Monday 18 February 2019

Labour Split: a Surprise and Due to Internal Incompetence

I am surprised at this stage that there has been a small Labour split. The split for Labour, following the 'leave' majority in the referendum, came first, and I expected a Tory split now. There is an effective split in the Tory Party, but it surely will split if there is a no deal exit from the European Union. The split is really a result of continuous Labour leadership incompetence. One remembers how John Smith and Tony Blair undermined the Tory government in their day and set their party up to govern; this shower fail week after week to land a blow on such a shambolic government and now seem to be offering the government a way to leave the European Union not much different from the government's own.

While the various 'remainer' MPs from different parties have worked together, it would be a big move to find several Tory MPs now joining Chuka Umunna and company at this stage. There may be other Labour MPs joining first, especially if Corbyn carries on in his usual moribund way of ignoring everyone except a small clique of people like him, plus the struggling Keir Starmer.

I am still expecting we get to a point where political forces, in the form of a Cabinet coup, revoke Article 50. Everything is pointing in this direction, a very binary crash out versus the revoke option.

The government is chaotic, trying to force people into its cul-de-sac and then try to force them to help it out by passing the dog's breakfast of a partial subservient attachment to the EU. It isn't going to happen, because the far right of the Tory Party have this blue-eyed mist that wants to send the country over the cliff edge. Cameron's gamble to hold his party together at the risk of the country has resulted in neither winning the bet. The country is going into a period of self-harm and the Tory Party will split.

One suspects Corbyn and company rather like leaving the EU because it will give them the opportunity to launch a socialist wonderworld - well, the MPs won't buy it. The result of the seven leaving is to constrain the next manifesto. Labour is likely to be conflicted for a long time.

It is not clear what the seven will do. Likely they will just be coherent among themselves, but there was a call to join them and from other places than Labour. The Social Democratic Party was launched in the 1980s with big beasts of politics, whereas the seven are capable politicians among a third rate selection. Look at the present Tory government, from an incompetent Prime Minister to a whole bunch of unlikely Secretaries of State. Few have any gravitas. We have Chris Grayling making everything he touches into rubbish, and a Home Secretary who likes to beat his chest when international law says otherwise. Labour is run by people who are very unimpressive, giving every impression of being no good in government - and also no sense that they are ever going to get elected to government, unless in a minority administration at very best.

The crunch is coming. Cabinet ministers may resign to vote in favour of Parliament grabbing the reins over the EU crisis. Alternatively, they may say enough is enough, and remove Theresa May and take power to stop the big time self-harm that is so close now.

Some think a referendum might legitimise staying in the EU. I see nothing but problems with it: the questions to ask, the division reopened, the loss of control over the central questions and invasion of other issues,  the stupidity of campaigns and mutual accusations. It is Parliament's job first to say that the 2016 referendum was illegitimate and secondly to keep us where we should be, inside the European Union and contributing to its decision making.

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