Friday 10 February 2017

Every Day A Gala Day

It would be an insult to the Labour Right to accuse the viciously parochial and the spitefully anti-intellectual Labour Group on Durham County Council of being any part of it. Against that Group, the Durham Teaching Assistants have managed to attract the support of Jeremy Corbyn and Ken Loach, of the Morning Star and Counterfire, of George Galloway and the Durham Miners' Gala. Each of those, never mind all of them, brings a seriously international and intellectual network into play. Those networks have already heard, and they have already passed on, the roar of the Lions of Durham.

Labour's loss of Overall Control, and quite conceivably its loss of every seat (why not?), will be heard from the souks to the favelas, from the Dalit colonies to the Rohingya camps, and from Crimea, to Kashmir, to the scattered outposts of Diego Garcia. It will be heard in every state that voted for Donald Trump in order to clean the Rust from its Belt, and it will be heard in every country on Donald Trump's banned list.

I am prepared to consider the possibility that, on a very good day, around half of those who were about to be unseated had at least heard the words "Crimea" and "Kashmir". But "souk", "favela", "Dalit", "Rohingya", or "Diego Garcia"? The tiniest handful would know, and they would. But none of the rest would have a clue. Ask them to list the states that swung it for Trump. Ask them to list the countries that he has banned.

Not only on one magnificent day of the year, but on every magnificent day of the year, Durham is about to become once again the centre of a vibrant internationalism and intellectual exchange. By depriving Labour of Overall Control. And by depriving Labour of every seat? Why ever not?

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