Sunday, 14 May 2017

Toothless and Clueless

Philip Collins writing in The Times gives the Labour Party's election manifesto a big thumbs down and says that Corbyn will need a 'Ministry of Magic' to find the money for all his spending pledges.

The really damning critique is not that the Labour Party is red in tooth and claw. It is that it is toothless and clueless. Mr Corbyn’s political ideas were stale when he first had them 40 years ago. This is a document that, at 45 pages, is long because they didn’t have the wit to write a short one. Reheated, rehashed, resigned, a sermon to the converted. The foreign policy section is too vague to be the precise terms of surrender that the leader desired but “extremely cautious” about nuclear deterrence means he doesn’t understand it. Military action when other options have “been exhausted” means “never”.

Read the full article via the following link although it is behind The newspaper's paywall.

This is Labour’s ticket to the Dignitas clinic

By Philip Collins - The Times

The manifesto is full of things that will be banned, compulsory or free but offers no credible way of paying for them

Manchester was the ideal place to launch the Labour Party election campaign, as it turned out. Half a mile from the site of the rally, and 170 years earlier, two young men called Karl and Friedrich were working away in the library of what is now Chetham’s school of music. They were finishing a manuscript that would convulse the world and which would provide the headline for the Labour Party’s plans for Britain in 2017: The Communist Manifesto.

The leaked Labour manifesto does matter, although not for the 2017 election, which is already lost. It matters because it reveals a party which is yet to work out that there can be no election victory for an avowedly left-wing platform. This has the force of an axiom: if the left is running the Labour Party, it will lose. I have always maintained that Jeremy Corbyn’s incompetence would kill him off before anyone even got to his politics. However, in the event that he is succeeded by a more capable leader of similar views, the evidence is now in. If incompetence doesn’t get you, the manifesto will.

Labour Lacks Credibility (13/05/17)

Martin Kettle from The Guardian stable is another widely respected columnist who takes the view that with Jeremy Corbyn as its leader, Labour lacks all credibility with the electorate as a party of government.

The following paragraph, foe example, is spot on.

"What, though, is the point of renationalising Royal Mail except to deliver to trade union vested interests, for example? Or of putting the health minister in charge of what would become a fearsomely centralised NHS? And what is the national good or the new thinking in several of the other goodies in the package for Britain’s too often unreconstructed unions? Sectoral collective bargaining is 1970s union power revisited, not a more modern focus on co-determination. Union power is not the same as workers’ rights."

Read the full article via the link below and decide for yourself, but if you ask me unless Labour gets its act together, the party is in danger of becoming a branch of the Unite union - with Len McCluskey pulling the strings.

The problem with Labour’s manifesto isn’t the ideas, it’s the credibility

By Martin Kettle - The Guardian

While this is a more nuanced prospectus than the right claims, it is too starry-eyed about the state’s role – and has some glaring fudges

How seriously should one take the Labour manifesto? In a serious election it ought to matter a lot. Yet everything about Labour at the moment – the manifesto included – reflects the sleepless battle for control of the party, rather than any serious engagement with non-Labour Britain. Oddly, though, this means there is some unity about the manifesto. The Corbynites want to run on a leftwing manifesto for reasons of ideology, but Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents want that too, so that Corbyn can own the defeat they expect on 8 June.

The much larger questions, especially to the three-quarters of British voters who are not Laboursupporters, are whether this is a plausible manifesto, and whether there is a large and sustained appetite for a government dedicated to rolling back the Thatcherite counter-revolution. Don’t rule that out. But a manifesto is also only as plausible as the leader who presents it. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I think most voters have made up their minds on that.

There will, though, be many whose hearts beat a little faster on hearing that Labour would bring public ownership back into the railways, the energy suppliers and the Royal Mail, whose spirits rose at the prospect of tax rises for the 5% of highest earners, with reversal of inheritance and corporation tax cuts, who were cheered by big spending pledges on the NHS, social care, schools and student finance, and who were bucked by pledges on rights at work and a lower retirement age.

Too often Labour offers an attitude and a piety rather than an analysis: scrap this, ban that, reverse the other