Robert Halfon is a former Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, and is MP for Harlow.
Both Littlefinger [see above] and Jeremy Corbyn are wrong about ladders.
“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, are given a chance to climb. They refuse, they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”
Littlefinger, Game of Thrones
Jeremy Corbyn , PMQs, 15 March 2017
Excuse me for talking about ladders once again – no doubt I will be castigated for ladder monomania again by the fierce but challenging Conservative Home blog critics, Temerity Drax and Belisha Hores. However, since it is August, perhaps some leeway or mitigation will be allowed.
A recent episode of Game of Thrones, in which Bran Stark reveals to Littlefinger that he knows his view that ‘chaos is a ladder’, and thus his true intentions, led me to search on YouTube for Littlefinger’s original ladder speech in Series Three Episode,The Climb.
It is a wonderful – albeit evil – oration. It made me think about ladders, chaos and the far left. For Littlefinger, a ladder equals chaos. One can only gain real power by using permanent revolution and disarray to climb high. Through revolutionary upheaval, comes a new leadership, authority order, and planning.
Or as Trotsky wrote in 1919 in Order out of Chaos:
“Bloody chaos still stands over Europe. The old is coupled to the new. Events jostle events and blood congeals on blood. But from this chaos more and more firmly and bravely steps forward the idea of a communist order from which the bourgeoisie cannot be delivered either by its Versailles plots, its mercenary bands, its voluntary lackeys of conciliation and social-patriotism or the great trans-Atlantic patron of all capitalist butchers. Now it is not a spectre of communism which is haunting Europe as it was 72 years ago when the Communist Manifesto was written: the ideas and hopes of the bourgeoisie have become spectres while communism marches through Europe in flesh and blood.”
Clearly, Littlefinger is something of a Trotskyite in this regard. His machinations are designed to create instability, his brothels aimed at exposing the corruption of the bourgeoise, his political allegiances change depending on what will bring benefit, with his ultimate objective being to gain power, to be master of all – to be ruler of the seven kingdoms. That is why he sees creating chaos as defining the ladder.
Jeremy Corbyn is no Littlefinger (although like him, he has been under-estimated) but it was interesting to see him use “ladder” and “chaos” in that PMQs time in March. Long before Theresa May coined the term “coalition of chaos” at the 2017 Election, the Labour leader was attempting to frame the Administration as a Government of chaos. For two weeks in a row, he defined the ladder as just ‘a ladder for the few’. It is for a few because only a few can climb.
So for Littlefinger, chaos is a ladder, for Corbyn, the Conservative Government is chaos, providing a ladder for the few and not the many.
It is interesting how the Left see the ladder. It is such a contrast to the Conservative view; Giving everyone a chance to climb, holding the ladder on both sides and ensuring that government is there, to bring people to the ladder and to act as protector if they fall. The ladder represents stability as much as aspiration and opportunity. To Conservatives, the ladder is more – to stick with characters from Game of Thrones – Jon Snow than Littlefinger. Born a bastard and an outsider working his way through the Night’s Watch, promoted to Lord Commander, learning from his mis-steps…and becoming King of the North. Snow also came back from the the dead – perhaps there is a chance for a revival for us Conservatives after all!