Rebecca Long-Bailey is the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, tipped as a Corbynista rising star and protege of John McDonnell. On the Daily Politics today, Long-Bailey had no idea whether Labour wanted to stay in the single market, then claimed they wanted to stay in the customs union. When it was pointed out this means Britain would not be able to make new trade deals with other countries, Long-Bailey claimed it might be possible. It is not. She then could not name any country with a “zero percent deficit”. No idea what she is talking about, completely out of her depth, a joke that she is seen as a talent by Labour.
Stella Creasy is the subject of much amusement this afternoon after seriously telling the Commons that the England football team is struggling because it has too many posh, privately-educated players:
“Thirteen per cent of our national football team went to a private school, which is double the number of people who go to those private schools nationally. Does he think that might account for the performance of our national football team, if we’re missing out on the talent that exists in the comprehensive sector?”
Just how posh is Stella? Read all about her family, the Verekers, Cayzers, Prendergasts and Gorts – Colonels, Baronets, Viscounts and parliamentarians – here. If poshness is a marker of poor performance, what does that say about Stella? Nobody tell her about the England rugby team…
— The Agenda (@agendaitv) November 21, 2016
Piers Morgan: “Are you prepared to stand there, as a democratically elected politician in this country, and vote against the democratic will of the people?”
Owen Smith: “Yes, in respect of this I absolutely am.”
No further questions.
Sadiq Khan is getting a lot of positive headlines today after he “formally confirmed” he would “freeze fares across the Transport for London network”, he says in line with his manifesto promise. This is a really shamelessly misleading distortion of the truth. Fares are not being frozen for travel cards and daily and weekly caps, which are expected to rise. Commuters, the people who use the tube most, are the ones Khan was targeting with his manifesto pledge to freeze fares. They use travel cards so their fares will not be frozen. Remember, Khan told Londoners they would “not pay a penny more” if he won. That is demonstrably untrue. Make no mistake, this is a broken promise on the scale of Nick Clegg and tuition fees.
Labour are on a three line whip to vote for Pat Glass’ private member’s bill seeking to reject boundary changes and keep the number of MPs at 650. It goes without saying that the bill is a vain attempt by Labour to prevent their own seats from disappearing, despite the massive cost to the taxpayer of ignoring the Boundary Commission and not cutting the size of parliament. Labour MPs facing deselection battles with Momentum will gladly vote for it. Guido is told that Tory MPs have gone home to their constituencies and are not looking to kill the Bill today. The Tories are relaxed, they expect Labour to win today’s vote and say they will let them have their moment, before killing it at a later date. “Don’t worry, the idea of Pat Glass getting anything into law is for the birds,” a Tory source assures Guido.
These days John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn are aligned with the right-wing capitalist running dogs of the Labour Party on income tax, favouring a 50% top rate. This is yet another policy position on which they have massively sold out. Just five years ago McDonnell’s pamphlet for the Trotskyite group Permanent Revolution, which Guido yesterday revealed included calls to arm the working class, demanded a 100% top rate of income tax for the richest in Britain. As well as a further 50% wealth tax to appropriate half their assets.
From full communism to Miliband-lite as soon as he became Shadow Chancellor…
Since Keith Vaz’s appointment to the Criminal Finance Bill committee this week it has sat twice, on Tuesday and today. For some reason – to the great disappointment of hacks – Vaz has absented himself from both sessions. Guido can give readers some background as to why that might be…
Guido understands Labour whips have been told that not only is Vaz now under investigation by Scotland Yard, they have been made aware that four files regarding Vaz have been passed to the National Crime Agency. Given that the Bill committee has been taking evidence from the National Crime Agency, it would clearly be completely inappropriate for Vaz to attend this committee. If Vaz had attended he would either have to recuse himself or declare his interest. Rather than face the embarrassment, slippery Vaz has unofficially recused himself by not showing up…
Owen Jones is always careful to temper his criticism of Jeremy Corbyn, it is bad for his brand if he is seen as disparaging the Corbyn project and he values his relationships in the leader’s office. Yet speaking to Spanish publication Contexto y Accion, Owen has been significantly more candid. The interview quotes him slamming Labour for going “missing” over Brexit, then delivering a withering conclusion about Corbyn himself:
“Jeremy Corbyn, a person who will never win a British general election… I know him personally and I know he never wanted to be leader; It was presented as a sense of obligation. He never anticipated this result and now leads the party without having any experience.”
Another publicly supportive Corbynista journalist caught telling a Spanish lefty what they really think about Jezza – this is Owen Jones’ Paul Mason moment…
UPDATE: Owen says he was “mistranslated” by the Spanish publication and he is getting them to change their article. They did put the quote in the headline, which suggests they were pretty confident about it. No one expects the Spanish mistranslation…
Writing on LabourList Diane Abbott says Labour can’t “out-UKIP UKIP” on immigration to win back supporters who are switching to the purple people’s army, so they should do the opposite. Bear in mind that Jeremy Corbyn has appointed Abbott as Labour’s official spokesperson on immigration…
Her strategy is to win progressive pro-immigration voters back from the Greens, SNP and LibDems..[…] Read the rest
It is often said half-teasingly that canvassers and pollsters are more likely to meet Labour voters than Tories because Tory voters are still at work. Now there is empirical evidence for the claim. Professor John Curtice, perhaps the only pollster with his reputation intact after he called the 2015 election, says there is no such thing as “shy” Tories skewing polls, they are just “busy“.[…] Read the rest
Dan Jarvis really doesn’t like it when you ask him about his hedge fund backers – trousering cash from City tycoons doesn’t fit with his carefully crafted image as a man-of-the-people who can unite Labour. Well, Action Dan has just banked another £20,000 cheque from Martin Taylor, a shady Mayfair hedgie and anti-Corbyn Labour moderate.[…] Read the rest
Today’s Sun reports Keith Vaz has been appointed a member of the Criminal Finance Bill committee despite being under active police investigation. As Guido reported last month, Vaz’s role will include helping to scrutinise new plans to strengthen so-called Unexplained Wealth Orders, anti-corruption laws where assets can be seized if owners are unable to explain how they were funded.[…] Read the rest
Labour’s confused response to Trump has seen them favourably compare him to Jeremy Corbyn, then attack Theresa May for seeking an alliance with the President-elect. Meanwhile the Labour Twitterati are mocking the Tory row over whether they should use Farage as an intermediary.[…] Read the rest