If ever there was a seminal week in the decline of the once great Labour Party, I suspect this last week will be regarded as the one.
Let’s just consider:
67 Labour Peers, all of whom have given many years’ service to the Labour Party in a variety of ways, handed over their money to pay for an advert denouncing Jeremy Corbyn and his entourage in the Guardian. This of course after the fact that 3 Labour Peers, one of whom had been General secretary of the Labour Party, had quit the week before.
The Labour Peers have announced a meeting this coming Tuesday to have a vote of No Confidence in the Leader of the Party
Long standing Peer and Chief Whip in the Commons, Hilary Armstrong is expelled from the Labour Party. This caused the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party to tweet:
This misdirected mob justice degrades our great party. These attempts to silence dissent will fail. This is not the party I know.
6:43 PM – 20 Jul 2019
The Labour Party who came second in Brecon & Radnorshire last time are polling at just 8% in the seat in the by-election called for 1st August according to respected pollsters YouGov.
Nor is the action confined to the National Party. In Liverpool we’ve had our share of Labour jokers as well.
In the Climate Change debate, we had one new Labour Member claiming that climate change was caused by neo-liberal forces and another saying that the global crisis was caused by the crisis in global capitalism. It was so funny to see the majority of heads in the Labour benches opposite me slump at these words and the pain and anguish in their eyes. God help our polar bears if this is the level of analysis which is becoming increasingly prevalent in Labour. This was low level student union politics at its worst.
On Saturday there was a protest in Liverpool Wavertree called by a so-called Residents Association (that no-one has ever heard of) to ask Luciana Berger to step down. In fact, there appeared to be no ordinary residents there with a handful of lefties coming in from across South Liverpool to protest. Why they thought it a good idea to stand on a roundabout in the middle of a busy road with a loudspeaker that no-one could hear is beyond me. “Bus pass” Momentum staggered across Liverpool to make an impact on no-one!
And of course, if there is a petition going the sad souls in the Labour Party will sign it. 9 Liverpool Councillor’s names are so far on a national petition declaring confidence in Jeremy Corbyn. I don’t actually know who most of them are and I suspect that they won’t be around long when they realise how hard the life of a local councillor is. But you really know that a Party Leader is in trouble when the cult that surrounds them has to raise its spirits with this type of declaration of loyalty.
Why does this bother me? On a political level it doesn’t. As Jo Grimond said more than 50 years ago our task as a Party is to replace the Labour Party. The Labour Party’s lurch to the left leaves nowhere for social democratic members and voters to turn to but to us Lib Dems.
But on both a national and local level this matters to my City and my Country. I’ve have lived and served as a councillor before when the loony left has been in charge f the Council. It took more than 20 years to salvage the City’s finances and reputation from the havoc that they created.
Nationally, we need more than ever a sane rational opposition to the Tories. A partnership needs to be created in Parliament after a General Election or, even better, in a preceding electoral agreement, which will ensure a number of things chief of which are renouncing article 50 and staying in the EU; and a change to the electoral system which has allowed this chaos to happen.
This is unlikely given the behaviour and attitudes of Corbyn and his clique. The other two main Parties are led by people who are like Marmite but with a different level of support and opposition. Marmite is loved by 50% of people and loathed by the other 50%. Both Corbyn and Johnson are loathed by far more than like them. Corbyn is plumbing the depths and is the most unpopular opposition leader with the genal public since records began.
My message to social democratic members and voters of the Labour Party is come and join and vote for us. Tomorrow we will elect a fine new, young Leader whichever of the candidates wins. Together we can take on the establishment forces of the Left and Right and create the sort of society which most of want to live in. European; compassionate; environmentally concerned; listening; sharing; and caring. That’s the type of Party we are and it’s the type of Country we are.
You can join us at www.liverlibdems.org.uk. 25% of our members in Liverpool were Labour Members or voters up to 2015. We would be delighted to see that proportion rise!