The battle-cry of right-wing Labour apologists all this week has been “realism”. It’s all very well people like Jeremy Corbyn having crazy old principles about what Labour is supposed to stand for, runs the argument, but you can’t argue with public opinion and public opinion is desperate for Labour to become Tories with a slightly softer edge.
“Mental John” McTernan, for example, told the readers of the Telegraph yesterday that Labour’s disastrous, shambolic abstention on the welfare reform bill was the right thing to do because the party “had to show the public it got the message over welfare”.
But what actually IS the public’s message on welfare?
Depending on how you choose to look at things (and where you live), this next tranche of data is going to either cheer you up a little bit or make you feel even worse.
Alert readers will doubtless have spotted the news that the UK government is to press ahead with the sell-off of the Royal Mail. After all, with brutal job cuts under both Labour and Tory/Lib Dem governments having put over 50,000 people out of work in recent years the post is now not just viable but profitable, and we couldn’t possibly have hundreds of millions of pounds in annual profits flowing back into the Treasury’s hands to provide public services for taxpayers when they could be flogged to private companies to enrich the wealthy.
The sale is overwhelmingly opposed by Royal Mail employees, and by the public at large, across party boundaries. But it’s far from unique in that regard. It’s just hard to see how anything can be done about it.