Matthew d`Ancona`s assertion that Theresa May "offers compassionate conservatism to the electorate" requires urgent clarification (The PM is her own woman. Remind you of anyone? 25/07/16). What actually is being offered is the appearance of a compassionate government, the same trick which Tory prime ministers generally use to woo the working class voters. In fact, it was Disraeli, the founder of "One Nation" Toryism, who introduced the idea of passing reforms which looked good on paper, but which changed things very little. Historians usually refer to those acts of parliament as "window-dressing", and May`s promise to introduce an element of co-determination into industrial management is simply another example; belatedly having workers` representatives on companies` boards will do nothing to reduce the obscene inequality in our society.
Yes, Matthew, she does "remind me" of someone. Benjamin Disraeli!
The refusal by the Treasury to accept the accuracy of the report by the Trades Union Congress, showing that "real earnings have declined by more than 10% since 2007", suggests that compassionate conservatism is simply a pre-election gimmick (Britain at the bottom of league as real wages decline by 10%, 27/07/16). Even though the report`s findings are backed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the OECD, and the Bank of England`s chief economist, Andy Haldane, ministers still insist that the "employment rate has grown more than any G7 country", ignoring the rates of increase in Germany, as well as non-G7 Hungary and Poland.
Such mis-information by the government is hardly a new phenomenon, but the disloyalty by Labour MPs means that the Tory propaganda machine has the whole summer to ram home untruths unchallenged. How can the anti-Corbynites be so inept, when the lie about Labour`s borrowing and spending causing the economic crash had such an electoral impact? Of course, they will blame the recent poll, showing Labour "16 points behind the Conservatives with 27%" on Corbyn, but far too few political commentators have even intimated how these figures for the two parties could be far closer, had the MPs rallied around their democratically elected leader. They were, after all, elected on a Labour ticket, with a duty to serve the best interests of the party.
The lack of joined-up thinking, not to mention honesty, in the Labour MPs` plot to overthrow Corbyn is depressing. Are we now expected to believe that they will unite behind Smith and his left-wing policies, after specifically stating that they could never win an election with a radical, left-wing agenda like the one proposed by Corbyn (Smith comes under fire after saying he wanted to "smash" May "back on her heels",28/07/16)? Why aren`t they labelling Smith`s proposals, some of which having been "previously announced by the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell", as "the longest suicide note in history"?
Your editorial suggests Smith has to persuade voters that having a leader who "inspires confidence in MPs" is a "fundamental prerequisite", but if that necessitates pretending to be left-wing to win the leadership votes, and then resorting to moderate policies which tinker rather than transform, Labour is finished (Owen Smith: six weeks to try before you buy, 28/07/16).
Maria Eagle says the "convoluted arrangements" leading to the disgraceful treatment of the HMRC cleaners is what "makes people disillusioned with politics", but the failure of duplicitous Labour politicians to unite against such blatant exploitation, reminiscent of the early Industrial Revolution, is closer to the mark ("Beyond parody": HMRC cleaners left worse off after introduction of the national living wage, 28/07/16)!