The ambivalent seven (now eleven)
theindependent.group Website by the Independent Group
Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger and five (now six) other ex-Labour nobodies gambling on becoming somebodies have launched an independent group. To run away from the party, Brexit and pretty much everything else, apart from the Tories, as three of them have joined too. Making it look a lot more Tory.
It’s hard to suppress a somewhat laughing face emoji at the jolly mutineers’ website. Come on – this is thin soup if they want to stimulate the taste buds of a public starved of good-ass politics. If you were being generous you could call it minimal, but really it’s emaciated. And sort of grey.
Okay, they’re not offering bribes or free pizza, so you could say they’re being honest. On the other hand, if you’re searching for truth and meaning, you’d be better off inspecting the lyric sheet of a Coldplay album.
Check out their Statement Of Independence. The intent there, you’ve got to feel, is to just subtly echo the original (and still the best!) Declaration Of. But their breakaway is more on a par with George Michael getting the hump with Sony even though they’d helped him get millions of votes (well, sales).
Still, at least George had the balls to sue them, put a bit of punch behind the pout. This lot won’t even try and get re-elected and the statement is so sickly, lacking in depth and witless it makes the EdStone read like a literary collage of Nietzsche, Dylan and Nicki Minaj.
Samples: “This is a great country of which people are rightly proud”, “A strong economy means we can invest in our public services”, “Individuals are capable of taking responsibility if opportunities are offered to them”, “Our free media, the rule of law, and our open, tolerant and respectful democratic society should be cherished”. And so on and on, about international rules-based order, democracy and the environment.
Who’s going to argue with that stuff? No reasonable citizen, for sure. But who’s going to say, Oh, yes – now I see! Yes. That’s inspiring, and I’m going to press all the buttons that say ‘I Agree’. (There are no alternative buttons.) Please send me by return a brief history of neoliberalism.
It would have been more interesting if they’d come out and said individuals are incapable of doing much more than lurching from the sofa to the off-sales, and our free media should have its various orifices plugged up and handed over to Kanye West. Like that Woody Allen dictator in Bananas, telling everyone to wear their underwear outside. Provocative. Get the people going.
Anyway, who are they? Well, they might not know where they’re going to, but they know who they are. Look. Who we are, it says, over a picture of the infamous “We’re fucked” press call, with the head of Luciana Berger chopped off (she’s semi-obscured on the home page too).
It should really be a question. Who are we? Like a quiz. I mean, who are they? Okay, here goes – Chuka Umunna, fair enough, know him, he’s got that sort of funny tinge, and six (now seven) other upset ex-Labourites browsing for new outfits. And three Tories. The ambivalent seven (now eleven), sailing down the canal of devastated dreams to the blue lagoon of sorrow in a yellowish submarine. And when you sail down there, does it matter if anyone knows your name?
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