Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

MY Father-in-Law Was a Miner, and One [...]

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

MY Father-in-Law Was a Miner, and One [...]

Article excerpt


MY father-in-law was a miner, and one of my wife's earliest memories is receiving food parcels during the strike.

So believe me, I understand where the antipathy towards Thatcher comes from. But just before the strike, in 1983, Newcastle Central voted for Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives (as did Darlington and Tynemouth).

The first reaction of anyone who grew up under Thatcher will be shock - how is this even possible? I wonder how many readers will head to Wikipedia to check that fact for themselves. The answer is, that Labour had chosen a Corbyn-style radical, Michael Foot, as leader.

The Labour Party was out of power for a generation, and it could be headed that way again. Whilst they won Newcastle Central back quickly, Darlington and Tynemouth took a little longer.

This time, it's not Newcastle Central that will be at risk to the Tories - but seats like Hartlepool under threat to UKIP.

With the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, the whole character of British politics has changed.

In one sense, that's a good thing for democracy. There was a time, not so long ago, when the policies of Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were so similar to one another that only UKIP was offering anything substantially different to the status quo.

Lack of real choice leads to inability to effect change; that in turn leads to apathy, and apathy to low turnout at elections. In that sense, I welcome the change in Labour leadership.

In another, the thought of a 1970s-style tax and spend economy (which had inflation running over 25%) is rather chilling. You don't help the poorest people by making the country poorer, you do it by making the country richer. We shouldn't hand the Falklands to Argentina, or give up most of the country's ability to defend itself.

There are problems, too, with a radical leading a non-radical party.

With most of the top talent in the Labour Party refusing to serve in a frontbench position under Corbyn, he's resorted to appointing a convicted arsonist (sentenced to 16 months in prison) as his Education spokesman in the Lords. …

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