Sunday, August 16, 2015

Labour forms a circular firing squad

"I do not often attack the Labour party.
They do it so well themselves."

Remember who said that? Yes, it was Ted Heath.

Nice to remember him for something harmless and entertaining, though Labour party supporters contemplating the circular firing squad their party seems to have made of their leadership election might not find the joke quite so entertaining.

Hat tip to Alex Carroll for drawing my attention to a list of prominent Labour members and supporters who have been called the ultimate insult in the Labour lexicon (Tory) or encouraged to join the Conservative party in the past few weeks: you can read it here.

Before Gordon Brown had even made his speech today on the Labour leadership, a Labour MP, yes a Labour MP, Clive Lewis, attacked Brown by linking to the Mansion House speech Brown made in 2006 as chancellor - the link goes here - and saying

"Before Gordon Brown makes his speech today, read this. Then decide if he's qualified to lecture on 'economic credibility.'"

The speech talked about how brilliantly Britain's banking industry was doing, and contained a strong defence of Brown's decision not to impose what he called a "regulatory crackdown" on financial services in a speech made just before the banking crash.

This is of course a pretty heavy blow against Brown, but it does appear to confirm at least a substantial measure of agreement with the charge that Brown, and hence the previous Labour government, bears a share of the blame for the banking crash and the recession which followed - something which Labour was vehemently denying during the recent General Election campaign (and most of them are still denying now.)

It would, of course, be a highly positive thing if such a recognition leads Labour to adopt more realistic economic policies. At the moment, however, it looks more like they are grabbing any available stick to beat each other with. Which doesn't exactly make them look like an alternative government in waiting.

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