There’s a little over another 8 weeks of nose to tail electoral campaigning to endure before we finally get to cast our ballots on June 23. And the blizzard of increasingly vacuous and contentious statements and reciprocal point-scoring is inexorably gathering pace. We have become unaccustomed to mature,nuanced,indeed clever political badinage and rhetoric here in the formerly ” great ” britain. Instead we’ve allowed ourselves to be alternately hectored and lectured by a seemingly endless cavalcade of preening,fatuous wannabe poseurs and parliamentary arrivistes who are for the most part are utterly devoid of even the merest scintilla of statesmanship and popular political acumen that might influence and resonate with the ordinary citizenry and electorate.
The EU Referendum debate,such as it is is being soundly buffeted by verbiage and flimsy assertions coming at it from all conceivable ideological and Party directions.For Labour it is essentially a tribal struggle vis a vis the Conservatives.Their worn out,dessicated mantras are being dusted off and brought back into circulation,wrapped in a faux-nostalgia and counterfeit,superficial class politics that long ago ceased to have any traction in the world post Thatcher-Blair. Following on from Shadow Foreign secretary Benn’s wildly delusional and idiosyncratic exposition of his tenuous grasp of modern history during the ” May we bomb Syria “debate ;Alan Johnson follows Benn into going over the top on an equally implausible rhetorical suicide mission underscoring the axiom that truth is the first casualty in war,but in Johnston’s case as in Benn’s earlier,Meaning itself is the biggest casualty of all. Gleaned from the eponymous Labour List site,Tuesday 26 April. :-
” The EU referendum is as important as the General Election of 1945, Alan Johnson says today in a rallying speech to trade unionists.
The “immediate consequences” of Brexit would harm both the country and society as a whole, the chair of Labour In For Britain is expected to warn at the Usdaw conference later today.
“I believe the vote in the referendum on the EU on June 23 is every bit as important as that election in July 1945. Perhaps more so,” Johnson will say.
“It is a vote about whether we remain or leave the EU, and there will be immediate consequences to that decision for everyone here, and every family in the land. But it’s about more than that. For me, it’s about what kind of country we are, what kind of society we want to be.”
“Nearly four million British trade union members are represented by unions campaigning to keep Britain in Europe this June.
“From nurses and builders, to railway workers, steel workers, postal workers and shop workers, trade unions will be campaigning for a Britain that Remains in Europe.
“The rights of working people are protected by our EU membership..”
This is absurdist installation performance art on an epic scale.Benn ‘s verbal necromancy sought to conjure the ghosts of a largely misunderstood Spanish Civil War of the 1930’s -here Johnson trumps even that vainglorious essay with: “I believe the vote in the referendum on the EU on June 23 is every bit as important as that election in July 1945. Perhaps more so,” The meds have clearly kicked in and someone ought to fetch the Nurse.
More important than the general election of 1945 ? The absolute zenith of Labour Party/Trades Union reformist mythology second only to the Keir Hardie Creation myth.And Johnson has gone and erased from the collective,historic working class memory absolutely everything else.The coup de grace being his repeating the outright figment of Blairite imagination,that ” The rights of working people are protected by our EU membership “. Theologically this would count as Apostasy or even Heresy. coming from within the Vatican itself. And we all know what should happen to Heretics.