Why we should be worried about the state of Her Majesty's Opposition

18 Apr 2016

 

There is no doubt that the last couple of weeks have been painful for the government. David Cameron’s poor handling of the Panama Papers scandal and controversy over an expensive taxpayer-funded campaign to deliver pro-EU leaflets has left the government red-faced.

 

The latter backfired spectacularly last week, with many people posting on Facebook that they were sending their leaflets straight back to Downing Street. Once the local elections are over, Conservative MPs and activists will be campaigning for either the Remain or Leave camp in the upcoming EU referendum, and relationships are likely to be damaged.

 

Yet, although Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition should be tearing the government apart over these continuous problems, they are simply failing to do so. Thus, despite a mini Conservative-implosion, it is highly unlikely that Labour will win the 2020 General Election with Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Opposition. Whilst this is great news for Conservative activists like me, it is a sad state of affairs for our democracy.

 

Regarding the European Union, we simply cannot trust Corbyn’s views. Last week he came out in support of the European Union. But we know that he has a long history of opposing the EU. In 1975, he opposed what was then the European Economic Community. Exactly 40 years later, he spoke about his concerns over Greece and the growing power of the EU. He has been a consistent opponent of the European Union all of his life. And since he has become Leader of the Opposition, he has become an ardent supporter of the European Union. How can we believe a word he says on this issue – one of the most important in recent years?

 

The Labour Party has tried to capitalise upon the Panama Papers revelations, but have failed. Instead, they have been mocked for attacking David Cameron and his family, despite the Prime Minister’s clean tax record. What right does the Labour Party really have to attack the Camerons when their own MPs like Margaret Hodge have benefitted from these rules? What right do they have when Corbyn has failed to declare a third pension and was fined £100 for a late tax return? None. The Labour Party is playing class war – stoking a culture of envy that will only make Britain weaker. Cameron can still successfully tackle Corbyn's criticisms even when his party is experiencing a myriad of difficulties.

 

With these sorts of pitiful attacks, the past couple of weeks may have been damaging for the government, but they were equally injurious for HM's Opposition. If this impotency is set to continue then these are truly worrying times for the Labour Party. Given Labour's poor track record of disposing unelectable leaders, that seems more than likely. A Conservative victory in 2020 appears more certain at the moment, despite all that has happened over the past two weeks. These will surely be regarded as five wasted years for Labour, when they have failed to act as an effective counterbalance to the Conservative Party.

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