Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Why is Labour allowing for years of Tory misrule?

Source: telegraph.co.uk

The Conservative Party members were, once, viciously clawing at each other in the days following up to the EU Referendum – their party was visibly split on whether Britain should Leave or Remain. Of Tory MPs, 185 voted to Remain and 138 voted to Leave and among those 138 were 6 Cabinet Ministers (including high-profile names such as Michael Gove) and the former London Mayor, Boris Johnson. On the 23rd June the country voted against the advice of their Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron, leading to his resignation and the collapse of the entire Cameron government. It seemed like nothing could have been more detrimental to the status, popularity and legitimacy of the Tory government, until the imposition of the unelected Prime Minister Theresa May. I thought this would have been Labour’s dream come true (apart from Brexit, of course) to witness the self-destruction of the Party who they have tried to defeat since 2010. But it seems, instead, Labour also decided to self-destruct.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.co.uk
As a former Corbyn supporter, the EU Referendum proved to me that the Socialist leader is incapable of bringing Labour back into government. In the run-up to the referendum, he confessed that his desire to stay in the EU was around a ‘7/10’; he also failed to participate in one single television debate, which is expected as Leader of the Opposition. Although he did travel the length of the country and performed many speeches, his voice was not heard in the places where it needed to be. His voice and message should have been directed to those people who have moved away from Labour and found their votes are more aligned with UKIP or the SNP. Corbyn should have spoken to the people who feel ‘left behind’ and ‘forgotten’ and spoke of how EU membership benefits the working class; he needed to exclaim that their problems derive from the Cameron government that ensued with austerity and cuts and not the EU. Jeremy’s message should have been heard in television debates so the public were more clear on what Labour’s view was – 218 Labour MPs voted for Remain, with just 10 voting to Leave – yet it is evident that many people were unaware as to where Labour stood. The infighting within the Conservative Party dominated the headlines and  Labour should have criticised them for it, especially since the Tory party was completely split on EU membership. An adequate leader would grasp that opportunity and continuously attack the Conservative party. Jeremy Corbyn's policy would resonate well with the working class but it seems that his method of communicating with them is failing.


Source: reuters.com
Following from the decision to Leave the EU (Click here to read my post on the EU referendum) both political parties, who have dominated our governments post WW2, went into melt-down. David Cameron resigned sending the Tory party into chaos. At this pivotal moment Labour could have become a strong force to criticize and condemn the Conservative party; however Labour MPs decided to form a coup against their own leader, allowing the Conservatives to get away with their fatal and long-lasting mistakes. Twenty members from the shadow cabinet resigned and 172 members of the PLP ensued with a vote of no confidence against their leader. I do have a slight conciliatory attitude towards the PLP as they feel Jeremy is incapable of winning over Labour’s lost seats and getting Labour into government. However, the instability and chaos that ensued post-Brexit meant that a Labour coup would have been ill-timed and even more damaging to the party. It seems that Labour is constantly missing opportunities to weaken the Tories as the PLP is much too busy dealing with the infighting occurring in their own party. At a time of such uncertainty Labour should have been a united force, despite their differences, and presented themselves as the party that is ready to deal with the consequences of Brexit – instead they appeared weak and incapable.


Source: express.co.uk
The Tory leadership campaign also highlighted the differences within the Conservative party, something which Labour (once again) failed to pick up on. Boris Johnson entered the race only to leave and Andrea Ledson, who voiced her suitability as PM to be intrinsically linked to her role as a Mother (which was her pathetic attempt to weaken Theresa May's standing as she is unable to have children) and also spoke of how she had lied on her CV, was so close to victory only to abruptly decide to also leave the race. The pathetic actions of such Conservative members were left unscathed by the Labour party as they continued to quarrel among themselves. Soon enough Britain had her 2nd female Prime Minister and also 2nd unelected head of state (in recent years). Theresa May spoke like a Labour politician in her first speech as Prime Minister as she announced “I know you're working around the clock, I know you're doing your best, and I know that sometimes, life can be a struggle. The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of a privileged few, but by yours.” She sent a Labour message from a Tory party whilst the PLP decided to fight against their own leader.


Source: guardian.ng
And now we are in the midst of another Labour leadership election with Corbyn vs Owen. I personally do not think neither of these individuals are capable in restoring faith into Labour but the decision of the Labour membership should be adhered to and accepted. Corbyn has attracted a vast number of people, mostly young people, to support Labour but it falls down to whether such members will vote for Corbyn in the next General Election and whether Corbyn will start attracting those who have become disillusioned with the Establishment and Westminster. It seems that Corbyn will stay as Labour leader and the PLP should begin to unite around the decision made by their members.  Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) have also come to the bizarre conclusion that members who have joined Labour in the last six months are not eligible to vote in the leadership election – a decision which is wholly undemocratic. Labour should view the surge in membership as a positive and harness this achievement as well as work hard to ensure the increase in membership leads to an increase in votes at the next GE. Once again, Labour is failing to grasp opportunities and continues on the journey to self-destruction.


Source: www.mirror.co.uk
At a time where British politics is becoming increasingly fragmented, it is vital that Labour unites and acts as a strong opposition. After the Labour leadership election, one can only hope that the PLP accepts the view of their members and unites behind Corbyn. It is time for Labour to speak to the new UKIP and SNP voters to restore their faith in Labour; Corbyn champions the views of the working class but it seems they are not listening and so, a change in method is vital. When Corbyn remains as leader, Labour needs a strategy to ensure a large membership will lead to more votes. Once Labour deals with such obstacles, their ability to return to government will not seem impossible.

How do you think Labour is currently performing?
Do you have faith in Corbyn to lead Labour back into government?

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