petej + farright   452

Campaign against Brexit starts now – on positive terms only Labour can deliver | Opinion | The Guardian
The EU reflects the political reality of the member states that comprise it, and is far from perfect. We deplore the treatment of Greece by the European institutions, and the fact that tens of thousands of migrants have been left to drown in the Mediterranean Sea. It is precisely because of these criticisms that our movement has a moral duty to stay and fight in the EU, working alongside the European left and using our position as the largest group in the Party of European Socialists. Jeremy Corbyn, and the mass movement underneath him, could yet be a major player in influencing the EU’s policies and development for the decades ahead.
UK  EU  Brexit  Remain  LabourParty  nationalism  immigration  farRight  reform  Guardian  letter  OsamorKate  LewisClive  Russell-MoyleLloyd  OnwurahChi  politics 
15 days ago by petej
Only a rupture with the EU will alter the failed status quo | Larry Elliott | Opinion | The Guardian
Brexit, the gilets jaunes protesters in France, the terrible pain inflicted on Greece and the support for the League/Five Star government in Italy all tell their own story. Europe is alive with political discontent that reflects the demand for deep and urgent reform, but the chances of getting it are less likely if the status quo prevails.

Why? Because the forces of conservatism are strong. Change comes about only when the pressure for it becomes too great to resist. The financial crisis provided one such opportunity to reform an economic system that for many people clearly wasn’t working; Brexit was a second. The left’s case for Brexit has always been based on the following notions: the current economic model is failing; socialism is needed to fix it; and the free-market ideology hardwired into the EU via the European Central Bank, judgments of the European court of justice and treaty changes will make that process all but impossible without a break with the status quo.

It is theoretically possible that in the event of a “Brexit in name only” or no Brexit at all, policymakers will push ahead with what’s needed in order to make a reality of the slogan “a reformed Britain in a reformed Europe”. Possible but not all that plausible, given that it would require breaking up the euro, more autonomy for individual countries to intervene in the running of their economies, and a simultaneous philosophical U-turn in the big member states.

Much more likely is that the pressure for change will dissipate and the real grievances of those who voted for Brexit will be quietly forgotten. The softer the Brexit, the more convinced the EU will be that it has been doing the right thing all along. Britain will not go up in flames, but there will still be consequences. Leave voters will feel they have been victims of an establishment stitch-up. The anger will not go away and will eventually resurface.

The risk is that the losers will be the biggest supporters of the EU – the liberal left. And the biggest winners will be the extreme right.
UK  EU  Brexit  TheLeft  Lexit  Leave  finance  crisis  economy  productivity  ECB  Euro  reform  farRight  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=ElliottLarry 
8 weeks ago by petej
For the sake of working people, the left must back remain | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
If there is a second referendum, Labour will back remain. How it campaigns will matter as never before. Remain’s chances will rest squarely on winning back Labour leave voters – making a case both for staying in the EU and for upending the status quo at home. That means Tory remainers somehow agreeing to let Corbyn get some of his policies on the statute books. And the beached whales of the remain campaign – the likes of Tony Blair – will need to be cleared away.

It will also mean Labour squarely making the case for the EU being better for working people than Brexit. Without the EU’s working time directive, they could say, British workers wouldn’t have the legal right to paid holidays. Indeed, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson have reportedly plotted to repeal such rights as soon as Britain leaves. Equal pay for women, protection for agency workers: such basics have come from the EU, often despite resistance from the British government.

Some on the left will ask, but what about those EU state aid rules that get in the way of building a new economy? Yet research by two EU competition law experts found that of the 26 economic proposals in Labour’s 2017 manifesto, all but two would not require any state aid notification. And researchers concluded that Brussels would allow the other two to pass. Besides, under Labour’s current proposal for a customs union, the UK would still be subject to state-aid rules.

While I understand the sentiments of those who want a leftwing Brexit, many of their positions sound like flights of fantasy, by those who will never have to suffer the worst consequences. Against them, I’d weigh up the consequences that await low-paid migrant workers – and I know which side deserves the most support from the left.
UK  EU  Brexit  referendum  withdrawalAgreement  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  constructiveAmbiguity  opposition  noDeal  ERG  NorwayPlus  BolesNick  MayTheresa  softBrexit  freedomOfMovement  PeoplesVote  farRight  RobinsonTommy  FarageNigel  Remain  Lexit  TheLeft  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
8 weeks ago by petej
Taking back control? Brexit seems to offer exactly the opposite | Politics | The Guardian
Two male Ukip protesters, who won’t share their names, blame “fake news”, under which they classify all major media, with no exceptions. “Leave means leave. We’re not unreasonable,” insists the younger man, dressed in a parka and blue jeans. He describes himself as “a citizen journalist from southwest London”. About the Soubry incident, he is flippant: “This is a Westminster bubble, that’s how people talk in the pub. Get used to it. There is no such thing as hate speech, it’s just different opinions. I find your paper offensive. I won’t shut you down or get you arrested.”

On the street, the man still bellowing a full-throated “out means out” is enraged by a host of conspiracy theories he believes in. “I find news the way I need to find it,” he says when asked about his information. “I research people that I get it off. If I can get it from a family member then that’s it. If you were on my side, you’d be doing all that.”

The country should prepare for riots, he says. “They can’t expect the people to be law-abiding citizens when government is as corrupt as it is. All them people in here,” he claims, “are getting paid backhanders all the way through the system.”
UK  EU  Brexit  referendum  politics  polarisation  division  threats  intimidation  SoubryAnna  YellowVestsUK  CoxJo  farRight  BercowJohn  MayTheresa  ClarkeKenneth  Leave  conspiracyTheory 
9 weeks ago by petej
How Thatcherism produced Corbynism - UnHerd
In Britain, as elsewhere, the Thatcherite project was self-undermining. While the country Thatcher brought into being was very different from the one she inherited, it was nothing like the country she intended to fashion. Insofar as it ever existed, her Britain was a country of dutiful middle-class families prudently saving for the future. But rather than consolidating and expanding this middle class, she consigned it to the memory hole. More individualist, post-Thatcher Britain is also less bourgeois.

Aside from their homes, few middle-class people have assets of any importance. Beyond the public sector, pensions are dependent on the vagaries of the market. Without job security, much of the middle class lives only months from penury. Incomes have increased for many, but so has debt. While distancing Labour from its past and turning it into an overwhelmingly middle-class party, Tony Blair continued the hollowing out of middle-class life that Thatcher began.

A type of capitalism emerged in which the practices that shaped bourgeois life as it had been known in the past – saving for the future, pursuing a lifelong career, self-sacrifice for the sake of family stability – became redundant or dysfunctional. Adapting to ceaseless change came to be regarded as the primary virtue. Accelerating and accentuating processes that globalisation was driving anyway, Thatcher created a society she could not have imagined.
UK  politics  academia  tenure  Thatcher  Thatcherism  JosephKeith  Keynesianism  state  welfare  employment  individualism  neoliberalism  precarity  insecurity  post-industrialism  middleClass  Corbynism  TheLeft  globalisation  Brexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  farRight  dctagged  dc:creator=GrayJohn 
10 weeks ago by petej
Let's call Islamophobia what it is - mainstream, anti-Muslim racism
There has been a concerted effort by the far right (with much complicity in the media) to separate Muslims from other racialised groups. As Claire Alexander argued in the Runnymede Trust’s report on Islamophobia last year there has been a deliberate shift by the far right to focus racisms on “narrow biological markers”, thereby stripping it of its social, structural and historical context. This means denying that Muslims are a racial or ethnic group (thereby undermining their claims of racial discrimination compared to those of Sikhs or Jews) and positioning “Islamic identity” as a choice that Muslims can make, rather than viewing it as something which is attributed to them, regardless of the extent to which they practice their religion. All diversity within the religion – nationality, ethnicity, language and history – has been erased and Muslims are presented as a homogenous group, inseparable from Islamist extremists and incompatible with Western civilisation.

Anyone who argues that anti-Muslim sentiments are not racist because they focus on “religious or cultural practices”, rather than on ethnic or racial characteristics, is being disingenuous. Suggesting that there is a clear line between hatred and fear of Islam (the ideology) and prejudice against ordinary individual Muslims (who may or may not practice the religion) is being deceitful. And conflating and erasing all the diversity and differences within Muslim minority communities so you can vilify them as a group is manifestly racism in every other guise. Let’s not pretend that anti-Muslim racism is anything else.
UK  Islamophobia  hatred  racism  RobinsonTommy  JohnsonBoris  LiddleRod  bigotry  farRight  prejudice 
10 weeks ago by petej
Billy Charlton trial: Sunderland protester who spoke alongside Tommy Robinson accused of stirring up | Page 6 | RTG Sunderland Message Boards
Billy Charlton and his cronies have made this city infamous. You'd never believe that such an idiot like him would have such a pervasive effect on the politics of this area. Despite having a tiny muslim community that only adds up to 0.1% of the total population, his efforts and those around him have turned Sunderland into one of the most Islamophobic places in Britain.
Sunderland  racism  Islamophobia  xenophobia  CharltonBilly  farRight 
december 2018 by petej
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