Mark Steel: Does anyone know if the Labour Party is still going?

14 February 2021
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It seems as if Labour’s idea for winning votes back is to hope the Conservatives are so terrible that everyone chooses Labour instead, even if they’ve disappeared.

Does anyone know what the Labour Party is doing? Are they still going? Maybe they were wound up in November, and have retrained as yoga instructors or pig farmers.

Occasionally someone on the news mentions that the Labour Party has commented on something, such as: “Labour’s shadow minister for education said, ‘I am currently out of the office until 19 May. If your inquiry is urgent, please contact Mrs Tilbury at the Post Office and she will try to suggest a policy.’”

Luckily it’s been a calm year, with only the usual issues no one takes much notice of, so it’s been an ideal time to stay quiet.

One task of an opposition is to “hold the government to account”. But Labour have said it’s difficult to criticise the government during a pandemic. That’s understandable, because when a government causes the worst rate of infections in the world, you shouldn’t criticise that, as it can seem ungrateful. And when it offers tens of billions of pounds’ worth of contracts to companies that were often useless, and usually connected to people in the government, it would be churlish to find fault.

Read Mark Steel’s article in the Independent

Keir Starmer criticised the government on one issue, insisting they “should have opened the schools earlier”. So the one thing all scientists agree was done too early, he attacked them for doing too late.

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