Friday, 13 December 2019

#GeneralElection2019 Resist The Third Martini


Principle for the people
Mr Jeremy Corbyn is a man of principle, it took a second failed general election attempt to prove conclusively that he is not a man of the people.
As I read on Twitter yesterday when the exit polls suggested Boris Johnson had successfully gambled and won the general election as the Labour Party was about to be handed its most catastrophic defeat in a century, I could not help but agree that “The problem with the government of the people, by the people, for the people, is the people.”
Yet, to blame the electorate for an electoral loss is to entirely miss the point of elections. Democracy and winning elections are the mastery of the art of persuasion. We have to admit, in spite of and despite the prevailing circumstances, Jeremy Corbyn has been unable to persuade the people of your agenda, no matter how noble, you have not successfully won their hearts, their minds and their votes to your side.
He didn’t help himself either
Now, I do understand that there is a perspective that the whole establishment and the mainstream media had demonised Jeremy Corbyn complete, and he for himself probably with his history and associations did not help matters that much. I for one have voted for the Labour Party since 1992 in all general elections including this, whilst I have given my vote recently to the Liberal Democrats in the local and European elections for the simple fact that the Labour Party had departed from the ground where general elections can be won.
Tony Blair won three general elections comfortably, the last he won even after the taint of the Iraq War had taken hold. Whether Tony Blair is liked or not, you cannot ignore his electoral successes and anyone who wants to win elections with the Labour Party will at the very least study the strategy and methods by which he was able to appeal and win the confidence of the people to govern.
Opposition or government
At this juncture, the Labour Party needs to decide if it wants to be a party of government, 9 years in opposition is a long time and if Boris Johnson runs his full term, the Labour Party will languish in opposition for 14 years.
You cannot do policy from the opposition and it is sad that the Labour Party hierarchy ignored the prescient warning of Tony Blair when for the first time, the opposition parties could control the agenda in parliament having had Boris Johnson on the ropes. They ignored him and now, the Labour Party has become a rump of itself with Jo Swinson being sent on her way.
I voted Labour in the election, not for the sake of Jeremy Corbyn but by recognising my constituency MP, Lucy Powell does a good enough job and that she should not be punished for the unfortunate situation of her party leader. All politics is local, at least that is what I see.
No sweet scent of Jeremy
Yet, I cannot deny that there were so many insurmountable misgivings about Jeremy Corbyn with many of my immediate interactions on social media and the reported issues on the doorstep. People just could not see Jeremy Corbyn being Prime Minister. That I was able to hold my nose and see more of the man, that was not how many others felt, odium and opprobrium seemed to dog him to the point that it overwhelmed the ability to assess him objectively.
Having lost two general elections, there is no doubt in my mind that Jeremy Corbyn is first responsible for the losses along with his team and the cult of Momentum which I would hope falls into the black hole of ignominy and history as Mr Corbyn departs the centre stage. There must be a collective responsibility of the shadow cabinet for this disaster.
You need to win elections to initiate and implement policy, else, your ideas remain on paper and are mere words of no import. The idealism that has driven the Corbyn agenda will not win elections, we need more pragmatism that broadens the church of the Labour Party to include the full spectrum of people and ideas that must embrace the Blairites and the Corbynites in common purpose for the United Kingdom.
The five stages of defeat processing
I appreciate that many of the ardent supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are loss in the first stage of the K├╝bler-Ross model of the Five Stages of Grief (Defeat), they are in Denial of the truth that Jeremy Corbyn bears the principal responsibility for the loss of the 2019 General Election. Some are expressing Anger at the media and even the electorate, that is misguided.
I doubt there is anything to Bargain for, the time for that passed when between the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats, they could have a coalesced to keep the Tories out. It is the great regret of missed opportunities for which I hold both Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson responsible.
Then, I hope they will not spend too much time in Depression before they reach the point of Acceptance that Jeremy Corbyn is a failure and he has to go sooner rather than later, that the Labour Party needs a new direction with the fundamental principle that they must prepare for government with a leader to whom the people can relate and a message that can persuade the people of the Labour Party is the better choice.
Missing the prize
As for where we are, the prize is with Boris Johnson and I fear with the infighting, the cult of Momentum, the anti-Semitic charge, and the exodus of Labour Party moderates and centrists, the party of the working people took their eyes off the prize and gave victory to Boris Johnson. What could have been, but we are where we are now.
The world will not end, maybe Brexit will really happen, but Mr Johnson has enough room to manoeuvre without being held hostage by a faction of his party. Heck! We have had three years of Donald Trump and not a world war for each year he has been in office. I fear, that Donald Trump might well win a second term if the Democrats do not refine their socialist tendencies.
Resist the third martini
I do not have a palate for strong alcohol, a Martini will probably kill me, if I attempted a shot and dared a second, but by all means, I must resist the third Martini, just as Jeremy Corbyn should not have a third shot at leadership or the general election and the Labour Party as it now will fail at a third visit to the people, if it does not radically reform and return to winning ways.
We’ll be fine, everything has a shelf life and the era of Boris Johnson will pass. Lastly, I congratulate Boris Johnson on his victory, and I hope he sees the great calling of office to lead and be a successful Prime Minister. Our prayers follow with great expectations. Our hope remains strong for a bright future.
Courtesy of the William Kentridge exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town.


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