Instead of calmly and confidently dealing with the EU's opening gambit from a position of strength, the Prime Minister is whipping up hostility on all sides with no real plan behind it. She's all hot air without any serious substance to deliver. The result is that she is weakening the country's position for when the real negotiations start. And she is increasing the chance of getting no sustainable deal at all - putting jobs and livelihoods at risk.
The decision yesterday, and to be frank this ongoing issue over the past weeks and months, have hurt and damaged a fine Labour party reputation of tackling racism. These problems are not confined to Labour, but if this is left to fester in our party, if we turn a blind eye, how on earth can we expect others to do differently - and how can we continue to be the force for change and standing up for what is right - the reason so many joined our party in the first place. Anti-Semitism truly has no place in Labour. It's not enough to say the words. For the sake of our values members, our party and our country, we have to stand up and make it true.
My message to the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary is this: don't play games on national security. It's far too serious for that. Keep the security cooperation debate and deal separate. Make clear you won't ever use life saving security information as a bargaining chip, you won't ever withhold security cooperation for the sake of a trade deal and you won't ever undermine our national security in the way the Government suggested on Wednesday. And be clear on this; getting no deal on security would be disastrous for all of us, and the Prime Minister should not even threaten to walk away from the table without a security deal.
We are in a phoney row about Parliament, the Judges and Article 50. And it is getting dangerous. Everyone needs to calm down. Theresa May must not get caught up in this manufactured hysteria. The Prime Minister has an opportunity to show some leadership and start trying to build a consensus. She must seize it, not make matters worse. To read some newspaper headlines, you'd think the Judges had just blocked Brexit. They've done nothing of the sort. To hear some Government Ministers talk, you'd think Parliament was about to vote to overturn the referendum result. It won't... Then why all the fuss?
But as thousands gather to show solidarity again today, the reality is that progress has been far too slow. Political leaders here and abroad just aren't facing up to the scale of the international problem. Urgent action is needed. Faced with the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, Governments and nations across the globe have done far too little to help.
Death threats, rape threats, refugees demonised, EU citizens told to go home, a Muslim Mayor targeted with islamophobia, a Jewish MP bombarded with anti-Semitic threats, young women campaigners called traitors or scum. Political debate online is being poisoned and it has to stop.. Time to start reporting, speaking out, standing up for others who are being targeted. They say evil triumphs when good people do nothing. Time for all of us to do something to stand up for decency, civility and respect for other human beings. Tim Berners-Lee said when he invented the world wide web, "this is for everyone." Lets make sure it stays so.
Some 95,000 children and teenagers in Europe as part of the refugee crisis are alone with no one to look after them. Alf Dubs amendment - which had overwhelming cross party support in the House of Lords - asks Britain to take just 3,000 of those children, so we do our bit to help. Because urgent help is needed. Thousands are sleeping rough because children's homes are full and child protection services are overwhelmed. They face huge risk from cold, sickness, abuse, exploitation, violence and rape.
Behind all the sugary headlines the news is grim. After six years of the Tories, our economy is far weaker than they claimed, public services will be cut some more, inequality is getting worse. And once again women are being harder hit. George Osborne's plan is failing to meet his own targets, failing to deliver for Britain and he's making women pay the price.
We are facing the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. It is not enough to dabble at the edges and bury our heads in the sand in the hope that someone else will step in. Leaders across Europe, including our own Prime Minister, must step up and take responsibility - strengthening border checks, tackling people smugglers and playing our part to offer sanctuary to desperate people fleeing violence, war and conflict. If Europe fails to act now, the crisis will get worse.
Isis want to be the caliphate - the crusading home for Muslims fleeing the injustice of the West. Instead the opposite is happening. Europe is providing safe haven to Muslims persecuted by Isis brutality... This is a battle against totalitarianism, a battle for our values, and a battle for hearts and minds. Isis seeks to cow us and to divide us. Each time extremists have tried before to spread fear and hatred in Europe, they have failed and our continent has stood firm. We need to stand firm once again - that means supporting security, solidarity and sanctuary too.
Visiting Lesbos last week, where 9,000 people have been arriving each day, I saw families in dreadful humanitarian conditions. Since then, as the weather has deteriorated, it has got worse. Aid workers told me the humanitarian response was worse than in other international crises they had worked on exactly because it was happening in Europe, and the aid, organisation and mandates they have drawn in elsewhere do not apply. We cannot allow this to happen.
It's not enough to be angry at the world. We're the Labour party, we have a responsibility to change the world or what's the point of us at all. Because in the end Britain needs a strong Labour party now more than ever. Power is in the hands of a narrow Tory elite. Concentrating wealth, widening inequality, fragmenting Britain, letting people down Already they broke their promises. Already they are turning the clock back. They only have a majority of 12. We can beat them. They are still only Tories. Now is not the time to give in.
Next week will mark the first 100 days of this Tory government. It's only three months since the election yet David Cameron has already ripped up nine major pre-election promises. It's clear he never expected to deliver these plans in the first place. Yet he spent months before the election making promises about what he would do. From child tax credits to the railways, from a decision on Heathrow to tax-free childcare, the Tories have lied to the electorate. Here are nine broken Tory promises since May...
The crisis in Calais isn't going away. And while it may feel like a local problem that will eventually slip out of the news, the truth is it is part of a wider international humanitarian challenge that Europe is failing to grasp. Ramping up the rhetoric towards the rest of the world, demonising people or turning Britain inwards - as David Cameron seems to want to do - won't solve the problem. Instead Britain needs to work with other countries to set out a serious, practical long term plan.
Labour is not in a good place today - people are feeling bruised and confused about what we are in favour of and what we are against. We need to sort it out - pull our party together and start challenging the Tories instead. That means stronger opposition to the Tories plans, but also setting out an alternative Labour approach. The reality is that Labour did oppose the Welfare Reform Bill yesterday; we voted for a Labour amendment that would have stopped the whole Bill altogether. But that's got completely lost in the muddle over the second vote which was an unsuccessful compromise to try to hold the Parliamentary party together. So what do we do now?
Right now we're in danger of getting sucked into a false choice - defend the status quo supposedly to stand up for our principles or follow Tory plans supposedly to prove we support reform. Neither will work for Labour or for the country.
Today George Osborne sets out his first budget as Chancellor in a majority Conservative Government. Talk is cheap - now is the time to put to the test his claim that the Tory party can really be the party of working people. After all the extensive briefing, it's not looking good for George Osborne's claims for his Party... For all the rhetoric, too many of the Tories' policies remain anti-working people. A real agenda for working people today based on Labour values would mean not just the long overdue increases in the minimum wage, but strong incentives for the living wage, continued support for tax credits, a plan for a childcare revolution to support working parents.
08/07/2015 07:00 BST
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