Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Labour’s Brexit Policy a “trap” that “diverted Labour from it’s “Corbynite” left-wing, populist themes” – Morning Star.

with 3 comments

Three impossible things before breakfast: some comments on the "Full Brexit"  group

“Top People” got Labour to Oppose Brexit and back a People’s Vote – Morning Star.

The Morning Star describes itself as the Daily Paper of the left. It embraces many lefts that agree with its editorial line. In recent eulogy Andrew Murray writes warmly of a new book, The Forty-Year War in Afghanistan by his old mucker, Tariq Ali, a member of New Left Review’s Editorial Committee, a much-liked sage, a doughty fighter for Brexit, and a stellar figure in the international left. “Erudite and committed writings of Tariq Ali on Afghanistan, published at every stage of the calamity, are a illuminating read.” writes the one-time member of the Communist Party of Britain, scion of the Slains Pursuivant of Arms, and former top adviser to Jeremy Corbyn.

Murray expresses some reservations about Ali’s criticism of the Soviet Union’s direct military intervention to help the Afghan regime. The future leading aide to the Labour leader backed the move:

.

Our view was not informed by any particular knowledge of Afghan affairs, but by the supervening requirement, as it seemed to us, to support the Soviet government as a principle of international class struggle, the more so when it was under attack by the imperialists.

We were also concerned to support a regime in Kabul that seemed to have progressive achievements, although we understood little about it

But all’s well that ends well.

Looking back, I do not regret supporting the Soviet endeavour in Afghanistan, for the same reasons that I had at the time. However, on the substance of the matter — the wisdom of the intervention and its baleful consequences for both Afghanistan and the USSR itself — it should be acknowledged that, here too, Tariq Ali was right and has been vindicated.

Speculation is growing that Tel’s nipper, Oliver Eagleton, of New Left Review’s Sidecar and the popular TikTock broadcasts of Novara Media, is set to have his own column in the worker’s organ. He will explore his latest marotte, “After Brexit, the partnership with France unravelled, as Barnier and Macron pushed to inflict maximal damage on Britain to deter future experiments in popular sovereignty.”

Another one-time radical leftist who writes for the paper is Solomon Hughes. He was a member of the SWP and before Comrade Delta crisis wrote for Socialist Review, Tribune says that he has been “writing about corporate influence in politics for twenty years, mostly for Private Eye.”

Hughes also has a weekly column in the Morning Star. In that outlet he has been delving into the forces who opposed the Vote Leave camp, the ‘Left Brexit’ forces.

These campaigners called for a Second Referendum to thwart Brexit. The success of Britain’s departure from the EU, the burgeoning upsurge of a people’s movement to assert real popular sovereignty, “real independence”, was stopped in its tracks. Labour refused to support a People’s Brexit. “Unconstrained by EU treaties, single market rules and directives, a left-led Labour government could develop a worker-led industrial strategy; aid industry, invest in training, youth and jobs, social welfare, housing, education and health services; and take the transport, energy and postal service profiteers back into public ownership. ” Was this listened to? No. The result, as foreseen by leading CPB member Nick Wright, was the Labour Defeat in 2019.

How did this happen? Hughes has been piling on the evidence, or what he considers to be proof, of a damming trail of centrist plots and underhand deals, that show what happened in Labour behind the scenes ever since.

The latest, hot off the press:

How Labour got lumbered with its disastrous Brexit policy

SOLOMON HUGHES picks apart some revealing comments by the head of comms at the People’s Vote campaign

The writer asserts that he has found “confirmation that the whole reverse-Brexit People’s Vote campaign was, for some top people, “a stick with which to beat the Labour Party” and “an anti-Corbyn thing” comes from one of the top figures in the People’s Vote campaign itself.”

This is the smoking pistol:

“UK In A Changing Europe, a research institute based at King’s College London focusing on Britain-EU relations, is building an archive of interviews of major players in the various Remain and Leave campaigns: the interviews are invaluable and revealing on the People’s Vote.”

Tom Baldwin, who was head of communications at the People’s Vote campaign, told them: “There was always an issue about how much the People’s Vote campaign should be a stick with which to beat the Labour Party rather than a neutral instrument for just winning a people’s vote.”

Here it is…

“I was trying to maintain some strategic discipline around the latter but there were constantly people who wanted it to be an anti-Labour thing, an anti-Corbyn thing, a realignment thing, a Liberal Democrat thing, a proportional vote thing.

“I think those were all distractions and the more we did it the more we just confirmed some people in their view that we were a liberal elitist, metropolitan organisation that was playing at politics.”

Hughes continues in this vein,

Baldwin was particularly drawing attention to Roland Rudd: he is a City lobbyist and the brother of top Tory Amber Rudd.

The “People’s Vote” was not a typical grassroots campaign, and was instead built from the top, by lobbyists and multimillionaire donors.

Roland Rudd effectively controlled one of the main organisations in the People’s Vote campaign, an organisation called Open Britain.

Baldwin also pointed to Rudd’s ally, Hugo Dixon: he says these two figures wanted to use the People’s Vote campaign to “realign” politics.

At that time Labour’s leader was the very left-wing Jeremy Corbyn, supported by a large number of members and a surprisingly good “second-place” result in the 2017 election.

Then….

Baldwin suggests people like Rudd and Dixon wanted to use the campaign to “realign” politics away from the left back to the centre.

Baldwin said the “big strategic difference was over the extent to which we wanted to win a People’s Vote and then win a referendum, or whether we wanted to use this extraordinary energy that we had built up to realign politics.

“I was in the former group. I understand why, but The Independent Group (TIG) and the Liberal Democrats, and indeed the SNP in a different way, sometimes saw the instability we were helping to cause in a political system and within Parliament as an opportunity for them.”

Baldwin says: “That sort of strategic tension was very clear by the end, because I think people like Roland Rudd and Hugo Dixon were of the view that we should be part of a realignment process.”

It is pretty much an open secret that many central figures in the People’s Vote campaign saw the whole business as more about rebuilding “centrist” politics, which was in a weak position in a polarised politics of the time.”

This may well be true, and given the long-standing views of ‘centrists’ hardly news. The issue is, what effect did it have on the Labour leadership? Unfortunately for gumshoe Hughes this is what Baldwin said of their efforts to get Labour to back a People’s Vote,

I think that was very difficult for Jeremy Corbyn and difficult for the Labour leadership. There was huge resistance from the Labour leadership to us, because we were seen as some sort of New Labour plot or new party plot. I think there was that element there. It certainly wasn’t an element which I wanted to encourage or have any part in, and I remember having some terrible meeting with Karie Murphy in the Leader’s Office where she is sort of jabbing her finger into my chest and saying, ‘Who the fuck are you and what are you doing?

When we didn’t back the TIGs and we didn’t take those opportunities to back early votes in the House of Commons on having a People’s Vote, which were merely designed to embarrass Corbyn, we made a lot of headway with the Labour leadership – and people like John McDonnell in particular- in persuading them that we really were what we said we were. We were a campaign for a People’s Vote and not anything else. But it took a big effort.’.

Brexit Witness Archive – Tom Baldwin – UK in a changing Europehttps://ukandeu.ac.uk › Brexit Interviews

Influencing the Labour Party

We shall leave others to delve further.

But Hughes goes further. He insinuates that the Labour Policy was led into a snare as part of a deliberate plan.

When Labour was finally persuaded to adopt a “second referendum” policy, Rudd used his control to end the campaign, sacking key staff, so the People’s Vote would not actually campaign in the 2019 election.

It looked like a crude trap: Labour was persuaded to adopt an electorally disastrous policy, then left to crash without support by the people who did the persuading.

Labour’s policy was not exactly the same as the Morning Star newshound asserts, “Labour will give the people the final say on Brexit. Within three months of coming to power, a Labour government will secure a sensible deal. And within six months, we will put that deal to a public vote alongside the option to remain. A Labour government will implement whatever the people decide.”.

Most people think that Labour sounded neither fish nor fowl, a marriage between a carp and a rabbit. Nobody was satisfied. Nobody felt enthusiastic. The stand was tolerated, at best.

Hughes claimed that the whole People’s Vote campaign was an operation to divide Labour, firstly to win the leadership, and then and to pave the way for a centrist re-alignment. Few would underestimate the capacity of, say, the Liberal Democrats and micro-party Change UK to dream of an Emmanuel Macron style shake down of British politics. But it was just that, a voyage to the dream-time followed by tiny numbers of people, a handful of the ‘target’ MPs, and even smaller numbers of Labour members.

Labour took the policy stand it did as a result of pressure from the membership, overwhelmingly anti-Brexit, and a majority of Labour voters, also opposed to Leave. There were Labour Conference debates. During them internationalists from groups such as the radical left led Another Europe is Possible – who were amongst the leading forces opposed to tearing the country from the EU – met the brick wall of people aligned with figures like Kate Murphy, Andrew Murray and the Leader’s Office (LOTO) – from which the above compromise position emerged.

For Hughes, who is absorbed in his own nightmare, there was one result. Standing against the Bosses’ Brexit was a harmful diversion:

It diverted Labour from it’s “Corbynite” left-wing, populist themes. And it lumbered Labour with a policy that ensured the party would be defeated in the face of Boris Johnson’s “Get Brexit Done” election campaign.

A few more nudges at the beginning of this piece and one could believe that Starmer was in on the cabal behind it all….

You can follow Ace-Reporter Hughes’ footsteps and read the full inside dope here:

Brexit Witness Archive – UK in a changing Europe

Tom Baldwin,

Written by Andrew Coates

November 13, 2021 at 2:15 pm

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. What the likes of Hughes and the Morning Star cannot get their heads round is the simple fact that the overwhelming majority of Corbyn-supporting Labour members (especially the youth) opposed Brexit. The Morning Star has very occasionally made reference to this unfortunate fact, and attempted to deal with it by describing Labour’s membership as “ill educated” and/or “liberals”. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the Morning Star thinks Corbyn should have gone further and openly defied (rather than bureaucratically undermining) the memership.

    Jim Denham

    November 13, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    • If Corbyn helps the Tories deliver Brexit, it will be a disaster for Labour
      Michael Chessum
      2019.
      A majority of Labour voters want to remain. The leadership should not squander its political capital

      Many people on the left seem oddly relaxed about the fact that the Labour leadership is in negotiations with a Tory government about presenting a joint proposal to deliver Brexit. Perhaps this is because they know something I don’t; that the negotiations will definitely fail, for example. Perhaps this is a dance that neither participant can be seen to break up, while each gazes blankly over the other’s shoulder and waits for the music to end. After all, Theresa May needs something to show to the European council when she asks for her extension.

      But this should not be a relaxing situation for the left, and especially not for supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. It is one thing for leftwing leavers to be nominally on the same side as Boris Johnson, or for Labour remainers to march on the same demonstration as Anna Soubry. It is quite another to actively reach out across party lines to deliver Brexit under a Conservative prime minister. If warnings from history can cut through the fog of parliamentary process and summits about summits, perhaps we need to remember Ramsay MacDonald.

      There is no way that a compromise deal agreed by Corbyn and May could safely guarantee the workers’ rights and social protections currently enshrined in EU law, given that it is the stated policy of most likely future Tory leaders to tear them up and deregulate the economy. It would also betray Labour’s democratically agreed policy, which is to oppose a deal that does not meet its six tests, including that it should deliver “the exact same benefits” as EU membership. There is only one way to fulfil Labour’s political needs: to tie whatever comes out of these talks to a confirmatory public vote.

      Without being attached to a public vote, the delivery of a joint Brexit deal would precipitate a deep crisis for the Labour left. Labour would face a wave of frontbench resignations, and could probably not even rely on a majority of its MPs to vote through the deal. Labour’s rank and file, most of whom are now quietly unhappy and hoping for the best, would lose patience and trust. The level of rancour within the party and the left would terminally destabilise and isolate the Corbyn leadership.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/09/corbyn-tories-brexit-labour-voters

      Andrew Coates

      November 13, 2021 at 5:43 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .

    A6er

    November 13, 2021 at 5:22 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: