Chuka Umunna’s justification for theft of a parliamentary seat in February was his claim that voters voted for him not for Labour (in 2017). But, five months later, after switching again – to Liberal Democrats, and again not calling a by-election, he said
“I thought the millions of politically homeless people wanted a new party. And I was wrong about what that. What people actually wanted us to do was actually work together in the centre ground with existing forces. Either you ignore what the voters are saying or you hold you hands up.”
That is, he decided a second time that he knew what the voters in Streatham wanted even though he admitted that he was wrong about what they wanted in February.
What the voters in Streatham want is a Labour MP because that is what they voted for the last time they had an opportunity to vote. Umunna has occupied the constituency of Streatham since February, depriving the voters who elected a Labour MP of the representation for which they voted. He stole the seat from Labour, he stole votes from Labour voters and he is stealing a parliamentary salary.
With a general election looming later this year he was selected as a Liberal Democrat candidate. But, not in Streatham. Even though he declared that voters in Streatham supported his two decisions to switch parties he decided not to try to be re-elected there. His behaviour displayed utter contempt for democracy, for parliament and for voters.
Spoiler candidate for marginal seats
Chuka Umunna was selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Cities of London and Westminster constituency for the next general election. It is a marginal seat but it is a Tory/Labour marginal seat. In 2017 general election woman batterer Mark Field won with a 3148 majority over Labour. Liberal Democrats were a distant third and are extremely unlikely to win in an election this year. So, why was Umunna chosen as the candidate for a seat he will almost certainly not win?
Remaining in parliament is not a financial necessity for Umunna. He has a profession – solicitor – that pays more than an MP’s salary and he set up links for a steady supply of fees for political speeches, essays and consultancies; he managed to concoct a think-tank called Progressive Centre UK all for himself that pays him £65040 a year.
Like many MPs, Umunna’s political career is a tool of self-promotion wherein he demonstrates his adherence to a specific political perspective to impress future employers. His theft of a seat from Labour voters was part of his job interview. His work now is for payment later.
The Liberal Democrat plan for the next general election, aside for holding their current (elected) seats and trying to win Tory/LibDem marginals, will be to receive enough votes in Tory/Labour marginals to ensure that Labour lose to the Tories in each such seat. The second phase of the plan will be to form another coalition with the Tories.
Umunna was selected as a spoiler candidate in a Tory/Labour marginal because he is relatively well-known, has easy access to compliant media and demonstrated his willingness to eschew principle and integrity.
His final act as a politician in the next general election will be to help the Tories hold the Cities of London and Westminster constituency. That will be the final part of his interview for post-politics income.
Who’s using whom?
Is the Liberal Democrat party using Umunna or is he using them? Both are using each other, happily and with full knowledge of the other’s intent. Lib Dems will dutifully help their friends in the Tory party to cling onto or win Tory/Labour marginal seats and Umunna will show further how committed he is to blocking socialism to impress potential employers.
As ever, the voters are being used without consent or gain.