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Posts Tagged ‘Europe

John McDonnell argues for UKIP Voters’ Veto on Labour Brexit Policy.

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Vetoed by UKIP Supporters, Says John McDonnell.

John McDonnell: Labour wants to push ahead with Brexit

On eve of conference, shadow chancellor defies calls for party to promise second referendum.

The Guardian Political Editor,    cites this,

Earlier, speaking as Labour prepares to gather in Liverpool for its annual conference, with Brexit high on the agenda, the shadow chancellor told the Guardian he would expect his party’s stance to be similar to the one it took in 2017.

“We would be in the same situation there, where we would be saying: we’re accepting that original vote; this is the sort of deal that we want,” McDonnell said.

“I really think people want this sorted. That means negotiating a deal that will meet people’s objectives. So you don’t get hung up on the semantics; you do the deal that will protect their jobs, and address some of the concerns that they had during the referendum.”

He underlined his scepticism about the idea of a vote on the final deal, which will be discussed in Liverpool after more than a hundred constituency Labour parties, and the Labour-supporting unions, called for it to be put on the agenda.

“The debate around the next manifesto will go on, but I really worry about another referendum,” he said.

I’m desperately trying to avoid any rise of xenophobia that happened last time around; I’m desperately trying to avoid giving any opportunity to Ukip or the far right. I think there’s the real risk of that. We’re not ruling out a people’s vote, but there’s a real risk, and I think people need to take that into account when we’re arguing for one.”

Stewart notes,

Much of Labour’s manifesto, if there was a snap poll, would probably be based on last year’s document, The Many, Not the Few, drafted by Corbyn’s policy chief, Andrew Fisher. But the final version would have to be approved by a committee of senior party figures at a so-called clause V meeting – and would be expected to take party conference resolutions into account.

And, apparently, Labour Policy will have to be approved or least found tolerable by the UKIP and the far-right…

The new Pamphlet from the Left Against Brexit says.

“Brexit is a hard right Tory project – the only way to resist it is from the left. This pamphlet puts forward our distinct, left wing reasons to oppose leaving the EU.”

It’s increasingly clear that there is no such thing as a ‘good Brexit’, let alone a ‘people’s’ or ‘left’ Brexit – and this reality is gradually becoming obvious to millions of people in Britain. Brexit, after all, has always been a right wing project. Ardent eurosceptics from Nigel Farage to Daniel Hannan have long harboured a nationalist dislike for the idea of European unity – a hostility that has always gone alongside an aggressive support for Thatcherism and an extreme free-market ideology that yearns to emulate the US by, for example, abolishing the NHS.

….

There is a distinct radical case for staying in the EU, which starts from the assumption we cannot light a path to a new society through nationalist division. Instead, we need to work together with our allies across Europe to realise a bold and transformative socialism.Radicals need to make an unromantic assessment of the tasks at hand across the continent. The EU has many negative qualities – just look at its treatment of Greece (page 29). But the solution to this can only be brought about – like so many issues we encounter in the twenty-first century – through international cooperation, not ‘going it alone’. Staying in the EU and working across borders to tackle the many problems the continent faces is the best and only viable option. The alternative is to roll the dice on a Tory hard Brexit and hope for the best. Faced with this choice, leadership from the left is now required.

(Introduction, Luke Cooper).

Download this essential Pamphlet!

  • Brexit and the hard right’s American dream . Nick Dearden
  • Free movement: a workers’ right Ana Oppenheim.Railways and the EU: time for the truth Manuel Cortes
  • Austerity and resistance in Europe.Marina Prentoulis
  • The EU, a ‘neoliberal project’? Niccolò Milanese
  • Corbynism and Europe. Mary Kaldor
  • Conclusion: Alena Ivanova and Michael Chessum

From the Conclusion.

The British left is at a crossroads unlike any other in its history. Just as the Corbyn moment gives us hope, the Brexit moment presents us with an unprecedented crisis. Domestically, we face an entrenched regime of deregulation combined with an emboldened far right whose anti-immigration narrative has soaked into the mainstream.

The choices we face are not unique to us. From the emerging splits in Germany’s Die Linke to the ‘sovereigntist’ approach of some on the French left, the temptation to give in to the politics of nationalism and border-building is stronger than ever.

Our strategy for battling Brexit and the rising far right starts from an understanding that only the left can win against the encroaching darkness. Only a transformative, socialist vision can compete with the politics of hate and the reality of social crisis. And the agents of change will be workers and ordinary people – in all their diversity – not the morally bankrupt establishment.

This analysis parallels this present Blog’s views on Sahra Wagenknecht’s Aufstehen and the French sovereigntist ‘left’. One can add that the Brexit ‘left’, which may be in a  position to dictate these view inside the Labour Party, may be visibly failing, but still needs to be defeated.

The alternative internationalist strategy of the Left Against Brexit needs active support.

As for the far-right, this is the best response:

It’s in this vein that Michael Chessum says that UKIP should not decide Labour Policy.

After May’s humiliation, Labour must seize the initiative on Brexit  (Guardian)

By backing a referendum on the deal, Corbyn can prevent a split in his party and lay the foundations for electoral success.

This should be a moment of opportunity for Labour and the wider left. The Tories’ Brexit agenda was never about restoring sovereignty to ordinary people – its purpose is to deregulate the British economy and bring us more in line with the American mode, permanently shifting the balance of power in society. By deploying a narrative about the economic crisis that blamed immigration falling living standards, the Brexit project aimed, via the means of a popular vote, to be on the winning side of history.

..

The Labour conference is likely to be dominated by this debate. After a summer in which Unite, the GMB and the TUC have slowly moved towards backing a fresh referendum, 150 motions have been submitted on Brexit. In spite of attempts to weaponise the issue against Corbyn, this is now a campaign led by the left – a grassroots surge centring on the need to defend migrants and free movement, protect the rights and prosperity of working-class people, and push back against the ideological project that Brexit represents.

Everyone now recognises that defeating the Tories’ Brexit agenda is Labour’s only path to government before 2022. There is a consensus that Labour should vote against May’s deal, if there is one, when it is presented to parliament. There is also a consensus that a general election and a radical Labour government is the goal of the strategy. But Labour needs to clarify what it would say about Brexit in any manifesto, and it needs to be clear about its demand if, as is likely, no general election happens. On both points, there is an inexorable logic that points towards a referendum on the deal.

This is a difficult time for the Corbyn project. On one flank, it faces the prospect of an SDP-style split that would fatally undermine Labour’s electoral prospects. On the other, it faces a support base that is up in arms about attempts by unions and the leadership to block open selections and enforce a higher threshold for leadership elections.

There is an alternative to a split, and to using the “party management” machine to crush the left’s own grassroots. By backing a referendum and endorsing a roadmap out of the nightmare of Tory Brexit, Corbyn can kill off the political pretext for a split from the Labour right. Instead of horse-trading with union leaderships and placating the parliamentary party, Corbyn can stick to his principles and make the case for democracy – in the party, and, ultimately, in the country.

We heartily endorse this analysis and these views.

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Brexit Bolsheviks Warn Against People’s Vote on EU.

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Image result for left against brexit

 

The pro-Brexit Bolsheviks are rattled.

Unable to point to any convincing case for their ‘People’s Brexit’, from Labour’s ability to influence the negotiations on leaving the EU to any popular movement to “bring back control” amongst the public, this morning their mouthpieces have been making dire warnings about the People’s Vote.

In an editorial this morning, Labour should resist mounting pressure to back another EU vote they warn,

Labour’s seismic advance in 2017 was down to it changing the terms of debate. It accepted the referendum result and fought for a government committed to a radical shift of power and wealth to working people, and it enthused millions.

That achievement could be thrown away if the party becomes a mouthpiece for those who want a return to the past.

In a piece rich in insults against those “who want to a return to the past”.This includes the “establishment”, a group which apparently does not include Boris Johnson, his wing of the Tories, and  pro-Brexit millionaire media, from Murdoch to the Mail. Citing cautious union leaders, who hesitate at a re-run of the EU vote, it manages to avoid the central issue which is the call for a ballot on the terms of Leave which the government reaches.

The Morning Star backs the RMT pro-Brexit stand, a non-Labour union which twice stood in European elections against the Party, with fringe groups such as the Communist Party of Britain (the publishers of the Star) and the Socialist Party with the slogan, ” No2EU — Yes to Democracy

The Morning Star/Communist Party of Britain (CPB) also believes in National Sovereignty (The necessity to regain national sovereignty )

They consider the Brexit in the context of a fightback against the “the erosion of sovereignty and self-government “.

The politics of the Counterfire are more radical.

They are fond of the writings of the Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukács. This is how one of their writers sees his ideas in today’s context,

Seen from the perspective of the actuality of the revolution, the question is how do we maximise the level of political organisation, confidence and radicalism across the mass of ordinary people; how do we turn what has traditionally been the second party of British capitalism into a transformative force; how do we weaken the power of the British state to resist this movement. Then the answer is very clearly Corbyn – and the mass rallies, mass membership, organisation of resistance to the PLP that is going on as part of the Corbyn movement. Then a question like Scotland is easy to answer – don’t be so blinkered as to worry about numbers in Westminster – the Scottish question is about fundamentally weakening the British state.

The ideas of the great Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukács offer insights into Labour‘s recent quandaries, finds David Moyles (2016)

Corbyn: momentum meets vertigo

In an article on the Counterfire site a few days ago Martin Hall argued that Betraying the referendum result would spell disaster for Labour and the left. (People’s Vote vs People’s Brexit )

Hall, after ramping up the din about negative media coverage of Corbyn and Labour, suggests that,

The noise level is now increasing, with the aim of changing the party’s position of supporting the result and arguing for a Brexit in the interests of working people. The division which has been there on the broad left ever since the result is now cohering into two contradictory positions: a People’s Vote, or a People’s Brexit. Let’s consider both in turn.

Two anti-Brexit groups in Labour are cited.

He outlines the views of the People’s Vote campaign, with bringing several trowels of different, opposing positions, into a single lump.

People’s Vote represent the continuity Remain position that is favoured by the vast majority of the British establishment. Let’s remember that the CBI, the City of London, the Treasury and the Bank of England all supported Remain, overtly or tacitly, and have vested interests in tying British capital into its current arrangements within the Single Market. The Tory Brexiteers simply want a version of free trade that leaves British capital unfettered by EU rules: both these nominally opposed groups favour the primacy of free trade, but one is essentially federalist, while one is lost in nostalgic dreams of revivifying empire.

In the totalising eye of Counterfire’s version of the revolutionary left, they all back “capital”. Will I say or will I go now? Who cares….

Yet, why should people waste so much time fighting over “nominally” opposed positions when they all support “free trade”, imperial dreams or not?

While waiting for an erudite article somewhere challenging this claim, looking at the different “fractions” of capital involved,  it is clear that the divisions, spoken first and foremost by politicians, are political: between the idea of exclusive sovereignty, against the EU “pooling” of sovereign powers.

The second position is that of the Left Against Brexit.

…. position is that Brexit will be a disaster, and that the road to socialism (or at least, some form of progressive democracy) lies in a long march through the institutions of the largest trading bloc in the world. The second element is that having a final vote on the deal and overturning party policy will not represent a perhaps fatal blow to the Corbyn project, both in terms of his position within the Labour Party and what such a decision would do to Labour in the polls, and looking ahead, in the next general election.

To start with if the left takes a position independent of “capital” it does not take a position independent of attempts to share, by  international agreements, the governance of capital – which is one of the functions of the EU. This may be only  a potential power in the hands of the left, but it is not replaced by withdrawing into a sovereign nation which has even less capacity to respond to the internationalisation of capital, beginning with trade,  and extending to production.

Hall might have bothered to look at the motions to the Labour Conference before writing his article.

Do they overturn Party policy?

No: they call for the 6 criteria for a Brexit deal.

They call for the rejection of a Brexit deal if Theresa May fails to meet them.

They call for a referendum on the outcome of the government negotiations.

Normal Motion for CLPs

Oppose Tory Brexit and win a radical Labour government

This CLP supports the earliest possible election of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn. The current government is putting Tory Party dogma first, not jobs first – and they have no mandate for their agenda.

We note and support Labour’s six tests for Brexit, which aims to ensure that the post-Brexit settlement preserves the benefits we currently get from collaboration with Europe, defends our rights and protections, and delivers for all parts of the UK. It is increasingly clear that the Tories’ Brexit deal will fail these tests.

We believe that only Labour can lead the British people into a progressive and economically sound relationship with Europe.The Brexit deal being pursued by Theresa May is a threat to jobs, freedom of movement, peace in Northern Ireland, and the future of the NHS and public services. Tory Brexit will wreck the British economy, will commit us to a series of long-term trade deals which will enforce American-style deregulation, and will undermine the rights, freedoms and protections currently enshrined in EU law. All of this will bind the hands of a future Labour government, and will make it far harder for us to deliver on our promises.

We therefore urge Labour to oppose the Tories’ destructive Brexit and unite the country behind a radical vision for the future. In government, Labour could rally left-wing parties across the continent, and create a Europe for the many, not the few.

The social problems that caused the Brexit vote – inequality, declining public services, falling pay, a lack of quality affordable housing, and so on – will be made worse, not better, by Tory Brexit and the continued austerity that would result. The problem is the policies of the political establishment, not immigrants, and the solution is a radical social and economic programme.

We must make the election of a radical Labour government our first priority.

We note that given the Fixed Term Parliament Act, the most likely route to a general election before 2022 is the collapse of the government’s Brexit agenda. This motion supports all available avenues to bring down the government: voting down the EU exit deal in Parliament, calling for a snap election, and a popular vote on the deal.

We note and support the 2016 Conference commitment to a public vote on the Exit Deal so the people have the final decision on whether to accept the government’s deal or to stay in the EU.

We call on the Labour Party to:

1. Oppose any Brexit deal that does not satisfy Labour’s 6 tests.

2. Call for an immediate general election, and make a manifesto commitment to call a public vote on the Brexit deal with an option to remain in the EU if the public rejects it.

3. If we cannot get a general election, to campaign for a public vote on the deal with an option to remain in the EU; and following a defeat for the government, to call for an immediate general election.

4. To place radical social and economic policies at the heart of our programme of government – taxing the rich and big business to pay for better public services, rapidly expanding common ownership, abolishing anti-union laws and engaging in massive public investment.

Delegates from this CLP to Labour Party conference should vote in line with this policy.

(More on the Left Against Brexit on Shiraz)

Counterfire believes that “A radical rupture with the current model of capitalism in order to rebalance capital and labour in favour of the latter can only be achieved outside the EU, which is unreformable, and turning increasingly rightwards.”

Does it believe that capitalism is reformable, with a new ‘balance’ between capital and labour being built in a go-it-alone UK

Why is this intrinsically better than the potential governance offered by the EU.

That is, if they do not perhaps believe in a full “rupture” with capitalism is on the cards through elections, a view last proclaimed by the French Parti Socialiste  in the late 1970s….(Quand Mitterrand disait : “Celui qui n’accepte pas la rupture avec la société capitaliste ne peut être au PS“. France Culture)

What details do we have of this “radical rupture”, rather more modest than Mitterrand’s claims, in one country, with the “current model” of capitalism, with all the difficulties it would face (aside from domestic ones) with the WTO, Trade Partners, beginning with Trump who seems bent on his own new model of capitalist protectionism?

If changing the EU means a “long march through the institutions” what institutions can an individual ‘independent and sovereign’ UK turn to change with diminished economic weight and political power turn to change the internationally dominant form of capitalism?

Nobody would deny that many of the the countries that make up the EU are moving rightwards, towards the very national sovereigntistism defended by the Morning Star.

And, as for this jibe…. “Any overturning of the result will only benefit one end of the political spectrum: the right, and not just its electoral, relatively centrist wing. The rag-tag gang of fascists, Islamophobes and assorted fellow travellers that is coalescing around Tommy Robinson, the DFLA and the increasingly extreme UKIP, will be given a huge campaigning boost by any change in Labour policy.”

One assumes  the strength of racist and xenophobic feeling is such that Labour can never confront it…

And that pandering to the sovereigntist line has nothing to do with the rise in…far-right sovereigntist parties.

Deaming of the actuality of the revolution Counterfire seems unable to see the world in front of its face: that “the opportunity that Brexit gives to a radical reforming government” does not exist.

There is no such thing as a Brexit in the interests of working people, as the dominance of those opposed to the labour movement in shaping it indicates.

And what of the ” shibboleths”: that doing so is justified because the vote was somehow unfair, with reasons for this including but not limited to, Russian involvement; breaches of spending rules; the EU Referendum Act of 2015 stating that the result was advisory; the full ‘cost’ of Brexit not being known to people two years ago; that there are now people who are eligible to vote who were not then (and some voters have died). “

Counterfire leader Lindsey German once dismissed gay rights, an impediment in the Respect party’s alliance with right-wing Islamists, as a “shibboleth”.

Can the groupsucle equally dismiss the effects of Brexit on people’s rights and living standards?

This campaign for a vote is for something which was not in existence before: the terms of a Brexit deal, and whether it should continue.

Not to campaign against Brexit is to march towards the constitutional victory of the primacy of right-wing sovereigntism, economic dislocation, and attacks on internationalism,  the interests of working people and the majority in this country.

Socialist Left Moves to Back People’s Vote on Brexit Deal.

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Theresa May’s abject failure in negotiating a deal with the EU means that the public must have a fresh say.

Mayor of London’s call for people’s vote adds to pressure on Jeremy Corbyn.

More than 100 anti-Brexit motions, and motions backing another referendum, or people’s vote, have been submitted by constituency parties – believed to be a record for any single issue in the party’s recent history.

A large number of the motions are from the left of the party, and call for a commitment to a people’s vote to be inserted into Labour’s next general election manifesto.

Sam Tarry, national political officer of the TSSA union, who used to work for Corbyn, said the left of the Labour party was uniting behind demands for another vote: “The sheer weight of anti-Brexit motions going to conference is unlike anything I have ever seen – and the only force in the Labour party capable of pulling that off is the left. The trade union movement has moved quickly towards an anti-Tory Brexit position this summer. There is this feeling that we, the socialist left, simply cannot stand by and watch while workers and communities are sacrificed at the altar of Tory dogma and imperial nostalgia.”

Until now Corbyn and the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, have said they would prefer the public to be given a say on Brexit in a fresh general election, adding that, if one does not happen soon, the option of a second referendum should remain open. But leftwingers in the party now say this formula is not sufficient, and want a commitment to another referendum in the next manifesto.

Alena Ivanova, a leading activist for the grassroots group Momentum in east London, said: “This is a campaign now being led by the left… Tory Brexit is a fundamental threat to the rights and prosperity of working-class people and the communities that Labour represents, driven by bosses and rightwing ideologues. We will only stop it with unashamed leftwing internationalism and, crucially, that will also help us in the campaign to get the Corbyn government we need.”

Guardian.

 

One of the parties backing such a motion is Ipswich.

In a debate last week at the All Members’ meeting this motion  was endorsed. It was just past the deadline for formal inclusion in the above list, but will be the basis for our Conference Delegate to support.

Motion – to be moved by Andrew Coates:

Oppose Tory Brexit and win a radical Labour government.

(Extracts)

This CLP supports the earliest possible election of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn. The current government is putting Tory Party dogma first, not jobs first – and they have no mandate for their agenda”
…..

“We call on the Labour Party to:
1. Oppose any Brexit deal that does not satisfy Labour’s 6 tests.
2. Call for an immediate general election, and make a manifesto commitment to call a public vote on the Brexit deal with an option to remain in the EU if the public rejects it.
3. If we cannot get a general election, to campaign for a public vote on the deal with an option to remain in the EU; and following a defeat for the government, to call for animmediate general election.
4. To place radical social and economic policies at the heart of our programme of government – taxing the rich and big business to pay for better public services, rapidly expanding common ownership, abolishing anti-union laws and engaging in massive public investment.

Delegates from this CLP to Labour Party conference should vote in line with this policy.”

This received overwhelming support from all sections of the party, with one vote against and a couple of abstentions.

Image result for march for the many people's vote liverpool

Written by Andrew Coates

September 16, 2018 at 11:58 am

Frank Field, Resignation and “obsessive anti-immigration agenda.”

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“It is about culture, identity and family” Frank Field.

Today we learn that Frank Field, after resigning the Labour Whip, is contemplating contesting a by-election.

His Rallying Call?

Frank Field says Labour should be a ‘champion against racism’

Along with Nicholas Soames MP, Frank is Co-Chairman of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration.

What is now so different, indeed unique, is the scale of that migration. In the last ten years the Government has in fact allowed an open borders policy. As a result, the composition of this country is radically changing. Maybe that is what should happen, and maybe that is what voters would like to happen. But voters have not been consulted whether they want that as a policy and as an objective.  Balanced Migration is about pushing the Government to a position where it brings into balance, over time, the numbers of people who come to this country, and those who actually leave. The campaign is seeking a change in the law so that people could come here to work for four years only, but to break the link between coming here to work and then having the automatic right to become citizens, as they have in the past.”

Amongst his many many speeches on the issue, the ‘champion against racism’  began harping on the theme about immigration in January 2016.

Field, who nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership in the interest of debate despite not sharing his politics, told Sky’s Murnaghan show that Corbyn was “in tune” with voters on issues such as inequality and the economy.

On other issues, however, such as security and immigration, “the Labour leadership is walking off in the opposite direction to where voters are, and in particular those swing Labour voters who didn’t swing our way and gave the government its unexpected election win last time”, he said.

“Clearly that’s going to have to be sorted out before the next election if we’re not to get a walloping yet again.”

Guardian.

By November of the same year this had become:

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall is ‘game changer’ for Labour, says Frank Field

Nuttall could help Ukip take string of seats from Jeremy Corbyn’s party in the north of England, says senior Labour MP

Field, who nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership in the interest of debate despite not sharing his politics, told Sky’s Murnaghan show that Corbyn was “in tune” with voters on issues such as inequality and the economy.

On other issues, however, such as security and immigration, “the Labour leadership is walking off in the opposite direction to where voters are, and in particular those swing Labour voters who didn’t swing our way and gave the government its unexpected election win last time”, he said

Farage picked up a million Labour votes by accident but with this guy it is all he’s going after,” Field said. “It is about culture, identity and family and so on. The party centrally hasn’t got a clue. There are one or two people taking about it but whether they seriously realise what is coming is another matter.”

To those in Labour who say Nuttall poses a similar threat to Farage, Field said they “couldn’t be more wrong – it is game changing to Labour”.

“Ukip under Paul will become the English party,” he said. “I don’t think it will be a wipeout on the scale of the SNP but I do think they will be taking Labour people out in our northern heartlands.

Field’s views on migrants, and the unemployed, not to mention the most obvious, issue, Brexit, have long been not too far off UKIP’s.

Frank Field: Migrants take nine out of 10 jobs

June 2011.

David Cameron’s plans to reform welfare are not radical enough as they do not punish the work-shy or reward those who have contributed to the benefits system, the Government’s poverty tsar has said.

Frank Field, the former Labour minister brought in to advise the Coalition last year, says that the public wants tougher sanctions forcing the long-term unemployed back to work. In an article for The Daily Telegraph, he dismisses proposals to simplify the benefits system as “Gordon Brown’s approach, on speed”.

He calls for “good, reliable” people who have worked and paid National Insurance to be prioritised for help above others, particularly those who have not contributed to society.

In the first year of the Coalition, 87 per cent of the 400,000 newly created jobs have gone to immigrants — as Britons fail to chase work, according to new official figures uncovered by the Labour MP. Under previous Labour administrations the figure was about 80 per cent.

Comrade Owen Jones sums up the position well,

Frank Field’s obsessive anti-immigration agenda once led a Church of England bishop to call him the “new Enoch Powell”.’

Antisemitism? No, Frank Field jumped before he was pushed

His resignation has nothing to do with antisemitism. Last month, the government was on the brink of defeat over its nonsensical customs arrangements plans. It may well have collapsed if the vote went the wrong way: Tory rebels were told that a general election could ensue. But Theresa May was saved by Frank Field and three other Labour rebels. That understandably riled Labour members, who pay their subs and surrender evening and weekends knocking on doors because they would quite like to replace a Tory government beholden to Jacob Rees-Mogg with a Labour administration instead.

The local parties of both Field and Kate Hoey near-unanimously voted no confidence in both, and called for the whip to be removed. Indeed, both politicians have a unique talent of being able to unite party activists on left and right: Hoey’s party activists nominated Blairite candidate Liz Kendall in 2015. Field knew he was about to be pushed. Instead, he jumped. It was what he called for Labour MPs to do three years ago if they were deselected, and he wasn’t citing antisemitism as a pretext back then.

Field’s claim that he fled the Labour party in the name of anti-racism is, given his record, certainly audacious. His obsessive anti-immigration agenda once led a Church of England bishop to call him “the new Enoch Powell” – the infamous Tory politician Field has himself praised. Here is a man who has described Margaret Thatcher as a “hero” and was appointed by David Cameron as his “poverty tsar”, swiftly announcing plans to shred child poverty targets.

There are those who angrily decry Corbyn as a beyond-the-pale Brexiteer, now cheering on Field as a principled martyr because he resigned the Labour whip before his local party deselected him for backing May’s extreme Brexit plans. That will do little to shake the suspicion that opposing Brexit is not their main priority: preventing a leftwing government is. There are a handful of other Labour MPs said to be planning on making the same journey as Field.

As it’s announced that a new centrist party has split before it has even been launched, it’s clear any new venture will perish. The best they can hope for is to gift a majority to a Tory party increasingly beholden to Rees-Mogg. What a political legacy to have. In the coming months, the media will venerate those determined to stop a Labour government, and both rightwingers and self-described “centrists” will escalate an increasingly vicious campaign against the left. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that they will do so because they are scared of losing, and understandably so.

Final word:

Kate Hoey MP, Faces De-Selection Call – “a highly principled woman I have known for 40 years” – George Galloway.

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Image result for kate hoey tendance coatesy

“..a highly principled woman I have known for 40 years.” – George Galloway.

Hoey is in the news today,

Kate Hoey vows to face down local activists over bid to deselect her

Activists in Vauxhall, south London, unanimously backed a motion of no confidence in the MP and called for party bosses to suspend the whip from her.

They also said she should be made “ineligible for re-selection or endorsement as a Labour party parliamentary candidate”.

And they accused her of “collaborating” with Tory Brexiteers and the DUP and “propping up a failing government”.

Ms Hoey has faced a barrage of internal criticism after she was among four Labour MPs who helped the Government defeat an attempt to force Britain to sign up to a customs union with the EU.

The no-confidence motion claims that defeat in the Commons vote could have brought down the Government and led to a general election that Labour was “widely expected to win”.

However, the backbencher vowed to take on attempts to push her out, despite conceding that those in her Lambeth seat voted overwhelmingly in favour of staying in the EU.

The MP told the Guardian in a statement that the motion was “not a surprise”.

“My local party activists are solid EU remainers. I will always put my country before my party and helping my constituents is a priority,” she said.

“After 29 years as an MP I am quite relaxed about the vote and it won’t influence in any way how I vote in future.”

The motion carries no official force, but local members hope it will pile pressure on the leadership and that it could lead to a so-called “trigger ballot” to remove her ahead of the next election.

The Constituency Labour Party motion on Thursday read: “In June 2017 Kate Hoey was elected on a manifesto which explicitly rejected Theresa May’s approach to Brexit and pledged in a letter to constituents that she endorsed Labour’s plans.

“This CLP censures Kate Hoey MP for repeatedly reneging on those commitments, and ignoring the clearly stated views of her constituents and the national and local Labour Party.”

In her report to the meeting, Ms Hoey said: “Whilst many of you may disagree with my views, I have voted in line with the manifesto and the result of the referendum – to leave the single market and the customs union.

“All my votes are on the issue being debated and not in support of the Government.”

Yes, she had nobody to back her as Shiraz also points out.

 

That’s as may be, but Hoey has the comfort of the backing of her comrade George Galloway:

Kate Hoey has, as the former leader of Respect’s Tweet picture indicates, a past on the radical left.

She was a member of the International Marxist Group (IMG).

There are a number of anecdotes about those days and the affiliation, such as this,

 

Living in London in the early 1970s she became a vice-president of the NUS.[Jack Straw was NUS president at the time]. Returning from an overseas conference, she found herself sitting next to Tariq Ali on the plane. Tariq persuaded her to join the IMG, which she did in summer 1971.

In subsequent years she used to muddy this connection by claiming that she was in the Spartacus League, a short lived youth wing of the IMG. She was never at ease with the Irish Republican Trotskyism of the IMG and was also very inimical to Gery Lawless an IMG member at the time.

She felt that having Lawless as a member discredited the IMG. Under the influence of Brian Trench [political influence of course!] she joined the IS in 1972 but her stay there was also limited.

She joined Hackney Labour party and supported the Troops Out Movement for a period before becoming a supporter of the BICO front organisation, Campaign for Labour Representation in Northern Ireland.

This is what she now says of this experience, (2nd of January 2016. Guardian)

She also became vice-president of the National Union of Students, and was briefly was a member of the International Marxist Group, because it “probably had better-looking young men” than other radical-left groups.

As ex-IMG myself I can’t disagree with that.

During the Europe Referendum Hoey made herself conspicuous by appearing with Nigel Farage, and,  at the risk of repeating the message of the picture which heads this post, popped up with Galloway at least once on his RT ‘show’.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "george galloway and kate hoey"

Her views were informed by these ideas, attacking Labour’s failure to stand up for Country and lack of patriotic fibre, which she shares with figures such as Paul Embery of the Arron Banks backed Trade Unionists Against the EU,

Hoey blames her party’s “extremely unpatriotic” outlook for its increasing alienation from its traditional working class supporters. “They feel very strongly about their country and we have been extremely unpatriotic as a party to our country. There’s just a feeling that we’re half-hearted about being British, we’re half-hearted about the monarchy, we’re half-hearted about the way we see our country in the world. I’m very proud of being British and I think the United Kingdom is a force for good in the world and we seem to feel all the time that we have to put ourselves down because somehow that might upset people”.

New Statesman. 17th of June 2015.

Another prominent supporter of Brexit was the man who recruited her to the IMG, Tariq Ali.

LIke Kate Hoey Ali was happy at the Leave vote, “Tariq Ali ‘Pleased’ Brexit Has Given EU ‘Big Kick’ up ‘Backside'” reported the Venezuelan repressive regime mouthpiece TeleSur on the 24th of June 2016.

Ali’s expressions of solidarity to his old comrade-in-arms Hoey are yet to be made public.

European Far-Right Sovereigntists to be led by US Steve Bannon’s The Movement.

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Image result for Raheem Kassam, Tommy Robinson

Raheem Kassam, Bannon’s Man in the UK.

The Daily Beast reports,

LONDON—Steve Bannon plans to go toe-to-toe with George Soros and spark a right-wing revolution in Europe.

Trump’s former White House chief advisor told The Daily Beast that he is setting up a foundation in Europe called The Movement which he hopes will lead a right-wing populist revolt across the continent starting with the European Parliament elections next spring.

The non-profit will be a central source of polling, advice on messaging, data targeting, and think-tank research for a ragtag band of right-wingers who are surging all over Europe, in many cases without professional political structures or significant budgets.

Bannon’s ambition is for his organization ultimately to rival the impact of Soros’s Open Society, which has given away $32 billion to largely liberal causes since it was established in 1984.

Over the past year, Bannon has held talks with right-wing groups across the continent from Nigel Farage and members of Marine Le Pen’s Front National (recently renamed Rassemblement National) in the West, to Hungary’s Viktor Orban and the Polish populists in the East.

He envisions a right-wing “supergroup” within the European Parliament that could attract as many as a third of the lawmakers after next May’s Europe-wide elections. A united populist bloc of that size would have the ability to seriously disrupt parliamentary proceedings, potentially granting Bannon huge power within the populist movement.

….

After being forced out of the White House following internal wranglings that would later surface in the book Fire and Fury, Bannon is now reveling in the opportunity to plot his new European empire. “I’d rather reign in hell, than serve in heaven,” he said, paraphrasing John Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost.

The Movement’s headquarters are expected to be located in Brussels, Belgium, where they will start hiring staff in coming months. It is expected that there will be fewer than 10 full-time staff ahead of the 2019 elections, with a polling expert, a communications person, an office manager and a researcher among the positions. The plan is to ramp that up to more like 25 people post-2019 if the project has been a success.

Bannon plans to spend 50 percent of his time in Europe—mostly in the field rather than the Brussels office—once the midterm elections in the U.S. are over in November.

The operation is also supposed to serve as a link between Europe’s right-wing movements and the pro-Trump Freedom Caucus in the U.S. This week Paul Gosar (R-AZ) was its envoy to Bannon’s operation in London.

Bannon and Raheem Kassam, a former Farage staffer and Breitbart editor, set up shop in a five-star Mayfair hotel for a week while Donald Trump was visiting Europe. Between TV appearances as Trump surrogates, they hosted a raft of Europe’s leading right-wingers at the hotel.

This comes as the Sunday Times reports,

Theresa May is facing an unprecedented political crisis, according to a new poll that reveals voters are implacably opposed to her Brexit plan and are prepared to turn to Ukip or parties of the far right.

In a survey that will spark unease in Downing Street, the YouGov poll found that the public believes Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, is better placed to negotiate with Brussels and lead the Conservatives into the next election.

It highlights how voters are polarising, with growing numbers alienated from the two main parties. About 38% would vote for a new party on the right that was committed to Brexit, while 24% are prepared to support an explicitly far-right anti-immigrant, anti-Islam party.

One in three voters are prepared to back a new anti-Brexit centrist party.

Tory donors and allies of Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader, are now plotting to raise £10m to set up a new hard-Brexit party — a move that could make it impossible for the Tories to win the next election.

A close ally of Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, told The Sunday Times he aimed to raise £1m from British and US sources to create a right-wing “mass movement” to rival Momentum on the left.

It can also be revealed that Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, was holding talks on the creation of a new centrist party when he failed to turn up for a crunch vote last week.

The poll will prompt Tory MPs to demand changes to May’s Brexit proposal thrashed out at Chequers earlier this month. Just one in nine voters (11%) would support her plan in a new referendum and only 12% think it would be good for Britain, while 43% disagree.

By more than two to one, voters do not believe her plan keeps faith with the referendum result.

May’s position will be further eroded by public support for Johnson, who resigned to oppose the Chequers deal, which would lead to the UK permanently accepting EU rules on the sale of goods. Just 16% of voters think the prime minister is handling Brexit well; more than twice as many (34%) think Johnson would do a better job (!!!!!!! – or sarcasm….)

With the Tories on 38%, a point behind Labour, a Conservative party led by Johnson would be neck and neck with Labour, while his main leadership rivals — Sajid Javid, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt — would all be trailing Jeremy Corbyn’s party by between 10 and 12 percentage points.

Johnson’s support is likely to grow if he is seen by MPs as someone who could prevent votes leaching to populist parties.

Bannon said yesterday he was setting up a foundation called the Movement, to lead a right-wing revolt at next spring’s European elections. He held meetings in a Mayfair hotel last week with senior figures on the European hard right and far right, including Farage and the vice-president of the French National Rally, formerly the National Front.

Raheem Kassam, a former adviser to Farage and employee of Bannon’s, said the post-Chequers chaos was “massively an opening for the right”.

Hardline Eurosceptics warned Tory whips last week that they would vote to bring down the government in a confidence vote if May watered down Brexit.

The only good news for May in the poll is that, while voters as a whole would like to see her resign, Tory voters still think she should fight on by a margin of 58% to 32%.

The prime minister has ruled out a new EU referendum on the grounds that it would be undemocratic to revisit the 2016 vote. The poll shows that if voters were offered a new vote they would overturn the referendum result, with remaining in the EU beating leaving with no deal by 54% to 46%.

 

RT (Russia Today) is a willing megaphone for Bannon.

Its French language site states today,

Un Soros du populisme ? Steve Bannon, l’homme qui voulait mener la révolte de droite en Europe.

Banon, they state, has meet the following people already, “Depuis un an, Steve Bannon a rencontré de nombreuses personnalités de droite sur le Vieux continent, de Nigel Farage, l’ancien dirigeant de l’UKIP et fer de lance de la campagne pour le Brexit, au Premier ministre hongrois Viktor Orban dont les positions anti-immigration en font un opposant de premier ordre à George Soros, en passant par la présidente du Rassemblement national (RN) Marine Le Pen.”

RT in Spanish repeats the same message but manages to call his movement’s allies the “far right”.

Un exestratega de Trump planea crear una fundación para impulsar la extrema derecha en Europa

Dutch media also reports on the move:

Steve Bannon wil met ‘rechtspopulistische supergroep’ derde van Europees parlement innemen

And German: (Deutschlandfunk).

Bannon will Einfluss auf Europawahl nehmen.

Der Spiegel:

‘The Movement’ Steve Bannon plant offenbar rechtspopulistische Revolte in Europa

And Italian:

Bannon lancia l’internazionale populista europea. Si chiamerà “The Movement”

Written by Andrew Coates

July 22, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Trump and the Implosion of Neoliberalism.

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Image result for trump brexit cartoon

“Trump is trying to subvert the political institutions of neoliberal capitalism”

“the neoliberal order continues to implode.” “..Trump has proved to be deadly serious about undermining the post-war liberal international order.”

Alex Callinicos. Darkening prospects. International Socialism. Issue: 159 June 2018

Trump’s chaos tour will unleash far right. Alex Callinicos. 17th of July.

Trump had in his sights precisely the European extreme centre, and more particularly the centre right that currently dominates the European Union (EU).

…….

His attacks on Merkel were semi-orchestrated with the far right governments that have taken office in Europe. They are Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Sebastian Kurz in collaboration with the Nazi Freedom Party in Austria and Matteo Salvini in Italy.

Similarly, Trump’s intervention in the Tory factional struggle over the terms of Brexit was intended to bolster Boris Johnson and other Brexiteers in rebellion against May.

As the Financial Times newspaper put it, “The US president is clearly intent on forming a new kind of transatlantic alliance with insurgent political forces.”

Luckily Johnson is probably too lazy and cowardly to take full advantage of Trump’s support.

But Orbán, Kurz, and Salvini are no clowns. They already have Merkel and other leaders of the European extreme centre such as Emmanuel Macron in a headlock.

The SWP leader continues,

So Trump is trying to subvert the political institutions of neoliberal capitalism on both sides of the Atlantic by promoting the forces of the far right. This is very dangerous.

In the first place, neither he nor his European allies have a real economic alternative to neoliberalism. Their most potent weapon is anti-migrant racism, and the extreme centre is adapting to their demands.

Secondly, Trump is giving confidence to genuinely fascist forces, as we’ve seen on British streets in recent weeks.

Trump has been successful in undermining the “political institutions” of what Callinicos calls ‘neoliberalism’. IN the last week alone he has ridden roughshod over liberal democracy, beginning with all normal forms of inter-state protocol.

He and his allies have equally boosted the European far-right. We just seen this work in the open with Steve Bannon’s support for Tommy Robinson. he has railed about ‘immigration’ in ways that recall Enoch Powell. In his Brexit and Helsinki interventions, it by acting as if his Gang wishes to make real the Russia Today vision of ‘Chaos Europe. Domestically his contempt for his own legal agencies such as the FBI has created unprecedented turmoil.

Iy well be that Trump’s intervention were ‘semi-orchestrated’ (which half we are not clear on) with the European populist right.Whether he will also achieve the weakening of the “extreme centre” is less certain. Callinicos adopts the term from a little read book by Tariq Ali (The Extreme Centre: A Warning 2015, now reissued., It described a period in which a ‘consensus’ of free-market social ‘reforming’ dominated European politics, centre left to centre right, from Germany to the UK. Ali was concerned to rescue the radical left from the ‘sealed tomb’ of this period.

The time of the Extreme Centre is already long past. Ali’s jibes at the “indistinguishable  political elite” have a different, more sour taste, when we realise that  far-right radicals, many with electoral success in their hands, now use that language. But it is not confined to these forces. The intense battles inside Britain’s Conservatives also show the rise of the national-populist right inside the former ‘centre’.

Chancellor Merkel  has shifted clearly to the right, the result of pressure not just from the AfD but the CDU. Some commentators suggest German Christian Democracy  may have its own alliances with the central European populists at hand.

Post World Cup, Macron’s ‘deadlock’, over issues such as EU immigration policy, does not mean that the French president’s wider politics are going to be thwarted by any “semi-orchestration”from outside.

Those who gamble on “Insurgent forces”, such as Italy’s Salvini,  take great risks.

Can a coalition around a populist-nationalist right emerge to dominate Europe?

There are many reasons to doubt such an outcome.

This is not just because (as Callinicos states) they have no economic alternative to neo-liberalism, but because they have no serious economic policies at all.

And, far-right ‘internationals’ – riven with differences too obvious to detail – have proved in the past more ephemeral than any Trotskyist splinter.

How can this be fought?

Alliances against the nationalist-populists (notably without the very pro-Brexit ‘left’ which helps the Trump strategy) can be built but one thing is missing.

We are still without an in-depth  explanation of why the rise of neoliberal “globalisation” is now coming undone.

America has been the global Leader not by acquiring ownership of other sovereign countries, but by being the ‘guardian’ of geopolitical and economic stability. If Trump is not longer a pillar of a world order, if he abandons even the pretence of humanitarianism and human rights in favour of nation state sovereignty, what are the economic drives behind his shift?

One of the main themes of globalisation theory from the 1990s till the financial crash of 2008 is an account of financial, production and distribution flows have become ‘deterrorialised’.

Trump can, provoking serious crises along the way, “re-territorialise” international politics around  what he and his team take to be the interests of the US Homeland.

It remains to be seen how he can bring economics under national political control.

No doubt the sovereigntist left who, rarely in public, but sotto voce, rather admire Trump for standing up for ‘his’ folk against the WTO and globalisation, will also be following this with interest.