#38 Season’s Starting, Must Be Duggan Time Again…..
Hello people. Just pretend I was in a coma for three months eh? Easier all round…..
It just keeps coming back. Later today a load of protesters will descend on Tottenham police station to demand a judge-led public enquiry into a shooting from 4 years ago. Same arguments, except this time it’s the police’s fault for not taking the gun off the streets. To quote Pamela Duggan, his mother…
“It has come to light that the man who passed a gun to Mark before he was killed was not arrested weeks earlier, despite evidence he was known to officers and had used the same weapon in another attack. If Trident acted more responsibly, Mark may not have been killed and Londoners would not have witnessed violent public disorder on its streets which traumatised our city.”
*sigh* Yes Pamela, because once he had been arrested there would have been no other way of Duggan getting hold of a gun, BECAUSE THAT WAS THE ONLY ONE AVAILABLE. In Tottenham. Massively simple issue to fix. Done.
So now, again, there will be the usual suspects revving up. Jasper, Abbott, that knob off Kick It Out, all whining on about deeper problems and institutional racism, and making dire warnings about civil unrest. Sadly for them there are a couple of things that are different now.
Firstly, the Allied Carpets, the store burned down in the 2011 rioting, has gone, and been replaced by a Sports Direct. Let me tell anyone hoping to make a statement by repeating the arson that you will in fact be tidying up the High Road by razing that fucker to the ground. Plus half the stock is so flammable you’ll hardly need any petrol to get it going. Fucking Lonsdale, honestly.
Secondly, and this is the real problem, the inquest has already stated that Duggan may have been unarmed but was lawfully killed, and if that apparent paradox didn’t get people charging round the streets when it was published in 2013 then demands for a public enquiry simply won’t be sexy enough to get kids to postpone their sulking on the couch in the school holidays to lob some Molotovs about.
As I’ve said before the depressing bit about this isn’t the light it shines on not only a particular area but a problem facing society at large, is the crushing inevitability of the whole thing. You know what will be said, by whom, and when. And since it’s been 4 years since this all happened how much do you think has changed or is about to? Same here.
The really good thing about Ed Miliband having his arse handed to him back in May (sadly going one up by winning Houghton And Sunderland South and trying to park the bus didn’t actually work for him), was that all the talking heads, columnists, and general left leaning commentators who had forgotten 1992 when a load of Tories lied to the pollsters and descended into a smug circle jerk of congratulatory tweets and retweets had a chance to ask themselves some pertinent questions about where their party went next. They didn’t though: instead they blamed everyone but the people who put the policies together.
Labour seems to be a mass of contradiction. On the won hand they are only too happy to tell you about Attlee and Bevan ad nauseam (and quite rightly too) as it is a part of their history to be proud of. Mention their most successful campaigning Prime Minister and they are suddenly struck dumb. It’s as though they are ashamed of him or something.
Dig deeper and the usual suspects are trotted out Iraq, centrist policies, Afghanistan, PFI, etc. etc. as if he never actually achieved anything (the Tories said the minimum wage would cripple industry, now they’re extending it; 85,000 more nurses, lower waiting lists) but just spent his entire premiership shelling Arab kids and sucking off Blur and Oasis while Cherie raised nonsense human rights suits.
The Communication Workers Union endorsed Jeremy Corbyn by saying that they had no need to move to the centre of British politics. It’s almost as if they don’t know that that’s where the votes are. It’s like they don’t want to win; being in opposition makes them rebels, outsiders, and not being the government means nothing is ever your fault and you can dream up any kind of fucking mumbo jumbo and you’ll never have to actually implement it.
Instead of offering the electorate something they don’t want, in language they haven’t responded to in decades, what they should have done is found a way to advance a set of policies that were both credible and palatable to the country. For example, if parents really are ambitious for their children and their education don’t you think they might be interested in looking into how Germany were able to abolish tuition fees, not as some grand political gesture but as a moral judgment about what kind of country they want to be? If they can afford it why can’t we?
Instead of that we get the mansion tax, dreamed up by someone who lives in NW3, works in SW1 and has mates in N1. If that’s all the parts of London you hang out in it will seem like a fair and equitable way of raising a few quid, but to people who live in other parts of the country it just looks spiteful and plays to an increasingly small gallery. Auto pilot soaking the rich, droning on about food banks when the people who use them are going to vote for you anyway, and allowing an atmosphere to develop in your party where Blair, Mandelson and Campbell can be described as ‘a virus’, despite winning three elections in a row.
Looking back they had no chance really did they?
Whoever wins the leadership race needs to get on the phone to them and take copious notes as they detail the strategies they used. Then once they’ve got those they should order a fresh (in every sense) set of policy documents.
And at the bottom of all of them should be the phrase “… but first we win….”
Then they’ve got to sell them to all the people who deserted them in 2010, and didn’t come back in 2015. Easy.
And finally, Dapper Laughs is still a thing. Where are the Mayans?
Right, that’s it. I’m off racing tomorrow. Sadly my beer gardening leave is approaching its last lap.