Once again, it’s by-election time, and the Bexley swing to Labour was by mid-term standards somewhat anaemic – about half of that achieved by Blair prior to 1997. Add to that the rock-bottom turnout, and you’re likely to draw the conclusion that this was scarcely a ringing endorsement of Sir Drear’s vision for the future.
Indeed, it was a victory for apathy. That is always a concern, but when the public still cannot give a toss in the face of a rolling disaster, you know that the alternative is desperately grim.
And it certainly is.
The primary objective of any opposition is to make the case for change. Nothing Starmer says is of sufficient significance to rouse a large section of the public to even vote at all.
He and Labour have very little to offer. Say what you will about Corbachev, but he got the political juices flowing.
Looking beyond Bexley and all the fanciful extrapolations of one single result, clocking how rapidly serious issues peter out is the clearest barometer for meaningful counter-argumentation. Even the disastrous handling of a national pandemic for nearly two years, a Brexit omnishambles, corruption, systemic racism, and out-of-control violence against women, to name but a few, haven’t led to the slightest ripple of a challenge to the Johnson cabal.
Of course, the multi-millionaire activist lawyers will continue to crowdfund their anti-Goverment cases that enrich them and go nowhere, and that reflects the limits of any pushback these days. The largely pisspoor debate in the opposite direction is mostly conducted via Twitter, which means it is safely ignored once it’s all flowed through everybody’s feeds. Opposition MPs remain wealthy by virtue of their positions, which for them is ‘job done’.
They’re really no better than the incompetent hoods in power, which is the greatest offence of it all.