This tweet has helped generate an interesting train of thought:
‘Right wing papers don’t win elections 4 the Tories but by being timid and pandering to them, we lost our true values’ @edballsmp #CoopParty
The truth of the matter is that what the Coalition is now implementing is what those right-wing papers wanted all along. But what’s also going to be just as clear is that just because you read a right-wing newspaper on a daily basis – and vicariously get to kick the immigrants/scroungers/students/hoodies whilst they’re down – doesn’t mean you’re actually as happy for such policies to be fully implemented.
I’m pretty sure that most of us need to let of steam in one way or another. Tabloid and extremist media allow us to do this safely in the privacy of our own homes. I’m not, however, quite so sure that all of us who read right-wing media would be entirely happy if its exponents obtained full control over all the levers of power.
This latter circumstance would, nevertheless, appear to be what has happened in the recent general election in Britain. As we who can vote for our next Labour leader do so, we would be well advised to fully understand Ed Balls’ succinct wisdom above – and vote precisely for that leader who best represents the real sea change that is taking place in British politics.
That of a voting public which comes to the heavy realisation that voting really does make a difference. And when you vote from the heartlands of British decency as you read your seething tracts of casual middle-class hatred, you slowly comprehend that what you shout out in your sitting-rooms isn’t quite what you wanted for your sons and daughters.
“Make your bed and lie in it!” comes to mind.
“Never again!” I might respond.
As might a whole new generation of voters – made up of old and young alike – who suddenly understand that representative democracy is worth fighting for and the future doesn’t have to be a re-run of all those other people’s pasts. Thus it is that I am reminded of Eliza Doolittle, as I paraphrase her famous words:
“Just you wait, David Cameron!
Just you wait …”
Sometimes real change can only come about by giving those who act in bad faith the opportunity to show their true colours.
We shall see.
Whatever else I have learnt today, I have learnt that Ed Balls really does know his stuff.