Every so often, a Tory politician exposes the hypocrisy of a Blairite far more effectively than we could. Such is the case in John Redwood’s very effective critique of Lord Mandelson today for wanting “Corbyn to be more Blair like to justify his support and recommendation. The first is the UK’s willingness to undertake military action in the Middle East against regimes or Islamic groupings it dislikes. The second is the UK’s requirement to accept any new law, regulation or treaty amendment from the EU that the EU institutions and other member states may propose.”
Though I am more sympathetic to the first of those than the second (being just about on the anti-withdrawal side of the EU fence), his argument is really rather good:
Lord Mandelson was always keen to require iron discipline in New Labour when he was one of the small clique in charge. Today he is now an enthusiast for rebellion, urging modern Labour MPs to disagree with their Leader and to remain true to the flexible pro European and pro military intervention stances of Blairism. This sad volte face is not surprising. Lord Mandelson would argue that an MP only owes loyalty to his party and its Leader when they are “doing the right thing”. The problems with that proposition are twofold. The first is who gets to decide what is the right thing? The second is, can it ever be the right thing in a democracy to seek to prevent the official opposition opposing for good reason?