Given that the current conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster Mark Field has disgraced himself by assaulting a peaceful climate activist, the neo-liberal establishment in the Square Mile need an alternative candidate. They’ve found one in a man who once called for reform of the banks and the City, the ex-Labour MP Chuka Umunna who defected to the Liberal Democrats and is now their ‘celebrity’ parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
In Facebook posts and elsewhere Umunna has made the absurd claim that the constituency is ‘a global symbol for open, liberal values’. Who does this con artist think he’s kidding? While there are working class residents in the constituency, dominated as it is by the neo-liberal financial industry both in the City and through its interventions in Westminster (the undemocratic office of Remembrancer is merely one vehicle for this) the place is a global symbol of the vested interests and secretive world of wealthy elites; who do their dodgy financial deals in the eastern part of the constituency and often own property in its western parts. The Cities of London and Westminster is not a global symbol of open liberal values but rather a place infamous for exemplifying the money grabbing anti-values of the neo-liberal rich. Umunna was outed as a member of the ‘exclusive’ social network ASmallWorld years ago and as a result publicly apologised for describing ordinary people as ‘trash’ in a post intended only for his rich mates.
Absurd Facebook post from Chuka Umunna.
On the current page of the Westminster and City of London Lib Dems, Umunna unashamedly states:
I worked as a solicitor in the Cities of London and Westminster for almost a decade before I was elected in 2010. Given that almost all my clients were businesses in the area, I have a very real understanding of just how damaging any form of Brexit will be for local jobs, trade and people’s livelihoods – my experience working there is part of why I am so passionately committed to the UK remaining in the EU.
But what is said of Brexit here applies with even more force to the neo-liberal City of London which destroys the lives of billions around the world by taking wealth from the many and channeling it to the few. So rather than just rabbiting on about Brexit, we’d like to see Umunna promising to abolish the undemocratic business vote in the City of London, getting rid of tax havens, raising top tax rates and ensuring punitive fines are issued against the banks and bankers responsible for a whole series of economic disasters. However we’re not gonna hold our breath waiting for Umunna to come up with some decent policies. As Mandu Reid, interim leader of the Women’s Equality Party put it in a recent blog post:
“I am disappointed to learn that the Liberal Democrats have selected Chuka Umunna to contest Cities of London and Westminster at the next election.
“I have been in talks with the Liberal Democrats and other progressive parties across our target seats so that we can work with those parties to stop a no-deal Brexit that will hurt women the most. Our Westminster candidate, Jenn Selby, a formidable campaigner and survivor of sexual violence, has offered to stand down if the Lib Dems and other parties take on our policy red lines to tackle violence against women and that offer is still open.
“I would like to be proven wrong, but the Lib Dem’s decision to stand in this seat without an alliance, and the candidate they have chosen, suggests that their priority is simply power for power’s sake. Change UK lasted no more than a few months because it had no policy programme and because you cannot hope to tackle the huge crisis facing our country by only working with those who created that crisis.
“In this past week, the point at which we have made progress is when progressive parties have worked together for the good of everyone. Unless that collaboration continues beyond the “stop Boris” agenda, the creativity and courage needed in politics will once again be lost to the pursuit of power for powers sake.” See the original here.