Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Perfidious Brexit: The Movement Against the Johnson Coup, the Left and Brexit.

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Another Europe is Possible at Burston Yesterday.

Perfidious Brexit.

“Many in Britain are now springing the defence of Parliament and elected representation, but they should have spring a bit earlier. Those in the Labour Party who were neutral about Brexit  – or even saw it as a welcome disputation to the status quo and an opportunity for radical reform – only now seem to be noticing that Brexit was always a vehicle whereby the hard-right could take over the government”.

Patrick Cockburn. The Independent.

“People are tired, Rob,” Silas continued, “They’re fed up. They’re worn down. They’ve had with all this left-wing dogma. The new anti-authority is on the right, not the left. It’s the new punk…..”

Sam Byers. Perfidious Albion. Faber and Faber 2018.

What are the values behind Parliamentary proroguing, the sacking and the use of an armed police officer to escort Sonia Khan, Sonia Khan specials adviser out of Downing Street?  “Respect for one,” suggests Sam Byers’ post-Brexit novel, “’Integrity. Pride in our landscape. Control over our borders, our laws.” The leader of England Always, Hugo Bennington, continues, “It’s about putting the needs of our country and the people in it first.” Love for his country means, “Self-protection. “control of immigration” “control of our culture”. “We need to ensure we’re all, literally and hypothetically, speaking the same language.”

Perfidious Albion is not an imagined future.

It is now. England Always is the Brexit Party and the European Research Group-led Tories. The street thugs and angries, already adopting American, and “Kool Aid”, Farage’s “Folks”, are slavering for a No Deal Brexit.

Control of the language has become a battlefield. Johnson, Farage, and the outriders in Spiked, the ‘new punk’ right are already trying to recapture British pre-contemporary pomp. British sovereignty, the voice of the ordinary people, the people’s voice for Brexit, stands against the Parliamentary elite. Hugo Bennington/Brendan O’Neill’s waving Internet dick; Jacob Rees Mogg’s “visionary soil” need the coup de main of the Prime Minister to set off a national populist surge for “community, belonging, group identity and the nation.” (1)

“Brexiteers dream of a Britain ‘unchained; from the shackles of European regulation.” wrote Luke Cooper in the Introduction to The Left Against Brexit (2018) “in other words, even more of a capitalist distopia. At present the Prime Minister is driving through Brexit, regardless of the elected MP’s wishes. The National Organiser of Another Europe is Possible, Michael Chessum says, “The longer-term aim of Johnson’s plan goes much deeper, Brexit Britain is to be a deregulated country, brought closer into the orbit of Trump’s America. Workers’ rights, food standards and environmental protection are to be undermined. Public services and the NHS will, as made clear by the US government, be up for sale.” (Westminster shutdown: is Britain facing a coup? Observer. 1.9.19)

It is not good enough for some on the pro-Brexit Left to confine their indignation to curbs on Parliament. It is not enough to focus on Johnson’s pro-austerity politics. Brexit drives the Cummings Cabinet; Brexit is the instrument to achieve their aims. Look at any of the protests against the ‘Coup’ and you will see European flags and hear calls not just to stop a No Deal Brexit, but Brexit full stop.

Régis Debray in l’Europe fantôme ( 2019) asserts that the European ideal is the property of “élites sociales sans honneur” an ersatz messianism. This weak civic cult is a shield from reality, and appeals only the orphans of the radical left, and Christian democrats, liberals, socialists, social democrats, one time radical leftists in need of a cause, believers in the Enlightenment, believers and secularists, a cult of saints and the, European, god, dulia and latria.  This heartless, property-of-nobody, non-nation is further sullied, in Debray’s eyes, by the dominance of English “pidgin”.

A feeble thing, Europe is no doubt a ‘phantom’. There are greater thrills to be had following Bennington’s Willy, praising borders, getting excited with New Left Review at the prospects of “anti-systemic” parties.

Yet, the last days the country has seen mass protests against the Coup, including one where I live, Ipswich, where around five hundred people heard Labour MP Sandy Martin, Liberal Democrats, and Suffolk European Alliance speakers address the crowd from the steps of the Old Town Hall.

Image may contain: 1 person, crowd, sky and outdoor

At the Burston Rally yesterday Another Europe is Possible had a stall. Many of the people present seemed to be from the Lexit side of the left. Mark Serwotka  from the PCS trade union made an appeal for unity against the Conservatives and the Johnson Coup. Nobody on the platform spoke of the need for a ‘People’s Brexit’. People came to our stand to pick up stickers and copies of The Left Against Brexit rapidly disappeared. Some trade unionists, I cite amongst them an electrician and a fire-fighter, talked of their support for the AEIP stand. A comfortable majority of trade union members voted Remain, as did a majority of the younger working class. Alas, Len McCluskey, UNITE Boss, goes against these internationalist  views. (2)

As comrade Chessum says, “we are witnessing the growth of a huge movement in defence of democracy”. The centre of the groundswell is the fight against Brexit in its only actually existing shape the Hard Right ERG Johnson Brexit.



(1) Page 278. National Populism. The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018

(2) Unite will support Labour MPs who vote for a new Brexit deal

Leader Len McCluskey says union will back MPs – even on the right – who face deselection/

Kinnock, the Labour MP who coordinates aroundabout 30 MPs in a group called Respect the Result, has previously said he believed there was increasing feeling among many of his colleagues opposed to a second referendum that passing the withdrawal agreement bill was the best option. McCluskey has previously argued that Labour must be prepared to support a pragmatic Brexit deal, saying it appeared to be impossible to stop no deal and that there was no path to a second referendum. The majority of Labour MPs who are sceptical about a referendum are still likely to back the cross-party efforts to pass a bill this week that would mandate Johnson to seek and extension to Article 50.

5 Responses

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  1. Peter ‘Fat Man on a Keyboard’ Ryley makes some similar points:


    Jim Denham

    September 2, 2019 at 12:23 pm

  2. The Lisbon Treaty comes into force in 2020. What does this means for a remaining UK?

    1: The UK along with all existing members of the EU lose their abstention veto in 2020 as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty when the system changes to that of majority acceptance with no abstentions or veto’s being allowed.
    2: All member nations will become states of the new federal nation of the EU by 2022 as clearly laid out in the Lisbon treaty with no exceptions or veto’s.
    3: All member states must adopt the Euro by 2022 and any new member state must do so within 2 years of joining the EU as laid down in the Lisbon treaty.
    4: The London stock exchange will move to Frankfurt in 2020 and be integrated into the EU stock exchange resulting in a loss of 200,000 plus jobs in the UK because of the relocation. (This has already been pre-agreed and is only on a holding pattern due to the Brexit negotiations, which if Brexit does happen, the move is fully cancelled – but if not and the UK remains a member it’s full steam ahead for the move.)
    5: The EU Parliament and ECJ become supreme over all legislative bodies of the UK.
    6: The UK will adopt 100% of whatever the EU Parliament and ECJ lays down without any means of abstention or veto, negating the need for the UK to have the Lords or even the Commons as we know it today.
    7: The UK will NOT be able to make its own trade deals.
    8: The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade tariffs.
    9 The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade quotas.
    10: The UK loses control of its fishing rights
    11: The UK loses control of its oil and gas rights
    12: The UK loses control of its borders and enters the Schengen region by 2022 – as clearly laid down in the Lisbon treaty
    13: The UK loses control of its planning legislation
    14: The UK loses control of its armed forces including its nuclear deterrent
    15: The UK loses full control of its taxation policy
    16: The UK loses the ability to create its own laws and to implement them
    17: The UK loses its standing in the Commonwealths
    18: The UK loses control of any provinces or affiliated nations e.g.: Falklands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar etc
    19: The UK loses control of its judicial system
    20: The UK loses control of its international policy
    21: The UK loses full control of its national policy
    22: The UK loses its right to call itself a nation in its own right.
    23: The UK loses control of its space exploration program
    24: The UK loses control of its Aviation and Sea lane jurisdiction
    25: The UK loses its rebate in 2020 as laid down in the Lisbon treaty
    26: The UK’s contribution to the EU is set to increase by an average of 1.2bn pa and by 2.3bn pa by 2020


    September 3, 2019 at 8:53 am

  3. The Full Fact website rebuts the nonsense being circulated by Eves and others about the Lisbon Treaty:


    Jim Denham

    September 3, 2019 at 9:30 am

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