27th November, 2015
Corbyn’s Working Tax Credits Blues
Shadow Labour Chancellor John McDonnell’s fiasco with the Chairman Mao “Little Red Book” at Prime Minister’s question time overshadowed everything else as the opposition missed a golden opportunity to claim the credit for Chancellor Osborne’s full blown retreat on his proposed working tax credits cut. This was another spectacular own goal by Corbyn’s misfiring shadow front bench team.
The Government’s fiasco over the Working Tax Credits issue has not only raised potential constitutional questions it has highlighted the dysfunctional inability of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party to come up with a credible and working alternative, and it has exposed an alarming incapacity for Corbyn, Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell to be able to land telling political blows on David Cameron and George Osborne’s Conservative policies. With the Conservatives already reeling on the back of two humiliating defeats on Working Tax Credits in the House of Lords, amidst Tory cries of a constitutional crisis and an internal Government rebellion on the unpopular measure, Labour should have been making hay while the sun shone. But the monumental McDonnell distraction at Prime Minister’s question time let this golden opportunity slip through Labour’s fingers.
It brings into open question once again the controversial and continuing debate over whether or not Jeremy Corbyn is actually the right person to lead the Labour Party into the 2020 General Election, with some whispers being heard in Labour circles that Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson is being lined up for the job at some undetermined point in the future. Whether or not that would make any relevant and material difference is another subject up for grabs. The central and burning issue remains: is Labour electable under the incongruous and incorrigible figure of Corbyn in 2020?
That is a predetermining question that is going to keep the Parliamentary Labour Party vexed and awake at night for the foreseeable future, notwithstanding the not insignificant follow-up question – “What are we going to do about it?”
By Peter Paton
Please note: articles and posts on ‘Middle Vision’ reflect the views of the individual authors and not of all involved in ‘Middle Vision’