The Andrew Marr Show and the Sunday Politics today were most revealing. Primarily in showing up the Labour Party. John McDonnell admitted the division in Labour over Brexit and confirmed, unintentionally I'm sure, that his party is playing it by ear and trying to please all the people all the time. The lack of a Labour policy was underlined by Diane Abbott's woeful and evasive performance on the Sunday Politics. Labour is clearly the party of muddled thinking. Nothing underlined that more strongly than John DcDonnell's suggestion that each bit of the negotiation be voted on by parliament as things progress. A better recipe for undermining the negotiators and prolonging the chaos is hard to imagine.
Diane Abbott did confirm that Labour 'respects the outcome of the referendum and will not block the triggering of article 50'. Personally I don't respect the referendum. If I was sold a computer and told it had an i7 processor only to find once I got it home that it had an i3 processor I'd take it back. The appalling lies told in the referendum led to Brexit winning the vote, but not the debate, which included too many deliberate falsehoods.
The same is likely to happen in parliament. Clearly Labour won't block the triggering of article 50, they respect the lies told in the referendum, I wonder what that tells us about them. Anyhow it makes the ongoing court case, the result of which should be revealed during the week a little irrelevant, unless their Lordships give the devolved government Scotland more of a say. That could put the cat among the pigeons, even if more chaos is not really going to help anyone, but then that's what a vote for Brexit was, a vote for chaos.
Mrs May did not fare much better in the face of difficult questions than the Labour contributors this morning. She blatantly refused to answer on the question of whether she knew about a Trident test firing failure, before the commons debate on Trident, not clever, not even a sensible reason for not answering which would at least have earned a modicum of respect. No answer again on the Social Care crisis in the county where her health secretary and chancellor are MPs and where a Conservative council is calling a local referendum to try and raise Council Tax by a staggering 15%. And, crucially no answer as to her vision for the UK, if, as seems likely in my view, she cannot get what she, and parliament, consider to be a good deal for Britain in the divorce negotiations.
You can be sure that whatever deal she gets there will be politicians queuing up to derail it for their own personal ambitions just as Gove, Johnson et al chose personal career ambitions above national interest in the recent dishonest debacle instigated by Mr Cameron. Mrs May also effectively admitted she wouldn't be talking to President Trump about womens' issues, clearly she values the fictitious special relationship too much to say anything challenging. A singularly unimpressive performance all round.
In a local debate about the Northern Powerhouse one Labour and one Conservative MP spoke a bit of common sense, but on the big issue affecting British prosperity as a whole only one man answered all the questions, difficult or not, with frankness, clarity and thoughtfulness. Not to mention a policy. That man was Nick Clegg. He also pointed out that even if we doubled our trade (yes doubled) with the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India it still wouldn't match that which we do with Europe. Only the Liberals are not trying to please all the people all the time. If you object to muddled thinking, if you object to the pendulum swinging wildly, if you agree that the world has improved since the 1930s and that what we have is worth hanging on to, then only the Liberals represent you right now.
Since the winds of change are blowing I can only hope that all sixteen million plus Remain voters can come together and vote Liberal, that would be enough since Brexit people are split, don't really know what they want, or how they're go about getting it if they ever work it out. The Europeans are right, any deal HAS to be inferior to membership and there are twenty seven of them.
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