Labour is now in such a mess that it might not even survive

Are we about to kiss goodbye finally to the party we have known and loved (some of us anyway!) for a century or more?

By The Newsroom
Monday, 5th September 2016, 9:15 pm
Updated Monday, 5th September 2016, 10:46 pm

Because the Labour Party, created to protect and support working people, is now in such a shambolic and frail state that it might not be robust enough even to survive the hurly-burly of their annual conference which, this year, takes place towards the end of this month in Liverpool.

Labour has never been in such a mess. It is led by Jeremy Corbyn, some of whose own allies are describing as “useless”, and his position is challenged by Owen Smith, a Welsh MP who does not appear to have a spark of fire in his belly.

The party is riven from top to bottom by internal warfare and political bloodshed. The majority of Labour MPs do not want Corbyn to remain as leader, but there is little they can do about it.

His notorious train sit-in stunt was identified for what it was: a childish, ill-judged protest.

But it is not Corbyn’s fault that he is leader. At least some of the blame must attach to his predecessor Ed Miliband, who introduced that inane £3 membership fee.

So he has every right to stay on, as he probably will, even if the parliamentary Labour Party would like to see the back of him.

Why on earth Labour MPs chose the insipid Owen Smith to challenge Corbyn is a mystery to me. Angela Eagle, who set the ball rolling, would have been a far more effective and lively contender.

Meanwhile, Labour is betraying those it was created to help.

• The future of the migrant “jungle” in Calais could become a disaster waiting to happen for the United Kingdom.

For the time being, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the French Government have seemingly come to an agreement over this burning issue. So far so good.

But what if, as seems more than likely, a right-wing French Government takes over from the current administration next spring?

Things could suddenly become dangerously tricky this side of the English Channel. Nicolas Sarkozy, who has dropped dark hints about the future of the “jungle” is standing again for the French Presidency.

And if he is swept back to power in Paris, as the pundits predict will happen, then the United Kingdom would almost certainly be faced with a massive migrant crisis. Sarkozy has left little or no doubt in people’s minds, that if he wins, he will make it easy for these people to get into the UK.

We can only hope that Prime Minister Theresa May will demonstrate a tough and unyielding streak in her political make-up to stop this from happening.

She has already shown she can be rock-firm and unwavering - even ruthless when push comes to shove - that she could easily scupper Sarkozy’s plans. Let us hope so.

• It is heartening that Theresa May is maintaining a cool head and refusing to be panicked into holding a snap general election in the face of all the problems which have suddenly afflicted the United Kingdom.

She has again been told, but this time face-to-face with President Obama, that, outside Europe, Britain will be at the back of the queue when it comes to doing deals with the USA.

Equally she has been frank enough to admit that leaving the EU will not be plain sailing. She is only too well aware that the flinty-faced Eurocrats in Brussels will do their utmost to make the negotiations for a UK departure as difficult as possible, and they will try to squeeze every penny out of the UK in the process.

Are they perhaps nervous that Brexit could herald the start of the collapse of this overweight, top-heavy, corrupt, wasteful and unmanageable organisation? There has already been some talk about a possible Frexit, namely a move by France to leave. If that happened - and it is still no more than speculation - then the entire EU edifice could surely tumble down into a pile of rubble.

Happily May retains an optimistic glint in her eye. Britain is open for business she has said, insisting that ultimately the future will be bright.

• I see that Twinkletoes John Prescott, Labour’s former deputy prime minister, has disclosed that he once turned down an invitation to take part in Strictly Come Dancing. What a crying shame. He owes us a good belly laugh and a respite, however brief, from Brexit, junior doctors and Jeremy Corbyn.

The fortunes of other political figures on this show has been varied to say the least. Ann Widdecombe did not try to be funny and wasn’t, nor was her so-called banter with the judges. She said she was having fun, but the viewers were not having fun as they watched her, with her rictus smile, cavorting about.

Edwina Currie got booted off after about five minutes, while the former political editor John Sergeant was the best of that sorry bunch, a born comedian, but a graceless hoofer, with a hilarious paso doble. Ed Balls has yet to prove himself, having been paired with a “fierce and fabulous” Russian dancer (God help him).

John Prescott, who is certainly not built for Swan Lake, does not try to be funny, but is actually a riot as the buffoon he undoubtedly is. I implore him: If he is invited on again, please, please accept. He would certainly add gaiety to the nation.