Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Young Faces of Britain

Doesn't it give everyone, sportif or non-sportif, a boost to see young Olympians, the soon-to-be married, Laura Trott and Jason Kenny, winning and speaking on the TV? Not only do they work hard, not only are they highly successful, not only are they energetic, full of vitality and health, they are modest, positive thinkers and a joy to listen to. It gives me hope for the future that such wonderful young people can influence others to take up sport or succeed in other ways - rather as Beckham did - without cynicism or triumphalism. They are good to listen to simply because they don't boast or pull rank. They almost don't realise how stunning they are. And isn't it so much better for all of us to be open to such optimism than listening to the ramblings and weary infighting some of our politicians are indulging in?

This evening, having washed my hands of the Labour party leadership contest, I believed I may as well stand for the post as Owen Smith feels terrorists should be part of talks in the middle East. I understand he helped bring the former IRA to a negotiating table during N. Ireland's peace talks. Surely his latest gaffe is simply nuts? If the Labour party can't come up with better candidates I fear they are sunk. I shall not be voting in this latest leadership contest. My vote last year was for Andy Burnham, but he isn't re-standing and is likely to be Mayor of Manchester. Where have Hilary Benn, Chukka Umunna and Yvette Cooper gone? And why did Angela Eagle fold so quickly - hardly before her leadership election campaign had started? I have never voted Tory but the Labour party is currently shambolic and letting themselves down, imho. I expect historians will show us the party went through similar 'Labour pains' in the days of the defection of Shirley Williams, Bill Rogers, David Owen et al to their newly-formed SDP. I just can't understand why strong leadership seems to be evading Labour. Where are the Labour party heavy-weights? ( Yes, I know it's the summer recess but this leadership contest is like asking which of two five year-olds should be appointed Head of an Infants School. I don't need to state that I am most unimpressed - but there we are - I've just said it.)
If Jeremy Corbyn continues as leader the back benchers will be, at best, unsupportive. If Owen Smith wins - heaven help us. He was an unknown until he threw his hat into the ring. Why can't Labour MPs who have experience in cabinet stand for the leadership party? Are they busily making plans to become a centrist Lib-Lab party so are more interested in splitting?

I find it wearying and life's too short for such Labour party games. On a good day I find myself feeling bored, unengaged, unenergised and more interested in what Theresa May thinks, which is a very dangerous position to take as a lifelong Labour supporter. I'm not bored, am interested and feel inspired by our TeamGB, and I've never been athletic.
Kenny and Trott, Murray, Grainger and so many more are great ambassadors for our great country. They are the face of a Britain I understand and feel hopeful for. Infighting politics makes me tired.

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