Saturday, April 18, 2009

Up that creek, with ever fewer paddles

Never mind long suicide notes, Polly Toynbee's latest Guardian piece may be the longest resignation submission ever, from her role as a fervent paddler of the Labour Party canoe as it disappears ever further up "a certain creek".

The redoubtable Ms Toynbee may once have been a "heavy hitter", but she is now in simple denial - or while she dallies in Africa, maybe she's just up "de nile"? I never thought I'd say this, but it's time to feel sorry for her.

Polly's personal credibility as a political commentator has been hitched to that of the most bullying and unprincipled politician this country has seen in a very long time. Probably ever. It now seems like a supreme irony that caring Polly ends up as another victim of the (unelected) Auld Fraud as he continues to collapse under the weight of spin-sleaze, scandal and simple old-fashioned greed, embarrassing apologies, and towering incompetence.

Never mind feet of clay, Gordon Brown has possibly only one single thing about his body now that is not apparently made of clay, and I'll leave you to work that out.

Polly has used her considerable influence (surely only explained by her family connections, as with many other New Labour apparatchiks) at the red end of the media spectrum for many years - and has been in a position to leverage her authority and "call" the hegemony of this Government many times, but very consciously chose not to do so. After all, she's had more than advice from CiF in recent times.

She sold her soul to New Labour a long time ago, and has been living in the hope that Beelzebub Blair was going to be replaced by someone in touch with her "Old Labour" instincts. Her embarrassing and effusive eulogies for Brown must surely only provide her with humiliating memories. Did she really say:

"Standing at the dispatch box, the towering superiority of his brain ..."

Yes, she did - she really did.

It was obvious that the "principles" of New Labour were miles apart from Polly's simple if old fashioned "soak the rich and give to the poor" lefty ethos as Blair and Brown crudely courted money in the shape of Blair's Bargain Lordships, and Broon's Scottish finance cronies, bought by his mostly "looking the other way". The many subtle but ultimately catastrophic "initiatives" of "the Project" that have created a disastrous client state were miles apart from her simpler angst-driven agenda of social responsibility and fairness.

We know too well that Polly has a personal agenda based on a laudable commitment to social justice (even if she has never managed to produce any ideas or evidence of how to achieve it), and with that in mind she might have looked into the darker recesses of the souls of Blair and Brown rather earlier. There she might just have spotted "power at all costs, never mind who we tread on in the process".

She was Dorothy to Blair's brainless scarecrow and Brown's mechanistic tin man. Cameron was the pussycat pretending to be a lion when he came along, apparently in need of the courage to face down the warring factions of the Tory party. A less blindly dogmatic old girl than our Polly might have worked out which of these towering intellects might actually belie the more principled politician, and she might just have done the deal of the century to finish the terminally tainted Labour party, and provide Cameron's Conservatives with the courage of her convictions.

Such a seismic event would probably have forced the Labour Party to examine it's dishonestly disastrous time in power more urgently and deeply than anything Polly can now achieve by hiding away in largely irrelevant tributaries of foreign policy as set out here. All the damage is done, and anyone pretending to support this government will end up with that same gangrene that is consuming Brown's zombie junta.

After the next election, Polly might as well retire into obscurity and be done with politics, because it will be many, many years before "her" Labour party gets a look in. Maybe he African adventure is setting out the stall for her next career..?

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