16 December 2015

PMQs: Labour’s miserable year closes with Corbyn flop


It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… even in Westminster, where the inmates are obviously in need of a rest. It’s been quite a year. Twelve months ago, Ed Miliband was leader of the opposition and hopeful of becoming Prime Minister if the Tories failed to win an overall majority. Nick Clegg was deputy Prime Minister. Natalie Bennett of the Greens was on the television. Ed Balls was an MP. Nigel Farage was going to become an MP.

If the last year has been difficult for UKIP, it has been disastrous for the Labour party. Not only did it lose the general election in May heavily (by two million votes) and get almost wiped out in Scotland, it lost some of its leading figures and ended up with an unelectable, anti-Western, far left leader who is in the process of driving the party off a cliff. Imagine if you had predicted, a year ago, that Jeremy Corbyn would today be Labour leader.

At PMQs today he was on the just okay side of dire, which shows how low expectations are. He had a decent issue in concerns about the NHS but he did nothing with it. Cameron, the victor of 2015, swatted him away time and again.

I’m not going to waste your time here with an in-depth analysis of this PMQs. You’ve got a Christmas lunch to go to or you’re on your way to do some Christmas shopping.

Just one last thought. The Tories should be vulnerable, with their EU renegotiation crashing and a tricky referendum looming. The Chancellor is also overreaching himself and Tory optimism about the economic picture is tipping into hubristic over-optimism. A half decent opposition led by a serious person would give them a run for their money. Labour, landed with the ludicrous Corbyn, can’t do it, which should worry anyone who cares about the British government being held to account.

Iain Martin is Editor of CapX