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Posts Tagged ‘Lexit

Brexit: Johnson’s Brexit disaster looms as calls for Transition extension grow.

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Morning Star Despairs that Lexit, Labour Leave, and the Red-Brown ...


The Shower that helped Boris Johnson into Power.

Back in the happy days of January the Morning Star carried this story,

Brexit victory is opportunity to end neoliberalism, Lexiteers say.

Trade Unionists Against the EU chairman Doug Nicholls called Brexit the “starting gun to reshape our future” and a “seminal point in the history of Britain.”

He said: “January 31 is a seminal moment for trade unions and the TUC as well.

“It resets the movement to its default position: fighting for the interest of workers not in Brussels, but on the shop floor.”

Communist Party of Britain general secretary Robert Griffiths said Brexit would offer the opportunity to challenge neoliberalism and to rescue key industries.

On the 31st of that month, Brexit Day, Leave, Fight, Transform, a Communist Party of Britain, plus satellites and allies, declared,

Now Fight for Socialist Transformation

The fact that Britain is at last leaving the EU on 31 January 2020 some three and a half years since we voted to do so, is a victory for popular democracy and the real People’s vote over Britain’s political establishment and the corporate-sponsored Remain campaign.

Now we are leaving the EU, the real political struggle begins:

  • To end austerity policies (mandatory for member states under the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact)
  • For investment in manufacturing jobs and public services (severely restricted under EU State Aid rules)
  • To bring our railways and utilities back into public ownership (which EU Single market rules were designed to prevent)

Come February and the prospect of Brexit remained sunny for the “daily of the left”.

Workers must seize this new sovereignty

DOUG NICHOLLS argues that the working class as a whole ensured the country can govern itself again thanks to Brexit – but it must now start setting the agenda

NIcholls was a leading member of Trade Unionists Against the EU.

Alas, not much has been seen of this body, once promoted by the Socialist Party, and the recipient of Arron Banks’ donations.

Many stalwarts of the Red-Brown Front of the Full Brexit have moved to other pastures.

Britain’s leading Campaigner against “rootless cosmopolitans”, another leader of Trade Unionists Against the EU haa other issues on his mind,

Leave, Fight, Transform has, in the absence of much else to say on the democratic victory they are no doubt still celebrating,  taken to re-tweeting.

This is a one of their (sparse) re-tweets,

The fact is that this crowd, having encouraged support for Brexit, played a role in legitimising the Tory call to ‘get Brexit Done’, and there are grounds to consider that at least some of those influenced by them voted for Johnson. The French monthly Le Monde Diplomatique, which its own dodgy sovereigntist/populist line on Brexit, carried this in March 2020, “« Je suis travailliste, j’ai voté conservateur ».Dans un article publié sur le site The Full Brexit, le comédien Chris McGlade…

This week, Brexit has returned as an issue.


Boris Johnson’s Brexit nightmare is back at the worst possible moment


June 2020 is set to be one of the most important months in Boris Johnson’s somewhat tumultuous first year as Prime Minister.

Mired in a scandal surrounding his chief adviser Dominic Cummings and facing difficult questions about the UK having the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe, Johnson’s next month is going to be critical if he is to recapture the authority he had at the start of 2020.
June is also a make or break month in the UK’s post-Brexit negotiations with the European Union. Johnson, the architect of Brexit, has made such firm commitments to not extend the transition period that he simply cannot afford any capitulation — especially with his mounting domestic issues. Weakness is not an option.

This is the crucial point,

Johnson must now spend June with one eye on complicated and fraught negotiations with the largest trading bloc in the world, while also overseeing the response to the country’s worst public health crisis in decades.

So if Boris Johnson is serious about wanting to avoid no deal, the combination of the talks being frozen, both sides being distracted by a pandemic and this pressing June deadline makes for a hellish start to the summer.

The British government looks as if it is prepared to hitch itself to the gibbering Bible Thumping President of the USA, ‘Mr Brexit’ rather than negotiate.

D.C. Bishop Lays Into Trump for Using Her Church's Bible as a Prop ...

To further this aim they plan to steamroller Parliament to accept their diktat.

So much for the ‘sovereignty’ the Brexit left promoted:

Will we hear the bleats of the Brexit Bolsheviks and their red-brown allies at this response?

Sadiq Khan breaks Labour ranks to call for Brexit transition extension after coronavirus disruption

Mayor of London calls for delay beyond the end of the year so businesses and public services will not have to face ‘another cliff edge in six months’ time’

Left internationalists should back Khan’s demand.

There is of course this entirely manufactured “poll”of Brexit supporters to consider:


Pro-Brexit Left accuses “dumb centrist” anti-Brexit Keir Starmer of Responsibility for Labour Defeat.

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Image result for keir starmer People'sVote

Dolchstoßlegende: Labour stabbed in the back by its anti-Brexit membership.

A couple of weeks ago the Morning Star published this assertion,

…in my view Starmer doesn’t seem electable at all — with his anti-Brexit views I don’t think he has a hope in hell of winning back our heartlands.

It was Starmer who was at the heart of our Brexit volte-face between 2017 and 2019, the biggest reason we lost 2.5 million votes. He has done nothing to own this calamity of the highest order and doesn’t seem to be able to accept his huge role in it. If he can’t see the problem how on earth can he try to put it right?

The answer is not Sir Keir Starmer

The author, Rick Evans, is apparently a Labour Party activist linked the ‘Red Labour’.

These are his politics:

But the claim that Labour lost the election because of Starmer is not an isolated one.

The pro-Brexit Counterfire makes the same charge,

Labour lost Leave constituencies because it became a Remain party, with Starmer and others mounting pressure on the party leadership to support a second referendum, and stating that they would campaign for Remain regardless of what was in any prospective Labour deal.

Starmer argued that this was the path to victory for Labour. In reality, it was a disastrous approach that alienated traditional Labour voters and drove them to the Tories. It’s difficult to defend Starmer’s leadership credentials when he was behind such a great miscalculation.

No socialist should vote for Keir Starmer

It looks as if the former supporters of George Galloway’s Respect Party are preparing for possible defeat and a return to their political isolation.

This is their more recent description of Starmer’s politics:

Starmer sides with Trump against Assange: expect more of the same if he’s leader

….unquestioning loyalty to the establishment on both sides of the Atlantic. But they can also expect Sir Keir to be a dumb centrist who will be out manoeuvred by the Tories…

Apart from Counterfire mocking the mute,  this is the kind of catch-all rhetoric we can expect from their side in weeks to come.

At is core is a new  Dolchstoßlegende, that Starmer stabbed Labour in the back by supporting the massive protests against Brexit.

It has equally expressed in an intellectual version.

New Left Review Editor and Brexiteer, Susan Watkins imagines, with the blessing of hindsight, that Labour could have let Brexit pass under Boris Johnson,

Placing the Labour leadership candidate within the “Remainer elite” who “betrayed” the working class she suggests that a better way would have been to follow the wiles of Harold Wilson and allow Labour MP’s to back the Tories and ignore the decisions of their Party Conferences.

The Parliamentary Party, acting alone (without reference to democratically agreed policy on the ‘tests’ on an acceptable Brexit deal, and favouring the option a Second Referendum), could, by

…giving Labour mps a free vote on Brexit legislation in 2019, ‘according to their conscience’, as Harold Wilson had done on the divisive 1975 referendum on the uk’s entry into the Common Market. With the ‘northern group’ voting for the bill and two dozen Labour abstentions, Johnson would have been denied the chance to make electoral hay out of the obstruction of Brexit, and the prospect of combating a much weaker Tory administration would have lain ahead at the next election. A Labour government could then have fought for an open immigration policy, or its own recalibration of the eu’s ‘four freedoms’.

Britian’s Decade  of Crisis Editorial Susan Watkins.

Lexit Left’s Responsibility for Defeat.

In reality the Lexit left share in the responsibility for Labour’s defeat: they sided with the hard right in voting for Leave, and encouraged the illusion that there was a “People’s Brexit’ waiting to emerge from the break with the EU. That is, they encouraged the very pro-Brexit feeling that Remainers like Starmer are alleged to have ignored, and let the red to blue switch-overs with a ready-made justification for their vote.

Not only did an alternative socialist Brexit not happen, it could not happen.

The Brexit project was part of the very hard-right, national neoliberalism, aligned with the “‘outward-orientation’ ” of sections of capital, “in the era of bubblenomics”, which was, and is “above all Atlanticist. ”

With this as the backdrop, Watkin’s strategy had been ruled out by the domestic political landscape as condensed in the House of Commons.

The idea that Labour could have left pro-Brexit MP’s vote, en masse, for the Leave legislation, was dead in the early years of the 2017 May government.

The option that The NLR Editor and friends have dreamt up was, it’s becoming clear, was already not on the cards.

Mike Phipps, in a review of this book,  May at 10, by Anthony Seldon,  indicates why.

These are the relevant sections of the article:

Some Party activists have suggested that Labour should have voted for Brexit to get it out of the way so that the 2019 general election could have been about issues less divisive for Labour voters and members.

There are several problems with this analysis. First, to have called for a vote for May’s particular form of Brexit would have collaborated in creating the bonfire of workplace rights and environmental safeguards that would follow leaving the EU. Secondly, it would have split the party down the middle, with most members and MPs opposed to Brexit. Thirdly, with some Labour MPs already breaking the whip, any attempt to impose a hard Brexit on the parliamentary party would have provoked not just more defiance but possibly a challenge to the leadership, Fourthly, it was only in April 2019 that the May government indicated a preparedness to negotiate with Labour – but there was no real willingness to move towards Labour‘s proposal for a permanent customs union.

Worse, the government was by now falling to pieces. Seldon suggests that Labour’s front bench was in intransigent pre-election mode, but the reality was that the talks ground to a halt when May’s own departure was being briefed to the media, with no commitment that any agreement reached would be honoured by her successor.

Mike continues,

Should Labour have adopted a different position to the compromise it made with itself over Brexit?

Leavers say it should never have floated the idea of a second referendum, which indicated contempt for the 2016 verdict of the voters. Remainers say Labour should have come out for a People’s Vote earlier, pointing to the slump in the Labour vote in the 2019 EU parliamentary elections and the rise in support for Remain parties such as the Lib Dems and the Greens.

The debate will rumble on in relation to the 2019 general election, but two things should be borne in mind.

Firstly, Labour’s position on Brexit was not seen by voters as the principal reason for rejecting the party in 2019.

Secondly, whatever position Labour might have adopted, it would probably not have changed the course of events prior to the election, which were not controlled by the party’s leadership.

This are the standout points,

The assumption that if Labour had somehow got Brexit out of the way, it could have fought the general election on different terrain overlooks the obvious point that, with Brexit done, there may not have been an election in 2019 at all, or 2020 or 2021. Johnson gambled in 2019, but he would have preferred to call a general election when the polls could give the Tories a clearer lead.

True, it would not have been the ‘Brexit election’, but the mobilisation of nationalist sentiment and the weaponisation of the Labour leader’s patriotism are themes that the Tories have used repeatedly in the past and are still exploiting now post-election. We shouldn’t be surprised: the rise of authoritarian nationalist conservatism is a global phenomenon challenging social democratic parties across the world.

He concludes,

With hindsight, we can see we were a long way from that and much more political and practical preparation was necessary after 2017 to make it possible. Furthermore, the absence of industrial struggle or a more generalised upsurge against government policy over the last nine years should have told us that there was something fundamental missing in the combination of ingredients that might bring a socialist government to power. Instead, we suffered a colossal defeat – and one from which we have to learn lessons.

While the Lexiteers may have helped soften up opinion for the Tories their influence was far from decisive. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that, while it did have some effect (above all in letting convinced Labour turncoats with a ready excuse for their ballot), that, “Labour’s position on Brexit was not seen by voters as the principal reason for rejecting the party in 2019” Leadership is the most cited reason for not backing the Party.

Mike is also right to underline that Labour politicians of any side  were, a minority in parliament, able to determine the way the issue played out as the election agenda was set, “whatever position Labour might have adopted, it would probably not have changed the course of events prior to the election, which were not controlled by the party’s leadership.”

Brexit has not gone away, at least in Labour debate.

Starmer comes under fire from Long-Bailey and Nandy over Brexit


Labour leadership hustings saw frontrunner criticised for party’s ‘tone-deaf’ approach

Long-Bailey implicitly condemned Starmer’s Commons-based tactics against Theresa May’s minority government, saying: “Unfortunately, we focused a lot on what was happening within Westminster, and didn’t convey what we were trying to do to our community. And that led to a lack of trust.

“It took so many other things down with it. So in the election, when we should have been talking about jobs, aspiration, industry, what the future will look like, we were talking about Brexit and trying to justify our position, which was confusing.”

Speaking later in the event, Nandy said Labour’s problem with Brexit was that it “took all the wrong lessons from what the public were trying to tell us”.

She said: “Brexit was a real problem for us, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. And the reason it was a problem was because our response was so utterly tone-deaf.”

The “public” were not one group. Labour, as a party of over 500,000 members is part of the public, so are those who filled the streets protesting against Brexit, mass currents of opinion and street activity, the latter the”movementists” of Counterfire ignore, or denigrate.

This drew a measured response,

…Starmer vehemently rejected this analysis, saying that “fairly or unfairly, rightly or wrongly”, Corbyn’s leadership was the number one issue on the doorstep, as well as what he called “manifesto overload”.

Starmer said: “Whether what was in the manifesto was right or wrong, there was too much. There was a tipping point, and it didn’t matter whether it was good or bad, because people didn’t believe we could deliver it.”

“And every team was talking about what was coming up on the doorstep, the big issues. And there was complete uniformity across the country; it was number one, the leadership. Fairly or unfairly, rightly or wrongly, anybody who was in that campaign knows that was the number one thing that came up. I’m not saying it’s right; I’m just saying let’s be honest about it.

The second thing was Brexit, of course. But that came up differently. If you were campaigning in the Midlands, it came up in a particular way. If you were campaigning in Scotland, it came up in a completely different way. But it did come up, I accept that.

The third thing that came up – this is not me, this is the teams reporting to me – was the manifesto overload. Now, whether what was in the manifesto was right or wrong, there was too much. There was a tipping point, and it did not matter whether it was good or bad, because people did not believe we could deliver it. And once you got past that point, there was no coming back.

And I’m really sad to say, but in all honesty antisemitism came up … It came up as a values issue and as a competency issue.”



Lexit Left Victory as Johnson Declares ” People’s Brexit” is underway.

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Lexit Left ‘Victory’.

Jim writes (Labour leavers gloat and bleat over Labour’s Brexit stance).

Various uncritical Corbyn-fans, Stalinists and little-Englanders are wasting no time in claiming “we lost because we were too pro-Remain.”

This weekend’s Morning Star, in typical tawdry and dishonest fashion, uses its front page to gloat that “REMAIN IS OVER”, quoting two union leaders (Dave Ward of the CWU and Kevin Courtney of the NEU), neither of whom has any noticeable record of actually campaigning for Brexit/”Lexit” within the labour movement.

The same paper’s editorial bleats that “Labour’s leader was the first to call for Article 50 to be triggered after the referendum result in 2016, and long resisted the efforts to trap his party in a Remain box. Had Labour paid more attention to its leader, it might not have suffered such devastating losses this week.”

The Morning star did more.

It cited the Aaron Banks funded Red-Brown (involved in the ‘Full Brexit’ which brings together Labour Brexiteers, Blue Labour, supporters of the Brexit Party, and Conservatives, ) Trade Unionists Against the EU” .

A  spokesperson, perhaps anti-rootless cosmopolitan campaigner Paul Embery, said.

A spokesperson from campaign group Trade Unionists Against the EU suggested that the Tories could face challenges from the public after pushing through Brexit.

“A Johnson government is a Brexit government, defined by Brexit, elected to deliver Brexit; it has a single purpose: to get Brexit done; it has no other mandate,” it said.

“It legitimacy ceases once we leave the EU.”

‘Remain has been defeated. The movement needs to move on,’ unions say

In other words, good on you my son Johnson, do your job and then we’ll meet in friendly combat.

The enemies of the internationalist left are still at it.

The People’s Brexit mouthpiece Counterfire carries this post:

Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister was unthinkable for the Labour right, and demanding a second referendum was about destroying the Corbyn project, writes John Westmoreland

Speaking for the ‘Pithead’ he declares,

The truth is, no matter how unpalatable, that Johnson’s “Get Brexit done” is what persuaded many workers in the Labour heartlands to vote for parties other than Labour.


This tells us that the deciding factor was not the appeal of Boris Johnson, but the desire to reinforce Doncaster’s vote to leave the EU. There is little doubt that if Labour had stuck to upholding the result of the referendum and simultaneously fighting for social and economic justice, the results would be very different.

Hammering home this message Lindsey German wrote on the same site, wearing one of her many hats (Stop the War Coalition onwards), she said,

The People’s Vote Campaign played a big part in forcing this shift and was an amalgam of Tories, the Lib Dems and Blairites like Alastair Campbell. These people claimed, supported by many on the left like the Another Europe is Possible campaign, that they only had to worry about Remain voters and that most Leave voters wouldn’t vote Labour anyway. Well, they haven’t now. And Brexit will follow in the coming weeks.

At yesterday’s successful and, in the circumstances  well-attended (over a hundred)  Another Europe is Possible Conference a number of speakers gave a different message.

The internationalist left heard from a speaker from County Durham who said that we should make no concessions to the nationalist right.

One member spoke of the way in which the Brexit left had thwarted Labour’s need to underline the reactionary charge of Brexit, in any form. He said that the Lexit Left would try to confuse the responsibility for the defeat by blaming the pro-Remain left (see above). Pro-Brexit factions were  one of the main causes of Labour’s disastrous result, by encouraging the belief that there was a progressive ‘People’s Brexit’ on the cards. It was little wonder that voters who heard that message would prefer the only actually existing Brexit: Johnson’s.


These are some of the concluding speeches.

Now that the Tories offer a People’s Brexit what’s to stop the Lexiteers joining in?

The fight against the national populists now trying to influence Labour is only just beginning.

Now there is also this:



Written by Andrew Coates

December 15, 2019 at 12:04 pm