Monday, 29 October 2012

Document Analysis

Tune in to Radio Four at 8pm this evening for Document, on the relationship between Britain and Michael Collins, such that British troops fired the first shots of the Irish Civil War. And stay tuned in at 8:30, for Analysis, when Gisela Stuart MP will call for British withdrawal as part of the ongoing disintegration of the European Union.

The strongest opposition to that project has always come from pro-Commonwealth Keynesians in both main parties, although constituting the historical norm only on the Labour side. Any intellectually serious, rather than televisually entertaining, call for the restoration of our sovereignty under the present circumstances was always going to come, just as the intellectually serious rather than the televisually entertaining opposition to Maastricht came, from that quarter.

The EU referendum motion was, as I explained at the time, the wrong motion. But it was the motion that there was, and the following Labour MPs voted for it: Ronnie Campbell, Rosie Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn, Jon Cruddas, John Cryer, Ian Davidson, Natascha Engel, Frank Field, Roger Godsiff, Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins, Steve McCabe, John McDonnell, Austin Mitchell, Dennis Skinner, Andrew Smith, Graham Stringer, Gisela Stuart, Mike Wood.

Cruddas now heads the Policy Review. Cryer took a respectable 88 votes (to the 138 for the victorious Dave Watts) in the election to chair the Parliamentary Labour Party. Skinner is one of the three members of the National Executive Committee elected by Labour MPs, the other two being the no more EU-enthusiastic, or indeed remotely New Labour, Margaret Beckett and Steve Rotheram.

Although himself as far as possible from the Hard Left, Frank Field had previously nominated John McDonnell for Leader. As had the Countryside Alliance’s Kate Hoey. As had Ronnie Campbell, together with his constituency neighbour Ian Lavery, the two Labour MPs, being half of all the MPs, from the second most rural county in England; Campbell is a pro-life Catholic. And as had Ian Davidson, a Co-operative stalwart who on the floor of the House has correctly identified New Labourites as “Maoists and Trotskyists”, and who, as befits a protégé of Janey Buchan, is a hammer both of Scottish separatism and of European federalism.

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