Wednesday, 19 June 2013

SUNRISE: A Story of Two Labours

Once there was a lovely man of good moral values, a farmer called Ed, who lived and worked in a humble little village, where everyone felt part of the community and people looked out for one another.  The man had been married for a little while to a woman of great integrity, who was utterly devoted to him and they had a young child.  Life was very stable, and happy though perhaps lacked the thrill of excitement.

A handsome woman from the glittering New Labour city, came to stay in the village on vacation.  She took a shine to the farmer, who fell instantly under her captivating spell.  The farmer would sneak out at supper time and go down to the swamp, where this femme fatale would stroke his ego, and talk passionately of life in Blue Labour.

Back at home his devoted wife sat alone, sobbing into the socialist stew, made from free range, organic ingredients, which producers were always paid a fair price for - and their unions were recognised too, because there is a better quality of life for everyone when people are valued in the workplace and in the community.

Alas, the farmer got too preoccupied with having his ego stroked, and the femme fatale did it so well, almost like she was some sort of professional ego stroker, but his head was too dizzy with phenylethylamine (the love hormone) to question any of that.  And somehow he found himself pledging his heart to the femme fatale and agreeing to take his wife out in a boat and chucking her in the river, leaving her to drown, so that he could move to New Blue Labour City.

So the man asked his wife if she would go out on a boat trip with him, and of course she said yes because she adored him, and she trusted him. She had no idea he was planning to dump her in the river and leave her up the proverbial creek without a paddle, so that he could take the road that goes right, and run off with his new fancy woman!  ... But when the time came for the man to kill his wife, her look of abject fear and distress shook him instantly into reality! How could he have been so blind, so easily led off the centre-left road!  How could he have contemplated betraying this wonderful, loyal, compassionate woman, whom he loved with all his (red) heart!  He was devastated and she was scared. 

He rowed to the shore where she leapt out of the boat and ran into the distance and through some dense forest;  Luckily, a tram happened to be passing, which is how brilliantly public transport runs when it's state owned!

The man chased after his wife, begging her stop running away, pleading with her not to be scared of him.  But she felt frightened and betrayed - what had happened to the husband she loved, this wonderful man with such fine morals who adored and respected her, the man she trusted with all her heart and all the savings in their Co-op account? She ran through the busy, crowded streets of New Blue Labour City and he charged after her, shielding her from all the angry drivers with no patience at all for humble folk from quiet little villages where everyone is friendly.

Seeking sanctuary, they saw a bride on her way into church, and went inside, away from the noisy street, even though the husband and his wife were good atheists with no time for religion. The bride and groom looked so happy and the vicar asked the groom to pledge that he would always protect and love his wife and never allow any harm to come to her.  With these words, the farmer broke down in tears, overcome with sorrow, because he was very in touch with his emotions and wasn't embarrassed to cry in public.  "Forgive me" he sobbed into his wife's lap, and she realised at that moment, he was still the adorable man she loved and admired.

Eventually, unable to resist any longer, they kissed... and kissed... and kissed...

It was as if the farmer and his wife were falling in love all over again.  Not just falling physically in love, but falling back in love with their good, ethical socialist principals.  "Of course we can shut down ATOS," he moaned in her ear, "God, I'd love so much to repeal that bedroom tax!"  and she swooned.  All this talk of bedrooms, had her a little flushed, so they decided it might be best to go and get some fresh air.  (This was the house of the Lord, for goodness sakes!)  They walked around for hours, gazing into one another's eyes, as if the whole crazy, capitalist world had ceased to exist.  They talked about building affordable carbon-neutral homes, they talked about cancelling trident, they talked about taking the whole of the NHS back into public ownership again.  The farmer was euphoric, "I'll banish that nasty Blue woman from our village forever!" he promised.

They were having such a fantastic time together, talking about reinstating EMA and cancelling tuition fees, they decided to go and have their photograph taken, so they could remember this wonderful day forever.  When the photographer asked them when the Tories would get back in power, the farmer said something about snowballs and hell!

Eventually, the farmer and his wife had to leave the chaotic city and return to their peaceful, friendly village.  There's only so much making up you can do in public, and he was a virile, red-blooded male once again!   But on the way home, disaster struck, a thunderstorm came in from nowhere, and their little boat was tossed around violently, waves lashing over them, and the farmer clung to his wife, terrified of losing her, his one true love, after everything they'd been through together...

I should perhaps say, this fabulous tale of passion and politics is not about specific individuals, rather it's a representation of what seems to be happening within the Labour Party, and which an increasing number of us on the left are concerned and confused about.  We live in hope that we won't be cast over the side and the party will realise its core support, with good traditional Labour values, needs a little appreciation and reassurance too. 

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