Labour inches towards confirmatory referendum

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nicky

New Statesman calls on Corbyn to resign for good of party:

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/05/jeremy-corbyn-must-resign-labour-leader-party-loses-all-hope

This week, Labour headquarters has managed the extraordinary feat of handing Alastair Campbell the moral high ground. And Jeremy Corbyn has fumbled his way to a position where Remainers — about 90 per cent of party members according to a recent survey — must choose between abandoning their party or their beliefs.

His most senior colleagues — Emily Thornberry, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott — understand that. Jeremy Corbyn — whom I voted for, whom I like, and about whom I’ve co-written a supportive book —  does not. So he must go, and go fast, while he can still be replaced by a leader from the left or the centre left, and the new spirit of hope and idealism that he has brought to the Labour Party can be preserved.

If he goes now, he will be remembered as the leader who ended the triangulation of the Blair years for at least a generation. If he hangs on, he will drive his own friends away, demoralise the left, pave the way for the Blairites to take over again, and allow the Conservatives to recover and win the next general election. Never underestimate the Conservative Party’s ability to escape its grossest errors — it overcame the 1956 Suez debacle to win the 1959 general election.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

A party leader does not have the authority to singlehandedly change party policy.  If it wasn't party policy to center the unwinnable fight to make the Tories call a second referendum with Remain as an option, neither Corbyn nor any other possible leader could ever center that fight on their own.  No Labour leader has ever changed party policy without the changes being approved at the party congress.

And the votes for changing the policy at the party congress were never there.

Even if they had been, having Labour whip the MPs for a second referendum was never going to make any difference with any decision the Tory government made.  You know this.  Why act like Corbyn could have changed this, or could have stopped the Leave referendum victory in 2015, when you know perfectly well that he couldn't have done that, and that no alternative to Corbyn as leader could have done that?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Remain is not more important than a democratic socialist future.  It's not more important than wiping out all vestiges of Thactcherism.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

note to anyone reading nicky's posts:  nicky never gave Corbyn a chance as leader.  He was attacking him from the moment Corbyn won the leadership, and was demanding Corbyn's resignation as leader DURING the 2017 general election, even though it's impossible for parties to change leaders during an election campaign and even though no party in the history of British-style, first-past-the-post elections has ever changed leaders mid-campaign.

Everyone reading nicky's posts needs to know he's been acting out of irrational nastiness the whole time-as nicky proved by dredging up the antisemitism issue when Corbyn had done everything he could to put it to rest and even though he never deserved to be accused of abetting antisemitism.   The results of that smear have included the expulsion of JEWISH Labour Party members over the accusation, even though accusing those people of that crime is like accusing black people of being secret white supremacists.

NorthReport

Wonderful!

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Jonathan Pie's latest commentary on the EU election and Brexit.

NorthReport

So Will Trump’s tête-à-tête with Boris Johnson during his UK visit help or hinder him in his PM/Brexit quest

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-us-canada-48481309

NorthReport
Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
Remain is not more important than a democratic socialist future.  It's not more important than wiping out all vestiges of Thactcherism.

What I don't understand Ken, is why Corbyn is taking all the blame for the Brexit mess that is happening. Remember that there is a split between the Conservative leadership that favours more unity with Europe, and the Conservative base which leans more towards Euroskepticism. That's why Cameron failed. He proposed the referendum as a means to shore up his base, not expecting to actually win a majority. Then the referendum happened, and people voted leave despite what he wanted. May was not able to square that circle either. And whoever else becomes Prime Minister now is not going to be able to solve this issue, but is going to be locked in this same power struggle. Meanwhile, on the Labour side, people are blaming Corbyn for the loss, and elevating Brexit as an issue above all else. Now the Conservatives are unable to govern because of Brexit, and the only thing Labour can do now is comlain about Brexit. Since Brexit is the only item on the agenda, you've seen a massive collapse in support for the top 2 parties, and people are flocking to the 2 parties that have defined themselves based soley on how they answer the Brexit question. (Those parties being the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party.)

Remember when Corbyn was able to focus the political agenda on issues of austerity? "For the many, not the few" is what he said. Remember how wonderful it was to see UKIP completely off the political radar in Britain during that time?

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
New Statesman calls on Corbyn to resign for good of party:

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/05/jeremy-corbyn-must-resign-labour-leader-party-loses-all-hope

This week, Labour headquarters has managed the extraordinary feat of handing Alastair Campbell the moral high ground. And Jeremy Corbyn has fumbled his way to a position where Remainers — about 90 per cent of party members according to a recent survey — must choose between abandoning their party or their beliefs.

His most senior colleagues — Emily Thornberry, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott — understand that. Jeremy Corbyn — whom I voted for, whom I like, and about whom I’ve co-written a supportive book —  does not. So he must go, and go fast, while he can still be replaced by a leader from the left or the centre left, and the new spirit of hope and idealism that he has brought to the Labour Party can be preserved.

If he goes now, he will be remembered as the leader who ended the triangulation of the Blair years for at least a generation. If he hangs on, he will drive his own friends away, demoralise the left, pave the way for the Blairites to take over again, and allow the Conservatives to recover and win the next general election. Never underestimate the Conservative Party’s ability to escape its grossest errors — it overcame the 1956 Suez debacle to win the 1959 general election.

And what do you expect to happen once the Conservatives get their act together? They are going to call a snap election and use the power of the public purse that they have to win. With a fresh leader having no name recognition, plus the open wounds resulting from what will inevitably be a bitter leadership race on the Labour side no matter who wins, do you really think Labour will be in a position to contest an election?

Think this through a little bit. Sure you want Corbyn to resign, but to what end? Have you thought about what will happen afterwards? The next 2 or 3 steps afterwards that need to be taken? Sure, if Corbyn tanks in the next election, by all means review leadership. But he has already exceeded elections in one election where the expectation was that his party would be wiped out. He has earned the right to lead Labour through a second campaign.

josh

Much of the PLP and the Blairites have sought to destroy Corbyn from day 1.  Everything else flows from that.  They are as big a fan of direct democracy within the party as they are without it.  As their refusal to accept the result of the 2016 referendum attests.  They prefer the current political chaos as it advances their primary goal—to get rid of Corbyn.  And, as the anti-Semitism smear campaign shows—by any means necessary.

nicky

Aristotle, Labour shd not fear going into an election with a leader with less name recognition than . Corbyn. He or she will quickly become known.

Corbyn’s problem is that he is known and people don’t like what they see, by an overwhelming ratio of about 3 or 4 to 1. There is little he can do, assuming he abandons a lifetime of dogma and rigidity, to change this.

Sure he did better than expected in 2017. It is debatable how much of that is attribable to the collapse of Theresa’s May.

but since then Corbyn has tanked. You conveniently ignore not just the polls but the recent local and European elections where Corbyn led Labour to its worst results EVER.

maybe the Peterborough by-election next week will get your attention.

nicky
NorthReport

Remaining in the EU / Revoking Article 50 is the most favoured option

- May 14

 

https://uk.kantar.com/public-opinion/politics/2019/latest-brexit-barometer-labour-9-points-ahead-of-conservatives/

NDPP

"The biggest lie in UK politics today is that people have changed their minds about Brexit and want to remain. The facts expose the lie..."

https://twitter.com/FromDamian/status/1134751273817968642

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
Remain is not more important than a democratic socialist future.  It's not more important than wiping out all vestiges of Thactcherism.

What I don't understand Ken, is why Corbyn is taking all the blame for the Brexit mess that is happening. Remember that there is a split between the Conservative leadership that favours more unity with Europe, and the Conservative base which leans more towards Euroskepticism. That's why Cameron failed. He proposed the referendum as a means to shore up his base, not expecting to actually win a majority. Then the referendum happened, and people voted leave despite what he wanted. May was not able to square that circle either. And whoever else becomes Prime Minister now is not going to be able to solve this issue, but is going to be locked in this same power struggle. Meanwhile, on the Labour side, people are blaming Corbyn for the loss, and elevating Brexit as an issue above all else. Now the Conservatives are unable to govern because of Brexit, and the only thing Labour can do now is comlain about Brexit. Since Brexit is the only item on the agenda, you've seen a massive collapse in support for the top 2 parties, and people are flocking to the 2 parties that have defined themselves based soley on how they answer the Brexit question. (Those parties being the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party.)

Remember when Corbyn was able to focus the political agenda on issues of austerity? "For the many, not the few" is what he said. Remember how wonderful it was to see UKIP completely off the political radar in Britain during that time?

That's what the Blairites are angry about-they wanted Farage back-just as Justin and his advisors secretly wanted the Bloc to stay alive and start taking seats and votes from the NDP in Quebec-in order, in both cases to allow a ruling elite to create a false "you HAVE to do what we tell you if you care about saving the country" narrative.  The Blairites and LibDems and Tories are keeping the EU issue alive, and secretly cheering for the growth of the Brexit Party to prevent Labour from winning the next election on an anti-austerity antiwar program, and and to prevent Blairite MPs from the mass deselection they richly deserve as punishment for the four years of unprovoked unjustified sabotage they've inflicted on their party's current leader and on the majority of the party who are committed to an absolute break from Blair's reactionary politics, his uncontrolled militarism and his near-total abolition of internal party democracy, none of which gained Labour any significant number of votes-the party was solidly ahead in the polls long before Blair became leader-and none of which were defensible in policy terms.

It's largely irrelevant that the LibDems have a nominal lead in the current polls-LibDem support always collapses in the months before a general election is actually called-the point of pushing Corbyn to make the LibDem obsession with a second referendum is own is not to actually support the election of a LibDem government-it's simply to weaken Labour and allow the Tories, the party most of the anti-Corbyn wing of the PLP actually agree with on the bulk of the issues, to come from behind and stay in power after all.

 

These are the reasons the political establishment are subjecting Corbyn to what amounts to an extended degradation ceremony-an effort the Blairites are putting far more energy maintaining then they ever expended in trying to win the 2010 or 2015 elections when the party still had Blairite leaders, let alone in trying to help Corbyn beat the Tories in 2017 as he nearly managed to-and they will not relent in this hateful, vindictive effort until Corbyn either resigns-which is what the PLP actually wants-they don't give an actual fiddler's fart about the EU issue in real life-or until centers the unwinnable fight for a second referendum, the second referendum that the Tory government cannot ever be made to allow a free vote on, and in so doing drives every working class voter in the North and Northeast of England to vote Brexit Party at the next election and thus guarantees the party a 1983-style drubbing. 

The frenzy whipped up by the establishment press about the idea of a second referendum has never, at its root, been about anything at all other than demonizing the one decent, non-arrogant, non-cynical and dismissive person currently leading a major UK political party.

And it is important to remember that those who are verbally bludgeoning the man for this now are the ones who still think Corbyn could have personally stopped the Leave victory but simply refused to do so.  They perpetuate this smear even though there is no evidence whatsoever that anything Corbyn could possibly have said, to voters in any region of the UK,  would have turned the Leave victory into a Remain victory.  They demonize Corbyn for the referendum result, even though the largely Tory and Blairite Remain campaign was categorically incompetent and sabotaged itself by insisting on campaigning on demanding that the bloody peasants simply accept the EU status quo rather than run the only campaign which could possibly have prevailed, a campaign in which the promise was  "Remain and Reform" or "Remain and Defy", and which laid out a practical means by which the EU COULD have somehow been reformed.

That is the dirty secret of the "People's Vote" canard:  a lot of good, decent people with egalitarian and socialist or social-democratic instincts have been conned into believing that A) Remain would have prevailed if only it hadn't been for Corbyn, B)Undoing the referendum somehow matters more than fighting austerity and ending the "humanitarian intervention" myth; C) A Tory government could somehow be forced to put a referendum with Remain as an option on the ballot when everyone knows that, as long as that government controls what can and cannot be put to a vote in the House of Commons it will always block such a vote.

 

Corbyn is blameless for the stupidity of that AND for the Leave victory.  All he did was to politely note that a lot of people did have valid grievances regarding the effects of the EU on their lives and that in the crucial area, the North and Northeast of England, voting Leave was, at that point, the ONLY way the people who had been totally left out in the cold economically, while virtually all the profits of EU membership went to the South of England, London, and perhaps the wealthier neighborhoods of Cardiff and Edinburgh, by decades of Tory and Blairite neglect coupled with decades of EU neglect-couldn't let those parts of Britannia that weren't "Cool" gain anything, could we now?-had as a means of expressing their anger at the exclusion.

At that stage, Corbyn had just become leader and the Blairite party bureaucracy was fighting desperately to prevent Corbyn from getting anything that would have benefited working-class voters into the Labour manifesto.  Then as now, they were trying to force him out and replace him by holding a leadership ballot in which only "moderates"-i.e., those members of the PLP who by then were Labour-In-Name-Only-would have been put up for the membership to choose.

The whole fight against Corbyn by the PLP has been a fight to prevent the party from breaking with the austerity consensus, against the kind of choices Harriet Harman was making as acting leader by whipping the PLP to abstain on May's proposals for deeper cuts in social benefits.  Those in the PLP who detest Corbyn still don't get it that it was the insistence that the PLP abstain on those cuts-which was the same thing as voting for them, for all practical purposes, and which, had it become common practice, would have been the erasure of the last major difference between Labour and the Tories-that led to Jeremy being elected leader, elected in a landslide in a race he never personally thought he had any chance to win.  Even among paid Labour members, Corbyn took 49.5% of the first-preference votes, which meant he was certain to win out among Labour members once second-preference ballots were distributed, since it simply wasn't possible that EVERY Labour member who voted for somebody else on the first preference would have voted as a bloc to stop him on the later preferences.

The EU issue is brought up because it's the only issue on which Corbyn is in any sense unpopular.  The voters are with him on ending austerity, making the wealthy pay their fair share of tax, and on getting out of the wars.  And Corbyn has done everything he could have done to put the antisemitism slur to rest.

That's why the EU issue is pushed, and pushed, and pushed, and pushed.

It's about preventing the election of a non-Blairite Labour government and nothing else.

The Blairites know that the EU issue is all they have, that's it's the only thing that could ever lead to anybody far enough to the far right to suit them ever ending up in the party leadership again.

They don't care if this means there's never another Labour government of any sort-in fact, they are likely to be rewarded by the corporations former Blairite MPs and cabinet ministers end up taking no-show jobs with after they leave politics precisely FOR making the defeat of the Tories impossible.

We all need to see this for what it is:  a coordinated conspiracy to make British elections as meaningless as they were in 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2015, and to keep the Tory party in power no matter what.

josh

Brexit 26

Labour 22

Tories 17

Lib Dems 16

Greens 11.

https://mobile.twitter.com/EuropeElects/status/1134901920525639680

We must destroy this village in order to save it.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Aristotle, Labour shd not fear going into an election with a leader with less name recognition than . Corbyn. He or she will quickly become known.

Corbyn’s problem is that he is known and people don’t like what they see, by an overwhelming ratio of about 3 or 4 to 1. There is little he can do, assuming he abandons a lifetime of dogma and rigidity, to change this.

Sure he did better than expected in 2017. It is debatable how much of that is attribable to the collapse of Theresa’s May.

but since then Corbyn has tanked. You conveniently ignore not just the polls but the recent local and European elections where Corbyn led Labour to its worst results EVER.

maybe the Peterborough by-election next week will get your attention.


What dogma and rigidity?  The voters largely agree with Corbyn on most of the issues.  They want a clean break with austerity, they want all the Tory benefit cuts restored and the barbaric "benefit sanctions" regime ended-they want the wealthy to pay their fair share of tax, they want water and rail renationalized, and they want UK troops out of the unwinnable imperial wars in the Arab/Muslim world.

The EU issue is settled, and it's not possible for the UK to stay in the EU.

Until the last few months, most people in the UK accepted that.  There was no reason for the "People's Vote" canard even to be invented by the Blairites-as long as the Tories are in power, they cannot be made to allow a vote on a second referendum to be held and it's becoming obscene to act is if they could.

And in reality, nobody else, if Corbyn did stand down, would handle this issue, as long as it means losing the North and Northeast to the Brexit Party as it will always mean, any different than Corbyn has.  

Whatever your issue with Corbyn-and as someone who lives outside the UK it's hard to believe that you would actually personally care about whether that polity is in the EU or not-would you at least agree that it's a tragedy that, because the "People's Vote" canard was invented by the Labour Right, that it is an unqualified tragedy that Nigel Farage was given a chance for a comeback?  If the issue had been accepted as settled and everybody in the party had accepted that soft Brexit was the only achievable alternative to Hard Brexit, Farage would be in oblivion.  Thanks to those who wouldn't move on on that, he is back.  Is there anything so terrible about Corbyn that could possibly justify THAT?

Corbyn has said in the past he would stand down if he really thought he was dragging the party down.  If the anti-Corbynites had left it at that, he might have gone.  But they wouldn't-most of the PLP won't settle for anything but a Blairite restoration in the party.  They would collude to rig a leadership ballot to choose his replacement to make sure no one to the left of Yvette Cooper was put out for the rank-and-file to choose from, and they would refuse to stop the war they've waged against Corbyn's supporters, people who've done nothing to deserve a campaign to drive them away.

They wouldn't allow anyone close to Corbyn's view on the leadership ballot-they certainly wouldn't allow John McDonnell, who might be the only other figure in the party who could lead Labour to victory, to stand; they blocked him in 2008 when they arrogantly insisted that Gordon Brown simply be crowned as Blair's successor.

The rank-and-file of Labour want a total break from what Blair was about-no one in the party OTHER than the PLP and a few hangers-on in the party bureaucracy want to go back to the Nineties-and it's not reasonable to expect Corbyn to leave and allow his supporters to be defenseless against a campaign to drag most of them out.

And again, it was the fault of the Remain campaign itself that Leave on-Not Corbyn's.  He was sincere in campaigning ror Remain, he was not a closet Leave supporter, and there was nothing he could have said to any audience anywhere that would have won the vote for Remain.  Neither was there anything any of his opponents in the leadership vote could have said-and they all had the chance to go out on the stump everywhere they wished to and say whatever they wanted-that would have had that effect.  

It's not Corbyn's fault that the Tories, the Blairites, AND the EU left the North and Northeast of England totally out in the cold while London got rich.

 

NorthReport

Conservatives, leaderless, or with a leader no matter, with a little help from the DUP, control the government, and apparently the Conservative plan is once the UK exits the EC , the UK will join Canada, Mexico and the USA in a free-trade agreement. 

Good luck working people!

Ocasio-Cortez: $2.13 tipped minimum wage is 'indentured servitude'

The New York congresswoman returned to a restaurant in Queens on Friday, seeking to highlight the plight of workers she knows​

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/01/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-bar-tipped-minimum-wage-queens-new-york

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Which is why everybody needs to stop demonizing Jeremy Corbyn and start working for a Labour victory.

NorthReport
JKR

Ken Burch wrote:

Which is why everybody needs to stop demonizing Jeremy Corbyn and start working for a Labour victory.

I think victory in the next election will be secondary until the outcome of Brexit is determined as the next election is scheduled in three years time and Brexit has already gone into overtime with the current deadline coming up in just five months. At this point I think Labour should be supporting a soft Brexit and a confirmatory referendum where every politician is free to support either side of the referendum. Once Brexit is determined I expect the Brexit Party and the LD’s to fade away with a new political paradigm emerging. The current polls are obviously showing that as long as Brexit is in play it’s going to be the dominant issue in the UK. Labour also have to prepare for a new election being caused by a non confidence vote in the event the new Conservative leader can not get enough support in Parliament to support their Brexit plan.

NorthReport
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture


Wait...you're now agreeing with Corbyn for pursuing the policy he HAS been pursuing...which is soft Brexit?

NorthReport

The UK citizens don’t need political parties to tell them how to vote on Brexit As long as the citizens get a confirmatory referendum that offers an option to say nyet to Brexit is all that matters and hopefully they will oppose Farage, Johnson and Trump and all the other right-wingers that support Brexit 

NorthReport
NorthReport

I just hope all these Brits have held onto their British citizenship as well so that they can of course vote nyet in the next referendum 

‘I don’t want to be classified as British with the nationalism that seems to be creeping in’

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48460125

NorthReport

Only a national government can deliver the UK from its Brexit nitemare

A short term alliance of MPs from all parties must be formed to achieve a referendum

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/02/only-a-national-government-can-deliver-britain-from-its-brexit-nightmare

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Seriously?  A "National Government"?  Do they not recall what that did to the Labour Party LAST time?                                                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramsay_MacDonald

It's right wing to be this obsessed with the EU over all other issues.  And in joining this obsession, North, you've joined a thing which was started for one reason and one reason alone-to prevent the election of a Labour government on a non-Blairite program.  That's the only reason the "People's Vote" canard was created.

nicky

There is little sense in Ken’s claims that Corbyn only clings to the leadership because the Blairites would rely on a rigged leadership selection to ensure a Blairite leader.

First of all Corbyn has twice prevailed under that system so whywould another left-winger necessarily fail? The electorate would be largely the same - a one member one vote system. Where is the rigging there? If anything many moderates have been driven from the party  because of Corbyn so the remaining membership is more left than before.

The previous rules dictated that a candidate needed 15% of MPs to get on the ballot. Unfortunately for the well-being  of Labour Corbyn achieved that. The threshold has now been reduced to 10% . As well a good number of moderate MPs has been so appalled ( reflecting the country in general) by Corbyn’s disastrous leadership that they have bolted, making it easier for a left-wing candidate to get 10% of those remaining.

it is a canard that Corbyn clings to the leadership because a left -winger could not expect to succeed him under the present rules.

the better explanation is the egotism and myopia of a dreadful leader who doesn’t care if Labour is ever elected again so long as his vanity is assuaged.

 

josh

NorthReport wrote:

Only a national government can deliver the UK from its Brexit nitemare

A short term alliance of MPs from all parties must be formed to achieve a referendum

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/02/only-a-national-government-can-deliver-britain-from-its-brexit-nightmare

Is it the EU Guardian, or the Guardian of the Bankers’ EU?  Who needs The Economist.

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