It’s ‘Carry on Conservatives’ - Neil Findlay MSP
Writing for The Red Robin, Scottish Labour's Brexit spokesperson Neil Findlay recounts some of Theresa May's greatest hits after a week he says felt more like a Carry On film than good government
I planned on beginning this article by saying that the UK is set to leave the EU in only a few more days, and then ponder what outcomes that might have for the people most likely to be harmed by it, but I think we can safely say that is no longer going to happen any time soon – not unless a truly shocking turn of events takes place.
This weeks antics in the House of Commons read the like script from a Carry on Film - high farce, ridiculous story lines, unbelievable characters, innuendo (cod piece jokes from the Attorney General – I kid you not!) and a calamitous conclusion that no one will believe, all we need is to decide which one is Sid James (Rees Mogg is definitely Charles Hawtrey).
Theresa May has definitively claimed the title in the all-time terrible Prime Ministers championship. I think it will be a very long time before anyone else even comes close to her low bar.
Let’s celebrate by reviewing some of her greatest hits:
- She squandered a 20 point poll lead in the run up to the 2017 election
- She failed to gain the support of 117 of her own MPs in a Tory no confidence vote
- She has pushed the U.K to the brink on Brexit with nowhere left to turn
- She suffered the top two largest rebellions in UK Parliamentary history, within the space of only a few weeks
- She has lost more Ministers to resignations and sackings than anyone cares to remember
You have to give it to her, David Cameron looked like he had a firm lead in the calamity stakes sewn up in 2016, but Theresa May has redefined what it is to be a failure. The next Tory leader will only need to be able to competently deliver a speech without the set falling apart behind them to outshine her.
But this is no laughing matter, because whilst all of this goes on the concern growing in the country is palpable. Businesses have no idea what customs arrangements they will be subject to, workers across Britain are under threat of losing their jobs, and a race to the bottom could well begin on workers rights if we cannot avoid no deal.
Labour have stood against this very outcome throughout this whole process. Yet no matter how many times Jeremy Corbyn has stood in front of Westminster and implored the Prime Minister to do the right thing, she has simply mocked the millions of people who want to see this mess sorted out.
Whether you voted Leave or Remain you probably did not vote for world record incompetence. History will not look kindly on her desperate attempts to cling to power at the cost of the entire country.
Let’s not forget what this was all really about – David Cameron and George ‘Gideon’ Osborne’s attempt to end the 40 year long civil war in the Tory party over Europe – well that went well, didn’t it?
As I said at Scottish Labour conference in Dundee last week, instead of ending the civil war it sent Cameron packing, Osborne off to the Evening Standard and Theresa May at the mercy of the eejits, rogues and galoots of the ERG (European Research Group) as they are commonly known.
Where we go from here is not exactly clear, but one thing is certain, May cannot carry on.
On Thursday the government’s own Brexit Secretary voted against a motion he had argued for the earlier in the day from the despatch box. We are truly through the looking glass and the quicker the Prime Minister accepts her fate the better it will be for all of us.
Labour’s plan based on the six tests would protect jobs with a customs union, it would have ensured our national security, it would have maintained and protected our hard won rights, and it would ensure we have a positive, cooperative relationship with our friends and neighbours across the European Union. Instead we are left with a government willing to risk the peace in Northern Ireland to appease the hard right of the Conservative Party.
It was Labour that said there must be a transition period, we won that argument. We called for a meaningful vote, we also won that argument. Finally, we have argued that no deal must be taken off the table, and we all but won that argument on Wednesday too.
It’s Labour that has a plan to try and hold the country together against an ignorant government set on mass destruction. It’s Labour that are articulating the only possible deal that could get us through this catastrophe. It’s Labour that is open to all options to end the possibility of no deal once and for all.
Let’s end this ‘Carry On’ and get rid of this farcical lot so we can have a Labour Government working in the interests of the many not the few.