The Conservative party carpet-bombs me with begging emails, urgently needing £25 to make Brexit happen or level up the economy or stop the dangerous Keir Starmer. I quite enjoy them, from a dadaist perspective. I enjoy imagining someone sitting at their desk, filling in their bank details because they think 25 of their earth pounds will make the slightest bit of difference to regional inequalities.
Labour – specifically David Lammy – different story. One, I support the party’s agenda, even if it’s not always 100% solid on what that is. Two, Labour badgers me much less often.
The other day, Lammy sent a mail asking everyone who might reasonably think Donald Trump hates them – presumably “fat pigs,” “slobs” and “bimbos” or, for brevity, all women, plus all races other than Caucasian, plus Sadiq Khan in particular – to buy a badge saying “Hated by Trump” for £8, most of which will be a donation to the Labour party.
Stupidly, I found myself drilling in to the proposition. Wearing a badge is a big deal. It’s not like a retweet – you have to be absolutely certain that you believe it. “Nuclear power, no thanks!”? Sure. But would Trump hate me? I can imagine him sneering at the proposition. “No, I only hate A-list feminists and beautiful women and American liberals.” I can sort-of imagine him parsing the difference between hatred and contempt, albeit in quite a ham-fisted statement full of capital letters (“Why would I HATE someone I would NEVER NOTICE?”).
The more I think about it, the more naive it sounds, the more I think progressives are just not mean enough for the fight they have got on their hands. After a while, I’m on a flight of fancy about how different things will look for all of us, if this time next week the American left – also not mean enough – has prevailed anyway.
I still don’t want to wear the badge. But I will send Lammy eight quid. I like him. I don’t care what he spends it on.