Diane Abbot recently voiced the concerns of the party base when she defined Angela Eagle’s leadership bid as the Return of the Empire. (Qualified, of course, with some O what a lovely woman all-the-same throat clearing.) This is almost exactly true, except Eagle is no Palpatine, and certainly no Vader – except perhaps in the looks department. The empire in question is Pax Americana, of which the British Parliament sees an existential threat in Jeremy Corbyn – to the same extent as Tecumseh’s grand Native American army, or an embargo on Eton-educated actors.
Pre-Labour leader Corbyn was very vocal about how little he thought of American imperialism. Both in far off places like Nicaragua, where he volunteered for the Sandinistas (and where President Reagan got away with genocide), as well as here in Britain. Where, for several years, it looked as if Washington planned on giving real power to the Orwell’s Airstrip One predictions.
The Americans demand certain things from their junior partner: a voice in the European Union (that’s gone until Poland or some such picks up the baton); a platform for their nuclear arsenal, a forward base for their forces and a ditto on the Security Council. Mr Corbyn is seen as a threat to all of this.
What the Labour Right mean by “Jeremy’s not popular” is Jeremy’s has not been taken by the policy movers n’ shakers in D.C., who have become accustomed to a sub that doesn’t resist.
Anyway, for some unknown or some genuinely bizarre reason, the Labour Right have thrown Angela Eagle forward as their candidate. In a response to Abbot’s comparison she responded – after some umming and arring – that she thought, in fact, she was much more like Luke Skywalker: the Return of the Jedi. If you can bare that voice of hers, you can hear it here.
But this got me thinking, she does rather remind me of another fantasy hero completely, someone else just as sun-starved and untrustworthy…