Sunday, 29 May 2022
Progress Of A Sort
Christian Wakeford, who has still yet to cite a single policy reason for his defection, has been made Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Secretary of State for Education.
During the Corbyn years, and even though there was almost no one who had been in the Labour Party longer than Jeremy Corbyn, the cry of the Right was that "I've given my life to this party" while the Left were arrivistes and entryists.
Well, Keir Starmer could not have been a member of any political party earlier than 2nd November 2013. And a mere four months after having joined the Labour Party, someone who was elected to this Parliament as a Conservative is now on Starmer's frontbench, having had no political change of mind whatever.
All in all, the Progressive Alliance is taking shape. It is taken as a given that a vote for any of Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, the Greens, and between the SNP and the Greens therefore also Plaid Cymru, will be a vote to make Starmer Prime Minister.
But to what purpose? Rishi Sunak has introduced a windfall tax double that which Starmer had proposed, and Sunak has increased benefits by nine per cent when Starmer had called only for a six per cent increase. How delicious it is to see the Blairites triangulated.
Like the Government, the Progressive Alliance has backed the losing side in a war that need never have concerned us either way. We all know what it means that France and Germany are calling on Russia to negotiate at the very time that Ukrainian forces are preparing to pull out of Severodonetsk, as even the BBC is calling it. It may be the summer now, but in a few months' time, no one fancies dying in the dark, of a combination of hypothermia and starvation. The Government's unfitness for office over Ukraine is also the Progressive Alliance's, and specifically Starmer's.
And like the Government, Starmer obviously never believed a word of it about Covid-19. Yet it was true. Downing Street was a plague pit. The events there endangered the cleaning and security staff, while Boris Johnson himself contracted Covid-19. When not partying in Durham Miners' Hall, Starmer has had to self-isolate numerous times. The Government's unfitness for office over Covid-19 is also the Progressive Alliance's, and specifically Starmer's.
The Progressive Alliance is united around the proposition that, "J.K Rowling is wrong, a woman can have a penis." Yet Rowling's politics and Stella Creasy's are otherwise indistinguishable. Perhaps Rowling should contest Walthamstow at the next General Election?
If so, though, then she had better watch her back. You would hardly have known that the 10-week suspended sentence handed down to Claudia Webbe had been reduced to 80 hours of community service, and that her £1,000 compensation to the complainant against her had been reduced to £50, because the appellate judge had accepted that she had never threatened an acid attack. The nearest thing to an acid attack here has been by Starmer's Progressive Alliance.
Yet this is only under Starmer, whom Oliver Eagleton's terrifying The Starmer Project ought to disqualify from public life. It is already assumed that the next Leader is going to be Wes Streeting, who has never been anything other than a professional politician, and who makes Starmer look like Dennis Skinner. By the end of this Parliament, Labour might have had three Leaders, of whom the first would comfortably be reelected as an Independent, the second would not seek reelection at all, and the third would be Britain's most right-wing frontline politician since the War.
Thankfully, a hung Parliament need belong neither to Starmer nor to Streeting. Either of them would be welcome to the Lib Dems, or to the SNP, or to the Greens, or to Plaid Cymru. The rest of us could and should make alternative arrangements to strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty.
It would not be difficult to cut a deal with a clique whose only political principle was its own birthright to rule, and which might need only 10 or 20 additional MPs to get it over the line, rendering irrelevant the dozens, or scores, or hundreds of Lib Dems, or Nationalists, or Greens, or indeed Labour Rightists. We owe the Progressive Alliance nothing.