The sinister John McDonnell is trying to sink the Remain campaign – good luck to him0
Less dramatic reinventions by David Cameron (ardent eurosceptic when he was first elected, to today’s “Well, if you love the EU so much why don’t you just marry it?” champion of a Remain vote) and Peter Mandelson’s transformation from cynical political manipulator to… Well, anyway, politicians change over time.
It seems the more gradual, the less dramatic the change, the less likely we are to notice the transformation over the years.
So, John McDonnell, eh?
Like the Seventh Cavalry (without the designs on racial slaughter of a native population, naturally) riding over the hill to the sound of trumpets, standard fluttering proudly in the breeze, the Shadow Chancellor has ridden to the nation’s rescue. Who says so? Well, John McDonnell, since you ask.
He’s here to rescue the EU referendum debate from Tory infighting (because John is lucky enough to hail from a party where such a thing is unheard of) and to make the positive case for the UK’s remaining in the EU.
And here is the heart of the matter, the Holy Grail, if you will, if you want your public to buy your makeover: they’ve got to believe it’s genuine.
And to many people in the Labour Party, and perhaps among the TV viewing public, this transformation into a calm, moderate, sensible voice of reason is entirely believable. If you’re an idiot, I mean.
I’ve rehearsed McDonnell’s charge sheet before but it’s worth refreshing our memory, just to remind his apologists of exactly how unfit for office he really is. And by “office” I mean a seat in the Commons, let alone his current job on the front bench, let alone (May God Almighty, in His infinite wisdom have mercy upon all our souls) Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The man who thinks the EU referendum campaign needs a bit of TLC and who, at any minute, looks ready to grab a Coke and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, was, during the IRA’s campaign of terror against the people, government and military personnel of the UK, a supporter of the Provos. He excused their pathetically-named “armed struggle” and believed IRA gunmen should be “honoured”.
Little Mister Sunshine is also the same angry, nasty shouty man who has called for civic unrest in the past, who thinks the police were being just too mean to the poor student who could have killed a police officer – and, let’s not forget, devastated that officer’s family – by chucking a fire extinguisher from the roof of a tower block during a student demonstration in 2010.