What happens to a democracy when the government of the day faces no opposition? Nothing good is the answer and Greece is a case at hand. I will attempt to substantiate this and offer a warning to the British Labour Party.
Syriza in Greece won the September election and then a strange (albeit predictable) thing happened. All and any opposition to the government dissipated. How is this so, you may ask. Hasn’t Syriza denounced its leftist pretensions, betrayed its programme in favour of a new Bailout?
Yes it did, but no one says a word about it. The right (ND and -apologies- PASOK and Potami) with the policy of Euro uber alles cannot complain about attempts to implement the Bailout terms. ND tries some complaining about choices in the consolidation measures, but lacking leadership (especially after the botched internal election) it is becoming irrelevant.
The left? Surely if Tsipras moved to the right a gap must have opened on the left? No it didn’t. KKE remains in Stalinist obscurity and the Syriza splinter faction has all but died, as the Greek people are a nation of have-your-pie-and-eat-it that wouldn’t countenance the Grexit they were advocating. As to movements and unions, they have been co-opted by a government that feels no shame encouraging people to join general strikes against it, with the argument that it strengthens its position against the hated creditors with which it is eternally ‘negotiating’.
The result is a farcical unopposed governance of stupid stunts (eg. Tsipras tweets) and utter incompetence in every single area of activity. One watches with morbid fascination daily lashings of daliesque surrealism, as if the whole administration were an experimental comedy show worthy of Noel Fielding.
What is the warning to Labour? Corbynistas increasingly reveal themselves as detached from reality, fanatical, dogmatic and so, so very righteous. This is exactly the mix of horrors that breeds monsters (or monuments to comedy, depending on your perspective) like Tsipras’ Syriza. As Labour degenerates into introspection and infighting it offers no opposition to the Tories, in the same way that the midgets of ND offer no opposition to Tsipras. The UK is a mirror image of Greek politics with the same result, no opposition. A bad outcome for everyone involved.