I usually read ‘The Guardian’ during my lunchbreak in work, so my attention was struck by an article headed ‘Remainers, you have nothing to fear from backing Labour in the EU elections’.
Mmm . . . this might be interesting I thought.
So, I read it. The article informed its readers that, unlike the Conservatives “Labour will enter the EU elections from a completely different angle, with a programme that is actually about Europe.” Yes indeed, and that’s the effing problem; because that programme is Brexit.
Its big message was that Labour’s policy is at one with the manifesto of the Party of European Socialists, although I’m fairly certain that this manifesto doesn’t actually support Brexit.
The manifesto “spells out, concretely and in the abstract, where the solutions lie”, and so “the party has an overriding imperative. It must, in solidarity with its European socialist allies, spread its hopeful vision for the bloc.” Except, of course, it wants to leave “the bloc” and, if it is the least bit logical, wishes that there was no bloc at all. And, concretely, the policy of the Labour Party – of a ‘jobs Brexit’ – is nonsense and in the abstract is unviable, that is, unviable in the dictionary definition related to biology.
The European Socialist’s manifesto contains all sorts of admirable objectives such as “a carbon-neutral continent by 2050; strong welfare states, social safety nets and quality public services; standards driven up by collective transnational action; a ban on zero-hours contracts and fake self-employment.” But there is a problem, I’ve yet to see a coherent argument for a national road to changing the climate, or unilateral national action that is collective transnational action.
We are told “We can fixate on the persistence of a pro-Brexit faction within Labour – unarguably, it exists – but it is tedious to continue to locate and analyse it when it cannot have a decisive voice on Labour’s position in the European elections.” But again, happy to be proved wrong, but unless the Party campaigns against Brexit, I think there’s a mistake hiding somewhere in this argument.
And I don’t think Remainers are finding Brexit tedious. In fact, the one million plus march and 6 million plus petition shows that they are quite fired up. Rather it’s the Leavers who are tired – and why wouldn’t they be? They were told, and many still believe, that leaving the EU would be easy, quick and painless. The “let’s just get on with it” mood that Theresa May keeps on saying ‘the British people’ want is from all these leavers who still desperately want to be proved right, and equally desperately want some charlatan to confirm their prejudices.
We’re told of the Labour Party – “Never mind the pro-Brexit faction” – what a pity it happens to include the leadership. And what can we say about such a leadership that, for example, presents us with the ridiculous spectacle of continuing negotiations with the Tories, that never should have started, that are based on the reactionary-ludicrous assumptions that some sort of progressive Brexit might exist, and might be agreed with the Tories. And the longer they go on, the greater the effort, the more alienating the Labour leadership becomes to all those members and voters who long ago realised that Brexit is a dish better not served at all.
It gets harder, the more one reads it, to understand just what this Grauniad article is saying. For example, when it states that the European manifesto “is the foundation for a much bolder question: how could these (EU) institutions be transformed so they served their original purpose?” Doesn’t the Brexit leadership assume that this is impossible? And do they not also assume that Brexit is still Brexit while adhering to a customs union and regulatory alignment, while having no say in setting the rules for either, while still in a position to ‘transform the institutions’.
You really could not make this up, which is why the leadership can’t explain how it can be made up, and the EU will tell it how it simply can’t be made up.
So, to sum up, supporters of the ‘successful ambiguity’ of Labour policy appear to be missing the rather unambiguous support the Corbyn leadership is giving Brexit – so unambiguous they proclaim their goal as one of unity with the Tories for their favourite Brexit option, which doesn’t look very different from May’s favourite Brexit option. And this is called opposition?
Some people nevertheless comfort themselves with opinion polls showing Labour ahead, or rather Labour doing less badly, than the Tories, although this wasn’t the case in the Newport byelection. What they fail to factor in is a Tory campaign for a hard Brexit– deal or no deal – should an election actually be called, which only they could deliver, and in the process hoovering up the Leave voters – who have no reason to vote Labour despite its policy. A Labour-supporting Brexit meanwhile, might present no reason whatsoever for Remainers to vote for it – which is why this otherwise ridiculous ‘Guardian’ column has seen the need to think up a reason to do so, which it abysmally fails to do.
So how ironic would it be if Theresa May should have called an election in 2017 on the basis of opinion polls, only to see the election campaign pan out differently and the arguments put during it actually have an impact, only for Corbyn to seek to do the same and go into an election telling everyone to ignore the elephant in the room? What sort of argument for Brexit that almost all his members think is crazy or stupid, or something worse, could possibly win the election, unless relying on the opposition being useless?
But isn’t this what Theresa May did before? Does this obviously failed leader, who isn’t even the leader of her own party anymore, really have to end up leading no one except the Labour Party, in its policy and strategy?
It is very, very hard to see the next election campaign repeating the same outcome as that in 2017, with a massive increase in the Labour vote – except perhaps in reverse. About as hard as seeing what’s progressive in Brexit and how it could possibly benefit the Labour Party to support it.
Perhaps that article really should have been headed ‘Remainers, you have everything to fear from backing Labour in the EU elections’. Of course if you still want to do so you perhaps you had better start doing something about the Party’s policy and its leadership. Non?
I read a recent assessment by Professor Barbara Casu covering the City of Ireland and Brexit, it is available as a pdf to download. Finding out what the City interest is is of crucial importance. There is an hour long interview on youtube with the economic historian Peter Cain ( unused interview from The Spiders Web) about the historical role of the City and its political sway over all British Governments. He points out that the manufacturing sector has never had much influence over Parliament and Government for various reasons which he explains.
On the face of it you might say that the City is opposed to Brexit, that is the case if you reckon the Governor of the Bank of England is speaking up for the common financial interest. The sector employs just over a million people directly and over 2 million indirectly. It adds revenues of approx ten percent.
The report by the professor says that ‘ most of the activities of the city of London are not connected to membership of the EU.’ The report also says that the main beneficiary for any loss of business will go to New York and not Europe. In terms of ranking for global financial business New York and London are currently about equal, the only European financial centre on the top ten list is Zurich which is number 9, Frankfurt is ranked 10, Paris 23, Brussels 54 and Dublin 37, however the European rivals to London are really just small and in no position to compete against London.
There are various reports in the newspapers about what the City is in favour of but they convey different messages, the Times says the City is very worried, other publications claiming the very opposite. One thing you can be sure of is the agreement being sought by May and her Government is sure to be one at least approved by the City representatives.
It may also be the case the City is more or less neutral on Leave or Remain as such and it is this neutrality that explains the relative political stasis in Britain, for as Peter Cain says, it is the City interest that has typically led the country with regard to overall economic policy in Britain.
Some time ago it looked like the petty bourgeoisie was in charge of Brexit because as a class it has the human numbers on its side and it had taken control over the Tory party in Thatchers time. However this analysis seemed to be wrong because the petty bourgeoisie never leads, it typically follows another class. The way things seem now is it looks like Brexit is not going to happen, and this would show that the petty bourgeoisie is slowly but surely losing control over the political process, certainly things are stacking up against the Brexit cause, the bourgeois media that once promoted UKIP and the Euro sceptics has very much turned hard against them. To tune into BBC Newsnight or Channel Four news is to listen to a kind of Hate Speech against Brexit, the perspective of Brexit is now regularly linked to THE RISE OF THE Far Right and even to National Socialism, even the Daily Mail has changed its tune. So I predict you will get your way and “we” will be staying in the EU in some lightly disguised form.
PS: you should stop reading the Guardian newspaper, don’t you know it is the vehicle of choice of the intelligent services for spreading disinformation, especially on matters of foreign policy. The intelligent services are not so stupid that they would use the like of the Telegraph or Daily Mail to plant their stories. No the Guardian is the chosen one. I would hazard a guess that a fair number of Guardian writers are part time employees of the intelligent services.