Saturday, August 27, 2016

Labour: I pity the Foos

The Labour Party - increasingly the Freddie And The Dreamers of British politics - is having a torrid time of it at the moment, as it struggles to try and find a leader who can get through the day without making Theresa May giggle with joy.

In the midst of the current leadership election, the party is beset by the political version of Do You Remember Bagpuss - purges, entryism, jokes about Derek Hatton's suits. I'm half expecting to switch on the Ten O'Clock News to catch a package where Jamie Theakston, Kate Thornton and Stuart Maconie try to remember the lyrics to The Red Flag.

Ah, but purges are awkward things, and apparently a Labour Party member has been suspended for the oddest of reasons. At least according to the Daily Mail:

Labour has suspended a new member from the party and denied a vote in the leadership election after she posted about her love of rock band Foo Fighters on Facebook.

Catherine Starr, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, was shocked to receive a letter from the party's General Secretary Iain McNicol telling her that following a vetting procedure she was being refused full membership as she had 'shared inappropriate content on Facebook'.

It said this related to a post on March 5 when she had shared a clip of Dave Grohl's band and wrote 'I f****** love the Foo Fighters'.
We should approach this all with a level of caution - we're living in a weird period of politics where you can't even trust an old man sitting in a vestibule, and this is the Daily Mail whose last honest piece of reporting on the Labour Party was "Kinnock resigns".

To be honest, it's not clear that Starr was suspended over a Foo Fighters post - the Mail does concede she'd been sharing other prime content that day:
That day Mrs Starr, 33, had also shared a friend's inoffensive poster about animal free cosmetics and a cartoon about veganism.
You know how much the Mail loves animal rights, right?

It is possible that the NEC has some ongoing beef with the Foo Fighters. Or maybe they see "Foo Fighters" as some sort of code for those who have recently joined the Labour Party for nefarious purposes.

It's much more likely that a party which has raised the bar on disarray to a level which would be offputting to Ekateríni Stefanídi have made an honest mis... okay, a dishonest mistake. They probably got the day of the offending post wrong, or the name of the offending poster wrong, or maybe confused the Foo Fighters and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

The party hasn't responded to the story yet, but almost certainly will deny it, admit it but say the details are wrong, look crossly over its spectacles at us, and pretend to never have heard of the Foo Fighters. All at the same time.


Robin Carmody said...

A symptom of the change in cultural position of rock music since Labour was last in this position: the Mail takes rock's side as a bulwark against socialism. In 1981, it would have been in a much more difficult position (perhaps precisely why it was less dominant then), trying to reconcile its own hatred of the whole of popular culture with the fact that Foot & Benn, its enemies, hated it too. Much clearer now, and much more problematic for the rock Left.

To be honest, I suspect this is conflated and may be complete bollocks - it's the Mail after all - but if it isn't, and I accept that it might not be, it confirms the total incompatibility of socialism (at least in the Corbynite sense) and rock music, something Jagger & Rees-Mogg alike knew even in 1967.

Robin Carmody said...

Certainly, Tony Blair is the reason for the resurgence of 'Menace of Beatlism'-esque sentiments on the Left - it's largely because of him that Leftists can now feel "the establishment will look after rock music so we don't have to".

Robin Carmody said...

And yes, yes, I know the Foos fans *is* a Corbyn supporter, and yes, yes, I know it might simply have been over the use of the F-word, but I still think there's more to this, source notwithstanding.

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