The current Labour leadership fracas has already had enough Second World War analogies and metaphors thrown at and around it, in one way or another, but I’m going to do it again.
Labour stands as London during the blitz, pounded by its aggressors, occupants driven out by the hostilities, causalities mounting. With each successive attack, the structures are being smashed and the damage is accumulating. There are valiant defenders trying to combat the onslaught and there are fire marshals trying to contain the damage and wardens trying to protect the citizens.
The aggressors view the city and its occupants as fair game, enemy targets that stand in the way of their victory. The aggressors believe that their campaign represents their own survival. They do not think of themselves as aggressors but, rather, as defenders of their own sovereignty. They have convinced themselves that they did not fire the first shots, they have merely continued the fight that their enemies started some time before.
Meanwhile, London burns.
The blitz continues and Labour begins to resemble the bombed out husks of buildings that pathed swathes of London. When the fighting’s over, Labour will be left in tatters. After time, prefabs will eventually replace the derelict carcasses that remain standing, some of which will stand for decades, despite being intended as short term solutions. Later still, shiny new buildings will fill the landscape, not necessarily Labour.
Robert Harris imagined in Fatherland a Europe where Germany won the war, where the aggressors triumphed; for Labour’s sake, I hope that remains a fiction.