In spite of huge evidence to the contrary in the form of a string of u-turns forced on the Tory government since Jeremy Corbyn became leader, you will still hear – with nauseating regularity – Tory MPs, TV pundits and, shamefully, right-wing Labour MPs and activists pretending to bemoan the supposed lack of ‘an effective opposition’.
Tories and ‘journalists’ claim it’s because a ‘strong opposition is important to democracy’. Labour right-whingers claim it’s because the vulnerable need one. Only last week, this was the headline in the Independent:
As the SKWAWKBOX pointed out in January, Labour under Corbyn have forced a string of u-turns from Theresa May – and from Cameron before her. Even arch-Tory Guido Fawkes lamented it:
Tories, pundits and red Tories are talking nonsense – and they know it.
And for the sake of our nation’s children, it’s just as well.
Last year, the Tories announced plans – in their Children and Social Work Bill – to allow local authorities to opt out of their legal obligation to protect the children in their area.
You didn’t just misread that – they intended to allow councils to apply for an exemption from their legal duty to look after vulnerable children. This blog does not need to elaborate on the potential horrors for which that would create space. Suffice to say that a cash-strapped council – and they are all cash-strapped – that finds it no longer has to provide a protection is going to be seriously tempted not to. Services would be farmed out to private providers, putting children at seriously increased risk.
The excellent Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner and Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck have taken point on Labour’s opposition to this malignant Tory move. Ms Lewell-Buck pointed out during a Commons debate in December:
The Government have denied time and again that the opt-out clauses were about privatisation, yet late last week, two years after it was written and after an inexplicable delay in responding to freedom of information requests, the Department for Education released a report, referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Angela Rayner), which sets out how children’s social care can be moved out of local authority control—a report which states that independent contractors have said that they are willing to play the long game and wait for councils to hand over the majority, if not all, of their children’s social care services.
The Tories have been extremely reluctant to give ground, but an intense resistance, co-ordinated by Ms Rayner and Ms Buck, took its toll and this week Angela Rayner was able to announce:
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was quick to recognise a fantastic and most definitely effective effort:
Too right. All of Labour’s many successes under Corbyn in thwarting the Tories have been vital, but the protection of our children will be a cause that affects every decent human being viscerally.
On a huge range of issues, Labour has successfully blocked the Tory government’s attempts to rob the British people and take away their protections in order to fund tax cuts to billionaires and large corporations.
That’s what the Tories do – or would, if Labour wasn’t stopping them.
For the sake of our children, we should be delighted that they continue to do so – and completely unsurprised that you will not hear the media, Tories or faux-Labour figures ever admit that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is an unusually effective opposition.
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