Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Hitting Chauncey Hard on Brexit, Terrorism and Security



I suppose, if we are being entirely objective, Chauncey's performance last night was a definite improvement from what we have seen in the past from him, although it is hardly surprising if he is now able to come up with a response to the standard format IRA question, even if that IRA question is not even slightly answered. The audience do seem to buy that nauseating soft spoken man of unimpeachable integrity act that Chauncey tries to get away with every time he appears on television. This is why he struggles with being interviewed. The interviewers are not buying it and have seen it all before. You would think that TV viewers have too.

Chauncey tries this approach and indeed launches into a history lesson every time he is asked an awkward question he would rather not answer, as a means of deflection. He has no answer to the questions about terrorist sympathies other than bare faced lies, although admittedly he has not yet tried the Diane Abbott form of non-denial-denial of referring to his haircut. But then as a perennial beard wearer with hair that looks much the same too this is not really a route open to him. Not that it should be open to the woman vying to be the next Home Secretary either you understand, but then Abbott seems to be the comic relief of this election campaign.

Chauncey will be relieved now to have got through all of the big set piece events this campaign has to offer without a major disaster. There have however been a series of minor ones. He is still evasive on the issues of his past with more incendiaries to come in the last week. He is evasive on nuclear weapons, which speaks to his determination to get his own way on this issue. He is utterly unconvincing on Brexit and his tax and spending plans are a mess. He doesn't even try to convince on immigration and refuses to apologise for his stance on this issue. The habits of a London MP died hard it would seem. Chauncey, like many Labour MPs, just thinks of the anywhere north of Watford Gap as being a place where they weigh Labour votes and where the electorate are happy to be patronised.

It should be noted of course that there are few Labour politicians who are not unsound on at least some of these issues, although Chauncey is the first to wish to scrap our nuclear weapons in a generation. He is the first Labour leader in history to be unsound on whether or not he even likes this country and whether he would be willing to defend it, whether he would be willing to kill someone out to kill us and whether or not he has shared a platform with convicted murderers including some who tried to kill the British cabinet.

All of which is why the Tories must now spend the last 10 days of this campaign hitting him over and over again on security, defence and in particular on Brexit. All of these are issues that will resonate with Tory voters thus galvanising them to come out and vote. And all of them will also resonate with Brexit voters, in particular with Labour voters who voted Brexit.

The Labour position on Brexit is a mess for the simple reason that it has no position. At least it has one on nuclear weapons even if it has a leader who is going to ignore it. But is has faced both ways on Brexit from the start and its position is inconsistent and incoherent. It is simply untenable to say, as Chauncey said last night, that he will get a deal when the only realistic way of getting one is to be prepared to walk away without one. You would think that a man who is such a strong supporter of the need for trade unions to bring their members out on strike would know that.

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