My heart is with Ken Loach in his call for the establishment of a new party of the left. I admire his film making and I admire the intelligence and political integrity of the man himself. I once attended a dinner after which he gave a talk and answered questions about himself and his career. You could not fail to be impressed by the rare combination of personal modesty and singular vision.
But my head tells me that a new left party is just a dream. Under British electoral conditions it can never be anything more than yet another leftist sect. The ugly truth is that for all its faults and in spite of the hideous crew that currently dominate it there is no serious political life for the left in Britain outside of the Labour Party. I wish it were not so, but that reprehensible old lag Otto von Bismarck got it right: politics is the art of the possible.