Labour under Sir Keir Starmer have repeatedly shown they are not just unfit for opposition, but are actually no opposition at all. In the latest vote against freedom, the new leader has said his party will abstain. Just a cluster of hard left MPs are expected to join the rebel Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs in voting against the restrictions, which will now come into force tomorrow.
In effect, Sir Keir is stating that his party does not have an opinion on what is about to befall 99% of England. Only Cornwall and the Isle of Wight escape tyrannical measures which place heavy restrictions on our way of life. His action, however, ensures that Boris Johnson will avoid defeat once more.
Sir Keir said, “Coronavirus remains a serious threat to the public’s health and that’s why Labour accept the need for continued restrictions.”
He then added “We still don’t have a functioning testing system, public health messaging is confused, and businesses across the country are crying out for more effective economic support to get them through the winter months.”
To that, I have to say, he is only partially right. Public health messaging is, indeed, confused. The ever-changing regulations resemble the actions of a Prime Minister who is no longer in control, being pulled this way and that by advisors and cabinet members, each with their own agenda.
Businesses, on the other hand, are not crying out for support, they are crying out to be allowed to trade. Wet-led pubs are the worst hit (again) and have to remain completely closed even though figures on Sky News suggested the whole hospitality industry was responsible for just 1.8% of infections. The BBC even reported that the ‘R’ rate has now dropped below 1 again.
Many a historical rebellion was hatched in an ale house and the ludicrous requirement of a substantial meal merely gives ammunition to conspiracy theorists who claim the government just does not want people talking to each other apart from online where they can be monitored.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “I would urge all MPs right across the House to vote for the tiered system,” saying it would prevent a third lockdown. What else is this new tier system if 99% of us are in lockdown measures?
Labour have proved themselves incapable of providing an opposition. They and the Tories are, as a friend of mine often puts it, “resemble two cheeks of the same smacked backside”. Labour were born to support workers and jobs, now they are helping to destroy both. What’s needed is a new, freedom-loving way, or it will all end in tiers.
Martin Day – Party Secretary