There are times when I question why I’m even in the Labour party*.
Not because of our leader, who I support, or based on policies which I broadly agree with (no person could or should ever support 100% of a manifesto, unless they are a party of one).
It is the sheer sense of entitlement that emanates from every faction within.
You only need to look at the reactionary comments to Ed Balls’ speech to the Fabians to see this in all it’s glory.
If we are a party of all – which I think we are – why are we incapable of having a grown-up discussion about anything? Why do we immediately go to the default bag of tricks, muttering “sell-out” or “Tory”; “sack the leader” or “___ for leader”? It isn’t a competition, to see which pseudo-intellectual bollocks wins the idealogical-battle-of-the-week award.
Because the world outside of the activist bubble? Where people don’t really give a toss about which little nook of the big red canvas you’ve carved for yourself? Want answers.
And here’s a little secret for you – they can deal with tough answers. They aren’t children, like us; they appreciate facts and figures and the truth.
So, if we say to them Osborne’s plans are so bad that the economy will be awful in 2015? They’ll get it.
And if we say we will spend the next three years doing our best to get them to change course so this damage is limited? They’ll get it.
And if, at the end of all this, they elect us? When we say “we can fix this, but not this”, they will get it.
In fact, the only people that don’t seem to get this pragmatic, realistic telling of what has to be is … well … the Labour party.
Being credible is about being honest and – sometimes – the truth hurts.
The truth is, we aren’t in Government – all we can do is keep telling the country and the Govt they are wrong. We don’t want to be proved right re: the state of the economy (nobody wants to gloat at people’s suffering), but we probably will be.
The truth is, there will be no surplus money (in any country, courtesy of the Eurozone) to magically erase the cuts.
And the truth is, right now, that there are those more concerned with battling for internal, ideological dominance than listening to what is being said.
Listening costs nothing, but it is the key to everything.
*…well that was prophetic, wasn’t it?