate he was serious about Brexit by unceremoniously ditching grandees and big beasts like Nicholas Soames, Ken Clarke, Michael Heseltine. In the two months prior to calling the election the Tories were in turmoil, but Johnson defined himself against the remain faction and reaped the electoral dividends. "Starmerism" has to be just as ruthless and single-minded.

If recent history isn't convincing enough, then we can look to Labour's history. According to the right's wisdom, Labour lost the 1983 general election because it was too left. That John Golding, as he confessed in The Hammer of the Left, was only too keen to sign off on the manifesto because it would ensure Labour's defeat and put the left on the back foot is best not talked about. And subsequently, the battles with Militant and the left under Neil Kinnock, it was messy work but someone had to enjoy doing it. The Labour leadership ensured it was a million miles away from the miners during the 1984-5 strike, did all it could to smash the movement for municipal socialism in its ranks - just as the Tories were gunning for the powers of local authorities - and for good measure purged Militant some more. The 1987 election rolls around, Labour puts on 20 seats and 1.6m votes, and the conclusion is more movement to the right, more of a demonstration that Labour politicians are standing up to the "bullying" trade unionists and lefties. The poll tax struggle therefore afforded Labour not an opportunity to strike the Tories a wounding blow, but a pretext for getting rid of activists and members banged up for refusing to pay. Most notably Militant's two MPs, Terry Fields and Dave Nellist got the heave-ho because of their uncompromising opposition to Thatcher's tax.

1992 came and went with another loss, this time unexpected. Following the John Smith interregnum, to demonstrate his seriousness for office Tony Blair picked fights with his party. Firstly over Clause IV, in the hope of exorcising the ghosts of nationalisations past, and generally doing all he could to distance himself from anything smacking of "old Labour" - above all unions and anything recognisably working class. The policy agenda was pared down to five simple pledges on a card, and there was little in the Labour manifesto that wouldn't have been out of place in, well, a Tory manifesto. The left's influence was utterly negated and Labour won big. There endeth the lesson.

Peter Mandelson has an interest peddling this narrative because, well, he engineered it. Not the victory, but the myth. Blair was happy to ride the vapourwave of change, and once in office busied himself undoing Labour's position in the country. Having won after attacking the left, New Labour was locked into carrying on if they wanted to avoid the press's ire. Not that there was anything reluctant about this. Labour ministers gleefully toughened social security, scapegoated Muslims, dumped on unions, and forced marketisation and the private finance initiative con on public sector institutions. And the "correctness" of the orientation was further confirmed in 2001 and 2005 with two more election wins.

The story falls apart once you probe it to any depth. It is handily forgotten how Blair inherited massive poll leads in July 1994, when they reported leads for Labour between 13 and 28 points. It's true subsequently some ridiculous numbers were reported, at one point reaching the height of a 43 point lead, but was this the consequence of an enthusiastic embrace of New Labour as it adopted Tory-lite policy, or as the most convenient hammer to hand to get shot of the Tories? For those not around at the time, it is difficult to articulate the popular antipathy toward them. Major's authority had entirely crumbled and they eked out a long goodbye with a raft of punitive policies. Charging OAPs VAT on fuel bills and vindictively closing mines is less well remembered than the parade of colourful sex scandals, but their coming hot on the heels of the Black Wednesday debacle put paid to them. And so, in that sense, Mandelson was right that the left, working class voters, people who saw themselves as socialists had nowhere to go. Except, in 2001, we found they did. They could stay home. And again in 2005 - home or the Liberal Democrats in their leftish phase. Labour attracted support as the default alternative, and the collective memory of the Tories kept them out for 13 years rather than popular enthusiasm for Blairism and its works. The whole project was premised on frittering away the political capital Tory calamity had awarded them, and they didn't have the first clue how to renew it, apart from chasing headlines by punching left.

The unique alignment of the 1990s meant this strategy, as ruinous as it was for Labour in the long-term, had serious but time-limited legs. In the 2020s, it's utterly preposterous. Keir Starmer, already having told swathes of former Labour voters that he wasn't interested in their referendum vote, now finds how uninterested they are in voting for him. So the evidence suggests. Under such challenging circumstances, they're not going to get won back by painful and inauthentic displays of patriotism. Indeed, if he really wants a hearing he should apologise for driving them away instead of the nonsense we get about a new leadership and how crap Labour are at winning elections. Except rather than deal with problems as they are, "Starmerism" now buys into the Mandelsonian imaginary or reds under the beds and armies of spotty Trots putting the punters off Labour. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

The Labour right will keep going on about the worst election result for 85 years until, well, until their boy does even worse in 2023. But they do so because it stops them having to think about the most important lesson of the Corbyn years: that the party has a new core vote of the new working class. These are the growing segment of (mainly) younger workers who aren't just precarious, low paid, and are the butt of Tory policies, their work is characterised by immaterial labour. Socially liberal if not small s socialist, tacking toward social conservatism in a doomed effort to win over a working class whose working days are largely behind them is a pretty stupid strategy all considered. But what Keir Starmer is doing, encouraged by Mandelson and his long tail of epigoni, is to attack the very people in the Labour Party who did the spadework of bringing these millions of younger, working class voters to the party in the first place. What Blair and Brown took 13 years to do, Dear Keir has managed in less than a year: demobilise the party's coalition, spur its growing fragmentation, and strengthen challenges to Labour's left. Above all, as forecast, the Greens. The right might think they're hammering the left, but if they opened their eyes and looked more closely, they might discover they're striking nails into their own coffin.

A purge then would be the height of stupidity, but this is a very stupid leadership. What we're seeing then is an experiment, of the unreconstructed Blairists in alliance with right wing remainers and so-called centrists, trends whose historical obsolescence should confine them to the tip, trying desperately to navigate a divided and polarised political landscape they do not and, it seems increasingly obvious, are incapable of recognising. Unfortunately, their ruin is our ruin, and if the situation cannot be retrieved the cause of working class political independence will have to be taken up anew. But at least they get their dream of a Labour Party without a left, even if it means it's without a hope.

Image Credit


Jim Denham said...

"[I]n alliance with right wing remainers"? WTF are you on about? Please name me a Labour MP (with the possible exceptions of a very few on the left, eg Clive Lewis, Russell Moyle and Nadia Whittome) willing to even criticise Brexit these days. Certainly not Starmer.

Phil said...

Jim Denham of the Liberal Democrats asks who's criticising Brexit in the Labour Party these days - which of course was not what the passage was about. As someone who has long abandoned anything approaching an analysis, let alone a Marxist take on politics, I'm sure it comes as a complete surprise to Jim that there are different tendencies on the Labour right. Some of whom - gasp - used the second referendum argument, just like his pitiful sect, to undermine the left's tenuous grasp on the party.

Boslemite said...

I normally enjoy Phil's contributions, even if I don't always agree with his analyses, and this one is no exception. But I really must take issue with this: "What we're seeing then is an experiment, of the unreconstructed Blairists in alliance with right wing remainers and so-called centrists". I see no right-wing remainers in Labour any more: they were there, but now seem to have enthusisastically embraced Brexit. The only Labour members still prepared to stand up and criticize Brexit are those of us who adopted a left remainer position. So I'm disappointed that Phil seems to imply that remainerism is somehow the preserve of the right.

McIntosh said...

Would it not be quicker for Starmer and his advisers just to ask the 'Mail', 'Times' and 'Express 'what Labour's policies should be, who should be an MP and what the composition of the Shadow Cabinet should be.
That way he could cut out the rather dated middlemen and know he had a party that was sensible, moderate, free of the unions and trot/stalinists, with a common sense foreign policy and a grown up economic policy and had adults in the room who know how to sing the national anthem with gusto.

Boffy said...

The large majority of the Labour Right are opportunists backing Leave, and the policy of Blue Labour in wrapping themselves in the flag! The only people arguing on a principled basis against Brexit are the same ones who argued a principled case for Remain, i.e. the international socialists. They are the ones who most definitely are not aligning with Starmer!

Phil seems to have got himself a bit confused in looking at these alignments, because if we look at those arguing for Brexit its Johnson, Farage, the BNP, Galloway, Lady Fox, John Mann and others on the Blue Labour Right, along now with Starmer, the opportunist soft lefts and Blairites, and the old Stalinoid combinations of No2EU of the reactionary economic nationalists of the CPB, SP, SWP splinters, and of course, Phil himself.

Blissex said...

«A purge then woud be the height of stupidity, but this is a very stupid leadership. [...] But at least they get their dream of a Labour Party without a left, even if it means it's without a hope.»

But there is a deep and enduring logic to all this, and these guys are not that stupid, they are not making mistakes:

* Politics is primarily about "must have" interests, and secondarily about "nice to have" issues.
* The "must have" for Conservatives, New Labour, LibDems is thatcherism.
* For Conservative, New Labour, LibDems voters and politicians, when another thatcherite parts wins they are disappointed that they cannot get their "nice to have" issues and ministerial careers, but their "must have" interests are not threatened.
* Their "must have" interests (property and finance rentierism, low wages, low taxes) would be threatened only if Labour were to win.
* Therefore the first priority for New Labour is to eradicate the Labour wing, to protect their "must have" interests, and only after that is secured they can focus on competing on secondary issues with the Conservatives and LibDems.

Their nightmare is bringing the party to power while still tainted by "trots", and then an internal coup means that the "trots" like Ed Miliband or Clive Lewis take the leadership, and "Thatcher revolution" gets rolled back in part. Usual quotes:

Tony Blair: “Tony Blair says he wouldn’t want a left-wing Labour party to win an election. The former PM says he wouldn't take the 'route to victory' if it was left-wing

Peter Mandelson: “Labour would only win if the party championed aspirational voters who shop at John Lewis and Waitrose

Lance Price: “Philip Gould analysed our problem very clearly. We don’t know what we are. Gordon wants us to be a radical progressive movement, but wants us to keep our heads down on Europe. Peter [Mandelson] thinks that we are a quasi-Conservative Party but that we should stick our necks out on Europe.

Tony Benn: “PR is being advocated with a view to a pact with the Liberals of a kind that Peter Mandelson worked for in Newbury, where he in fact encouraged the Liberal vote. The policy work has been subcontracted. These so called modernisers are really Victorian Liberals, who believe in market forces, don't like the trade unions and are anti-socialist.

theOnlySanePersonOnPlanetEarth said...

The Labour party lose elections year in year out, decade after decade.

So what do they do? They start to become more like the Tories, i.e. the party that beats them year in year out, decade after decade.

This is both totally logical and completely illogical at the same time. You might say the Labour party are in a superposition of being logical and illogical.

Anonymous said...

«Their nightmare is bringing the party to power while still tainted by "trots", and then an internal coup means that the "trots"»

Something that really terrified the Militant Mandelsoncy entrysts was the "failure" of One Man One Vote:

* The militant mandelsonians thought that once the labor unions lost their votes, mostly it would be the famous “aspirational voters who shop at John Lewis and Waitrose” who would bother paying the membership fee, and to vote in leadership elections, and thus OMOV would ensure that New Labour would be thatcherite forever.

* They were surprised and outraged by the impertinence of all those hundreds of thousands of "trots" who "infiltrated" New Labour to vote for Corbyn.

* Therefore a complete purge of the Labour entrysts into New Labour, MPs, members, voters, must be carried out to prevent a possible repetition of that outrage and four year long nightmare.

Jim Denham said...

"Jim Denham of the Liberal Democrats": that's just pathetic, Phil and demonstrates your complete degeneration. If you want to engage at a serious level, please do so. But not with that sort of dishonest nonsense. As for "Marxism": I'll debate you any time. In fact, how about it? Once the lockdown's over, let's have a public debate in Stoke.

TowerBridge said...

I don't know if you are aware Phil, but your thoughts are increasingly being reflected in other thinkers/bloggers, such as this one from Chris Grey. This blog is very handy for analysis of Brexit and the latest one, apart from landing on the "immaterial worker" concept, arrives at the same conclusion as you do:

Anonymous said...

You are indeed being unfair to Mr. Denham. I gather that he is Workers' Liberty, which means that he works not for the Yellow Tories, but for Netanyahu.

Boffy said...

"As for "Marxism": I'll debate you any time. In fact, how about it? Once the lockdown's over, let's have a public debate in Stoke."

I'd definitely come to see that!

Blissex said...

«such as this one from Chris Grey»

That post seems to me distilled from LibDem and blairite ideology, starting from describing both LibDems and Labour voters as "liberal-left", where the LibDems are liberal-right and Labour are left, not necessarily liberal, and this statement in particular:

So a bold Labour Party would say something along the lines of: ‘like you, we think everyone’s as good as everyone else, we are about making your life better whoever you are and whatever you want to be.’

Seems to me pure "aspirational" (that is, property based) bullshit, almost the same as Tpny Blair's "Sierra man" conclusion:
“I was canvassing in the Midlands on an ordinary suburban estate. I met a man polishing his Ford Sierra, self-employed electrician, Dad always voted Labour. He used to vote Labour, he said, but he bought his own home, he had set up his own business, he was doing quite nicely, so he said I’ve become a Tory. [...] And that man polishing his car was clear: his instincts were to get on in life, and he thought our instincts were to stop him. But that was never our history or our purpose. The true radical mission of the Labour Party, new and old, is this: not to hold people back but to help them get on - all the people.”

That is pure bullshit: there are pretty large distributional issues that are merrily evaded by saying “making your life better whoever you are and whatever you want to be” or “not to hold people back but to help them get on - all the people”.

The key issue in UK politics is actually-existing "thatcherism": those who benefit from lower labour costs and higher housing and pension costs, and those who don't, which is largely the divide between incumbents and everybody else.

Because lower labour costs and higher housing and pension costs are as a rule purely redistributive from everybody else to incumbents, so “whoever you are“ and “all the people” cannot aspire at better living standards at the same time.

We just have to look at the record of New Labour: In a coalition of 90% anti-thatcherites and 10% thatcherites, the thatcherites got 90% of the benefits and the anti-thatcherites 10%, and gains of the thatcherites were almost entirely at the expense of the anti-thatcherites.

So for Labour there are two options: appeal again to thatcherite voters, or to a wide coalition of anti-thatcherite voters, which include for example property and business owners in the "pushed behind" areas, because the fatal flaws of thatcherism are:

* It is redistributive, and a majority cannot sustainably live off redistribution from a minority (there cannot be 2 BTL landlords living off 1 renter, or even 1-to-1).

* In particular the minority that benefits from thatcherite redistribution are geographically limited (there must be a constant influx of new tenants and buyers from poorer areas to richer areas).

Dipper said...

From Yiannis Baboulias in the Spectator (£) 'Meanwhile, Labour finds itself ripe for Pasokification, because the differences between the competing factions in the party look to be irreconcilable. Starmer's Labour is now made up of three big groups, none of which have much in common with each other. '

and this is the nub of the problem. To repeat, forming coalitions is what the Tories do naturally. Launching attacks on other members of your coalition is what Labour does naturally.

I stopped being Labour and became a Tory when I read Archie Norman's book on Edmund Burke, and finally got Conservatism. Labour sees (saw?) the world through competing class interests and styled the tories as representing upper landed and capital owning classes. But that is not how Tories see themselves.

The key episode in One Nation Toryism is the French Revolution.

Left - 'a revolution! This is going to be great!'
Burke -'No. It will end up mass violence and death. This is not the way to achieve change'.
Left - 'No, the people will win!'
.... time elapses, guillotines are produced, the revolution turns on its children and kills them
Burke pulls on 'I told you So' Tee shirt

Toryism is about the process of being in power. It is about assembling coalitions of people to enable beneficial social change to occur. Hence why, a couple of decades after Clause 28, The conservatives are now the home for so many gay men and women, why we now have Rishi Sunak and Priti Patel in major positions in government.

The Tories are really good at keeping power.( Its why, for instance, whenever the left comes upon and promotes a policy that is actually popular, the Tories adopt it). If you want to get power from them you have to be really good at playing their game. And Labour are not.

Seriously, if one of your pet favourite nutter left-wing MPs was to announce in ten years time actually 'I was a secret Tory agent all long and just did and said whatever I could to make Labour unelectable' would you actually be surprised?

Anonymous said...

"What we're seeing then is an experiment, of the unreconstructed Blairists in alliance with right wing remainers and so-called centrists, trends whose historical obsolescence should confine them to the tip..."

It's the "historical obsolescence" I really take issue with. It's as if 48 percent of voters didn't choose to remain, and most of them were ON THE LEFT. You keep banging on about 'stupidity' with the academic gusto for shock that Eco liked to talk about 'moronic arguments', but this seems pretty lower-case stupid to me. To what extent did referendum voting - which included many people who had never voted before - track with election voting?

Given the fact that your 'new' immaterial working-class young people are just about the very least likely to vote, while middle-aged, middle-class centrists are the most, around what century are you predicting Labour will sweep to power?

'...trying desperately to navigate a divided and polarised political landscape they do not and, it seems increasingly obvious, are incapable of recognising.'

And you mean the left does? How's that panned out so far?

'Unfortunately, their ruin is our ruin, and if the situation cannot be retrieved the cause of working-class political independence will have to be taken up anew. But at least they get their dream of a Labour Party without a left, even if it means it's without a hope.'

Going back to selling newspapers again? Admittedly it's the comfort zone, and will probably be best for all concerned.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, who in their right mind would want to see arch ultra rightist Denham 'debate' 'Marxism'? The guy is delusional, as delusional as his fellow traveler Lord Boffy of Stoke, chief mouthpiece and sychophant Of the global elite, whose delusion extends to believing Leninism can be a great resource for arguing for the merits of the European super League, I kid you not.

Denham debating Marxism. I would rather watch pro celebrity seal clubbing.

Kamo said...

Labour can attract support from young, big city dwellers who buy in heavily on the 'woke' culture war (often commercially cultivated grievance narratives). These are perhaps the new 'working class' core that Corbyn's 'Wolfie Smith' schtick appealed to. But, but, but, it's a barren strategy outside of those big cities, and more problematic is that 'woke' sells best in London where it gets the attention of the national media, overwhelming more substantive policy offers with broader appeal.

This situation works great for London based politicians like Corbyn, Abbott, Khan, Lammy etc who can (currently) bank on specific grievance themes, but outside those places it's lower down the priority list, even for those who are sympathetic to tackling genuine discrimination and inequality. 'Levelling up' has more salience to a wider range of people than 'woke'/grievance does, but Labour politicians with grievance narratives get disproportionate coverage. Burnham in Manchester is probably one of the few who has managed to successfully develop a broader, more inclusive appeal, I suspect partly because there is more national media presence in Salford.

This blog often talks about the ageing profile of the Tory base; I think Labour has its own issue here. Young city dwellers get older, many of the better educated professional ones will move out to where they can afford to buy and the priority of 'woke' will be tempered by broader non-Metropolitan priorities. They may end up picked off by other parties like the Greens. Those who do stay will never be enough to develop a national election winning base.

So how does Labour retain the support of the Metropolitan culture warriors, whilst not switching off everyone else? You can't stop people who make a living out of 'woke'/grievance from working their business model, but neither can you stop them polluting the discourse elsewhere.

Boffy said...

No wonder the troll prefers to remain anonymous via all of their assorted persona, because their penchant for seal clubbing just about sums up the reactionary nature of their underlying psyche.

Anonymous said...

Lord Boffy speaks, and this time there was no Lenin quote but there was an attempt at distraction, his primary method of 'debate', as countless other people, both anonymous and not, can attest to over the years.

I am surprised there was no mention of the Sentinel in that post Boffy, does your made up sock puppet not approve of jokes like that and take them as seriously as you do?

Boffy said...

The distraction is solely your endless, and mindless trolling. The sock puppets are all of your construction, whether you call yourself Anonymous, Sentinel, BCFG, DFTM, Brian B (remember you even admitted in print that he was one of your previous manifestations), George, Dave, Chris, CAAC, kamo and all the rest residing as your multiple personalities, all having in common your underlying reactionary psychology.

TowerBridge said...


Hit a nerve there. Ok, so Grey is thatcharite, but he's making connections now that others are making. Small steps.


It comes across as though you see yourself as [morally] superior to whoever you describe as "left". This is consistent with reactionary thinking and the very purpose of the Tory party, which is to maintain the hierarchy of people. Crown/landowners at the top (sorry to break it to you, but you aren't) - and do just enough to keep that as it is in the eyes of the people. This is why they adopt labour policies but also why the likes of Burke are so clever. Their levels of sophistry require creative thinking. It is also why they will cling onto power no matter how lawful. Voter ID, changing the boundaries and scrapping anything that is properly democratic like PR or preference voting will be removed as these pose threats to the maintenance of the hierarchy.

@Phil/Jim Denham

There's clearly some history here, but you are coming across as being rude to each other.


Much like the political correctness "war" of the 90s your woke warrior culture war is largely made up and a thing of the right wing media. They repeatedly do this and if you consider some of the examples they use for the existance of such things they point to university campuses. Really and truely a plague.

The narrative nicely distracts from the value that people should be treated equally and answering difficult questions like, why do we have statues of slavers?

Kamo said...

@ TowerBridge
We have statues of slavers because at some point they were notable people in British history, and in British historic culture many notable people had statues made of them as memorials. Now, the world over, many notable people have done things that are terrible when judged against modern western liberal normative standards, and the world over notable people who did such terrible things have many different types of memorials raised to them, including statues. How they tend to be judged today is somewhat morally relativistic.

So, in the UK we have statues to slavers and imperialists and in other parts of the world they have comparable memorials to people who did similar activities for similar underlying economic and geopolitical reasons. There's a lot of special pleading around how people in the western, liberal tradition should expect our contemporaries around the world in other traditions to judge their own forebears, but I think it comes down to whether we think they know any better or not.

TowerBridge said...


Yes, so there is general acceptance that moral standards are different depending on the age and geographic area. That's not being debated as that's not a difficult question.

Instead, what do you mean by "notable"? It strikes me this is a word substitution for "rich". For the likes of Coulston in Bristol, I'm sure you looked into it, he was a slaver and therefore rich. He had a bit of crisis of conscience as he got older. Thus is he "notable"? Even for the age, I would argue not. Sammuel Plimsol would be notable - there is a tiny head of him in Bristol too; it's not as big as Coulston's. No-one is tearing his statue down.

Kamo said...

@ TowerBridge

I have no torch to carry for the Bristol slaver, but my guess is he was notable to people in Bristol at some point, and that's why he got a statue in Bristol and not some other place. Notable is relative to place and time, and yes I suspect notable often correlates with wealthy, but it could be other things. I am well aware that all over the world there are monuments or memorials of various kinds to people who slaughtered, slaved, plundered and subjugated over the course of human history, how we expect the modern denizens/descendents in those places to feel about this is based on moral relativism and special pleading. In western liberal philosophical discourse it's not so much about the physical manifestation of slaughter, slavery, plunder and subjugation, but whether the modern descendants of the perpetrators are 'civilized' enough to be judged by western liberal standards (and yes I know that's a rather brutal and unforgiving take on the moral relativism and special pleading involved). But it is actually existing reality that some people use special pleading to ascribe intangible meaning to terms like 'Imperialism' and 'Colonialism', taking them beyond the physical, mainfested activities and underlying tangible geopolitical motivations they have always rested on for thousands of years.

Dipper said...

@ Boffy. My moral superiority is not the issue. The issue is why Labour is not only losing but plunging headlong into more losing. The only effective opposition to the government at the moment comes from the Tory back benches. That is not good for democracy.

re statues. When someone objects to the statue of King Shaka in Camden then I'll know we are having a serious conversation. Until then ...