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Brexit: Why Labour should stick to its conference strategy
Brexit is now a class struggle — between a hard right nationalist project and, on the other side, an alliance of liberal centrists, with working class socialists, Greens and the left-nationalists in Scotland and Wales. The Leave 2.0 campaign will be, in Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase, an “alliance of the elite and the mob”. The Remain campaign should be an alliance of the working class and progressive middle class and any business leaders with the guts to join it — ie excaclty the kind of formation that the left used in the mid-1930s to fight the far right.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  softBrexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  StarmerKeir  Remain  reform  class  nationalism  middleClass  workingClass  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
4 weeks ago by petej
Corbyn and Labour must now go hell for leather for another referendum | Polly Toynbee | Opinion | The Guardian
The Commons roared its mockery at her belated pledge to reach across the House to consult on what comes next. Too late – two and a half years too late. Had she from day one announced herself prime minister of the whole nation, the defender of the 48% as well as the 52%, she might have forged an agreement to stay as close to the EU as possible. Instead she wasted her time appeasing the extremists, for whom no Brexit can ever be hard enough. She let them feel they ruled the roost – and so they did. And look how low they brought her in return.
UK  EU  Brexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  CorbynJeremy  dctagged  dc:creator=ToynbeePolly  politics 
4 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 
5 weeks ago by petej
An election would be a headache for Labour – and all-out war for the Tories | Polly Toynbee | Opinion | The Guardian
But an election called now would cause both major parties near-terminal dilemmas in how to fight it. Labour might hope and try to make it about other issues, but this time there would be no ducking the question. On Thursday, Corbyn talked of a victorious Labour government re-opening negotiations on better terms. That’s what he must say this week, in the prescribed sequencing, but next week that will change. It is entirely impossible that Labour, its members, its MPs and polling pressure from its voters, could allow a campaign in favour of any kind of Brexit. But nor, many say, could it baldly call for remain. It would have to put a referendum into its manifesto, with the party supporting remain. There would be dissenters.

But that would be nothing compared with the warfare that would break out over the Tory manifesto in an election now. The party would fragment in radically different directions, European Research Group versus remainers, referendumites, Canadians and Norwegians. Besides, they would need a new leader fast and their membership would choose a more divisive ardent Brexiteer.
UK  politics  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  generalElection  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  referendum  PeoplesVote  Article50  extension  dctagged  dc:creator=ToynbeePolly 
5 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 
6 weeks ago by petej
Labour’s refusal to oppose Brexit is becoming a historic error
The attitude of Corbyn loyalists is that Remainers have nowhere else to go besides Labour. If Labour enable Brexit, this will have no noticeable impact on how Remainers vote in any general election. They dismiss a poll that suggests Labour could lose a large number of votes by attacking the poll: it was funded by the People’s Vote campaign, and “who believes polls?” A more thoughtful criticism is that you are bound to get a large number in any question who highlight Brexit, but general elections will be fought over many issues. In short, Remainers on the left will always vote Labour.

I would agree that one poll tells you little about any future general election, but what it does reveal is the intensity of feeling over the Brexit issue. I think many among the Labour leadership and Corbyn loyalists fail to understand this. They prefer instead to misplace Remainers as the centrist enemy, and see attacks on Corbyn over Brexit as just one more means by which the centre and right of Labour attack Labour. This is a serious mistake.
UK  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  generalElection  Leave  Remain  PeoplesVote  referendum  identity  migrants  freedomOfMovement  dctagged  dc:creator=Wren-LewisSimon 
6 weeks ago by petej
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