Yes, indeed labour is painful. My wife will bear me out on this point. Once was enough. But that’s not the labour I’m referring to. I’m referring to the Labour Party.
Now call me naive, but I thought the whole point of the Labour Party was to protect workers rights and stand up for the working man against unfair treatment by employers. You know, protecting their members’ jobs and that sort of thing. Indeed they seemed to be doing exactly that when they took the government to task for not stepping in to prop up the ailing Welsh steel workers. I dislike Labour intensely, but to be fair to them they were doing what their members pay them to do.
So why is it that when the government talks to Nissan to persuade them to build two new models in Sunderland and to invest in a post Brexit UK that Labour’s Shadow Chancellor feels he has to take them to task over it. Bit contradictory isn’t it?
And the latest joke came today when Jeremy Corbyn threatened to force a General Election unless Theresa May reveals details of the Brexit strategy. Speaking yesterday, Corbyn outlined his red lines for supporting Brexit.
Single market access (You don’t have to be in the single market to access it)
No watering down of EU workplace rights (Nobody is suggesting there will be!)
Guarantees on safeguarding consumers and the environment (A bit vague)
A promise to fund any EU capital investments lost by Brexit (Already promised)
So not really anything to worry about really, is there? Mind you, it sounds good that you’re demanding these things as long as you don’t mention that they’re already in the pipeline.
And when he was asked whether he would call for an early election if his so-called demands weren’t met, he got all shirty, complained of press harassment and did a runner.
Within hours of this Whitehall Farce, his deputy Tom Watson was already shooting him down on flames. Watson said “We’re not going to hold this up. The British people have spoken and Article 50 will be triggered when it comes to Westminster. We want to protect workers’ rights, we want to protect companies’ right to trade in the single market, tariff-free, we want to support jobs, we want to make sure people don’t lose out, but we’re certainly not going to hold up Article 50 if we don’t get the deal.”
That’s the deal Mr Watson’s actually already got, but still it does sound good. And what about Mr Corbyn threatening to side with pro-EU Tories to bring down the government? Well, no Tory MP is going to bring down his own party in government no matter how pro-EU he or she is. It would be political suicide. And even if Labour apply a three line whip, Corbyn has defied such a whip himself as a backbencher so often that the majority of the PLP would laugh at him. That’s the same PLP, remember, that passed a vote of no confidence in him earlier this year.
The fact is that this is all showmanship. He’s demanding something he’s going to get anyway and losing sight of the fact that he simply doesn’t have enough votes to force a confidence motion even if his entire party voted as he told them. It’s a simple numbers game.
Yes, Labour really is very, very painful…