Let the bastards be bastards and builders be builders

by Dan McCurry

What character from the history of film and literature most reminds you of an ordinary member of the Labour party?

For me, it’s Michael Palin’s character in the Life of Brian, whose job is to direct prisoners to their crucifixion. “Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each.”

This is a man who has a horrible job to do, but he’s still diligent and treats each prisoner with respect. He’s a nice guy. He cares. He’s the kind of bloke you or I might hang out with. You can easily imagine him as secretary of your local branch. If we brought a motion calling for crucifixion to be banned, the idea would be so radical that he’d initially be shocked, but once he realised that such a thing is possible he would become a passionate advocate.

The problem is that if you had 50,000 Christians to crucify, would you have this bloke do the job, knowing how sensitive he is, or would you get one of them blokes who look like they’d enjoy hammering in the nails through people’s ankles and wrists?

“We’ve got lumps of him down the back.”

The reality is that the Tories are doing us a favour by making such savage cuts in the size of the state, because it means that we don’t have to. It doesn’t matter that you disagree with how they are doing them, what matters is that you’re not hating Labour for doing them, because we’re not in power. If we were in power it would be very painful period for us. Whereas the Tories are in their element.

What irritates me is when people argue that Labour should create a list of things that they will cut come the next election, in order to establish credibility with the electorate. As if anyone would get elected by arguing that George Osborne didn’t go far enough. The fact is that once the 50,000 Christians have been put to death, we don’t need to find a new community to slaughter. The next government will not be about cuts. That job will hopefully be done. The next government will be about building the new Jerusalem.

This doesn’t mean that a future Labour government should reverse the Tory cuts, nor relish them. What I am saying is that, if we form the next government, then we should appreciate the fact that the other lot have done the dirty work, and we can get on with doing what we’re good at, namely, building a better country. So let the bastards be bastards and the builders be builders.

“Too far too fast” was a great slogan of a time gone past, but we need to be looking to the future now. The state needed to be rationalised and this has been done. The tough choices have been made. Austerity failed and the Tories will be punished for it. Those arguments are behind us. We need to start speaking about what we are going to do, to turn the country around, once we’ve gained power in 2015, and in the same way that the Tories have acted to type by being bastards, we should act to type by being builders.

Dan McCurry is a Labour activist who blogs here

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10 Responses to “Let the bastards be bastards and builders be builders”

  1. Nick says:

    The reality is that the Tories are doing us a favour by making such savage cuts in the size of the stat


    Really. Why is spending up up and away? It’s increased year on year every year the Tories have been in power.

    Me thinks you are lying.

  2. McCurry says:


    I’m not disagreeing with you Nick. The way they’ve gone about it is disastrous. I’m just saying that we haven’t had to make the horrible choices. We can save ourselves for the positive work.

  3. Vern says:

    This is fairly tedious stuff Dan but i feel compelled to point out that some of the supporters might fit the profile of a caring, nice guy but i’m not sure anymore members of any party would earn these plaudits.

    We are currently governed by a bunch who seemingly had their fingers in their ears whilst in opposition for 13 years but they do have a job to do in unpicking the mess left behind.

    Its the manner in which politicians appear to conduct themselves these days which has destroyed my love of politics. Give me Thatcher/Kinnock/Smith/Hesteltine over Blair/Cameron any day of the week.

  4. swatantra says:

    Its a fair quetion. What you may ask is the general voters ID picture of a ‘typical Labourite’. Answer: ‘A softie, afraid to take difficult decisions’. That is the stereotype image we must overcome amongst the general populace, if we are to win the next GE: ‘Firm, but Fair’. The people are looking for leadership, not a fop, or sop.

  5. SadButMadLad says:

    So to carry out your analogy a bit further, the guy who guided people into gas chambers but did so with diligence and respect and who at home is a great family man is also someone you would like to hang out with?

    But back to the point about the cuts. There hasn’t been many. The Tory government has done some cutting and made some publicity out of it, but in reality the deficit (which is NOT the same as the debt) is still rising.

  6. Robert says:

    Well said Swat, concentration camps next then with Labour

  7. McCurry says:

    I don’t think we should change or be something different. I think we are OK as we are, but we can be a soft touch sometimes.

  8. aragon says:

    Ed Balls is still ordering more crucifixes! Using the Tory envelope.

    “The state needed to be rationalised and this has been done. The tough choices have been made. Austerity failed and the Tories will be punished for it.”

    If it needed doing why has it failed ?

    And some do argue George Osbourne has not gone far enough.

    None of this was necessary, but Ed Balls still subscribes to the same fundamental beliefs as George Osbourne, as does David Miliband.

  9. Ruf says:

    Not sure about ‘firm, but fair’ , from a party that ignored recommenations on limits to where people can smoke and imposed their own rules and as for afraid to make difficult decisions, they had no problem in bombing and invading the occassional country despite what the folks protesting in the streets had to say about it.

    Whilst Cameron/Clegg and Miliband are grieving or celebrating over the Eastleigh Bye election on face ,the new Justice & Security Bill is weaving its way through Parliament very quietly .The Bill will enshrine in Law CMP’s Closed Material Procedures ,it challenges two main principles of the rule of Law – Open Justice & Natural Justice .Under the Terrorism Act you can be detained for up to 28 days and when this act becomes Law you can be detained ‘Tried’ and convicted without Public Knowledge
    Cameron obviously favours this Bill because Privatisation issues will no doubt be held under a CMP -Similar to Blair repealing the Treason Act to cover his back over Iraq ,Cameron will sew everything up with CMP’s for Stealth Privatisation of NHS,Police and other National Bodies without Public Knowledge .But where is our Opposition – we haven’t one ,because papers emanating from Iraq and Libya implicate both Governments complicity in deals in exchange for dubious practices .www.brokenbritainundertories.com

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