Monday, 28 March 2011

Wot Paul said

Before the big day, there were a fair few voices arguing that nothing would be achieved by demonstrating, and a lot of the post-match analysis is questioning the wisdom of calling / addressing a demonstration in the first place when the whole thing can (er.... will) be hi-jacked by people who have different ideas of how to get things done.

A lot of this came from within Labour circles and within a media who were quite focussed on whether the day would prove to be an asset or a liability for Labour in the great Kremlinologists obsession with Westminster politics.

As if it were the only game in town.
A LOT of Labour-aligned commentary is like this. And it makes a number of assumptions that I would challenge. First, that there is one narrow groove of 'acceptable actions and behaviour' within which Labour must operate and which its advisers must fight to keep it in. Second, that looking at the past tells where that narrow groove is, and will remain, and that all views to the contrary are a route back to 1983. Third, exactly Paul's point, that entire the story of the march is how Labour relates to it, and that march participants are mere supporting cast.

No-one knows how opposition to the cuts will shape up, or the results of Labour's orientation to them. These things are reflexive. Yet to read some commentary you would assume that there is a definitively 'correct' path to follow, and one that spookily looks a lot like what went before.

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