A new, boring Labour surfaces in Liverpool
Preferred the banter cabinet era tbh
Labour party conference is happening. And that's about it.
On Monday John McDonnell took to the stage of Liverpool's Arena and Convention Centre. The big policy Labour spinners pushed out to reporters was nothing they hadn't heard before - nationalising water companies. He was met with roars and shouts for an encore at the end.
Faithful party members loved it, but where was the grit, the bruising chutzpah for which the old hard man of the left is now renowned? Evaporated. Project Corbyn is still in the process of filtration, but 100 per cent sanitation is lurking ever nearer.
So dull is the conference, delegates at fringe after parties express disappointment at the karaoke. No Keith Vaz singing Bob Marley and no debauchery. Just Dawn Butler leading a conga line through half-empty hotel function room.
It's nice. It's good, clean fun.
For the majority of delegates I've met, this is their first party conference. Many joined the Labour party within the last year. Excitement spills out of their mouths at the mention of their dear leader. I mention to one that Eddie Izzard, a moderate in the party, is buying a coffee behind them. They don't even turn around.
The height of tension at this annual meeting is internal and nearly as boring as the quinoa salad offered as the vegetarian lunch option outside the conference hall (three and a half tablespoons of unseasoned seeds, a quarter of a carrot, thinly grated, and one piece of broccoli.)
But, to be fair, that is quite tense. On Sunday night Stella Creasy described Momentum-minded Labour members as "absolute melts" to a boozy crowd.
That same night, a delegate chewed my ear about the merits of open selection to remove moderate MPs from their constituencies - allowing anyone to contest the seat within Labour in order to represent that constituency at a general election. "Chat shit, get deselected," he laughed.
It's a nice summary of the whole event. A virgin party member threatening his own kind, finding an enemy among friends when there are plenty elsewhere in the media, No 10, etc.
The Labour party is new, and it is boring.