Labour MP Barry Sheerman has lambasted the political decisions of David Cameron and George Osborne. He claimed we are witnessing the same ‘failure of leadership’ seen during World War I.
The MP for Huddersfield criticised the government’s budget for being ‘uninspiring, lacking of passion, lacking in leadership, lacking in values’ during a ‘year of crisis’.
He said: ‘We are heading for a very bad time indeed if we leave the EU on bad terms, that is the fact of the matter, wasn’t mentioned.
‘The chancellor of the exchequer at this time of crisis, impending disaster for our country hadn’t got the courage to mention Brexit more than once, that is the truth.’
Whatever Brexit deal was struck, he argued, ‘it won’t be as good as the deal of staying in the EU’ and would negatively impact people’s lives.
Speaking during the Commons Budget Resolutions debate, he said: ‘I know that what we’re moving towards is a disaster for their living standards, their health standards and everything else that touches their lives over these coming years. This is a year of crisis…
‘This is going to be the next crisis where we need people there at the Despatch Box who actually take on their role as leaders.
‘Not people who were there as prime minister and chancellor and when they lost the referendum ran away from their responsibilities, ran away from the leadership. Where are they now, in the Evening Standard I suppose, in their man cave writing their memoirs.’
He added: ‘The great people that have been at that Despatch Box are the people who had values, showed leadership and led this country in good times and bad times.’
Sheerman took issue with the chancellor’s description of the ‘global meltdown of the world economy’ as ‘Labour’s great recession’.
Recalling the actions of then Labour prime minister Gordon Brown and chancellor Alistair Darling, he said: ‘They did what was necessary to save our country and don’t this bunch over here tell us how to raise to our responsibilities.
‘We showed leadership, we showed that we had the values and we worked incessantly to get this country back on track.’
Sheerman sought to draw a parallel with World War I, stating that it was ‘politicians that failed the people of this country’.
He said: ‘That was a failure of leadership, failure of values, failure of the responsibility to be at that Despatch Box and make courageous decisions and we’re heading in that direction.
‘Not particularly in war but into the most troubled times, when our people will come out impoverished, miserable, unhappy and that will hurt their health, their education and their chance of a good life and for my part I will do everything I can to stop the disaster that those people have wished on our people.’