Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Boris Johnson: the Débâcle and the Left.

with 5 comments

Boris Johnson: “boozy” Christmas party held in Downing Street last year.

Anybody can have parties in their house without them noticing. In the Festive Season I often come downstairs to find empty bottles of Leffe and Corbières with no idea of how they got there or who drank them.

Or perhaps the government was aware of the famous Downing Street parties. Dancing at parties, one learns from a guide to Statecraft, “may be an introduction unto the firste morall vertue, called prudence”. The Boke named the Governour (1531) set out the correct way of life for members of the English governing class. Every daunse taught honour and courtesy.

Thomas Elyot’s  plan for gentlemen’s sons, to be “trained in to the way of virtue with a pleasant facilitie”, to bear authority in the realm, is, it is said, required reading for top Conservatives and government aides. It was no doubt such training sessions that took place at Number Ten. They can hardly be censured for such public spirited activities.

Others take a dimmer view. “Tory MPs ‘having conversations’ on how to oust Boris Johnson” reports the Telegraph.

The Morning Star, gives a voice to Ben Chacko (Can the rage at Boris Johnson be turned into a real left counterattack?). The graduate of St John’s College Oxford, a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and Editor of the Daily Paper of the Left, discerns a mood of “Us and Them” in these affairs. The successor to William Rust traces this to smouldering revolt against the “elite” fuelled by the feeling ” that ordinary people are the despised playthings of a footloose political and corporate elite — that has repeatedly shaken British politics over the past decade, finding voice at first on the streets through the Occupy movement, later at Westminster with the rise of Jeremy Corbyn and a mass-membership socialist-led Labour Party and then with the Brexit vote rejecting four decades of economic strategy by successive governments.”

Insurgent politics, he opines, are the answer. From where? Labour lost in 2021 because, he continues, it did not become “the champions of a Brexit vote” Indeed “Labour seemed determined to thwart” Brexit, which, one supposes in this train of thought, ought to have been backed. Whole heartedly. If not more.

Starmer, as Chacko familiarly calls the Labour leader, “has seriously undermined Labour’s ability to put pressure on Tory MPs. By persecuting and disenfranchising the members, he has largely disarmed a mass movement that showed in 2017 it could deliver despite wall-to-wall media hostility and misrepresentation.”

This persecution of Labour’s membership has reached the point that the Party ” has demoralised and disorientated an organisation.” Look at the way they call on the rozzers to sort things out! “Labour’s referral of the Christmas party to the police is the worst possible approach.”

Labour, phew! Instead, “we need to pose an independent socialist challenge to the Tories based on this crisis.” Calling on the “the fury of workers”.

 Led by whom, one might ask? “If the left — in and out of Labour, through the unions and campaign groups — raises the pressure in the right way, the results could be significant.”

Indeed…but one thing is certain, this will not be the work of those nostalgic for a People’s Brexit that never happened and was never going to happen.

The alt-left Skwawkbox ignores Wallpaper-gate, Party-Gate and Boris Johnson, but carried yesterday a no less important story, Starmer shredded over ‘simpering’ response to Johnson birth.

The other leading alt-left voice is indisposed:


Written by Andrew Coates

December 10, 2021 at 12:53 pm

5 Responses

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  1. The issue of the party was a total distraction inflamed by the media who love all such trivia and by opportunist politicians whose own politics are so similar to those of the Tories that these ephemera are the best they can come up with in the absence of any principled political opposition.

    The truth is that such events and much more continued to occur across the country. As for the media, Kay Burley and others were suspended – but didn’t lose their jobs – for holding a birthday party in breach of regulations. Across the country, on council estates large gatherings of young people have continued to take place in defiance of the attempts to restrict their liberty, freedom of movement, association and assembly.

    No consistent democrat let alone socialist should be confused about which side they should be on, here. Inefficient and irrational measures that never dealt with the issue of COVID, but represent a systematic attempt to remove those long fought for rights and freedoms are totally consistent with the authoritarian, reactionary and nationalistic government that is pushing the same ideas via its Brexit policy, and consequent removal of the right of free movement etc.


    December 10, 2021 at 1:28 pm

  2. Well, if the result in one Rotherham Council by-election yesterday is any sign, ‘the fury of the workers’ is taking its time materialising. There one Paul Marshall, the standard bearer for TUSC got 32 votes (although that was way better than the Lib Dems who could only scrape 15 crosses) As Mr Marshall, the workers McGonagall, said on the eve of poll;

    “Aughton/Swallownest council election today.
    More of the same no way.
    Time to make the rich and greedy pay.
    Vote TUSC
    it’s a Must. ”

    And the despised, cowardly Labour Party ? It has so ‘disarmed the mass movement’ that it could only pick up a wining, er, 645 votes.

    David Walsh

    December 10, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    • To give them credit TUSC saw off a strong challenge from Rotherham Democratic Party as well, though they were beaten by the progressive regionalists of the Yorkshire Party:

      Verified ballot summary
      Anston and Woodsetts result
      You are here:Aughton and Swallownest result
      Election of a Borough Councillor for Aughton and Swallownest ward on Thursday 9 December 2021

      I, Sharon Kemp, being the Returning Officer at this election, do hereby give notice that the number of votes recorded for each Candidate is as follows:

      Name of Candidate Description (if any) Number of Votes*
      Jack Bannan Yorkshire Party 35
      Louisa Kathryn Barker The Green Party 59
      Mark Lambert Liberal Democrats 14
      Paul Marshall Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 32
      Julia Helen Mitchell The Conservative Party Candidate 496
      Gavin Peter Shawcroft Rotherham Democratic Party 15
      Robert Paul Taylor Labour Party 645 (ELECTED)


      Andrew Coates

      December 10, 2021 at 6:40 pm

  3. Andrew+Coates

    December 10, 2021 at 7:34 pm

  4. The future Lord Bastini of Bournemouth has had his twitter feed restored. However, not all readers of the Skwaking one are jubilant. Says one; “I find it bizarre how Novara folk including Aaron, get excited about Labour’s rising poll numbers on the back of Johnson’s current woes and press mauling…….Some on the left, like Owen Jones and Bastani, need to make up their minds as to whether they want to give cover to Starmer/Evans and Labour’s RW, or properly oppose them? The mixed twitter messaging just makes the left look weak.” At least that reader can, unlike some, spell, leave out the repeated capitals and use proper grammar – but some will no doubt see that as a bourgeois affection.

    David Walsh

    December 10, 2021 at 9:04 pm

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