There’s a long standing curse, which despite popular belief is not Chinese in origin (So says Wikipedia… -Ed), that goes, “May you live in interesting times”. However you feel about Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide election as leader of the Labour Party and the present direction upon which the party is embarking, it’s impossible to deny that these are certainly interesting times.
An interesting thing seems to have cropped up of late; here and there, the suggestion that Liz Kendall should drop out of the Labour leadership race.
I say interesting, what I mean is utterly perplexing. So far as I can see, there is not much reason why should even consider it.
The theory seems to go that she should drop out of the race and endorse Yvette Cooper, in an effort to stop Jeremy Corbyn from winning the leadership and leading Labour to their biggest catastrophe since 1983. And whilst I do hope that Yvette wins and believe that Jeremy Corbyn would not be good for the Party, the idea that Liz’s presence or not on the ballot paper can have any influence on this is simply ignorant of the facts.
I genuinely can‘t remember if this was funny to start with or not. But if in the mists of time it ever was, it has long since ceased to be.
I am talking about the suddenly omnipresent tendency to call anyone within the Labour Party — or, indeed, the left in general — with whom you disagree a “Tory”.
The logic goes, you see, that if you disagree with somebody, then they can’t be “left wing”. If they aren’t “left wing” then they must be Tory. It’s a pretty black and white way to view the world. Not to mention fantastically thin-skinned and short-sighted.
Primarily it seems to have been aimed at Liz Kendall, in the Labour leadership race, so far. Now, bear in mind I say this as someone who is not a Kendall supporter — but really, can we get a grip? Liz Kendall is not a Tory.
In fact, I’m pretty certain none of the leadership candidates are Tories.