MICHAEL HESELTINE, a Tory Deputy Prime Minister under John Major and a notorious enemy of the trade unions, has revealed that he prefers a Labour government to that of PM May, and that he considers that such a government would keep the UK in the EU. His major discovery is that a Corbyn government would in fact be less damaging than Brexit to British capitalism.
Heseltine has a well-recorded vicious anti-working class record. He entered the Thatcher Cabinet in 1979 as Secretary of State for the Environment, where he organised the ‘Right to Buy’ campaign that led to the sell-off of two million council houses. Today, masses of people are sleeping on the streets as a direct result of this policy and the way it was continued!
On October 13 1992, seven years after the ending of the 1984-85 miners strike to stop Thatcher’s pit closure programme, Heseltine, as President of the Board of Trade, announced the closure of the mining industry with up to 31 out of the 50 remaining deep mines to face immediate closure.
Arthur Scargill, president of the National Union of Mineworkers urged miners to fight the government while Robin Cook, Labour’s trade spokesman, said the cuts were a ‘bad decision’. Heseltine indicated that closing the pits was just the start and that other industries such as shipbuilding would follow the path of de-industrialisation.
Miners were issued with a stark warning, that those taking any form of industrial action would lose redundancy entitlements worth up to £37,000. The mining areas were destroyed, their youth left without employment and the remnants of the mining industry were privatised.
Now, the same Heseltine has woken up to suggest a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn could be less damaging than Brexit. Heseltine, a longstanding pro-EU politician, signalled that he still views a Labour government as having a negative effect on the country, but that leaving the EU could be worse in the long term. He also suggested Labour would eventually openly turn against Brexit.
Asked what could happen under five years of a Corbyn government, he said: ‘Well, we have survived Labour governments before. Their damage tends to be short-term and capable of rectification. Brexit is not short-term and is not easily capable of rectification.’
Heseltine continued to argue that public opinion was already beginning to move against Brexit and Labour would end up changing its current position to one in favour of the EU, which could put the Conservatives in trouble with their pro-remain voters.
As for how to stop Brexit, Heseltine said: ‘I think a second referendum would be a vehicle for ending Brexit, but personally I would rather parliament do it either if this present parliament became hostile or because in an election the issue was rethought and a subsequent parliament did it. My preoccupation is ending Brexit: the means, well anything to hand.’ This is where Corbyn comes in!
In fact, Heseltine and others have watched as Labour’s right wing have learnt to use Corbyn as a banner to get popular support while at the same time Labour’s parliamentary party have dumped the policies that the party fought the last general election on, that is, leaving the EU and leaving its Customs Union and its Single Market.
Labour now wants to remain in the last two, while at the same time it votes for amendments that suggest that the date for leaving the EU is not written in stone for March 29, 2019, and that negotiations could result in the leaving date being moved further down the road.
Labour’s right wing are turning the party into a ‘fifth column’ for the EU, and this is what has attracted the support of Heseltine and a number of other Tories who now argue that a Labour government is a lesser evil than quitting the EU.
In fact, Labour has given up the call for a general election to replace the May government since it would have to dump most of the policies that stood it so well during May’s disastrous snap election. Corbyn must now reinstate Labour’s last general election manifesto as its parliamentary programme, and Labour Party members must deselect MPs that want to join hands with Heseltine and other Tories. Otherwise the working class will turn against Corbyn and Labour!