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Blurred line January 21, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I like this (thanks to JH for the link), a piece from The National in Scotland which notes:

IS anyone surprised that the line between Labour and the Tories is now so blurred that a Conservative MP can resign from the Tories and, wearing his Union flag face mask, cross the floor to sit on the Labour benches as a Labour MP? Due to the widespread public anger about the entitled behaviour of Boris Johnson, Conservative MP for Bury South Christian Wakeford has left the Conservatives and has announced that he has joined the Labour Party. Wakeford (below) received a warm welcome on the Labour benches from Keir Starmer and other members of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

It notes that Wakeford, who was one of those who breached the so-called Red Wall of Labour seats didn’t cover himself in glory while a Tory MP.

He was happy to support the right-wing populist Brextremist agenda of the Conservatives, even though Johnson’s character flaws were abundantly clear – at least he was happy to support it right up until it became evident that the public fury at the wanton breaking of Covid regulations by Johnson, who partied as thousands of families grieved alone, was likely to cost him his Bury South seat.  

And as the piece notes he voted to reduce Universal Credits for low income families, restrictions on right to asylum, voted against climate change measures, voted against tax evasion by the wealthy and businesses and voted against further powers to the devolved Assemblies.

The analysis is blunt. If a Tory can join the Labour party and if the only way the Labour party can win is by ‘aping and emulating’ the Conservatives, “Whether it’s the actual Conservatives or the Tory-Lite policies of a right-wing Brexit-backing Labour party, one way or another all that Westminster offers Scotland is Conservative rule in perpetuity.”

Difficult to disagree with that assessment. But more to the point the travails of Labour in England almost seem a bit beside the point. We can see in Wales the outline of a different path Labour more broadly might have taken, but then perhaps the very structure of English parliamentary politics, and it is overwhelmingly English, is such that at this point the space for progressive change is so limited that it is for each constituent nation to have to fend for itself. And clearly the Starmer party, while an improvement on the Tories, has its very very visible limits. I’ve a certain degree of sympathy. It is clear in an English polity dominated by right wing media, right wing tropes and right wing politics the ability to move forward is limited. But this makes the centrifugal forces ever stronger one has to suspect.



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