Corbyn to restore 70s-style union powers
It’s rich for politicians to claim they are putting the country first when they often haven’t in the past
JEREMY CORBYN announced plans to make it easier for strike action as businesses last night accused him of “turning back the clock” to the Seventies.
In a move that could open the floodgates to widespread industrial action, the Labour leader yesterday vowed to sweep aside anti-trade union laws and transfer power from the “born-to-rule establishment” to the workers.
Addressing the Trades Union Congress annual conference in Brighton, Mr Corbyn said he would reverse the “deliberate, decades-long transfer of power away from working people”.
If Labour wins power, a ministry of employment rights would be created alongside an agency to prosecute firms that failed to uphold employee rights and “reinstate unfairly dismissed workers”.
Len Mccluskey, the Unite leader, accused the Tories of waging “class war against the poor”. Turning the words of Boris Johnson’s hero Winston Churchill against him, Mr Mccluskey said: “We know your game, your wish to be Churchillian, rather than the Wreck-it Ralph that you are. We will fight you in our hospitals, we will fight you in our factories, we will fight you in our communities. Pick your beach, Prime Minister. We’ll never surrender.”
Mr Corbyn reiterated Labour’s plan to repeal the Trade Union Act, which made strikes illegal unless half the union members participated in a ballot. He told the conference: “We will put power in the hands of workers.”
The CBI last night warned Labour that the proposals would “turn back the clock decades”.
Of all the pathetic excuses the so-called “Rebel Alliance” have used to justify their attempts to frustrate Brexit in Parliament, the most odious must be the claim that they are somehow acting in the national interest. Time and time again, when Remainer MPS come up with some new stunt to block the democratic will of the majority of Britons, they claim they are putting the interests of the nation above their own political ambitions.
Setting aside the sheer arrogance of those who believe they know better than voters, you only have to examine how these self-proclaimed saviours of democracy have conducted themselves in a different political context to see that their actions amount to nothing more than rank hypocrisy.
The most obvious offender is Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has devoted his entire political career to associating with and supporting
regimes and organisations that are declared enemies of the British state. Starting with the IRA during the Troubles in the 1970s, Mr Corbyn has been an avowed apologist for Islamist terror groups such as Hamas and Hizbollah, while at the same time defending the interests of rogue regimes in Iran, Syria, Russia and Venezuela. His enthusiasm for the repressive rule of the ayatollahs led him to work as a pundit for Iran’s state-controlled Press TV channel, which regularly broadcast anti-british propaganda until its licence was revoked by Ofcom in 2012.
The recent high point of Mr Corbyn’s unpatriotic antics was his refusal, in the wake of last year’s Salisbury poisoning, to acknowledge the Government’s insistence, based on credible evidence provided by the security services, that the attack was carried out by a team of assassins from Russia’s GRU intelligence agency. The Labour leader still preferred to give the Kremlin the benefit of the doubt.
Nor is Mr Corbyn the only highprofile figure within the Remainer ranks whose talk of acting in the national interest amounts to little more than cant. SNP leader Ian Blackford, who spent the early hours of yesterday indulging in a rendition of
Flower of Scotland in the Commons chamber, is another member of the opposition whose real agenda has nothing to do with promoting the national interest – his main objective is the break-up of the United Kingdom.
Then there is the group of 21 rebel Tory MPS, who claim that their decision to side with Mr Corbyn on passing legislation that will prevent a no-deal Brexit meant they had to put the interests of the country above party loyalty. If only this sentiment had informed their conduct at other stages of their political careers.
Take Philip Hammond, whose deep personal antipathy towards Boris Johnson has resulted in the former chancellor’s expulsion from the party he has served for 40 years. Prior to last week’s parliamentary denouement, in which he voted with Mr Corbyn against the Johnson Government, Mr Hammond sought to justify his treachery by claiming he was putting country above political ambition.
There will be many in the Armed Forces who regret he did not demonstrate the same level of commitment to the nation’s well-being during his unimpressive stint as defence secretary. His enthusiasm for cutting defence expenditure is one of the main reasons our military is ill-equipped to confront foreign foes.
As the brains behind the Cameron government’s spending review, Sir Oliver Letwin, another arch conspirator in the campaign to undermine Mr Johnson, must also share some of the blame for the precipitate decline of our military strength. He was firmly of the view that, starved of the military resources required to wage war, Britain could avoid involvement in future conflicts.
Then there is Rory Stewart, another high-profile cheerleader of the Remainer cause who is keen to demonstrate that his sense of patriotism overrides his Tory loyalties. This is in stark contrast to the same Mr Stewart who, during his time in Afghanistan, undermined British military operations against the Taliban with his defeatist insistence that the terrorists could never be beaten.
If the aim, though, of this rebellious cabal of cross-party Remainers is to safeguard the nation’s long-term interests, they are doing a lousy job. They may draw satisfaction that they have made life deeply uncomfortable for the Prime Minister, but they have, in the process, succeeded in turning the country into an international laughing stock.
And to make matters worse, while they have volubly demonstrated what they are against, none of them seems to have a clue about how to break the impasse.
This is clearly evident from the intellectual incoherence expressed by Emily Thornberry, who insists that, if Labour were to win power, it would hold a second referendum during which it would campaign against any Brexit agreement it negotiated with the European Union.
The Remainers may claim their intention is to protect Britain’s interests. The brutal truth is that they are making it almost impossible to find a solution to the Brexit crisis.