Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Alan Simpson, latest Labour left-winger to join calls from the Left Against Brexit.

with 7 comments

Alan Simpson is a well known and respected figure on the Labour left, and a Labour MP from 1992 to  2010.

He is is currently the Shadow Chancellor’s Adviser on Sustainable Economics.

Meanwhile, living the dream of a People’s Brexit, Counterfire’s Lindsy German opines,

The crisis for Theresa May and the Tories continues to deepen, their only lifeline would be a second referendum.

Most people will dismiss the claim that a Second Referendum, whatever the problems it poses, would help May’s tottering position.

This is rhetoric.

You can turn the Tory crisis into anything you want, PM

Bojo, Rees Mogg as future Chancellor…..

But it is very hard to see how a Second Referendum, which would be ferociously opposed by her right-wing Brexit mad MPs and a substantial layer of her members, would save her from….them.

German does raise a series of core issues which should be answered.

There will be a number of left wingers on it regardless, promoting the myth that ‘another Europe is possible’. It certainly is, but not if you pin your hopes on the EU. The position of ‘stay in and change the EU’ is simply utopian, since there is no democratic mechanism for doing so, and relies on a wilful refusal to look reality in the face. The growth of the far right in Europe is being fuelled by EU policies, and the resultant victories for far right politicians are blithely accepted in most cases. Flexibility at work, low wages, shameful treatment of migrants, all are deliberate policies from the EU. So it’s not the time to be sowing illusions in it, or giving failed politicians a leg up.

The British state has been shaped into a neoliberal institution – right down to the contracting out of the means to solve some of the mess created by Universal Credit to charities.

The government debt is owned by….bond holders, not the people. One might suggest that this indicates that it has something to do with capitalism.

Flexibility at work conditions has been a goal of successive UK governments; one of the constraints on it have been EU regulations (such as the Working Time Directive).

Did the EU stop Chancellor Merkel – while German’s grotesque Stop the War Coalition stood aside – welcoming Syrian refugees and other asylum seekers,  more than 1.4 million, almost half of the total applications across the bloc  in the last decade?

What are the prospects for democratic control over the economy outside the EU?

You cannot wish away the world economy, ‘globalisation’ and inter-Europe production flows.

People’s Brexiteers, so far as I am aware, do not propose to leave the World Trade Organisation(WTO).

This will be a key body regulating the famous “deals” with other countries in a post-EU UK.

The WTO is ‘neo-liberal’, though the polices of neo-liberal free trade at present caught up in the fall out from the sovereigntist attempts by pro-Brexit Trump to put ‘American First’.

Perhaps Counterfire would support launching a UK First campaign in retaliation.

These are just some responses.

For a more systematic reply to the Brexit Bolsheviks see;

Alena Ivanova and Michael Chessum (THE LEFT AGAINST BREXIT AN INTERNATIONALIST CASE FOR EUROPE. ANOTHER EUROPE IS POSSIBLE)

The British left is at a crossroads unlike any other in its history. Just as the Corbyn moment gives us hope, the Brexit moment presents us with an unprecedented crisis. Domestically, we face an entrenched regime of deregulation combined with an emboldened far right whose anti-immigration narrative has soaked into the mainstream.

The choices we face are not unique to us. From the emerging splits in Germany’s Die Linke to the ‘sovereigntist’ approach of some on the French left, the temptation to give in to the politics of nationalism and border-building is stronger than ever.

Our strategy for battling Brexit and the rising far right starts from an understanding that only the left can win against the encroaching darkness. Only a transformative, socialist vision can compete with the politics of hate and the reality of social crisis. And the agents of change will be workers and ordinary people – in all their diversity – not the morally bankrupt establishment. But what comes next is not just a question of understanding or analysis – it is a question of doing. Intervening into the mechanics of Brexit and trying to stop the train crash seems like an arduous task, but it is essential. The price of defeat would be the biggest expansion of immigration controls in Britain’s recent history, a decimation of  46 THE LEFT AGAINST BREXIT our rights, a deregulatory trading agenda that will make TTIP look progressive, and a major economic crisis.

Here is a further response:

STOP TORY BREXIT – MARCH WITH US ON OCTOBER 20TH

It’s time for the left and the labour movement to mobilise – and take the reigns back from the political establishment.

On October 20th, hundreds of thousands will march to demand that the people are given the final say. We cannot allow the anti-Brexit movement to be dominated by the political establishment.

The time has come for the left to march, with a clear message of hope and solidarity. We will bring a sea of red flags, green flags, placards, flares and banners. Bring your trade union branch, your local Labour Party, your local Green Party, your Momentum group, your activist network.

There is only one kind of Brexit on offer – Tory Brexit. It is an attempt to further deregulate the economy, attack migrants, and undermine the rights and prosperity of working class people. When the Tories talk about “getting rid of the red tape”, he means our environmental standards, maternity pay and human rights.

But the fight to stop Brexit is not a fight for the status quo. We want to build a better society, with a radical social and economic programme, and we want to take on the right wing establishment in Brussels just as much the one in Westminster. We need to end fortress Europe, not build fortress Britain.

Join us on October 20th. Meet from 11am outside the Hard Rock Cafe on Old Park Lane/Piccadilly, W1K 1QZ.

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Written by Andrew Coates

October 17, 2018 at 1:13 pm

7 Responses

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  1. In the 1992 novel “The Doomsday Book” there is mention of leaving the yet-unformed EU on account of the danger of new Black Death epidemic entering the British Isles. We now know there is such a thing as mystical suicide bombers, yet you lot want to overturn the vote and import more vectors?

    oiltranslator

    October 17, 2018 at 2:56 pm

  2. For those who think neoliberalism is an invention of the EU the history of how UK right-wing politics created the present austerity and privatisation.

    There is also this, part of the serious fight back against the sovereigntist ‘left’:

    Andrew Coates

    October 17, 2018 at 4:45 pm

  3. I don’t think it’s very useful to quote a failure like Lindsey German on anything. As far as I can understand it she was expelled from the SWP because of the RESPECT debacle which, with the Martin Smith rape scandal, effectively finished that section of the British Trots as a political force.

    Dave Roberts

    October 18, 2018 at 8:00 am

  4. There are men sat in prison for doing a lot less than Comrade Delta was cleared of by the SWP Central Committee.

    Comrade Callinicos

    October 18, 2018 at 8:32 am

  5. “Brexit has been very divisive for the Left in Britain. While some socialist intellectuals claim that it is a prize within reach for the Labour movement, it remains largely a neo-colonial project of a ‘Global Britain’, writes Peter J. Verovšek. He argues that the case for Lexit ignores the right-wing roots of the EU referendum, and that it will be no prize for Labour.”

    Lexit undermines the Left – it will be no prize for Labour.

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2018/10/16/lexit-undermines-the-left-it-will-be-no-prize-for-labour/?fbclid=IwAR2eCy02S3U5UCxMWvd-pGRRN3HMvDAMDIOtntwwHZxGWn8MB6fws1lgFo0

    Andrew Coates

    October 18, 2018 at 11:53 am

  6. Andrew Coates

    October 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm

  7. Andrew. Fair play to yourself as you allow a discussion. More than OBV, Socialist Unity, the SWP, Left Futures and Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all, and Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all do.

    Dave Roberts

    October 18, 2018 at 3:29 pm


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