Sunday, 20 January 2019

Anti-Corbynism and Brexit

"This story is not true. The figures are completely made up." A wise rule of thumb for every story to feature in The Mail, but today's splash that Labour are haemorrhaging members come amid media assurances that the party is hopelessly split and faces untold damage unless Jeremy Corbyn "gets off the fence". When you've heard the same line from multiple pundits and papers supposedly at ideological odds with one another, you might be forgiven for thinking there's a machine somewhere mindlessly churning out the same talking points with a minimum of human supervision.

At any one time, there are multiple shenanigans and struggles configuring British politics. And one persistent strand is anti-Corbynism. There are sections of the bourgeois mainstream whose overriding concern is the derailing, discrediting, and the destruction of this most inconvenient of insurgencies. They encompass all the parties, bits of the state, business, a range of campaigns, celebrity, the media, academia, and will use whatever comes to hand. This is not a conspiracy, though these networks will necessarily collaborate, plan, swap notes. Most of their bile is generated spontaneously from whatever motivates their hostility to the Corbyn project. Whether the secret state, or indeed states, have a hand in these machinations, it cannot be reduced to spooks. Anti-Corbynism is inseparable from the class relations of establishment privilege and power, arises organically from them, and therefore will always possess something of a loose, decentralised and undisciplined character.

Over the course of the last 12 months, the hostiles have learned that potentially the most effective way of stuffing Corbynism into the backrooms and sparsely-attended fringe meetings is by trying to drive a wedge between the leader and his support. They have realised banging on about anti-semitism is good for bad headlines, but the overriding consequence is a demobilisation of the right's own base in the party (though it doesn't stop some from carrying on). Ditto for Corbyn's litany of sins against the establishment common sense in foreign affairs. They do think they have struck a rich seam after years of casting around: Britain's relation to the European Union. The sociological basis of the bulk of Labour's 2017 vote, not least its new activist base is a rising class who've suffered political marginalisation for decades. However, this class of immaterial labourers, whose ranks range from the low paid to the handsomely remunerated tend to be conscious of the economic dislocation Brexit means and broadly identify with the social liberal/liberal internationalist cloak the EU wraps itself in. And so, as it's largely the old New Labour establishment leading continuity remain, Brexit and the issue of a second referendum is being employed to drive a wedge between the Corbyn faithful and, well, Corbyn.

This report for The Graun typifies the tendency. Young people out in city centres on a Saturday getting signatures petitioning Corbyn to call for a second referendum. Being something of a veteran when it comes to running petitions, surely they'd be better off collecting signatures against someone who can actually do something about it like, I don't know, the Prime Minister? Nevertheless, it's catnip for anti-Corbynism. "I'm going to vote for the Greens!" comes the refrain. And it's the same hard remain talking points as well. "Get off the fence!" and "Corbyn wants an election, but it’ll be one where we have the choice between a Tory Brexit deal and some magical unicorn Brexit deal promised by Labour." And the usual "the majority of Labour members want a referendum!". Would that be those same Labour members who are content to give Corbyn and Keir Starmer the space to carry on as they have been doing?

I'm sure it's accidental how the article neglected to mention these were campaigns run by Our Future Our Choice, an organisation with some interesting friends and who have a record of running pointed anti-Labour anti-Brexit campaigns. But while this is a relatively gentle addition to the mood music, The Mail's spread about imminent meltdown is its amplification. Anonymous briefings from "insiders" who suggesting membership is plummeting like a stone, and that this has blown a £6m hole in party coffers - this is the fearless kind of journalism we enjoy. "It's because of Jeremy's stance on Brexit" warbles our unnamed and probably non-existent source. We can afford to take this with a pinch of salt because unlike the Tories, Labour membership isn't a trade secret. If there was a big drop social media and the party's gossip circuits would be alive with chatter from secretaries and CLP habitu├ęs about mass resignations or, at the very least, mass non-renewal. And yet ... tumbleweed. The Sun decided to have a go as well, but the only one that could find willing to go on the record was noted champion of the grass roots, Chris Leslie. This would be the same Chris Leslie whose own constituency party passed a no confidence motion in him, noting his "disloyalty and deceit". It's interesting, the right wing tabloids are decrying Labour as an incompetent shit show who are simultaneously inept and useless, but will nevertheless expropriate the expropriators with lethal Bolshevist efficiency.

To muddy matters even further, ramping up the perception Labour is in a whirlwind of crisis, we learn (again, from The Graun) that apparently Labour would lose votes if it backed another referendum. Apparently, this poll found that Labour would gain nine per cent of Tory voters but lose 11% of existing Labour voters, virtually guaranteeing the party would lose. Apparently over a third of LibDems voters and Green voters would switch, but given how squeezed they are in the polls it's reasonable to assume not many more can transfer from the absolute cores they were driven down to in 2017. Also, one point the article misses is what it might do to the Tory vote. May's gamble was her belief that being the party of Brexit would carry the majority of the kippers, which it did, as well as swathes of Labour leavers in the north. She didn't partly thanks to Labour's adroit positioning on Brexit. Should we get another election, and chatter about one is increasing despite the no confidence vote falling, thanks to differential turn out the Tories will position themselves as the custodians of Brexit and if this ground is ceded, as opposed to Labour adopting a soft Brexit position again, May will get her desired result. If you think Tory "centrists" are somehow going to prevent this by launching a new party or whatever, prepare yourself for disappointment.

There's the state of play this weekend. Labour is in crisis, Labour's members are deserting, Corbyn is a massive millstone, etc. Meanwhile, calm heads will note support for a second referendum among the wider electorate is pathetically low, there is no route through Parliament for one, and Labour have posted modest leads in all the polls bar YouGov's outliers. Far from Labour being caught between a rock and a hard place, it's Theresa May who is stuck but refusing to abandon her Brexit position. There's the home of the real crisis, the black hole in which all sense is crushed to an infinitesimally dense point. And the one threatening to drag us all down with it.

23 comments:

Dialectician1 said...

Yes, you only have to go onto BBC Iplayer and watch again last Thursday's Question Time to get a real feel for the anti-Corbynism described above. Despite Abbott being on the receiving end of some barely concealed racism, the enemy is clearly Corbyn. The big question is what happens to Corbyn if he actually wins. You don't need conspiracy theory or talk of the secret state to surmise the outcome: off will come the velvet glove.

Speedy said...

"Meanwhile, calm heads will note support for a second referendum among the wider electorate is pathetically low"

26 per cent, running second to No Deal at 28 per cent. Eleven per cent for May's deal and 11 per cent fpr another election, which is what the "Corbynites" are calling for I think. If 26 per cent is "pathetically low", what's that?

I received a bit of criticism previously citing a poll from You Gov that placed Labour behind, and perhaps it was an outlier but, regardless, the parties are neck to neck, which is hardly what one would expect in the circumstances, and certainly doesn't fill one with confidence.

https://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/bmgs-westminster-voting-intention-results-jan-2019/

It seems unlikely an election will result in a sweeping endorsement of Labour (let alone a majority). The whole strategy seems like a delaying move to me to avoid backing a new referendum (which i oppose, incidentally).


Boffy said...

Come on Phil,

No matter how much you dress it up as not being conspiracy theory, that's exactly what it is. It sounds a bit like those reports back by George Bernard Shaw about how fine things were in Stalin's Russia, and no sign of the gulags, show trials and so on. Its like Trotsky said about all those who continually denied that anything could possibly be going wrong in Russia for fear of giving succour to the imperialists who had an interest in inflating those stories.

The truth is that the right-wing anti-Corbyn forces do have material to use because his position on Israel, and his connections with various reactionary, anti-Semitic, and anti-working-class outfits like Hamas and Hezbollah, as with his relations with petit-bourgeois nationalist outfits like Sinn Fein have been well-known. When he then rows back on some of those connections, he simply looks dissembling, and the same dissembling approach is visible in relation to Brexit.

Corbyn's connection with reactionary nationalists and Stalinists in the Morning Star and Socialist Action is also well known. And his attitude of dissembling and bureaucrat attempts to reinterpret the Conference resolution follows a well worn path. Those with better connections into the Labour Party than either me or you, such as Paul Mason tell a similar story, and the same kinds of reports are coming out of Momentum. Why do you think there is a movement to get an emergency conference to set the Brexit policy straight that we should stop Brexit?

At the start of the year, I predicted May would call a snap election in February, because Corbyn's hopelessly confused and dishonest position would hand her a perfect opportunity to strike. The reports are that the Tories are indeed now mobilising for a snap election. It will allow May to then push through her bad deal. Even if Corbyn changes position now, it will probably be too late, because as with his rowing back on his positions on the Monarchy, on Ireland etc. it will simply not looking convincing, and will instead look completely dishonest. But, if he sticks with his ridiculous pro-Brexit position, Labour will get stuffed in that election, and he will have fundamentally damaged the position of the left in the LP as a result of it.

Boffy said...

For a better analysis, I'd recommend reading Paul Mason's article posted on Medium, in his Mosquito Ridge publication - here, and my response to it, which Paul has also applauded.

I'd also recommend reading my recent blog posts setting out the fallacy of Brexit being a response by the "left behind", and how similar appeasement of reactionary nationalism turned out in the 1930's, with my posts on "May, Mann, Mosely, Stoke and Brexit", for example, and in relation to May and Bonapartism.

GW said...

Hm...

If there is a snap election I don't think British Labour can assume that the old soft Brexit position will work as well as it did before.

This time around people are more knowledgeable about the various forms of Brexit and their consequences and many will demand, at the very least, more concrete paths to this outcome. Studied vagueness won't cut it, in the same way it did before.

A soft Brexit would take at least another year to negotiate, if not more. How is this to be achieved if a Labour government were to come to power? What if the Article 50 extension lasts only another couple of months?

I'd like to see a Corbyn government in the dUK, but I suspect British Labour's position on Brexit will need to evolve.

And from an Irish POV we'd all like to know: how would Labour's preferred 'soft Brexit', whatever that means concretely, preserve the open border through the island and not facilitate the destruction of the GFA?

And would not a commitment to renegotiate followed by a referendum on that deal serve to keep more remainers on board?

Jim Denham said...

Sorry Phil but I have to agree with Boffy that your latest post reads pretty much like a conspiracy theory, however much you protest that it isn't.
But on the broader point about Corbyn's incoherence and dishonesty about Brexit: this may be "adroit positioning" in the short term (though even that sort of unprincipled manoeuvring of the type we used to condemn Blair for seems to have reached its sell-by date), but serious politics is not just about skimming the surface of existing opinion, taking polls to tell you what to say to get votes. It is about doing serious educational work to mould and shape and reshape how people think about an issue.

And I'm afraid you're also wrong to simply write off concerns about antisemitism as part of the same anti-Corbyn campaign: it needs to be said that Corbyn and his Office now have, over Brexit, something akin to the difficulty they had in condemning antisemitism in general and destroy-Israel antisemitism in particular.

Stalinist/Bennite anti-EU little-Englansism shifted bit by bit over the 1990s. But reflex anti¬EU sentiment is still there. It is strident, for instance, in the Morning Star, for which Corbyn wrote a column until he was elected leader - and he's still happy to promote it. Effortlessly, the Morning Star have become militant Brexiteers, as if they had slipped back and down several decades on history’s ratchet, back to the good old days when Russian hostility to a united Europe decreed their politics on this. It is a reflux of political idiocy. And, sadly, Corbyn seems to be going along with this nonsense.

The kitsch¬left attitude of opposing the bourgeois unification of Europe, rather than seeking to reshape it, was always nonsense. Britain’s decision to withdraw is a tragic nonsense. It is still possible for the now better-informed citizenry to avert it. Labour can still avert it. Corbyn should show some leadership, drop his ambivalence about Brexit (in reality, support for Brexit), and campaign for a People’s Vote and for Remain vote in a new referendum. For working¬class unity all across Europe!

Pleb James said...

The problem about adopting an 'educate the masses' approach to Brexit is that there is a ticking clock, and we have not got nearly enough time to do so.

A second problem is that the EU comes across like an expensive, distant, elitist, bureaucratic, unresponsive, foreign, undemocratic monolith (indeed, it IS all those things) and those are features that tend to be pretty unpopular in the voting populous. Seen in that light, it is a wonder that remain got as many votes as it did.

A third problem with the 'honesty and education' strategy is that Corbyn is probably genuinely more anti-Europe than the membership at large (although ambivalence towards the EU is the honest position of most left-wingers outside of Brexit times). Therefore the plea for Corbyn to be honest AND come out in favour of remain does not quite make sense.

It may be wishful thinking, but I'm still pinning my hopes on all other options falling until all that is left is another referendum.

By the way Boffy - have you ever considered starting your own blog?

DTFM said...

Paul Mason is a hopeless social chauvinist pro imperialist Russophobe. The very epitome of the liberal centre. Why would we consider him a neutral observer, why would we ever listen to him?

Only a fellow pro imperialist and social chauvinist could ever refer to Mason as a go to source. Just as only the most debased pro imperialist would attack Corbyn for links to Hamas , which is simply code for a defender of Palestinians. Boffy sounds like the demented Trump supporter I heard on the radio the other day who’s every other word as Israel was killing Palestinians for protesting at the border was Hamas and Hezbollah.

The reason the right use this to attack the left is because being pro Israel is a right wing position, just as support for Unionism in Ireland is a right wing position. Yes the right wing has material to attack Corbyn but only the material of the right! The other material the right use to attack Corbyn is that his economic policies will turn the UK in Venezuela. That was all that was missing from Boffy’s contribution!

May is not minded to call a general election, for god’s sake she has spent a few years doing everything to avoid it, she only survives because ousting her would lead to another general election! May surely knows that another general election would almost certainly result in parliament balanced toward the progressive side, i.e. those who don’t scream Hamas, Hezbollah and Venezuela every other sentence.

Palestinian haters like Denham and the pro imperialist left will do everything to undermine the Corbyn wing of the Labour party.

As I have said before the likes of Boffy and Denham need to be ostracised from the left. I call on all the young supporters of Corbyn to see through the likes of Boffy and Denham. Do not be fooled into their illusions about the capitalist association known as the EU. Your attachment to Corbyn because you fundamentally know real change is required to solve current problems is the correct instinct. The incorrect instinct, provided by pro imperialists like Boffy, is to see salvation in the institutions and associations of the ruling class.

George Carty said...

Boffy (aka Arthur Bough) already has a blog at http://boffyblog.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Educate the masses so says the anti Stalinist. You have to laugh. But who educates the educators? Looking at Jim Denham’s contributions my guess would be the CIA or maybe MI5!

So Theresa May will call a general election due to the hopeless position taken by Corbyn and his positions on Israel etc. Well these are positions Corbyn has held for maybe 40 years and when May called a general election previously it didn’t go well.

It should be further noted that the youngsters who support Corbyn have known his position and yet they still supported him and the members who flocked to the party were aware of these psotions.

Again the formulation (or shall we call it the conspiracy) presented by Boffy doesn’t quite add up.

Unknown said...

Look at Labours conference policy. The first line reaffirms a commitment to the GFA. That's why we wish to remain in the CU to avoid any border. We predicted this problem emerging at Conference back in September.

Boffy said...

Some of us predicted the problems with the GFA and being outside the single market much longer ago than last September. Either parliament fails to stop Britain crashing out on March 29th, in which case it will automatically be outside the CU and Single Market, forcing the EU to erect a hard border in Ireland policed by the EU Border Agency, and if required the new EU Army - incidentally something similar will arise with Gibraltar, and with Cyprus - or else, if it looks likely that will be stopped by parliament, meaning another referendum, May will go for an election.

May herself will not want a No Deal Brexit, which would be catastrophic. She doesn't want a referendum, because that would be a cross party alliance, and she knows she would be likely to lose, because all the momentum now is with Remain. If she loses a referendum, she will in any case have to resign, meaning probably an election anyway.

So, May will call a GE. She will fight it as a hard Brexiter, proposing a managed No Deal. 80% of Tory voters, and the Tory rank and file support No Deal. So, the Tories would go into that election as a unified pro-Brexit party. Labour will go into it with 90% of the party opposing Brexit, but with the leadership advocating some policy they seem yet to decide upon, and which no one will end up believing.

May will likely win the election on that basis, with Labour disintegrating. As the EU introduces an Irish border, and NI goes into crisis, the EU will offer a deal to NI, via a Border Poll, and with Scotland pushing for another independence referendum there is a good chance that NI will vote to join the Republic.

Scotland would also potentially vote to become independent within the EU. So, Britain would break apart, whilst the EU would become stronger.

Anonymous said...

Labour went into the last election with the entire PLP hostile to Corbyn and claiming he was anti Semitic. It didn’t harm him too much. Labour is not disintegrating because the record number of people who flocked to labour flocked there because of Corbyn and not despite him. They flocked to Labour because of Corbyn’s social democratic policies and not because they believed he was a staunch supporter of the EU. The youngsters have found themselves with little access to quality housing and a debt noose round their necks when the UK have been in the EU, so while most young people want to be part of the EU because it makes sense to a Facebook generation, they are not supportive of it because they will think it solves all their problems. On the contrary these problems have arisen precisely in the EU period.

The same will be the case if the Tories call a general election now, which I can’t see happening with May at the helm. The most overwhelmingly probable scenario is another hung parliament, and so back to square one. At that stage it is either another referendum or hard brexit.

If Labour did lose a general election I think we have the corporate media to thank for that.

George Carty said...

For Remainers, wouldn't a hung parliament with Labour as the largest party be the best-case General Election scenario, as the SNP and/or the Lib Dems would be able to demand a second referendum (or even an outright revocation of Article 50) as the price of a governing coalition?

Boffy said...

Large numbers of younger people undoubtedly did flock to Corbyn because he represented a return to the kind of progressive social-democratic politics of Wilson or Attlee. But they also flocked to him because they saw Labour as the only possibility of stopping a hard Brexit, and providing the prospect of stopping Brexit completely. They were prepared to accept the idea that "constructive ambiguity" was a short term tactic to get to that end.

The more Corbyn has stretched that piece of elastic, the less credible it has become as a narrative, and the more those young people come to realise that it was simply yet another example of duplicity, and failure to stick to a point of principle. The Labour gains in formerly solid Tory areas such as Canterbury, Kensington and Chelsea, and so on, certainly were not due to these voters coming over to Labour just because of the progressive social-democratic, but was due to that cohort of the middle-class that is strongly pro-EU (i.e. the 30% of Tory voters that back Remain) and which would normally have voted Liberal, or Green as a protest against the Tories voting Labour as the only hope of a party getting into government that might stop Brexit. Those voters, and those seats will now go back to their former condition, unless Labour can do a good job in convincing those voters of its anti-Brexit credentials.

Its not the fact that the Tories and Blair-rights attack Corbyn for his supposed anti-Semitism etc., it is the fact that, at every stage he backtracks on these issues, equivocates, and thereby looks duplicitous and dithering, or incompetent. When he was challenged over his Republicanism, he wavered, sang the National Anthem, and bent the knee to join the Privy Council. He could have gone through the paraphernalia, whilst coming out to confront the Tory media, by defending his Republic beliefs, which is what he should have done, but he failed to do so.

The same thing with Ireland. Rather than defend his principled position of opposing the British occupation of Ireland - as opposed to his unprincipled, uncritical support for the PIRA - he waffled about only wanting peace and other such guff, which looked unconvincing, because it was unconvincing.

On anti-Semitism, his positions in relation to Israel, and his again unprincipled and uncritical support for Hamas, Hezbollah etc. laid him open to those charges, even though he clearly is not an anti-Semite, and the campaign against him and his supporters was purely opportunistic and lying. But, again, rather than confronting that opposition, he and his supporters wavered, and conceded over the Party's definition of anti-Semitism, giving confidence to the witchhunters to continue expelling members.

Its not the fact that the Tories, Tory media and Blair-rights attack Corbyn on these issues that is the relevant point, but that a) he wavers and buckles on these issues when he is pressed from the Right, and the reason he wavers and buckles is that b) his position on many of these issues is itself shaky and indefensible, so he tries to waffle his way around them, in the process thereby looking duplicitous and incompetent.

Who, therefore, could have confidence that faced with strong opposition to his progressive social-democratic agenda, especially in conditions of crisis following Brexit, he would not buckle yet again? That is the politics that leads to the tragedy of an Allende.

More immediately, in relation to Brexit, his dissembling over his position in relation to opposing Brexit just reinforces the idea that everything he says in public is not what he actually believes in private, and which he has to cover over by a series of vague phrases, and unconvincing explanations. Its that which undermines his position, and will be exposed in any General Election campaign, the general Election campaign that John McDonnell now says the Tories are preparing for, by fund-raising and the selection of candidates!

Boffy said...

George,

No. The best case would be the TUC organises a General Strike to stop Brexit. The rank and file Left of the Labour Party mobilise a strong Socialist Campaign for Europe, and demand an emergency conference to make Labour's policy clear once and for all, i.e. to oppose Brexit, immediately, revoke Article 50, and to start building a powerful EU wide progressive social-democratic alliance committed to fighting for a Workers Europe, and a United States of Europe.

That is what should have been pressed last September, but Corbyn, backed by McCluskey pushed through the compromise so that they could implement their typically Stalinoid bureaucratic subvention of the party's wishes. On the back of a clear policy of stopping Brexit, Labour should launch a massive public campaign on that basis, linking up with the General Strike to stop Brexit, and bring down the Tories, which would inevitably result in a General Election.

We should then campaign vigorously for a Labour government that would have a clear mandate to stop Brexit, removing the need for another referendum. It would also require that the rank and file begin a process of mandatory reselection to remove the MP's that are out of line with that international socialist agenda, be that right-wing labourites such as John Mann, or Stalinists intent on pursuing a course of reactionary economic nationalism.

It is time to turn the Labour Party outwards to the youth, and their commitment to progressive social-democracy and internationalism, and towards our comrades across Europe fighting conservative austerity imposed by conservative national governments, like the Tories in Britain.

Boffy said...

George,

Another interesting point is that recent research shows that voters now identify more as Remain or Leave than as Labour or Tory.

That is a big change from prior to the Brexit referendum, when opposition to the EU was a minority sport, with few people giving any consideration to it. That is one reason actually that Leave won in the referendum, because brexiteers were more marked by their fanaticism as witnessed by the support they had previously given to the BNP and UKIP. Remainers were more sanguine, and thought they would win anyway, so tended to stay at home.

Now that is reversed. It will be Remainers - who who mostly comprised of the youth as opposed to the aged Leavers - who will be most likely to rebel in various forms of social unrest if their voices are ignored, particularly were there to be a disastrous No Deal Brexit. In fact, one reason I'd prefer a No DEal Brexit to a May's Deal Brexit is that the chaos that will ensure will kill off Brexit for good, with Britain having to immediately plead for emergency readmittance.

But, May will not be allowed to push through No Deal unless some almighty miscalculation occurs. It is today the remainers that are the ones that are mobilised in opposition just as is happening with young Democrats in the US mobilising against Trump, and the youth in the Hungarian Labour Movement mobilising against Orban. It will be young Remainers that will be the force that stops the Reactionary Brexit, and point the way to the future, and they will not forgive those that tried to obstruct them.

Ed said...

Looks like Phil’s entirely accurate assessment of Umunna, Soubry, the Guardian/Observer et al has hit a nerve with some people here. First of all, it’s not just him to have noticed what’s staring us all in the face: two useful news reports in the last few days on the People’s Vote campaign—from Alex Wickham on BuzzFeed and Adam Payne/Adam Bienkov on Business Insider—reported a lot of dissent and unhappiness within the People’s Vote campaign at the way it’s been turned into an anti-Corbyn operation by a coterie of Blairites. Here’s one telling quote, but well worth reading the articles in full:

"Because the campaign is full of ex-Labour spinners it is trying too hard to change the Labour Party, rather than trying to change politics."

https://www.businessinsider.com/inside-the-peoples-vote-campaign-to-win-mps-to-back-a-second-brexit-referendum-2019-1?r=US&IR=T

https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexwickham/the-campaign-for-a-peoples-vote-on-brexit-has-descended

But if you’ve attached yourself to the anti-Brexit wagon being steered by Blair, Campbell, Mandelson, Umunna and co, repeated all their talking-points and relied upon their dodgy polling, while dialling up the hysteria and hyperbole and giving it a superficial leftist gloss, then I guess it would be pretty embarrassing to face up to all of this. So you have to lash out at ‘conspiracy theories’ where there are none.

Boffy said...

I'd recommend this excellent analysis by Irish Marxism.

Boffy said...

"reported a lot of dissent and unhappiness within the People’s Vote campaign at the way it’s been turned into an anti-Corbyn operation by a coterie of Blairites."

Corbyn supporting members of the LP amount to close on half a million people - it was close on 600,000 but, Corbyn's refusal to oppose Brexit has caused many to become demoralised and leave the party - whereas the number of supporters of the Blair-rights is infinitessimally small, and should have been becoming smaller still.

Corbyn said he was all about building social movements rather than just the same old parliamentary manoeuvres. Given that 90% of LP members want to stop Brexit, and about 75% support another vote, whilst between 75-80% of LP voters oppose Brexit and want to Remain, this should have been a perfect opportunity for Corbyn to show how he does things differently by democratically backing the overwhelming view of the members or getting out of the way where he can't. It would have been a perfect opportunity for him to build one of those much vaunted social movements to stop Brexit, as the members were demanding.

As Irish Marxism points out, the facts about the Brexit vote are now clear beyond doubt. It was an d is a thoroughly reactionary project, its core vote was itself thoroughly reactionary, and its consequences have already been reactionary, and will be more so if it actually goes ahead.

The fault for the Blair-rights having found a way back via their opposition to Brexit resides entirely with Corbyn and his Stalinist advisors. Given the overwhelming dominance of Corbyn supporters in the party, and control over the party apparatus, and given the overwhelming support by those party membres for stopping Brexit, it should have been a no-brainer. Corbyn should have swung the party and its half million members 3 years ago into stopping Brexit, and building a huge social movement to that effect, it would have been him in that position and the Blair-rights would not have been anywhere in sight.

Instead, led by his Stalinist advisors, he set himself against the views of 90% of the party, and used typical bureaucratic Stalinist tactics to neuter the anti-Brexit motions at Conference, and then reinterpreted them, when they required him to act. Even now he refuses to give a clear lead on the basis of party decisions to mobilise to stop Brexit. That the Blair-rights have been able to step into the vacuum he has created his his and his advisors fault and no one else's.

Ed said...

"Corbyn supporting members of the LP amount to close on half a million people - it was close on 600,000 but, Corbyn's refusal to oppose Brexit has caused many to become demoralised and leave the party" — this is just a religious belief passed off as fact. Labour officials like Jennie Formby have categorically denied the source-free stories in the Tory press about mass resignations, and given that Labour's membership figures are publicly available, they would be setting themselves up for a humiliating fall the next time an inner-party election is held if those denials were untrue.

The same goes for your rubbish about Corbyn 'setting himself against the views of 90% of the party'. Polls commissioned by the PV campaign this very month showed that just 29% of Labour members oppose Corbyn's Brexit policy, and the vast majority are happy with his leadership. I'm sorry to have to be so blunt, but this is just delirious nonsense, completely detached from reality - if you want people to engage with your arguments, you're going to have to come down from the clouds and start dealing in facts. We cannot have a debate that is premised on your own absurd hallucinations.

For your part, you haven't made the slightest effort to engage with any of the arguments in defence of Labour's position. And predictably you've just waved aside the evidence that even within the PV campaign, people are fed up with its relentless, self-defeating focus on undermining Corbyn, foisted upon it by Blairite has-beens (something you dismissed as a 'conspiracy theory' when Phil said the same). If the point of your comments is to persuade people rather than aimless venting, you really need to sober up a bit.

Boffy said...

Channel 4 News showed the fallacy of the oficial membership figures, which continue to count as members people who have not renewed, until such time as they have officially lapsed. Momentum themselves are reporting that members are leaving the party.

Boffy said...

I'm afraid its you that is hallucinating if you think that the 29% figure for LP members happy with Corbyn's Brexit policy - which theoretically is the same as LP policy - is more significant than the fact that numerous polls show that 90% of LP members seek to stop Brexit, and 75% want another referendum. Why do you think there is a large rank and file movement for a conference to set the party firmly on that course?

You don't seem to be able to distinguish between opposition to Corbyn's indefensible position based upon his policy of economic nationalism, and support for the PV/Blair-rights. I oppose both.