Tony Blair divides opinion. Some people think he's an unbearable, malignant irrelevance. Others think he's a filthy, lying warmonger. But whichever side you fall on, we can all agree on one thing: nobody cares what he has to say. To quote the far more politically-relevant Arnold Rimmer:
"I think we've all got something to bring to this conversation, but I think that from now on the thing you should bring is silence."
The Labour leadership campaign has been inundated with opinions about why voting for Jeremy Corbyn is a very stupid idea and anyone who does it is a total cretin. The likes of Chuka Umunna and Alastair Campbell and Alan Milburn and John McTiernan have lined up to tell us that we're morons or are mentally ill or are having a tantrum or will destroy the universe or whatever. None of them seem to grasp a simple secret of winning friends and influencing people: Nobody likes being told what to do.
Their argument is always the same: To win we need to be more like the side that won, not less like them. This logic is why Labour has become so far removed from people. All Jeremy Corbyn has done is set out his stall in a clear, coherent, impassioned way and lots of people like what he is saying. None of the other candidates have managed that. Not even close. Some researcher in some back office came up with the slogan "party of power not party of protest" and that's what they've all parroted five times a day for the last month to drill it into our thick heads; Pre-packaged soundbites we can deploy when we don't know what we're talking about. Just like "aspiration" or the sanctimonious "hard working people." There are many people who are simply not interested in that brand of politics. A lot of us don't need fresh opinions free with The Daily Mail (just add bile). A lot of us are more than capable of reviewing the evidence and making our own at home.
There's no grand conspiracy from the Hard Left (whatever that is) or 'entryists'. Personally, I would never have dreamed of voting in a leadership contest. Then Corbyn came along and said some really sensible things about not privatising public services and not having people in poverty and not having corporations exercising undue influence and not demonising vulnerable people (rather normal values which have become shockingly controversial for some reason) and so I have become a registered supporter. I like what he's saying so I'm voting for him. It's called democracy....God, I'm so naive!
I thought it was the Left who were supposed to be "loony" and yet the likes of The Daily Telegraph have been spouting out increasingly bizarre daily attacks on Corbyn. One article gave dire warnings that Corbyn's leadership would provide an opposition that actually has different ideas about things (imagine that) still others claim he's Vladimir Putin's best mate or plans holidays with terrorists. It's odd, slightly deranged speculation posing as matter-of-factness. Any critique of Corbyn seems to boil down to "...like derr...it's not like the 70s, yeah?" without any detailed rebuttal of what it is that makes him worse than Hitler. It all seems a bit desperate.
Perhaps there was a class at school called "This is why we all need Neo-Liberalism forevermore, Amen" where all our concerns were answered but I guessed I missed it. Scotland too.