Labour’s curious fixation on Kaminski
I want to make something quite clear at the start of this post; I think the Conservative Parties choice of new European allies is deplorable. Despite lame efforts to defend them I think that alot of what is said against them and the likes of Michal Kaminski is absolutely true; I want this to be clear because I don’t want what I am about to say as in any way soft-soaping them or letting them off the hook. Indeed, I have made many of the points currently being made on this blog and no doubt will have occasion too again sometime in the future, frankly, the Conservative policy on Europe (like many things, for example, the economy) is kindly called dangerous and could be called alot of other unkind things. David Miliband is probably right about the damage it will do Britain internationally.
Having said that what puzzles me and causes me some wonderment is the Labour Party imagining that this issue will get them traction with voters or contribute to some miraculous turning of the tide back in their favour. My central assumption is that this is shocking and horrible for left-wingers, for people who don’t like the Conservatives in the first place but when it comes to the average voter I tend to also think it would fly right over their head. Is the Labour Party and blogs like Next Left actually engaged with a micro-dialogue with the editorial board of the Guardian in a desperate bid to keep it onside?
I am tempted to see it otherwise as some kind of pathological reversion to a pre-1997 mentality when Europe really did tear the Conservatives apart. It was not, however, what lost them the support of the wider electorate nor was it more than a symptom of a government in its death throes. Labour Party strategists would actually be well advised to remember this; Europe nor Cameron’s dubious associations within it won’t make even a dint in the electorates disdain for Labour nor its grudging willingness to accept the Conservatives back into government. It just isn’t totemic enough to convince people the Conservative’s haven’t changed and besides at this point in time the electorate is hardly enamoured of Europe. This side of an election it also won’t tear the party apart; later on, when the Conservative right feels settled back into power it may well do but not now.
If this is all Labour have got then they really are in very deep trouble….