Nationalisation: a flawed idea, or an economic saving grace?

Nationalisation is often seen as a buzzword. It usually has a weird effect on people that causes them to start rabidly screaming the words “Marxist” at you every time it’s mentioned. With the Labour Manifesto in the public domain, this phenomenon is becoming more and more common. However, if you’re going to make such a comparison, at least give the Communist Manifesto a read first. The Labour party has pledged to re-nationalise industries such as the Royal Mail, British Energy, as well as Broadband services. Whether the policies put forward by Jeremy Corbyn are plausible or not isn’t the point of discussion, I’m more interested in establishing how or if nationalism fits into the modern-day.

Firstly, it must be established that nationalisation is not actually that radical. Corbyn’s manifesto has been called “Radical” by the BBC and even members of the Labour Party, but the actual policy of nationalisation isn’t as extreme at all. America has utilised nationalisation in various industries, and their Government the exact opposite of socialist. Nearly nine out of ten people in the United States receive their water service from a publicly owned utility and in the last 20 years. Since then, nationalisation of the water industry has only expanded. From 2007 to 2014, the portion of people with water from publicly owned water suppliers increased from 83% to 87%. France’s mass nationalisation of its energy industry in the 1980s, Germany’s re-nationalisation of the Print Office in 2008 after it was privatised in 2001, and Iceland’s re-nationalisation of its largest commercial banks in 2008, shows that it isn’t some outlandish or outdated idea. 

This isn’t necessarily a socialist idea, it’s simply economically liberal. What is then done with nationalised industries is what takes it a step further. Even the services stated above are only a partially nationalised industry, as the state does not have a 100% market share and neither does it legally obstruct private companies from entering the industry. The common question asked is, why on earth would the government want to do this? Simple, it’s because we can’t trust the market completely to operate fairly, and when it crashes, the market won’t protect the public.

In some industries – take water for example – it just makes more sense to have fewer entities providing the service because of the infrastructure involved. The economically savvy readers will recognise this as a natural monopoly. It’s even been used to pull banks and other private entities out of trouble. This is done by temporarily buying them to ensure they don’t collapse and cause damage to the economy as a whole. A good example was when the US government took over GM Motors. When the problem is resolved, the government simply sells the company afterwards. In the case of nationalising industry, it allows the consumer to get a cheaper or even free service whilst the government tanks the cost but runs the companies, they are purchased at a profit which can then go back into your pocket.

Some of you will be reading this and think “Why don’t we just do this for everything? Cheap Nationalised Broadband? Sounds great”. Don’t jump the gun. It’s not something to be taken lightly and isn’t always a good idea. When nationalising an industry, the assumption is the government will actually be good at running the businesses in that industry. You can very easily argue that the British Government, in combination with local government, just isn’t good at it.

To paint a picture, I’m going to use the Labour party promise to provide a state-run fibre broadband service across the country. I am a huge PC gamer nerd. I play mostly League of Legends and Counter-Strike, but anyone who plays video games regularly can unite and agree upon a common enemy, bad ping. Lag spikes are actually the worst, and usually, we all have little tricks we use to try and deal with them, but if they don’t work, we are comforted by the fact that we can just switch broadband providers or upgrade our service. If Broadband is nationalised, you might not be able to do that, leaving you with bad ping and poor gaming experience. 

The state wants to purchase broadband relevant parts of BT, but the BT group also owns Plusnet and EE which have their own broadband services. If only the state broadband service is available in the area you live in, and that service just isn’t good enough, you would have to move to get to a different service provider, because currently there are only 5 providers for commercial usage, and 3 of them (BT, Plusnet and EE) could end up under the state service. To make it even worse, Openreach (a BT Subsidiary) maintains the fibre networks that the other broadband services sell, so if a state broadband service was to exist, the government would either need control of that as well or sub-contract it to Openreach. Even with all those complications, it doesn’t even touch on the fact that everyone who currently works for those companies now becomes state employees, and that’s a whole different fiasco.

Although nationalisation isn’t a ‘pipe dream’ like some would call it. The belief that magically buying all these industries will solve itself is certainly naïve. As I have displayed by briefly exploring the result of the nationalisation of just one service, this is not a straightforward process by any means. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the nationalisation plans of the Labour Party as a whole is risky and would require a restructuring of the economy specifically in the area of taxation. This would be a slow and gradual process that would take around 10 years. This doesn’t just apply to the Labour Party’s plan, it applies the nationalisation as an idea. 10 years is two governments, maybe three, governments. Who says our economic situation doesn’t change? Who says halfway through the project it’s no longer economically viable and the whole thing gets put on hold?

Nationalisation isn’t the Marxist evil that many claim it to be, but it isn’t necessarily the undeniable saving grace of the British population that it is being peddled as either.

It’s Time We Listened To Jeremy Corbyn

According to most reports, it is foolish. A rebellious opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, demands the House to let MPs vote on holding a second referendum and place power over Brexit away from the government, to appease vast dissatisfaction with May’s flawed, faltering Brexit Bill.

Could the opposition’s alignment with a “People’s Vote” work in practice? It is idealistic. But between a government agenda of isolationism and democratic cooperation to find a better answer, it is decidedly more true to the ideals of the “Westminster System” that the government is accountable to the people, instead of the opposite. In practice, for some time the distinction has been reversed and power has become a check and balance on the public, not the other way round. Because this dynamic may well have fueled dissatisfaction with politics that unarguably stoked support for Brexit to start with, perhaps the collapse of May’s deal, the end of Government conniving behind our backs, is the best possible outcome.

For months and years, I have been frankly baffled by Brexit despite having a politics degree, where I was taught how to make sense of complex geopolitical dynamics through procedures of reason and theory. Brexit is hard, and anyone who claims to understand it entirely talks big. Recently, the way I’ve asked what Brexit means is through holding what the government has done, is doing, will do, through the prism of democratic theory ‘s normative ideals, the “what ought” facts. Precisely because Leave invoked classic democratic values like self-determination and Democracy to justify its superiority, it surely is consistent with their principles to make sure there is due scrutiny Brexit really does satisfy the power in our hands’ agenda.

To my mind, the problem is not with Corbyn’s ideals, his vision for policy, but the practical matter of winning enough votes to control the trajectory of the House. Whether or not Labour members will provide this mandate, support their leader without hesitation to bring down the Tories, depends on to what extent they buy the media narrative on his ineptitude. He’d have to pierce through a powerful illusion of his being a politician with ideas beyond reason and aim for an informed public choice in favour of more Brexit scrutiny that would defy our political pathology of rash, biased decisions.

Should Corbyn convince the party of the need to present a united front that can persuade people it is staying true to the values that ostensibly inspired people to vote Leave, then his plan is flawless. The Progress backed PLP may not be at one with it. I do not recognise any procedural democracy in how this corporate lobby subverts the innate democratic socialism in Labour. Labour, as the people’s party, should never have been subject to corporate lobbying. But if I were a voter, I’d pause to reflect how Corbyn is returning soul and substance to a party sold out to the terms and conditions of neoliberalism, by Tony Blair.

Universal Credit: U-turn on two-child benefit cap is not good enough

Amber Rudd

 

The Government has pulled a U-turn on the Universal Credit two-child limit. Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has announced that the extension of the two-child limit on Universal Credit will be scrapped.

In general, families with children claiming Universal Credit receive additional financial support if the child was born before April 2017. However, if a family were to have more than two children born either on or after April 2017, the family will not receive additional financial support. The Government had planned to start applying the two-child limit to families with children born before April 2017. This has now been scrapped due to its unfairness.

 

Final Comment from Editor- Heidi Boahen

It is unfair to make an announcement of a potential change to a system which many low-income families rely on. Many families in the UK are in poverty and are struggling to cope financially on a monthly basis.

Although many families will be relieved to hear the announcement, families who have more than two children born after April 2017 will not be too happy. Universal Credit is supposed to be a system which supports low-income families and not put them into further deprivation and poverty. I suggest the cap should be scrapped across the board to make it completely fair. I believe Universal Credit is failing many families going through hardship in the UK.

Margaret Greenwood MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary has announced:

Labour will scrap the social security freeze and get rid of the two child cap, which everyone, including the Work and Pensions Secretary, knows is deeply unfair

 

DUP Dismisses Claims of Planning to Topple the Government with Labour

Sammy Wilson, DUP MP, has made it clear that his party are not in talks with the Labour Party – regarding a potential ‘vote of no confidence’ in the House of Commons.

These claims counter reports that suggest both parties are searching for ‘common ground’ to topple the Conservative Government. It was reported that a ‘motion of no confidence’ would be called before Christmas 2018.

Opposition parties have been encouraging the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, to push a vote of no confidence against the Conservative Government. However, the beliefs of one party have remained unclear throughout this political turmoil, but it is now claimed that the DUP will not support the Labour Party.

Mr. Wilson, in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett, said: ‘We don’t need to be in talks with Labour.’

He continued, ‘We have made it quite clear that if the Prime Minister continues to pursue the policy and gets the ability to implement that policy, then we will vote against the Government in a vote of no confidence.’

He concluded, ‘However she has got to get over the first hurdle, and that is to get this agreement accepted by Parliament.’

Labour has been withholding a vote of no confidence, as current rumours suggest that the party will be unable to obtain a majority in the House of Commons. In order to succeed with a motion of no confidence, the Leader of the Opposition will require the support of the majority of the House of Commons.

If successful, there will be a fourteen-day deadline for a motion of confidence to be placed in a new government, if not a general election must be called.

Labour will call for a Vote of No Confidence if May loses Brexit vote

Sunday 2nd December

Sir Keir Stammer has called for a Vote of No Confidence if May loses her vote in the House of Commons on the EU withdrawal agreement. In an interview with Sky News this morning, the Shadow Brexit Secretary outlined the technicalities of the Fixed Term Parliament Act. Under the Act, a general election is called precisely every 5 years, however if a Government loses a vote of no confidence it has 14 days to pass a second motion, otherwise Parliament is dissolved and an election is called.

Although, it looks unlikely that Mrs May will get her Brexit deal through parliament, she is still well supported amongst Tory MP’s, as they fear Jeremy Corbyn being elected into Government. This is evidenced in the coup that was organised by the ERG, which failed to materialise.

The Legal Advice Row

Mrs May, may quite have bigger things to worry about, however. Around a month ago, parliament passed a motion which would have seen the government have to reveal the legal advice that the Attorney General had provided Mrs May and Co. on Brexit.

It has since been confirmed though, that Geofrrey Cox will only reveal redacted and amended statements.

This has drawn severe criticism from various political parties and actors, including the DUP, who have accused Mrs May of having something to hide. Keir Stammer added that not publishing the legal advice in full, would mean that Labour would have no option but to start proceedings for contempt of parliament.

Analysis by Editor – Seb Chromiak

Labour tacticians must be very careful when calling a Vote of No Confidence, it was one thing undermining a crippled Government, but it is another if she survives the vote.

What Labour risk is strengthening Mrs May at the helm, as there is no majority for a VONC. No doubt, a crisis of some sorts is on the horizon for this Tory government if they lose the Brexit vote. Mrs May has been under intense scrutiny for weeks now, calling a VONC would give an opportunity to the Main Stream Media to shift the attention onto Jeremy Corbyn. This would undermine the cunning work his party has done.

Call me cautious, but on Brexit, Labour have played the game fantastically well, and in this very paper, we have on many occasions called for Jeremy to finally put the Tory’s to the sword.

Now, may not be the time.

Kate Osamor Resigns As Shadow International Development Secretary

Kate Osamor MP has announced she is resigning from her position as Shadow International Development Secretary.

The British Labour Co-operative politician has been the Member of Parliament for Edmonton since May 2015 and was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for International Development. She has stated that she is concentrating on supporting her family through the difficult time they have experienced.

In a statement Ms Osamor said:

I am resigning my position as Shadow International Development Secretary to concentrate on supporting my family through the difficult time we have been experiencing. I remain fully committed to our programme for creating a society that works for the many, not the privileged few and will continue to campaign for this from the backbenches.

Osamor’s son Ishmael Osamor who was a Labour councillor was caught with drugs at a festival and later on resigned as a councillor. He later pleaded guilty to four charges. Osamor came under criticism for continuing to employ him as a communications officer.

Labour previously claimed Ms Osamor did not know about the case until her son was sentenced to 200 hours community service but the Times revealed she had written to the judge asking for leniency.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn thanked Ms Osamor for her service in the role that gave Labour a new dimension “by committing Labour to tackle global inequality as well as poverty”.

The MP has also come under criticism for allegedly verbally abusing a journalist who was seeking information about her son’s actions. This drew strong condemnation from the NUJ.

Michelle Stanistreet the Union’s General Secretary said:

“Journalists, like any other workers, need to be able to go about their work without fear of threats or assault. It’s completely unacceptable to respond to legitimate press queries, however unwelcome they may be, with physical or verbal abuse.”

 

More follows

Chuka Umunna telling Corbyn to ‘call off the dogs’ stinks of hypocrisy

With the moderates in the Labour Party continuing their rebellion, Chuka Umunna, who has acted as one of the lynchpins, has told Jeremy Corbyn to ‘call off the dogs’. This came just a day after Tony Blair said that the party could ‘never be taken back’ by his ilk.

Yet the issue for Umunna is that everything he says nowadays when it comes to the party stinks of hypocrisy. On Twitter, he said “Was Labour founded to fight for working people or attack excellent MPs”, naming the recently deselected Joan Ryan as an example of what he presumably feels is a ‘witch hunt’. So its okay for him to attack anyone who’s even slightly more left-leaning than him, and for him to demonise the leadership, but when his friends are beyond criticism.

And this is the issue with the so-called ‘moderates’ in the Labour Party. Streeting, Hodge, Ryan and Umunna himself are just a few of the examples of these MPs who are committed not to getting in a Corbyn-led Labour government, but to effectively enable the Conservatives and stop Labour winning.

It’s perhaps interesting then that Umunna says the priority for Labour should be to fight Brexit. But surely a Labour ‘Soft’ Brexit is better than a Tory ‘Hard Brexit’, or heaven forbid a ‘no deal scenario’. Umunna’s protests are completely counterproductive. Doing fancy speeches for ‘Progress’, the right-wing Labour pressure group isn’t going to get you the Brexit that you want, neither is focusing all of your politics on attacking the only people capable of bringing down the Conservatives and stopping said Brexit. Corbyn may not be the most appetising for many, but he IS the only option to defeat the Tories, whether Ummuna likes it or not

With deselections looming for many more moderates, surely they must realise that the membership are upset by their actions? While these deselections serve Chuka’s case well, he can hardly argue that some of them are underserved. There is no doubt that Labour is a broad church. However, when MPs are actively working against the party, undermining the leadership and enabling the Tories, why should they be allowed to continue representing it?

I myself disagree with deselections, instead favouring Open Selection, championed by Momentum, where CLP’s can vote whether to allow the sitting MP to continue, or vote them out after each term. This is the way the party should go, making the whole process as open and democratic as possible. In fact, it will serve to improve the party as it may force MPs to work harder to keep their job.

And to assume that ‘all the moderates’ would be gone is wrong. For that to happen, you would have to presume that all of the moderate MPs CLP’s dislike them strongly, which as shown by the narrow 94-92 vote of no confidence in Joan Ryan, is most likely not the case. Being an MP should not be a job that is taken for granted, as it is by many MPs nowadays.

Chuka Umunna must embrace the party in its current form if he is to continue representing it. As he continues his threats to break away and fund a centrist party (for which there is no appetite), many feel he should go ahead and do it. A centrist party that nobody wants, funded by multi-billionaires who nobody like, and represented by politicians nobody respects, would do only one thing. Help the Tories. While it would take votes off them most likely, it would take far more off Labour. This new party would enable the Tories to do whatever they want with the country. Hard Brexit? It’d be easy for them. Austerity? Expect it to continue forever. No matter what, the whole concept of a new centrist party is not only flawed, it is counterproductive.

Umunna is a clever man, and a good politician who represents his supporters well. But the fact that he doesn’t realise that people don’t want a new centrist party baffles many. The failure of the Liberal Democrats to make any impact on the political atmosphere since the coalition shows how little people want a new party representing the middle ground.

Labour is still not quite there, a mess in many ways but a mess orchestrated by those opposed to Corbyn. The Mainstream Media’s smears have worked incredibly well for the centrist MPs within the party and its without a doubt that we haven’t heard the last of the ‘Progress’ politicians but the hypocritical campaign of the likes of Chuka Umunna and his friends only does one thing, help the Tories.

Blairite MPs dismiss members concerns after losing votes of no confidence

Following Joan Ryan’s loss to a vote of no confidence, Gavin Shuker of Luton South has also lost the confidence of his constituency. Despite the votes, both Ryan and Shuker have told their local party members that they will not quit.

Ryan lost 94-92, Shuker lost by a significant margin, 33-3.

The motion against Joan Ryan could see her suspended from the whip and mean that Enfield North CLP uses Open Selection to select its next Parliamentary candidate.

Ryan went on to say that:

Shuker responded by saying:

‘I’m really sorry a handful of people in the Labour Party want to overturn your vote of confidence in me last year. Their actions say far less about me – and you – than they do about the face of today’s party. I’ve not changed, but the Labour Party has.’

Both  MPs seemed keen to blame the membership and it’s more open left-wing stance for their loss.

A senior Labour figure said to TPN,

‘At long last the grassroots are taking control of their party. They’re not going to continue putting up with the likes of Joan Ryan and Gavin Shuker riding roughshod over democracy. The Labour Party belongs to its members not a handful of out-of-touch privileged parliamentarians who have been strutting around with a sense of entitlement for too long’.

Analysis from Iwan Doherty- Editor in Chief

If anyone was expecting humility and reflection in defeat it hasn’t happened. Whilst Shuker did show more restraint than Ryan both MPs openly attacked people who gave up their time to get them elected, not a wise strategy. A strategy that could see other moderates lacking the canvassers that Corbyn has brought into the party that they need to get themselves elected.

The Labour Party is not full of communists or Trotskyists, and attempts to paint members as far left is a sign of why many members feel Ryan is not fit to serve the party. It’s a Tory propaganda line based on complete nonsense.

What action the national party will take be extremely interesting, with local parties asking for both Ryan and Hoey to have whips suspended and to make changes to how the next parliamentary candidate the leadership face a dilemma over to side with its members or its old establishment. I do not expect Labour to suspend the whip on Ryan.

The criticism of Tom Watson is justified, but we should beware of the consequences of his resignation.

Back in 2015, I (along with  198,961 other Labour supporters) voted for Tom Watson for the Deputy Leadership of the party. Suffice to say, he won me over with his record of public service, having been a committed campaigner on social issues and civil liberties. However, three years on, his statement of “I promise to back our new leader 100%” has come back to haunt him.

I have the greatest of respect for his past endeavours, with his role in exposing child abuse within the establishment being key. However, as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, he has a responsibility to support the leader and the party. Granted, in such troubling times, supporting Corbyn fully is difficult for some including myself. My message is this: Its okay not to support the leader, but it is not okay to actively work against the party. And this is what Watson has done.

Let me be clear, I am not writing this article as a result of his intervention over Anti-Semitism within the party. Because in some ways, I agree with him. Not in that we should adopt the IHRA definition of Anti-Semitism, but in that we should have done more sooner. His view that Dame Margaret Hodge shouldn’t be punished for her outrageous outburst in Parliament, in which she launched an expletive-ridden attack to Corbyn’s face by labelling him a “F****** Anti-Semite and a racist”, is entirely wrong. If I went up to my boss and said that, I’d be severely punished on the spot. Why should an MP be any different?

But this is not the point. The point is, the criticism of Watson is justified because all I have heard from him since he was elected is a divisive rhetoric that I’d expect from the so-called ‘Blairites’ within the party. Considering Watson was opposed to Blair himself, you’d expect him to be supportive of a more progressive, left-wing leadership. But no. Before him and the moderates were forced to eat ‘humble pie’ following Labour’s better-than-expected election result last year, he was vocally critical of Corbyn over his leadership and issues such as nominating Shami Chakrabati for a peerage. And at the end of the day, it is everybody’s job to hold Corbyn to account. But when Watson publicly goes on the attack, labelling many in the party as ‘Trotskyite entryists’ that are “manipulating the younger members”, and saying Corbyn wouldn’t get elected as he did pre-2017 election, all that serves to do is weaken our position.

We all want a Labour government at the moment. Maybe not the moderates, with many being quoted as saying they would never vote for a Corbyn-led Labour government, but most of us do want to see him in number 10, if not purely to get rid of the Tories for those of us who aren’t his biggest fan. Im sure Mr Watson is no different. I’m sure he too would like to see Labour get into power. However I’m not certain of it because of his divisive rhetoric.

With the #WeAreCorbyn twitterstorm earlier in the week, it was only a matter of time before we say one that was aiming to get rid of those opposed to the leader. This is why #ResignWatson gained so much traction. by 11PM on Sunday night, it had seen 83,100 tweets fire it to the top of the Twitter Trending list. With such a huge amount of tweets against the Deputy Leader, it was only a matter of time before the Shadow Secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport responded. And respond he did, appearing to be bemused by the twitterstorm. In his tweet, he said he never expected to be facing demand to resign for “standing up for people who are facing prejudice and hate”. Now its all well and good to say that, but its a shame that he’s focused his efforts on attacking the leadership far more than on the Tories.

On the other hand though, it is worth noting that he has publicly backed Corbyn on a few occasions. While they are Few, and the criticism is Many, the fact is, he’s been one of the few Labour MP’s who is obviously opposed to Corbyn who’s backed him on occasions, urging members to “stick with him”.  Should he be forced to resign because the members don’t like him? Not in my view. I completely understand why many think he should. But you cannot just get rid of people you don’t like. Thats not to say that if he goes one step further and publicly attacks Corbyn in the same manner of the ‘traitorous’ Chukka Ummuna, he shouldn’t resign. Because if he goes any further then yes, he should. But for now, it would be easier for the party to keep him in his place where he can be reasonably controlled by the leadership rather than shove him on the back-benches to be as critical of Corbyn as he wants.

And if you think about it, look at the response of Labour members to the resignations of Tory Cabinet Ministers. We’ve used it to our advantage. The Tories will do exactly the same. They’ll simply use it to show that we are once again a divided and split party.

So should he follow the demand for his resignation? In my opinion, no he should not. This will be an unpopular opinion within the party membership. But I think it’d be safer for the Party to wait and see if he falls back in line and supports the leadership than simply sack him and cause yet further controversy that will play right into the Tories hands. He is, at the end of the day, a good man. He does want to stand up for those who need help. He’s just gone about it in the wrong way.

A resignation would also be used by the Blairites to launch an inevitable second coup against the Leadership. This would of course fail, and they know it. But what they also know is that it would damage Corbyn to the point where the Tories would have a good chance of winning the next election, and this would lead to the downfall of Corbyn. A resignation by a senior Labour figure would set in motion a chain of events that would severely damage the party.

Criticising the leadership must be dealt with, because its doing so much damage to the party. But forcing Watson out could do more harm than good.

We should be miles ahead in the polls by now. And there are two reasons why we aren’t. The biased media, and the moderate Blairites like Chukka Ummuna and Dame Margaret Hodge who use everything they possibly can (including the Anti-Semitism) crisis to damage the Leadership and in turn, ruin our chances of election. Granted, Watson has now subscribed to this viewpoint, but unlike Ummuna et al, he’s in a senior position within the party. His resignation would make us look weaker than we already do. For now we must put up with him, as hard as it may be for many.

 

 

Reinstating Jared O’Mara is a disgrace

On June 9th 2017, Labour learned they had pulled off a nationwide shock. A big name casualty of the night was Nick Clegg, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats. Many credited his betrayal of students, in a University town, as a key factor in his defeat. It was a brilliant result for Labour, who snatched the constituency with Jared O’Mara as its candidate.

On 25th October 2017, O’Mara was suspended from the Labour Party after making sexist, racist and homophobic comments in the past. Ironically, he was made a member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee shortly after becoming an MP. In 2004, he said on a music website that singer Michelle McManus only won Pop Idol “because she was fat”. He also made comments including referring to gay men as “poofters” and “fudge packers” and said that a jazz musician should be “sodomised with his own piano”. To further show his disgusting attitude, he has been accused of being foul-mouthed to a woman he met on a dating app, Sophie Evans. Evans said these comments “aren’t broadcastable”. 

We can of course question how he’s been reinstated, and indeed we will. The real question is how did he become a candidate in the first place? Clearly the vetting procedures that Labour conduct normally have not been followed. 

Labour has a responsibility to the country and Sheffield Hallam to select the best possible candidate. This is blatantly not the case. It has been rumoured Labour believed the seat unwinnable at the time of selecting a candidate and with this belief and the short time it would seem O’Mara was not vetted properly. Granted, the comments were posted a long time ago when he was young, but that is no excuse.

Since his election, O’Mara has still not given his maiden speech, he doesn’t meet his constituents, and he barely attends Parliament. He has still not even asked an oral question. Since his ‘apology’ on October 23rd, he has not spoken publicly in his constituency and doesn’t hold constituency surgeries, a real necessity of an MP’s job. A press statement released in December 2017 claimed he was on ‘medical leave’. This has however been disputed by many. His website also claimed that he was busy with residents casework, and while in some cases this is true, he hasn’t put in the work overall that an MP should.  He’s not deserving of the office of MP. He’s not deserving of the chance to serve the country. And he most definitely is not deserving of the chance to represent the Labour Party. 

A local resident told The Peoples News that “Outside of the scandals, I don’t think there is much to say.” The resident cited the fact O’Mara has “Never made a maiden speech” and “has some appalling views”. This, coupled with the fact he’s made very few parliament visits shows that it’s not just his backwards views that are the problem here, but also the fact he’s a genuinely incompetent MP who has let his constituents down.

His reinstation is pure cowardice from Labour. Labour fear losing the seat.  They know expelling O’Mara might simply cause him to resign his position as MP, causing a By-election. This by-election would gain national coverage and end up playing into both the Tories and the Lib Dems hands. With most students back home and a slim majority, the Liberal Democrats would be in prime position to retake the seat. Instead, Labour will keep hold of the seat until the next General Election and hope O’Mara makes the difference in key votes to redeem himself.

There is a chance expulsion would not have caused a by-election, O’Mara would stay for the rest of his term as an independent, but it would seem the Labour Party will not take that risk.

Personally, I think that it would be less damaging to lose the seat than allow a vile misogynist back into the party. Sheffield Hallam CLP is rumoured to have plans to deselect O’Mara and not even the most moderate in the party could complain there. He’s breached the Code of Conduct, he’s disrespected the party, he’s disrespected parliament, and to be quite frank, he’s a disgrace to the country. Labour has shown that they are willing to look the other way at homophobia and sexism if you have political power. Considering their opposition to the appointment of Toby Young, Labour are now hypocrites and I’m appalled by the decision. You’d be lucky to find anyone who does agree with his reinstatement. 

Labour must set a precedent. Misogyny, racism, homophobia etc have no place in the Labour Party, nor in society on the whole. We must stamp it out, and the first step in doing this is by deselecting Jared O’Mara.