Friday, 17 February 2017

The New Normal

"Working-class communities"? "Heating or eating"? A war on VAT?

In the voice of Len McCluskey, Paul Nuttall impersonates the rhetoric, and even the specific policy agenda, of Dennis Skinner and Ronnie Campbell, of Angela Rayner and Richard Burgon.

Unlike Theresa May, Nuttall did not join the Conservative Party of Ted Heath. Like me, he was not born until after Heath had ceased to be Leader.

It never ceases to amaze me that Nuttall is only 10 months older than I am, which makes him younger than the Beckhams, younger than Ant and Dec.

Such, though, is in fact the case.

He joined the Conservative Party that imposed VAT on domestic fuel and power, after it had done all manner of other things to working-class communities.

Yet listen to him today.

The progress of Britain towards sinistrisme is almost complete.

Leave won the EU referendum in, from its own point of view, all the wrong places.

The places that voted Leave essentially demanded their mines, steelworks and factories back, complete with the unions and everything.

The places that benefited from Thatcherism voted Remain so heavily that the Lib Dems are on course to take dozens of seats from the Conservatives in 2020, leading to a hung Parliament.

The explicit policy commitment that swung the referendum was the promise of an extra £350 million per week for the National Health Service.

The Conservatives did not even have an election in order to install a Leader who wanted workers' representatives on boards, control of pay disparities within companies, and much else besides.

Labour has massively re-elected the massively elected Jeremy Corbyn, whose very presence shifts the debate in directions that had previously been unimaginable.

The Lib Dems have their most left-wing Leader ever, who is especially far to the left of the last one.

And now this, from the Leader of UKIP. Yes, UKIP.

Led by Corbyn, however, Labour is still going to beat even him at Stoke Central.

Think on.

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