Bernard Ingham: Honestly – Labour need to ditch Corbyn this Christmas

Sir Bernard Ingham gets in the Christmas spirit with Jeremy Corbyn. Illustration: Graeme Bandeira
Sir Bernard Ingham gets in the Christmas spirit with Jeremy Corbyn. Illustration: Graeme Bandeira
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HONESTY is the best policy, they used to tell me as a child in Hebden Bridge long before they conferred on me the title of “spin doctor”, which I regard as a term of abuse. This presents me with a peculiar difficulty.

It would be gratuitous to wish the Labour Party, as I honestly do, peace on earth and goodwill to all men this Christmastide. In its present state, there is precious little peace and even less goodwill between the factions.

I could, of course, take advantage of Ed Miliband’s £3 membership to try to reinforce moderation in the party. 
That would be singularly helpful if hundreds of thousands of moderates followed suit.

But, being moderate, there is no guarantee of that and I have no intention any way of joining any political party after 48 years as an independent soul.

Nonetheless, we desperately need a serious and resourceful Opposition capable of assuming government. A healthy democracy requires exactly

From experience, I know that governments get slack and accident-prone without critical pressure from another major political party. Our adversarial system is designed to keep the Government on its toes and there are already signs that the Tories are developing flat feet.

Internal party opposition is no substitute. It just damages the government of the day – as Prime Ministers have discovered from the day dot.

So what can I helpfully bestow on the Labour Party in the interests of real democracy this festive season? Simply my honest if uncomfortable advice by way of seasonal greetings and best wishes for the New Year.

I doubt whether it will be widely welcome since most of my Labour critics seem to think I have not had an original thought since approximately 1979 when Margaret Thatcher came to office. Nonetheless, hear me out.

Like it or not, after 100 days of Jeremy Corbyn, we know that the Labour Party is unelectable. Like most hard Left hypocrites, Corbyn preaches humanity, equality and peace – even though he consorts with terrorists – while at the same time unleashing on the party the militant, Troskyite dogs of war, threatening de-selection to any Labour MP who defies him.

Mark my words, this man is dangerous for two reasons. He apparently believes unswervingly in the healing power of socialism with its gloves off. And he looks ineffectual, the very epitome, stubbled, vested and fully equipped with cycle clips, of the minor middle-class revolutionaries to be found in junior common rooms.

In other circumstances, he might invite a certain amusement or pity. But Corbyn, God help us, aspires to be Prime Minister of the UK.

The question is what is to be done with him, given Labour’s new militant membership. My honest advice to the party is to get rid of him – quick. He won’t go away. Nor will his militant supporters. The longer he is allowed to stay the more entrenched he – and they – will become. And the more they will sideline Labour as a political force.

The truth is that Corbyn and Co. are Marxist. While they pretend to represent the working man’s best interests, they want to keep him under their thumb. Nothing is too good for the workers who are in charge. The rest can do as they are told whether by the ruling elite or by unions such as Len McCluskey’s Unite.

Corbyn has a contempt for the facts of economics. His anti-austerity policy regards conventional economics of paying your way with derision. He sees nothing wrong in borrowing up to the gills and leaving our grandchildren to foot the bill with a debauched currency while we pay higher taxes now.

You can be sure that his social aim is not an upwardly thrusting proletariat but one sharing equally the misery generated by his economics and likely education policy.

As for foreign and defence policy, our allies would find the UK utterly unreliable in the face of threats. Corbyn’s international pacifism would bow the knee to Putin and to terror.

Nor is freedom of the individual under the law in the Corbynistas’ lexicon. You can do anything provided you conform to what they think is good for you.

This is never what the Labour Party has stood for. In all honesty and with Christian charity, I urge Labour’s moderate majority, however daunting the task, to resolve for 2016 to purge itself of this pestilence – or, more likely, given the militants’ hold already, form another party.

Where is the new Neil Kinnock, the scourge of Militant, at this hour?

Merry Christmas.