Wednesday’s editorial for the Guardian – which I found online here – is one of those pieces you see all too often in the Guardian, the time honoured preparation of the nose peg. Hold your nose, disregard the stench and put the cross by the rose.
It tries to find some vestige of hope in the Labour party, one thing remaining that is still worth voting for. But it’s the penultimate paragraph and not its conclusion that rings truest:
The party’s activists and MPs are so obviously convinced of their own decent intentions and past record that they fail to see how Labour can appear to outsiders. They have lost sight of the need to explain their actions, to listen to voters, to change and to stand up to immediate sectional self-interest – business as well as strikers. This confusion is the fault of serving ministers as much as it is the foolish greed of Hewitt and Hoon. The buzzword inside Labour’s ruling circle is renewal, but it is hard to see what this means, other than a hoped-for election win. The party is not renewing in any visible way. Its manifesto seems cloudy and unoriginal and its political base narrowing.
And the most remarkable thing about the piece? The comments that follow it. The Guardian’s online commentators are not buying it, not a bit of it.
In a number of comments, its readers are exhorting their paper to switch to the Liberal Democrats.
Surely the Guardian can’t officially support Labour in the general election after this week’s revelations? They don’t deserve your support and need to work out what they stand for whilst well away from power. Take a chance on the LibDems instead.
I would also like to see the paper coming out in support of the Lib Dems.
Labour getting back in would be disastrous for reform.
I would find it difficult to spend the next 6 weeks trying to pretend that everyone was born yesterday and that Labour on 7 May 2010 will be fresh and optimistic and nothing like the burnt-out case it was on 6 May 2010. Perhaps you would, too.
In which case, why not stop now, save yourselves the grief, and back the Lib Dems. At least they’re an unknown quantity backing social justice. Labour have an unforgettable 13 years in power demonstrating their inability to deliver the same.
In 2010, a Labour vote is a wasted vote. And a Labour editorial is a wasted editorial.
And on and on it goes.
Steve Webb MP has a piece in CiF today shoring up our progressive values in the face of more ill-thought out Fabian criticism.
It looks like he’s sowing seeds in fertile ground.