Posts Tagged ‘painting by numbers’

Everybody is ignoring us, because we are weird

11/05/2011, 02:30:54 PM

by Anthony Painter

As Kevin Meagher noted on Uncut this morning, the canvas on which Labour is currently painting by numbers is wearing rather thin. A bit of blue, a bit of purple, some red, something of a strange colour called ‘new’, finish it off with a bit of a flourish. Stand back and marvel at the complete, er, mess.

In the meantime, the Conservatives emerge largely unscathed from their first electoral test since the general election. OK, they emerged completely unscathed. And Labour has spent the year talking to itself and in the seminar room (in fact, the last four years). Now the results of the experiment are about to be unleashed. There will be a deafening silence across the land.

There is a narrative of failure that has come to dominate: Labour became too statist, technocratic, detached, captured by the market; it lost its soul. All of this is true. But it’s not why Labour lost. The cause of defeat is much simpler than that. People didn’t trust Labour anymore. They’d seen enough and decided enough was enough. They wanted a new government and new prime minister. They just weren’t over-enamoured with the alternative.

But we are very educated people on the left. We read social history. We have consumed the political classics from Aristotle to Rawls and beyond. We have framed and conceptualised every single action of every human on this planet. We inhale public policy as if it were shisha. And you know what? We’re weird.


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