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Posts Tagged ‘Brexit

Boris Johnson meets President Macron – French Media reactions, an Oaf preparing for a No Deal Brexit.

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Essuie mes godasses Manu! 

The extreme right Express ‘reports’:

Macron ‘got what he wanted’ – PM ‘tricked’ by French President into ‘behaving like an oaf’

EMMANUEL MACRON has been accused of “tricking” Boris Johnson as the British Prime Minister was filmed placing his foot on a table when the two leaders sat down during a meeting in Paris.

One wrote: “And Macron got the photo he wanted and our Prime Minister is once again the fool.”

Another added: “The oaf Johnson got tricked into behaving like an oaf in front of photographers. Only other oafs will think Johnson won this one.”

A third said: “He fell for it! And the picture looks just as we expect from this clown ‘cos he has form for being a fool.”

In keeping with the festive mood Le Monde’s main story on Johnson today (website) is this:

Boris, Jo, Rachel et les autres… L’incroyable famille Johnson

Boris, Jo, Rachel and the others, the Unbelievable Johnson Family.

Par 

Libération strikes a more serious note by headlining,

(Freely translated: Spinning in the Void Boris Johnson Turns to a Hard Brexit).

 

The chances of a “hard Brexit”, an exit from the European Union without agreement, “are of the order of one to one million,” prophesied on June the 29th Boris Johnson while still candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party . Yet a no deal” seems yet closer and closer. “All the objective elements are there, notes Aurélien Antoine, professor of public law at the Jean-Monnet University of Saint-Etienne and director of the Brexit Observatory. Postponements of the release date, the coming to power of Boris Johnson, the recruitment of customs officers in France, the recall of British officials in Brussels: on one side or the other, we prepared for it. “

 

The centre-right Le Figaro has this:

 

In the meantime the Hard Brexit supporting Morning Star, self-identifying as Jeremy Corbyn’s Best Friend, publishes a heartfelt appeal for ‘real politics’ and not voting in any referendum on the issue, from an inner city youth (King’s College London),

Second referendum? Not in my name

I’m a young person who would’ve voted to remain – here’s why I don’t want to ‘have my say’ in a second referendum, writes HECTOR

Brexit has always been an issue which divided the nation in half. The notion continually pushed by both of these campaigns, that every individual in our diverse and eclectic nation stands staunchly behind the polarised positions, of either a cliff-edge Brexit or overturning the result of the referendum, lacks any nuance and is a ridiculous generalisation.

In fact, I feel I am in a silent majority: those who just want a return to real politics

…..

He concludes:

That’s why, as a young person who would’ve voted to Remain, I say, no, I don’t want to have my say in a second referendum.

By contrast:

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Socialist Worker says Labour should, “not give into Right” and back Remain in the EU.

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Don’t Give Into Right and Oppose Brexit Says SWP.

Sometimes, happy days, not to say,  months, you forget that the SWP exists.

But the pro-Brexit far-left is still there.

They show no signs of regretting their furious campaign for the – Hard Right – Brexit.

It’s one of the best kept secrets in politics that the SWP have thriven and recruited in the mass people’s movement to take back control and support Brexit.

As they  said, ““The outcome of the referendum represents a revolt by millions of working class people against years of austerity and economic decline”. Socialists and the Leave vote—a (brief) reply to Sean Leahy

They added, ” how can things possibly get worse?”

As Johnson’s plans wreak havoc they say, “Nothing to so with us. We are revolutionary socialists and can’t share the blame for anything.”

Hobson chose for them, and they cannot be blamed for their choice, actions, or vote.

Tory plan for Brexit is a threat to ­two million EU migrants

Latest Socialist Worker.

Whether you voted for this or not we should all defend migrants’ rights writes Tomáš Tengely-Evans.

Anti-racists—whether they voted Racist Leave or Remain—have to fight to defend and extend freedom of movement.

(Note: some of this may have been slightly rewritten).

The same Socialist Worker has this:

Corbyn’s confusion over the European Union emboldens the right

Labour has been caught in a bind since the EU referendum in 2016. Many working class people—the people it looks to for votes—support leaving the EU.

But a vocal set of right wing Labour MPs want to push the party towards opposing Brexit.

They support the EU because they like its pro-privatisation, pro-austerity rules that look after big business.

They’re increasingly cheer-led by prominent left Labour supporters, and backed by the Labour Party’s membership.

The Labour left now largely sees backing Remain as the only progressive response to the Tories’ racist, right wing version of Brexit.

The SWP offers this advice to Labour,

The anti-austerity, radical-sounding message that worked so well for Labour in 2017 is at risk of being drowned out.

Where demonstrations and action on the streets against the Tories could have dominated, opposition has focused on parliamentary manoeuvres and inter-party wrangling.

This is the right’s terrain—the left is always weaker on it.

The bulk of Corbyn’s speech on Monday—attacking austerity and tax cuts for the rich, promising more for ordinary people—got almost ignored by the press.

The longer Corbyn spends giving into the right over the EU, the more he allows them to set the agenda and sideline left wing politics.

People may have noticed that the article says “The Labour left now largely sees backing Remain as the only progressive response to the Tories’ racist, right wing version of Brexit.”

Some might observe that they are claiming that we are “cheering”  on the right.

In the heat of the struggle, in the exuberant mobilisations to “take back control” and back Brexit, the SWP can perhaps be forgiven their annoyance at the pro-remain left.

Nobody could possibly accuse them of stinking opportunism in seizing on this effect of their vote and claiming that they opposed it all along:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

August 21, 2019 at 12:10 pm

New Left Review Tackles Brexit, from ‘anti-systemic’ parties to Corbyn.

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From Brexit Knocks to Corbyn.

Writing after the EU Referendum New Left Review editor Susan Watkins found time to pontificate on the “solipsistic and civilizational” reactions of those who regretted the victory of the Leave camp. She observed, with a cooled head, in tones echoing the French self-appointed speaker for La France périphérique,  Christophe Guilluy, ” the ressentiment of globalization’s losers.” ” Leave voters were markedly more pessimistic about their prospects and those of their children “

Watkins continued, “nearly 70 per cent thought Brexit couldn’t make things any worse.” And yet, she wistfully noted, ” the victory of British (read: English) nationalism has revealed the emptiness of its symbols: Rule Britannia, Mother of Parliaments, Royal Navy, Going It Alone, Dunkirk Spirit—all that has gone. “

Looking to the future, and echoing the words of her partner Tariq Ali, who used the vehicle of Venezuela state media, Telesur to explain that he was ‘Pleased’ Brexit Has Given EU ‘Big Kick’ up ‘Backside'” she concluded,

The Brexit vote doesn’t mean state break-up, yet. Still less the downfall of Brussels. For now, though, it is plain that Blairized Britain has taken a hit, as has the Hayekianized eu. Critics of the neoliberal order have no reason to regret these knocks to it, against which the entire global establishment—Obama to Abe, Merkel to Modi, Juncker to Xi—has inveighed. Which will ultimately prove more important, and what the side-effects of each will be, remains to be seen.

From the Intergalactic Senate Perry Anderson opined in 2017 that,

No other European country has been so dramatically polarised by region, between a bubble-enclosed, high-income metropolis in London and the southeast, and an impoverished, deindustrialised north and northeast where voters felt they had little to lose in voting for Leave (crucially, a more abstract prospect than ditching the euro), whatever happened to the City and foreign investment. Fear counted for less than despair.

…suddenly granted, for once, a real choice in a national referendum, they returned in force to deliver their verdict on the desolations of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

The welcome knocks against the EU were the result of this:

Issues of identity could more readily trump issues of interest than in the rest of the EU. So the normal formula — fear of economic retribution outweighs fear of alien immigration — failed to function, bent out of shape by a combination of economic despair and national amour-propre.

Britain’s example should be followed,

For anti-systemic movements of the left in Europe, the lesson of recent years is clear. If they are not to go on being outpaced by movements of the right, they cannot afford to be less radical in attacking the system, and must be more coherent in their opposition to it. That means facing the probability the EU is now so path-dependent as a neoliberal construction that reform of it is no longer seriously conceivable. It would have to be undone before anything better could be built, either by breaking out of the current EU, or by reconstructing Europe on another foundation, committing Maastricht to the flames. Unless there is a further, deeper economic crisis, there is little likelihood of either.

Yet, as the title of the broad brush indicates, “Why the system will still win.”, so one can be confident that Anderson does not see the prospect of the ‘dual power’ of his 1970s flirtation with the left returning.

In the latest New Left Review a less abstract note is struck by the Deputy Editor of the journal,  Daniel Finn,

Brexit has thrown the whole political field into confusion, and Labour will struggle to achieve a majority in parliament after the next election, even if it emerges as the largest party. The conditions of its likely coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party, could include the extinction of any distinctive Corbyn project.

Corbyn, Labour and the Brexit Crisis

Daniel Finn Labour in the Brexit Vice

Finn continues, “All factors seem to point towards ultimate defeat, except one: the fact that Corbynism has already survived against the odds to reach its current position.”

There is an account of the Labour Party’s post-Corbyn successes and difficulties.

Brexit, the Vice in which Labour is squeezed, is introduced:

“While rational fears of what Brexit could mean under Tory leadership fuelled the wider Remain constituency” writes Finn” it was Blairite holdovers like Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell who dominated the leadership of the People’s Vote (pv) campaign, skewing its political orientation.

In the sketch this also stands out, ” Expecting the Remain side to win comfortably, the Labour right thought it safe to use the referendum campaign as a factional weapon, telling sympathetic journalists that Corbyn’s line was really an argument to leave the eu altogether.”

Many would note this detail: New Left Review Editorial Board member Tariq Ali, “Jeremy Corbyn ‘would be campaigning for Brexit if he was not Labour leader’, says long-time ally Tariq Ali.” May 2016).

Finn finally settles down to the famous clasp in which Labour is clamped.

Having admitted its importance he admits that the Labour left has its own internal differences.

…. Corbyn allies like John McDonnell and Diane Abbott favoured a change of strategy as well, along with some of the younger left mps (Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Kate Osamor). Divisions over Brexit cut across the left/right cleavage in the plp: Labour front-benchers such as the party chair Ian Lavery were strongly opposed to a second referendum, and McCluskey argued against a sudden shift towards the hard-Remain camp, but a group of mps that included staunch opponents of Corbyn like Stephen Kinnock and Ruth Smeeth also composed an open letter, denouncing the ‘toxic’ idea of a second referendum as a gift to the nationalist right.

The NLR writer – accurately – summarises a real dilemma,

 In any case, securing a referendum is one thing, winning it is quite another. The Labour leadership is being urged by friend and foe alike to adopt a goal that is neither more desirable nor even more achievable than its previous stance, in the name of avoiding electoral meltdown.

This is differently phrased to his comments in  ‘Jacobin‘ a few months ago (which combines the following with the all too familiar ranting tone of the US’s ‘leading ‘ left voice, this time about Paul Mason’s, ” shop-soiled reactionary agenda .”)

One of the main advantages of a “soft Brexit” deal — whatever its precise details — would be avoiding the need for a second referendum. Most advocates of such a vote have been shockingly complacent about their chances of victory, brushing aside opinion polls that suggest a rerun of the first vote would be too close to call.

Even if Remain won, the campaign would be even more rancorous than the first, and only a landslide result could truly settle the issue.

We may now be drifting towards a second referendum in any case. But Corbyn and Labour were right to try and avoid that outcome.

There has often been a tendency to defend Labour’s position in terms of electoral pragmatism — the need to balance between Remain- and Leave-voting sections of its base. This is perfectly legitimate in its own right: a left-wing government, implementing Labour’s 2017 manifesto or going beyond it, would make far more of a difference to people’s lives than staying in the EU.

But there was a wider political logic behind the party’s stand. The accusations of “sitting on the fence” leveled at the Labour leadership are misguided at best, malicious at worst. The best elements in the party, including Corbyn, recognized it would be a disaster if Leave vs Remain became entrenched as the main dividing line in British politics.

Electing a Labour Government Matters More Than Brexit

The entrenchment is real and has not been wished away by Corbyn or anybody else.

What of his Jacobin claim that, “if the Labour leadership does now pivot towards the second-referendum camp, it should be seen in a realistic light, as a major setback for the Corbyn project…

Finn – rewriting lightly this judgement – concludes this section,

Corbyn’s latest move fell some way short of the unqualified pro-Remain commitment his opponents were seeking. In July 2019, he announced that Labour would campaign to stay in the eu if that was the only alternative to no deal or ‘a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs’; on the other hand, if Labour formed a government before the Brexit deadline and had time to negotiate its own package, it would put that agreement to a popular vote, with Remain as the alternative choice. The new line could be made to work—but whether Corbyn’s inner-party opponents will allow that to happen is a very different question.

‘Falling far short’ may satisfy New Left Review, but not many others, perhaps he means “falling far short” of a major setback…

“Could be made to work”, pure Andersonese, is as clear as mud.

All three of Finn’s possible scenarios for a Labour government,  headlong retreat by conservative resistance”, a “reformist party that actually carries out reforms”, and (the improbable), ” return to the ideas that animated left-wing forces in the 1960s and 70s when they recognized the limitations of social-democratic rule” depend on a response to the issue of Brexit.

But few can escape the observation that the days of feeling satisfied at the “knocks” delivered by the Brexit vote, or calling for “undoing” the EU have passed.

This is surely worth flagging up in the inconclusive concluding sentence,

If Corbyn succeeds in taking power after the next election, he will have made his way past many formidable obstacles, but his greatest challenges will still lie ahead.

From a different part of the left one can outline some of the deeper difficulties that Labour and the left face:

  • This is not a trivial “culture war”. The days when the category of  ‘anti-systemic’ parties had any use obscures the change. The Brexit vote has been followed by the development of national populist current in British politics. From the Johnson-led Tory Party to the Party PLC, of Nigel Farage (following the example of a number of European ‘parties’ from Macron’s  La République En Marche, Italy’s Movimento 5 Stelle, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Rally –   lieu de rassemblement – la France insoumise , a business run from the top), embody currents which call for national sovereignty, free-market economics, and antagonism to the “anti-nation”. The “empty symbols” of Rule Britannia, national “amour propre” not only moblised the Leave vote, they have become the foundations of this politics. A far-right fringe is now actively targeting the “collaborators” who wish to Remain.
  • WIthin the Corbyn camp the continuing influence of a pro-Brexit constituency.  But radical hostility to the “hayekised” EU, and calls to represent the “impoverished” deindustrialised  regions, the ‘left behind’, has not been the basis of a serious economic and social programme. They cannot recreate the labour movement of the 1970s. As the Accelerationist Manifesto pointed out in 2013  ” There can be no return to Fordism. The capitalist “golden era” was premised on the production paradigm of the orderly factory environment, where (male) workers received security and a basic standard of living in return for a lifetime of stultifying boredom and social repression. Such a system relied upon an international hierarchy of colonies, empires, and an underdeveloped periphery; a national hierarchy of racism and sexism; and a rigid family hierarchy of female subjugation. For all the nostalgia many may feel, this regime is both undesirable and practically impossible to return to.”
  • The lingering influence of  ‘sovereigntist’ politics on the British left, one of the principal poles of the pro-Brexit, Lexit, current, creates deeper difficulties. Many of their figures have followed that of its European counterparts.In the absence of a real prospect of “striking real blows at the roots of capitalist power, provoking a crisis within the state machine, and relying upon mass movement” (cited by Finn as the “least likely” of the results of a possible Labour government) they has turned inward. It cannot rely only on the “folk politics of localism” and memory of the “real” working class. Parts of this left has drifted towards a “red brown” cocktail of hostility towards “rootless cosmopolitans”. The leader of probably the biggest post-war left coalition, Respect, George Galloway, is now an open ally of Nigel Farage. Far from being at antipodes to National Populism the Sovereigntist left is in danger of becoming its twin.
  • A left based on transformative democracy has also emerged. As Another Europe is Possible says,”A British exit from the EU would have a seriously detrimental impact on the free movement of people; trade union and human rights; environmental protection; international cooperation; and a host of other vital issues. While, at the very least, the EU is in desperate need of a democratic overhaul, an exit at the current time would boost right wing movements and parties and hurt ordinary people in the UK. European politics has been dominated by neoliberal thinking for far too long – as recent events in Greece brutally demonstrate. But changing this means working to strengthen anti-austerity movements across all of Europe – not walking away. Another Europe is Possible is a campaign for a radical “in” vote. Our campaign will put the case for staying in the EU independently of Cameron and big business, opposing any part of a “renegotiation” that attacks workers’, migrants’ or human rights. We will combine campaigning for an in vote with arguing for an alternative economic model, maintaining European citizens’ rights to live and work across the EU, and for far-reaching democratic reforms of European institutions.
  • This position stands, and is a better guideline for left politics than delight at the EU being given a “kick up the backside” or celebration of ‘anti-systemetic’ parties without any positive emancipatory politics.

Finn is a specialist in Irish politics.

Perhaps he would care to develop – the present article does not –  the theme of how  EU demands for “no room for unilateral exit from the ‘backstop’ designed to prevent a hard border on Irish soil.” have become the centre of the Brexit wars…

Or this:

Written by Andrew Coates

August 20, 2019 at 1:26 pm

Communist Party of Britain Calls to Reject “Hysteria” about No-Deal Brexit which offers “new arrangements with the EU, China and other countries”.”

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Workers Unite Behind Communist Call for ‘no-deal’ Brexit, ” Labour government could then seek new arrangements with the EU, China and other countries.”

The Communist Party of Britain, who counted amongst their number until recently Andrew Murray, one of the Jeremy Corbyn’s key advisers on Brexit, and which runs the Morning Star, warns against a national unity government.

Their view on Corbyn’s offer of a Caretaker Government is not known but they favour a No Deal Brexi which is the reason widely given for this call.

The CPB’s Red-Brown allies in the Full Brexit (see below) are more forthright retweeting this which implies dropping the effort.

 

In other words the Full Brexit wants Brexit come what may.

 

 

Here is the CPB’s statement.

Left and Labour must resist ‘Very real threats’, say Communists

The labour movement and the left face three very real threats from the British ruling class, Mollie Brown declared at the Communist Party’s political committee on Wednesday (August 14).

Firstly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson could present himself at a snap General Election as the ‘hero of Brexit’ who either delivered it on October 31 or failed in an heroic attempt and so needs a fresh mandate to succeed. Secondly, a so-called ‘government of national unity’ could be formed which closes down normal parliamentary processes in order to derail Brexit. Thirdly, if he remains Tory Prime Minister, Johnson will almost certainly try to use a ‘no-deal Brexit’ to be a closer economic, political and military alliance between Britain and a very right-wing US government led by the likes of President Trump,Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and foreign policy advisor John Bolton.

The overriding strategic aim of the capitalist class and its politicians in all the main parties is to prevent the election of a left-led Labour government free from EU single market rules to pursue left and radical manifesto policies’, Ms Brown told the meeting. She urged Labour to fight for an immediate General Election with a pledge to respect the EU referendum result and take Britain out of the EU on October 31 or at the earliest possible time if it has not already happened.

Rejecting the ‘hysteria’ being whipped up by right-wing and pro-establishment politicians and media against a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, Ms Brown said a Labour government could then seek new arrangements with the EU, China and other countries. ‘Only a left-led Labour government would seek to enhance mutually beneficial relations which respect the rights of all workers, citizens and consumers and enable the British, Scottish and Welsh governments to use their new post-Brexit powers to build a productive, sustainable and equitable economy’, she concluded. Britain’s Communists welcomed the formation of the broad-based ‘LeFT’ alliance in favour of leaving the EU and fighting to transform Brexit into a people’s exit that will open the path to socialist policies.

This is their full position on a No-Deal Brexit (January)

Communist Party calls for Brexit on World Trade Organisation terms

BRITAIN should leave the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms to free a future Labour government from single market rule, the Communist Party declared at the weekend.

And, ‘Britain should leave the EU on WTO terms’, Communists propose.

The Communist Party executive concluded that any revamped Withdrawal Agreement would continue to bind Britain to the ‘big business freedoms’ of the EU Single Market, which would obstruct any future British government’s efforts to promote infrastructure investment, manufacturing industry, economic planning, public ownership, regional development, public sector procurement and VAT reforms and a labour market that ensures full rights for all workers.

‘Locking Britain into the EU Customs Union would make any such agreement even worse’, Robert Griffiths explained, ‘because it would outlaw import regulation to protect strategic industries such as steel, while also impeding a mutually beneficial fair trade policy with developing countries’.

Socialist Resistance describe the real challenges ahead,

We are facing an unprecedented confrontation between government, Parliament, and people. Gordon Brown and Dominic Grieve have both described it as the biggest constitutional crisis since the English civil war of 1642 (no less), that will be launched next month in advance of the October 31 deadline.

Labour strengthens position

In response, Jeremy Corbyn has now written to the other opposition parties and remain Tories to say that Labour will table a motion of no confidence in the government as soon as it is clear that it would win, and that in the event of this being successful Labour would seek form an interim administration with the aim of calling a general election. In that election, the letter says, ‘Labour will be committed to a public vote on the terms of leaving the EU including an option to remain’.

This throws down the gauntlet to the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the Greens and rebel Tories, at a time when remain MPs have been discussing a government of national unity led by the likes of Ken Clarke or Yvette Cooper. The letter’s clear commitment to a second referendum in the context of a general election is a major step forward in Labour policy and opens up clear battle lines with the Brexiteers and the hard right.

They note,

The new Left Campaign, launched recently by the Morning Star and supported by others on the left – such as Costas Lapavitsas, Kevin Ovenden, and Alex Gordon – is dedicated ensuring that Britain leaves the EU on October 31, and is completely uncritical of the no-deal Brexit being planned by Johnson and oblivious (apparently) to the racist, hard right, neoliberal nature of the exit they are supporting. They have been urging Jeremy Corbyn (fortunately unsuccessfully) to end any support for a second referendum and make a radical case for Britain staying in the European Union under the terms on offer.

They continue,

Since a successful no confidence vote would produce an election before October 31 that the Tories think they would lose, Johnson’s special advisor, Dominic Cummings has proposed a different and completely outrageous reading of the Act. He argues that since the date of such an election is the prerogative of the Prime Minister, Johnson should ignore a no-confidence vote, stay in office, and call a general election with a date that would ensure that it concluded after October 31 giving the Tories a better chance of winning by claiming that they had implemented the 2016 referendum vote.

Any attempt by Johnson to bypass Parliament and people will not be easy, or even achievable, however slick the Downing Street operation. A majority of both the population and MPs are against it, and opposition is growing as the implications become ever more clear. The Commons Speaker John Bercow has said, speaking in Edinburgh, that it is possible for MPs to block an exit on October 31, and he will strain every bone in his body to ensure that Parliament’s voice is heard.

Jeremy Corbyn rightly branded this, in a letter to the cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill on August 8, as “an unprecedented, unconstitutional, and anti-democratic abuse of power”. He went on to demand from Sedwill clarification of the rules surrounding ‘purdah’ which are designed to prevent an incumbent government from taking major policy decisions during an election campaign to the detriment of opposition parties.

He also asked Sedwill to confirm that in the event that Britain becomes required to leave the EU under the terms of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act during an election campaign, that the government would avoid this by seeking an extension to article 50 in order to allow an incoming government to take a decision of Brexit on the basis of the result. “Forcing through no deal Brexit against a decision of Parliament”, he said, “and denying the choice to the voters in a general election already under way, would be an unprecedented, unconstitutional, and anti-democratic abuse of power by a Prime Minister elected, not by the public, but by a small number of Conservative Party members.

 

No doubt in their push for a Hard, No Deal Brexit, the CPB would dismiss this as “hysteria”:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

August 16, 2019 at 11:24 am

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

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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

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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:

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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.

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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

 

 

The Bizarre pro-Brexit (‘Lexit’) World of US Left Magazine Jacobin.

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Image result for Jacobin brexit

Jacobin, promoter of “a solipsistic dialogue between wings of the ex-SWP and dyed-in-the-wool haters of the EU.”

The US magazine Jacobin claims to be the voice of the American Radical left.

Correction,  it modestly calls itself,  “a leading voice of the American left.”

One of its traits is the way it has presented the left case for Brexit in the UK as the ‘left’ position.

It has published, this year alone, We Need a Labour Brexit, by Costas Lapavitsas of the red-Brown front, the Full Brexit and a minuscule Greek grouplet whose names escapes me for the moment.

Dawn Foster One of the last defenders of Jeremy Corbyn’s isolated position was given space to assert,

The sensible route, currently being followed by Labour, would be backing the vote to rule out crashing out of the European Union with No Deal, and arguing for the least harmful exit to the European Union and resolution of our current impasse, which may still include a vote on whether to accept May’s deal or remain in the European Union.

After the Peterborough by-election she claimed.

Keeping to party policy on Brexit while cultivating the skills and activist numbers that helped shock the pundits in 2017 — these hold the key to any potential Labour general election victory.

Apparently Party Policy is whatever Foster thinks it is – but not anything to do with opposing a Hard Brexit advocating Remain.

Richard Seymour, somebody as distant from the daily struggles of the UK left as it is possible to be, was given space in June to ignore the left support for the pro-EU Remain and Transform left.

The problem is, Labour and the wider left haven’t really had a proper discussion about Europe since the 1980s, when Labour abandoned its critique and became a pro-European party. The idea was that the EU’s mild regulations would protect workers from the worst of Thatcher and, later, New Labour. Corbyn retained his Euroscepticism, and so did some parts of the labor movement, like the RMT union. But this had little influence.

So, when the Brexit referendum came up, it wasn’t a debate that arose on the Left or in the working class. It was a fight between two factions of the Right. Because of that, and because he needed the cooperation of the parliamentary Labour Party, Corbyn agreed to campaign to Remain in Europe in 2016.

Jacobin claims to be on the radical left.

Without going into the complexities of support and opposition within Labour for Brexit, the electoral calculations, and the claim that Corbyn has kept the Labour Party together by his fence-sitting stand, this is the line up of the radical left in the UK on the issue.

Lexit, the People’s Brexit, was a minority view, held by groups like the Communist Party of Britain, the marginalised Socialist Workers Party the remnants of Counterfire (a SWP spinter), the crisis-riven Socialist party of the splintered Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), the Spiked initiated red-brown front, the Full Brexit (a coalition of Brexit Party supporters, left sovereigntists and believers in funny money (New Monetary Theory) , the centre right Blue Labour, some traditional right-wingers of Labour Leave, and the Arron Banks funded Trade Unionists Against the EU, not to mention the Brexit Party voting Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist). Oh, and another one of the tiny splinters from the SWP, Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century (rs21).

By contrast Another Europe is Possible, which backs calls for a Third Referendum,  has the support of the Green Party, the Editor of Red Pepper, Open labour (a centre-left group), a group of Labour MPs, Love Socialism, Rebuild Britain, Transform Europe is a group of socialist Labour MPs fighting to stop Brexit and transform Britain, radical left groups, such as Socialist Resistance, the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, Left Unity, Chartist Magazine. The linked campaign, Labour for a Socialist Europe, has support in Labour constituencies. Other groups, such as Red Flag also oppose Brexit, strongly.

We have some impact.

This week readers of Jacobin are treated to this article, oddly reproduced on the internationalist site, Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières.

Boris Johnson, Brexit, UK Crisis… and the Left? – Socialism After the United Kingdom

AN INTERVIEW WITH NEIL DAVIDSON

This is the principal message (we leave it to others to steer through the rocks of the comments about navigating “the messy politics of national identity”).

Brexit has thrown the British ruling class, its parties, its state, and really its existence as a nation-state into crisis. But this won’t necessarily play out in the favor of the working class and oppressed groups, unless the Left is prepared to take advantage of the crisis as an opportunity to put forward an alternative socialist agenda.

AS
So that raises the question of what the Left should do amidst the seemingly unending Brexit crisis.

ND
To be honest we’re in a very difficult situation. Unlike in the Scottish independence referendum, the radical left failed to hegemonize the argument for Leave. Consequently, the center left immediately associate you with Farage and the right. It becomes even impossible to talk about the EU and its actual nature because all opposition to it is wrongly identified with that of the populist right.

Aside from the barefaced cheek of somebody from the fringes of the fringes talking for ‘the left’, Davidson is one of those who have tried to explain away their support for what was rightly predicted to be Hard Right Brexit bringing in its wake a Carnival Of Reaction.

That is the simple reason by Brexit is identified with the national populist right: it is the politics of that right.

This is now the view of the overwhelming majority of the left, moderate to radical, social democratic, democratic socialist, green left,  to democratic Marxist.

To get a grip on Davidson’s background here are some of his previous witherings and turnings (extracts),

After Brexit

No, Britain is neither on the eve of the October Revolution nor in the last days of the Weimar Republic (note by TC: sigh of relief! ) . There were working-class voters on both sides and they had both good and bad reasons for voting the way they did. Trotsky used to quote Spinoza to the effect that we should neither laugh nor cry but understand so, therefore, let us try to understand the class forces involved.

First, socialists have to accept the result of the referendum, in the same way that we would have expected others to accept the result of the Scottish referendum if it had been Yes. The idea of ignoring it, or running the referendum again until “we” (i.e. the Guardian-reading middle classes) get the “right” result (i.e., the one most of the British and global ruling class want), is deeply undemocratic—although there are many precedents in the history of the EU. The starting point should instead be to campaign for the right of all migrants currently in the UK—whether on an EU passport or not—to remain, and in the longer term, to fight for open borders regardless of the UK’s or its component’s relationship to the EU.

The EU may break up of its own internal contradictions over the long term. In any event, that kind of collapse—the result of structural failure rather than conscious intervention—is unlikely to benefit the working class. No, it will have to be destroyed, and perhaps the most serious argument facing the European Left at the moment is to convince a majority of comrades of this necessity.

So, a man who thinks the European Union should be “destroyed” is, for a US audience, presented as spokesperson for ‘the left’.

Many people consider that this  distorted coverage – that is, ignoring the influential and large left internationalist side for Remain and Transform,   may be due to Jacobin’s European Editor. he is somebody, somebody with great merits, but a sad personal history of conflict, one feels his pain,  with much of the European left and particularly the forces making up Another Europe is Possible in Britian.

But this does not excuse misrepresentation on an heroic scale of the political line up in the Brexit conflict in Britain. Jacobin’s articles on the topic are, frankly, a solipsistic dialogue between wings of the ex-SWP and dyed-in-the-wool haters of the EU.

Academics, the Communist Party of Britain and Fellow Travellers, Counterfire, Union Officials and Eddie Dempsey Launch “Grass Roots” Campaign to Fight for Brexit.

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Communists Launch Campaign as Alternative to “internationalist and liberal” Remain and Transform Left.

The Communist Party of Britain has got round to launching its own pro-Brexit campaign.

As Luke Cooper says, it’s ten weeks before Johnson and his cronies intend to lead a come-what-may hard Brexit backed by Donald Trump

Some suggest that the Spiked/RCP Full Brexit Red-Brown Front, which some CPB people backed,  has become too toxic to sustain….

This initiative is backed by a variety of academics, trade union officials, from  CPG fellow traveller circles, Counterfire’s own friends, a handful of Labour Party Brexit types, Eddie Dempsey (said to be its leading voice), and even one (very odd) Green.

 

It is backed by the CPB’s house daily.

Editorial: The new LeFT Brexit campaign is a force for solidarity and understanding

This is a heartfelt plea by the – rightly – marginalised forces playing at a People’s Brexit while the only actually existing Brexit Isis the hard Right its supporters in the ERG wanted all along.

Currently only two perspectives are being projected in the press. The pro-EU position is portrayed as internationalist and liberal while Leave supporters are identified with Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump.

Trumpeting the move by the boycott Labour (in the European Elections) CPB the Morning Star asserts,

And anything that divides the working-class movement and weakens its unity also threatens our democracy — because in a class society like ours it is only this collective solidarity that provides a barrier against the wealth and power of the few.

The new Leave campaign provides a voice for that class solidarity. It represents the silent workplaces denied state aid because of the EU’s competition laws. It explains that our derelict regions and crisis-ridden social services, in Britain and across the EU, are the result of EU austerity policies that imposed the costs of the bankers’ crisis on working people.

In defence of its campaign to divide the labour movement, and support a Hard Brexit under WTO rules (the CPB official position), the editorial concludes,

The new campaign is therefore an important first step. It will be successful if it is firmly based in the trade union and labour movement and linked to active campaigning against industrial closure, precarious working, community impoverishment and the defence of services.

In doing so it will be a force for solidarity and understanding and thus for redeveloping the power of working-class unity essential for our democracy.

The consequences of not doing so, of a working class divided, should be a concern to all.

Here is the declaration of intent.

Leave – Fight – Transform: Founding Statement

The LeFT Campaign is a new grassroots network of socialists, trade unionists and community activists, committed to democracy, internationalism and socialism – and making sure the 2016 EU referendum result is implemented

To develop the potential of this moment, the left must ensure the 2016 referendum result is implemented, so that the UK breaks with the treaties, institutions and laws of the EU as well as the structural racism of Fortress Europe.

To shape the 21st century in a way which advances the interests of the working class, in all its rich diversity, to begin to turn the tide on the environmental crisis, and to extend democracy into all aspects of people’s lives, the left must demand a break with the status quo. We need to leave the EU and transform society.

You can read the list of the supporters via the above link.

Some examples:

Robert Griffiths (General Secretary Communist Party of Britain, Tony Conway (CPB   Convenor of ARAF – a BCP body), Prof Mary Davis (CPB) , Costas Lapavitsas (UCU, SOAS University of London. Sectarian Political Dabblers Party), Kevin Ovenden (Former George Galloway Bagman, Counterfire), Feyzi Ismail (Counterfire, UCU, SOAS University of London), George Hoare (Writer: Spiked)

 

Leading the new campaign is Eddie Dempsey with his own unique unity strategy:

 

Here.