A noxious broth

British politics is not a pretty thing to behold. Particularly now that the British Conservative Party has succumbed to its own version of the ugly factionalism which has beset the British Labour Party for decades. I have no evidence to support the contention; indeed, no evidence may exist, but I would venture that had a survey similar to that reported in The National, been conducted within British Labour at any time in the last 30 – 50 years, it would have shown remarkably similar results. Similar in that, at any given time, there would be factions within the party prepared to tolerate all manner of negative consequences – up to and including the demise of British Labour itself – in pursuit of their particular faction’s agenda.

Historically, one of the identifying characteristics of the British Conservative Party was its capacity for unity in the face of any challenge to its power. Whatever disagreements and differences may have roiled within Tory ranks, come the threat of being defeated by the detested ‘reds’, the magnificent ‘blues’ would pull together like a termite colony under attack by ants.

Anecdotally at least, one of the identifying characteristics of British Labour has been that it has more factions than members. And a significant proportion of those factions considered their policy agenda more important than winning the power to implement that agenda. A few even considered themselves more important than the party. Or, they considered themselves to be the party.

The political left in the UK has been a diminished force, in part because of its aversion to effective political power, but also due to a curious predilection for ‘defeat with honour’. The glory of the fight is appealing. The responsibility that comes with victory, maybe not so much.

Now, we have a British politics in which British Labour is as riven as ever by cliques and conspiracies, except that the lines separating the factions have become indistinct, if not blurred to invisibility. Even the factions seem to have lost cohesion. And few if any seem coalesced around anything recognisable as a firm principle.

As for the Tories; the best we might do in the way of a generous perspective is to observe that they have had less practice at this factionalism lark than the other main British establishment party. Compared to British Labour, they are rank amateurs. So it may not be so surprising that they aren’t coping at all well with the unfamiliar phenomenon of division in the ranks. It’s as if all those termites had suddenly shrugged off the bonds of colony and developed their own individual personalities and priorities and preferences. They’re all over the place!

I think the word I’m looking for here is ‘dysfunctional’. Although the term hardly does justice to the noxious broth of megalomania, avarice, ego, ineptitude, vacuity and corruption that seethes in the cauldron of the British state.

Scotland surely does not want to be a part of this.

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5 thoughts on “A noxious broth

  1. And under the ‘beloved’ d’Hondt voting system, their many flaws notwithstanding, all the parties have to do is to retain an established name to assure them of lucrative parliamentary sinecures – jobs for the boys and girls.

    Democracy – Nah!


  2. Peter
    It’s time to stop just reacting to Westminster and their ever burning pile of stink. YES needs to get out front and set the agenda. The only relevance of any Westminster crazy is in its illustration of why Scotland should be Indy.

    No matter how tempting the schadenfreude, YES should stop falling back into the Westminster’s lens…that one always has the subliminal message that Westminster and the Union is the default and YES is weird and dangerous. Its time to start acting like a real country and stop seeing Scotland through Westminster’s eyes

    YES should be on offensive by now and getting its language in order…its too late once the campaign is on.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Peter,
    Now that you have pulled the curtain back on this ugly truth – how do you move beyond this observation and re-frame it to advance Indy?

    What is the question that negates this never-ending Westminster shite and moves the argument to a new playing field one YES wants to fight on.

    Eg: Scotland’s indy is the safest option for the foreseeable future.
    The proof of this is that England has killed the status quo. What we are witnessing is that as they veer towards the rocks, in the panic the rats have taken over. England have told Scotland in blunt terms and actions that they do not want you involved….in that case its time to leave them to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The most important thing is to ensure that people know that the cause of all the problems is the Union. The SNP is very good at telling us how awful it all is. But they tend to stop short of putting the blame squarely where it belongs. And far too much is said within the Yes movement about how it’s the Tories doing this and the Tories doing that.

      It is simply not enough to be pro-independence. Both party and movement must become aggressively anti-Union. The message must change from explaining why we want independence to insisting that we need to end the Union.


      1. Peter

        The SNP are very bad at weaponising the truth so it cuts sharp and clean like a scalpel,

        Their not wanting to offend / small target strategy is like a weird form of agency capture. It has become a self-inflicted straight jacket.


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