I’ve tried and failed to write something about The Current Unpleasantness a few times this week. I keep getting to the end of the first paragraph and losing the will to live. But here it is, anyway, and I’m going to keep writing this through the pain. It’s hurting already because I know at some point I’m going to write – here it comes – “Corbynista”. And at some point I’m going to have to say – oh God, no, the dentist’s drill – “Blairite”. I’m wounded already.
And already I can see you’re waiting to see which side I’m going to take. Verily this is the Dreyfus de nos jours, and if you think that comparison is tasteless or hyperbolic, you haven’t been paying attention: everything is tasteless and hyperbolic now, and ridiculous, and shouty, and polarised, and designed only to slag off The Baddies on The Other Side, and who cares about anything else? Chuck a grenade down their end of the lifeboat just to see them sink.
Do you people not remember Robin Cook dad-dancing? Do you not remember that drowsy morning of hope, tainted with schadenfreude at seeing Michael Portillo humiliated? Who knew all these years later, the Tories would be in government forever and he’d be fruiting around continental railway stations in pastel-coloured jackets, and it would be Labour heading towards the rotating knives and wondering where it all went wrong. Was it that night in May? Did Things really not Get Better? How did it go so wrong?
I’ve no idea. For some of you, the problem was with the giant promises carved in stone and the £5 anti-immigration mug. For some of you, it was that that didn’t go far enough. For some of you, you neither know nor care. What even is Labour anyway? It’s the Most Fabulous Object In The World from Time Bandits – everyone peers into the box and sees what they want to see. For some people, Labour means “thrivers” and “aspiration”; for others it’s tackling “neoliberalism”, and never the twain shall meet, and all of that.
God, does it even matter how we got here? People that I like are being unbelievable cockends all day and all night, determined to trump the most obtuse, stupid, wilfully ignorant thing from the other side by doing something even more clownishly disingenuous of their own. People who say “Hey, Tories aren’t evil” are more than happy to patronise “the Hard Left” all day with snotty derision, like they don’t actually give a shit about being elected by them. People who say they care about social justice are telling “Blairites” they’re the devil incarnate or calling female MPs names. It goes on, it gets weaponised, it continues, it gets worse, gets angrier, angrier, angrier, and what ever gets achieved? Does a single person ever get their mind changed through all this haranguing and shouting and telling off and condescension? One person? Ever?
Or is it all about having fun slagging other people off. Because I don’t find it fun and I’d quite like there not to be a Conservative Government one day again. And if you’re thinking of typing “Well then you have to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn”, you’re the problem, not the solution. You. You are the problem, not that useless bearded fool – he is a problem, but a different one.
WHY DIDN’T IT ONLY GET BETTER? CAN’T WE HAVE ROBIN COOK BACK? I LIKED HIS DANCING. AND PRINCIPLES. AND STUFF.
Anyway, I’m out, I’ve joined the Greens. Don’t judge me. Don’t you dare tell me to vote for your precious Labour Party, whichever daft bunch of nihilist dimbulbs wins out in the end. You enjoy your mutually assured destruction, safe in the knowledge that you were right and that’s what mattered, and you managed to keep / jettison Corbyn, and ruin everything else.
Jesus it’s like being the child of a million simultaneously divorcing parents, having to listen to your endless he-said-she-said poisonous bickering all day long. And the memes, God alive the memes. The parodies of memes. The one-word responses to memes. Everything. A vast canyon filled with human waste, and we’re all swimming in it. And we’re being laughed at by the most incompetent bunch of venal bastards ever to be in government, who fucked up the economy twice, put people beyond the breadline and thought it was all a massive joke. And all we cared about was fighting each other. Well. Well done us. What did you do grandad when they blew it all up? Oh we were busily discussing the origins of a brick through a window and whether McDonald’s was actually A Good Thing. What a bunch of absolute useless, petty, spiteful, vindictive, vile, mean spirited, hopeless, vacuous, inept, tedious pieces of shit we – that’s me and you – are.
You might say, well wait a minute, you’ve just abused people, and you said that was damaging. Quite right you are. But you started it.