THE thought of Jeremy Corbyn getting anywhere near 10 Downing St still horrifies me. He gives me sleepless nights; he should, anyone. Why? Is it because he is Labour? Certainly not. He might lead that once-great party, but he does not represent the democratic socialist (and patriotic) Labour Party I remember. He represents the hard left militant "activists" of Momentum, who, thanks to Ed Miliband's daft party membership rule changes, have now taken Labour over, lock, stock and barrel (what an apt phrase – you'll see why later). No, this is just a reason for not voting for him.
Is it because he's an economic illiterate, who would wage "class war" on "the rich" (without defining where you draw the line that defines you as "rich")? Is it because he would increase top-level income tax rates and taxes on business to such an extent that high earners and foreign investors would abandon Britain in their droves, consequently REDUCING tax revenues and making the nation very much poorer? No, it's not even that (after all, his socialist dream would be fulfilled; we'd all be equal, but only in poverty).
Is it because he has made so many election spending pledges he would have to tax, borrow and increase Britain's national debt to Greek-like proportions, or alternatively break those promises? No, that's not it either.
Is it because he would remove all the democratising Tory trades union laws that stopped the old trades union barons from bringing British industry to halt on a whim, without consulting their members in secret ballots? It could be, but no, it's not.
Is it because he and his beloved Momentum and CND want to abandon Britain's nuclear deterrent and he has promised never to use it anyway, even if we were threatened with nuclear attack? Well, we are getting warmer (hopefully not literally).
Is it because he has managed to persuade large numbers of voters that none of this matters? No, definitely not. If Britain were ever daft enough to elect him and his Marxist cohorts, it would deserve all it gets. In any case, I'm a democrat (although how long I could remain so in his socialist republic is debatable).
Is it because he's a republican and I'm a royalist? No, but there lies our first real clue.
On October 12, 1984, my wife and I were attending the Tory conference in Brighton. One Patrick Magee "bravely" planted an IRA bomb weeks before we arrived, watching its devastating effects on TV, from the safe distance of a bar in Dublin. Magee killed five and injured 31 others. My wife and I were two of the 31. What's this got to do with Corbyn, you rightly ask?
It's what he did just a few weeks later. He invited two convicted IRA "volunteers" (Linda Quigley and Gerry MacLochlainn) into the confines of Parliament, the heart of the very government the IRA had so recently tried to violently destroy.
Then he attended a "Troops Out” protest outside the Old Bailey, opposing the "show trial" of a group of IRA suspects, including the Brighton bomber, Patrick Magee. The Troops Out Movement he supported that day claimed the demonstration was "to show solidarity [one of Corbyn's favourite words] with the Irish Republican prisoners put on trial by the British state". Being at that demo hardly indicates a love for the "British state", does it, so why would any sane person want him at the head of its government? (No wonder MI5 "opened a file" on him).
His mate Gerry Adams hates "the British state" (though he lived on its benefits as an "unemployed barman" for years). His other pal, the now deceased Martin McGuinness (I shed no tears), also hated Britain, but that didn't stop Corbyn regularly being photographed arm in arm with them, sometimes at Westminster (the Speaker, Betty Boothroyd, went ballistic). Despite their denials, both were believed by the security services to be leaders of the "IRA Army Council", an organisation responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents.
Corbyn was recently forced to condemn "all bombers". He has never expressed clear condemnation of IRA terror, nor publicly hugged the relatives of their victims. In my days at Westminster, he was shunned by most of his own party for not doing so, as he was by me. He was marginalised. He needs to be again.
This man SHOULD horrify you. If he doesn't, God help us all.
We still need her there
HOW long will Theresa May last in Number 10? Who knows? At the time of writing, it's impossible to say. How long should she remain there? Well, that's another matter. The last thing the Tories need to do is to weaken their already tenuous grip on power any further.
I feel sure that the Tory whips will currently have but one objective and that is to avoid any chance of Jeremy Corbyn entering Number 10 by default, so that means stabilising the situation in Parliament and rallying their MPs behind the PM, if only for the short term. With the Brexit talks under way, it is essential she can gets her Queen's Speech proposals (mostly about initiating Brexit) approved in Parliament. If she doesn't it will be chaos.
By the time you read this, we will know if she can survive. She will have faced key votes on the Queen's Speech on Wednesday and Thursday. If the government have lost those votes, the Tory benches will be in melt down, with calls for her to go immediately. They should keep their nerve. Corbyn is in the wings, waiting to present his “alternative Queen's Speech" to the House. That should be their only concern. Leadership chaos on their own side is the last thing they need.
The Brexit talks have started in earnest. The country needs the PRESENT, recently elected government to get on with them. Chaos only strengthens the EU hand. By the time you read this, I pray Theresa May will have won her parliamentary votes and is still PM. What happens to her long-term future is irrelevant. For the time being at least, the country needs her there.
A DAY IN THIS LIFE
DESCRIBING Jeremy Corbyn as a "Trotskyite dreamer" in my last column led "TH" of Karşıyaka to describe my effort as a "lazy piece of writing" (Letters, June 24). Actually I thought my description of Jeremy was quite reserved. Hopefully I've made up for it this week (see On Westminster).
They still want to leave
LATEST poll on Brexit? Sixty per cent want now want to leave. Soft Brexit? Hard Brexit? Neither – both those terms are a con. You don't leave anywhere when you still have one foot in it. People were asked if they want to leave the EU. They said "yes". They didn't say "Yes, but only a bit". Someday it might sink in.
John was right
JOHN Hughes-Wilson's column last week has proved more prophetic than I suspect even he imagined. He talked of Britain teetering on the edge of civil strife. Alarmist? No, just foresight. Sheffield's Meadowhall shopping centre witnessed scenes of a largely female brawl, with Muslim women having their face-covering garb violently ripped off them. A sign of things to come? Sadly, it's looking that way.
Well done, Cyprus Today
CYPRUS Today took up Ozanköy residents' complaints about water being off for days, and in some cases weeks, in parts of the village. Latest reports to me from some residents is that "things have improved". Well done, chief reporter Kerem Hasan. Any further trouble, let this paper know.
The same DNA
I SEE recent research shows that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots share common DNA, meaning they have a common ancestry that is "Cypriot". No great surprise there, except for one thing: history, experience and different cultures have divided them. They feel Turkish or Greek, so in their minds, they are. End of story.
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