Wednesday 3 April 2019


If you stay on Wes Streeting's Twitter feed for too long it'll drive you nuts.  The Labour MP is a bag of contradictions.  He's a pro-Muslim campaigner like Corbyn, but he despises Corbyn and he's also gay, oh and he's vice chair of the Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism - whose chair is John Mann, a Labour Brexiteer - while Wes is an ardent Remainer, at odds with his 53% Leave-voting constituency, not to mention he is a supporter of Labour Friends of Palestine.  But he also supports Labour Friends of Israel.  Head explodes!

It's not difficult to unpick his contradictions when you consider that his constituency has a significant Jewish community, outnumbering Muslims, albeit both of crucial importance to maintaining a Labour majority.  Ilford North has been held by the Conservatives for most of its existence, but Wes took it from them in 2015 and increased his majority in 2017, largely thanks to the absence of UKIP.  His constant fawning over his two somewhat opposing communities probably helped him a fair bit too.  However, the Jewish and Muslim peoples of Ilford are still minorities.  If the Leave mandate emanated largely from the white working classes then he is undoing his fine balancing act by completely ignoring his largest pool of voters.

A smarter politician would see this, but Wes is not as smart as he thinks he is.  Yes, he has a comfortable majority - at the moment - but the Brexit betrayal that MPs like him are driving will be his downfall.  He doesn't even play it safe in Parliamentary votes and only commits himself to options that seek to overturn the referendum.  On Monday he abstained from the Boles/Clarke so-called 'soft Brexit' options, but voted in favour of a second referendum and revoking Article 50.  He was also very proud to be a part of the Loser's March.

His constituents can see all this happening in front of their eyes and many of them will be very angry about it.  What can they do about it?  Exactly what they did in 2016 and vote against the establishment, in this case an establishment politician who has not only ignored their instruction - he is actively working to undo it.  UKIP suffered a near fatal collapse in the wake of the Leave vote and failed to field a candidate in many places in 2017, including Ilford North.  However, the Leave vote is now being betrayed - by people like Wes Streeting - and UKIP will be back with a vengeance.  Come the next election it's treacherous MPs like Wes Streeting who will bear the brunt of the democratic backlash - and rightly so.