As Tories drowned out Jeremy Corbyn's EU speech with a football chant, British politics hit a new low

The Conservative party is torn apart by EU in-fighting. Backbenchers' attempts to discredit Corbyn were dangerously childish - and did the British people a serious disservice

Liam Young
Tuesday 23 February 2016 12:10
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Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

This week, British politics reached an unbelievable low. As he attempted to respond to the Prime Minister’s statement on Europe yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn was disrupted and drowned out by a group of Tory MPs shouting the familiar football chant, “Who are ya, who are ya, who are ya!”

You may have seen the video yourself and had a little laugh at it – indeed Andy Burnham, Labour’s domestic spokesman had a chuckle himself. However, the implications are anything but funny.

There’s something very strange about the image of upper middle class Tories braying a football chant and then retiring to their EU discussion over expensive wine. Is this really the only way they can deflect attention from the fact that their party is falling apart at the seams over the possibility of a Brexit?

Considering that there’s a very real chance the member next to them will probably be voting against the Prime Minister come the referendum in June, the Tories were united in hysterical laughter but disunited everywhere else. The real story from the Commons yesterday was the bitter feud that raged between Cameron and Johnson, sparring like father and son after the son has been excluded from the expensive school the father paid his hard-earned money towards.

It is to do the British people an injustice to not allow the elected leader of the Opposition his chance to reply uninterrupted to a major political statement concerning membership of the EU. In this proxy battle for the Tory leadership, the British people are left out of the picture and British interests are forgotten altogether.

Jeremy Corbyn questions David Cameron's negotiations

In stark contrast to the splits within the Conservative party, Labour members have made it very clear this week how they feel about their own leadership. In polling released today, it was found that the Labour leader is in an extremely strong position with a 56 per cent approval rating.

In a political climate where the Tories’ best weapon to be deployed is raucous laughter and an intimidating chant, is it any wonder that so many British people are turned off by politics? Commentators have been saying for years that the theatrics of the House of Commons must end – and now that it’s been used to actively silence debate on something integral to the future of our country, the whole process has undoubtedly gone too far.

The truth is that the public know who Jeremy Corbyn is and they know the fundamental principles he stands for. It’s the Tory party that have a problem with discretion. When will the Tories admit that their austerity agenda has caused more harm than good? When will there be sufficient reporting on the fact that they are bankrolled by the hedge funds? When will Boris Johnson come clean and admit that his decision to back the Out campaign was calculated based on his political future?

These are important questions that need answering more than ever. Jeremy Corbyn will ask them, and he must be given the chance to do so.

If he isn’t, I’m certain that he will have the last laugh.

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