Friday, 21 April 2017

Bring It On!

The Times cartoonist Peter Brookes suggests that the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn may have overplayed his hand by welcoming a snap general election.


And They're Off! (20/04/17)

As Jeremy Corbyn starts to crank up Labour's election machine Politics Home reports that the latest YouGov opinion poll gives the Conservatives a 24 point lead.

Not only that that the former Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews has defected to the Liberal Democrats after accusing Labour of "crass political ineptitude" under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Interestingly, Marshall-Andrews sat alongside Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell in the socialist grouping of Labour MPs at Westminster.

The Corbyn Effect (16/04/17)

Image result for corbyn + toilet images

The massive 'popularity' of Jeremy Corbyn seems to have passed by the voters in Middlesborough where Labour lost a council seat to the Conservatives.

Politics Home reports that Team Corbyn is brushing off this previously unimaginable defeat in one of the Labour Party's heartlands while calling on critics to unite behind their leader.

Now the problem with this 'unity call' is that Corbyn has a terrible track record when it comes to loyalty and party discipline - as a rebellious backbench MP Jezza was a constant thorn in the side of every Labour leader from Neil Kinnock to Ed Miliband.

But even more worrying is the fact that opposition parties are not meant to be losing votes and seats, if they stand any chance of forming the next Government.

So far from being a great 'asset', as claimed by Diane Abbott, all the evidence points to Jeremy Corbyn being an albatross around Labour's neck.

Corbyn under fire after Labour lose Middlesbrough council seat to Tories

By John Ashmore - Politics Home

A Labour MP has blamed the "far left" leadership of his party after the Conservatives seized a council seat in the north-east of England. 

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the FSB conference this week - Credit: PA

The Conservatives recorded a swing of over 8% from Labour to take the Coulby Newham seat in Middlesbrough for the first time since 1997.

Tom Blenkinsop, a long-time critic of Jeremy Corbyn, said the defeat showed it was time for "new leadership", although a Labour source claimed the "extremely low" turnout meant it was impossible to draw any conclusions from the result.

Diane Abbott: Labour would be polling in 'single digits' if Jeremy Corbyn was pushed

Jeremy Corbyn pledges to 'upgrade economy' through £200bn public sector spend

ANALYSIS: Divide-and-rule tactics see Jeremy Corbyn enjoy small business love-in

It comes after a flurry of policy announcements from the party this week, including Mr Corbyn pledging to "go to war" over late payments to small businesses and a pledge today from John McDonnell to stop banks closing high street branches.

The MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland said it was clear that the Labour leader had turned people off voting for his party.

“On the door I heard from voters I have canvassed over 15-20 years telling me Corbyn was the main issue as to why they were not voting Labour," he told the Huffington Post.


But Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald insisted that Mr Corbyn had gone down well with local voters.

"Jeremy was on Teesside to campaign a couple of weeks ago, and he got an absolutely fabulous reaction," he told the Guardian.

At the same time he admitted Labour still has "some cut-through to make in terms of reputation, and confidence, and competence".

Speaking to the same paper a party source played down the defeat and called on Mr Corbyn's critics to get behind the leader.

"The Middlesborough byelection was very close - only 33 votes separated Labour and the Conservatives - and the turnout was extremely low, making it difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions. However, voters don’t like divided parties, public attacks and infighting. Unity is essential to delivering effective opposition.”

The Corbyn Effect (15/04/17)

Diane Abbott, 2016 Labour Party Conference 1.jpg

Diane Abbot is a London Labour MP and shadow secretary of state for health.

In the highly unlikely event of a Labour victory at the next general election there's a fair chance that Diane would be in charge of one of the great offices of state, such as running the national health service (NHS). 

Now that's a truly frightening prospect given that Diane believes Jeremy Corbyn is popular figure whom she showered with praise the other day: 

“One of [Mr Corbyn’s opponents'] current arguments is that Labour’s difficulties in the polls are all attributable to him and that if only we had a new leader, almost any leader, then this would resolve our problems.

“This is completely untrue. We can go further. Compared to all his critics, Jeremy Corbyn is worth about 18-20 percentage points to Labour’s vote.

“Without him, and led by any one of his vocal critics we could easily be languishing in single digits in polls.”

I don't know of anyone who believes that all of Labour's problems would disappear overnight by getting rid of Jeremy Corbyn, but nor do I know of anyone who regards Jezza as anything other than an albatross around Labour's neck.

Labour's biggest problem is that there are enough supporters like Diane Abbot around who are willing to forgive Corbyn anything - even his inability to connect with the wider voting public. 


Rank Hypocrisy (06/02/17)

Image result for corbyn and abbott + images

The Sunday Times reports that the knives are out for Diane Abbott, London Labour MP and big ally of Jeremy Corbyn.

I can't say I'm surprised because Diane has always struck me as a terrible hypocrite, especially after she criticised Tony Blair fiercely for sending one of his children to a Catholic school (outside the local Islington catchment area), but went to place her own son at a fee-paying private school.

Fellow Labour MPs must be aghast at her behaviour though not astonished given her brazen track record.

Ronnie Campbell, Labour MP for Blyth Valley who has been off work for a year having cancer treatment said:

 “I had a big operation just after New Year, I am getting over it and came back to work this week. I saw Diane Abbott in the tearoom before the vote - I held the door open for her.” 

Meanwhile some wag has opened a #PrayForDiane hashtag on Twitter.

MPs urge axe for Abbott over bottling Brexit

By James Lyons - The Sunday Times
Diane Abbott, second from left, at the Red Lion pub in Whitehall on Tuesday, the day before she missed the vote on article 50, blaming a ‘really bad migraine’

Jeremy Corbyn will come under pressure this week to sack Diane Abbott for missing a crucial vote on Brexit. Angry MPs are expected to raise the issue at a private meeting of the parliamentary Labour Party tomorrow night.

Corbyn is also expected to face questions about her future at a meeting of the parliamentary committee, which represents MPs and peers, later in the week. The shadow home secretary went home shortly before the vote last week on giving Theresa May the power to trigger article 50. Abbott had argued publicly that Labour MPs should have to vote in favour of the bill but her local party in London came within two votes of mandating her to vote against.

Dawn Butler, who resigned from Labour’s shadow cabinet before the vote, is said to have sought permission to abstain but was told she had to toe the line or quit.
Unless she was in bloody intensive care she should have been on the premises

Abbott was accused of “bottling” the crucial vote. There were also questions about the severity of the illness that she said had forced her to return home. The MP for Hackney North was seen enjoying a drink at the Red Lion pub in Whitehall on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the day of the vote, she spoke at a debate in Westminster Hall in the afternoon.

At least two seriously ill MPs were brought to the Commons to vote but Abbott went home after developing what friends described as a “really bad migraine” shortly before 5pm.

Labour MPs pointed out that if she had been on the premises at the time of the vote she could have been “nodded through” while remaining in her office rather than having to go into the division lobby.

“Unless she was in bloody intensive care she should have been on the premises,” a senior backbencher said. “It is an outrage. It is completely incompatible to be sacking other people and keep her.”

Abbott’s absence will fuel a rebellion when MPs vote on the bill again this week. The shadow cabinet will meet on Tuesday to agree whether to insist again that MPs must vote for the measure but a shadow cabinet source said it would be ridiculous for Corbyn to do a U-turn.