Jeremy Corbyn's Question to the Prime Minister, calling for statutory rent control, ties in with work such as that of Stella Creasy, a 35-year-old 2010 entrant, on pay day loans. It ties in with Friday's letter to The Guardian calling for tighter controls on the proliferation of betting shops, signed by 13 Labour MPs from across the party.
The whole issue of Housing Benefit, perhaps especially in London but nevertheless throughout the country, exposes the fallacy that Britain is not One Nation, since it demonstrates starkly that working, taxpaying Britain and the Britain that depends on State benefits are one and the same place, inhabited by one and the same people. The British People. One Nation. Please, please, please, no illiteracy and innumeracy about "Why don't you cut their taxes, then?" You would only be making yourselves look silly by attempting to post such comments.
Rent controls, action on pay day loans, greater restrictions on gambling and on its outlets, a land value tax, strong statutory regulation of interest rates, a massive programme for the building of council and affordable homes, the requirement of planning permission for change of use before a main home could be turned into a second home: the only thing more important than electing a Government with such commitments will be electing a body of friendly but critical MPs from areas far beyond the Labour heartlands and even the Labour targets. MPs who were determined to hold that Government to those commitments in the name, and in the interests, of this One Nation.
Rumour has it that Corbyn turned down a knighthood in the New Year's Honours List. That seems a shame: alongside the DBE for a Campaign Group veteran and for a Cornerstone Group stalwart, Sir Jeremy would have balanced and complemented Sir Richard Shepherd. Two old anti-Maastricht warhorses together, one of whom later cast one of the 44 Labour votes against the European Finance Bill when the other had the Whip withdrawn for being among the mere eight Conservatives who had joined the Labour front bench in abstaining.
No Labour MP joined the Major Government and voted in favour of that Bill. Every Labour MP without exception now demonstrably agrees with the then-44, a surprising number of whom are still there, about European Finance. Whereas the number of Conservatives who now do so is demonstrably smaller than the number of Lib Dem MPs.