Clearly and obviously Owen Jones is going to hate Chuka Umunna. This is just how it works on the left, the real, pure and distilled hatred is reserved for those infinitesimally to the right but still upon the left. For those are the people delaying the arrival of true socialism by misleading the righteous desires of the proletariat. Left-centrists are unpardonable in believing that the system can be managed into righteous change when all righteous know that it must be overthrown in Revolution!
So, be a lefty who isn’t a full on revolutionary socialist and gain the hatred, not just the scorn, of those who are.
Chuka Umunna’s self-serving hypocrisy is emblematic of our broken politics
Quite why someone changing political party is an emblem of failed anything – other than perhaps ambitions – is uncertain. But, you know, rhetoric.
I first came across Umunna in 2008 when I was working in the parliamentary office of a then little-known leftwing backbencher by the name of John McDonnell. His head of operations, Simeon Andrews, a lifelong socialist with a penchant for goth metal who sadly died last year, stood as the left candidate to be Labour’s representative in Streatham. Along with Andrew Fisher, now Labour’s head of policy, I helped run his campaign, sadly doomed in an era during which the Labour left was virtually extinct. The right’s candidate was Steve Reed, now a shadow minister, while Umunna stood as a “soft left” candidate, dedicated to opposing Trident and New Labour’s policies. But as soon as he was elected, he shifted rightwards, disassociating himself from the soft left Compass group he was once a figurehead for.
Damning stuff I’m sure we all agree. It’s this bit though that is wrong:
Everyone is entitled to shift their opinions: as John Maynard Keynes once put it, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” But what facts have changed about the Lib Dems since 2017?
It’s not the joining the LibDems bit which needs explaining. It’s the leaving Labour for the Tiggers which does. And there the answer is simple enough. The McDonnells – Grandpa Death being just the figurehead – the Milnes, Momentum, all those others Owen Jones is mates with, who would prepare walls for the bourgeoisie to be stood in front who have gained ever more control over the Labour Party.
The importance of Umunna is of course small. But whatever there is isn’t in where he goes, it’s in where he left.