Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

The Pro-Brexit Labour Gatekeepers, From Milne to McCluskey.

with 7 comments

There is anger in the labour movement that a small group of pro-Brexit people are making party policy on Europe.

The Observer reported on Sunday that,

A senior union source said McCluskey seemed to be trying to bypass Labour party and TUC policy, which was to insist on a customs union and close involvement in the single market. “History will damn the treacherous moves to sideline the rest of the trade union movement and frustrate Labour party conference policy,” said the union official.

“He and his allies in the leader’s office haven’t made it a secret that they want Brexit to happen, but to do a secret deal behind the movement’s backs to get it done is shocking even for them.”

 Ana Oppenheim, an organiser for the leftwing anti-Brexit movement Another Europe is Possible, who is also active inside the pro-Corbyn grassroots movement Momentum, suggested any Labour MPs who refused to do all in their power to block May’s Brexit should be deselected.

“This is an existential moment for the left,” she said. “The Tory Brexit deal will mean a huge expansion of border controls and will open us up to unprecedented economic deregulation. If Labour MPs cannot unite to block it, they shouldn’t be Labour MPs. Members have mechanisms to choose MPs who actually represent the Labour movement, and we would encourage them to use these.”

Then there was this: in Private Eye yesterday:

There are claims that Corbyn has difficulty dealing with anybody with disagrees with him.

The highly articulate and focused Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit secretary, would normally be expected to have been at the meeting with the Prime Minister.

But apart from the differences PE outlines he is reported to back free movement, something the Lexit (pro-Brexit) left are dead against.

Having the unelected Milne in such a strategic position at the Downing Street and inside the Party means – the anti-Brexit internationalist left alleges – that attempts from inside the labour movement to reach a deal are reaching a critical point.

Shiraz posts today,

McCluskey’s Brexit manoeuvres

Four union leaders, including Len McCluskey of Unite, had one-on-one talks with the PM in Downing Street last month.

McCluskey is seeking commitments from May that would give some Labour MPs an excuse to back the government in the next “meaningful vote” on Brexit. That could allow Brexit to proceed without Jeremy Corbyn being held responsible by Labour’s anti-Brexit rank and file.  “The unions are at war given Unite’s attempt at a side deal,” an unnamed “senor union figure” told the FT, adding “and people are suspicious that it’s being nodded through by the leader’s office.”

Milne already has a programme for UK self-sufficiency:
Image result for the 4 M's Seumas Milne Maoist manifesto winchester

Written by Andrew Coates

February 7, 2019 at 3:08 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Andrew Coates

    February 7, 2019 at 5:25 pm

  2. Will Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to risk angering Remainers backfire?

    The TSSA, a trade union that is both heavily pro-Corbyn and pro-Remain, warned that Labour will suffer an electoral blow.

    Steve Bush.

    “Jeremy Corbyn has laid out Labour’s conditions for backing a Brexit deal in an open letter to Theresa May, containing five demands for the party’s support in the Commons.

    The most important thing about the five demands, as I explain in more detail here, is that unlike Labour’s six tests, which were written to be failed and to facilitate the opposition voting against the withdrawal agreement, these are demands that can be met.”

    “What matters now is that faced with the choice, Corbyn is signalling that changes to the political declaration – the accompanying document on the future relationship, rather than the withdrawal agreement itself – will be sufficient to win Labour support. He has crossed the Rubicon and made a decisive choice to risk the anger of Remainers rather than of Leavers.

    Much depends on three things: the first being how much May can give up, whether through freely given concession or through defeat in the House of Commons. The second is whether Conservative Brexiteers will start to worry that if they don’t vote for May’s deal they will end up with something softer still.”

    And the third is what this does to Labour’s opinion poll rating. It’s been warned that by backing Brexit, Labour will suffer a heavy electoral blow, if you believe this leaked analysis by the TSSA, a trade union that is both heavily pro-Corbyn and pro-Remain.

    For reasons I’ve explained before, I’m highly dubious that any poll can accurately model how voters will behave in a hypothetical context. But we aren’t in a hypothetical context anymore. If we have a run of polls in which Labour is down and the various anti-Brexit parties of the centre and left are up then it may be that Labour has to find a very different position to the one it has now.”


    Andrew Coates

    February 7, 2019 at 6:30 pm

  3. What’s the history of the Maoist Manifesto? If it’s Milne it’s a very young Milne.

    Dave Roberts

    February 7, 2019 at 7:51 pm

  4. It was while he was a public schoolboy at Winchester in 1974, Dave. Since then he’s become a bit more devious but no less of a Stalinist (Private Eye is wrong in suggesting that Maoism and Stalinism are incompatible).


    Jim Denham

    February 8, 2019 at 10:10 am

  5. Indeed, Stalin figured prominently in the pantheon followed by ‘Marxist-Leninists’ (as real Maoists called themselves)

    Andrew Coates

    February 8, 2019 at 12:07 pm

  6. So reversing the Anschluss even has support from nonnational socialists?


    February 8, 2019 at 3:19 pm

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