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We need a new agenda for a better and more constructive Europe

Planet of the Apes Euro spoofFor over 45 years, and based on my early involvement with the issue in the Foreign Office, I have contested the issue of Britain’s membership of what was the Common Market and then grew into the EU, and I have always been on the losing side.  It could be argued that my own political career, and my bid to lead the Labour Party, were adversely affected by what was often seen as an odd aberration.   I argued over this whole period that the EU is not Europe and that the actual and very particular arrangement we were offered was not only inimical to Britain’s interests but was not the way to build a better and more lasting European cooperation and identity.

It is amazing and wonderful that ordinary people have at this late stage – after 43 years of membership – refused to be bullied and patronised by their supposed betters, by so-called experts and powerful financial interests, into betraying their own experience and judgment.  The result is a new start for both Britain and Europe and a new and better prospect for both.

It is important now, for the left in British politics, that all those good and decent people on the left who wanted to stay in the EU accept that there always was an equally good and decent argument on the left for leaving. That argument received virtually no coverage during the referendum campaign, and was submerged in the insistence in much of the media and in the mouths of our leaders that the decision was essentially a contest between a disreputably racist focus on immigration and the superior moral and rational perspective of the people who naturally knew better and whose views had always prevailed.

But we should have taken, and did take, courage from the lessons of experience. Similar arguments led us to join the European Monetary System, which proved disastrous, and were then repeated in respect of the euro. Most people in Britain will offer daily thanks that we had the courage to reject those arguments and to stay out of the euro, and there is no reason to suppose that they should have had any greater weight now. Our trading partners in Europe need us at least as much as we are said to need them, as post-Brexit negotiations will surely demonstrate.

In any case, a decision in favour of Brexit does not mean, as is so often alleged, turning our backs on Europe.  It will signal instead the opening of a new agenda, aimed at developing a better and more constructive Europe, and one with a greater chance of success.

A new Europe would not operate, as it has done since its inception, as a living manifestation of free-market capitalism, serving the interests of big business rather than those of ordinary people.  It would not impose a policy of austerity in thrall to neo-classical economic doctrine.  It would not run a hugely diverse economy in terms of a monetary policy that suits Germany but no one else.  It would not impose a political structure decided by a small elite, but would allow the pace of cooperation and perhaps eventually integration to be decided by the people of Europe as they and we became more comfortable with the concept of a European identity.

If we have the courage, we could, in other words, not only benefit ourselves but help the development of a Europe that truly does serve the people of Europe.  That is surely a project to attract even the most enlightened of bien pensants.

The Labour party, in terms of domestic politics, has clearly missed a major opportunity.  Analysis of the voting pattern will surely show that a majority of Labour voters were in favour of leaving. The Labour leadership had the chance, not only to reflect and lead that preference, rather than distance themselves from it, but also to place itself at the head of that majority who were fed up with the obvious, serious and growing deficiencies of the EU as a model for European integration.  Jeremy Corbyn has – through timidity rather than conviction – placed himself on the losing side and missed the chance to exploit the unavoidable blow to the authority of the Tory government that the Brexit decision represents.

He took refuge in an argument for remaining that should surely have no place in the vocabulary of a Labour leader.  He urged Labour supporters to vote remain on the surprising ground that there were provisions, particularly concerning workers’ rights, that were beyond the reach of democratic change by an elected British government.  How odd that Labour should endorse the concept of government by an unelected European bureaucracy.  How much more constructive and politically astute if he had faithfully represented the views of Labour voters (and almost certainly his own personal preference) as a step towards a democratically elected Labour government that would have been the best protector of workers’ rights.

For Labour voters, and for the majority of voters more generally, including all those who value our European role, there is a comforting aspect of the Brexit decision.  Where Britain now goes, others will follow.  For all those who want to see a better European future, that is an enticing prospect.

This article first appeared at Bryan Gould’s own website

35 Comments

  1. John Penney says:

    Jeremy Corbyn did indeed place himself on the losing side in the referendum. But was this due to timidity ? More the harsh reality of a shadow Cabinet and PLP , and trades union movement, almost entirely for Remain – and a “Remain” which had as its background politics exactly the same neoliberalism supporting framework as the Tories. This made it impossible for Jeremy to adopt any other position.

    As it was his highly critical, nuanced, Remain position had much credibility with even Brexit working class voters across the country, but was systematically ignored by the mass media. the mass media only gave space to the PLP majority , with their neoliberal politics, and willingness to appear on joint platforms with the Tories – in a real “deja Vu” reprise of the disastrous Scottish Referendum.

    Jeremy now has to fight to bring to the fore a comprehensive radical Left Keynsian Labour policy “offer” for the new Brexit reality – with an anti austerity message , a target of full employment, a massive new social housebuilding and infrastructure programme , a massive training/apprenticeship effort, removing the shackles on trades union organisation, a real living minimum wage, and end to zero hour and “Uber-type” employment practices. All this alongside a clear commitment that the Full Employment objective will be aimed at all UK citizens as a fist priority, rather than the UK labour market continuing to be subject to limitless labour supply as it was under EU rules.

    Unless Jeremy and Labour grasp the thorny nettle of proactive labour supply planning being a key component of a comprehensive economic planning system – a key contributory motive (alongside a bundle of very real beefs entire sections of the working class has with the current economic/social status quo of neoliberalism) for the alienation of traditional working class Labour voters will be unmet – and they will definitely eventually be seduced by parties of the radical populist far Right – far more dangerous than the cynical populist concealed Tories of UKIP – who currently are making worrying inroads into Labour heartlands in the North.

    1. C MacMackin says:

      One issue which we will face here is that a lot of liberal middle class voters who, while by no means sufficient, are vital to Labour winning an election will not like the sort of approach you are talking about. One way to help address this would be to emphasize guaranteeing jobs not just for UK citizens but for all those already living here (in practice this won’t amount to much difference, as most immigrants are already employed).

      Another thing which might have to be looked at would be limited, bilateral free movement treaties. In a previous post you pointed out that immigration didn’t grow until the poorer, Eastern countries joined the EU. In that case, we could look at what countries there is currently roughly even immigration from and emigration to (presumably, Germany, France, Spain, and, outside of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, throw in Japan to prove we’re not racist…) and consider having free movement with those ones. (Just a suggestion–not something I’ve particularly thought out.)

      Other suggestions for less-divisive ways to deal with immigration include giving extra funding to local authorities with high immigration, so as to reflect the extra GDP immigrants bring to the country (as suggested by Owen Jones), guaranteeing no deportation of EU citizens already living here, emphasizing how even countries with points-based immigration systems (such as Canada) can still be cosmopolitan/don’t all have Australia’s record on human rights, emphasize that immigration numbers would be chosen to meet demand for jobs but be sure to point out that lots and lots of jobs will be created by a national development plan, etc.

  2. Historyintime says:

    Yes, the immediate task now is to define what the victory means correctly. I’d focus on the defining quantity being workers and have-nots rage and despair. If that can be achieved further austerity becomes harder.

  3. Bazza says:

    I campigned for In but for a massive EC transformation in a left direction.
    As a left wing socialist I would argue the EC offered one potential (difficult) framework for building a left wing democratic international socialism in.
    This framework has now gone but the new/old framework also offers an opportunity to fight for the same principles and perhaps if we think about it there is now no international pro-Neo Liberal free market body to try to restrict any plans we may have for more democratic public ownership of industries which I support.
    So que sera sera and our battles continue!
    People shouldn’t feel down if they we pro-In; we should just dust ourselves down and continue to fight for what we believe in! Yours comradely!

  4. Verity says:

    It is indeed a pity that Corbyn was captured by the dominance of ‘free marketeers’ in Labour and seen to be sided with what in my CLP, outside of a small group of Supporters (not necessarily0 members), looked liked a Conservative-Labour Coalition. That the PLP adopted the position it did is neither a surprise nor worry. It was to be expected and in my judgement will be repeated on so many other issues in the future.

    That neo -liberalism should be accepted by several unions is however much more of a concern. In particular speeches like those of Francis O’Grady were exceptionally difficult to listen to. Except for one or two less noticeable matters (i.e. the EU as an arm of a workers liberation movement), she appeared to be the cheerleader for the great achievements of large corporations as the producers of UK growth and hence our prosperity. The trade union movement spokespeople have done great repetitional damage for it members – many of who are going to remember the leadership they offered.

    On the positive side, hardly unnoticed, I can vouch for the fact that there were some pockets of hugely intense and active ‘Labour – Out’ campaigns. In my own area reaching more people, more often than the main Party campaign. The effect of their work reached a high number of people given the proportionate numbers engaged in some areas. I know it brought considerable comfort to those doorsteps where it was engaged and ‘saved’ many for future Labour commitment. I suppose we can also be thankful in the circumstances that so many people never quite got the ‘Labour – In’ message’. Some Supporters outside Labour have now has experience the level of understanding in their CLPs and will now be wary that much good can come from the organisation with so little grasp of an alternative Labour case.

  5. James Kemp says:

    >>Analysis of the voting pattern will surely show that a majority of Labour voters were in favor of leaving.

    63% were to stay Labour vote breakdown so far as known, so can we please stop the mistrusts like in this story.

    Jeremy was on the side that voted to stay.Tories cued this mess that still messing around and not getting on with leaving, I thought they were so desperate to leave right now.

    When the big financial crash that’s a coming hit’s i bet people like that wrote this story will be going not my fault, Well it is!

    The Tory’s will now sell off more of the NHS underfund everything else to extinction because of you, and your green light to do what ever they want.

    Ukip sell the persevere lies of this country will be better if. They are just another racists party dressed up in smarter clothes no better than the BNP. Just look at that last poster.

    Oh how long did there last big lie last after the vote?

    3 hours i see for that 350 million a week to the NHS was exposed for the lie it was!

    1. john P Reid says:

      37% of labour voters,voted leave, which will mainly include Scotland and inner London, but what of those in other working class areas that voted to leave including nearly Newcastle
      or the Thames estery Dagenham use to be the second most safe labour seat in the country,OK demographics change things,
      the fact was even in Islington the most poorest ward had by far the biggest swing to leave, and in Barking the working class areas were the same
      and that doesn’t even include labour has gradually been keeping its middle class public secotr white collar middle class vote for the last 10 years while losing our workers vote, and its not just the allegation that the working class are thick and racist thats why they vote elsewhere,

  6. Bazza says:

    Now here’s my personal story.
    As a left wing working class internationalist democratic socialist in Labour from a social housing background (who was the first in my family to go to university and ended up working at a university and getting a Masters degree) I leafleted twice in the sun on Referendum day with Labour vote In Today leaflets in 2 different areas of Leeds.
    That night I watched the first 1.5 hours of the BBC election coverage programme at 10.00pm and went to bed when the inkling was towards a narrow In victory and I was dreading Friday.
    This is when I was having a day out in Keighley (getting the steam train to Howarth) with my friend who I love and she is mainly Left Wing although has never liked the EC, voted Out, and even had some admiration of Farage and I was dreading facing her and having to console her.
    Of course when I woke up next morning it soon became clear that the consoling could be the other way round!
    But as a socialist who wants a left wing World I was soon able to reflect.
    One potential framework had gone and a new/old one would soon begin and we just need to keep on fighting for what we believe in.
    But all day/evening I was really listening to the conversations of working class people in Keighley (where the majority voted Out) and whilst at a bus stop on our way back, from a group of 4 people a young working class lass (who voted Out) said: “I am happy” and “So an election later in the year and get Labour in!” and all 4 agreed.
    I am not offering a romanticised view of my class (one did say some not nice things about immigrants) but perhaps the news isn’t so bad for Labour and as Stephen Bush argued in the latest New Statement ” Labour has won the Left but it also needs to win the Left Behind.”
    “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose!”
    So we are still internationalists and will continue to celebrate diversity and perhaps even more strongly now but perhaps people may feel they have more control if they collectively (by country) democratically publicly own banks, land, mail, rail, pharma, public transport and the public utilities etc.
    “Rise up with me against the organisation of misery!” -Pablo Neruda.
    By the way what was missing from the debate was perhaps a British sense of humour.
    So what would one of the greatest thinkers and finest political minds in the Western World (Mrs Brown of the fantastic BBC comedy ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’) have said to Boris Johnson?
    “So you want Out Boris? Well, Feck Off Then!”

  7. Bazza says:

    Ooops! Stephen Bush in The New Statesman.

  8. Susan O'Neill says:

    “It is amazing and wonderful that ordinary people have at this late stage – after 43 years of membership – refused to be bullied and patronised by their supposed betters, by so-called experts and powerful financial interests, into betraying their own experience and judgment. The result is a new start for both Britain and Europe and a new and better prospect for both.”
    Grandstanding on the “leave” victory when it was achieved primarily through the vast numbers of racist, xenophobic bigots is hardly a victory for “ordinary” people. It shows the left willing to use the vitriolic hate of a large minority as a platform for extolling socialist ideology based on segregation and prejudice. Both camps misrepresented facts to some degree, but the Brexiteers promulgated facts appealing to the basest prejudices of “ordinary” people. What an unlovely thought. The left movement is picking up momentum across Europe and will continue to do so with the help of unions, who tend to work on the premise that people should be “united” rather than demonized and discriminated against.
    Power for power’s sake at any cost is no better than what the neo liberal right wing thinkers desire and just as sickening.

    1. James Martin says:

      If you want to know about nastiness perhaps you can have a word with John Wilson, a lifelong loyal Labour Party member in Preston who coordinated and led the out campaign there (and Lancashire had large majorities for out in working class areas), and who for his trouble was sent pictures of the Klu Klux Klan (he believes by Labour remain supporters). I honestly think some people still don’t have a clue about the large numbers of Labour Party members and voters in areas like mine who voted out, and did so for the same reasons as Tony Benn once argued, because we believe in democracy and not in an undemocratic capitalist trading block. I assume though that those chattering classes, media luvvies and middle class students feel a lot better if they can dismiss us all as racists while shouting for a second referendum. I even noticed that perpetual eejit David Lammy has called for the democratic vote to be ignored – which given that would be in support of the undemocratic EU is consistent in its contempt for voters if nothing else.

  9. Peter Rowlands says:

    The article is nonsense. The only way forward for the left would have been to reform the EU alongside fellow socialists there so that a social democratic and eventually socialist EU that was big and powerful enough to stand up to international capital could be created. For the UK that would appear to be no longer a viable short term objective, while Brexit could well precipitate similar moves within the EU perhaps leading to its break up. Who would gain from that? the populist, nationalist right, with more sinister elements waiting in the wings. That is what has happened here. Brexit is a victory for those forces, and anyone who cannot grasp that understands nothing.

  10. john P Reid says:

    apart form peter rowlands and James kemp agree with everything wrote here,

  11. C MacMackin says:

    As someone who felt that socialists should vote for leave, I have nonetheless taken no pleasure in this outcome. This was not an exit premised on building a socialist country, but one based on fear and nationalistic narratives. Furthermore, the country seems more divided than ever, with the younger, urban, liberal remain voters angry at and repulsed by the leave voters. Many of them seem unwilling to accept this outcome, campaigning for a second referendum, or for the results of the first referendum to be ignored.

    All of that said, the result was leave. We don’t have to like it or agree with it, but we do have to accept it. You can believe it was a terrible defeat for the left and represents Britain’s inevitable slide into reaction if you wish, but that won’t change the outcome. Our job now, however we voted, is to make the best of the situation we’re in.

    Corbyn would be uniquely positioned to do that, given his historical opposition to the EU and rather critical support for it during the campaign. Of course, the knives (or perhaps ice-picks) are out, with a call for a no-confidence vote and Hilary Benn seeking to dislodge him. We will need to make sure he survives the coming weeks and months, keeping in mind that doing so may well split the party. Assuming that we pull through that, another problem will be managing to retain support of the left-ish, remain-supporting, middle class while working for as progressive a Brexit as possible. I know from first hand exposure that at least some of the remainers are extremely angry at Corbyn for, as they see it, losing the campaign and will not take kindly to any degree of accommodation to the leave result. These people are currently indulging their most anti-democratic, populist-hating sentiments and this will present a challenge for us.

    Finally, on another note, given Left Futures content overwhelmingly favoured remain in the lead-up to the referendum, it does come across as a bit odd to suddenly publish a leave article. One of the problems with the dire warnings of what would happen with Brexit is that it paints you into a bit of a corner if Brexit happens. I’m sure this will not be lost on voters.

    1. John P Reid says:

      Again very true

  12. David Pavett says:

    Bryan Gould says

    It is amazing and wonderful that ordinary people have at this late stage – after 43 years of membership – refused to be bullied and patronised by their supposed betters, by so-called experts and powerful financial interests, into betraying their own experience and judgment. The result is a new start for both Britain and Europe and a new and better prospect for both.

    He thinks that the

    … majority … were fed up with the obvious, serious and growing deficiencies of the EU as a model for European integration.

    Both comments make me wonder which political universe BG lives in. Has he any idea of the simplistic reasoning that actually determined the issue for the majority of voters (on both sides)?

    In BG’s political universe

    Analysis of the voting pattern will surely show that a majority of Labour voters were in favour of leaving.

    In the real world it is clear that the opposite is true. The Ashcroft post-poll sounding estimates that two thirds of Labour supporters voted for Remain. That is disappointingly low but it is still a clear majority.

    A new Europe would not operate, as it has done since its inception … [and] impose a political structure decided by a small elite, but would allow the pace of cooperation and perhaps eventually integration to be decided by the people … [Emphasis added].

    No clues are given as to how this might be done. Would it be done by agreement between democratically elected national Parliaments and their appointees? If so then that is one of the ways (the main way?) of the present EU. Should it be by a directly elected Parliament? If so then that is another method currently used and it faces the problem that most of the electorate have no interest in or knowledge of politics at that level.

    1. John P Reid says:

      It was actually 62% of labour voters voted to remain, and the labour vote, in 2015 was made up of many people who’d voted Libdem, or greens in 2010, labour having lost several of its supporters who’d voted for us in 2010 when Gordon was leader,and many who’d voted labour since the 60’s ,not voting for us for the first time, but the fact was,with our Scittish and inner London , Manchester, Liverpool vote, voting for us so heavily,ball areas called our heartlands, and Scotland aside, areas we increased our votes in ,at the last election,without catching those swing seats, meant that many of our traditional areas Sunderland & Wales saw our core vote, massively vote leave,

    2. C MacMackin says:

      It is true that a lot, probably most, of the sentiment driving leave was less than progressive. It certainly wasn’t the anti-neoliberal rebellion that Bryan Gould would like to believe. However, we shouldn’t write off everyone. As this Guardian article shows (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/meet-10-britons-who-voted-to-leave-the-eu) there was much more than just racism, xenophobia, and fear of immigration going on for at least some of the leave voters. I’d be willing to bet that this would include enough people to have been able to have swung the vote. I’m not saying I agree with everything said in that article–far from it! Some of it I find quite distasteful, other bits (democracy in vs. out) could be argued, and the stuff about the EU regulation causing the decline of British industry is ahistorical nonsense. However, it does show that there is a constituency of leave voters that Labour can reach out to in order to make the best of the situation we’re in.

      1. Tim Wilkinson says:

        We have to distinguish between the causes of the leave vote and the superficial reasons given for it. As anyone (especially the likes of Lynton Crosby) who has studied electoral behaviour knows, the reasons people give for their voting choice is not necessarily a good guide to and the actual emotional and situational drivers of that choice.

        The Leave campaign operated very much at the level of emotion, even by the standards of popular elections in general and modern marketing-based campaigns in particular.

        The most obvious triggers were of course atavistic impulses toward patriotism and xenophobia which the right have been fostering and manipulating for many years. But even regarding those who appeared to be motivated in a simple fashion by such drives, this is not the whole story.

        To understand what is happening and what can be done about it, we need to perform a hard-headedly causal analysis, not piss around with analysing whatever the latest narrative might be that has caught the popular imagination. Only once we have some grip on what is going on in reality rather than political mythology can we really hope to devise a workable propaganda strategy.

        We can distinguish three overlapping ways in which things are more complicated than a simple rise in ‘racism’ – or in peoples’ receptivity to tribal/authoritarian propaganda that just happens to coincide with recession and austerity.

        First and least tractable is rationalisation: people latching onto a simple story to express inchoate states of mind. Left-wing discourse in this country has almost become extinct over the past thirty years and so many people translate an accurate sense that they are being shafted by the ruling class into a fantastical (but heavily-marketed of course) story about lefty PC ‘elites’ doing us down by siding with muslims or something. This is hard to quantify and people can choose to deny its existence for one reason or another, but good luck finding anyone who knows anything about psychology, marketing or election strategy who will agree. Obviously a prerequisite (but only a prerequisite) for doing anything about this is to provide and promote an alternative – more veridical – narrative for people to adopt.

        Second, diversion: the story about immigrants taking over has been pushed by the Conservatives for the obvious reason that it diverts attention from the real reason why people can’t get doctors’ appointments, housing, etc. It is quite obvious that despite the success of this bait-and-switch tactic of blaming immigrants, these complaints are in fact about – caused by, a reaction to, directly focused on – the effects of neoliberal austerity policies aimed at ‘rolling back the state’ and privatisation.

        Third, vulnerability: neoliberal policies and their social consequences – social fragmentation, insecurity, etc – make people much more vulnerable to right-wing demagoguery.

  13. Kate Thomas says:

    As socialists, we are also internationalists, cooperation rather than war. Jeremy Corbyn has that approach too. He was 75% in favour of being in the EU on those grounds, he also saw the need for the EU to be reformed.

    It was not the EU that smashed workers rights in this country but the neoliberal policies of successive British Governments for the last 37 years – Governments that reveled in the free market, that loved a flexible workforce, so flexible that 22 million workers in this country are on minimum wage and many have their wages supplemented with benefits just to survive. It was not the EU that caused the housing crisis – the sell-off of 2.5 million council houses scooped up private landlords, not was successive Tory and Labour Governments. It was not the EU who allowed the City of London to become a tax haven, for the European super rich to drop in and plant their money in London property to guard their wealth, no that was the British Government.

    You didn’t see people voting to leave the EU, what you saw was the rage against successive British Tory and Labour Governments who let the workers in this country down.

  14. Jim Denham says:

    “It is important now, for the left in British politics, that all those good and decent people on the left who wanted to stay in the EU accept that there always was an equally good and decent argument on the left for leaving”: sorry, I don’t and there isn’t. The so-called “left” that backed leave were irrelevant to the result but, even so, must never be allowed to live down their stupidity and foolishness. Now that the racist attacks are building up, the “left” Brexiteers should, quite simple, hang their heads in shame.

    1. John Penney says:

      You have all the political sophistication of a 15 year old schoolboy, Jim. Do you really not grasp that over 18 million Brexit voters are not reducable to “knuckle dragging racists”. This is huge numbers of the working class we are talking about , and from polling and surveys done and reported in the press, including many Asian voters too. Their hostility to the entirely neoliberal enforcement machine of the EU wraps in a wide range of types of deprivation and lack of opportunity, from jobs to housing, to benefit cuts, to NHS cuts, of course most actually the responsibility of the UK government. But with a UK political class entirely bought by the capitalist class, the Referendum provided an opportunity for the most deprived sections of the working class in particular to circumvent the corruption of Westminster politics, with a “spanner in the works” OUT vote.

      You are simply mouthing a version of the Ruling class’s new narrative to save the UK’s place within the neoliberal EU structure – that the 18 million (majority) UK voters can be disregarded because “they are old and stupid”, knuckle dragging racists (when most are simply just realistically aware of the impact of an unlimited labour supply on lower paid job wages and conditions), “ignorant plebs”, etc.

      You need to think about how the Left can produce a radical policy bundle that can compete with the genuinely racist populism of UKIP in future , to meet the underlying deprivation issues behind most working class Brexit voter discontent – rather than screaming like a spoilt child in your pathetic , arrogantly self righteous and sectarian manner. A handful of opportunist racist attacks by a few fascists does not justify failing to recognise genuine working class concerns behind the mass of the “Leave” vote.

      1. Jim Denham says:

        I do *Inot* write off workers who voted leave as “knuckle dragging racists”: although, as has been seen over the last few days quite a few people broadly answering that description have crawled out from under their stones to abuse “foreigners” and daub racist graffiti as a direct result of the referendum. But I have never suggested that all workers who voted Leave fit that description, and I regard it as essential for the left to address the issues that led some decent workers to vote with the racist right.

        But my contempt is or those on the “left” who advocated Brexit (laughably calling itself “Lexit”), whose stupidity and/or opportunism betrayed the working class and will have misled any worker foolish enough to hav e listened to them (very few, in reality: the Brexit agenda was set, inevitably, by the right, as some of us pointed out was always going to be the case).

      2. Jim Denham says:

        “A handful of opportunist racist attacks by a few fascists …” don’t really matter very much, eh? What extraordinary, and shameful language to use; good job neither you nor I were on the receiving end, eh, John?

    2. Robert Green says:

      Why don’t you just join the Tory Party or move to Israel and be done with it?

      1. Jim Denham says:

        See what I mean? Antisemites have now broken cover as well.

        1. Robert Green says:

          That’s projecting Deadhead. You I think are the real anti-Semite encouraging Jews to leave Europe and move to Israel (The First Solution) to commit genocide on Palestinians also semites instead of joining the socialist movement in their native lands.

          1. Jim Denham says:

            Mr Green, you may wish to reflect upon your own words:

            “Why don’t you just join the Tory Party or move to Israel and be done with it?”

            Now either apologise, correct yourself or admit that you are an anti-Semite.

        2. Karl Stewart says:

          The political situation has moved on from last Thursday JimD, the task for us all on the left is to stand and fight for our leader.

          1. Jim Denham says:

            I’m doing just that, Karl.

          2. Karl Stewart says:

            Reply to JimD at 10.14:

            Good, why not buy a Polish flag and get along to your nearest Polish bar tonight and cheer for Poland?

          3. Karl Stewart says:

            I’ve just rang my nearest Polish bar and said I want to come tonight and support Poland and the lady said: “you’re very welcome.”

          4. Jim Denham says:

            Good idea Karl: just don’t let on you voted with the racists.

  15. Pat Sheehan says:

    I like to consider myself a socialist and I lean further to the left than Jeremy Corbin: I have no gripe with him. I voted to remain in the EU as I consider solidarity and unity with my fellow, ordinary Europeans to be an essential starting point to be able to make progress towards any kind of meaningful future within Europe.
    I don’t see that the EU was the main problem and I see this referendum as a totally wasteful diversion from the problems we are still left with now to sort out. I see that the problems in this country have been created by successive UK Governments over recent decades and the sooner the people of this country can square up to that and fight for proper representation here for the benefit of ordinary working people then there is no hope of trying to change the Governing Body of Europe. It might just be that much harder now.

  16. Robert Green says:

    Whether Corbyn holds on to the leadership of the Labour Party or not makes no difference whatsoever if he doesn’t offer a genuine alternative to the New Labour wreckers. That is if he doesn’t embrace the Brexit result including the desire to bring mass economic migration and job tourism back under democratic control and present a socialist vision for a post-Brexit Britain and a New European Settlement that favours workers and doesn’t turn them into migrating cattle to be exploited for their milk then slaughtered for their meat or tether them like donkeys in abandoned communities and sink estates with zero prospects. If he simply echoes Tory and New Labour Remainers and bangs on about single markets and uncapped migration or funds to attract more migration, a serious misreading of what is wanted, then Labour will be eradicated and replaced as the main opposition to neo-liberal capitalism by the far right. Unfortunately Corbyn has surrounded himself with a gaggle of neo-Stalinist advisers. These are the people who actually wanted to Leave but not because of the damage free market capitalism is doing to working class communities but because it would be good for the kleptocratic Russian imperialist gangster Putin. Yes they still see themselves as Russian foreign desk in London. They are the ones who scream Refugees Welcome Here, a big fat lie if ever there was one, whilst cheering on the Butcher Assad as he hacks his way through the Syrian people creating refugees by the millions. These are the ones turning Calais into a safe haven for people smuggling gangsters a part of whose network they have now turned themselves into. The Calais camp needs closing down not propping up. Most of the people in it are the victims of an EU-led land clearance project undertaken on behalf of Western corporations that makes the original enclosures of common land in England that accompanied capitalism’s birth look like nothing. That is what the degenerate UK left should be majoring on but instead it is either grieving for reactionary EU or schilling for Putin. No, Corbyn is no good unless he offers a genuine, radical, socialist alternative. I’m not holding my breath. Corbyn’s Labour could also win back much of Scotland overnight by offering a referendum on independence if Labour wins the next general election and to campaign for a pro-independence vote but the left opportunists are no less wedded to the Westminster trough and the dregs of the British empire than the right opportunists unfortunately.

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