Today was a good day – we all went up North to Ally Pally and Crouch End. It was cold and clear and the kids didn’t scream too much. We had nice lunch and a nice cup of tea – you get the picture.
Most of the time, my husband I were talking about Ed Balls, who’s now come out and pretty much said: “Tory cuts, bring ’em on”.
As someone who’s both an anti-cuts campaigner and a Labour Party member, I find this pretty hard to swallow. On a political/tactical/intellectual level, I can sort of understand it (I suppose), Balls (hard not to snigger when one writes his name) is signalling to floating voters, business etc that he’s not some kind of dangerous leftist who’s going to give more money to the poor or stop invading oil rich Middle Eastern countries. Which I suppose you could say is a good strategy…
Actually I think it’s an absolutely piss poor strategy. The Labour Party is also “the Opposition” and its job is to oppose some of the evil stuff going on at the moment; to challenge and hopefully modify Dave’s more toxic policies. Don’t see much opposing going on at the moment.
It’s also a real bummer for people like me who’ve got to try and convince people to vote Labour in the London elections – although at least we have Ken, who is a giant to the Balls pygmy (every time I write Balls I really want to say “bell-end”). What are we supposed to say to voters? Vote Labour and see your public services cut in exactly the same way as the Tories are doing but we’re nice people, honest.
It makes me understand why lots of people hate Labour, but in a weird way it makes me more determined to carry on working with them and attempting to draw more people with good ideas into the party. The only way someone like Balls can be removed – or shamed into silence – is if pressure is placed on him from members. Although the leadership is undoubtedly more concerned with attracting donors and appealing to new voters, it needs the members to do the leg work in elections. A radical and more participatory membership cannot change everything but it sure helps.
As usual, Owen Jones says it much better than I ever could in a million years.
I met Owen in the summer at a book reading of his amazing book “Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class”. If you haven’t read it, do so now as it is a)brilliant and b) incredibly easy to read. He’s coming to speak at Kentish Town Labour Party on 14th Feb and I’m very excited about this.
Anyway, to completely change the subject, we had guests round last night and I got quite drunk. I’m trying to be good at the moment – no crisps, sweets, biscuits, cakes or chocs and booze only once a week. I had quite a lot last night and enjoyed dancing round the kitchen to this: