This article was originally published in Middle Vision, a new blog that explores the political centre ground.
Britain Deserves Better
A provocative Blairite headline? Yes, guilty as charged, but I have been provoked. The Labour Party has been provoked. But away from all of that Britain really does deserve better than the current leadership of the Labour Party.
I can understand the desire to ‘shake things up’. I can understand the desire to change the weekly pantomime that is Prime Minister’s Question Time. I can even understand that Jeremy Corbyn has a desire to introduce us all to a new style of politics.
What I cannot understand or forgive is his apparent desire to destroy the Labour Party and with it hand control to the Tories for a generation.
I can hear the howls of derision from the Corbyn clan as I write this. They will scream and shout about their beloved leader’s mandate; they will call me a Tory (and worse); they will claim purity and dismiss 13 years of Labour government as a disgrace.
The truth is that Labour should be riding high in the polls. We should have the public cheering us on as we beat away the tory threats to tax credits (introduced by a Labour government). The public were on our side as we forced a U-turn on cuts to police budgets. What did our leadership do? The Shadow Chancellor quoted Mao when he should’ve been hanging Obsorne out to dry.
Within hours the cheers were replaced by hoots of derision and laughter.
But I am not laughing. The people of France aren’t laughing. The majority of our decent MPs aren’t laughing. More importantly the people in Syria aren’t laughing. But our political enemies are. And why?
Because our leadership is a collective joke. They couldn’t lead a group of lemmings over a cliff.
But let’s not just blame Corbyn and John McDonnell, the present shadow chancellor. Since Corbyn was elected we have been subjected to the rolling eyes, giggles, sighs and nonsense of the over-promoted and overrated member for Hackney North and Stoke Newington who runs to every TV studio to defend her former holiday playmate. I have some news for Diane – he has moved on and I wish that you would too, preferably to retirement and enforced silence. You aren’t even an average politician. Your views are repugnant and your media interviews an embarrassment.
Then we turn to the flip-flopping member for Leigh, Andy [which way am I facing now?] Burnham. A politician who once promised so much but now cannot hold a view for more than 24 hours without changing his mind. I am not worried about his opposition to intervention in Syria. By Wednesday lunchtime he will be volunteering to pilot a plane in the first bombing raid.
None of the current pain was inflicted by the Tories. It is a pain of our own making and only we can stop it hurting.
It was inflicted by Corbyn who is enmeshed in a feckless and dangerous political game that offers love and peace but delivers nothing other than broken promises and false dawns.
I was one of those willing to give him a chance, then a second chance, followed by a third. But his chance account is overdrawn and he must go now. He must step down while he has remaining at least a little pride and standing. Because as sure as night follows day once he has destroyed the Labour Party he will destroy the Left. He really is Corbyn The Destroyer.
Tom Watson is key in this. And we must remember that he too has a mandate from the membership. In his role as Deputy Leader he has attempted to keep the Parliamentary Labour Party together and that is a role he must continue to fulfil.
The Shadow Cabinet must continue to stand up to Corbyn, Abbott and the others who are drifting like Andy Burnham and we the members, must ignore the three quid Gollums and support the shadow cabinet. We must organise and campaign to save our Labour Party and any threats of deselection (as threatened by Abbott) should be fiercely resisted.
A time comes in life when you cannot sit idly by and watch a disaster. You have to get involved and help in the rescue; this is such a time.
If you ever want to see a Labour government again or if you believe in a strong opposition holding the government to account now is the time to act.
Barnabus Howard writes for Middle Vision. To read his latest column, follow @MiddleVision on TwitterBLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS