Much as the picture might disturb some people, both for the thought of Jon Lansman naked and the use of so bourgeois device as a fairy tale, I can find no better analogy for the situation Jon Lansman is walking into. The only problem I have is identifying the confidence tricksters (weavers) in our story. (Our beloved leader couldn’t possibly be playing a confidence trick on us could he?)
For those of you who don’t know the story, let me offer the following explanation courtesy of Wikipedia:
The Emperor’s New Clothes is a short tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that they don’t see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as “unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent”. Finally, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” The tale has been translated into over 100 languages.
Of course the stupidity of the Emperor, whose vanity was such that he didn’t wish to appear ‘too stupid’ to see the non-existent cloth, was matched by that of his sycophantic courtiers who didn’t want to appear unworthy for their positions.
In our case the collective denial of those who refuse to speak out against the arrogance and hypocrisy is very dangerous.
We are told that it was necessary to impose a new constitution, weighted against grassroots delegates, from the top down, in an organisation which seeks to
demonstrate how ‘socialist values’ and collective effort can make a positive social and/or environmental impact [in groups which] must be democratic in their nature and be organised around a spirit of collaboration, inclusion and respect.
When a national conference of branch delegates, where opposing ideas could be put to the vote, potentially subject to ratification by OMOV, was just round the corner.
When the platform was available for the adoption by OMOV without a conference or even any focused online discussion.
When we are attracting people who have never been involved in politics and are therefore not only trying to reeducate moribund Labour Party wards and CLPs but have important task of being an example of democratic practice to tomorrow’s activists.
The Emperor has no clothes. It is as much the fault of his vanity and arrogance as it is of the sycophants who are happy in their own relative privilege whether as members of the majority on the self-liquidating Steering Committee or as some of the Left Futures recommended candidates with their nice uniform Facebook artwork.
It is dangerous as much as it is stupid to play fast and loose with the future of arguably the most important left wing movement since the war.
For that reason, and for that reason alone, this small boy will, both as a candidate for the NCG and as a member in the unlikely event he gets elected, shout as loud as possible:
JON LANSMAN, THE EMPEROR, HAS NO CLOTHES!!