The change Labour promises is just more of the same

Last week, Labour won two by elections in formerly safe Conservative seats in Tamworth in Staffordshire and Mid Bedfordshire, in both cases Labour overturned huge Conservative majorities. In Tamworth the Conservatives had won 66.3% of the vote at the general election in 2019, making it one of the safest Conservative seats in England. In Mid Bedfordshire the Conservatives had won 59.8% of the vote at the 2019 general election. Conservative constituencies don’t come much safer than those two, or at least, they didn’t.

The highlight of the evening as the results were announced was Andrew Six Chips Bowie, who has a razor thin majority of 843 in his West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine constituency, desperately try to spin the results as being nothing much to worry about and continuing to insist in the face of all the evidence that “on the doorstep” people are grateful for what the Conservatives are doing. That’s certainly a novel way of interpreting a door being slammed in your face. Andrew’s levels of delusion are off the charts, even for a Tory.

Another delusional Conservative is the Tory immigration minister Robert Jenrick who said on the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg Show on Sunday that the Conservatives could be trusted with the economy and that they would make “sensible decisions”. Oh really? Forgotten Liz Truss and her kamikaze mini budget already have we? Speaking about the recent protests demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Jenrick said: “If someone is spreading hate they have no place here and they should leave.” Quite. That’s advice that most of his loathesome parliamentary party should heed, most of all his immediate boss Suella Braverman who gave a hate filled speech to the Conservative party conference channelling Enoch Powell and that Nigel Farage whom senior Conservatives recently said would be welcome to join the Tory party. And not forgetting the editorial staff of the Daily Express and Mail newspapers.

The Conservative candidate in Tamworth, Andrew Cooper, had come under criticism prior to the vote for sharing an offensive tweet about people in poverty, he then delayed appearing with the other candidates for the announcement of the result, candidates receive prior notice of the result from the returning officer and the graceless Cooper was obviously angered that he’d lost a seat that he must have believed was a shoo-in. Then like the petulant and entitled man child that he is and as such is so emblematic of the modern Conservative party, the bad loser stormed off the stage immediately after the results were announced while the victorious Labour candidate was still thanking her campaign team.

What a shame, Cooper would have been perfect as a Tory MP, nasty, bitter, full of himself and oozing with entitlement.

The Conservative vote simply evaporated. The low turn out in both seats suggests that Tory voters simply stayed at home, and we must hope that in this instance ‘home’ is merely a euphemism for a deep dark well from which they can never escape.

These results mean that there is now no such thing as a safe Conservative seat and the Tories are not simply looking at defeat at the next general election, they are staring at the very real possibility of annihilation. On Sunday it was reported that the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is considering standing down as an MP so that he will not have to face the humiliation of doing an Andrew Cooper at the next General Election, boundary changes mean that Hunt’s seat is no longer as securely Conservative as it once was.

Following the devastating results one Tory MP told the Observer newspaper that for the Conservatives the next general election will be about minimising the party’s losses not trying to secure a victory, saying: “There is nothing Rishi can really do now other than try to look competent and hope for the best. You can’t admit that it is now just about minimising losses … you can’t go out and say that, but that is where we are.”

Although Labour is now loudly demanding an immediate general election, that is the very last thing that Sunak is going to agree too. It’s now looking more likely that he will cling to power as long as possible in the increasingly diminishing hope that something will come up to save the Conservatives’ skin. That also works in the SNP’s favour as the longer that Scottish voters are exposed to the reality of Starmer’s Labour party, the less appealing it becomes and the more obvious that the ‘change’ which Starmer promises is in reality no change at all.

The right wing control freakery which is the true face of Keir Starmer’s flag waving ‘non-nationalist’ party became starkly apparent this week as over a dozen local Labour party office bearers resigned in protest over Starmer’s gagging order on any discussion or debate about the situation in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Of course the horrendous attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians, including women, children and the elderly should be unequivocally condemned, but anything other than full hearted and uncritical support for the extreme right wing authoritarian Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu is strictly forbidden in the Labour party even as Israel embarks upon a brutal collective punishment of the entire population crammed into Gaza, one of the most densely populated territories in the world, a territory whose borders are sealed, leaving innocent civilians caught up in the war with nowhere safe that they can flee to.

Over the weekend Amnesty International said said that the fact that both the UK Government and the Labour party are refusing to condemn Israel’s “clear” breaches of international law is diminishing the gravity of the human rights violations committed by Netanyahu’s government.

The Labour party under Starmer has already adopted Conservative policies wholesale and ditched anything that might appear even vaguely left wing. And in international politics this tragic war has revealed a Labour party in lock step with the Tories and the Pentagon. Starmer has denied ever saying that Israel had the right to cut off water and food supplies to the people of Gaza, even though there is video evidence of him doing just that.

In an interview with LBC on 7 October, the Starmer was asked what a “proportionate” response to the Hamas attacks would look like, he replied that responsibility “lies with Hamas” and that Israel “has the right to defend herself”. Interviewer Nick Ferrari then asked: “A siege is appropriate? Cutting off power, cutting off water?” Starmer replied: “I think that Israel does have that right. It is an ongoing situation.”

Starmer is now denying that his words meant what they clearly meant and insisting he did not say he believes Israel has the right to cut off essential supplies to Gaza. Starmer is now cracking down hard on any dissent within his own party, which promises a strongly centralising government in the Conservative mould. There will be no safeguards put in place for the devolution settlement and the Über-Unionists of Labour appear set to continue the assault on the Scottish Parliament begun under the Tories.

Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss.



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