On 16 January this year, the official Labour opposition led by Jeremy Corbyn MP started a six hour House of Commons Parliamentary debate of ‘No Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.’
The Right Honourable Michael Gove MP, The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, responded to the debate for the Government. He made perhaps the most singularly offensive and personalised attack on Jeremy Corbyn during th eperiod of Mr Corbyn’s leadership of the opposition.
Of all th e contributions, he picked out the speech of the turncoat MP John Woodcock, who was elected as a Labour candidate, but who resigned from the Labour Party in a blather of poisonous ad a hominem insults against Corbyn and his political principles and competence.
Gove pointed out that “perhaps the bravest and finest speech that came from the Opposition Benches was given by the hon. Member for Barrow and Furness (John Woodcock). It takes courage—and he has it, having been elected on a Labour mandate and representing working class people—to say that the leader of the party that he joined as a boy is not fit to be Prime Minister. He speaks for his constituents, and he speaks for the country.”
Gove, descending to his worst of political bile, added: “We meet the 2% target for investment in NATO and we have two new aircraft carriers, which are capable of projecting British force and influence across the world in defence of freedom and democracy. In contrast, while we are standing up for national security, what about the right hon. Member for Islington North? He wants to leave NATO. He wants to get rid of our nuclear deterrent. He said recently in a speech, “Why do countries boast about the size of their armies? That is quite wrong. Why don’t we emulate Costa Rica, which has no army at all?” No allies, no deterrent, no army—no way can this country ever allow that man to be our Prime Minister and in charge of our national security.
If the Leader of the Opposition cannot support our fighting men and women, who does he support? Who does he stand beside? It was fascinating to discover that he was there when a wreath was laid to commemorate those who were involved in the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. He says he was present but not involved. “Present but not involved” sums him up when it comes to national security. When this House voted to bomb the fascists of ISIS after an inspirational speech by the right hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn), 66 Labour Members, including the hon. Member for West Bromwich East, voted with this Government to defeat fascism. I am afraid the Leader of the Opposition was not with us. In fighting fascism, he was present but not involved.
Similarly, when this House voted to take the action necessary when Vladimir Putin executed an act of terrorism on our soil, many good Labour Members stood up to support what we were doing, but not the Leader of the Opposition. When we were fighting Vladimir Putin—
If the Leader of the Opposition will not stand up against Putin when he attacks people in this country, if he will not stand up against fascists when they are running riot in Syria, if he will not stand up for this country when the critical national security questions are being asked, how can we possibly expect him to stand up for us in European negotiations? Will he stand up for us against Spain over Gibraltar? Will he stand up against the Commission to ensure that we get a good deal? Of course he will not, because he will not even stand up for his own Members of Parliament.
Why is it that a Labour Member of Parliament needs armed protection at her own party conference? Why is it that nearly half of female Labour MPs wrote to the Leader of the Opposition to say that he was not standing up against the vilification and the abuse that they received online which had been carried out in his name? If he cannot protect his own Members of Parliament, if he cannot protect the proud traditions of the Labour party, how can he possibly protect this country? We cannot have confidence in him to lead. We have confidence in this Government, which is why I recommend that the House votes against the motion.”
Today Gove remains proudly part of a Tory cabinet whose leader, prime minister Theresa May, that has gone down on bended knee and with cap in hand pleading with this scurrilous, anti-British unfit-to- be-a leader- politician to help get them out of their catastrophic Brexit imbroglio.
Politics, bloody politics, eh!