The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: Labour

Monday, 25th July 2016

When Corbyn’s supporters say that they believe he can lead Labour to a general election victory because ‘Politics is the art of the possible’, they use possible in its strictly philosophical sense: ‘Logically conceivable; having the property, whether or not it actually exists, of not being excluded from existence by being logically contradictory or against reason’ (OED).


Wednesday, 2nd December 2015

Will a time come when people justifying continued Labour membership start to sound like Eric Hobsbawm explaining why he never left the Communist Party?

Saturday, 26th September 2015

The OED’s earliest attestation of the word unelectable is a 1932 biography of the socialist George Bernard Shaw. The passage in question is about left-wing Shaw’s election as Vestryman and Borough Councillor of St Pancras:

In 1897, his friends Robert and “Lion” (Mrs.) Phillimore, then members of the St. Pancras Vestry administering the local government of quarter of a million Londoners, made a deal with their anti-Progressive opponents whereby certain nominees of theirs were elected without protest, the number of candidates being by agreement no greater than the number of vacant seats. In no other way could Shaw have secured election; for he boasts with truth that he is a hopelessly unelectable person under any existing democratic franchise.

This is succour for all of us who voted for the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Vest(ry)man and MP for neighbouring Islington North. All that needs to happen for him to become prime minister in 2020 is for there to be no other candidates.

Friday Mourning, 8th May 2015

Alas, poor BRITAIN!

Friday Mourning

Saturday, 25th April 2015

UKIP claims to be a new and radical alternative to business as usual, but reading The Oxford Companion to British History it occurs to me that the people’s army might, as its critics claim, be stuck in the past; specifically the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Below is a lightly amended version of the Companion’s entry on the ‘country party’, which advocated the interests and claims of the country as a whole in opposition to the court party at Westminster:

The term ‘[UKIP]’ [has] obvious advantages. It [is] much broader than Tory or church party and avoid[s] the divisive names of [Labour] and Tory at a time when many [are] combining to overthrow [Cameron]. It hint[s] at massive support in the nation at large: ‘[UKIP] and [the Westminster elite]’, wrote one [blogger] in [2015], ‘distinguish the friends and enemies of the people.’ It call[s] to mind a golden past when squire and countryman […] lived in harmony before the new moneyed interest bore everything down. ‘[Labour and Tory]’, on the other hand, [suggest] a clique subservient to the [EU], wallowing in patronage and corruption. The basic [UKIP] programme [is] a reduction in the number of placemen in Parliament and repeal of the [Treaty of Rome] to […] return power to the people. The [older parties retort] that [UKIP] members [are] either [fruitcakes, loonies, closet racists,] or self-seeking careerists, making trouble for their own ends.

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