Is this the end for self-destructive Labour?

1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA
1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA
The official Opposition in the House of Commons is not giving the British taxpayer his money's worth '“ not by a long chalk.

Labour, as the second biggest party at Westminster, has a duty as the Opposition to keep a close eye on the doings of the Government, holding it in check and challenging any excesses by the ruling party.

But none of this is happening and the taxpayer is entitled to feel disgruntled that Labour is not doing the job it is being paid it to do.

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Instead, as far as Labour is concerned, the Government might just as well not exist. For the opposition party is spending so much of its time fighting among itself, it has no time to do its proper duty.

The taxpayer therefore has a legitimate grouse as Labour engulfs itself in another leadership contest which is taking up all its energies.

If Jeremy Corbyn clings on to the job, Labour will almost certainly split up into two different factions, more interested in fighting each other than fighting the Tories.

And if Corbyn loses, then Labour will find itself led by someone called Owen Smith, a plodding politician who barely anyone had heard of outside Westminster.

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In short, the prospects for Labour as a united fighting force look pretty bleak whatever happens.

Corbyn and his allies have been accused of bullying and intimidation, while the infighting becomes more intense on a daily basis.

But Labour got themselves into this mess. They have no one else to blame. How they extricate themselves from it is anybody’s guess.

As was pointed out over the weekend, if a snap election were called now, the Tories would simply bury Labour in a heap of rubble. Rarely before has the House of Commons been in such an utter shambles.

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Many people have been likening Theresa May’s “maiden voyage” in Prime Minister’s question time, to that of the style of Margaret Thatcher.

I totally disagree.

Thatcher’s style was far more raucous and belligerent-sounding.

May gets her message across in a far less overtly hostile way.

It is to her credit that she showed such calm and confidence at what is probably the most terrifying ordeal of the Parliamentary week.