Over the past 2 weekends we have knocked at getting on for 3,000 doors in Liverpool – I’ve knocked at a good number of these myself.
What is extremely interesting to me is the response that we are getting on Brexit usually without us even mentioning the subject. These fall into a number of categories:
- Remainers This group falls into three categories
- People who have always been Remainers and are convinced that they were right and think that the only way to resolve the issue given the stalemate in Parliament is a People’s Vote now that the facts of leaving are known.
- People who were Leavers and now are Remainers
- Members of the Labour Party who are Remainers and have either left the Labour Party or are not renewing their membership when it falls due.
- Leavers. This category creates two sub categories
- People who have always been leavers and think they are right and we should do it even if we lose jobs etc;
- People who are still Leavers but are appalled at the way the Government has acted and support a referendum as the only way forward.
Of course, it is even more complicated than that but if I say which way forward above all had a very clear majority it is that there should be a first referendum on the facts as being the only way to bypass a deadlocked Parliament.
Of real interest to me is category 1 iii above which is the view of Labour Party members. Yesterday alone I met two married couples both in their mid 30s who have over the past few months have left the Labour Party. Brexit was the reason they left and the behaviour and lack of leadership of Corbyn was the final straw. Intriguingly, all four of these people had voted for Corbyn and were now so acutely embarrassed and appalled by him that they had now left the Party.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Corbyn is a liability to the Labour Party. Opinion polls show that young people who were enthused by his rhetoric are disappointed with his delivery. How else can anyone explain the fact that the most incompetent Government in modern history is still comfortably ahead of Labour in the opinion polls.
What I see on the doorstep in Liverpool is being replicated nationally. Labour is hemorrhaging members to the Lib Dems on a daily basis and the people that they are losing are the competent organisers that are the backbone of any political campaigning on a sustainable basis.
As I look at the national scene, I see a majority of good people in Parliament. People who are open to reason. People who put practicality over crude ideology. They exist in all Parties but not at the top levels of either the Government or main opposition Party at present. The ideologues who lead both Parties want us to go lemming like over the Brexit cliff. Now is the time for people like Jo Swinson; Sarah Wollaston and Hilary Benn to come together with one objective – get the People’s Vote to save this Country.
Let us be quite clear what the consequences of Brexit – never mind an even worse no-deal Brexit would mean. Cuts to the NHS, cuts to social care; cuts to schools; cuts to universities; cuts to housing; cuts to environmental programmes cuts to …. Well everything actually because our national wealth will decrease outside the EU and that will take down our capacity to spend money on all the things that our Country so badly needs. This isn’t guess work. Since the referendum we have gone from being the fastest growing economy in Europe to being the second slowest.
To pretend that a better deal is possible between a Labour Government and the EU is a lie. The EU have made clear that the current deal with May is the only deal on offer because they have rules in place with all 28 EU Countries because they are rules that we have urged on the EU whilst we are in membership.
To pretend that there will even be a General Election in the short-term is also a lie. Corbyn cannot win a Vote of No Confidence in the House of Commons. If he thought he could he should have moved it in December.
Locally we have our own ‘JC’ moving Labour voters inexorably our way. That is, if course, JA or one Joseph Anderson Mayor of this parish. His latest little gem is the idea that people are rushing off the cruise which dock in Liverpool and one their favourite destinations is Great Homer Street market. Well I have welcomed hundreds of tourists to Liverpool at the Cruise Liner terminal and other places and do you know not one of them has ever asked me how to get to ‘Greaty Market!’
Just as Corbyn refuses to listen to the people of the Country Anderson refuses to listen to the people of Liverpool. We have lost £3.5 million on St John’s Market. Apparently according to our blessed Mayor no-one in Liverpool wants to physically shop any more. So why is he now suggesting we might buy the whole of the St John’s Centre and has already bought the Central Station shopping Centre?
His views and figures just don’t add up on retailing any more than they add up on Calderstones Park. We will lose up to £2 million if we proceed with his original proposals. We hope that he will not renege on his promise made at the November Council meeting not to compulsorily move the Beechley Riding for the Disabled Association from their Harthill base.
Whether its JA or JC doesn’t really matter. They are both acting as recruiting sergeants for the Lib Dems at the moment which is why we in Liverpool are looking forward to the May elections when I have no doubt at all that we will be adding to our growing number of councillors and members.