Little Twittering for Europe morphs into ‘let’s save Labour’

I don’t know about other progressives and Remain Alliance (Lib Dem, Green & PC) supporters but I’ve noticed that many of the Facebook Groups I subscribed to before the General Election who were backing Remain and also encouraging progressives to vote tactically are now little more than recruiting sergeants for trying to turn the Labour back into a Social Democrat Party.

My thoughts on this are:-

* Why did the centrists, moderates & social democrats leave Labour in the first place?
* Isn’t Labour now a Socialist Party which has thrown off its Blair era past to be a narrower church of the far left?
* Why do moderates, centrists and social democrats think they can return Labour to Blairism?
* Isn’t it better that Labour is a socialist party rather than a generation by generation see-saw party sometimes of the middle ground and sometimes of the far left?
* Haven’t we been here before when Kinnock ‘rescued’ Labour from the far left only for it to return there under Momentum/Corbynism?
* Why do moderates think they can get the left to relinquish power within Labour so it can become akin to Blairite again?
* If Labour is ‘rescued’ again how long will it stay moderate?
* How long will it take to ‘rescue’ Labour again?
* Is it even realistic to try to save Labour?

Being of the left and as someone who thinks of himself as a bit of a leftie I’ve often found that many Labour voters, supporters and indeed members are to the right of me as a Liberal and that’s both when Labour is moderate and when it’s left! My view has always been that Labour is too broad a church, ranging in support from working class ‘Tories’ to posh privately educated socialists and everything in between. I use the word ‘Tories’ quite deliberately but not in a derogatory way as many Labour factions talk about each other. What I mean is at heart they are actually quite right wing but they ally themselves to Labour because it’s their tribe; they’re no more progressive than I’m a Dutchman so to speak. Of course it was this section of the Labour family that the Labour leadership was pandering to prior to GE 2019. It led them to be all things and no things to most women and men on Brexit the biggest issue of the day; indeed their leader was neutral! That was never going to inspire anyone and of course it didn’t.

So Labour whilst being very much of the left under Momentum and Corbyn was actually singing the tune (well mumbling it quietly really) of its right wing supporters many of whom then promptly deserted Labour to vote for a far right alternative! You could not make this up but that’s what happened in GE 2019.

My point here is why are moderates, centrists and social democrats trying to save Labour? Is it because it’s a tribe they were born into and they feel they have to try to save it? If the motivation is tribalism then no good will come of it as tribalism is the fault-line in UK politics not its saviour. Labour’s ‘our way or no way’ approach to politics has bedeviled it and progressive politics over generations except for a brief period when Blair & Ashdown tried to promote inclusive center left politics. If Labour does swing back (and that presently is a very big if) towards social democracy it needs to want to work with other progressives in other political parties. If it pursues the mantra of everyone else on the left is a Tory then nothing will be achieved.

If you want to save Labour for it to become moderate, centrist and social democrat again then good luck to you but I fear you’ll have to keep doing it every 15 years or so, even if you do succeed, because fundamentally Labour is probably more comfortable as a socialist party. Remember in the Blair years when Labour activists often chimed in with the chorus of ‘we are old Labour’? Well they were and they’ve gained control of the party machine this time far more firmly than Michael Foot’s supporters or Militant ever did.

My advice is don’t waste your time if you think you can return Labour to centrist politics, that ship sailed a long time ago.

Labour’s Brexit problem – They are openly not Remainers

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/labour-mp-accuses-unite-boss-17247986

Whilst the report is about internal Labour Party difficulties the mere mention of McCluskey makes Remainers most unhappy. What on earth has a trade union leader been doing not fighting Brexit when it will in all probability lead to job losses and it threatens employment rights? It just makes no sense at all to me as a life long trade unionist.

And people like McCluskey must surely be at the heart of Labour being unable/unwilling to join the Remain Alliance? Here we have 3 political parties of the left PC, the Greens and Lib Dems fighting to stop Brexit because amongst many other things it is a threat to jobs and employment rights whilst a trade union leader with obviously huge influence within Labour leans towards Brexit. It beggars belief in my view.

Brexit – What do Brexiteers really want? They really want different things

Yes, I know that they all want to leave the EU but frankly, that raises more questions than it answers. Look at this way:-

* Do they want to leave under any circumstances no matter what the consequences to the UK economy, their personal finances and even their own jobs? Well yes, some do and are well prepared for it to cost them money and even the jobs of themselves and their close family; it means that much to them. But how many who voted for Brexit support this ultra position?

* Or do they want Brexit and are prepared to take a bit of a hit to the UK economy and indeed their own circumstances (financial and job wise) to get it? Seems we are well past the stage where the damage to us all was just ‘a bit of a hit’ with the government putting Billions of Pounds into all kinds of Brexit issues that would otherwise be building hospitals etc. Has this group changed their minds now?

* Or do they want Brexit so long as it does not make them poorer or put them and their families and friends at risk job wise? This view will, I think, account for many who voted to leave the EU thinking that they would even become better off as would the economy, the NHS (remember the bus!) and public services in general. Of course, all those alleged advantages have been found to be without foundation. Has this group changed their mind?

If you are a well off Brexiteer you may well be in the first group, able and willing to weather the storm. If you have a little put by then maybe you are in the second group. If you are struggling or have no savings then you are likely to be in the last group. Yes I know these are generalisations but you get my drift.

And yes I accept that there will be a very small minority who voted Remain who may well now want to vote to Leave

I’ve come to these conclusions based on listening to what people who voted to leave the EU have said and its why I think we need a Peoples Vote. Too many folk are saying that what’s on offer is nothing like what was promised and they are as a consequence changing their position. Those wanting a hard line Brexit of any kind will seemingly accept any deal no matter what it consists of.

Are our MP’s listening? Many of them seem to be hidden behind their Brexit sofa not willing to express a view or indeed fearing to express a view. Both Tory and Labour MP’s will want to keep quiet because deselection will face them if they step out of line with their leadership.

The next few days will be telling because if those who were promoting Brexit had told the truth in the last referendum the reality is that there would not have been a majority to leave the EU.

Chuka Umunna, Open Britain & Brexit

I’ve had an e-mail from Chuka (on Behalf of campaign group Open Britain) who was one of the few Labour MP’s who campaigned really hard to keep the UK in the EU. I had respect for him for that stance, especially as his party was generally poor at Remain campaigning.

BUT Chuka then voted to enact Article 50 a few days ago and therefore voted for Brexit!

Now he sends me an e-mail worrying about Brexit and amendments that will need to be put forward in Parliament to try to change Mrs Mayday’s White Paper.

Excuse me, why on earth should I take any notice what so ever of an MP who campaigns for Remain, Votes for Article 50 and then expects me to support him in his amendments? Sorry your stance is beyond the bizarre Chuka.

Brexit – Thank goodness for those willing to uphold the law

I would like to think that however you voted in the EU Referendum you will agree that our government should follow the law and not try to circumvent it and Parliament.

If we agree on that then the ruling of the Supreme Court that Mrs May has to let Parliament have a say over Brexit should be very welcome indeed.

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She had set her face, for reasons only she knows, against our democratic processes and it has taken the Supreme Court to hold her to account as our major opposition party is all but standing with her!

If we are ‘getting our country back’ as many Brexit enthusiasts say we are then why are some of them so opposed to our elected MP’s having a say?

We are supposed to be living in a representative democracy where Parliament is sovereign yet there is a worrying element of Brexit supporters who are pushing us towards a fascist state where Parliament is little more than a lap dog for the powerful. That’s not getting our country back!

But no worry Mrs May(day) Labour are with you anyway over Brexit as they have given up being the major party of opposition. Yes they will try to come up with the odd thing to make it look like they are keeping you on your toes but in reality they are in your pocket and you know that as well as we do.

Why is it that Tim Farron’s Lib Dems are the only UK-wide political party that is willing to be a voice for the 48% who voted to remain in the EU? With credit on this subject too of course to the SNP in Scotland.