Saturday, 30 April 2011

Calm down dear, the tumbrils aren't coming yet

Another weekend, another piece of hyperbolic grandstanding by Polly Toynbee in the Guardian.  This usually takes the form of a dyspeptic assault on the Coalition, but today she has gone to town on the wedding and the divisions that this has thrown up.  It's difficult to disagree with the hypothesis, but then she goes all hyperbolic and ushers in the French Revolution.

I suspect that the real radicalism would be unleashed if the "Yes" campaign loses later in the week.  Taken with the ersatz impact of the "national bonding" that had 24m people glued to their TV sets (allowing very useful and quiet trips to the shops for the rest of us) the shortbread-box view of the UK would be favoured by the mendacious snivellers of the "No" side prevailing.  The legitimacy of government would then come under fundamental scrutiny. 

Toynbee has, at best, jumped the gun.  For a former doyenne of the SDP and Owenite she has some chutzpah in her radical posturing - but at least the debate is now popping up.  What is not present is a convincing narrative of how progressive politics can realign to deliver constitutional change - the leading role of the Labour party is assumed as a given.  An anti-monarchist, radicalised Labour might fit the bill, but there are still far too many of the centre-right loons hanging round, hoping that Mr Ed slips up and the new Blair can be found and anointed.

In a week's time the future paths will be a lot clearer.  I may be sitting her slagging off the "Yes" campaign, or gasping at its last-minute audacity.  But I probably won't be reading La Toynbee again if I can avoid it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.