Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Counterfire: “the Tories will not deliver the Brexit that people voted for.”

with 4 comments


Not the Brexit We Voted For!

Part 3 of our popular series, Things That Never Happened.

After the Morning Star, and Socialist Worker, Counterfire enters the No Deal Brexit fray.

Whatever happens in the next day, the Tories will not deliver the Brexit that people voted for, argues Shabbir Lakha

Blame Game:

But part of the reason there was any credence to Johnson’s claims was thanks to the pro-Remain campaign incessantly obsessing that Johnson was trying to sneak in a no-deal in 2019. Labour’s opposition was hamstrung by the Remain-at-all-costs brigade, and failed to back the initial calls for a general election, despite the fact it had been calling for since June 2017. So when Johnson did in fact pull a deal out of the hat, he wasn’t the one with egg on his face.

It would have been different but,

Neither a deal nor no deal under the Tories are going to be good, as both will be used to attempt a turbo charging of capitalism via deregulation. In Tory hands, the removal of the EU’s neoliberal shackles will give them space to erode further workers’ rights and environmental protections.

Corbyn was right, and it was inching towards Remain lost the election.

What is clear is that Corbyn’s promise to end the ‘rigged economy’ terrified the EU, so Labour moving ever closer to Remain had the effect of allaying the EU’s fears and making it increasingly unlikely that it was ever going to have to negotiate with a socialist, anyway, as astute observers in Brussels would have analysed the likely electoral effect of Labour’s position.

Faced with hundreds of thousands protesting against Brexit in 2019 Counterfire leader John Rees warned against Labour drifting in that direction.

He took the view that Second Referendum demonstrations were led by the wealthy to further the aims of the “overwhelming majority of big capital” It was a “middle class movement” with a “vanishingly small” union presence (where it was before it began to vanish was not described). It was a “variant” of a “mild (as yet)” mass fascist or populist right wing” groundswell. (Here).

Some suggest Counterfire were jealous, they could not organise their own People’s Brexit demonstrations.

There were some mass pro-Leave marches….

But that’s all in the past.

Today Johnson has to, or should, stand up to the EU,

But even though Johnson is not committed to public spending, redistribution and nationalisation, it’s hard to see how he can concede on this point without having to admit that the EU will maintain a level of control on how Britain is run.

So, in other words, getting out of the EU is a good thing, ending EU ‘control’, the bad thing is that the Tories are in charge of doing it.

This article ends with this,

Whatever the outcome, this government clearly has no legitimacy. And whatever happens, there will be a price to pay. We need to be prepared to fight against any attempt to put this cost on working people and to get this shower out of power.

So what did they vote for in the Referendum? The Lexit Brigade and Labour Leave cast their ballots with the Leave campaign, the far-right UKIP,  Leave.EU (which became Grassroots Out) and Vote Leave (endorsed by Conservative Party Eurosceptics). The largest of these groups, Vote Leave has  come to dominate the present Johnson government. One assumes that for Counterfire they do not count, they were not the “real” voters whose views the the revolutionary Marxist groupuscule has a special link with.

As far was one can tell Counterfire welcomes being free of the ‘shackles’ of the ‘neo-liberal EU’. The sovereign nation now unchained is, nevertheless, behaving badly. Perhaps this group thinks it will play a leading role in getting rid of the wrong “shower” in charge and get their shower into power. Reports indicate their presence in factional manoeuvres designed to create a split in Labour, through a variety of vehicles, which their merry band can join.

To left wing internationalists getting rid of chains of Brussels was always about the neo-liberal hard-right project of the European Reform Group and the dream of a new ‘anglosphere’, trading and cultural ties with the English-speaking capitalist nations.

The Tories Brexit agenda is not a policy but a project. It is anti-worker but not anti-state. It puts up new barriers to trade with Europe, but seeks deregulation and marketisation ‘at home’. It wants the state to spend big to support big business, especially in tech, is addicted to outsourcing and is disdainful of the public sector. This is pushing Britain towards a new, authoritarian, ‘crony capitalism’. As this becomes unpopular, the other aspects of the Tory agenda – the migrant bashing culture wars and ethnic nationalism – will become more and more important to sustain their political support.

Another Europe is Possible.


The possibility that Brexit would be anything else never happened.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 13, 2020 at 11:12 am

4 Responses

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  1. The solipism of a lot of our current domestic left; “What is clear is that Corbyn’s promise to end the ‘rigged economy’ terrified the EU,” Indeed. I remember it now, as clear as day. The streets in Brussels were stilled, . Merkel and Macron locked themselves in their private offices awaiting the long feared call from Seamus Milne, whilst Commission offices ground to a halt whilst the Commissioner’s staff burned sensitive documents in great blazing bonfires in the car carks…………..

    david walsh

    December 13, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    • David we don’t really need to take the piss out of them, they do such a good job themselves.

      Andrew Coates

      December 13, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      • True. Interesting how the same myopia and sense of self-granduer infects the right too. I’ve just be FB bombed by a Faragist YouTube channel called “UK News Today” which proclaims on one clip “EU chiefs PANIC as no deal Brexit bluff called! – ‘Reality could be about to bite!’

        david walsh

        December 13, 2020 at 8:40 pm

  2. Counterfire have the unique distinction of being a split from the SWP that is politically *worse* than the SWP!

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2020 at 4:55 pm

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