The pantomime of Progress starring Alison McGovern

The politics of kindness is about avoiding personal attacks. Peaceful Jeremy Corbyn has been restrained in his response to the rabid criticisms of his ideology. Unfortunately, many of the savage attacks have come from within the Labour Party. The Progress faction has been particularly keen to derail his positive project. Progress is in the tradition of Tony Blair- keen on military intervention abroad and eager to represent the middle class at home.

Having witnessed an absurd defence of the militarist position of the Tory Prime Minister by Alison McGovern of Progress, it would be churlish not to appreciate the unintentional comedy. At a public meeting, she took hysterical umbrage when Hilary Benn was criticised for comparing modern terrorists to the fascists of the 1930s.

Modern terrorism needs addressing by subtle methods, but it has not got the military force or economic backing which fascism had. If Benn cannot be criticised for exaggerating the terrorist threat to society then the terrorists have won. If Benn is motivated by genuine compassion he could focus on helping poor people around the world who do not need Western bombs to meet their needs.

Progress is a faction without coherent principles, and a threat to what is left of the Labour Party. Its top-down approach to policy is apparently careless of the desires of constituents and the hopes of Labour Party supporters. The liberal and conservative press might welcome a resurgence of Progress because most journalists want politics to be a form of entertainment.

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