Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Left Track Is The Right Track

Proponents of privatisation invariably allege bad industrial relations in nationalised industries.

Yet, at this moment, Southern Rail is on strike, and Virgin East Coast is about to go on strike.

Renationalisation could be done for free, simply by taking back each franchise as and when it came up.

A traditionally pragmatic, Tory Government would do that. This is a key test of Theresa May's commitment to traditionally pragmatic Toryism.

May has thrown her little bone to the Right that could not even get a candidate onto the ballot against her.

She has floated her idea of allowing new grammar schools on a Sunday, secure in the knowledge that even the supportive newspaper columns would not be published until long after her own MPs had shot this down in flames, as they have done in short order.

And in August, too. She has floated this idea in August.

We all know the piece of red meat that she has no intention of throwing to anyone. But who even cares anymore? Article 50 is literally becoming a joke. Listen out for it on radio and television.

In the meantime, May is getting on with the implementation of an admittedly watered down version of Ed Miliband's manifesto.

The taking back of each rail franchise would fit into that perfectly.

I spent five years campaigning for Ed Miliband, and I do not regret it.

Without him, and without Blue Labour behind him, then what programme would the Conservatives have with which to respond to the complete redrawing of the political map by the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party?

But that is precisely why I set no store by Miliband's endorsement of Owen Smith today, an endorsement that in itself makes the Labour Right look as irrelevant as the disintegrating UKIP (which has lost a third of its support in recent weeks) or the Conservative Right.

If, that is, you believe that Smith's views are as he claims, and not as would correspond to the interests of his backers.

The Conservative or once-and-future Conservative factions to the right of Theresa May are already reduced to the irrelevance that their numerical strength has always deserved.

The same will very, very, very soon be true of the Labour factions to the right of Theresa May.


  1. Rail privatisation has nothing to do with Left or Right. It's a practical issue not an ideological one.