The tragedy of the Labour leadership contest is they are not debating what really matters to the country and to their party for the future. It cannot resolve most of the big questions, as they are not being posed. The Labour party in Parliament is bitterly divided over what it stands for, what it should oppose and what it should support, and what it should offer electors in 2020.
By Steve Parkhurst, Senior Editor, USDR.
Looking at the news and opinion out of London each day.
It would bring events nicely full circle. It would also be true as matters stand. And will carry on being so until or unless Labour comes to its senses – or splits.
We are still not entirely sure when the Labour leadership contest will end, but in these dusty days of recess, it is certainly keeping everyone nicely busy. Today Owen Smith received a boost from trade union GMB, which decided to endorse his bid to take over from Jeremy Corbyn.
Southern Rail passengers have been spared – for now. The RMT union agreed to call off the last two days of a planned five-day strike, meaning that trains can return to the substandard, dismal service they usually offer, rather than the truly dire service during the strike. The vital issue at hand in these sensitive negotiations can now be tackled: whether or not train conductors get to push the button that opens and closes the doors.
Can the Labour Party be saved? The more optimistic party members and supporters have until recently believed so. They frequently point to the presence of Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, as the man best positioned to outmanoeuvre Jeremy Corbyn in the name of something more amenable. It was Watson, after all, who played a leading role in getting rid of Tony Blair in 2007.
The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has suggested that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, should delay triggering Article 50, effectively kickstarting Britain’s divorce from the EU, until after the French and German elections next year.
The preposterous rail strike on Southern services is inconveniencing tens of thousands of passengers, hitting businesses in the pocket and undermining London’s reputation on the world stage.
Is the tide in Germany turning against Turkey? It certainly seems to be. A poll today shows a majority of Germans favour ending the refugee deal agreed between the EU and Turkey back in March. The agreement has helped stem the flow of migrants flooding into Europe, making a repeat of the 1.1m people who arrived in Germany last year unlikely.
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