Many years ago – 22 years, to be precise – there was a TV series with the title “The Nazis: A Warning from History”. A similar TV series titled “The Soviets: A Warning from History” must have passed me by. If there wasn’t one, there ought to have been because the current Labour Leader, Mr Jeremy Corbyn, is hell-bent on repeating that particular lesson. His speech yesterday has made this abundantly clear. The reported behaviour of his supporters also give a clear warning of what hardcore, socialist, Momentum-driven Labour has in store for us.
Let’s take a look at that speech as reported in The Times (link, paywalled), with the title “Jeremy Corbyn: Only wealthy can afford to pay the price of a hard Brexit”. The report jumps straight in:
“The Labour leader and his most important lieutenant, John McDonnell, both cast Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans as a divide between the “wealthy” and the rest of the UK.
Speaking in the Tory marginal seat of Corby, Northamptonshire, Mr Corbyn said: “Have no doubt, no deal would destroy people’s jobs, push up food prices and open our NHS to takeover by US private corporations.
“That’s a price Boris Johnson is willing to pay, as it won’t be him and his wealthy friends paying it, it will be you.”
“The framing echoed the shadow chancellor’s attack on Mr Johnson and Michael Gove, the minister overseeing no-deal planning. Mr McDonnell said there was “no risk” for them in that outcome. “They are wealthy people — they won’t be bearing the risk,” he told Today on BBC Radio 4. “I’m worried about if there are food price [rises], there are people out there, it’s bad enough — they’re just struggling to get through.” (link, paywalled)
It never ceases to astonish me how Labour grandees – not exactly poor – can talk so grandly about ‘the poor’ whom they must help while always overlooking that they themselves are amongst ‘the rich’. The next paragraphs illustrate how the hard Left Labour supporters will treat Free Speech and opposition – be afraid, be very afraid! This goes beyond mere heckling:
“Mr Corbyn’s speech was marred by heckling of the press, forcing him to urge his supporters to let journalists ask questions. One that suggested Mr Corbyn may not have the cross-party support required to lead a caretaker administration was greeted with shouts of “shame” from some Labour activists. Some also shouted down a reporter who asked Mr Corbyn if he would step aside to allow someone else to oversee any caretaker administration.” (link, paywalled)
If even journalists cannot ask questions without heckling – what chances will we have to ask those questions at ordinary hustings? The next paragraphs are also illustrative. Corbyn comparing himself to Attlee made me feel slightly nauseated:
“In his address Mr Corbyn said that a general election could lead to a change on the scale of 1945, when Attlee defeated Churchill, or 1979, when Thatcher defeated Callaghan, warning that things “cannot go on as they were”.
He vowed to do “everything necessary to stop a disastrous no deal for which this government has no mandate”, and lambasted Mr Johnson for being “Britain’s Trump” under whom the Conservatives have “lurched to the hard right”.
The new government, he said, “wants to use no deal to create a tax haven for the super-rich on the shores of Europe, and sign a sweetheart trade deal with Donald Trump. Not so much a no-deal Brexit more a Trump-deal Brexit.”
But Mr Corbyn also said that the UK faced greater problems than Brexit. “Labour offers the real change of direction the country needs,” he said. “A radical programme to rebuild and transform communities and public services, invest in the green jobs and high tech industries of the future, and take action to tackle inequality and climate crisis.”
His speech touched on many of Labour’s key electoral offers: abolishing university and college tuition fees, nationalising “rail, mail, water and the National Grid” and introducing a national living wage of £10 an hour.” (link, paywalled)
That’s plain electioneering, laying out Labour’s stall even before he’s got within sniffing distance of No 10. It must be Corbyn’s secret how he can believe that the EU would let Labour run their ‘programme’. Remember, he’s for Remain so we’d stay ‘In’. Here’s more:
“Mr Corbyn tried to combat Mr Johnson’s attempt to improve the Conservative Party’s standing on public spending. Mr Johnson has touted spending commitments to the NHS in what many in Westminster perceive as preparation for an election.
Mr Corbyn said: “The new prime minister has been making some pre-election spending pledges. That shows Labour has won the argument that austerity damages our country.
“It insults voters’ intelligence to expect them to be grateful for a bit of extra money here and there, with no confidence that it will be delivered when it’s Boris Johnson’s Tories who ran our public services into the ground.” (link, paywalled)
Well, if it ‘insults voters’ etc, then surely Labour’s ‘promises’ are also insulting? Let me add a few quotes from Mr MCDonnell’s talk yesterday on ‘Radio 4 Today’, to show what Labour has in store. The title in The Times is unambiguous: “John McDonnell: I’ll back Remain over a Labour Brexit deal” (link, paywalled). Together with the report of Corbyn’s speech, read this as a warning:
“The shadow chancellor said that a Labour government would put Brexit back to the people in a second referendum but that regardless of what might be the other option on the ballot paper he would back Remain.
Labour’s present policy, if Mr Corbyn becomes prime minister before the UK has left the EU, is to hold a referendum between staying in the EU and a Leave option.
Mr McDonnell’s comments go far beyond his party’s official policy. Labour has held open the option of backing its own Brexit plan or adopting a neutral position in any such referendum, and Mr McDonnell did not rule out Labour deciding to be “agnostic”.
He was backed by Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, who tweeted: “Great interview by John McDonnell on Brexit. He says when there is a Brexit referendum he will campaign for Remain. So will I.”
Mr McDonnell and Ms Abbott are Mr Corbyn’s closest and longest-standing allies in the shadow cabinet, and their public commitment to staying in the EU will put him under pressure to adopt their stance.” (link, paywalled)
They have Corbyn’s ear and you can be certain that their Remain decision will influence him. Now let’s look at the following quotes, Corbyn’s answers regarding McDonnell’s uncompromising Remain stance:
“Mr Corbyn refused to rule out that Labour could be neutral in a second referendum held while he is prime minister.
Asked whether Labour would be agnostic, he replied: “In a general election, we will put forward the opportunity for people in this country to have the final say. It is not a rerun of 2016. It is simply saying the people of this country should make the final decision.
“If it is no-deal versus Remain then obviously John McDonnell and others made it very clear we would support Remain. If there is the opportunity for some other option to be put then that will be put. I want to bring people together.”
Mr Corbyn also avoided the question of whether he would campaign for Remain against a Labour deal, saying: “We have been very clear that in accordance with the democratic decision taken by our conference last year an incoming Labour government will facilitate a choice where everyone will have a choice between a deal or remaining in the European Union.” (link, paywalled)
Regarding Brexit, a Corbyn Government will ‘present’ us with a 2nd Referendum. The choice will be between a ‘Labour Brexit deal’ or Remain. I doubt he will go for a GE as this might mean he’ll lose his power, his sojourn in No 10.
Thus a Corbyn Government means ‘Remain’, one way or another. When he offers a 2nd Referendum, he’ll make certain that Remain will win. Big Business would support Remain even if it means a socialist government in perpetuity. Venezuela ring any bells? You have been warned!