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Carnival of Reaction: Diane Abbott, “Sounding like Ukip is no way for Labour to win.”

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Diane Abbott: Labour Should Hold its Nerve Against Racists Who Say: “‘What are you still doing here? We voted for Brexit.’”

What has happened to the “People’s Brexit“, or, as the leader of the Stop the War Coalition, Lindsey German, called, “a chance to shape the future of British society along egalitarian lines” ?

The Carnival of Reaction continues.

The latest news is that this individual had been elected to lead UKIP.

People in my family, where I live in Hackney, have been shouted at in the street and told: ‘What are you still doing here? We voted for Brexit.’ Brexit has become a euphemism for anti-immigrant feeling. “I’ve got friends on the South Coast, which is not ‘left-behind Britain’, and yet people are shouting at them on the bus: ‘Why are you still here?’”

Says comrade Diane Abbott in the I’ today.

..the shadow Home Secretary, argued that the party should “hold its nerve” and appealed to its huge membership to confront “toxic” arguments over immigration. “It’s as if the Brexit vote has given people permission to say they things didn’t feel able to say before,” she said in an interview with i.

She continues,

Ms Abbott’s appointment by Jeremy Corbyn, and her decision to take personal control of immigration policy, has dismayed some Labour MPs who fear the party’s failure to take a tougher stance on the issue will make it vulnerable to Ukip. But she has no truck with that argument, insisting: “I don’t think there’s any way forward for the Labour Party electorally from sounding Ukip-lite. “If you are attracted by Ukip arguments, you are going to vote Ukip. And in areas where they are not so upset about migration they are going to be baffled about what we are actually doing.”

The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington added: “What some of my colleagues don’t seem to bear in mind is there are
people out there who are genuinely frightened by the turn this debate has taken.” Ms Abbott blamed anti-migration feeling in many Labour-loyal areas which voted for Brexit on disaffection in post-industrial Britain and a “cry of loss for a world which isn’t coming back”. She accused New Labour of taking those areas for granted on the mistaken assumption that there was nowhere else for its natural supporters to go. Ms Abbott argued Labour’s 500,000-plus membership should take the initiative in campaigning on the continuing economic boost from migration.

It was a tough task “in the era of Farage and Le Pen and Trump” but was the right thing for the party to do, she said. “If you were a Corbynista you would feel very let down if we said anything else. “We’ve now got the biggest social democratic party in western Europe, and we have to respond to it almost conversation by conversation, but at the same time being seen to address the real concerns people have about the NHS, job security and so on “I understand how high feelings run, but I just think we have to beware of a downward spiral in the debate.”

The Independent reports,

Some Labour backbenchers are furious with Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, accusing her of trying to stamp on any debate about immigration which could see Labour trying to “outdo Ukip”.


Written by Andrew Coates

November 29, 2016 at 4:42 pm

3 Responses

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  1. This is why we need Galloway back in the Labour Party, on the frontbenches, taking on Theresa May.
    Jeremy is cool but he hasn’t quite got the killer instinct. He needs Ken Livingstone, George Galloway next to him backing him up.

    Expel the AWL from the Labour Party, drive them out of the workers movement!


    November 29, 2016 at 6:52 pm

  2. According to the link below, seven out of ten Labour seats voted “Leave”. This, no doubt, is what seems to be pushing many Labour MPs towards supporting Brexit.

    So now we have both John McDonnell and Tom Watson pushing for a form of Brexit.

    Unity at last?

    Well, let’s wait for a discussion on immigration policy under Labour in a post Brexit UK as indicated by the reaction to what Diane Abbot has said. The main reason that many Labour MPs are supporting Brexit is because of immigration views among many of their constituents. As has been pointed out here and elsewhere, Jeremy Corbyn’s views on immigration are more akin to Diane Abbot’s and will probably prevail.

    We don’t even know what “Brexit means Brexit” is going to lead to. More than likely a Hard Brexit to try and save the EU and see off Le Pen next year. This’ll even be more likely if the far right Hofer wins in Austria this Sunday.

    Labour policy on Brexit seems to be being made on the hoof, a complete mess in others words. If Diane Abbott doesn’t want a “UKIP lite” Labour, she should say what her view is on Brexit.

    My view? Labour should oppose Brexit unless the Govt can prove there will be no cuts in living standards, no job losses and an extra £350 million per week for the NHS. That is very unlikely.

    At this rate we’ll have a Labour Party which is pro Brexit but opposing the immigration controls that many back Brexit for. The worst of both worlds in a way as it will alienate both Brexit and Remain supporters.

    View story at Medium.com

    John Rogan

    November 30, 2016 at 1:16 pm

  3. On Brexit, the Labour leadership offers anxious voters … nothing John Harris.

    “In keeping with the image of people who affect to be concerned about Brexit while being fundamentally comfortable with it, Labour’s supposed red lines on Brexit are comically weak. Seemingly thanks to the arcana of EU state aid rules, Labour, rather than insist that the UK should remain a member of the single market, is insisting on mere “access” to it, and the protection of employment rights currently enshrined in EU law. But “access” is pretty much meaningless, and the issue of employment rights has been answered by Theresa May herself.”

    “Besides, these are not red lines at all: if the party dare not hold to them with the threat of blocking or delaying article 50, they amount to nothing. Meanwhile, as the gaping hole in Labour politics leaves room for the rumoured comeback of that ghoulish irrelevance Tony Blair, one gets the sense from the Labour leadership that Brexit – and hard Brexit at that – is exactly what they want. Strange that these people stand at the head of a movement said to be powered by the young.”

    “In any event, it is hardly likely that Labour will be involved in any negotiations. But the basic point is simple: an insistence on single market membership is a coherent and clear position, by far the best option for the economy, and a vivid point of difference with the government


    Unfortunately control over migration means control over people.

    To do that without upsetting the single market, not to mention without being prejudiced against poor migrants (not the ‘top people’ and the ‘skilled’) is impossible.

    Andrew Coates

    November 30, 2016 at 2:33 pm

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