New gang – same failed policies

There is a new gang at Westminster – the Independent Group of disaffected former Labour comrades and Tories.

Thursday, 28th February 2019, 3:45 pm
Ronnie Campbell MP for Blyth Valley.

If they ever thought about me joining such a shower they would be better off saving their stamp.

The initial Labour defectors claimed it was about anti-Semitism. Labour is dealing with that and is determined to do whatever is possible, and make it a priority, to implement robust procedures to eliminate it from the party whenever identified.

The anti-Semitism line seems just another excuse to beat Jeremy Corbyn with a big stick.

The real issue is Brexit. Most of the defectors have constituencies where a majority voted Remain. If they have the confidence of their constituents, they should have no fear in standing in a by-election. At the time of writing, no chance of that.

We have seen it all before with the Gang of Four when Labour defectors set up the SDP in the early 1980s. All that achieved was keeping Mrs Thatcher in power for a decade by splitting the Opposition.

My former comrade Chuka Umunna was quoted encouraging the Tories to join the Independent Group. What does that tell you? If you feel like a Tory, join their party.

Some Tories have accepted the Chuka challenge and gone the other way. Again, what does that tell you?

On the former Labour side, the Independent Group appear to be Blairites and career politicians. They are not socialists.

Now some Tories have joined them they are effectively an establishment coalition based on the failed and rejected policies of the past, such as austerity, corporate tax cuts and privatisation.

I want a socialist programme for the people of this country, especially my constituents who voted Brexit, that will look after people instead of ripping them off, imposing more cuts and widening the gap between rich and poor.