Some other recent thoughts

Austerity always was a lie and the preparedness of Labour to buy into self-flagellating nonsense was a crime against the vulnerable. The Labour Right sold their souls. The Labour Centre became accomplices.

I voted for Corbyn because he is not a liar and he is not a crook.

If Corbyn had not appointed McDonnell, it would have been claimed that he was stabbing an old mate in the back. If he had not appointed Burnham, he would have been accused of pursuing divisive grudges. If he had not kept Hilary Benn, he’d have been accused of sacking a moderate whose father he hero-worshipped. As it is, he ended up effectively making Angela Eagle the supernumerary deputy leader that Tom Watson had publicly stated he would like to share the job with.

(I for one had assumed some such deal with Angela Eagle after her HuffPo piece a couple of weeks ago which I read at the time as a letter of application in spite of the fact she was standing against Watson.)

Further, of course, he needed a Shadow Chancellor who has not just consistently rejected the Austerity narrative but who was critical of some of the poor calls Gordon Brown DID make – I speak as one with a fair amount of time for many of the calls Brown made…He needs a Shadow Chancellor who will be rude to George Osborne and to whom Osborne can’t simply bluster at.

I think I am correct in saying that this is the first Shadow Cabinet in history with gender parity. That ought to be the story.

Let’s be absolutely clear because this is important.

I accept that the argument that appointing at least one, and preferably two, women to the traditional ‘high offices’ in the Shadow Cabinet would be both desirable in itself and in terms of perception is a respectable feminist position.

I just don’t think it is the only respectable feminist position given 1. the fact that several leading women contenders for such officers had both explicitly recused themselves and also had a history of serious complicity in the austerity lie, the benefit scroungers lie, the bogus asylum seekers lie and the War and 2. the austerity lie in particular has been used in ways that impact particularly hard on women. Fighting that lie, and war with Syria, have to be priorities for the Shadow Cabinet and should be priorities for feminists.

If the long-term consequence of New Labour is that in order to be in striking position of high office almost everyone had to make horrific compromises and women and other marginalized groups had to be seen to do so more enthusiastically than anyone else, that is a condemnation of how New Labour worked that should not be held to the account of those who opposed it, took the consequences of opposing it and are now overthrowing it.

I hope that Jeremy Corbyn’s argument that ‘high offices’ is an old way of looking at things with which he will have no truck is something he holds himself to and that he means it when he says that eg Education and Health ought in the modern world to be as important as any other Cabinet posts.

It is absolutely right that feminists be concerned about the ‘brocialism’ issue and equally absolutely right that they weigh it with other aspects of the interests of women.

Let us wait and see and not do the Tories’ – or New Labour revanchistes’ – work for them.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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6 Responses to Some other recent thoughts

  1. gonzo21 says:

    Indeed, if elements of the Left are too stupid to realise that they are cheerfully doing the work of the Tories and the Elites for them, then frankly they need to seriously reevaluate their position and ask exactly what the future holds for the country if they succeed in tearing Corbyn down and having him replaced with a nice safe New Labour candidate who won’t threaten the neo-liberal status quo ever again.

    Because this is it. Corbyn is the last ship leaving harbour before the Tripods arrive. We either get onboard with this, or it’s the red weed for us all.

  2. ffutures says:

    What amazes me is that Labour don’t seem to realise how badly they need to rethink their policies and get away from the Tories and Lib-Dems. Corbyn’s election (and the disaster of the last election) should have been their wake-up call.

  3. kalimac says:

    Agree that the Great Offices aren’t all they used to be, especially Home Secretary, from which all these newer offices like Education and Health were hived in the late 19-early 20C, leaving the Home Office a rump of its once-mightier self.

  4. ms_cataclysm says:

    I am pro Corbyn but PM and Chancellor are still the power posts.

    Corbyn is a long way from perfect but he was the only leadership candidate that actually sounded like a labour party member.

    I suspect that he won’t be the person contesting the 2020 elections but I believe that he will enhance rather than reduce the chances of whoever succeeds him and does contest those elections.

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