Thursday, 30 June 2016

Vote Labour, Get SNP ... Again

Jeremy Corbyn will not quit without a fight. Labour have a history for not having the courage of their convictions and waiting for someone else to make the difficult decisions for them. In Government they left the difficult decisions to the Coalition to rebuild the shattered economy. David Miliband was rumoured to challenge the unpopular and failing Gordon Brown but it never happened. Now in opposition there is still no challenger to take on the 'mighty' Jeremy Corbyn. They have done all they can safely do without damaging their careers by resigning their shadow positions and voting in a meaningless non-binding motion of no confidence. Labour are now in unprecedented territory. There are no political giants in the Labour Party like Shirley Williams and Roy Jenkins to go off and form a new party so where does Labour go from here. It would not be difficult to imagine the complete disintegration of the Labour Party as we know it and this would all fit with my previous article that project Corbyn is full steam ahead (tory-story.blogspot.co.uk/project-corbyn-makes-its-move).
 
Despite reports of Angela Eagle being given the support of the Parliamentary Labour Party to Challenge Corbyn for the leadership the message is that she is giving Jeremy Corbyn more time to do the right thing. What she fails to see, or does not want to see, is that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters believe he is already doing the right thing by waiting for a challenge and letting the members decide. This is his deep felt philosophy and shy shouldn't it be. He was elected by the membership with a huge mandate. In his mind it would be crassly undemocratic to have the will of thousands of members overruled by 172 MP's so he's going nowhere. 

Knowing a contest is inevitable, the delay in challenging his leadership gives Momentum ample time to organise his election campaign and mobilise his supporters. Even a casual glance at Momentum's website and social media shows they are in full swing recruiting supporters, getting new members to join and relentlessly promoting Jeremy Corbyn to the mass membership (twitter.com/PeoplesMomentum).

Jeremy Corbyn will win the leadership challenge. Labour PLP know that and probably explains the delay. Given his almost certain victory we would then see the complete disintegration of the Labour Party as we know it and this is the rub. Jeremy Corbyn doesn't want the Labour party to carry on as we know it. He and his supporters want it to carry on as they want to know it. With 172 MP's having no confidence, his return as Labour Leader with a fresh mandate can only mean mass resignations from the Labour Whip. In Parliamentary terms this would convert all those Labour MP's into independents. The rump of the remaining MP's may not be sufficient to be the largest party in the House of Commons. That honour would fall to the Scottish Nationalist Party, especially if they form a coalition with others.

This would be a planned low point for project Corbyn. What would follow in the party would be a throng of deselections in the constituencies and refusals by others to defend their seats as a Labour MP in the General Election. The Left Wing will then make it's final and decisive move and become Labour candidates with many becoming MPs and re-establish the party as the official opposition, or even in Government. Never say never.

I agree wholeheartedly with the Prime Minister when he said to the Labour leader "For Heaven's sake man, go!"  But it is equally, if not more so, a failing of Labour MP's to stand up to him and remove him by mounting a challenge and is the danger to the nation. With Jeremy Corbyn refusing to go we could well see Angus Robertson at the despatch box as Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, with an SNP Shadow Cabinet at his side and his SNP shadow ministers on the front bench. The spectre of the 2015 General Election was Vote Labour get SNP. Under Jeremy Corbyn this might yet come to pass.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Project Corbyn Makes Its Move



It would be tempting to think Jeremy Corbyn is currently hunkering down in the Winchester with a cold pint and waiting for it all to blow over. This, however, could be project Corbyn transitioning to the next stage and all it going to plan. His Shadow cabinet has always been a rainbow coalition of the hard left, soft left, Blairites and moderates. Jeremy Corbyn's complete polarisation from David Cameron placed him on the remain side of the EU debate and it was absolutely clear to even the casual observer that this was a not a decision of conscience but one of political calculation. 

His EU campaigning was lacklustre, indifferent and apathetic and his true Euro scepticism was only just below the surface. He ignored the open and vocal criticism following the Brexit result. The resignation of Hilary Benn did not have to result in his sacking. For the sake of unity he could have been kept Benn in the Shadow cabinet forcing to resign in protest instead. Protesting to his boss in a private phone call would have been a clear sign to the Labour Leader that he was not about to resign on his own accord. If his magnificent speech in Parliament over military action against Daesh did not make him resign then an expression over his lack of confidence would not have done.   Instead Jeremy Corbyn seized the initiative and he would have been abundantly aware his sacking would lead to mass resignations leaving either the ultra loyal, such as Emily Thornberry or career driven like Andy Burnham. And this plays right into Corbyn's hands. 

The Labour Party rules are clear about what any potential challenger needs to do when there is no vacancy but there are no rules instructing the incumbent leader to do anything. Some comparisons are being made with Tony Benn's challenge of Neil Kinnock's leadership in 1988 but there are few similarities. This was a Labour Party which had just expelled militants, not welcomed them with open arms, this was a Labour Party which voted by block votes. Today's Labour party is one where the members have the say and Jeremy Corbyn has a massive mandate from the membership which has since been swelled by ever more Corbynites. A challenge to his leadership is bound to lose and will embolden him to pursue with ever more vigour his hard left socialist agenda. 

Before he was elected leader I wrote about the dangers of a Corbyn leadership (tory-story.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/corbyn-wont-run-country-but-he-can-ruin.html)and it maybe entering the next stage of project Corbyn. A blood letting of the moderates will give Jeremy Corbyn the space he needs to appoint a cabinet of his preference rather than one of political expedience. In my previous piece I was, and still am, very concerned that locally this will be bad news.

Labour will from this point be seen as a hard left party with an ultra socialist agenda. There will be more resignations and, at constituency level there will be deselections as the energised Momentum  makes real progress in taking over the Constituencies and selecting ever more left wing candidates. With Andy Burnham declaring is unequivocal support for Jeremy Corbyn the first visible sign of Project Corbyn part 2 will be his election as a Corbynite Mayor of Greater Manchester in charge of Police and Justice, Transport, Health and Housing. 

Project Corbyn will eventually run it's course and wither but until then it has never been a more critical time for a strong unifying leader of the Conservative party to make sure we stay in Government and spare the country from the extremes of a left wing administration. The new Conservative Leader needs to have broad appeal as possible, I wrote in Conservative Home (www.conservativehome.com/never-give-up-on-the-coalfields). Ordinary, non-political, working people from all backgrounds must be able to identify with Conservative policies and this may not be any of the candidates so far being touted.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Jo Cox MP

They're on the take, all in it for themselves, they do nothing. These are things politicians, whether amateur or professional, hear all the time and we know it is wrong. We know that we seek election because we want to serve those who give us the privilege of representing them on the Council, in Parliament or wherever but this is often overlooked in favour of louder less complimentary commentary. But when challenged you soon discover that these negative sentiments are based on very few MP's who have been in the news for the wrong reasons or even on just one MP (maybe their own) who needs to buck their ideas up. There are hundreds of MPs and the vast and overwhelming majority are there for the right reasons. I would hazard a guess that before the astonishingly tragic events in Birstall few would have heard of Jo Cox just as few have heard of many MPs and some don't know their own. What I hope and pray for out of this tragedy is now that everyone knows what a dedicated Member of Parliament Jo Cox was that she can now be the exemplar of what it is to be a brilliant constituency MP and that the overwhelming majority of MP's are dedicated to serving their constituents.