Labour Steels the Show

Labour Steels the Show

If a week is a long time in politics, three months is presumably an epoch.

Go back to the depths of winter and the Conservatives dominance over the political stage was absolute. Labour, on the other hand, were fighting only amongst themselves.

Spin forward to this week’s blooming of daylight and sunshine and the political world looks quite different. After the Tory war over Europe and the Omninshambles 2 (and this time it’s personal George) Budget, this week we saw an extraordinarily slow and clumsy Government response to the announcement that Tata Steel plan to close their Port Talbot works.

All working parents will sympathise with Sajid Javid being on a long-promised holiday with his daughter, but the optics of him being in Australia as the Unions, rather than his Department for Business, led the charge on saving the steelworks was terrible. He has now made the day-long journey from New South Wales to South Wales, although what reception he’ll receive in the town today remains to be seen.

The absence of Government leadership also allowed “left-wing” solutions to the problem, such as nationalisation, to gain the most traction – principally because there seemed to be no plan coming from Ministers. It even took them 48 hours to clarify that they didn’t think nationalisation¬†was the right answer.

A few weeks ago, Labour looked towards the English local elections with trepidation. But as bad week follows bad week for the Government, one senses that the 5 May polls might not hold such fears for Labour after all. After the doom and gloom of the winter, it seems an unlikely spring for Jeremy Corbyn might just be around the corner.