Why I hope Owen Smith wins

I do not of course get a vote in the Labour leadership election and do not think they wish to follow  my thoughts on their two candidates. However, I felt I should let it be known that as a Conservative who does not want to see a Labour government in 2020 I would love it if Owen Smith won the leadership and tried to lead Labour into the 2020 election.

It is his hatred of democracy which  I think shines through so admirably which would curse any party led by him. Just a short few months after Mr Corbyn won the labour leadership by a landslide he thinks he has the right to overthrow the elected and popular leader who did not himself want or see the need for a leadership election.

That is an internal matter for Labour, but given Mr Corbyn’s unique ability to enroll new members of his party on a huge scale, it might be a matter of some concern to Labour supporters.

More crucial is Mr Smith’s obvious distaste for national democracy. He seriously suggests an Opposition led by him should dedicate itself this Parliament to thwarting the wishes of the people as expressed  in a referendum, despite the Remain campaign saying throughout the referendum period that a vote to Leave would have to mean we left the EU with all the dire consequences they wrongly forecast,

Apparently Mr Smith thinks they should block any efforts to leave in Parliament and should demand a second referendum, in the vain hope that that might produce a different result.

Were Mr Smith to pull off the unlikely feat of winning the Labour leadership, would he think it right that the members who lost should soon demand a second vote, on the grounds that others may have changed  their minds?


Elections and referendums are important for the public to stay in charge and instruct their parties and governments from time to time. If however all we do is have votes and second votes, in a permanent state of indecision, government can never get on and do anything and the country drifts.

Mr Smith has a strange notion that he is some kind of unity candidate. His main policy, of blocking Brexit, would drive Leave voters  who used to vote Labour in their droves to Eurosceptic parties who do accept the verdict of the British people.  He has adopted most of Mr Corbyns left agenda as a convenient cloak as he sees how popular the real wearer is. He makes no attempt to say or do things that woo wavering Conservative or UKIP voters., who have over half the vote in the polls at the moment. That’ s why he is my favourite for Labour leader. I dont expect to see my dream come true.


  1. zorro
    August 30, 2016

    He is truly awful – an ex Blairite parvenu in sheep’s clothing…..


    1. Lifelogic
      August 30, 2016

      This is his sheep’s clothing! He looks and sounds like a mad wolf to me.

      1. Mitchel
        August 30, 2016

        I suppose he must be if he thinks he can sit down and talk to the Islamic State and negotiate a settlement in Syria.

  2. Richard1
    August 30, 2016

    I would like to see a proper moderate parliamentary democrat win the Labour leadership – unfortunately there isn’t one standing. Last time I hoped it would be Liz Kendall, not because I would have voted for her but because it’s essential for long term stability and prosperity that we don’t have the threat of an extreme left, Labour govt, however small the possibility, threatening to take us back to the 1970s. The far left now is even worse due to its sympathy and support for terrorism.

    Mr Smith seems to be a dimmer, but oilyer version of Ed Milliband, and just as left wing, if not more so. Corbyn however has been exposed by traingate as a lying humbug as well as snarling and petulant when challenged (so much for the kinder gentler politics!). Sure a few hundred thousand leftists support Corbyn but they will never be more than a small vociferous Minority in the Country.

    So it’s the dim and oily Smith or the lying humbug Corbyn, both threatening Venezuala style socialism. What on Earth are moderate Labour MPS thinking and doing?! They should get out and form a sensible centre left party which constitutes a credible opposition.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 30, 2016

      We had a centre left party under Cameron & Major hopefully we can now get a sensible Tory party for a change. Her Downing street speech was the usual lefty drivel and was hardly encouraging. Why no positive vision from the woman:-

      “If you’re black you are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white.

      “If you’re a white working class boy you’re less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university.

      “If you’re at a state school you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately.

      “If you’re a woman you will earn less than a man.

      “If you suffer from mental health problems, there’s not enough help to hand.

      “If you’re young you will find it harder than ever before to own your own home.

      “But the mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone means more than fighting these injustices. If you’re from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise.”

      She needs to have a motto more like:- “Life’s not fair, just get over it. I will make my government get out of your way, I will lower taxes and regulation and the rest is largely up to you, good luck!

    2. Lifelogic
      August 30, 2016

      Are there any sensible people left in the Labour party, surely it is fewer than about 10?

    3. Andy
      August 30, 2016

      It was ‘moderate’ Labour MPs – people like Frank Field for whom I had previously had sometime – who put Corbyn on the ballot last time round. What we need now is the total destruction of the Labour Party and for it to be replaced by a genuine Liberal Party (not the fake LibDems, who are neither liberal nor believe in democracy). The moderates have destroyed their own party by their stupidity.

      1. Lifelogic
        August 30, 2016

        Indeed people who were actually stood for Freedom, Democracy and Liberty. The opposite of the current Libdims.

      2. Lifelogic
        August 30, 2016

        Frank Field is surely one of the circa 10 sensible labour MPs. Though I suppose being a member of Labour at all rather puts your sense in doubt.

    4. acorn
      August 30, 2016

      “Redwood’s Red Necks, as a reader has called them, have become her essential laugh of the day, since the June 24 Brexit vote. [Middle East Ex-Pats]. We suggest that if you have any ideas about going back to the UK for business purposes, you wait till mid 2017; see how the Brexit dust settles before you commit to any joint venture investment.”

      1. Confused
        August 30, 2016

        Mr Acorn, I don’t understand your post. Is it the rednecks advising this or your friends. Who is this reader laughing every day ?

        1. acorn
          August 31, 2016

          These are UK ex-pats that have set up in the UAE; manufacturing outfits, clothing etc. They are not happy with UK Banksters and now Brexiteers because, UK citizens, could buy a UAE Dirham worth of manufactured goods for 14 pence eight years back. Now UK citizens need 21 pence to buy a Dirham worth of UAE goods.

          They have a similar problem, but not so bad, with the Euro. Somebody has to be blamed; it’s Brexiteer sites this month.

  3. Lifelogic
    August 30, 2016

    Indeed if you look at his 20 pledges and his and “25-point policy for fairness at work” it is surely clear he is even less electable than Corbyn. His contempt for the view of the people and democracy are astonishing.

    No 1 of his pledges is to “create equality of outcome” how can anyone be mad enough to say something as damaging and foolish as that? No incentives then to train, work hard or to achieve as we will have a the same outcome regardless. The alcoholic drug taker can be a doctor, an mp, an astronaut, nuclear engineer or a pilot just as anyone else can. We can all have a house in Chelsea too with a view of the river too I assume!



    1. Know-dice
      August 30, 2016

      Is this all a “smoke and mirrors” plot to make Corbyn look acceptable?

    2. Roy Grainger
      August 30, 2016

      One wonders how he will apply his “equality of outcome” strategy to schooling – scrapping schools entirely would achieve his ambition perfectly.

      1. John C.
        August 30, 2016

        We do have a similar scheme, which is to send everyone to University regardless of ability, so they can jump around in gowns and mortar boards hired for the occasion, and anticipate their first jobs flipping burgers. This is a fine example of equality of outcome, but I imagine it’s more expensive than scrapping education altogether.

  4. Mark B
    August 30, 2016

    Good morning.

    As for as I am concerned, the Labour Party is damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. End of.

    I believe the reason, Owen Smith MP says the things he says, is because he is a Blairite. And like all Blairites he is only interested in getting into power. We have now so many Rotten Boroughs in this country, that just about anyone, no, in fact anyone, can be elected to Parliament. When you have so many ‘safe seats’, no wonder MP’s can hold the electorate and democracy in such contempt.

    1. Peter Parsons
      August 30, 2016

      Safe seats are one of many reasons the system needs fundamental reform. However, it won’t happen because the Conservative and Labour party machines don’t want it to. It’s much easier to fight an election when you can essentially ignore 2/3rds of the country because the FPTP system means the result in those constituencies is a done deal every time, and where you don’t need to come up with policies for the majority, just ones which sway the swing voters in the marginals, hence why we get majority governments voted in by less than a quarter of the electorate.

      As was repeatedly said by both sides in the run up to June 23rd, “every vote counts, every vote is worth the same”. We need the same for Westminster and local elections and that can only be delivered by changing to a PR voting system.

      Reply As Scotland showed, if a dominant party ignores public views it can be wiped out quickly.

      1. Peter Parsons
        August 30, 2016

        Scottish representation at Westminster just highlights how FPTP utterly distorts representation of the electorate. The SNP got less than half the votes in 2015 yet have 95% of the MPs. At least the SNP are willing to admit that this is unfair and are fully signed up to changing it, unlike others who place their own interests and those of their party ahead of the electorate.

    2. acorn
      August 30, 2016

      Simples Mark. MP’s elected for two year terms of office, four terms maximum. All politicians run out of ideas in eight years, they are just party lobby fodder after that; parroting planted questions in the HoC.

      The USA found that out early on. Unfortunately, the US and the UK still have the parasitic Senate and House of Lords as, so called, upper chambers. US Senators spend all day raising funds for their parties. The HoL is the best elderly day care centre on the planet; it actually pays its its clients for turning up would you believe!!! As one of my group says, Select Committees are two years out of date and the HoL is two decades out of date.

      Brexitania is going to be a bit of a struggle with this clapped out 19th Century, management system Queen Victoria bequeathed to us.

      Reply I do not ask planted questions and often found myself in disagreement with Mr Cameron and Osborne.

  5. alan jutson
    August 30, 2016

    Amazing how the Labour Party is crashing and burning of late.

    Given the unlikely event of a second leadership challenge in a couple of years time, where perhaps an electable Labour leader may challenge and beat the winner of this duel, the party will be in opposition until at least 2025, unless of course the Conservatives implode with the Remainers getting their way, and the present Government failing to LEAVE the EU as requested by the majority who voted for that very action.

    Perhaps a big chance here for UKIP to clean up if they can get their act together (does not look good at the moment) as they are the Party that can take votes from both past Conservative and Labour supporters if they really put their mind and policies together.

    Note: I have not used the word Brexit which means so many different things to so many different people.

    LEAVE was the question on the ballot paper, so LEAVE is what we want implemented.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 30, 2016

      Brexit was preceded by Grexit:


      “The term was coined by the Citigroup economist Ebrahim Rahbari and was introduced by Rahbari and Citigroup’s Global Chief Economist Willem H. Buiter on 6 February 2012.”

      However Grexit came to mean two different things: the original meaning where Greece could supposedly leave the eurozone but stay in the EU – that idea soon got knocked on the head, and without any protests from our government even though it would have been in our national interests – and then subsequently the meaning that reflected the legal reality of the EU treaties, where Greece would leave the EU altogether in order to free itself from the euro – which the Greeks were never likely to vote for, as they saw it as being cast into outermost darkness.

      On the other hand the meaning of Brexit is perfectly clear: the UK ceases to be a party to the EU treaties and so ceases to be a member state of the EU. Thus its name is erased from the end of the list of High Contracting Parties to the EU treaties, and similarly from the list in Article 52(1) TEU:


      “The Treaties shall apply to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Estonia, Ireland, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Poland, the Portuguese Republic, Romania, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”

      That is perfectly clear, and there are no grounds for anyone to ask “But what does Brexit mean?”; that is what it means, and that is what the majority voted for on June 23rd. What is much less clear is the content of the new, alternative treaties to which the UK will become a party when it leaves the EU.

      1. alan jutson
        August 31, 2016

        Thanks Dennis.

        But is still prefer the term “Leave”. because that is what was on the ballot paper, and so many politicians think and try to convince themselves and us that Brexit is something different to that which you describe.

  6. eeyore
    August 30, 2016

    “Moderate” Labour MPs, who have only themselves to blame for their leader from hell, are in a truly terrible position. Their party is stolen and they’ll never get it back. Their vote is stolen by the SNP and UKIP – gone for ever. Before the next election they’ll face purging. At the election the survivors will lose their seats anyway.

    On a personal level they must be terrified. An MP’s job is the best most will ever get. A return to the real world would mean ruin.

    Mindless authors of their own destruction, they have no good options left. Perhaps they should just fall on their swords, resign the whip and go for the Chiltern Hundreds en masse, precipitating hundreds of by-elections at once. Those that stood again would need a name, of course. I suggest they copyright “Old Labour”?

    1. Roy Grainger
      August 30, 2016

      Moderate (so called) Labour MPs are entirely 100% to blame. MPs like Sadiq Khan actually nominated Corbyn despite the fact they had no intention of voting for him and enabled him to get on the ballot. Still, I imagine Labour will struggle on as UKIP are equally shambolic and unelectable so Labour has no opposition in Northern England.

  7. JoolsB
    August 30, 2016

    Not only does Smith want to give us a second referendum on Europe but he is also an MP with an Welsh seat who is proposing changes to the English NHS, English education and English housing – all matters which he (and every other Scottish & Welsh Part-time MP) will have NO say on for his own constituents, those who voted for him.

    Brown was allowed to get away with this without a murmur from your lot John, not one word or protest. Oh, if only we had a true Conservative party who cared about England, you know, those who actually vote for them!

  8. acorn
    August 30, 2016

    Your post brings back memories of just how much nicer the Conservative Party is with its leaders.

    “In the event, the Prime Minister scored a convincing victory, polling 218 votes (66%) against Mr Redwood’s 89 (27%) and 8 abstentions. (12 papers were spoilt and there were two non-voters.) Following his re-election John Major had a Cabinet re-shuffle, Mr Redwood was not re-appointed to the new Cabinet.” (BBC: Election 97)

    “Her fall from office, in the way that it came about, was unprecedented. The last prime minister to have been obviously pushed from office was Chamberlain in 1940, but his departure followed a vote on the floor of the House. Mrs Thatcher was the first Prime Minister to be dismissed by her own party through the operation of a formal electoral mechanism. Other prime ministers in the post-war period have been placed under pressure by their own parties, but none have been so clearly pushed from office as was Mrs Thatcher.” (What went wrong? The fall of Mrs Thatcher)

    Reply I stood because the Leader of my party resigned and wanted a contest! He made it clear in Cabinet that those of us who disagreed with him – as I did over the ERM and the EU economic policy – had “to put up or shut up”. As I could never countenance joining the Euro as he could I put up.

    1. acorn
      August 30, 2016

      It was a good try JR, and you should be commended for sticking your neck out, it had to be done and somebody had to do it. You did it. Alas, it put an end to your Rt Hon future in the party. Shame. I reckon, with a little luck and judgement, I/We could have converted you to Modern Monetary Theory!!! Alas, my side are all passed our sell buy dates.

  9. Sir Joe Soap
    August 30, 2016

    I’m less certain about this. With the backing of the PLP, BBC etc, oily could become electable on his phony PR politics, which would be a disaster. It would also keep the Labour party going a little longer, when it should really be put out of its misery and its ex-voters either vote for a bona fide socialist Labour party or a bona fide people’s party, in UKIP.

  10. Nigel
    August 30, 2016

    I don’t think Owen Smith understands any of it.
    He seems to want the Brexit negotiations brought back to parliament, once they have been finalised, which can only happen after article 50 has been triggered. As I understand it, once we trigger article 50, there is no provision for going back to change our minds.
    Corby to win, the party to split and a new centre left party to be set up. It could all take years.

    Let’s get on with the boundary changes and have a more level playing field.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      August 30, 2016

      Dear Nigel–Yes, the boundary changes seem to be taking an inordinately long time; and partly as a consequence have you noticed that they are starting to be referred to as “controversial” boundary changes? One simply cannot drag stuff out. There is no doubt at all that each month that goes by without the Article 50 trigger will be used by the Remaniacs to say, increasingly, that circumstances have changed so the Referendum needs to be “refreshed”. The worst of it is that they would have a point. Even if there is no new Referendum the pressure for some kind of EU compromise will become irresistible.

      Reply The boundary changes are proceeding, but the Boundary Commission has to follow a system of proposal and consultation. They will be in place for 2020.

      1. Roy Grainger
        August 30, 2016

        Not sure I share your optimism about the boundary changes being in place by 2020.

      2. Leslie Singleton
        August 30, 2016

        Question/Comment on Reply–What is it that the Labour Party are saying the Government and/or the Boundary Commission are doing such that their Chief Whip (Rosie Winterton I think the name is) has accused them of gerrymandering?

    2. Denis Cooper
      August 30, 2016

      There is no provision for a country to unilaterally revoke its Article 50 notice that it intends to leave the EU, on the other hand it is pointed out that there is nothing to actually prohibit a notice being revoked. But I don’t think the absence of a prohibition is as important as the absence of a unilateral right of revocation. That would make it a political matter, to be settled through an ad hoc decision taken by the other member state governments. I doubt they would allow the EU’s Court of Justice to decide, they would prefer to decide it themselves during one of their protracted meetings and so present the Court with a fait accompli which it could not easily reverse. So then the question is: how would the other governments react if our government put in its notice that we were leaving, and then later said that it had changed its mind and wanted to stay in after all? It really could not be seen as unreasonable if they were offended by that proposal, and the depth of the offence would inevitably increase with the time and trouble they had already devoted to negotiations on the understanding that we wanted to leave. So Smith’s notion that he would be prepared to support the government putting in the Article 50 notice provided that at the end of the negotiations there would be another referendum in which the electorate would be offered the choice of leaving on the new terms or staying in on the existing terms looks like a non-starter to me, because by then the other governments would not allow the existing terms to be an option. I can see merit in saying that whatever was negotiated would need to be approved by the people in a referendum, not just by Parliament, because that would put pressure on the other governments to make sufficient concessions. But realistically staying in on the present terms could not be an option on the ballot paper; it would have to be a choice between accepting the new terms as negotiated by the government, or directing the government to go back and try to negotiate better terms.

    3. Mark B
      August 30, 2016


      Wrong. Read Section 5 of Article 50.

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 30, 2016

        I have. It says:


        “5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.”

        For a member state like the UK which has accumulated various opt-outs during its membership, each one having been extracted in exchange for not using its veto over some provision(s) of one of the successive amending treaties over the years, leaving the EU and then rejoining will not return it to its previous position because it will not be readmitted with any of the opt-outs that it previously enjoyed. Of course the same problem will not arise for a member state which has no treaty opt-outs to lose.

  11. Denis Cooper
    August 30, 2016

    Forget about how an attempt to block Brexit might go down with Labour members and supporters and possibly damage the party, it’s the Labour MPs who would have votes in Parliament. As would all the Tory MPs who really don’t want us to leave the EU. So I have to take the opposite view, just in case the diehard EU supporters win their legal cases and the Supreme Court rules that the government would be acting ultra vires if it served the Article 50 TEU notice without further parliamentary authorisation.

    I see that another of our unelected legislators-for-life, Lord Hague of Richmond, thinks that the Prime Minister does have the legal power to serve the notice, but nonetheless she should tempt fate by giving MPs the opportunity to prevent her doing so:


    “It seems unlikely that Theresa May has any legal need to ask parliament to approve the invoking of Article 50, which is a matter of royal prerogative to be exercised by ministers. Yet she does have a political need to do so, so that parliament will have made a decision to ratify the referendum outcome, and to forestall debates, plots, motions and laws proposed and promoted by others.

    It would make sense to ask the Commons soon to endorse the start of negotiations early in 2017, if that is indeed the Government’s plan, and to flush out those who wish to flout the result of the referendum. The SNP would no doubt do so, on the grounds that Scotland voted to remain. Labour MPs would have to decide whether they were going to respect the views of many of their own constituencies and the country or not.”

    I won’t go further into the dangerous legal and constitutional implications of such a step, I will just point out that there is a good chance that MPs would refuse to “ratify the referendum outcome”, especially if Owen Smith had become Labour leader.

    And of course there must a suspicion that this is what Hague really wants.

    He also perpetuates a myth favoured by the Remainders, that the Article 50 negotiations would be entirely about minor and even trivial matters – for example, how the pensions of British MEPs will be paid – and the most important single matter of all, trade, would only be dealt with after we had left. I would hope that all concerned would have more common sense than to approach the negotiations back to front in that silly way.

    Reply Parliament is going to have to vote us out of the EU as we need to change legislation. I confidently expect the Commons will vote to do so, recognising the decision of the referendum. Much ink was spilled by Hansard recording the views of practically all MPs before the vote that the government would implement the decision of the voters.

    1. Oggy
      August 30, 2016

      Reply to John, In the unlikely event that legislation to leave the EU passes the Commons it still has to get through the dreadful Lords, of whom many such as Kinnock have openly said they will vote such legislation down. They are unelected and have nothing to fear from the electorate – would the Government be prepared to use the Parliament Act in such a scenario ?

      Reply Yes!

    2. Denis Cooper
      August 30, 2016

      Yes, if we were leaving the EU then parliamentarians would have to vote many times on various pieces of legislation. But the great majority in both Houses do not want us to leave the EU, and unless the effectively irrevocable Article 50 notice had already gone in many of them would be tempted to vote to keep us in the EU. This is not something I am imagining, JR, some have openly said it while others are clearly thinking along those lines. If Theresa May means what she says then it would be madness to allow parliamentarians to vote before they were presented with the fait accompli that the Article 50 notice had been served, so they would no longer have the possibility of voting to defy the verdict of the people.

      Reply The Conservative party will be on a 3 line whip to vote for Brexit. Any rebels will be more than offset by Labour Leavers, Ulster MPs, Douglas Carswell, and a host of Labour abstentions. It is quite likely under Corbyn Labour will officially abstain. After all Corbyn has said the people’s will should be respected.

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 30, 2016

        To be clear about, this is not a conflict between the British people and their Parliament as the central institution of their national democracy, rather it is a conflict between the people and individuals who have been installed in both Houses of their Parliament and who should be removed.

      2. Denis Cooper
        August 30, 2016

        That’s why I would prefer Corbyn to remain leader.

        As I say May would be tempting fate if she followed Hague’s bad advice, and why do that if there is no need? Fortunately I read here:


        “A spokesman for British PM Theresa May said Tuesday there would be no second referendum and no snap election prior to the UK leaving the EU. He also said “there is no legal obligation” for the British parliament to have a say on the issue. “The prime minister is very clear there will be no second referendum … There is no need for a general election either”, he said.”

        Unfortunately I also read here:


        “I wouldn’t bet on Brexit, says commissioner Oettinger”

        “The UK might not leave the EU if its economy tanks in the run-up to exit talks, Germany’s EU commissioner Gunther Oettinger has told newspaper Bild. “It’s possible that public opinion will tip if the economic situation in the wake of the Brexit vote worsens,” he said. “In any case, I wouldn’t place any major bets on Brexit.” The UK is expected to start the talks early next year.”

      3. DaveM
        August 30, 2016

        To Reply: As easy as it is to be cynical about this, surely the feeling must be – in your party – that overturning the Brexit vote would be political suicide for MPs. Particularly in light of the fact that Africa is emptying into Italy and migrant quotas are almost certain to be imposed by the EU dictatorship, as well as France’s continued pathetic threats to send the Jungle to Kent. Not to mention the EU’s vindictive attitude towards Apple and its possible effect on Ireland’s economy.

  12. Denis Cooper
    August 30, 2016

    Here’s a strange, illogical statement coming from spokeswoman for accountants:


    “Anton Colella, chief executive of accountancy body Icas, said: “The UK’s finance leaders have sent a strong and clear message on their priorities to the government’s Brexit negotiating team – British business relies on Europe for its talent pool. The freedom to hire and retain talented people from around Europe must therefore be a crucial part of the government’s Brexit negotiations.”

    Does she suppose that we will have to negotiate a deal with the other governments so that they will permit their citizens to come and work here? Are they going to need exit visas, like the old Soviet Union? Barmy.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 30, 2016

      Sorry, she is a he.

    2. forthurst
      August 30, 2016

      ICAS is a the Scottish (’nuff said) body which describes itself as an educator of Chartered Accountants.

      There is an apparent doublethink amongst those who do not like national borders which is that on the one hand we are told that our tertiary education system is one of the best in the world and has sufficient capacity to be a substantial hard currency earner, but on the other that we need to scour the world for the essential talent to keep our economy and our public services running.

      Insofar as we are not able to train enough of our professional and technical specialists, that is a national disgrace whose resolution Justine Greening needs to prioritise above other such obvious essentials as achieving a strict 50/50 split of women on all courses and ensuring that poor academic performance is no bar to those of alien ancestry being ‘excluded’.

      Bliar was keen that universities were more financially self-sufficient which meant taking foreign students on higher fees than followed native students; of course either he or his advisors would have known and intended that this would have excluded English people from expensive courses which are just the ones which are essential for the country to replenish the English middle class to maintain the standards of performance and conduct on which the rest of the people depend and expect.

      1. forthurst
        August 30, 2016

        …and to being ‘excluded’.

      2. Denis Cooper
        August 30, 2016

        Yes, that is one of the many paradoxes in the Remain case.

  13. margaret
    August 30, 2016

    This reverse thinking is too complex for the love Corbyn labour proselytes John. Lets continue on as honest a path as we can, although by stating the obvious you have been honest .I like Corbyn but I am not sure his style is suitable for the 21st century.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    August 30, 2016

    I agree wholeheartedly with your description of Smith’s loathing of democracy. Other Labour MPs also share his anti-democratic authoritarian approach. There are a few Labour MPs who are worth listening to but they will never be asked to lead their party.

  15. McBryde
    August 30, 2016

    It looks like the establishment is trying to do what happened in Ireland…. i.e. give the UK the chance to make the right choice after getting it wrong the first time.

    What was it that changed the mind of the Irish? I think there had been an all out deluge of fear from the media [and probably some manipulation of the nation’s financial situation, I expect].

    1. Handbags
      August 30, 2016

      Don’t worry – if we have another vote they’ll lose by an even bigger margin.

      The ‘deluge of fear from the media’ didn’t work the first time and it certainly won’t work if they try it again.

  16. Anonymous
    August 30, 2016

    The fact is that even when conservative (small ‘c’) people get to elect their candidates (a Tory government) or win referenda (the vote to Leave) we get “Ah. You’ve won but we really have to think about the desires of the people who lost too.”

    So we end up following more or less the same policies as we did before.

    We are not leaving the EU.

    The Left always win in a society which is well fed and comfortable.

    Let’s not have a second referendum. The 2016 result is our high point – if it stands at least have destroyed the mandate for ever closer union and can show that the federalists are anti democratic as they push ahead. If we have a second referendum and lose it we’ll be more EU than ever.

    They’d accuse me of being anti democratic for not having referenda until it delivers their result. It’s how the devious (people ed) work.

    1. Anonymous
      August 30, 2016

      The leading Left are rich and live lives of privilege.

      They leave huge estates to their families and use selective schooling.

      They avoid tax and use expensive speciallists to help them do so legally. Corbyn is well off despite his claims to be otherwise. We have proof that recently deceased Labour grandees left great legacies to their families. Tony Benn was one of them.

      Why do we even listen to these people – let alone allow them in high office demanding policies that they clearly do not believe in themselves ?

    2. Anonymous
      August 30, 2016

      “The Left always win in a society which is well fed and comfortable.”

      The only people with the time and energy to stir up trouble are the romantic Leftist ideologues backed up by bank of mum and dad.

      The rest of us are too busy working to keep families going or build careers doing real work and “Well. Broadly everything is OK so I’m not going to smash the place up that I’ve done so much to help build.”

      1. Mitchel
        August 30, 2016

        @Anonymous -“…..romantic Leftwing ideologues….”?

        Maybe that’s what the footsoldiers are (or perhaps just bored teenagers) but the leaders of the hard left movement ,I would say,have always been very calculating and very middle class – and fundamentally frauds,seeking only to replace an elite they have been excluded from with one of their own making.

        The closest Karl Marx got to a proletarian was impregnating the maid of his (very aristocratic) wife.Even at the start of the socialist movement it was recognised by it’s more clear sighted members,like Mikhail Bakunin,who in 1872 at the First Socialist International broke away from Marx and formed the Anarchist faction(when anarchism was a serious political philosophy!) that Marx’s authoritarian big state ideology was no solution to oppression:-

        “They the Marxists maintain that only a dictatorship-their dictatorship- can create the will of the people,while our answer to this is:no dictatorship can have any other aim but that of self-perpetuation and it can beget only slavery in the people tolerating it;freedom can only be created by freedom,that is,by a universal rebellion on the part of the people and free organisation of the toiling mass from the bottom up”(Statism & Anarchy ,1872).

        “The state has always been the patrimony of some priveleged class:a priestly class,an aristocratic class,a bourgeois class.And finally,when all the other classes have exhausted themselves,the state becomes the patrimony of the bureaucratic class and then falls-or,if you will,rises to the position of a machine”.

        That is one of the most prescient political statements I have ever read.We appear to be on the border between the bureaucratic class and the machine,with Osborne seeking to push us over by contacting out as much of our lives as possible to the technology companies that he loved so much but probably did not remotely understand.

  17. Bert Young
    August 30, 2016

    The problems with the Labour Party will go on ad infinitum ; they have been out of touch with the real public for some time . Corbyn is not a dynamic leader and it is understandable why he has promulgated resentment amongst his MPs ; nevertheless , he was elected by a majority of votes according to the rules the Labour Party made , so , he has every right to remain in office .

    Owen Smith seems a nasty kettle of fish – one whom I would not trust an inch ; his statement that he would over-rule the Brexit vote were he ” in charge ” , would cause a minor revolution in the country . Our democracy is at the top of my list of real independence .

  18. Iain Gill
    August 30, 2016

    I find it fairly easy to find overcrowded Virgin trains, I am surprised the Labour party find it so hard they have to fabricate it.

    Pity they dont show someone waiting all day in the dirty and rude NHS they talk about as if it were a religion.

  19. agricola
    August 30, 2016

    Trying to choose between the qualities of J Corbyn or O Smith is about as important as opting for ketchup or brown sauce on your burger. Neither will resonate with those who traditionally voted Labour because Labour ignored them during Brexit. You cannot say “Up Yours” to the electorate and then expect them to flock to your support. The great unwashed vociferous demo participants might confirm either of them to the leadership, but what will they be leading. A parliamentary party that has little time for either of them, a ranting membership, and an electorate that realises they have no answers to their needs. The winners could be those who wish to shape a truly Conservative country, but how many of those do we have.

    1. Handbags
      August 30, 2016

      The SNP did for the Labour party – and the boundary changes will finish the job.

      The internet has broken the dominance of the mainstream media and enabled people to access different opinions – and as a result the world has moved to the right.

      The left still get an inordinate amount of sympathetic TV coverage – but in the real world they are dead – and as new people come into TV-land the old guard will eventually die-off there too.

  20. Mike Wilson
    August 30, 2016

    The winners could be those who wish to shape a truly Conservative country, but how many of those do we have.

    Shudder. I wonder what a ‘truly Conservative country’ looks like. From what I have seen of ‘true Conservatives’ over the years it would be a nasty, dog-eat-dog sort of place. Which is why I have only voted Conservative once in my life – in 1979 when I couldn’t take any more. I can’t vote Labour – as they have proved time and time again they could not organise a drinks party in a brewery? But, can the Tories?

    The deficit is still climbing and climbing. We never had a bonfire of the QUANGOs. No real reforms. No sense, yet, that councils need to be forced to cut waste instead of being allowed to cut front-line services.

    It’s high time we had some fresh faces and ideas in politics. But we will never get it while the Tories and Labour have a stranglehold on power courtesy of the first past the post system.

    Reply FPTP produced an SNP landslide in Scotland GE.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      August 30, 2016

      FPTP produced an SNP landslide in Scotland GE.

      No need to remind us here in Scotland John. Living with it is a nightmare.

    August 30, 2016

    Living in a Labour area, it actually hurts, really, seeing the anti-Corbyn camp in Parliament. Irrespective of your own politics, you still have a deep almost instinctive empathy for Labour. You WANT to believe in Labour.

    Mr Corbyn is OLD Labour. Nothing wrong with that.
    He was democratically elected by a landslide. He was bullied by Labour MPs to go against the idea of leaving the EU. Not being involved with European big business interests ( the EU ) , being for Brexit, is genetic-Labour.

    The UK needs political parties which are distinguishable one from the other:-
    Mr Corbyn is ridiculed for a whole host of policies but memory serves to tell that CND has always been a central theme of Labour with many Labour MP advocates. People think he is unelectable because of his stance on Trident and defence. Call it “insane”. The SNP is in power with that self-same policy—overwhelmingly in power.Mr Corbyn can win a UK national election. No doubt of that. Nationalisation may be wrong but it is for each generation to go through the experience.
    Therefore, I would wish Mr Corbyn well and his Labour Party. A most worthy opponent. Much harder to beat than the 171 “Labour” MPs. They’re too easy.

  22. bigneil
    August 30, 2016

    You use the term ” hatred of democracy ” – didn’t Cameron and Bliar just ignore democracy? Both got voted in on what they SAID they would do – then did the opposite. It seems Mrs May is in the same pattern. I see a GE coming based on a promise of triggering Article 50 happening on her re-election. She is going to be just as bad as those who have gone before.
    Enjoy Britain while you can – soon it will be covered in houses to cater for the (many migrants ed) heading here.

  23. forthurst
    August 30, 2016

    “More crucial is Mr Smith’s obvious distaste for national democracy.”

    Cleary Mr Smith believes Labour supporters are too stupid to vote for what is best for them; that an overwhelming majority of Labour constiuencies containing Labour’s traditional supporters voted to Leave with significant majorities was their mistake contingent on believing that pressure on housing, medical and educational services was in any way related to mass uncontrolled immigration whose effects they saw around them when Mr Smith knows perfectly well that all these problems can so obviously be attributed to ‘Tory cuts’ insofar as there is a bottomless pit of money which can be called on to satisfy the demands for more services and infrastructure to accommodate an unmoderated influx of unskilled etc ed people who have nothing to offer this country than higher profits for exploitative businesses and, in due course, votes for unpatriotic Blairite politicians such as himself.

  24. Antisthenes
    August 30, 2016

    Left wing politicians come across to me as being in the least rational part of the sanity spectrum. They delude themselves into believing that socialising everything is the panacea that will solve all of life’s problems. Even ignoring the fact that that method fully or in part has and is being tried with very damaging results. In fact it fails wherever it is tried. This is so easily observable that it is astounding that anyone pays attention to them but many do even letting them govern us from time to time. The results of which are generally very damaging.

    Corbyn or Smith for leader of the loyal opposition hardly bears thinking about. Grown up politics is not one of their attributes and a Labour leader needs at the least the veneer that they are sensible and have some grasp on reality which they do not. Blair had that and he did act statesmen like even if underneath none of it applied.

    We do need a strong opposition it assists in keeping government honest and accountable. As that has to be Labour (or UKIP possibly they do have some attractive ideas) as the rest of the likely candidates SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru etc., would be an even worse choice then the choice of leader is important.

    Neither is good for the country but Corbyn is best for the Conservatives as Oily Smith will flow to position himself in any popularist corner to gain votes and may succeed in becoming prime minister. As you point out he has delusions of grandeur as he believes not in democracy or that the will of the people should be obeyed. Coupled with his other flawed thinking him entering no 10 would be totally disastrous for the people of the UK.

    Whoever is elected Labour leader the Conservatives should be able to capitalised on his failings as they will be numerous and the policies he would wish to follow if in government will be ridiculously damaging. Corbyn will be predictable . Smith will not and will be devious. So to keep Labour out of office for the Conservatives Corbyn is the best choice. Corbyn even if he wins he is unlikely to be still leader in 2020 but the silver lining is that whilst he is leader Labour will be in continuous turmoil.

  25. Peter Stroud
    August 30, 2016

    The fact that Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith are the two contenders for the Labour leadership shows the country just how low the party has sunk over recent years. I was still at school when, after the war, the Labour government came to power. My parents were Conservatives and I followed their lead. Naturally the1945 Labour government did many things with which we disagreed. However, the leading politicians at that time were giants compared with the likes of Owen Smith and Corbyn. We saw Ernie Bevin make sure this country still sat at the top table by insisting that we produce our own atomic weapons. Aneurin Bevan succeeded in forming the NHS, against much opposition. and Prime Minister Clement Atlee led the government and country through its many post war problems, with quiet but firm leadership.

    This country must have a viable Opposition now, and after 2020, but the Labour Party as it is cannot provide this. And we must not forget that when Corbyn stands down, as he surely will, we have the significant probability that the shadow chancellor will take his place. A dreadful thought.

  26. Richard Butler
    August 30, 2016

    Come the GE Labour will be wiped out as the official opposition on account of their MP’s being profoundly disconnected from the public mood, particularly on immigration, mass benefits culture and foreign aid.

    UKIP with the right leader, Dianne James for example, will become the official opposition. However, if May fails to reduce immigration during this term and persists in handing over foreign aid (Africa has had $3 trillion over 50 years with little to show for it, and peoples that continue to prefer Europe), the Tories will take a significant hit.

  27. William Long
    August 30, 2016

    If you get your wish, or even if you don’t, it is hard to see Labour becoming a potential party of Government in the foreseeable future. However to make sure of that, I do hope UKIP can get its act together in the post Farage era to provide a home for pro Brexit Labour voters who are not going to support the Conservatives at any price.

  28. ian
    August 30, 2016

    There will be only two leaders offering democracy at the next election and they both in party leadership election at this time, one is labours leader Mr J Corbyn and Mrs D James of ukip that if they win, there is one another which is free parliament, so as you can see democracy is coming, to vote for the con party is a vote for the elite and the establishment, to vote for smith labour party is also a vote for the elite and establishment just like voting for libdem but a vote for Corbyn party is a vote for people and democracy same as a vote for James ukip party which will be for the people and democracy with free parliament.

    All that you see in the media is about hard left taking over the labour party, it is all BS, the same as the hard right in ukip, the media will be putting up a fight for the elite and the establishment to stop democracy from theses two parties and free parliament from upsetting the status quo in parliament so the elite and the establishment can carry on as if the people are not there as they cut away services and make more money available for banks, companies and oversea projects and of cos themselves.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      August 30, 2016

      I really like Diane James. She comes across as competent and dedicated to democracy and knows what the people of this country are crying out for. UKIP would go far with her at the helm. The other parties had better watch their backs.

  29. Mick
    August 30, 2016

    And if labour under any of these muppets god forbid ever get near power again then this
    Would be our navy rounding them up and bringing them here, but hopefully like myself will have seen through the labour/Libs /snp/greens and any other come on in the waters lovely party and kick them into touch at the next GE because they do not believe in democracy or the people of this great country the UK

  30. Peter Davies
    August 30, 2016

    Whats interesting is that his own constituency voted out of the EU, so it will be interesting how they react come election time

  31. ian
    August 30, 2016

    The only thing the BOE can provide is welfare for the wealthy, TTIP is dead in europe with the eu wanting 13 billion from apple to go to ireland.

  32. fedupsoutherner
    August 30, 2016

    ‘ If however all we do is have votes and second votes, in a permanent state of indecision, government can never get on and do anything and the country drifts.’

    Just like Scotland then. The SNP have put Scotland into a perpetual state of unknown outcome and wonder why their deficit is so bad! They are purely in power to disrupt Westminster and cause as many problems for everyone as they can. Labour would do the same and call a second referendum so the country would not know what they were doing and neither would the EU. All 3 main participants in the latest debacle within the Labour party, Corbyn, Macdonald and Smith are (unpleasant people? ed) would do best to crawl under the nearest rock. I hope UKIP get their act together and steal their thunder. At least we would know Brexit would happen.

  33. Lynn Lloyd-Jones
    August 30, 2016

    We Conservatives should be eternally thankful for Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith. Whichever one of them wins the labour leadership election, the future looks bright for Gt Britain under a Conservative government for the foreseeable future.

  34. ian
    August 30, 2016

    The next election after 2019 will be about democracy and people v the elite and establishment, it the con party and the libdems with smith who will be changing not the now labour leader or the new ukip leader because they will be the new parties for democracy and people, it is the con party that is dead unless it changes and rewrites if rule book for member and democracy.

    Myself i do not like party but you have to make a start somewhere to get democracy for the people of this country

  35. Denis Cooper
    August 30, 2016

    I’ve just seen Sky News saying that the Italian coastguard and charities are “effectively almost operating a kind of ferry service” for illegal immigrants.

    Well done to them for finally spotting that.

    That was after a long item on the problems at Calais, which of course have nothing at all to do with what is going on in the Mediterranean.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      August 30, 2016

      Denis. Yes, my thoughts are that the French have brought this problem upon themselves. They should have sent the illegal immigrants back to Italy or wherever they came from. The first country they land in should either accept them or take them back and not saddle everyone else with it. Merkel has a lot to answer for giving them all an open door. If the French insist on sending them all to us then we should put them on the next ferry back and tell them it is their problem. It is more than obvious that most of those at Calais are not refugees but chancers who just want to get into the UK for all the freebies that no doubt will be offered to them. I think most of us are sick to death of propping up half the world.

      1. Original Richard
        August 30, 2016


        But it it is also necessary that the UK government removes all illegal immigrants that arrive or are found living here to demonstrate that arrival does not mean they can stay.

        The flow of migrants from North Africa could be stopped in a couple of weeks if our European governments were prepared to tow them in their boats back to Libyan waters.

        If necessary the boats can be patched up to make seaworthy and filled with fuel and the migrants given any necessary medical treatment prior to being towed back.

        With their mobile ‘phones it would not take long for the news to get back home to give the news of the changed circumstances.

        In fact, when will our government and media start to admit that these migrants are not being “trafficked” or being forced to make the journey across the Mediterranean ?

        The migrants are paying large sums of money to make the trip !

        1. stred
          August 31, 2016

          I watched the BBC World News while in France and they interviewed the UN refugees agency person, another Irishman, who confirmed that international law requires economic migrants to be treated as refugees. In which case they have to be taken to a ‘safe’ place and processed- ie stay permanently. The charities picking up the overloaded wooden boats then leave the boats empty,and leave for Italy. Presumably,the traffickers then tow them back to be used for the next highly profitable trip, all thanks to international law that no-one except unelected politicians has a say in.

          1. stred
            August 31, 2016

            Just a thought. Tunisia is a ‘safe place’ even nearer than Italy. They are short of cash as Isis has messed up the holiday business. Why not pay them to open up a refugee processing industry offering safe tickets south. No doubt the UN bosses and big business needing cheap labour would be all against such a naughty idea.

          2. Original Richard
            August 31, 2016

            The UN’s Peter Sutherland (ex Goldman Sachs employee), special representative for migration, has the idea that anyone can live in any country of their choice and hence has persuaded the UN to make a “law” that says that economic migrants should be treated as refugees.

            However, the people of Europe need to realise fast that unless they ignore this “law” then with 200m + people in the Middle East and 1.2bn in Africa then living in Europe will eventually become akin to living today in these two parts of the world.

  36. mickc
    August 30, 2016

    We, we await hearing how the May govrnment intends to comply with the will of the people. Reports that Hammond wishes to stay in the Single Market do not augur well….but accord with May’s record. Throughout her career she has been much talk, little performance.
    I fear she is simply Cameron in kitten heels.
    Corbyn, at least, believes in democracy; that belief will serve him well. Contrary to the mainstream view, Corbyn is very much electable.

    Reply I think the government understands that the EU wider definition of the single market includes freedom of movement and contributions, so we will leave. I doubt the press pieces are the view of the Chancellor who has not yet spoken much on this topic.

    1. mickc
      August 30, 2016

      I hope you are right.

      If so, your Party, formerly also mine, will have recovered a vote.

    2. Denis Cooper
      August 30, 2016


      “UK cannot have and eat EU cake”

      “The main battleground is clear: between ministers who want to prioritise migration and border control, and those for whom unfettered access to the single market trumps all.”

      “In either case, a political or economic price will have to be paid.”

      “Faced with an EU that has its own future to consider, the UK’s two main demands: migration control and single market access are irreconcilable.”

      All of this can be turned round; the EU cannot have and eat UK cake.

      How can the other countries reasonably expect to have unfettered access to the UK’s lucrative market to run their trade surplus, AND the virtually unqualified right for all their citizens to settle in the UK, AND the payment of annual tribute set at levels they determine, AND also control over half of our laws?

      As I said yesterday these are not unlike the peace terms that a conqueror might impose on a conquered people, and we are not a conquered people.

  37. ian
    August 30, 2016

    When i hear, it the hard left that always win and it the hard left that always get their way, i want to remind people that hard left have never been in control of parliament and have never had any policies from the hard left have ever been voted on in parliament, you could say the same thing about hard right, it just media talk, you are where you are because the elite and establishment who take control of labour and the con party when they win elections and the party do their biding under the cloak of democracy which leave the people with all the debts to pay on behalf of the elite and the establishment, all the thing you the people complain about come from the centre of politics where the media and the elite and establishment rule over you.

  38. Antisthenes
    August 30, 2016

    I have just heard a BBC correspondent tell us that the UK French bilateral agreement on border control is under doubt because of Brexit. That Cameron’s warning that Brexit would mean the end of French cooperation is proving true. The man is either a scoundrel or deluded as the agreement is nothing to do with the EU but about the pressure of the jungle in Calais and mass immigration in general. This tension was bound to rise even if we had voted to remain and nearing elections French politicians are certain to capitalise on it. He is the sort of person that can make one wish for a Ministry of Truth and where I would gladly administer to him personally. BBC impartial. Total rubbish a fairy story the left have made up.

  39. John Booth
    August 30, 2016

    Allegations deleted ed.

    It would seem from this that Owen Smith is just a stooge for Blair. It is for this reason that I hope to God that Smith does not win the leadership of the Labour Party as that will mean Blair is back pulling the strings.

  40. bigneil
    August 30, 2016

    Off topic

    have just read of a boss of a failing NHS trust stepping down – then being given another job on same pay etc – – See the merry go round still rolls on for those with their (access to the patronage ed) -disgusting

  41. fedupsoutherner
    August 30, 2016

    Off Topic. 7,000 migrants rescued from the Med today. Is someone having a laugh? Why don’t they just lay on ferries for the whole of Africa to come to Europe? I wonder how many will make it to the UK. The vast majority were of course men.

  42. ian
    August 30, 2016

    The SNP is at the top of it power and there is only one way for it to go and that is down, they are now on the way out because they have done nothing for the people of scotland and never will.
    The labour leader with a few con party MPs will be taking the fight to the SNP with the labour coming out on top because they like him and what he means for democracy, the labour leader has no policies he has ideas but to become policies the membership of the labour will have to vote on his ideas before they become policy, the member can put forward ideas themselves to be voted on, even if the labour leader is PM he can still be voted out by the membership, to say that Mr Corbyn is the leader of the party is wrong, thanks to Mr Corbyn the membership will be leading the party and making policy with one member one vote, the same as ukip are hoping to bring out for their membership to be in control of the party.

    You see someone or something is changing politics in this country and the people writing on this blog have yet to see it because the change is so big with the media leading a furious attack on the new democracy coming from Mr corbyn, Mrs D James and free parliament, the media with elite and establishment doing all they can to stop it, the media is refusing to report on what is happening to politics in this country only to say it left and right are bad.

    You will see next year if the two new leader win and roll out democracy for the people with you in control of Mr Corbyn labour and Mrs D James ukip and if one of them win the next election which unlikely at this point in time that puts you the people in control of parliament, the way it was always meant to be.

  43. fedupsoutherner
    August 30, 2016

    So, we have another failed NHS Chief Executive being rewarded (despite problems at her Trust ed). Katrina Percy of Southern Health is stepping down but still keeps her disgusting highly salary in a new position. Probably a case of less responsibility and the same money. How can a salary of over £200,000 be justified? No wonder the NHS is in financial trouble. Too many failing employees on too higher wage. I am disgusted that she has kept any kind of job let alone one that pays an inflated salary. Hardly a lesson learnt. More like, don’t do your job properly but still get rewarded.

  44. Original Richard
    August 30, 2016

    Labour’s support for Mr. Cameron/Mr. Osborne, the bankers, the corporates and the World’s elites to remain in the EU coupled with their support for uncontrolled immigration will make them unelectable just as they were during Mr. Foot’s leadership with his policy for unilateral nuclear disarmament.

  45. ChrisS
    August 30, 2016

    The left, currently in the ascendancy in the Labour party, is operating under a collective illusion.

    In order to be PM, Blair knew he had to win over Conservative-leaning voters in England, or at least make them think that a labour Government led by him would do them no harm.
    In this he was correct and won three elections as a result.

    However, he already had 30+ seats in Scotland in the bank and a constituency system that heavily favoured Labour with its large number of inner city constituencies where it took half the number of voters to elect a Labour MP than it took for a Conservative MP to be elected in the Shires.

    The SNP have destroyed Labour in Scotland and boundary changes will make the task much harder in England and Wales. In all, it’s likely that Labour under Corbyn or Owen will start the campaign with a 60-70 seat disadvantage compared with Blair.

    It therefore makes it even more crucial for Labour to win over small c conservative supporters in England to get over the line and win power.

    Yet what is happening is precisely the opposite !

    Neither Corbyn or Owen is showing an sign of moderating their message to win over English swing voters – in fact their far left policies are scaring away many English voters and they seem to be absolutely delighted to push Pro-Brexit traditional Labour voters into the hands of UKIP.

    Can they win ? With the SNP, Boundary Changes and an even-longer 2020 version of The-Longest-Suicide-Note-In-History in preparation, it seems an impossible task.

    Yet the biggest illusion of all is the traditional cry of the British left :

    “Just one more push : we only lost last time because our policies were not Socialist enough” !

    Good luck to them !

  46. A different Simon
    August 30, 2016

    Whilst talking about people who exhibit contempt towards democracy , it would be remiss not to mention (a named Lib Dem)

    One cannot help but notice that these establishment traitors live luxurious lives which seem incompatible with the relatively modest salaries their jobs would have commanded .

    Where is their money coming from ?

    Reply Usually from legal and declared sources

  47. Peter
    August 31, 2016

    <apropos the original article): "Beautifully put, Mr Redwood!"

  48. Lindsay McDougall
    August 31, 2016

    That’s how I see it too.

    If Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell were prepared to finance their increased public expenditure honestly and were prepared to accept Brexit and immigration control, Labour might even be electable.

    There is already a generational clash in the UK. Mr Corbyn could exploit it by saying that he would treat the retired elderly less generally, ending the triple lock on state pensions and making pensioner perks subject to taxation. Manna to the young.

    He could also end ring fencing of protected ministries, be prepared to increase the standard rate of income tax or employer and employee NI, and cancel the proposed cuts in corporation tax.

    Mr Smith has promised to ‘end austerity’ with a £200 infrastructure investment fund, financed how? Not even Nye Bevan would have been so foolish.

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