I recently witnessed Owen Smith, who had announced he would stand against Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour Party, being interviewed.
When asked whether or not he would scrap Trident, he was not sure. At least he gave a commitment to uncertainty regarding perhaps the most important feature in Britain’s defence strategy. My appetite was whetted. Here was future prime minister material indeed.
He then ventured into an area in which he was clearly more at home, the UK’s future regarding the EU. He said that in the event of Theresa May calling a snap election which Labour won, he would present the people with an opportunity to decide whether they wanted Britain to apply to rejoin the EU. The Labour Party, he explained, is in favour of remaining in the EU.
I could hardly believe my ears. That a senior Labour politician, coming from a party claiming to be absolutely wedded to the principles of democracy, which it proudly boasts was in no small measure obtained through the blood and tears of its followers, could seriously make such a proposal, was truly astonishing.
Is Labour not a big enough laughing stock already? Owen, we have had the referendum, which decided democratically that the British people wanted out. What the Labour Party wants is irrelevant. We have decided that we want to leave the EU, and you had better get used to it.
If, by some incredible fluke, we had a second referendum, what would the rest of the world think of us? Suppose that by some miracle Labour won this referendum, would UKIP force a third referendum? Then so on and so on in an infinite series of financially crippling referendums.
Please, Owen, get back to your internal conflicts and spats, and leave the administration of the UK to others.