44 thoughts on “Theresa May flops at British Conservative conference

  1. Thursday 5th October 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    Foreign Secretary ‘should be ashamed of Sirte comments’

    EVEN the Tories have turned their backs on Boris Johnson following his “disgraceful” speech on Tuesday in which he said a Libyan city could become like Dubai once it clears away dead bodies.

    Senior Tory backbenchers have called for the Foreign Secretary’s sacking after he told activists at a Tory Party Conference fringe meeting that a group of investors planned to turn the coastal city of Sirte, where former Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi was executed, into the next Dubai.

    “The only thing they have got to do is clear the dead bodies away,” he added while laughing.

    Labour shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said the remarks were “unbelievably crass, callous and cruel” and his comments have led to calls for his dismissal by leading Tory backbenchers.

    Former business minister Anna Soubry said he was “embarrassing and the Prime Minister should sack him” while Tory MP Heidi Allen — who said she would consider leaving the party if Jacob Rees-Mogg became leader — said: “One hundred per cent unacceptable from anyone let alone the Foreign Secretary. Boris must be sacked for this. He does not represent my party.”

    Ms Thornberry said it was less than a year since Sirte was liberated from Daesh in a battle which hundreds of soldiers were killed and thousands of civilians were caught in the crossfire.

    “For Boris Johnson to treat those deaths as a joke — a mere inconvenience before UK business people can turn the city into a beach resort — is unbelievably crass, callous and cruel.

    “If these words came from the businesspeople themselves, it would be considered offensive enough, but for them to come from the Foreign Secretary is simply a disgrace.

    “There comes a time when the buffoonery needs to stop, because if Boris Johnson thinks the bodies of those brave government soldiers and innocent civilians killed in Sirte are a suitable subject for throwaway humour, he does not belong in the office of foreign secretary.”

    Stop the War convener Lindsey German told the Star: “Boris Johnson is not fit to hold any public office. Hundreds of thousands have died in Libya’s wars, 30,000 alone in the bombing campaign launched by his government in 2011.

    “They created this mess and he now has the effrontery to talk about dead bodies. He should resign and take the rest of this lame-duck warmongering government with him.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-d797-Senior-Tories-call-for-Johnson-sacking#.WdZ0dztpEdU

  2. Thursday 5th October 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    DISABLED rights activists were injured yesterday by a heavy-handed police reaction to their demonstration outside Tory conference in Manchester.

    The protesters were banging pots and pans to create a “wall of sound” during Theresa May’s speech when officers arrived in large numbers and threatened to make arrests for “obstructing the highway.”

    Campaigners had to link arms to form a protective wall. One activist in a wheelchair screamed in pain as people were knocked against him in the crush.

    Police lined up either side of the peaceful demonstration, with activists feeling “intimidated” as they were “massively outnumbered.”

    One person said it “smacked of political policing” and accused the force of acting as “a private army for the Tories.”

    Police “bundled” away Morning Star reporter Steve Sweeney as he took a photograph. An officer grabbed him and said he “didn’t care” when Mr Sweeney said that he was a journalist and showed his press card.

    A second officer joined in and they also threatened our reporter with arrest. “However, I was not resisting at any stage,” said Mr Sweeney.

    “As I was away from the area, I again tried to take a picture and was threatened by another officer” — and the police also began to film him.

    “It seemed as though they were trying to stop a journalist carrying out their work and documenting their actions,” the reporter said.

    Mr Sweeney said he would complain to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-76aa-Disabled-activists-injured-as-police-storm-demo#.WdZ1LztpEdU

  3. Thursday 5th October 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    SUCCESSFUL politicians require policies that command public backing and gain popular traction through a credible campaign, but they also need a large slice of luck and Theresa May’s has run out.

    No-one could have foreseen that the Tories’ expensive private security firm would fail so abysmally, allowing prankster Simon Brodkin to approach her at the podium with a P45 “from Boris Johnson.”

    Nor that her nervousness over a make-or-break speech to Tory conference after her disastrous snap general election decision would spark a succession of coughing fits that put her capacity to complete it in doubt.

    The Prime Minister confected a “British Dream” concept — doubtless inspired by its mythical US original — but her speech was more a nightmare.

    May’s standing brief was to apologise for calling the election and running a car-crash campaign before drawing a line under all that and rallying the troops by demolishing Labour’s pretensions and offering a vision designed to enthuse Tory grassroots.

    Instead she opted, in the “That’s what I’m in this for” segment of her speech, to relate a self-delusional history of Paul Nuttallian proportions, claiming credit for others’ achievements.

    She expressed pride in “knowing that I made a difference, that I helped those who couldn’t be heard,” citing the Hillsborough 96, the child sex abuse scandals, racist stop-and-search policies, Grenfell Tower and disproportionate levels of mental illness among black and minority ethnic populations.

    When did the Prime Minister, either as Home Secretary or previously as an opposition MP, throw herself into any of these campaigns?

    While she avoided meeting the Grenfell survivors, Jeremy Corbyn visited without security personnel, spoke to them, comforted them and, most importantly, listened to them.

    After campaigns and court decisions have left her government little alternative but to respond belatedly, it is obscene for May to portray enforced reaction as representing the fruits of her political groundwork.

    She again passed off George Osborne’s “national living wage” as a Tory initiative to give “a pay rise to the lowest earners” when it borrowed from the 1997 Labour government’s minimum wage legislation and is inferior to the level advocated by the Living Wage Foundation.

    HIH

    May had the gall to smear Corbyn with “anti-semitism, misogyny and hatred” and urged the British and EU negotiating teams to reach agreement quickly on confirming the right of EU citizens to remain in Britain with full rights.

    Yet she rejects Corbyn’s stance, voiced immediately post-referendum, to declare a unilateral commitment in the expectation that this would be reciprocated.

    May’s supposedly “big ideas” to remake the political landscape turned out to be the reheated price cap on energy prices and £2 billion for a “new generation of council houses.”

    When Ed Miliband proposed an energy price cap, he was pilloried for his “Marxist” approach. We won’t know the extent of the May government’s Marxism until its draft Bill is published next week.

    But we can translate into concrete terms the extent of its commitment to ending the scourge of homelessness and the financial suffering endured by low and medium-earners at the hands of the grasping private rented sector.

    At £2bn it’s just double the bung handed to the DUP for its parliamentary votes and merely one-fifth the sum set aside for Help to Buy to assist property speculators by propping up inflated house prices.

    May’s promises are empty, her government is directionless and it’s time they all got their P45s.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-c406-A-catastrophe-of-a-speech#.WdZ3DDtpEdU

  4. Thursday, 5 October 2017

    MAY HANDED P45 AT THE TORY PARTY CONFERENCE

    The message of the hour for the Tory government – delivered during the march on parliament on July 1st

    PRIME Minister May’s pledge to ‘renew the British dream’ turned into a nightmare yesterday, as she delivered the closing speech to the Tory Party Conference in Manchester.

    She opened her hour-long speech with an apology, saying: ‘I called that election … but we did not get the victory we wanted because our national campaign fell short: it was too scripted, too presidential … I hold my hands up for that. I take responsibility; I led the campaign and I am sorry.’

    Tragedy turned into farce when her speech was interrupted by a comedian who approached the stage unimpeded and was allowed to hand the Prime Minister a P45, saying it was a gift from Foreign Secretary Johnson, before being quickly ushered away.

    After this disastrous start May was convulsed in a fit of coughing which then broke out repeatedly throughout the remainder of her speech and was music to the ears of that section of the Tory Party that can’t wait to get rid of her.

    May tried to stand up for capitalism, saying: ‘Don’t try to tell me that free markets are no longer fit for purpose.’ She claimed they are ‘the greatest agent of human progress ever created’, and adding threateningly ‘let’s defend free and open markets with all our might’.

    Announcing further massive expansion in Tory education privatisation, May said: ‘We will extend the free schools programme for a new generation of young people, building 100 new free schools in every year of this parliament.’

    Announcing that there will also be further huge increases on arms and intelligence spending under the Tories, May said: ‘We will meet our commitments to international security with the finest armed forces and intelligence services anywhere on the planet … meeting our commitments on security, committing fully to the NATO alliance and spending 2% of our GDP on defence, remaining firmly committed to renewing our independent nuclear deterrent.’

    May then claimed she would ‘fix our broken housing market’ by ‘reigniting home ownership in Britain,’ adding that she would encourage ‘a new generation of council housing’, adding ‘it won’t be quick or easy.’

    Turning on her erstwhile supporters, the energy privateers, she claimed she would fix the ‘broken energy market’, which, she said, ‘punishes loyalty with higher prices,’ announcing: ‘Next week this government will publish an energy bill to put a price cap on energy bills.’

    https://wrp.org.uk/news/13691

  5. Friday 6th October 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    LORD Kerr of Kinlochard’s observation that Tory divisions over Brexit might prompt an early general election by the end of next year could seem unduly cautious.

    After all, an upbeat, policy-packed and disciplined Labour Party conference has just been followed by a Conservative equivalent so shambolic that even the Tory press are pouring scorn on the Prime Minister — the Telegraph derides the “tragic farce” of her leadership while Rupert Murdoch’s Times puts her on a “final warning.”

    This is an administration, as John McDonnell put it in Manchester this week, “in government but not in power,” with no programme, no mandate and no right to keep squatting in office. But where Lord Kerr — speaking to Holyrood’s Europe committee — hits the nail on the head is that May’s survival has so far depended entirely on Brexit divisions.

    David Davis may have used his conference platform to jeer that Labour had “11 Brexit plans,” but the government has not put forward a plan at all: for the simple reason that in its previous incarnation under David Cameron it assumed it would win the referendum vote and Britain would stay in the EU.

    Downing Street even banned civil servants from drawing up contingency plans for a Leave vote.

    May’s coronation came after her government was defeated. Her new regime was able, for a while, to create an illusion of strength, largely because divisions in Labour restricted its ability to land punches. But the Tories’ lack of purpose is now palpable and, as MSPs heard yesterday, it is difficult to see a deal on withdrawing from the EU that would command a parliamentary majority.

    The Tories are now terrified of the Labour Party, and their unscrupulous tinkering with the way Parliament works — as exampled by the way May fiddled the appointment of select committee chairs to give herself the majority she couldn’t win at the ballot box — demonstrates their contempt for the electorate’s verdict.

    So they might hang on as long as Lord Kerr suggests, even if one of May’s unsavoury colleagues succeeds in unseating her.

    But the labour movement cannot afford to let them. The momentum in politics has decisively shifted since the election — not just from Tories to Labour but from Parliament to the streets.

    Our next move should not wait on MPs finding that they cannot come to a consensus over Brexit or anything else, meaning they are forced to go back to the people.

    After all, will they? The shift towards authoritarianism across Europe has been dramatic since the financial crash, from the unelected “technocracies” imposed on Greece and Italy to the savagery unleashed by the Spanish state against Catalans just this week.

    The British Establishment has a lot to fear from a Corbyn-led government, and it is easy to see how an arrangement that avoids accountability could be cooked up between the parties if needed, with the much-vaunted complexity of Brexit serving as an excuse.

    Our task then is to keep up the pressure from outside — with Labour’s never-ending tour of every corner of the country combining with targeted industrial action to win victories for workers and expose the bankruptcy of the parasites who own the economy.

    We can fight for the goals Labour has rallied a majority of the people (including Tory voters, according to recent polls) behind — a massive extension of public and co-operative ownership, a dramatic empowerment of working people via a return to collective bargaining and an end to restrictions on trade union representation, a huge house-building programme and a national pay rise.

    With the Tories in their current state, some of this programme is achievable even before an election. And a tooled-up movement ready for battle is the best way to ensure that election comes sooner rather than later.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-9667-Lets-be-rid-of-the-parasites#.WddpkztpEdU

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  7. Friday 6th October 2017

    CHARLOTTE HUGHES spent every day of the Tory Party conference this week chatting to delegates, protesters and police. Here’s what she discovered

    I DECIDED that I would attend every day outside the Conservative Party Conference this year.

    I saw this as an opportunity to look my oppressors in the eye, so to speak, and to also represent every victim of the Conservative austerity regime.

    I felt that it was my duty to do so. I also wanted to discover if the Conservative Party really are the party of the people like they say, or whether it was just another slogan made up quickly round a boardroom table.

    I had attended the large demonstration on Saturday, and I marched with the People’s Assembly. The march was extremely well attended and everyone was in a positive mood. Chants such as “Tories out” and “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” echoed loudly. It was a well organised and peaceful demonstration and a massive show of unity.

    But what would the mood be like outside the conference hall this year?

    I arrived expecting not to be able to stand anywhere near the conference arena and I was correct with that expectation.

    However there was room available to stand at the front of the Midland Hotel. This wasn’t so bad because many of the delegates were staying at the hotel, and this is where the entrance and exit was.

    Upon entering I was immediately met by two different groups of Conservative activists apparently protesting about Brexit.

    The separate groups refusing to speak to each other. So much for unity within the Conservative Party.

    The first group were holding a nice banner and were quite pleasant, stating that they didn’t agree with Brexit, but at the same time one of them stated that he wanted “Britain back again” and that the “EU had taken Britain’s identity away.”

    Quite how he couldn’t state clearly, except that he wanted to take Britain back to around 1932 when, as he said: “Everything was good, people didn’t mind having no food and queuing for the food that there was available.”

    I gritted my teeth, agreed to disagree and walked over to the other Conservative activists.

    The second group of Tory activists were standing in various places handing out pink canvas bags stating: “The EU is not my bag.”

    These were very young Conservative Party members, and no sympathy was given to them for standing in the rain and cold.

    I asked one of the activists if he had been offered a warm drink from a colleague.

    He replied no, and they weren’t paying him either. I asked him why he was doing this, and he replied: “For the good of the party.”

    Sadly he couldn’t elaborate on this and he continued to stand there for most of the day without refreshment or support.

    Considering both groups appeared to have a similar agenda I found it strange that they were campaigning separately.

    This was quite entertaining and it set the tone for the conference.

    The second day I was there was the day of the Waspi campaign. The police effort had been stepped up a notch but it wasn’t alarming.

    I asked the police if they were enjoying their time policing the conference. The unified reply was no, that they would rather be elsewhere. It’s no wonder after their funding has been slashed time after time.

    I decided to question the delegates upon entering and leaving the conference. One told me that he was a rebel Conservative, that the party needed to sort itself out because “it’s dying a death.”

    I returned the next day, and although I was polite, I was ignored far more than I was spoken to. Few wanted to speak to me, but the delegates who did were very open with their opinions.

    Very few of the delegates I spoke to actually wanted to be there, except for a few diehards who would probably pay thousands to watch paint dry as long as it was blue.

    No two Tories could agree on anything, even when stood next to each other. Boris Johnson was not very popular among the delegates; they were apprehensive of what he might say.

    Only one delegate I spoke to was supportive of Theresa May. Others uttered words such as “incompetent,” “she’s not our leader,” and “she doesn’t represent me, she will be gone soon.”

    Upon asking who their ideal replacement would be, not one delegate could answer. I suggested that maybe Johnson could do the job — and they either laughed or shook their heads. One muttered: “No, he’s incapable, he really is.” Another delegate did suggest David Davis though which was interesting.

    They were all however united in agreeing one thing though, that Jeremy Corbyn is the biggest enemy to the country, although when asked why they couldn’t clarify any more. “He just is. He will ruin our country,” I was told.

    As I arrived on day three, the mood had changed for the worse. There was a much heavier police presence and even fewer delegates would speak to me. They appeared to be rushed and tired.

    When questioned about Johnson’s comments about Libya, they were very defensive. One delegate even said: “It’s all relative, isn’t it?” He reasoned that when Johnson was talking about bodies, he didn’t really mean it.

    The privilege and lack of empathy for others was clear to see.

    There was an interesting group of African activists, wearing flowing blue robes and giving Conservative Party delegates brown feathers. I asked them what they were doing and they told me to talk to them out of earshot of the delegates.

    They explained that they were actually protesting against the Conservatives, but were doing it in such a way that the delegates were given the impression that they were being given a blessing.

    They also informed me that they had made up a name of a country, and the delegates didn’t even question it.

    I found this hilarious and so did the people I was with. Being inventive is certainly the key to a successful protest.

    I spoke to a few progressive Tory delegates who said they would like to make significant changes and to halt the implementation of schemes such as universal credit, but they were in the minority.

    They are essentially voiceless within a political party on its knees and lacking in any direction.

    The arrival of Disabled People Against Cuts to coincide with May’s speech on Wednesday changed the mood once again.

    Delegates rushed past, not wanting to look another person in the eye — a common theme throughout. DPAC’s presence seemed to ruffle their feathers. Either that or the thought of May’s speech was too much for them to handle.

    I joined DPAC for a while and it was noted that the number of police officers deployed to supervise this demonstration was excessive. It was a noisy demonstration, but it was peaceful. The intention was to drown May’s speech out as she was making it.

    The activists made quite an impact, and delegates appeared shocked at the sight of seeing disabled people blocking the yellow entrance area. They rushed past, eager to get away, to return home where many of them must have wished they had been in the first place.

    My experience outside the conference confirmed my opinion that they aren’t the party of the people.

    Most delegates had no idea of the struggles of a working-class person, and even talking to a member of the public was very hard for them.

    The Tories I spoke to appeared to be very unhappy with their party and the leadership. They know that the party is dying and they have no idea of how to resuscitate it — or indeed if they can do so.

    I feel that many are holding on for a glimmer of hope, desperate to cling on to the idea of any candidate who might vaguely be able to represent the party.

    It certainly appeared to have been the worst Conservative Party conference in recent times, unlike the Labour Party Conference which recently held its largest and most lively conference.

    While Labour’s membership grows, the Conservative Party membership decreases and it becomes less and less attractive to potential members.

    It has become a party of failure, embarrassment and shame, and it’s no wonder that it is losing popularity so rapidly.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-29f0-The-party-of-the-people-Dont-make-me-laugh#.WdfS-DtpEdU

  8. Friday, 6 October 2017\

    May is broken, as is the Tory party and the capitalist system – It is time for a socialist revolution!

    WHEN the Tory Daily Telegraph runs on its front page a headline that Theresa May is ‘limping into oblivion’ it couldn’t be a clearer message that she is finished as prime minister.

    But it is not just May that experienced a total meltdown at the end of the Tory conference on Wednesday; the entire Tory party, its government and the capitalist system they represent are broken.

    May’s speech was supposed to be the start of the regeneration of the Tories following the massive defeats inflicted on them by workers and youth, first in the EU referendum, and then in this year’s general election.

    It ended in complete farce with May struggling to even get her carefully composed speech across to a Tory party that looked on in dismay. She accepted without question the P45 form handed to her by a comedian and even more symbolically towards the end of her speech the entire set behind her started to collapse, a fitting end to a speech that marked the collapse of a broken prime minister, a broken Tory party and the broken capitalist system they serve.

    Behind all the sympathetic outpourings from Tory MPs following her disaster, the knives are being sharpened and her political oblivion will be measured in days not weeks as the various factions within the Tory party fight it out for the leadership.

    https://wrp.org.uk/news/13694

  9. Saturday 7th October 2017

    posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    Treacherous Tories try to topple Theresa

    THERESA MAY insisted yesterday that she will continue as Prime Minister after her allies quashed an alleged back-bench mutiny.

    Retreating to her Maidenhead constituency to make her first appearance after an embarrassing Tory Party conference, she pledged to provide “calm leadership,” claiming she had the “full support” of the Cabinet.

    Former party chair Grant Shapps was forced to admit he was the rebel ringleader of around 30 backbenchers, including five former ministers, who want her replaced.

    He said the plan was to approach Ms May in private to avoid the “embarrassment” of a formal leadership challenge, claiming some current Cabinet members had offered private support to the palace coup.

    The group would need the names of 48 MPs to formally trigger a leadership contest under party rules.

    Ms May’s car-crash conference speech on Wednesday was the latest gaffe in her increasingly incompetent leadership. She coughed and spluttered her way through a plagiarised speech as her stage backdrop fell into disarray and a comedian served her with a spoof P45.

    Shadow cabinet minister Jon Trickett told the Star: “The mishaps in Theresa May’s speech were amusing to many, but the

    true disaster of the speech lies in the fact that it is finally confirmed: the Tories have no plan.

    “So while the captain may be calm, the crew is looking for the lifejackets. It’s clear even Conservative MPs know that their party is going down.”

    Charles Walker, vice-chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, said the attempt to force Ms May out was set to fail because of Mr Shapps’s unpopularity.

    “No 10 must be delighted to learn that it is Grant Shapps leading this alleged coup,” he told the BBC.

    “Grant has many talents but the one thing he doesn’t have is a following in the party. I really think this is now just going to fizzle out.

    “What you are seeing here is probably the coalition of disappointed people who think their brilliant political talents have not been fully recognised.”

    Veteran backbencher Michael Fabricant suggested that an “embittered” Mr Shapps held a grudge because he is no longer a minister.

    He resigned in 2015 following allegations of bullying made against the then Tories’ youth wing chairman Mark Clarke, who denied serious misconduct accusations connected to the suicide of Conservative activist Elliott Johnson.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-24a5-Im-staying-insists-May-in-face-of-coup#.WdivlDtpEdU

  10. Saturday, 7 October 2017

    TORIES MOVE TO KNIFE MAY!

    300,000 marched on parliament on July 1st to demand ‘Tories Out!’– today with the Tory party in a huge crisis the Labour leaders are silent

    PM MAY, who had previously described her leadership as ‘strong and stable’, was yesterday struggling to keep her head above water as the Tory rebellion to knife her premiership erupted into the open.

    May protested that she has the ‘full support of her cabinet’ after a former party chairman, Grant Shapps, called for a leadership contest and said that he had the support of over 30 MPs, five ex-cabinet members plus the sympathy of a number of serving cabinet members.

    Grant Shapps said: ‘I don’t think we can go on like this.’ Meanwhile Cabinet members were putting on a show of loyalty to May, after she was humiliated during her main conference speech by a comedian being allowed to approach her and present her with a P45.

    He was able to dominate the situation and insisted that he was acting on behalf of Boris Johnson, who had to be told to stand up when a section of the audience stood up to applaud the PM. Her fit of coughing and then the collapse of the support advertising completed her humiliation and effectively ended her premiership.

    Now all the king’s horses and and all the king’s men will not be able to put Theresa May back together again – even if they wanted to. Environment Secretary Michael Gove, a leading ‘Leaver’ was among those publicly defending her on Friday morning, as Shapps made his bid to make May stand down. Gove fantastically told the media that the prime minister was a ‘fantastic’ leader, had widespread support, and should stay ‘as long as she wants’!

    A total of 48 MPs would need to write to the chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Tories in order to trigger a vote of confidence in the leader. A contest would be triggered when Theresa May lost that vote, or quit. Shapps, the ex co-chair of the party between 2012 and 2015, said no letter had been sent and that his intention had been to have a more private assassination, using persuasion to get May to stand down, but the whips had blown the whistle on his plans.

    They had taken the ‘extraordinary’ step of making it public by naming him as the ringleader of the plot. Shapps told the BBC: ‘I think it is time we actually tackle this issue of leadership and so do many colleagues. We wanted to present that to Theresa May privately. Now I’m afraid it’s being done a bit more publicly.’

    Shapps said the prime minister was a ‘perfectly decent person’ but had ‘rolled the dice’ and lost over her decision to call a snap election, in which the party had surrendered its majority. The time has come. You can’t just carry on when things aren’t working. The solution is not to bury heads in the sand.’

    https://wrp.org.uk/news/13699

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  12. Monday 9th October 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    AS THE Tories fight each other like ferrets in a transparent sack, Labour leaders can be forgiven a little glee at the spectacle.

    For two years, the Establishment and right-wing media — helped by some Labour MPs — have been traducing Jeremy Corbyn and his team on a grand scale, daily.

    He has been mocked, ridiculed and damned as an incompetent, unpatriotic terrorist sympathiser.

    No lie or smear has been too outrageous, right down to the charges of anti-semitism, misogyny and thuggishness hurled at his supporters in Momentum and the wider labour movement.

    Yet now the jackals are devouring their own. Five days after her calamitous conference speech, Tory ministers, ex-ministers, MPs and MEPs are still knocking lumps out of each other as Theresa May’s regime stumbles on, divided and directionless.

    As former deputy prime minister Willie Whitelaw once put it after a piece of Labour misfortune: “Mustn’t gloat. Bad form to gloat. Mustn’t do it. No, no, no. Well I can tell you, I’m gloating like Hell.” But amid the gloating, the Labour Party leadership must remember to conduct itself as a government in waiting, recognising the gravity of Britain’s position at the present juncture.

    The working class and peoples of Britain need a government that will put aside Conservative complacency and tackle the very serious economic and social problems besetting our society.

    Theresa May’s ramshackle regime has no serious policies to boost domestic industrial investment, renew our vital public services, raise working people’s living standards, provide decent and affordable homes for all, nurture the potential of younger generations and reduce the massive gulf between the haves and have-nots.

    HIH

    Faced with the most ignorant, unstable and dangerous US president in living memory — despite some very stiff competition — the only posture adopted by Tory Cabinet ministers is that of prone.

    Sixteen months after the referendum vote to quit the EU, Tory strategy to prevaricate and find a way to either reverse Brexit or pay lip service to it while remaining in a pro-big business “free market” arrangement with the EU is splitting apart at the seams.

    Led by right-wing politician-cum-bureaucrat Michel Barnier, with unelected EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker above the stage pulling the wires, the EU negotiating team appears determined to impose a punitive exit settlement.

    Every gesture and concession offered by Brexit Secretary David Davis or by the Prime Minister herself has been rebuffed by Barnier or Juncker with derision, either openly at the time or through sly and unattributed leaks and briefings a short while later in Brussels.

    Of course, the fanatically pro-EU politicians in all three main parties at Westminster are doing everything they can to assist Barnier and his Brussels crew.

    Reflecting the predominant view of big business, they want to keep Britain enmeshed in EU treaties, rules and institutions by any means necessary.

    Likewise, the capitalist monopolies of Germany and France, and their hired politicians Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron, want to keep Britain as close as possible to the European single market and its business “freedoms.”

    But not at the cost of a huge hole in the EU budget after May 2019, or by weakening the fundamentally neoliberal capitalist character of the EU itself.

    That’s why Labour should be under no illusion that a Corbyn-led government would find EU negotiators any the less duplicitous and inflexible than have Davis and May.

    The EU Commission and the economic and political forces behind it have no intention of allowing a left-led government in Britain to implement progressive policies on state aid for industry, public investment, taxation, public ownership and contract compliance while remaining in a “free trade” relationship with the EU.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-0a8a-Youre-forgiven-for-gloating#.WdvGsTtpEdU

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  17. Friday, 20 October 2017 Tory government ‘pathetic’ and ‘incapacitated’ – time to bring them down with a general strike WEDNESDAY’S debate and vote in parliament on the issue of the roll-out of Universal Credit has been hailed as a ‘symbolic defeat’ for the Tories.

    The Labour motion up for debate calling for Tory ministers to ‘pause and fix’ Universal Credit was carried by a vote of 299 in favour and not a single Tory voting against – every single Tory MP along with their paid supporters in the DUP abstained with only one exception.

    In an unprecedented move, Tory whips imposed a threeline whip on their MPs to abstain.
    This prompted one Tory MP to tell the press: ‘We are so pathetic now, so incapacitated, so inadequate that we can’t even vote against an Opposition Day Motion on a central plank of government policy like continuing the roll-out of Universal Credit.’

    The reason for this act of mass abstention on the roll-out of Universal Credit is not hard to explain – the Tories faced the humiliation of seeing their flagship welfare ‘reform’ being defeated and not even their tame DUP MPs could have prevented it.

    Throughout the entire debate, the criminal hardship imposed by this savage attack on benefits was laid bare in speeches by MPs who have been inundated with evidence of families left without any money for food, being forced into rent arrears and facing eviction as a result of their benefits being withheld for months.

    The Trussell Trust which runs food banks throughout the country revealed it was dramatically increasing the amount of food it stocks in expectations of a massive increase in claimants facing Christmas with nothing on the table as a result of their benefits being withheld, while the Child Poverty Action Group stated this was ‘not teething troubles but deep-seated problems that require a proportionate response’.

    The only proportionate response is to end Universal Credit completely. The Tories abstained safe in the knowledge that this was a so-called ‘non-binding’ vote that they could simply ignore just as last month they abstained and lost two votes in one day, on increasing pay for NHS workers and halting the increase of tuition fees for students.

    All of these defeats have resulted in absolutely nothing with the PM Theresa May making it clear earlier in the day that there would be no pause in the roll-out which would be steamrollered through despite all the poverty and misery it caused, a sentiment echoed by Tory pensions secretary David Gauke during the debate.

    Such was the contempt shown by the Tories to the facade of bourgeois democracy that even the Speaker of the House, John Bercow, was moved to complain that: ‘If you choose not to take part and vote you can’t say, “well, we didn’t lose”. A minister from the government should come to the House and show respect to the institution and say what it intends to do. This institution is bigger than any one party and is bigger than any government.’

    Bercow is wrong. The demands of a bankrupt British capitalist system to dump the effects of its economic crisis on the working class through increasing austerity cuts to benefits and wages means that the ruling class is dispensing with such ‘democratic’ niceties as votes in parliament as they turn to a dictatorial form of rule where this minority Tory government can do what it likes.

    Corbyn and the Labour leadership are claiming another moral victory over the Tories but for the workers facing starvation, moral victories count for nothing. Indeed the Labour motion which called for just a ‘halt’ to the roll-out was itself an avoidance of the real issue – to end Universal Credit completely.

    https://wrp.org.uk/news/13736

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