Wednesday, 13 July 2016




The best thing that could be said about Angela Eagle's interview on Channel 4 last night was she did at least definitely appear to support herself. It's one thing, though, for a supporter to say they're voting for you because you're "doing a good job" and because it's ridiculous Labour hasn't yet been led by a woman, it's another to make that your whole campaign - particularly a campaign for a post that's already filled. Is this the forge then? Will this unite? "Well, look" and "Of course" and "Well, look" and "It's too early to say" and "Well, look"? Nothing about what's gone wrong and how it could be put right, and nothing about what you actually believe? No persuasion. No story. Just "I think I'm the best." That's Angela Eagle's bid to be Prime Minister?

Angel Eagle's actual resting face in that interview

She's not even trying to earn it. She must have been preparing for this for months, yet when Krishnan turned to her she looked like Guy Goma. No, she can't have been preparing for this. She can't. It was the kind of insulting, dispiriting mess half-learnt off a napkin ten minutes before you're on that reminded me with the force of a bullet train why I'd voted for Corbyn in the first place. Yes, it seemed to me time for him to go, but if eighty per cent of Labour's MPs can't work with him - okay, since they can't work with him - they surely have to field an alternative who will appear happy and indeed keen to explain off the cuff exactly what it is they actually believe in, because if they can't find that then it might not be a coup but it is a con, and they've no right with two election defeats behind them to call Corbyn unelectable. The Tory Far-Right appears to have evaporated meanwhile, and the parliamentary centre ground continues to move left. And unpopularity isn't Corbyn's problem right now. It's the least of his problems right now. People are throwing bricks through windows for him.


  1. Well, I find it easy to believe some people throw bricks through windows for unpopular people who are very popular with a few people. And all shades in-between.

    Yes, in a nutshell, to your post. This whole thing is a tragedy and I think Corbyn's unelectable, but the fact that the rest of the party can't summon up a single competent voice is insane. Who are these people?

    Is it that competent voices are scared? If they're legitimately Blairite (literally not a synonym for evil) maybe they think it's pointless? If they are somewhere in the middle, which Eagle seems to be, maybe the problem is that the Corbyns and Blairs aren't evil, but they are increasingly irreconcilable, and trying to reconcile them makes you seem vacillating? And maybe it's as simple as a fight for the party name and structure, and the rest should split off. I hate this, because while Labour is futzing around, the Tories are doing a massive amount of damage that the electorate, under normal circumstances, would vote them out for. THE TORIES HAVE SCREWED EVERYTHING UP AND THEY ARE 8 POINTS AHEAD IN THE POLES.

  2. Ahoy hoy. I would love to think bricks through windows were a sign of losing, but this year WHO KNOWS? If "the competent voices" are scared though, where were they last year? What's more incompetent a strategy than "Vote for me because I'm electable"? And if they're scared, how competent can they be? We're not talking about any old managerial position, this is the leadership of a country comprising one hundredth of the population of the world. The burning question for me remains: why was Eagle so bad in this interview? Defending the PLP against Corbyn die-hards hasn't been easy or pleasant lately but I've done it, over and over again, pointing out how even Obi Wan and Gandalf had to top themselves for the story to continue, and defending MPs as elected representatives in touch with their constituents and keen to get things done but for reasons I don't entirely understand held back by yer man. But if this is what the PLP looks like unleashed, how much of that can be true? If the die-hards are right and the 81% really are just a gang who never gave a toss about democracy and refused to play along with Corbyn from the start because being unpopular in the press makes them embarrassed, I don't see what would look different.
    And I don't know what "normal circumstances" are. Labour - in our lifetime anyway - has had difficulty playing along far more often than not. Didn't it cost them the coalition? Won't it cost them more? Blair seems the exception, Gordon Brown the normal. But "irreconcilabile" is just a question of personalities, isn't it? That's what I hate. None of this is inevitable. And yes, all talk of unity looks like eyewash right now.

  3. Or the right hasn't evaporated at all. Here's Frankie Boyle being brilliant on that.

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