petej + europeanparliament   137

Many of the Labour Party’s intrinsic problems have been brought to the fore in the Brexit debate: a mandarin conception of the relationship between party, membership and wider class, which resulted in the awkward drafting of the original Clause IV (‘to secure for the workers by hand or brain’) and the gradual isolation of the professional party from its rank-and-file membership; a willingness to treat certain parts of its electoral base as if they have ‘nowhere else to go’ (as one of Blair’s advisers once told his cabinet); a staid grasp of the composition of the working class; a difficulty in grasping constitutional questions as anything other than an ideological excrescence of underlying class relations (the results in Wales and Scotland ought to underline this). The party may have rediscovered socialism, but all these issues have yet to be tackled. It is tempting to see them as the major obstacles to ‘resolving’ Brexit – they have certainly all contributed to Labour’s occasionally obscure position on it.
UK  politics  EuropeanParliament  election  BrexitParty  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  membership  class  ToryParty  leadership  noDeal  generalElection  referendum  LRB  dctagged  dc:creator=ButlerJames 
11 weeks ago by petej
Rage, rapture and pure populism: on the road with Nigel Farage | Politics | The Guardian
Either way, Farage concedes he has “never had a more straightforward message. And never have the other side made it easier.” Why had he not once used the word immigration in his speech? “Five years ago the burning issue in this country was open-doors immigration. And right now, it is not the burning issue. The burning issue is Brexit. Purely Brexit.”
UK  politics  Brexit  BrexitParty  FarageNigel  populism  Leave  EU  EuropeanParliament  election  WiddecombeAnn  elites  rhetoric  willOfThePeople 
11 weeks ago by petej
The Tories have forgotten their pro-EU voters. And they’ll pay for it | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
There is a rising Tory fantasy about the party’s immediate post-May future, which seems to be based around victory in a general election, a new leader going back to Brussels full of swagger – and, if need be, Britain stoically going it alone. If that happens, the revolutionary, Brexit-or-nothing school of modern Conservatism will reach peak arrogance, thinking the ghost of the blessed Margaret Thatcher is cheering everything on, and that its moment of destiny has arrived. The truth is the exact opposite: whatever its delusions, hyper-Toryism – and, by extension, the Conservative party itself – is sliding into a elemental crisis from which it may never recover.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  EuropeanParliament  election  ToryParty  McVeyEsther  Wilmslow  middleClass  Remain  CameronDavid  OsborneGeorge  BrexitParty  FarageNigel  JohnsonBoris  austerity  precarity  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn  conservatism 
12 weeks ago by petej
North-east England is not obsessed with Brexit – it’s just a symbol | Phil McDuff | Opinion | The Guardian
Brexit was, and remains, largely about this mythical EU and its symbolic opposition to an equally mythical Britain, rather than about anything specific to the actual EU. Brexit is pure magic – standing in for your hopes or fears. Bring it down to the level of the prosaic, to MEPs and trade policy, and it loses this magic and becomes ugly and undesirable. Ultimately Brexit cannot be fulfilled, it can only be betrayed.

Leave and remain groups talk past each other on Labour’s real or imagined failures. Is Labour losing leave votes because of a sense the party is betraying the spirit of the Brexit vote? Seems likely. Is it losing remain votes because it isn’t committed to revoking article 50 and keeping us in the EU? Probably. Get a policy out of that.

Beyond electoralism, the Brexit reasoning doesn’t get much clearer for anyone on the left. The pro-Brexit left, such as the economist Grace Blakely, argue a convincing case that the economic populism of a Corbynite Labour would be opposed by the EU as currently instituted and that the deep reforms that attracted people to the newly socialist Labour could be stymied if the UK remains a member. Gina Miller, who took the government to court over Brexit, said she was “more worried about a certain Mr Corbyn” than she was about Brexit – a position seemingly shared by many in the EU. Others argue, no less convincingly, that Brexit is and remains a project of the far right and that it is a pipe dream to assume the left can force this authoritarian locomotive on to new humanitarian, internationalist rails at this stage. We should be aiming to remain and reform, they say. Which is fair enough, but if we cannot reform Brexit in our own country, how can we be expected to reform the EU either? It is not that either of these positions is wrong, more that they are both correct, which unfortunately does not provide a nice answer for anyone.
UK  politics  North-East  Brexit  UKIP  BrexitParty  EuropeanParliament  election  Leave  Remain  dctagged  dc:creator=McDuffPhil 
may 2019 by petej
Time has run out. Labour must seize its last chance to take a stand on Brexit | Will Hutton | Opinion | The Guardian
The right of British politics is becoming an amalgam of strident English nationalism, nostalgic xenophobia and hyper-Thatcherism hiding behind the language of anti-Europeanism that seeks to legitimise those ugly values. The ageing Tory party, already hostage to thousands of ex-Ukip members who have recently joined it, is being pulled magnetically towards Farage’s Brexit party. Tory councillors and activists around the country say they will vote for it, with its promise of a no-deal hard Brexit and national “independence”, something so valuable, declares Farage, that if it means being poorer and internationally marginalised, so be it. It will allow the greater prize of England becoming the country he wants, home to a virulent capitalism and minimal social safety net; to a spirit of anti-immigration and indifference to inequality.
UK  politics  LabourParty  NEC  EuropeanParliament  election  manifesto  Brexit  EU  referendum  ambiguity  nationalism  BrexitParty  xenophobia  dctagged  dc:creator=HuttonWill 
april 2019 by petej
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