Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘European Union

Perfidious Brexit: The Movement Against the Johnson Coup, the Left and Brexit.

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Another Europe is Possible at Burston Yesterday.

Perfidious Brexit.

“Many in Britain are now springing the defence of Parliament and elected representation, but they should have spring a bit earlier. Those in the Labour Party who were neutral about Brexit  – or even saw it as a welcome disputation to the status quo and an opportunity for radical reform – only now seem to be noticing that Brexit was always a vehicle whereby the hard-right could take over the government”.

Patrick Cockburn. The Independent.

“People are tired, Rob,” Silas continued, “They’re fed up. They’re worn down. They’ve had with all this left-wing dogma. The new anti-authority is on the right, not the left. It’s the new punk…..”

Sam Byers. Perfidious Albion. Faber and Faber 2018.

What are the values behind Parliamentary proroguing, the sacking and the use of an armed police officer to escort Sonia Khan, Sonia Khan specials adviser out of Downing Street?  “Respect for one,” suggests Sam Byers’ post-Brexit novel, “’Integrity. Pride in our landscape. Control over our borders, our laws.” The leader of England Always, Hugo Bennington, continues, “It’s about putting the needs of our country and the people in it first.” Love for his country means, “Self-protection. “control of immigration” “control of our culture”. “We need to ensure we’re all, literally and hypothetically, speaking the same language.”

Perfidious Albion is not an imagined future.

It is now. England Always is the Brexit Party and the European Research Group-led Tories. The street thugs and angries, already adopting American, and “Kool Aid”, Farage’s “Folks”, are slavering for a No Deal Brexit.

Control of the language has become a battlefield. Johnson, Farage, and the outriders in Spiked, the ‘new punk’ right are already trying to recapture British pre-contemporary pomp. British sovereignty, the voice of the ordinary people, the people’s voice for Brexit, stands against the Parliamentary elite. Hugo Bennington/Brendan O’Neill’s waving Internet dick; Jacob Rees Mogg’s “visionary soil” need the coup de main of the Prime Minister to set off a national populist surge for “community, belonging, group identity and the nation.” (1)

“Brexiteers dream of a Britain ‘unchained; from the shackles of European regulation.” wrote Luke Cooper in the Introduction to The Left Against Brexit (2018) “in other words, even more of a capitalist distopia. At present the Prime Minister is driving through Brexit, regardless of the elected MP’s wishes. The National Organiser of Another Europe is Possible, Michael Chessum says, “The longer-term aim of Johnson’s plan goes much deeper, Brexit Britain is to be a deregulated country, brought closer into the orbit of Trump’s America. Workers’ rights, food standards and environmental protection are to be undermined. Public services and the NHS will, as made clear by the US government, be up for sale.” (Westminster shutdown: is Britain facing a coup? Observer. 1.9.19)

It is not good enough for some on the pro-Brexit Left to confine their indignation to curbs on Parliament. It is not enough to focus on Johnson’s pro-austerity politics. Brexit drives the Cummings Cabinet; Brexit is the instrument to achieve their aims. Look at any of the protests against the ‘Coup’ and you will see European flags and hear calls not just to stop a No Deal Brexit, but Brexit full stop.

Régis Debray in l’Europe fantôme ( 2019) asserts that the European ideal is the property of “élites sociales sans honneur” an ersatz messianism. This weak civic cult is a shield from reality, and appeals only the orphans of the radical left, and Christian democrats, liberals, socialists, social democrats, one time radical leftists in need of a cause, believers in the Enlightenment, believers and secularists, a cult of saints and the, European, god, dulia and latria.  This heartless, property-of-nobody, non-nation is further sullied, in Debray’s eyes, by the dominance of English “pidgin”.

A feeble thing, Europe is no doubt a ‘phantom’. There are greater thrills to be had following Bennington’s Willy, praising borders, getting excited with New Left Review at the prospects of “anti-systemic” parties.

Yet, the last days the country has seen mass protests against the Coup, including one where I live, Ipswich, where around five hundred people heard Labour MP Sandy Martin, Liberal Democrats, and Suffolk European Alliance speakers address the crowd from the steps of the Old Town Hall.

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At the Burston Rally yesterday Another Europe is Possible had a stall. Many of the people present seemed to be from the Lexit side of the left. Mark Serwotka  from the PCS trade union made an appeal for unity against the Conservatives and the Johnson Coup. Nobody on the platform spoke of the need for a ‘People’s Brexit’. People came to our stand to pick up stickers and copies of The Left Against Brexit rapidly disappeared. Some trade unionists, I cite amongst them an electrician and a fire-fighter, talked of their support for the AEIP stand. A comfortable majority of trade union members voted Remain, as did a majority of the younger working class. Alas, Len McCluskey, UNITE Boss, goes against these internationalist  views. (2)

As comrade Chessum says, “we are witnessing the growth of a huge movement in defence of democracy”. The centre of the groundswell is the fight against Brexit in its only actually existing shape the Hard Right ERG Johnson Brexit.

 

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(1) Page 278. National Populism. The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018

(2) Unite will support Labour MPs who vote for a new Brexit deal

Leader Len McCluskey says union will back MPs – even on the right – who face deselection/

Kinnock, the Labour MP who coordinates aroundabout 30 MPs in a group called Respect the Result, has previously said he believed there was increasing feeling among many of his colleagues opposed to a second referendum that passing the withdrawal agreement bill was the best option. McCluskey has previously argued that Labour must be prepared to support a pragmatic Brexit deal, saying it appeared to be impossible to stop no deal and that there was no path to a second referendum. The majority of Labour MPs who are sceptical about a referendum are still likely to back the cross-party efforts to pass a bill this week that would mandate Johnson to seek and extension to Article 50.

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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

The Great Replacement, Violent White Nationalism, from Christchurch to El Paso.

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Far-Right Call that Inspires Terrorism.

El Paso Massacre: Nihilism, Narcissism and White Nationalism

The alleged gunman is suspected of posting a 2,300-word manifesto titled “The Inconvenient Truth” moments before the attack. The manifesto referenced the Christchurch massacres in New Zealand that killed 51. According to the New York Times, the Christchurch mass murderer referenced:

“a white supremacist theory called ‘the great replacement.” The theory has been promoted by a French writer named Renaud Camus, and argues that elites in Europe have been working to replace white Europeans with immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa.” 

Psychology Today.Ravi Chandra

The Daily Beast perhaps has the best take on the influence of these ideas,

Kelly Weill: From El Paso to Christchurch, a Racist Lie Is Fueling Terrorist Attacks

Alleged killers in Christchurch, New ZealandPoway, California; and El Paso, Texas believed a theory that claims white people are being “replaced” by people of color through mass immigration. Conspiracy theorists often falsely claim this is a deliberate effort by any number of groups demonized on the far right: liberals, Democrats, Jews, Muslims. It’s the theory peddled by white supremacist groups seeking recruits and the torch-bearing marchers in Charlottesville two years ago. It’s also a thinly disguised—and often not disguised—talking point from some conservative politicians and pundits, experts say.

By leaving these conspiratorial manifestos, white supremacists are trying to add to a long and growing library of terror, and get others to follow their examples.

“They’re also trying to inspire others about the urgency of the moment. In particular with the New Zealand shooter, the Poway shooter, and this guy in El Paso, you see these ideas building on each other,” Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, told The Daily Beast.

“There’s no question these people are feeding off each other because they’re referencing prior manifestos. In the Poway case and the El Paso case, they both referenced Christchurch.”

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In name alone, the conspiracy theory began in 2011, with the book The Great Replacement by French author Renaud Camus. The anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant text likened the growth of non-white populations to the genocide of white people in European countries. This supposed genocide is non-existent. White supremacists use it as an excuse for violence anyway.

On August 11, 2017, white supremacists led a torchlit march on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Virginia. The marchers chanted “you will not replace us,” or sometimes “Jews will not replace us,” in a callout to the conspiracy theory.

 

Here are reports on the alt-right web notice board involved.

Camus denies any connection with any killing.

In other word he denies any link.

 

He compares himself to a liberation movement and issues this call to arms.

France Inter disagrees, calling Camus’ writing a seminal text for the the radicalised young.

Le Grand Remplacement, texte séminal pour ces jeunes radicalisés

Many people have read Renaud Camus’ le grand remplacement, “ the great replacement” . Apart from the name, whose message takes two seconds to get, the book is short. Its appeal is that it is “a conspiracy theory that claims a global elite is conspiring against the European white populations to replace them with non-European peoples.”

In this simplicity Camus stands out from the intellectualised writings of people like Guillaume Faye (1949 – 2018), a key thinker in “identitarianism” and Alain de Benoist, a founder of the far-right Nouvelle Droite. Both are parents of the ‘alt-right’. Faye talked of “La Colonisation de l’Europe”  and ” ethnomasochism” by which Europeans denigrate their history faced with this ‘invasion’. Few people would follow with ease, however, the detailed pages in his writings on “L’Archéofuturisme“, beyond this rhetoric, “We are standing face to face with the barbarians. The enemy is no longer outside but inside the City, and the ruling ideology, paralysed, is incapable of spotting him. It stammers, overcome by its own moral disarmament, and is giving up: this is the time to seize the reins. Present society is an accomplice to the evil that is devouring it.”

Benoist’, who has written on nationalism, sovereignty, Nietzsche, Gramsci, the Indo-Europeans, neo-paganism (a theme he shares with Faye), Jesus, European Identity, and a  few more subjects, can be summed up in the belief that “European “identity” needs to be defended against erasure by immigration, global trade, multinational institutions, and left-wing multiculturalism.” (They Wanted To Be A Better Class Of White Nationalists. They Claimed This Man As Their Father J.Lester Feder and Pierre Buet).

Some of these ideas have fed into the left and have helped shaped the present-day ‘red-brown’ front.

The  ‘leftist’ intellectual US journal Telos translated Benoist’s Manifesto for a European Renaissance in 1999 and had a deep interest and sympathy for Faye. Some of the first renderings into English of the nouvelle droite current  were done by this one-time radical-chic publisher which counts Alain de Benoist as a regular contributor (Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post-Catastrophic Age (Guillaume Faye).  More recently the criticism of ‘rootless cosmopolitans’ and behalf of the ‘somewhere’ people with deep ties to place and culture, a call taken up by supporters of the red-brown front the Full Brexit, and others, parallels Faye and Benoist’s right-wing identity politics with a new identity politics of the Brexit Party and pro-Brexit left. The ‘working class’ is seen is seen as a hereditary culture under threat from ‘globalism’ and its vehicle, the European Union. ‘Uncontrolled’ immigration is a common target. (1)

Yet the far-right goes much further, and raves at a ‘genocidal’ threat.

This is Guillaume Faye on the European Union, developing themes in the same vein as Camus (2016).

European peoples are surreptitiously victims of an attempt at genocide, demographic and cultural elimination, driven by their own ethno-masochistic and xenophile elites. This is an historical first.  The French authorities are, with the Belgians, the most involved in this enterprise of soft genocide. The is both physical and cultural.

Despite an apparent anti-racist ideology, it nevertheless follows a racial and racist goal: to eliminate from Europe, progressively, and in particular from France, the native populations. Eliminate them in five ways: by encouraging settlement immigration from outside Europe; discouraging native birth rates and penalizing middle-class families; by provoking the exile of young indigenous forces by dissuasive taxation measures; by favoring, in social, economic, legal and cultural terms, populations of non-European origin in relation to indigenous peoples; by penalizing and punishing all opposition to the global immigrationist project and any hindrance to its ideology.

A project of genocide of the European peoples? – by Guillaume Faye

On Camus I cannot recommend too highly this article: which should be read in full (extracts)

How Gay Icon Renaud Camus Became the Ideologue of White Supremacy

The bizarre odyssey of the “great replacement” theorist shows that kitsch can kill. James McAuley

A pioneering gay writer in the heady 1980s. A laureate of the Académie Française, a literary circle so rarefied that its members are known as les immortels. A radical champion of art for art’s sake who withdrew to a 14th-century château to live among the paintings and the pictures that were the only sources of meaning he ever seemed to recognize. These are all descriptions that might once have captured the essence of Renaud Camus.

His trademark was fearlessness, as evinced in his 1979 autobiographical novel, Tricks, which recounts in unsparing detail a string of nonchalant homosexual encounters the narrator has in nightclub bathrooms and grimy apartments on both sides of the Atlantic. “I put saliva in my ass, kneeled on both sides of him, and brought his penis, which was not of a very considerable size, inside me without much difficulty,” we read of one such encounter. “He came the moment one of my fingers was pressed inside the crack of his ass.” That was Camus then.

These days, the author of Tricks is better known as the principal architect of le grand remplacement (the great replacement), the conspiracy theory that white, Christian Europe is being invaded and destroyed by hordes of black and brown immigrants from North and sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2012, when it appeared as the title of a book Camus self-published, the term “great replacement” has become a rallying cry of white supremacists around the world—the demonstrators who stormed through Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017; the man who killed 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018; and especially Brenton Tarrant, the suspect in the New Zealand mosque attacks in March. Tarrant posted his own “The Great Replacement”—a 74-page online manifesto—before murdering 51 people.

The day after the Christchurch shooting, I called Camus out of the blue, reporting for The Washington Post. He told me then that he condemned this kind of violence but that he ultimately appreciated the attention these episodes have brought to his arguments. Does he resent “the fact that people take notice of the ethnic substitution that is in progress in my country?” he asked rhetorically. “No. To the contrary.”

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Who, after all, reads Renaud Camus in 2019? Not the literary critics who still study Céline and Pound. Camus’s target demographic is angry white men with no discernible culture or critical faculties who shoot up mosques and synagogues because it makes them feel superior. His work provides them with some kind of half-baked justification, based on the lie of le grand remplacement, which is indeed “the epitome of all that is spurious in the life of our times.”

Consider the following excerpt from “The Great Replacement,” the manifesto published online by Brenton Tarrant. He drew particular attention to his travels in France, the details of which have yet to be confirmed. “The final push was witnessing the state of French cities and towns. For many years I had been hearing and reading of the invasion of France by non-whites, many of these rumours and stories I believed to be exaggerations, created to push a political narrative. But once I arrived in France, I found the stories not only to be true, but profoundly understated.” Where had Tarrant been reading those stories? Perhaps Camus’s seminal achievement has been to show that kitsch can kill.

Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star) Denounces “Saboteur” Labour MPs and Calls for Hard Brexit, “on World Trade Organisation terms .”

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Be Vigilant! Communists Warn of Labour MPs’ “sabotage” against Brexit on April the 12th on World Trade Organisation terms.

Communists condemn ‘saboteur’ MPs and demand April 12 EU exit

3rd of April.

Monday evening’s votes in the House of Commons confirm that a substantial number of MPs remain determined to bind Britain as closely as possible to the EU and its rules and institutions if they cannot stop Brexit altogether.

These MPs show utter contempt for the EU referendum result – the biggest democratic vote in our history – and make a mockery of their past pledges to ‘honour’ the decision made by a clear majority of voters.

A majority of MPs have no genuine disagreement with the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement which ties Britain to the EU Single Market in most goods, keeps us permanently aligned with the EU Customs Union through the unnecessary Irish ‘backstop’, maintains EU Court of Justice sovereignty in large areas of economic and social policy and pledges to pay the EU at least £39bn in a bogus divorce settlement.

However, a substantial number of these are also holding out in the hope of locking Britain permanently into a customs union or overthrowing Brexit altogether in a second referendum that would exclude a real exit from the ballot paper.

Tragically, many of these would-be saboteurs are Labour MPs who put their loyalty to the EU above any loyalty to democracy, popular sovereignty and the Labour Party.

Many are opposed to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and have no concern that by painting Labour as an anti-Brexit party they are jeopardising the prospects of a left-led Labour government. Some openly support the possibility of an all-party ‘national government’.

The priority now must be to allow Britain to exit the EU on April 12 on The priority now must be to allow Britain to exit the EU on April 12 on World Trade Organisation terms and secure an early General Election and a Labour victory.and secure an early General Election and a Labour victory.

That government would then be free to carry out Labour’s left and progressive policies, which include aid for manufacturing industry and mutually beneficial trade agreements with European and developing countries.

What, some wreckers and saboteurs might dare to ask, is a Brexit on WTO terms?

Brexit: What is the ‘no deal’ WTO option?

One of the terms that keeps cropping up in the Brexit debate is “the WTO option”.

If the UK left the European Union without a deal, it would automatically fall back on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

So what would that mean?

First, the basics. What is the WTO?

The WTO is the place where countries negotiate the rules of international trade – there are 164 members and, if they don’t have free trade agreements with each other, they trade under “WTO rules”.

Which are?

Every WTO member has a list of tariffs (taxes on imports of goods) and quotas (limits on the number of goods) that they apply to other countries. These are known as their WTO schedules.

The average EU tariff is pretty low (about 2.8% for non-agricultural products) – but, in some sectors, tariffs can be quite high.

Under WTO rules, after Brexit, cars would be taxed at 10% when they crossed the UK-EU border. And agricultural tariffs would be significantly higher, rising to an average of more than 35% for dairy products.

The government has set out its plans for tariffs in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

Its temporary schedule would mean that 87% of imports by value will be tariff-free, compared with 80% before Brexit.

There will be some protection for companies producing cars in the UK, farmers producing meat and the UK ceramics industry. The government has attempted to balance the benefits of free trade in getting cheaper products for consumers, with protecting the livelihoods of some UK producers.

Some groups, which claim to be on the left, still cling to the idea of a “People’s Brexit”.

The Full-Brexit supporting Counterfire publishes today this;

Neoliberalism and Brexit: why Brexit is about more than just Brexit

“Brexit is about more than just Brexit” says Dragan Plavšić, “it’s about the wider crisis of neoliberalism and the long-diminishing authority and standing of the British state and ruling class.”

However, if Corbynism is indeed to be true to the discontented mood shift of which it is the most authentic expression, then it has to advocate a Brexit – a People’s Brexit – that provides a future Labour Government with the necessary freedom to undo the destructive and devastating effects of forty years of neoliberalism. A People’s Brexit is therefore the only real alternative to the neoliberals who wish to leave the EU or remain in it. A general election is feared by them all; the sooner we have one the better.

Most people will have forgotten what a ‘People’s Brexit’ was ever meant to be – and Plavšić does not enlighten us in this reheated rhetoric.

But Counterfire has published articles arguing that WTO rules are better than the EU’s,

“The WTO Red Herring

WTO anti-subsidy provisions are a completely different kettle of fish from EU state aid rules – being far narrower in their scope, far less stringent in their implementation and fundamentally different in how they operate.

The radical case against the single market is no myth February 2019. Reuben Bard-Rosenberg.

So the ‘left’ Brexit or People’s Brexit camp has adopted versions of the Tory ‘Hard Brexit’ position, with the UK negotiating free trade deals with other states through the World Trade Organisation.

There is the minor problem that not only does this prospect go against present Parliamentary votes,  Labour policy, and the views of nearly all but the fringe of the fringe of the Party, but that it runs up against this prospect:

UK cannot simply trade on WTO terms after no-deal Brexit, say experts

The UK will be unable to have frictionless, tariff-free trade under World Trade Organization rules for up to seven years in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to two leading European Union law specialists.

The ensuing chaos could double food prices and plunge Britain into a recession that could last up to 30 years, claim the lawyers who acted for Gina Miller in the historic case that forced the government to seek parliament’s approval to leave the EU.

It has been claimed that the UK could simply move to WTO terms if there is no deal with the EU. But Anneli Howard, a specialist in EU and competition law at Monckton Chambers and a member of the bar’s Brexit working group, believes this isn’t true.

Brexit, End Game and the Left.

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Brexit Publicity by British Tourist Board.

“Tout commence en mystique et finit en politique.”

Charles Péguy. Notre jeunesse.1910.

”Our central argument is that the various and disparate forms of discontent which led 51,9% of voters to vote Leave must not be allowed to fade away until the Brexit process is complete. This discontent is the emergency, which will power our programmes. If Brexit was fuelled, first and foremost, by a sense of the part of many of the British people that the political class had betrayed them, that sense of betrayal must be sustained. Indeed, it can now be focused more accurately since, with the reframing of Leave’s narrow majority as the ‘will of the people’, public anger will be turned most effectively on those members of the political and media establishment who can portrayed as frustrating that will…”(P 359 – 9)

Imperium Foundation. Middle England. Jonathan Coe 2018.

How long ago seems the aftermath of the Brexit vote. After the 2016 result, Roger Scruton talked mystically of the need for “conciliation”, the opportunity it gave to move towards, a decentralised economy, of the kind that existed in the nineteenth century and could exist again. The poet of identity in political communities continued, ”We must build the thing that the British people value most, which is place.” The pseudo people of Anywhere, the “metropolitan elites”, opined David Goodhart, had been answered by a “populist revolt” by the People from Somewhere. Susan Watkins, editor of New Left Review, chimed in, “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, Junker to Xi …inveigled.” (1)

Coming to the issue of identity, Eric Kaufmann observes, “What really distinguishes Leave from remain voters is their willingness to sacrifice economic benefits to cut immigration”. In their favourable account of national populism, Eatwell and Goodwin give legitimacy to fears about “hyper-ethnic change”. “We do not think the term “racism” should be applied solely because people seek to retain the broad parameters of the ethnic base of country and its national identity, even though this can involve discriminating against outside groups.” (2)

The Great Replacement.

The poetasters of national identity began to look, to those soaked in the traditions of nationalist European literature,  like a return to the themes of Maurice Barrès and “la terre et ses morts”, “la substance nationale” and hostility to cosmopolitan “dérancinés” In recent days the arch-theorist of a great identity replacement Renaud Camus has sprung into the public eye. The claimed threat of immigrant “colonisateurs” bringing “nocence” (harm and damage) to In-nocent Europe has inspired the most ignoble of reactions. (3)

Alan Thornett was perhaps the first to predict that a Yes Vote for Brexit would mean allow this “carnival of reaction” to flourish. Others, enlightened by Fintan O’Toole, recognise in Brexit, a “genuine national revolution against a phoney oppressor.” A burly figure, the ignored working class, was spoken for by the sovereigntist left. The cry for sovereignty, elaborated into a celebration of sovereign nations was, for some, the People’s Brexit crew,  the vehicle of a new socialist project. This prospect of a British Bolshevik Beacon, found a few takers when the economics did not just add up. British political sovereignty, run by the left, runs up against the need to trade, and the country’s embedded condition in a capitalist world, not the much overdrawn ‘neoliberal’ rules of the EU. Critics could point to the Irish writer’s insight into how mysticism had descended into politics. Behind Brexit, the real steam engine,  lay “Jacob Rees Mogg’s “sovereignty of the super rich and their right to escape.” and a scramble for Parliamentary power.(4)

Rhetoric and Reality.

The rhetoric about “elites”, “oligarchies”, and the political “caste”, has seeped from right to left. It is tempting to dismiss this as an unwanted revival of a strain of 19th century European socialism, hostile to representative democracy, looking for decisive leaders to sweep away the manoeuvres of Parliament and the forces of “financial feudalism”. The reappearance of the references to Rothschild, and newer name of George Soros, has echoes of one such ‘socialist’ diatribe against the “financial aristocracy”, Alphonse Toussenel’s Les Juifs Rois de l’époque (1886). Yet the programme of ‘Imperium’, that is the European Research Group (ERG) is indeed, as fictionalised  lightly in Jonathan Coe’s Middle England,  “to liberate Britain from the EU’s oppressive tax and other regulations and allow it to become a genuine free-trading country with its principle endeavours directed towards Asian and US markets.” It is that faction which is riding high in the Conservative Party. It is the motor behind a drive for the worst possible Brexit possible. (5)

In the (just translated) Le crépuscule de la France d’en haut, Cristophe Gilley hailed the Brexit result. It was sign of the ‘Marronage”, the escape of slaves, from the yoke of the establishment, a development he detected that was well underway in the Hexagon – as would underline as the Gilets Jaunes emerged. The British Somewheres, like “la France périphérique” had found a voice in voting for Sovereignty. No0 doubt Nigel Farage is leading them at this very moment towards the Great Wen. Eatwell and Goodwin suggest that the return to two-party dominance in 2017 is far from a new normal. It “may represent an unstable prelude to populist-right renewal.” (6)

There is one vehicle that can halt this in its tracks. The mass movement against Brexit, led, for the moment by the liberal centre, but backed by sections of the left, is a democratic challenge to the projects of the ERG. If, as Another Europe is Possible argues, it can reach deeper into the Labour Party and the labour movement, it may be able to head off Brexit. There is now everything to play for. Now. (7)

………..

 

 

 

  1. Pages 218, and 223. Where We Are. The State of Britain Now. Roger Scruton. Bloomsbury. 2017. The Road to Somewhere. The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics. David Goodhart. Hurst & Company. 2017.Casting Off? Susan Watkins. New Left Review. No 100. 2016.
  2. Page 201. White Shift. Eric Kaufmann. Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities Penguin 2018. Page 75. National Populism. The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018.
  3. Pages 281 – 283. Les Déracinés. Maurice Barrès. 1897. Gallimard. 1988. Le Grand Remplacement. Renaud Camus. 2012. Page 70. La Nocence, instrument du Grand Remplacement.
  4. Page 172 Heroic Failure, Brexit and Politics of Pain. Fintan O’Toole. Apollo. 2018.
  5. Page 359. Middle England. Jonathan Coe. Viking 2018.
  6. Page 248. Le crépuscule de la France d’en haut, Cristophe Gilley. Flammarion. 2017. Page 209. National Populism. Op cit.
  7. Another Europe is Possible.

 

Labour Backs Public Vote on Brexit to Groans and Wails from the Pro-Brexit Left.

with 4 comments

Soon to appear on a Screen near you.

Labour List reports,

It’s official: Labour is backing a fresh public vote on the UK’s relationship with the EU. Last night, Jeremy Corbyn told the parliamentary party that an official amendment will be tabled to the government’s neutral Brexit motion this week setting out his “five demands” for Brexit. This seeks to change our negotiating position, but will be rejected by the Commons. Then the leader revealed we had reached the final stage of Labour’s conference policy, the moment many have been fighting for and others have been dreading, as he said that “in line with our conference policy, we are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country”.

Labour backs a public vote. What does it mean? Sienna Rodgers

Squawky tried to claim that this was fake news:

The SWP said,

Counterfire, whose leaders were,  a couple of days ago were screaming for a purge of anybody not 101% loyal to Corbyn from the Labour Party, has this  reaction:

 

Labour announcing it will support efforts to push for a second referendum is a mistake, here’s why:

John Rees

Instead of building on the insurgent mass politics that gave us the Corbyn leadership and wiped out the Tory majority, the Labour left has instead diverted its energies and tied itself up in a series of compromises with the Labour Friends of Israel and the Euro-maniacs – of whom the most extreme honoured these ingenious overtures by ditching the party. The Corbyn project is once again in peril.

George Galloway’s former Bag Man Kevin Ovenden continues,

This will not mark the end of the political turmoil, but a new phase of it.

But that won’t be contained in the (English) two party system either. It will be much more chaotic and politically violent.

Park Brexit for a moment. Is the radical left in Britain remotely prepared for this?

Recent becalming and running for cover suggests that far too much of it is not.

There is a race against time to change that.

Martin Hall

A defeat for Corbyn and the left, plain and simple, wherever you stand on Brexit (?????)

Corbyn ‘aides’ aka,  Seumas Milne and his little band of helpers, were not slow to respond.

The Independent reports,

Brexit referendum: Labour’s Keir Starmer slaps down Corbyn aides over ballot question.

Shadow Brexit secretary insists ‘elected politicians’ decide policy, saying: ‘If Theresa May’s deal goes through, it is subject to the lock of a public vote’

However, on Monday night, a Labour source said the party would not support the amendment in its current form, because “we will not be voting for anything which supports May’s damaging Brexit deal”.

A second, anonymous sources briefed that Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, “misspoke” when she said the referendum was likely to be Ms May’s deal vs Remain.

Asked if Mr Corbyn’s aides were attempting to dilute the pledge, Sir Keir said: “You have got elected politicians on your programme – you had Emily Thornberry out last night – setting out what the position is that we agreed as the Labour party.

“What I am saying is telling you what was in the written briefing, the official briefing from my office and Jeremy’s office, to Labour MPs last night

“There is no question about that – it should be between a credible Leave option and Remain.”

Sir Keir made clear that a “credible Leave option” meant Ms May’s deal, if approved – although it is still unclear if Labour will abstain to allow it to pass, subject to a referendum.

It appeared Mr Corbyn’s aides were suggesting Labour would only back a referendum on its own Brexit proposals, which are almost certain to be rejected by MPs.

George Galloway has his penny’s worth,

Staunch  Lexiters  gnashed and ground their teeth,  disappearing in a froth of rage.

It is said that soon this will be all that will be left of them, stuck on an abandoned telephone box:

cpb brexit sticker

This is the best response:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 26, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Labour Split: Brexit and Beyond.

with 19 comments

” possibility that they have nothing to offer but anti-Corbynism and vacuous centrism..” (Labour List)

 

Labour split: Jeremy Corbyn faces major crisis as deputy leader warns more MPs are ready to quit party

Jeremy Corbyn faces a historic Labour rupture after being warned that more MPs are ready to follow the seven who dramatically quit his party on Monday.

The leader publicly appealed for unity while his supporters launched savage attacks on the MPs, branding them “cowards”, “traitors” and “splitters” and demanding they give up their seats.

But as the crisis deepened, deputy leader Tom Watson said other MPs are also considering leaving Labour, a party he admitted he sometimes no longer recognises, amid visceral anger over antisemitism, Brexit and Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

Independent

The first response to the 7 resignations and the creation of the Independent Group in Parliament should – this comes in the realm of the bleeding obvious – be temperate.

In this vein, “We at Open Labour view the split from the Labour Party as a step backwards for open politics within Labour, and for the communities our party represents. Many of those splitting away have served Labour for years, so we thank them for their work and wish them well, though we disagree with their decision.”

By contrast, the response  to the resignations shows some of the left at their worst.

Screams of ‘traitors’, as the Independent reports,  are likely to be welcomed by the new Parliamentary group.

They confirm their charge of intolerance and hatred.

The Napoleon of Counterfire, John Rees, writes,

Good that the splitters have gone, but this is a dangerous moment for the left, argues John Rees

What all this means is that the Labour left is faced with a choice: do you want a genuine left-wing workers’ party, or do you want to continue the losing battle to hold together a traditional Social Democratic party which contains right-wing, pro-capitalist, pro-imperialist, MPs?

No, NO!

This should be the moment when the entire Labour left, including the leadership around Jeremy Corbyn, decisively strikeout to recreate Labour as a genuine socialist party.

Perhaps Rees, experienced in creating a genuine workers’ parties, from the SWP to George Galloway’s Respect, should be appointed an adviser to Corbyn.

The next issue is to focus on the most important aspect: this break-away weakens efforts to stop the Tory Brexit.

Not only by grabbing attention for the split.

Concern at the influence of forces hostile to left-wing internationalism, that is, the pro-Brexit wing in Labour, can hardly have an effect outside the Party.

The damage caused by the looming threat of Brexit is already major:

Finally, is the controversy about anti-Semitism going to disappear?

The respected Mayor of London commented yesterday,

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he is deeply distressed by the Labour split, but admitted the party has been “shockingly poor” at dealing with anti-Semitism.

The Labour Party has been shockingly poor at addressing the issue of antisemitism over the last few years. We know that there are members of the Labour Party who have joined who have clearly anti-Semitic views, or have been in our party for some time and have clearly anti-Semitic views, the Labour Party hasn’t acted swiftly enough to kick them out.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON

But he said he believed the Labour divide will make it more difficult for the party to be elected to govern.

History tells us that when the Labour Party splits, it leads to the Conservative Party winning the next election and the one after that and the one after that. What people I care about need is a Labour Government. One thing that’s going to make that more difficult is Labour splits.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON

It beggars belief that the Chair of  Luciana Berger’s CLP was capable of this without being caught out.

The chair of the Liverpool Wavertree Labour Party – which is facing claims of antisemitic bullying by local members against MP Luciana Berger – made repeated appearances on a current affairs show broadcast by conspiracy theorist David Icke.

Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, who is a member of the pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice For Labour group, has been a regular guest on the Richie Allen on David Icke.com show since 2015.

Chair of CLP accused of bullying Luciana Berger appeared on show broadcast by David Icke

At the moment most minds are going to be focused on the potential of the group in elections.

The Spectator states,

When asked in the survey who they would vote for if there was a general election tomorrow, 8 per cent of the respondents opted for ‘A new centrist party opposed to Brexit’ if one existed. If these results materialised in a general election, this would make the Independence Group the third largest party, behind the Conservatives on 39 per cent and Labour on 34 per cent. Revealingly, the majority of the new party’s vote share has come from Labour, causing the party to fall into second place, five points behind the Conservative Party.

The capacity of the group to keep in the headlines is underlined by speculation over new defections,

Will more MPs leave Labour and the Conservatives to join the Independent Group?

Stephen Bush

John McDonnell makes a  suggestion to deal with the difficulties Labour faces:

McDonnell: Labour needs “mammoth, massive listening exercise.

Statements: 

“IT IS THE LABOUR PARTY OR NOTHING” – OPEN LABOUR STATEMENT

We at Open Labour view the split from the Labour Party as a step backwards for open politics within Labour, and for the communities our party represents. Many of those splitting away have served Labour for years, so we thank them for their work and wish them well, though we disagree with their decision.

As as a principle of democracy, we believe that those MPs splitting from the party no longer represent the people who voted for them as Labour candidates on our 2017 manifesto. They should stand down and face by-elections.

We stand by Labour’s direction of travel on the economy and austerity, which alongside Brexit are the most important issues facing the country. Labour is the only party serious about fighting for a transformation of our broken economy, and all indications are that it will remain the only party offering such a platform.

We have sympathy with some of these MP’s concerns raised around party culture, particularly with regards to the long failure of Labour to tackle anti-Semitic abuse and a culture of bad faith or exclusionary rhetoric which grips some CLPs – these criticisms cannot be dismissed. But the cure offered does not remedy the problem. We firmly believe that leaving the party offers no way to improve Labour, to ease the suffering in our communities, or prevent even greater suffering as a result of Brexit.

Open Labour will continue to fight for a left which encourages pluralism and tolerates a range of traditions and groups in their right to exist and campaign. Without it, there can be no vibrancy in the party, splits become inevitable, and our democracy loses its purpose.

The path to making our ideas a reality is through Labour and its allies in the trade union movement.

We are sorry to see this happen and thank our leaving MPs for their service, but we look forward to campaigning for Labour candidates in the seats affected.

Labour for a People’s Vote: 

Today seven Labour MPs have resigned from the Labour Party and announced that they will form a new “independent grouping”.

We understand that these MPs have had concerns over the way that the party has handled Brexit, and over the way that antisemitism has been dealt with.

Antisemitism is a serious issue. We are committed to rooting it out of the party and hope all Jewish members will stay to help us do this. Racism of any kind has no place in our party or our country. Labour has always been against discrimination of any kind. Antisemitism must be no exception.

We understand too that Brexit is a national crisis, made by the Tories and designed only to create division and harm in our society. Labour is the only party able to stop the Tories achieving their ends – which is why we are so clear on the need for a public vote, and for Labour to campaign for our EU membership in that campaign. Anything else would let down the people of Britain who put their trust in us at the last election.

We believe however that this fight is best fought within the Labour Party. Only Labour can win a General Election and keep the Tories out of power. Only Labour can stop the Tories’ Brexit getting through Parliament, and win a parliamentary vote to get a new referendum on Brexit. And only Labour has the reach and authority to lead and win the remain campaign.

We believe that Labour has the answers to the problems Britain faces. Britain needs a radical Labour Government, able to sweep away years of Tory misrule and austerity, and restore fairness and justice to our country. This agenda is not served by splits or resignations.

Labour for a People’s Vote.