I endured the Blairites, but I was not a Blairite.
I had confidently assumed that the Church of St Jeremy of Corbyn, the lineal successor to the Church of St Anthony of Blair, would allow freedom of worship. The same freedom of worship practised by St Corbyn during his 32 years in the Wilderness of Westminster. After all, the Labour Party has since its founding always been a broad church, owing “as much to Methodism as Marx” (Gospel of St Anthony of Benn).
Alas, it would seem that the acolytes of St Corbyn have decided that Corbyn is my God, who brought me up out of the land of Blair, out of the house of bondage. I shall, therefore, have no other gods before him, but Corbyn. I shall not make for myself an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: I shall not bow myself down to them, nor serve them, for Corbyn, my God, is a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who disagree with his followers, and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love him and keep his commandments.
It would seem, if I do not bow down before the Blessed Corbyn and worship him without dissent or doubt then I shall be named Blairite and thrown into the outer darkness by his devoted disciples, blessed be their name for they are perfect in their own sight.
It would seem that I study the teachings of too many ‘false’ gods such as the Webbs, Bevin, Bevan, Brown, Castle, Benn, Attlee, Hardie, Wilkinson, Foot, Kinnock, Miliband, Cook, Crossman, Crosland, Jenkins, Healey, Callaghan, Hain, Lloyd George, Churchill, Gladstone, Disraeli and so on. The Church of St Corbyn is a monotheistic one and ‘my’ god’s followers are suspicious ones and constantly on the alert for any ideological backsliding by the congregation.
As I look from the fanatical acolytes of St Anthony of Blair to the fanatical acolytes of St Jeremy of Corbyn and back again, I find it ever harder to distinguish between the two claques.
I fear that I may soon have to turn my back on the church of my forebears and head off into the wilderness in search of a more tolerant church that allows, if not encourages dissent.
But, lo, what do I see in the distance? Is it a diverse group of people? Is it the 9 million who put their faith in that band of Tribunes of the People beyond the Walls of Islington?
I believe it is!
And do I see the Standard Bearers of the Tribunes at the head of the crowd?
I believe I do!
And are some of those standards being held aloft, proud, soaring Eagles?
Indeed, they are!
Is that a man called Smith leading the charge?
A Welsh Smith to pick up where the Scottish one left off?
Although he never entered the Promised Land of Government, John (the Baptist) Smith, as St Anthony freely admits in the Letter to St Roy of Jenkins, created the momentum that swept Labour into power on Thursday 1st May 1997.
Owen Smith may not, himself, lead Labour once more into the Promised Land, but he may set it back on the road to being a broad church once more. A church listening to the concerns of its parishioners a lot more and lecturing them a lot less about their sins.
Time will tell, as it always does, as to whether or not the Popular Representatives of the People will triumph over those hard faced men of the Praetorian Guard of St Corbyn, that ‘fine’ body of affluent, middle class white males led by the Arch Angels, John and Seumas the Wykehamist.
And so, for now, I will tarry by the Rivers of Babylon and pray for deliverance from the fanatical followers of St Corbyn, as I pray for him to be delivered both from his delusions of adequacy and his captors, those self same, self serving fanatical followers.