I suppose, in life, this question has many interpretations. Life is a journey and – as such – can afford itself certain luxuries. We can allow ourselves to get things wrong more than once. Maybe – even – over and over again.
But politics isn’t like life. It isn’t even a simulacrum.
Politics is a race to earn the right to short-circuit half a nation’s rights by short-cutting the route to the rights of the other half. Or at least that’s how it seems to always play in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It appears that we can only contemplate the tribalism of the House of Commons writ large. Two sides to a debating chamber – those who are in and can act and those who are out and must gape.
Occasionally, that is to say, once in a generally very blue moon, when a Tony Blair comes along and raises the communication bar to such an extent that we verily yearn for their bedside manner, for one glorious sequence of moments we believe these rigid moulds of conceptual concrete can be shed and properly broken. But our hopes are always destined to be dashed.
In reality, the bedside manner we learn to crave after is too often based on the conclusions extracted from hard drives full of expensive data which political scientists are paid to arrive at.
And the communication bar that is so professionally raised is based more on the ability to sell a human relationship than live a human relationship.
Tonight, the Observer publishes an awful editorial on their choice for Labour leader, which essentially confirms the dreadful state of British politics. You can read it in full here.
It is a classic example of audience segmentation at its worst and is driven by a desire to square so many circles that the word triangulation seems to contain far to few angles to properly describe its tedious sitting-on-the-fence approach to political commitment.
They got it wrong with the Lib Dems. They will get it wrong again with David Miliband.
The last paragraph simply reeks of the self-congratulatory and patronising prose of those who grew up in a previous century:
The Labour party would be wise to choose a leader who has the intellectual agility and political experience to meet that threat. The combined skills of the Miliband brothers, working in concert, will be essential. For the top job, David Miliband is the better candidate.
This is a corporate understanding of what modern politics must mean like no other newspaper in the land could understand it. This is the conditional heartless dynamic of a philosophy of human interaction where everything has its price and no one is exempt.
I miss my Manchester Grauniad so dreadfully tonight.
The Left has lost a great defender of its soul.
Crap really, I’m afraid is all I can say.
And a great disservice to Mr Miliband (D).