Douglas Bastard's Rants of Rage


This article was written on 09 Jun 2017, and is filled under Uncategorised.

Hope and Jeremy Corbyn

If you want to know about hope, ask someone who has lived without it. Ask someone whose hope slowly fell away until they were lying, inanimate in bed, unable to see the point even in going to the bathroom for a pee or buying food. Ask the person who dragged themselves around the streets for months or who silently screamed when he woke up because he found himself living in another day he didn’t want to be in. That is a person who knows about hope and, for a long time and still very intermittently, that person is me.

So when you say that Jeremy Corbyn, heaven help us all, has given you ‘hope,’ be very sure what that means and be very sure that you are putting that most fragile of things in the right hands. Do you want to know why? I’m about to tell you.

I was at the Amex Stadium when Brighton, who had installed four giant TV screens, invited in paying customers to watch their game with Aston Villa. This was the last game of the season, and a win would have seen Brighton promoted as champions, above Newcastle, with whom they had been contesting the leadership of the Championship for most of the season. Late in the second half, Brighton scored and, for a few happy and delirious minutes, it seemed that a season-long dream was going to come true. Grown men hugged each other and there was rejoicing. Then Aston Villa equalised, the grown men fell silent and the game finished, sending Brighton up an ignominious second. When I saw the bus parade, I remember wondering what the thousands of drunk people were celebrating. Losing? Being good enough, but not quite good enough?

The moment of the equalising goal made me see, in fairly stark terms, that the moment you place your hope in the hands of people who don’t know you’re alive, then you are lost. Life kills all of us in the end and strips away everything that we were as we shamble onwards to death. It also has a habit of taking the things that we cared about and stamping them into matchwood on a freakishly random basis, but to compound this by making others responsible for your wellbeing is the action of someone who has not thought about the consequences. We are responsible for our success or failure. Nobody else. The moment you join a team or choose to support one, that responsibility is diluted a million times over and with it any share in the winnings. My academic successes, for instance, are mine and mine alone. My vocational success is mine and mine alone. Nobody else can claim credit. The award given to a team I was part of? Worthless. I threw it in the Thames.

It follows, then, that to believe you had any part in Corbyn’s success is a fiction. This morning, I argued with and eventually blocked two people, rendered temporarily insane, who somehow thought that their MP’s success, in a godforsaken part of Birmingham was partly theirs and that, in some great and nebulous way, they had ownership of it. Fine if you’re about two and lack political sophistication.Not if you’re an adult. Of more serious note is the person in whom this hope has been invested.

Corbyn, to be clear, is a Brexiter. His campaigning for us to Remain was, frankly, feeble and he may just as well have not bothered. The media handling once he took power was inept and his total failure to take action on anti-Semitism was, at best, leaden, and at worst, an active encouragement to the people in his party who really do hate the Jews. Days went past before Labour issued a statement on various issues of the day and there seemed to be nobody in charge for lengthy periods while the Dear Leader made jam, or whatever it is that bearded north London intellectuals like to do in their spare time. And what is being celebrated, just to be absolutely clear, is that he came second. He didn’t win the election, he didn’t get more MPs than the most dunderheaded Tory Prime Minister of modern times, a woman devoid of charisma, but he got fewer seats and came in comfortably behind. And this is why people are celebrating?

My hope was that the Lib Dems would win more seats and that Brexit would be dismantled this way, vain though it was. Instead, the Brexit party came second to the Brexit party and the people who gave the buffoon their hope are blinding themselves to certain inconvenient facts about his political biography. Look here’s a picture of ‘Jez’ protesting apartheid, but here’s another picture of him talking to the kind of people who support the bombing of pubs or the killing of wholly random people, and claiming Hezbollah as people with whom he could do business. This is not someone I’d want within a mile of my house, let alone someone I’d ever want to vote for. If he was pledged to stop Brexit, maybe I could overlook this because politics is, after all, doing deals and voting for those who you find verminous, but he’s been silent on the subject, or welcomed it. He’s vile.

It turns out that to stand any chance of evicting my local MP, Nicholas Soames, who still got in with a very large majority, would have been to vote for Corbyn. And I really, really can’t do that, so next time out, I’m either staying at home or drawing a winged cock on my ballot paper well away from any of the candidates’ names. Hope is me, shifting for myself, not a politician who will ultimately let me down. Readers can heed this warning or not, but don’t let people say they weren’t warned.

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