Nelson's Column: Is it time for the Labour Party to return to the centre-left?


If politicians were to face jail for lying Boris Johnson would be serving an indeterminate term.

He’s a serial killer of the truth.

But voters have instead sentenced him to five years of more lies from behind the wrought-iron gate bars of No10.

So I don’t expect this PM to introduce the law proposed by Compassion in Politics and Welsh Nat leader Adam Price to punish political porkies with an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

The pressure group is supported by more than 50 past and present MPs and such diverse figures as historian Alice Roberts and comic Ruby Wax.

Dr Alice Roberts with a Smilodon skull
Alice: supporter

It’s director, former ITN Home Affairs editor Jennifer Nadel, says: “This has been the most divisive, deceitful, and disrespectful election campaign in living memory.”

Hasn’t it just?

Johnson’s promised 40 new hospitals don’t exist in anything other than his imagination while 18,500 of his 50,000 new nurses do.

So the bigger figure was a big fib.

Johnson: fibs

The PM’s claims that Labour planned to scrap MI5, leave NATO and disband the armed forces were outright falsehoods while the customs checks between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland he says won’t happen will under his own EU Withdrawal Agreement.

Johnson said Labour‘s 26 per cent corporation tax plans would be the highest in Europe when he must surely have known they’d have been lower than France and Portugal (32%), Germany and Belgium (30%), and Greece and Italy (28%).

And the PM has neither been squashed by the bulldozer he pledged to lay down in front of if Heathrow’s third runway went ahead, nor is his body in the ditch he vowed to die in if Brexit was delayed .

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That’s not to say other parties were immune to a bit of baloney but independent research shows the Tories told bigger whoppers and more of them.

So if the Trades Descriptions Act makes it illegal for companies to lie it’s not unreasonable to also have a Political Pronouncements Descriptions Act.

But don’t hold your breath.

Corbyn: going

That’ll not see the light of day in Johnson’s time just as Jeremy Corbyn’s promise of hope has now also been consigned to the outer darkness.

Labour might try to blame Brexit for their worst result since 1935, but the party must get real and accept the country has just comprehensively and overwhelmingly rejected Corbyn’s very British socialist revolution.

Jeremy is a good man, but his work is now done .

The Labour Party must return to the kind of centre-left values which won Tony Blair three General Elections.

To pretend anything else would be lying to itself.

This is a bit sly and retiring


The quid quo pro for raising the pension age was to scrap the default retirement age which is worth a good few quid.

Bosses can’t chuck you on the scrapheap at 65 and you can work while also drawing a state pension.

But reader Chris Ingall was surprised by a contract offered by government outsourcer Capita which read: “The company’s contractual retirement age is 75 in the UK, and unless otherwise agreed your employment will end on your 75th birthday.

“However there may be occasions where it suits both parties for employment to continue after this age.”

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Come again? That’s crapita, Capita.

Chris asks: “Work until 75? Has this been stealthily sneaked in without us knowing?”

But what about working beyond 75 if you want to? No firm can get rid of you without good cause no matter how old you are.

The much criticised company tells me it’s now dropped this offensive clause. As it bloody should. Capital, Capita.

Boris gets Brexit (sort of) done

PM: Brexit Man

Ok, so I’m now prepared to accept the Boris bluster that the UK will leave the EU on January 31st.

No ifs, buts, or cripes we’ve missed another deadline and the PM searching for a handy ditch to lay down in.

When we do leave we will not notice much immediate difference as we’ll be entering a transition period in which everything stays as it is now.

The next big test is the PM’s promise to have a free trade deal in place by the end of 2020.

Barnier: impossible

But the Sunday Mirror saw documents last week in which the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says that’s impossible in the time frame.

Which still means the threat of crashing out without a deal.

Unless Johnson, bolstered by his landslide majority with no one holding a gun to his head, agrees a nice, soft, squidgy Brexit for his One Nation Britain.

BBC boob again

President Erdy: gurdy

I doubt Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be giving an interview to the BBC anytime soon.

In another of the Beeb’s hilarious subtitling gaffes it called him President Hurdy-gurdy.

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This takes the biscuit


 

I went to the funeral on Tuesday of the Press Association news agency’s legendary political editor Chris Moncrieff.

Son Angus remembered his rumbustious dad going to the White House and inadvertently inviting Ronald Reagan to Charles and Diana’s wedding.

And at the Kremlin absentmindedly wolfing down all of Boris Yeltsin’s favourite biscuits.

MPs first days at school


Excitable new MPs coming to the Palace of Westminster for the first time this week are in for a shock.

It’ll be less like a palace and more like Tom Brown’s schooldays.

They won’t even get an office for weeks as the old lags who were returned bag the best for themselves.

Home for the newbies will be locker on the Upper Committee Corridor and a spot of hot desking.





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