Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Search Results

Labour Activists Call to Fight No Deal Brexit as Morning Star and the Red Brown Front Back Pushing Hard Brexit Through.

with one comment


Turning the Tide Against Brexit.

Today the Morning Star, Jeremy Corbyn’s self-appointed Best Friend, carries this Editorial.

The writer claims that efforts to prevent a No Deal Brexit through Parliament are misplaced, if that’s not too mild a way of putting it.

Pious observations about “parliamentary sovereignty” and repeated bids by the Commons to “take back control” of the Brexit agenda have not impressed a public that sees through the democratic rhetoric to the anti-democratic reality — that these have been bids to frustrate implementation of the largest democratic vote in Britain’s history, the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

The key sentences that follow are these, attacking a National Government.

This spectre, which is not on the cards, any more than Caroline Lucas’ all-woman Cabinet, is ‘hard right’ – as opposed to the actually existing Hard Right ERC led Boris Johnson Cabinet….

As with the “state of emergency” used by French President Emmanuel Macron to rule by decree and attack workers’ rights, it would enable the undemocratic imposition of a hard-right reactionary agenda.

A Labour pitch to defeat Johnson based on preventing a no-deal Brexit helps feed his chosen image as the champion of the 2016 popular mandate to leave.

This – ignoring the state of emergency needed to push through a No Deal Brexit –  is  followed by the following guff, “Labour should speak for the public’s anger against a Parliament that has thoroughly earned it…” whose important phrase is this demand “freedom from the pro-corporate competition rules imposed by the EU single market..”

In other words, Back Brexit, No Deal or Not.

This is what Brexit means

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, text

The Morning Star is not alone is misrepresenting the political line up over Brexit.

To cite one example, Left-wingers in other countries would get the impression from the pages of the US Jacobin, and other self-identifying left publications, who cover the issue by articles from various factions who have come out of the SWP and supporters of the Red-Brown Front, the Full Brexit, that the British radical left has roughly similar politics to the Morning Star on this issue.

But the majority of the UK the left is at the forefront of the right against a No Deal Brexit, and a large section is against Brexit tout court. 

This battle is gathering momentum.

The hard right has made this call:

Image may contain: 1 person, text

As the Independent reports today the left is counter-attacking.

Labour activists tell Corbyn he must back cancelling Brexit to stop UK crashing out with no deal

Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to back cancelling Brexit altogether if it is the only way to stop the UK crashing out of the EU, as another battle with Labour activists looms.

Almost 30 local parties are demanding Labour “support revoking Article 50 if necessary to prevent no deal”, in motions being submitted to its conference in September.

The move threatens to shatter the fragile peace over Brexit policy since the shadow cabinet agreed Labour would campaign for Remain in any fresh referendum held while the Conservatives are in power.

The policy was attacked as a fudge – after Mr Corbyn admitted Labour could yet fight a general election as a pro-Brexit party – and says nothing about wider strategy to stop the no deal Boris Johnson is threatening

Now the local Labour parties have signed up to a campaign to maximise pressure in Brighton in September, launched by the grassroots groups Another Europe is Possible, Labour for a Socialist Europe and Open Labour.

The motion “notes the vast majority of Labour members and voters oppose Brexit” and says the party still needs “a clear Brexit policy”.

It then states: “Labour will campaign energetically for a public vote and to Remain. We support revoking Article 50 if necessary to prevent no deal.”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, a Labour MP backing the campaign, said: “No deal would be a catastrophic moment for the Labour Party and the people we represent. It would mean a huge economic crisis which the right wing of the Tory party would use to drive an agenda of deregulation.

“We must be willing to do absolutely anything to stop it – and of course that would mean, if we had to, whipping to revoke Article 50.”

And Michael Chessum, national organiser for Another Europe is Possible, said: “It’s not the tool we would choose, but if revoking is the only option left on the table to stop the disaster capitalists, Labour has to be willing to use it. There can’t be any fudge or ambiguity on that.”

This year, anti-Brexit activists are likely to make a commitment to revoking Article 50, if necessary, a “red line” in the marathon Sunday evening get-together of constituency parties, trade unions and affiliated groups.


In total, 50 constituencies have already voted to submit anti-Brexit motions to the Brighton conference, of which at least 29 explicitly call for the Article 50 notice to be withdrawn.

The Morning Star  has promoted an alternative campaign Leave-Fight-Transform.


LeFT: campaigning for Boris Johnson’s No Deal Brexit

Key figures in the CPB, its associated organisations and its milieu are well-represented – including CPB General Secretary Robert Griffiths. Some of the Labour Party signatories are very close to the CPB, eg Marcus Barnett and Eddie Dempsey (the latter is the one who said that Tommy Robinson supporters are “right to hate the liberal left”). It’s worth noting that these were the organisers of a campaign for people to boycott the European elections, ie to refuse to campaign or vote for Labour even – or it might be more accurate to say because of – the Brexit Party surge.

Some comrades have speculated that this new organisation was launched because a pre-existing one, “The Full Brexit”, was too discredited by a number of its founders supporting and in one case – James Heartfield – standing for, the Brexit Party. This group distinguished itself by publishing an article from two of its leading people denouncing Irish republican groups as “the armed wing of the European Union” and calling for violent British state action to crush their opposition to a hard border.

But TFB has been quick to get a statement out supporting and trumpeting its involvement in LeFT. And the initial LeFT signatories include Phil Cunliffe, a central participant in the same ex-Revolutionary Communist Party/Spiked network as Heartfield, fellow Brexit Party candidate (now MEP) Claire Fox et al – and himself a supporter of the Brexit Party! Plus another Spiked writer, George Hoare.

This is not an initiative any self-respecting socialist should have anything to do with.

It was therefore genuinely disappointing to see that LeFT’s signatories include a number of supporters of the anti-Stalinist (ex-SWP) socialist group RS21: I recognised the names Jen Wilkinson, Brian Parkin and Colin Wilson. It seems surreal that these comrades could put their names to such a thing.

The Red Brown Front (an alliance of sovereigntist left individuals, Counterfire supporters, the CPB, which runs the Morning Star, Blue Labour social conservatives,  and Brexit Party backers)  in the Full Brexit, backs this campaign.

This is the alternative:

This is also worth reading: Prominent Centrists and the Fiction of the White Working Class




Morning Star Warns Labour Against, “joining the hysteria over a no-deal Brexit.”

with 3 comments

Last Stand: Hard Brexiters Moblise inside the Labour Party – as advertised by the Full Brexit Red-Brown Front.

An academic as SOAS who has dabbled in politics, Lapavitsas  is a backer of the red-brown Full Brexit, which brings together ‘left’ anti-EU intellectuals with Brexit Party candidates.

In Spiked he has declared that, “The left must fight for a real Brexit” and in the pro-Brexit US magazine Jacobin the Professor has advised this year the Labour Party to adopt this line, “We Need a Labour Brexit“.

The national sovereigntist is also published in French in this text, Pour un Brexit de gauche  something that takes a claim to be on the ‘left’ at face value.

Lapavitsas spends much of his time attacking left wing internationalists opposed to Brexit.

He regrets, drawing no doubt on his reading of the ancient British Constitution, how things have deteriorated since the European Union medled with its ancient rights and liberties  embodied in the Crown, and passed the  Maastricht Treaty in 1992, .

To begin with, there is now, with the workings of

The dramatic loss of popular sovereignty (which)  underpins the mounting frustration of workers and the poor in the United Kingdom.

He claims that socialist politics are only possible within the sovereignty of nation states,

For Britain to adopt policies of this kind, it would be necessary to have popular control of the national levers of power, that is, genuine popular sovereignty.

There is no European demos, only national peoples, and nations and “popular will”. The ‘social liberalism’ he detects amongst the European young, is a purely national phenomenon, apparently.

The eminent scholar warned against anti-Brexit internationalists trying  to subvert the popular will and deny national sovereignty,

For the broader European left, open adoption of a Remain position by the Labour Party would deliver a body blow to the prospect of developing a radical socialist stance toward the European Union. It would be a triumph for the dominant neoliberal forces on the continent, and a tremendous boost for the authoritarian right, further removing the Left from grassroots opposition to the status quo of Europe.

“Command over national space” – a claim made without any reference to the international nature of markets, of production, of distribution, and of political decision-making – is the goal.

From this dominating position a left Brexit – led by a Labour that has rejected the majority opinion of its own members opposed to Leave  – will enable a socialist government to negotiate its own treaties,. From a position of strength, under the light touch of WTO rules, with the US and the EU, and create a true socialist nation state built on the solid rock of “popular control over the levers of power”.

Whatever they might be, and whatever this “control” might be, and whatever the new institutions to be designed to take over from the existing bourgeois state and capitalist economy.

Our ancient freedoms restored what limits could there be to accelerated socialism across the land?

Costas Lapavitsas has a lot of valuable experience on how to create this new order. Having briefly been an elected member of Syriza in the Greek parliament in January 2015 broke with them a few months later and became a supporter of this splinter group in Greece: Popular Unity.

He appears to have ended this important political intervention in August of that year (Hellenic Parliament).

Greeks seem not to think highly of Popular Unity.

This year it received in the July General Election this vote: 15,930 or 0,28% of the poll.

Here are more hard-line Brexiter tweets from the Morning Star/CPB.

This is a personal favourite.

The Morning Star Warns, (Editorial).

MPs’ votes against no-deal played a political role in laying the groundwork to justify further parliamentary action designed to stop such a departure — including by remaining in the EU if possible.

A no-confidence motion is not enough, since even after losing it Johnson could squat in No 10 while MPs tried to cobble together a new government that could command the confidence of the Commons.

If they cannot do this quickly enough he would be able to call an election, setting a date after October 31 so that Britain’s membership is already expired. If Johnson could keep hold of the leadership of his own party, having delivered Leave in the teeth of parliamentary opposition would give him a narrative that could sweep him back into office.

Labour has unfortunately helped pave the way for such arguments by joining the hysteria over a no-deal Brexit, giving the impression that it is a calamity worth preventing at all costs.

In other words, opposing a hard Brexit would be a bad idea for Labour.

The real calamity would be the defeat of the socialist left and of a Labour Party leadership whose programme represents the only serious attempt in British politics to grapple with the profound economic, social, environmental and democratic crises that have engulfed the Western world.

That would be achieved by any surrender of control of the Labour Party to the right.

The left ought to have no part in any “national government” stitch-up and be ready to take action against any MPs who connive at it.

Even a major break with a significant number of MPs leaving the party would do less damage than meek participation in such a government.

The EU and Brexit

First they say, ” forecasts of a catastrophe are wide of the mark”, then,


Britain is the world’s fifth biggest economic power. Most economic activity in Britain—around 80-85%—takes place independently of relations with the EU. Temporary and emergency arrangements could be negotiated, some in areas already covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and economic relations can always be conducted in line with World Trade Organisation rules. These insist upon extensive market access between member countries and, except in very limited circumstances, forbid discrimination against any particular country. Tariffs on each other’s products would be inconvenient—but Britain’s trade deficit with the EU means that the Treasury could reimburse exporters in full from the tariffs on EU imports and still make a profit.

In the absence of the Withdrawal Agreement or an agreed alternative, UK-EU trade relations would be conducted under general WTO rules which (1) guarantee market access between WTO member states in most circumstances; (2) disallow discrimination by one member state against another, unless a preferential trade agreement exists between them; (3) set universal limits on tariff or quota levels that can be imposed on imports; and (4) outlaw ‘dumping’ of under-priced exports on foreign markets.

Trading with the EU on WTO rules would free British governments to reduce tariffs with other countries and trading blocs which account for 55% (and rising) of Britain’s trade.

Outside the EU, Britain would nevertheless remain a full participant in more than 70 international organisations including the UN and its affiliated bodies, the World Trade Organisation, the G8, the IMF, the International Labour Organisation, the International Panel on Climate Change, the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, Interpol and NATO.

Lapavitsas: No Deal should have been the default position from the outset. It is an outrage that the government has not prepared the country for it. What have they been doing for two years?”

Morning Star: Brecon By-Election Shows Voters Moving Away from Remain and Blames ‘Sabotage” for Poor Labour Result.

with 4 comments

CR 2019 Summer.Front Cover

Communist Party of Britain (Organ, the Morning Star’) Recommends Looking Again at “Soviet Experiment”.

The Boycott Labour (in the recent European Elections)  Morning Star has its own unique take on the Brecon by-election.

Editorial: By-election shows Labour must return to its confident socialist message of 2017

THE result of Brecon and Radnorshire by-election shows two things.

First, that despite the massive media campaign, there has been no swing to Remain. Quite the reverse. Those voting on Thursday moved in the opposite direction.

Second, that Labour needs to restate the policies that almost won the last general election.

Pause for gulp,

Labour’s 5 per cent seems to have been the result of Labour supporters not voting — unsurprisingly given the relentless press campaign and open sabotage by Labour’s right wing.

This is why it is so essential for Labour to return to its confident socialist message of 2017.

And what might this be based on?

Quite correctly Jeremy Corbyn continues to argue that Britain should retain a strong relationship with the EU’s single market on issues of environmental and health standards and labour rights.

But at the same time he is clear that a resurgent progressive Britain cannot accept the EU’s neoliberal competition rules.

Conclusion, aka Flogging a Dead Lexit Horse.

A new labour movement campaign must be launched to rewin a left case for a progressive but independent relationship to the EU and ensure that Labour has a clear public-sector, pro-worker and democratic alternative — ready for when Boris is found out.

The Morning Star reflects the CPB’s strategic warnings about “saboteurs” during Theresa May’s Premiership: Britain’s political crisis, Brexit and the prospects for a Labour government

Instead of projecting the pro-EU “No Deal” position, it might have been better for Corbyn to insist on a different condition—namely, that she will call an immediate General Election. It has been clear all along that there are anti-socialist, pro-EU and pro-NATO Labour MPs who would try to use the EU withdrawal issue to undermine Corbyn’s position and create a party leadership crisis as well as sabotaging Brexit.

Their loyalty to capitalism, British imperialism, the EU, NATO and nuclear weapons far exceeds any commitment to the working class and the labour movement. They represent a serious obstacle to the election and future progress of a Labour government and any of its left-wing policies. But to remove them will require higher levels of mass struggle and labour movement politicisation to take place, in which the trade unions, the People’s Assembly, the peace movement, the Morning Star and the Communist Party have vital roles to play.

In the meantime the pro-European left is moblising: