Monday, December 09, 2019

Lie in it

"Pushing through the market square,
So many mothers sighing
News had just come over,
We had five years left to cry in..."
I suspect that bookies will soon be paying out on Liverpool's first Premiership win and first top flight league win in 29 years. The Reds are currently eight points clear of their nearest contenders, Leicester, and 14 ahead of the next team, Man City.
The figures of how far the Tories are in front of Labour in election polls are less definitive - anything from a generous 6% up to a embarrassing 15% or more. For some time, there has been no talk of a Labour victory as the largest party, let alone a majority. That prize seems the Tories to lose. Having cocked up so spectacularly in 2017, it seems unlikely that they won't emerge without a majority on Friday morning.
I'd love to be proved wrong, but I'm sticking to my inkling that 2017 will prove to be the high water mark for Corbyn, if not Corbyism. The magic has been noticeably missing this time round, despite a manifesto chock full of goodies. Nobody can complain that they're not being given a meaningful choice this time round with full-fat socialism versus an anemic Tory promise of jam tomorrow if they can just finish the Brexit thingy. 
I don't know much about how things will play out over the next few years, but I will predict that this will be a Sisyphean task. We'll be stuck in a seemingly never-ending round of discussions, treaties, detail, and our two old friends dither and delay. If we ever push the boulder to the vaunted uplands they'll not be as sun-drenched as we'd imagined them, if we can actually remember what we imagined this very heaven would be like.
Of course, that's not what the Tories will say. The mop-headed lying machine will strain his 2:1 classic degree to sugarcoat this turd of a future as the best thing since sliced cake - had and eaten by him and his chums. British people will shrug and try to forget that this glorious independence day resulted in such meagre fare for them.
Brexit will prove to be a Pyrrhic victory I expect, and will still never be enough for Farage (remember him?) and his ilk. However, his guns will finally be spiked. Exhausted and confused Brits (English really) will no longer care if "they're not doing Brexit right!" Like getting to Marbella and finding the glorious brochure images of the hotel don't match the building site they encounter, they'll moan a bit and then go off to get pissed, and sing songs about the wars, World Cup, and Brexit they won. There will be a football song linking this trilogy of achievements soon enough. 
Bitter? Of course I am. I still don't see a believable upside to all of this for me and mine. There will be winners, but probably not among the 99%. It's all been so unnecessary... but, we are where we are.
And what of Labour? 
It seems inevitable that Corbyn will step down after Friday - possibly more quickly than some anticipate. He'll have presided over two electoral defeats, and while 2017 gave supporters reasons to be cheerful, this time will feel like a monstrous kick in the balls, no less so for being anticipated, unlike Cameron's surprise majority in 2015. Doesn't that seem like a lifetime ago?
It's not hard to see that Labour could spend the next two or three years being completely ineffective as a political force - insert your own joke here. There will have to be soul searching, although with the NEC and shadow cabinet stuffed full of Corbyn allies, it's hard to imagine a return to a more broad-based Labour offering. 
Maybe Corbyn was just the wrong frontman all along. His monstering has been appalling, but it goes with the territory for Labour leaders and he hasn't helped himself at times. Could someone else have done a better job? We'll never know, but someone else will have to do a better job in future. I hold no high hopes for a revival in 2024 if that's as long as we have to wait for the next election. Until then, Neil Kinnock's 'I warn you...' speech comes to mind again. 
To Johnson will fall the massive task of uniting this fractured nation. No surprise that I doubt the chilled out entertainer will be up to the task. I'm not even thinking of the precious, precious Union. He doesn't care much about that. I'm thinking of the deep, post-war France fractures that will exist in our society for a long time. 
"What side were you on daddy?"
"The right one... and don't speak to those bastards across the road!"
Five more years to think about it.
"We've got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, that's all we've got..."