Another day; another toe-curling day of embarrassing revelation from the diaries of an erstwhile senior Labour figure. This time it’s the turn of Alistair Campbell who I have to admit, despite not agreeing with his politics, I admire immensely. So, what can we learn from this? We know that senior Labour figures absolutely love keeping diaries – probably more so than Conservative ones.
Maybe I am missing something; but I don’t recall nearly this much bitter and public recrimination that lasted so long after the fall of Thatcher, for example. I think part of it is the fascination with the Blair-Brown soap opera which is undoubtedly an excellent opportunity for the needy of large pots of cash to make even more. Part of it also is the fact, that many within Labour won’t acknowledge, that the wounds caused by this conflict have yet to heal. Sure, the press won’t let us but the major actors are still all senior figures under the current regime; including, of course, the leader himself.
It may well be necessary for us to totally pass this episode by to skip to a new generation; one untainted by the past feuding. It may also be the case that we need to start arguing about something worthwhile; like heart and soul issues about who we are, what we stand for and what actual policies we want to put to the nation. People understand that kind of feuding and respect it because a certain amount shows seriousness and a democratic spirit; however, they are less forgiving of a political party whose arguments are basically personal feuds which properly belong in an episode of Eastenders or Hollyoaks but not at the upper echelons of a Party looking to govern and lead the country. This is not serious politics and it’s not the mark of a political party worthy and even able to govern but underneath it all is the gutting of Labour of democratic and principled socialist politics and the empty space that has left where our soul should be.