Labour Party – Post Conference
It is hard to say just how the Labour Party will perform after its conference. The Guardian had this opinion piece: “A Labour party of the future is beginning to emerge”. The Financial Times had this on Comrade Corbyn’s speech: “Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party conference speech was his best yet – But the UK opposition leader has an uphill battle to win over voters, writes Sebastian Payne”.
Another opinion piece in the Guardian pointed out some difficulties: “A warning to Corbyn: the centre ground hasn’t disappeared; it is being reshaped”.
Will Labour be able to form an effective opposition when Parliament sits again? Will Labour be able to win the next election? At the moment, the answer to both questions is “unlikely”.
On to the Conservative Party Conference
The Telegraph had this from UKIP’s new leader, Diane James: “Ukip, not Labour, is now the official opposition – and we will hold the Government’s feet to the fire”.
Even by UKIP standards, Diane James is making a pretty preposterous claim. UKIP has just one MP in the House of Commons – Douglas Carswell, the MP for Harwich – thus far, the only Conservative MP to have defected to UKIP. Likewise UKIP has only 3 peers in the House of Lords.
So, on the present composition of Parliament there is no prospect whatever of UKIP becoming the official opposition in either House.
What UKIP does have is: (i) a “nuisance” capability as the largest UK party in the European Parliament and (ii) a growth prospect in local government with, at present, 6 members in the Welsh Assembly and 488 councillors in local government.
Whether UKIP will be able to build on its local government base may prove to be more of a problem for the Labour Party than for the Conservatives.
Vote Leave – Brexit Charlatans
Nick Cohen had an interesting piece in the Spectator: “The Brexit charlatans are getting away with it”. The problem is, of course, that three of the Brexit charlatans hold office in Teresa May’s cabinet, to wit Messrs Fox, Johnson and Davis and, of course, there are quite a number of “swivel eyed loons” on the Conservative benches.
The Telegraph had this on Saturday:”Liam Fox signals Britain will leave the single market in ‘hard Brexit’“. The Guardian has this:”Anna Soubry brands Liam Fox’s free trade speech ‘delusional’ – Former business minister says it is ‘worrying’ that Fox, Boris Johnson and David Davis have the country’s future in their hands.” together with this opinion piece: “Liam Fox has risen from the undead to the cabinet. No wonder he’s delusional“.