On 23rd June, 2018 there was an Anti-Brexit march which called for a People's Vote on the final deal. It was attended by various MPs from across the political spectrum, including Tim Farron, former Liberal Democrat leader and Vince Cable, current Liberal Democrat leader. Rightly so, as the Liberal Democrats have positioned themselves as the pro-Remain party. Their mission is to save the country from Brexit.
At the march, the crowd delighted in taking the, "Oh Jeremy Corbyn" chant from the general election campaign last year and turning it into, "Where's Jeremy Corbyn?"
Yesterday, less than a month later, there were crucial votes on amendments to the Chequers Deal. The amendments to the resulting Taxation (Cross-border) Trade Bill were forced on Theresa May by the hard Brexit, European Research Group (ERG). Two of the votes only just scraped through by a majority of three.
It is worth mentioning here that many Tories rebelled in these two votes and the reason they passed is because of three Labour MPs - Frank Field, Kate Hoey and Graham Stringer. I've linked to their Twitter pages, apart from Stringer who doesn't have one, if you'd like to tweet them about this.
However, the leader and ex leader of the Liberal Democrats were nowhere to be seen. Far from riding in on their white chargers to save the day, they just didn't show. Tim Farron was at this event:
Besides the fact it might prompt a challenge to May's leadership and so potentially force a general election.
The top 5 reasons, in pictorial form so even he can understand.
4. Davis N0-Notes
There have been 7 resignations over the EU Withdrawal Bill this week. Tory minister Phillip Lee resigned on Tuesday saying:
Yesterday Laura Smith (yes, that's right, who?) resigned from a junior shadow minister role in order to vote against the amendment to keep the UK in the EEA. This was a spectacularly attention seeking resignation given that Labour's position was to abstain. It would be understandable if Labour's position was the complete opposite to her's but to resign in order to not abstain is pretty diabolical. Almost as if it was contrived to take media attention back to Labour's right and away from the Tories' divisions. Five Labour parliamentary private secretaries also resigned but in order to vote for the amendment to stay in the EEA. There's no point in naming them because you won't have heard of them either. However, it allowed the media to go large on the headlines that Labour had SIX FRONT BENCH RESIGNATIONS. People with only half an eye on politics would then think that the Labour shadow cabinet had collapsed, which a cynic might say was the result they were after.
However, what was notable was the reaction of other MPs and the media, especially in relation to Phillip Lee. Words like brave, heroic and courageous were bandied around. Nearly every Remain MP who rose to speak on Tuesday congratulated him on his brave decision to stand down, for sticking by his principles and so on and so forth.
What complete and utter balderdash. None of these people have done anything remotely brave or heroic. They have resigned from ministerial / shadow ministerial posts but they haven't lost their jobs. They may have stood up for something they believed in by resigning but it has cost them nothing. They may have lost a little extra income but an MPs basic salary is more than the majority of us could ever dream to earn, with a guaranteed, comfortable pension. MPs will normally receive a pension of either 1/40th or 1/50th of their final pensionable salary for each year of pensionable service depending on the contribution rate they will have chosen. Not to mention their office expenses and allowances for second homes and travel. It's just grandstanding. Their lives haven't been irrevocably changed by their actions. They are still wrapped in more privilege than we shall ever know. That MPs and the media think it is brave or heroic is just another sign of how far removed they are from us in their Westminster and establishment bubble.