The Tories stirred the turds in the bowl yesterday. A few were flushed, perhaps temporarily, and others were moved around pointlessly. It was another messy day in the Tories’ messy Brexit anti-strategy.
In response, professional political shock jocks on the far-right have been portending trouble for the government. Reanimated by a team of Dr. Frankensteins, also known as TV producers, bags of hot air like Farage and Rees-Mogg mouthed off about betrayal and made various flaccid threats. They are performing seals, acting out their self-assigned roles for the money.
The more interesting responses to the day of Tory disorder have been the comments from members of the centrist gloop. The merest slither of a possibility of a general election this year – and the possibility of a Corbyn victory – horrified the centrists and they reacted promptly.
Progress stalwart Mike Gapes rose in the House Of Commons to suggest a ‘unity government’ to help Theresa May survive the attacks from the dark-money-funded elements in her party.
In an interview on LBC radio fellow Progress member Stephen Kinnock praised May’s “Chequers’ deal” – the “deal” that caused so many resignations – and he stated firmly that “it’s not the time for a general election.”
Duplicitous deputy leader Tom Watson was also keen to not want to take advantage of the Tories’ internal strife: In a BBC radio interview he admitted that the Tories’ problems could help Labour politically but that he wanted to get the “best deal for the country.” In a separate interview with Sky News, Watson declared that “it’s not a question of Labour trying to bring the government down, it’s actually a question of Labour trying to help the government get a good deal and try and stop the government bringing itself down.” It is possible to do both: Election victory followed by whatever decision a new government thinks is right.
Another Progress protagonist Caroline Flint was unreserved in her support for Theresa May’s shambolic leadership: “Face them down Theresa. There isn’t a deal that will please either hardline Leavers or Remainers; both, for different reasons, want no deal. We need a good workable deal for a smooth Brexit.”
The most absurd remarks were uttered by the second most successful Miliband brother, David Miliband. Following an insult to Russian revolutionary Trotsky – Miliband appended the adjective “Trotskyist” to his description of the dark-money-funded hard right Brexiteers – he welcomed “the Tory governing gene reasserting itself.” He blamed the Labour leadership for the Tories’ problems overshadowing Brexit: “Labour leadership line has allowed Brexit debate to be a Tory debate.”
The Progress mob don’t support May’s plan but the fear that the Tory government could collapse, and be followed by a Corbyn/Sturgeon alliance, is a scenario that frightens them much more than whatever nonsense the Tories can concoct.
Coincidently, during the resignation day, Progress had a little meeting called ‘Labour Say’ whereat they regurgitated their usual illogical commentary on Brexit. Unsurprisingly, there was plenty of criticism of the Labour leadership:
“Brexit is being debated everywhere else, but not on the Labour Party conference floor. Why shouldn’t conference be having a debate about Brexit. It’s happening in every other part of our party and our movement. Around our kitchen tables and in our communities. Brexit must be debated at our conference, we cannot be afraid” – Stephen Doughty
“It is time that we, the Labour Party, stepped up” – Eda Cazimoğlu
“We should endorse staying in the single market and saving our economy. If we don’t do that, we are implicit in the destruction of investment for our public services in the future. We have got to have our people on the frontbench saying loudly and firmly that we have to stay in the single market for the wellbeing of the people in this country. We must be prepared to do what is in the national interest of our country or future generations will never forgive us.” – Mike Gapes
There are a few oddities in the quotes above. Labour leadership has not banned debates on Brexit at Labour party conferences. Doughty’s claim that people are discussing Brexit in their daily lives is bunkum; people are flat-out bored senseless with it. Who do Progress mean by “We?” Eda Cazimoğlu said “we, the Labour Party” but Progress consistently fights against Labour, and none of the attendees at Labour Say are on the Labour front bench.
Progress’ criticism of Labour on Brexit conveniently forgets that the Tories and DUP have a majority in parliament for any vote. The only options to stop or reduce the effect of Brexit are an election or a split Tory party. Progress knows this, but they persist in criticising the Labour leadership and hope that the public won’t notice the arithmetic, while actively campaigning against an election and in favour of a ‘unity government’, as shown in quotes above.
The second expected theme of Labour Say was the reaffirmation to continue astroturfing on the Remain campaign. There were a few very obvious comments on Brexit’s problems, both on Brexit itself and on the Tories’ most recent fudge that led to some ministerial resignations, but the key point is that these comments were not Progress supporting Remain, they were Progress using Remain as a tool to promote Progress. The ‘People’s Vote’ was mentioned; this is another Progress PR and marketing tool: People’s Vote website: A tool to promote Progress MPs.
Another Tory omnikerfuffle, an opportunity to put pressure on a rabid gang of corrupt Tory filth, frightens the hell out of the centrist Herberts so much that they even talk about a ‘unity government’ with the Tories because what they fear is socialism. They will oppose socialism relentlessly, regardless of what the alternative is.