Since it’s been a relatively quiet Bank Holiday Weekend for news – civilisation hasn’t yet descended into chaos at the hands of swine flu; no-one unusual-looking has proved unexpectedly talented at singing showtunes on telly – rather a lot of coverage has been given to various senior Labour figures bitching about the leadership, each other, and the fact that everybody is bitching.
Personally I am astonished that the memory – or if not the memory, the BBC Parliament coverage – of what happened thirty years ago today; and what it did to the Labour Party; and what it did to the British people; is not enough to make people stop the bloody infighting that kept us in the wilderness for so long, and get on with helping Britain through the recession and keeping the BNP out.
In short, I’d like to concur with John Prescott’s slogan for the Go Fourth tour of the North he made this weekend: stop complaining, start campaigning. I caught up with the battle bus in Manchester on Saturday, where Prezza brought his usual ebullience to bear on our Euro candidates; I learnt that Theresa Griffin thinks my name is Emma (I’ll let her off, she spends every waking hour campaigning); and we were treated to as many Kinnocks as you can fit in a photo-opp:
We had a good crowd out but it was gratifying to see how many supportive members of the public stopped by as well: it’s always a heart-warming sight to watch parents tie ‘Vote Labour’ balloons onto their kids’ pushchairs, and an encouraging sign for the European elections next month.
On Sunday I caught up with a friend from Blackburn, where Labour can find a pointed reminder of what we’re all against: the Blackburn Tories actively pursued former BNP candidate Nick Holt to stand for them in the local elections, and invited him to strategy meetings with the Tory PPC for Rossendale and Darwen. The Tories are making themselves look a little bit stupid with their attempts to claim that they didn’t know this six-times BNP candidate was, in fact, a member of the BNP. Yeah, right. Compassionate conservatives, or friends with the fascists?
And then there’s today. I was suddenly hit by a deadline – I write the ‘News’ section of the magazine published by UMSU women’s group The Riveters – and so spent a lot of today reading about the Equality Bill so as to try and summarise it in 150 words. The Bill makes me thoroughly proud to be Labour (expect me to blog about it in more detail in the next week). This is the kind of thing ministers and ex-ministers should be talking about. Stop complaining; start campaigning on the things that make us Labour; and Go Fourth!