Tuesday 7 February 2023

Eyes On Hands

Lee Anderson is a deflection from the appointment of Greg Hands, who last week called Brexit a "complete disaster" and a "bunch of total lies". The Chairman of the Conservative Party is a Rejoiner, while the Deputy Chairman was in the Labour Party a lot longer and a lot more recently than I ever was, when he made his living out of it as I never did. 

Anderson was a Labour Councillor until 2018, when he was 51 and when Jeremy Corbyn had been Leader for three years. Anderson's day job was as the office manager for a Labour MP. He held that position, in a marginal seat, through the 2017 General Election. Yet look at him now, and all because of a dispute with local Labour activists over the use of boulders to block a Traveller encampment. Across the political spectrum, no one should take him remotely seriously.

In what way has Anderson changed his mind? He has only changed his party. Churchill, you say? Well, Churchill did not change his views, either. He saw different parties as the best vehicles for them at different times. Has Anderson changed his views? And what are they? Socially conservative Eurosceptics are common enough in the Labour Party in Wales, the North and the Midlands, and they used to be in Scotland as well. Economically, they are very, very, very left-wing, or they would have joined the Conservative Party in the first place.

Again I point out that Anderson was a Labour member, Councillor and parliamentary staffer for more than half the time that Corbyn was Leader. There are several possible answers to that, but none of them would be good from Anderson's point of view. At best, he is an opportunist. Still, the real story is Hands. Last week, he called Brexit a "complete disaster" and a "bunch of total lies". Today, he was appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party.

That said, if Anderson truly believes his unpleasant utterances about the poor, and his progress in the pre-Corbyn Labour Party would suggest that he truly believed nothing else, then he must be kicking himself that he was not now in the party of Keir Starmer. But we are heading for a hung Parliament. 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, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.