Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Boris Johnson, the “Trumpification of British Politics” and the Left.

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Image result for boris johnson plantu

Our Ruling Class.

Talleyrand – Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754  – 1838) – was the most famous European statesman of his day.

His house. the Hôtel de Talleyrand, was celebrated,

Into this palace, as a spider into its web, he enticed and captured, one by one, heroes, thinkers, conquerors, princes, emperors, Bonaparte, Sieyès, Mme de Stael, Chateaubriand, Benjamin Constant, Alexandre de Russie, Guillaume de Prusse, François d’Autriche, Louis XVIII, Louis Philippe, and all the gilded glittering flies which buzz through the history of these past forty years. All this glittering swarm, fascinated by the penetrating eye of this man, passed in turn under this gloomy entrance bearing on it the inscription: Hôtel Talleyrand.

In the collection of writings from which this comes Victor Hugo described the death of the man who became a by-word by cynical diplomacy.

In Choses Vues the author of Les Misérables  describes his embalming, in the ancient Egyptian style.

The corpse lay in an empty chamber when a valet walked in.

He found that they had left the brain on the side-table.

The servant picked it up, and finding no other way of disposing of it, threw it into the outside sewer.

It is said that people have been looking for someone with Tallyrand’s cerebrum ever since.

Many would say that dealing Boris Johnson would be hard even for the most experienced politician.

El Pais says that “La única persona capaz de derrotar a Boris Johnson —y ya hay precedentes— sería el propio Boris Johnson.” (“the only person capable of defeating Boris Johnson – and there are precedents – is Boris Johnson himself”)

The European Press is full of such scorn for the man Le Monde calls a “buffoon” (while politely asking him to stop being one):

Le Monde, in an excoriating editorial, said Johnson had shown himself to be “a stranger to logic and convictions” in a career rich in “deceits, blunders and failures”. In the run-up to the 2016 referendum he “told lies on the side of a bus, promised the UK could have its cake and eat it, and compared the EU to the Third Reich,” it said.

As foreign secretary he “made his country an object of ridicule around the world with his amateurism, flippancy and ignorance”, France’s newspaper of record continued. Rivalling Nigel Farage for populism, Johnson’s “jingoistic rhetoric” promised Britons an unrealistic “glorious global future”.

His threat to withhold the €39bn Brexit divorce settlement would have “incalculable consequences”, damaging the international credibility of a country priding itself on being a champion of the rule of law, Le Monde said. And for the EU a Johnson premiership would mean “a mini-Trump across the Channel, dedicated to its sabotage”. Britain would become “a hostile principality, built on social, fiscal and environmental deregulation.”

Amongst the articles cited by the Guardian this stands out (Corriere della Sera)

Lord Chris Pattern says that Johnson is part of the ” una “trumpificazione” della nostra politica., the Trumpification of our politics.

He is equally,

Trump’s poodle: a liar who does not pay attention to the detail of reality, tells people what they want to hear and relies on their ignorance”.

Patten said Johnson exemplified the “collapse of rationality, of the relationship between the facts and what we believe” in present-day politics. “What he is offering is impossible.

All this looks as if it implies some serious thinking about changing Labour’s strategy.

A bounder in his own bailiwick is going to be hard to dislodge.

The Trumpification of British politics has begun; it does not look if a hasty declaration of an “insurgency” against Johnson is going to thwart it.

To begin with there is the impact of start-up political business, The Brexit Party. Helped by the ‘red-brown’ front, not to mention the support of former leftists, it has become a political player, and how to fight it. The Brexit Party is part of a broader trend towards national populism, which has helped dislodge the left from its historic bases of support in Italy and France. Left-wing populisms – in France and Spain – have been unable to counter the nationalist call to fight ‘oligarchies’ and ‘elites’ on behalf of the Nation.

The Brexit Party is not about to vanish:

Is an appeal to our own ‘identity politics’ of the people, the left-behind, the self-identifying native working class better than trying to build alliances on universal, internationalist,  fights for rights and interests?

Then there Johnson’s strategy: will Farage assist the disintegration of the Tory party, or will the Brexit Party pave the way for his victory as part of a new “great moving right show” that can resonate  deeply into the country’s electorate and culture ? Johnson hopes to rebuild the electoral support that got May- just –  elected and to extent it. How can an alternative be created from shards from the same ideology, which, the experience of European left populism indicates, is a sure way to strengthen the carnival of reaction, not to challenge it?

All these issues boil down to one: the Brexit project. Will Labour let Johnson pursue the goal – however much he twists and turns over the details – of a Hard Right Brexit, the only actually existing Brexit.

Apparently the Lexit left has the answer: it needs to back their version of Brexit.

The Morning Star editorialises.

..the trade union movement and the left has to make a decisions it to remain stuck in an increasingly sterile and immobilising debate for and against the EU? Or is it to shift the ground to the kind of withdrawal from the EU that must be secured to protect working people and to advance a progressive agenda that can beat the Tories?

Only class politics can defeat Johnson in Labour’s working-class heartlands. The dangers of not preparing are too serious to be contemplated.

The beginnings of a different approach are there, and have strong support on the left.

This is an excellent reply to such views:

Labour must re-energise the Corbyn project by opposing Brexit

witnessing the party’s continued ambiguity and evasion, many of the members who resolutely defended Corbyn as leader in the face of an establishment onslaught are asking themselves whether the values of straight-talking honest politics only apply if you agree with the leader. Going into a general election with the current policy on Brexit would be disastrous. By bringing its policy back into line with the democratic will of its members, and anchoring its support for Remain in a programme of cross-border resistance, Labour can clearly differentiate itself from the pro-business globalism of the Lib Dems and the utopian optimism of the Greens to win back disillusioned supporters.

With a vision aimed at defending the interests of all workers, British or not, Labour can win here and lead a Europe-wide offensive against capitalist exploitation. Co-ordinating this cross-border coalition will require conferences and organising events attracting activists with shared goals from across Europe. Labour can be the force to convene such events on a mass scale, to begin the fight for a democratic, socialist Europe.

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7 Responses

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  1. Boris Johnson, along with Tony Blair, David Cameron, Theresa May, the Tory Kensington council, Arconic, etc. guilty of killing the Grenfell Tower residents:

    https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/grenfell-tower-disaster-and-british-conservative-boris-johnson/

    petrel41

    June 14, 2019 at 12:22 pm

  2. Today’s Morning Star editorial (which you quote from) also contains the following:

    “Britain should adhere to the same health, environmental and labour standards as the EU (if not improve on them). But it must not be bound by the single market competition rules that ban any significant state aid, any form of public ownership or any active use of public procurement”.

    How many more times does it have to be explained to these Stalinist little-Englanders that EU membership does *not* preclude state aid, nationalisation or active public procurement? These clown are either ignorant buffoons or conscious liars.

    And I note that the editorial omits to mention that the Morning Star’s political masters, the CPB, positively *support* a no-deal Brexit on WTO terms.

    Jim Denham

    June 14, 2019 at 2:12 pm

  3. I can recall mummy telling me about Maggie Thatcher’s Reaganization while whipping up some steak ‘n kidney pie. The nuclear-tipped communist empire wobbled and collapsed. Think of the horror if European National Socialism were to again collapse and be replaced by libertarian nonaggression! Brexit reversing Anschluss would be a disaster, no?

    oiltranslator

    June 14, 2019 at 2:28 pm

  4. Jim, they indeed explicitly said that.

    Communist Party calls for Brexit on World Trade Organisation terms

    January 2019:

    https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/communist-party-call-brexit-world-trade-organization-terms

    But like the Boycott Labour campaign during the European elections (which some unkind people suggest may have been indeed the policy of some apparatchiks in the party, given the lack of work they did), they try to weasel out of by saying the Morning Star is “not” their party paper.

    Well considering the last time I seriously put it to one of them – ages ago, er, about 5 years back, and she was on whatever you call the Central Committee these days – she laughed her socks off while putting forward that claim..

    Stuff your bleeding kidney pies Mr Tosspot..

    Andrew Coates

    June 14, 2019 at 4:56 pm

  5. Andrew Coates

    June 14, 2019 at 6:21 pm

  6. […] On this day, nine years ago, A Riverside View came into being. The author wanted to be anonymous like the authors of a since deceased blog, but was outed within ten minute by Ipswich’s Barmy Bolshevik Blogger, Comrade Coates. A Riverside View got better and better but Comrade Coates is still writing squit like this. […]

  7. I love ur posts
    Follw mine

    Ekzydaniel

    June 21, 2019 at 10:52 pm


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