Tuesday, 24 January 2017

You don't get to pick and choose your democracy - of course I will vote to trigger Article 50 but Corbyn enforcing a 3 line whip?

The European referendum was a divisive process for the nation. It divided houses, let alone political parties. But the result was clear. A 4% win in a 2 horse race is a big win. But my view would not change if either side had won by a narrower margin. I respect the democratic process and I respect the result.
If I had lost the general election by a slim margin I would have reached across to my opponents, shaken their hand, wished them well with a difficult job, kissed my good lady, and definitely have gone to the pub. A quantity of beer would clearly have followed (preferably Northumbrian Ale - I definitely support my local brewers).
It is well known in the north east that I campaigned for Remain in the referendum; but I fully accept the result. In order to trigger the process the Prime Minister has to notify formally the EU that the process must commence using Article 50. Parliament has already voted on this once since June 23 2016 and I believe that the Prime Minister is quite right to make it very clear that she will respect the June 23 result.
But the opposition parties are taking a different line. The liberals seem to have forgotten the democrat  part of their name - and clearly therefore a liberal democrat does not respect democracy. I listen to the ir argument which goes "the people have voted but the people were wrong, and should be ignored."

And now that arch rebel Jeremy Corbyn (voting record 500 times against his own party, let alone the coalition 2010-2015 government) is putting a 3 line whip on his party to vote for article 50.
And they don't like it.
The full spectator report of this is here: http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/01/irony-corbyns-three-line-whip/
But the key points are this:

Now the Labour leader is faced with one of those awkward moments that involve him telling his MPs to vote a certain way on a controversial issue, and those MPs rightly being a bit miffed. But it’s not the ‘Bitterites’ who are causing the trouble so far on the Labour leader’s suggestion this afternoon that he would expect his party to vote in favour of triggering Article 50. Clive Lewis, that well-known Blairite (for those who struggle with sarcasm and the internet, this is not true unless you read the Canary regularly), has told his local paper he needs more assurances from the government before he can support this vote. It hasn’t been a great day for Labour, though that sentence in itself is now rapidly becoming a ‘dog bites man’ sort of story. The party is now at 25 per cent in the polls, according to YouGov, 17 points behind the Tories. In this week’s magazine, I’ve looked at how it is faring in its Northern and Midlands heartlands, with some observations from insiders that are far more painful for the party than a dog bite. Dan Jarvis is one MP who has been fretting about Labour’s message on immigration, and has told The House magazine that the issue has become ‘toxic’. But we already know this. In fact, we’ve known for a long time what most of Labour’s problems are. Its problem is not that it doesn’t understand what its problem is. It’s that it already knows but refuses to do anything about it."