Happy New Year.
Stephen Bush, writing in the New Statesman (online), makes five predictions for the year ahead in politics, and gives his reasons. Here are those predictions, and here’s my view of them.
Ever since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in September this year, he has been continually attacked by both MPs and commentators both inside and outside the party.
One person who has been a bigger critic of Corbyn than most is the publicity-seeking MP for Rochdale, Simon Danczuk.
For the last few weeks, parts of Wales, Scotland and northern England have suffered long periods of heavy rainfall leading to localised flooding.
This has understandibly ruined Christmas for many communities and have predictably led to calls from the media and politicians alike for the government to do more to improve defences to protect communities not just currently affected, but across the country as well.
Unfortunately, we have seen the awful spectacle of both government and opposition (mainly Labour) politicians attacking each other over who cutting funding for such upgrades. Prime Minister David Cameron, facing anger from local residents, had claimed that the current government had spent more for them than their previous Labour counterparts.
Perhaps the real blame for this state of affairs is not only of successive national governments for failing to properly fund and invest in such schemes, but also local councils, in their desire to attract people into their towns and villages, recklessly approve planning for the building of homes and factories in areas that could be prone to flooding. Indeed, it may seem a selfish thing to say on my part (my home has never been flooded out), but it seems totally unrealistic to try to construct even bigger defences, which may only protect some towns but make others vulnerable. For many people, such natural events such as storms are what some weather experts say the cause of climate change.
Does anyone in the country outside the Westminster and media bubbles support the UK bombing of Syria?
Parliament is debating whether we should help kill yet more civilians in a country which has been in a civil war for over four years, and continuing an endless war on terror.
Prime minister David Cameron wants the authority to do this, despite being unable to deliver a straightforward policy. With the Conservative party having a small majority, he could certainly be reliant on the number of Labour MPs to support him, not because he has convinced them of the arguments for war, but they absolutely hate their current leader Jeremy Corbyn.
For many of those still-serving MPs who voted for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, have they learned nothing? Any fresh bombing will increase the threat of more terrorist attacks in the UK.
Afghanistan. Iraq. Libya. Now Syria. Every single one of the recent Western interventions has ended badly. There needs to be a proper alternative to resolving such crises and that could be used in the last resort.
Today, after nearly four months of campaigning, the new leader of the country’s main opposition party will finally be announced.
Let’s look at the candidates again.
The surprise frontrunner, the veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, has been criticised by the mainstream media as being in the pay of the unions, being anti-war, and speaks to alleged facists and anti-semites.
Last night, hip-hop star Kanye West announced at the MTV Video Music Awards that he will run for election of the President of the United States of America in 2020.
Oh dear, it’s bad enough for Americans to put up with the likes of clowns and nut-jobs like the businessman Donald Trump who think they could do a better job than any experienced politician.
West was not the first clown to put himself up to ridicule when running for elected office, and won’t be the last. Still, at least he has five years to change his mind…..
Whither the Labour party?
In Parliament, the Conservative government’s controversial welfare bill was passed last night by a huge majority… helped by acting Labour leader Harriet harman asking MPs to abstain. Instead, 48 of them (one was leadership challenger Jeremy Corbyn) decided to defy the whip and vote against.
After managing to lose a winnable general election last month, the Labour party is having yet another pointless election contest to choose vote-loser Ed Miliband’s successor.
The contest has already been hit by some putting their hats in the ring…. and then pulling out. Let’s face it, who in their right mind would want to lead a both dead and moribund party which has had more relaunches in the last thirty-plus years than most people had hot dinners?