Open goal – Corbyn misses

Steve Beauchampe suggests what Jeremy Corbyn could have said to a beleaguered, battered and beaten David Cameron in Parliament this week.

Speaker: “Jeremy Corbyn”:

Jeremy Corbyn: “Thank you Mr. Speaker. Prime Minister, might I offer you this business card (waves card in air to show to the House). It contains the contact details of a very good removals firm based in my own constituency who I am sure would be very happy to help you to leave Downing Street. Indeed I imagine that like many UK businesses they’d be grateful for all the work that they can get ahead of the economic downturn that now seems inevitable following the Prime Minister’s humiliating defeat in last week’s EU Referendum.

“And while the van is being loaded, perhaps he will take time to reflect on the ignominy of suffering the most cataclysmic defeat of any British Prime Minister not only in the last 100 years, but quite possibly in the history of this House. It is said that all political careers end in failure, and Prime Minister you are a stellar example of this adage, the benchmark for others to aspire. And if it hadn’t been for myself, my colleagues on these benches and the millions of Labour voters who supported your position, then I dread to think how big would have been the scale of your defeat.

“And I wish the soon to be ex-Prime Minister well in his new life. He was born into wealth, married into more wealth and can, I imagine, always find an tax exempt offshore fund to fall back on if times get tough. The British public, though, are not so lucky.

“As our country faces a very uncertain future, as we become isolated and shunned on the world stage and become Britain no-mates, as our nation’s credit rating falls, as overseas investment risks drying up, as his nemesis, sorry likely successor (whom I notice is absent from the chamber today) turns on the tap of austerity faster than before, as taxes rise, as the value of savings and pensions fall and vital public services are cut even further and for even longer, it is the public who will suffer most. And for what…for nothing more than the Prime Minister’s fear of Farage. Never before in our history, will so many have sacrificed so much for something so selfish and so immaterial.

“What a legacy the Prime Minister leaves. And it may yet get considerably worse, if the Scottish people, whose anger and frustration we in the Labour Party share, decide that they now wish to leave the UK. Where before there was clarity, now everywhere there is doubt: HS 2, the Northern Powerhouse, airport expansion in the south east, the future of these and other vital public infrastructure projects is now uncertain. What assurances can he give that the vital employment, environmental and consumer protection rights that we all benefit from will be safeguarded once we leave the EU?

“What reassurances does he have for small businesses, shorn of the protection of Europe-wide legislation, development and skills funding? Where now for our scientific and artistic communities, cut off from vital funding streams? What guarantees does he now have for British citizens living and working in the EU? And what message does he have for those who did us the honour of choosing to come and live and work here, and who contribute so much to the vibrancy and diversity of British life, but who since Friday morning now find themselves increasingly the victims of hateful, anti-migrant abuse?

“And what does the Prime Minister have to say to the millions of young people, including the substantial number of under 25s who became first time voters following the campaign which Labour lead to get people on to the electoral register and vote, and who now find unexpected restrictions placed on their life opportunities, limitations that their contemporaries in 27 other European countries will not have to suffer? For six years we have heard relentlessly about the Prime Minister’s long-term economic plan. Yet it seems that neither he nor his Chancellor have any long-term Brexit plan!

Mr. Speaker, the will of the electorate must not be denied. But Britain now enters an extended period of turbulence and a lifetime of being a peripheral player on our continent’s most important stage, watching from the sidelines as the future, indeed in so many ways it will still be our future, is shaped. But when I see the cast of likely immediate successors to the current incumbent of Number Ten please excuse me if I am not overcome with joy.”

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