23rd December 2018
Corbyn – exposing Tory hypocrisy; May – continues to blag her way through
If Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, had called Theresa May a “stupid woman” there is every chance that he would have apologised. There is much less of a chance that he would have stood up in front of the House of Commons, not to mention the world’s media, to lie through his teeth and claim he said “stupid people”, if he did not say that. Corbyn has been true to his word and political ideals for nearly 40 years as an MP. It seems bizarre that he would lie over this.
Corbyn has admitted to losing his temper, faced with a wall of jeering Tory MPs at Prime Minister’s Question Time, stating,
“I was extremely angry: the last point I’d made was, they’d suddenly found £4bn to prepare for no deal. £4bn. At the same time police officers have lost their jobs: 100,000 vacancies in the NHS, a housing crisis; a homeless man dies on the steps of Westminster; and she and the Conservative Party turned the whole thing into some pantomime joke. I was extremely angry.”
With 100 days to go before the UK leaves the European Union on 29th March, Corbyn quite rightly points out that the Tories have had two years in which to come up with a negotiated settlement, have spent most of that time arguing amongst themselves, and the deal that Theresa May has finally come up with has not yet been in front of the House of Commons for a vote.
The political establishment in the UK has been hoist by its own petard, following the 2016 referendum, with the country voting to leave when the establishment desire has always been to remain. The struggle since them has been one of attempting to reconcile this irreconcilable dichotomy and so far no clear solution has emerged.
May’s Brexit deal is as close as the establishment can get to delivering on the Brexit vote, by notionally exiting the EU but doing so on terms that effectively keep the UK tied into EU rules, but without a voice in determining them. Corbyn has quite rightly denounced this as a ludicrous position. Labour remain committed to pushing for a General Election, in order to clear the way for a new negotiation with the EU, and a new political and trading relationship.
Factions within Labour, pushing for a so called People’s Vote, have criticised Corbyn for not rejecting Brexit on the basis that life outside the EU would be worse than being on the inside. Whether the 4,751 rough sleepers in the UK, a figure which has doubled since 2010, would agree is a moot point. The gilets jaunes in France might also take a different view; the 25% of young people unemployed in Spain might not concur; the thousands of public sector workers in Greece losing their jobs in the latest ‘bailout’ might see things differently.
The so-called ‘meaningful vote’ in the House of Commons will now follow further debate, scheduled to begin on 9th January 2019, after which the final push for an agreed deal or a General Election will begin in earnest.