Charles Walker is a Tory MP who represents the commuter constituency of Broxbourne in Hertfordshire. Here, he sits on a majority of over 15,500, and has been touted by the Telegraph as having an outside chance of succeeding John Bercow as the next Speaker of the Commons. He has also made a monumental howler in his latest attempt to denigrate the Labour Party’s leadership, which suggests the Tel called it wrong.
Charles Walker. He's an OBE, you know
A suitably redacted letter sent by Walker to a constituent has been passed by a concerned source to Zelo Street. Here, Walker responds to the suggestion by that constituent that he and fellow Tories support an opposition amendment to the Queen’s Speech on lifting the public sector pay cap. Walker does the usual politician’s thing of trying to have his cake and eat it, but then goes totally gaga at the mention of Jeremy Corbyn.
Here is what he had to say: “Thank you for your email in relation to yesterday’s amendment to the Queen’s speech tabled by the Labour Party … I do hope that the public sector pay cap will be eased as it has been in place for a long time and restraint cannot go on indefinitely. Ministers are fully aware of my position on this issue”. Then he loses it.
Aneurin Bevan - gravitas. And Marxism
“Despite the above, there is simply no chance of me, elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament, supporting any amendment tabled by the Labour Party while it is led by the Marxist duo of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. Two people who have consistently sided with the enemies of our country and have total contempt for the institutions of Government and law”. And there was more in this vein.
“If the Labour Party wants to be taken seriously, it needs to be led by serious people. People who have the gravitas and standing of past Labour giants such as Attlee, Bevan, Blair and Brown”. How sniffy is that? And worse for the prospects of Mr Speaker Walker (ho ho ho), how wrong is it? It is, sad to say, very wrong indeed.
Walker should have done his research before chucking the M-word - as in Marxism - around. The clear inference that Nye Bevan would have eschewed such philosophy is plain flat wrong. He said of Marxism that it “put into the hands of the working class movement of the late nineteenth and first part of the twentieth centuries the most complete blueprints for political action the world has ever seen”.
Not only that, Bevan went on to say: “No serious student who studies the history of the last half century can deny the ferment of ideas associated with the names of Marx, Engels and Lenin. Their effectiveness in arming the minds of working class leaders all over the world with the intellectual weapons showed that their teaching had an organic relationship with the political and social realities of their time”.
Once again, a blustering fool bandying around the names Marx and Marxism - but who most likely never bothered to find out what they meant - has been caught out. John McDonnell was not the only Labour figure who found much to think about in Das Kapital. Because Nye Bevan had been there before him.
So perhaps Charles Walker would like to revise his view on the Labour leadership. That’s after he gets off his arse and figures out what Marx and Marxism are all about.