Ken Purchase our Former Member of Parliament here in Wolverhampton North East likes to keep in touch with Wednesfield North Members, and he has recently sent me this ‘commentary’ on the current political situation here in the Labour Party.
My personal view of this commentary is that it goes right to the kernel of the chatter that we are seeing taking place across the local and national media. Its because he is so Germaine with his point that I want to share it in this way, which is perhaps a shade more public than normal. Please read the comments.
Wolverhampton North East Labour Political Commentary
Compare: Contrast: Consider
Residents of Belgravia, London, live on average into their nineties, compared with
residents of Stockton on Tees who on average, live to fifty-nine.
Since 2010 the largest house builders have improved their profits, but since 2010 the number of people sleeping on the street has doubled in London and has risen sharply everywhere.
Banker’s bonuses paid in 2014/15 bounced back to pre-crash record levels(£42.4bn). Also in 2014/15, the Trussell Trust handed out 3,253,812 days food supplies to hungry families.
Seven of the world’s largest investment banks paid just £21m tax on £3.6bn of British made profits and five others paid none. Meanwhile local government is forced to cut essential welfare spending putting children and the elderly at serious risk.
The above are just four examples of many injustices in Tory Britain today, all arising from the widening inequality Jeremy Corbyn pledged to attack when winning an overwhelming majority for his leadership campaign. But wait a minute; attacking inequality has been the pledge of the whole of the Labour Party since its foundation more than a 100 years ago. So with such important work to do, and an election to win before the work can even start, the foolish internal bickering following Corbyns undisputed win must stop and all efforts directed to exposing the social and economic cost of right wing toryism. And what a cost.
More families are homeless and stuck in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation caused by the Bedroom Tax and other benefit cuts and which together with dwindling available council housing stock, is bringing destitution to the most vulnerable. Cuts to flood defences are being paid for by terrible scenes of destruction and misery in northern England and the borders. Vital long-term environmental work on renewable energy sources is abandoned to the false god of deficit reduction.
But deficit or no, more companies join the long list of corporate tax avoiders, and the Tories have abandoned the much-needed review into the role of their friends and supporters who control the banking and finance industry. So profits and city bonuses are soaring while the pay and working conditions of the back office and shop floor staff regress. Welcome to the 2016 world of Eton toff David Cameron and his anointed successor toff George Osborne (St Paul’s School founded 1509 , fees £30,000pa).
Meanwhile well directed attacks made on spiteful Tory austerity measures, like the successful campaigns on tax credits and police spending cuts, are blanked out by daily reports of internal Party backstabbing. Or as one new MP would have it, “front stabbing.” Nice eh? While Corbyn supporters are busy feeding the rumour mill with talk of revenge sackings from Labour’s Front Bench team, his opponents sell their political souls with disobliging articles and threats of splits to the Daily Mail (dubbed the ‘Forgers Gazette’ in Michael Foot’s brilliant put-down). P eter Mandelson in the Guardian as good as calls for rebellion while accusing Corbyn of promoting a one-party state. Sentiments well suited to Mail readers.
Labour’s factional warriors are so busy wounding each other they forget to turn the spotlight on the Tory measures designed to over-reward the few at the expense of the many. Labour’s supporters despair with Labour infighting because they know personally of elderly widows unable to repair their homes or they have twenty and thirty something sons and daughters thwarted by unaffordable rents and house prices. And who doesn’t know someone earning the minimum wage unable to enjoy even a minimum lifestyle. No press coverage for these examples of Tory economic failure. Not while Labour offers juicy copy.
Shouldn’t Labour be angry that there are beggars on our streets and people without shelter sleeping rough? Shouldn’t Labour be angry with an economic system that allows companies to pay starvation wages and no tax? Anger, even the most righteous is not of course sufficient. I did not vote for Jeremy Corbyn but I share enough of Labour’s core values with both him and with Peter Mandelson to say; Jeremy Corbyn is the Leader of the Labour Party, and it is and begin the long road to social and economic justice for all. That shared goal is Labour’s heartbeat. All other considerations are secondary.