September newsletter note

Author: Liam Booth-Smith   |  

This note from the Chief Executive is from our September newsletter. You can read the newsletter in full here and register to receive it straight to your inbox on our homepage.

There’s something pornographic about the politics of the far left. Not literally, but in the coarseness, veiled threats, hints of misogyny, that tang of soft violence. There’s a touch of vice to it, a ‘truth rarely shared’ quality. Its devoted community, stolid in the belief that if only everyone had a go, they’d love it. The young because it’s uncompromising, the old because it weeps with nostalgia. Nothing is left to the imagination in hardcore politics.

Jeremy Corbyn’s call for the renationalisation of the railways, the NHS (yes, I know…) and all local government services have seeped out in the last few weeks as if to prove my point. It’s crude, but consistent. The effect has been to draw Owen Smith further into the political nether regions. A cup of tea with ISIS being perhaps the most surreal image conjured by a mainstream pol over the summer, this, in the same month as #traingate…

Both parties have enjoyed giving big business a kicking of late, but eventually someone, and we can guess who, is going to have to come out and defend capitalism. For sure it’s ugly sometimes, but it’s also got a keen eye on the future, the next, a knowing wink for the coming trend. It’s spluttering a bit right now, is old capitalism, what with that referendum I won’t mention and its general distaste for uncertainty, but its throat will clear. As far as systems for global economic management go it’s done alright by most of us, and our future prosperity depends on it working again. Not very pornographic I grant you, but perhaps adult?

Or maybe it’s just August, with its heat and perspiration. Maybe it’s the sacrifice of garments to the weather gods or that soft, fuzzy early evening light that makes an extra glass seem inevitable. Mood lighting. Politics certainly does have that ‘one glass too many’ feeling right now. It’s been fun, but I think I’m ready for the summer to be over. It’s time for politics to go home and sleep it off.

Devolution had a health scare the other week with a stray briefing about mayors being kiboshed. From what I hear all is still going ahead, papers are still being prepared and discussed, the Whitehall publishing house is keeping to schedule. The big cities already on the calendar will get their mayors, but I’m choosing to take Jill Sherman’s story as a sign; the time might be up on this current flirtation with mayors. But like all fancies, it’ll come back round again.