by Martin Odoni

I know politics is often all about show and never as connected to reality as it should be. But even so, some developments for the sake of empty theatrics have insulting implications that are impossible not to take personally.

Yesterday, a Tory MP crossed the floor of the House Of Commons, an act very deliberately timed to coincide with Prime Minister’s Question Time and therefore get extra coverage. His name is Christian Wakeford, who is the MP for Bury South; I have family there. He was welcomed with open arms into the Labour Party by its morally-bankrupt leader, “Sir” Keir Starmer, or, as I like to think of him, Tony Blair’s deadbeat illegitimate son.

UGH! Show some fastidiousness and wipe your hand after shaking. Both of you.

I find Starmer’s complete lack of caution in welcoming Wakeford both thoroughly shabby, and profoundly insulting. Think back to 2015, and remember all those relentless purges of left-wingers, on the supposed grounds that they “did not share Labour’s values”?

But Wakeford, of all people, does? Come to that, his values are in such harmony with Labour’s that he gets a personal welcome from the Party Leader? Wow. He must have such a beautiful history of excellent relations across the House, with many remarks reflecting his great sympatico with the ideas of the Labour Party’s…

From a WhatsApp group set up for new Tory MPs, of which Wakeford was a member

Oh. This is acceptable in a Labour member? But what Jeremy Corbyn and Chris Williamson said was not?

Still, that may just have been banter, you know, for show. What matters is that his voting record is similar in almost every respect to those of the Parliamentary Labour Party, right?

Awkward. He also voted against a Labour clause to restrict overseas donors from donating funds to UK political parties this week, and against a Labour motion last week to cut VAT on energy bills

Oh.

Ah, it also turns out that he voted to let companies dump raw sewage into our water supply, and against measures to combat climate change, improve workers’ rights, or reverse Austerity.

So you are saying that this guy is completely in accord with Labour Party values, but Kerry-Anne Mendoza was not? Ho hum. If that is true, I defy anyone to argue against the accusation that Labour is now a hard-right party, and that it offers an alternative to Conservatism. If it did, Tories would not be able to join it.

As I say, I find it very difficult not to take this personally too. I was thrown out of the party – a Jewish member – for ‘anti-Semitism’. This unshaven school prefect, who always looks like he is wearing a suit for the first time in his life, routinely dog-whistles about refugees and asylum seekers, and writes off calls for basic Palestinian rights as ‘Calls to ethnically cleanse Jews.’ But he is given an open door to join the party. His remarks, including on Zionism, are less outrageous than mine?!

Starmer can go to hell. He will never have my vote, as he has never demonstrated that his standards for honesty or decency are any higher than Boris Johnson’s, while he refuses to establish what his policies are. How can anyone trust such a deceitful individual?

I am sorry, everyone, but if you cannot see the utter joke the Labour Party is becoming, you have cataracts on the cataracts covering your cataracts. Its total inability to be objective even in the enforcement of its own rules, and its unashamedly lopsided attitude to moral consistency or ethical standards has turned it into a quite disturbing self-caricature. And its grubby opportunism, its shoddy easy-way-out attitude to politics is unsustainable in a world of peak oil, changing climate, and declining resources. It is simply acting as an obstacle to necessary reforms that it should be the vehicle to providing.

It remains the most foolish irony of Labour Party history that it became an unswerving bastion of the unlimited-growth free market at precisely the time that an unlimited-growth free market had ceased to be practicable. And it still obstinately adheres to that vision even now, somehow imagining that persisting with a perennially-failing system is ‘realism.’