Press Watch 30/10/19

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Vote Brexit party Get a Tory Government

The headline in today's Telegraph says it all: “Brexit Party wants ‘clean break’ but may be open to Tory pact”.

Arguing that the mood in Labour’s pro-Leave seats was “absolutely febrile” and vulnerable to voting for their party, senior sources in Farage’s organisation revealed their true purpose.

“Of course we will have an impact on the Tories but without a shadow of a doubt we can take seats from Labour”. He added that the party’s door was open if Boris Johnson wishes to forge an electoral pact, but until that point, its candidates will campaign for a “clean break” Brexit where the UK leaves all EU institutions and then negotiates.

One key challenge, according to a senior Brexit Party MEP, will be pressuring Johnson into abandoning his deal altogether and adopting their “clean break” pledge. In that scenario, Brexit Party candidates would be told to stand down in Tory seats, but continue to fight against Labour in seats where the Tories have not won for many decades.

One other clue to an unofficial pact between the Brexit Party and the Tories occurred yesterday in a couple of extraordinary tweets from Tory businessman, and a key Conservative figure, Lord Ashcroft.

The Conservatives, he wrote, should come to an accommodation with the Brexit Party. His proposal was that they should do an electoral pact in return for a peerage for Nigel Farage. Seats in the Lords in exchange for grubby deals intended to damage Labour chances in constituencies tells you all you need to know.

Next time you encounter a Labour Leave voter who is thinking of lending their vote to Brexit Party you can tell them two things. First that Labour has a clear offer to you: a second referendum within 6 months of the election with a responsible leave option on the ballot paper. And second, that the Brexit party are quite simply the Tory Party by another name, designed to cream off votes in order to let tories win seats where normally they shouldn't have a chance in hell.

Scarlet Standard says voters should beware charlatans who pretend to give voice to working-class electors but who actually intend to assist the Tories back into government who then in turn will continue their attack on all working people.

Low Pay under the Tories

The Telegraph does its best this morning to gloss over a newly published statistic low pay which has emerged to embarrass the Tories just at the point Parliament voted to head for a general election.

Writing about Workers stuck on low pay, the paper perhaps inadvertently reveals the truth about Tory Britain as we move through the election and then into the Christmas period.

The latest review from the Office of National Statistics showed the share of workers in low-paid jobs – defined as no more than two-thirds of the UK median hourly rate of £13.27 – stands at 16.2pc.

Now behind these dry statistics are millions of our fellow citizens and their families. There are over 32 million people who work for a living in Britain, so we can see that this means that over 5 million of them earn less than £8,75 pence an hour.

The truth is that there are now millions of people in Britain who live on the very edge of financial disaster. It is estimated that there are over 10 million who have less than £100 in savings and are therefore only one minor problem away from real difficulty.

Perhaps the depth of this problem is revealed by a headline in the Guardian as “M&S launches 'buy now, pay later' service”. The retailer has teamed up with Clearpay to offer customers the option of paying for orders of more than £30 in interest-free instalments. The paper goes on to point out that many of M&S’s rivals, including H&M and Asos, already offer delayed payment services as business attempt to attract a younger generation of shoppers, including families with young children.

Of course, there has to be something in it for the company and sure enough, the Guardian notes that shoppers using the plans typically spend more, more often, making it an attractive proposition for a retailer such as M&S where clothing sales are in decline.

Scarlet Standard says that this is the reality for too many working people in a capitalist economy presided over by an uncaring Tory Party.

We want the Labour party to develop a manifesto which will not simply offer ameliorative measure to mitigate against the worst effects of Tory indifference to poverty. If we are to deal with these problems once and for all we need a clean break from the exploitative system which underlies Conservatism.

We look forward with anticipation to the Labour manifesto, because we can be certain that under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership we will have a dramatic and transformative offer to the voters offering the prospect of real change.

The job of every one of us then will be simple. To get and out and deliver every single Labour voter to the polls and to convert others by showing them that there is a better way to run our country than this.

Press Watch is a look at the day's news by Labour MPs.

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