Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Britain's "relegated" Labour party finally finds its form

Given that Britain's Labour party is almost certainly on its way out in next year's general election, it may seem bizarre to some that the tone at this year's party conference has been almost ebullient, with even the supreme miserablist Gordon Brown getting a few laughs during his speech.

Is this merely the arrogance of those who have been in power for 12 years and have no regard for the pathetic ants who make up the electorate?

No. Football fans will immediately recognise this behaviour as post-relegation syndrome.

As soon as it's mathematically impossible for your team to stay up (a sadly too frequent occurence for Brentford fans like myself), the players, who have looked like they are queuing up to be euthanised all season, suddenly spark into life, freed from the fear and pressure that comes with the hope of success.

Once they know it's over, they appear as born-again as any Christian, willing and able to take on even the best teams in the league and win.

Which brings me back to the Labour party. With no chance of victory in the election, a load has been lifted off the party faithful's shoulders.

Now they can sit back, relax and envelop themselves in the comforting bosom of self-congratulation, promises that are impossible to fulfill (like abolishing cancer) and tribal attacks on the opposition (and soon to be governing) Tory party.

Photo courtesy of World Economic Forum.

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