Thursday, 24 January 2019

We, The People

As the People's Vote mob throws in the towel and heaps blame on Jeremy Corbyn, who in fact deserves the credit for having seen them off, the right wings of both parties have never looked so irrelevant.

Each is obsessed with three General Election victories. In the Labour case, those were quite a while ago, under a Leader who has come to be thoroughly reviled by everyone except the most hopeless cultists. In the Conservative case, they were way back in the Olden Days (the median age in this country is 40, so born in 1979), under a Leader who is dead.

The irrelevance goes back a long way. John McDonnell nearly made it onto the ballot for Leader of the Labour Party against Gordon Brown in 2007, but there was no Blairite candidate at all. In 1990, the most right-wing candidate for Leader of the Conservative Party was John Major, the man against whom, more than anyone else, the distinct Conservative Right came to define itself.

And here we are today, with the likes of Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna wondering how on earth they are going to make a living for the rest of their lives, while yesterday poor old Peter Bone forlornly asked Theresa May for pro-Brexit Conservative MPs to be made Ministers, thereby taking it as read that they were not so already.

In fact, 40 Ministers have not been in any way rebuked for having threatened to resign in the event of a No Deal Brexit, and if they did so, then they would be replaced, not with members of the European Research Group, but with people raised to the peerage from the Conservative Establishment, from outside politics, and even from long and recent histories in the Labour Party or the Liberal Democrats. It is not impossible that sitting Lib Dem MPs might be made Ministers. But members of the ERG? No chance.

On the Left, we can only say, "Welcome to our world." For 13 years, apolitical businessmen and media types were made Ministers, along with recently defected Conservative MPs. Tony Blair put Paddy Ashdown on a Cabinet Committee, and Gordon Brown offered him a seat in the Cabinet. Jeremy Corbyn would probably have turned it down anyway, but you do not have to agree with, or like, John McDonnell, or Ken Livingstone, or George Galloway, to deny that he would have been incapable of being a Minister. All three of them would have been Ministers in a Smith or Gould Government.

The people who kept them out are not going to go away at the next General Election. Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I will stand for this seat of North West Durham, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email Very many thanks.

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