Hilary Benn

After Hilary Benn’s impassioned speech in last night’s Parliamentary debate on Syria, I saw a comment somewhere on Facebook from one of the ‘anti-war’ left that wondered which oil company had ‘bought’ Hilary Benn.

The answer of course is none. He made an impassioned speech which set out ideas and principles. Now, you can agree or disagree. Fair enough. But to write them off, on an utterly unfounded assumption that he was bought, is simply an expression of bigotry and stupidity. That remark was uttered not because that person wanted to think and analyse but because they want to be accepted among right thinking circles.

This makes me think the main reason why Labour will lose in 2020. It’s the inability of many of the supporters of its current leader to accept that their opponents are as morally-motivated as they are. Failing to see this, they resort to abuse, name-calling and stigmatising all opponents as ‘Tory-lite’ etc. This way of thinking owes more to religion than politics and it’s a recipe for defeat because it will repel others. That much the left should have learned by now.

But none so blind as he who cannot see. I note that a lot of people in the wake of last night’s vote are bandying around that quote about those who fail to learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat itself (that remark incidentally was made by a conservative philosopher). Indeed. And the much of the left in this country simply refuses to learn.

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