On 17/11/2012 I joined the Labour party, I was in part shamed by this, but mostly I just wanted to get one over all the other Centre Leftists (are we hard realists now?) on my Twitter stream.
I am, you see, a man most grievously wronged. Over the last few months as the party went from crisis to disaster and back again I penned a number of exceptionally fine blogs. My piece on Diane Abbot ‘quisnam est atrum illi quisnam es atrum?’ (‘who is dark for those who are dark?’ for all you non Latin scholars) was a masterpiece only surpassed by the terrifying genius of my piece on Ed Milibands appearances at PMQ’s; ‘for never was a story of more woe, than young miliband, and his lack of show(manship)’. Finally I surpassed even the brilliance of the above two blogs with my 3000 word piece on Owen Jones: ‘the shirt is half ironed, because the man is half formed, he is simultaneously: Atlas, holding aloft the world of idealism and: Vinnie Jones launching two footed tackles as the last dreamer on the pitch of realism’.
It was a phenomenal canon of writing and it was never published.
You see, just as I would put the finishing touches on these profound opines some centre leftist bastard would pop up on my twitter feed with a better blog on the same theme. @robmarchant did me over on Dianne Abbot. @DPJHodges slapped me around then slammed me on a pinball machine with this on Ed Milliband, and finally @hopisen reduced me to a gibbering wreck by taking down Owen Jones with a single PS. Bastard! I screamed aloud on the Number 12 bus, ‘astute, reasonable, intelligent centre leftist bastard!’.
Of course there were many other political things I could have blogged about but, in all honesty, what are the chances that @harrylangford won’t have covered them?
I didn’t know what was to be done, but then an unlikely saviour rode across the horizon with a halo of pure red. It was none other than @lukeakehurst. Most online “Blairites” he wrote: ‘turn out to be youths so callow they were not party members when Blair was leader, or not even Labour members now.”.
That hurt, because it was true, and as I scrabbled for my debit card to put things right a thought struck me: ‘Hopi, Rob, Harry, they’re all party members, they can’t become members again, none of those bastards can blog about that, this is it! my blog! all mine, my moment of glory!’
I furiously took to keyboard and set about writing my magnum opus – it was all there, my years as a reactionary militant type – putting on plays about how we should die before we compromise and the evil of foreign invasion. The interim years of the Euston Manifesto and the slow realisation that our ideals are nothing without the power and sanity of outlook to enable them. And finally, earlier last year, my birdsong-esque emergence from the womb of of idealism into the cold but fascinating incubator of centre left Twitter.
It was (predictably) a blog of the finest calibre. As I proof read it Sunday evening it was not the hand of God I felt on my shoulder, it was the hand of one wiser. I felt the great Hitch himself was with me, nodding approvingly and muttering something slightly excessive about Mother Teresa.
Soon it was proofed, my hand hovered over publish and then…
We all know what happened next, at around 20.00 hours Sunday evening @misintervention joined The Labour Party and my one original blog post was in a stroke reduced to nothing. I’m not going to call Julie a bastard, (after the way she destroyed the last person who badmouthed her I am resolved never to even to think derogatory things about Julie, just in case…) but its fair to say that on Sunday night Julie, like so many others, ground my dreams into fine dust.
Because it’s finally struck me, I am not Snowball, I am not the three young pigs nor am I Minimus or Boxer or Clover or Benjamin, I am not even Squealer. I am the sheep, I take some satisfaction in knowing that I am Snowballs sheep – (or perhaps Benjamin’s?) But nonetheless I am the sheep. Doomed forever to chant ‘fiscal realism good, idealistic uncosted keynesianism baaad’. I look to the future and I see a myself stamping RT on better blogs than mine, forever.
Its been hard to come to terms with this, but after a while I’ve taken solace. I’m no Hopi, or Rob or any of the other bastards but every party needs its foot soldiers. People to take the good work out on the streets. Theres now a column in my Tweetdeck for ‘#labourdoorstep’. God (and more importantly my fiance) willing I’ll be out in the cold in the next month spreading the good word of centre left politics.
I’m sat here with my gin and I no longer dream of being a great man of words and ideas, I dream of disturbing people Sunday mornings with suspect leaflets, my struggle is finished. I have won the victory over myself, I love and follow the Right Left, and I have joined the Labour Party.
(The author welcomes DM’s improving his spelling)