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Jo Cox murder: the omnipresent danger of fascism

danger of fascismHe says his name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain. But Tommy Mair might as well have called himself a ticking time bomb, and the obvious question is why he exploded now.

The alleged murderer of Labour MP Jo Cox has a track record of mental health problems. But despite the flood of instant speculation on social media, it would be facile to pronounce on the extent to which this was a causal factor until we have a proper diagnosis from competent psychiatrists.

If this does prove a salient aspect of the killing, socialists should not forget the humanism that underpins our value system. Despite the gravity of what Mair did, the best course would in that case be treatment in a secure facility rather than imprisonment.

But that’s not the important discussion at this point, which centres instead on the context for this assassination, just one week ahead of a deeply polarising referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

The Brexit camp – or at least some parts of it – have indisputably seen immigration as their ace in the hole. Anyone seeking evidence in support of that contention need look no further than the now rightly notorious ‘Breaking Point’ UKIP poster unveiled by Farage on same day as Cox’s assassination.

Few readers of this website will be anything other than aghast at Farage and co’s deliberate attempt to play on the electorate’s worst instincts, appealing to a xenophobia that often borders on racism, and sometimes crosses the line.

The daily clamour of anti-immigrant rhetoric  – shamefully sometimes pandered to by Labour MPs – reached a crescendo last week. And as one rightwing commentator put it, if people keep shouting ‘breaking point’, nobody should be surprised when somebody breaks.

Such critiques are valuable, but don’t say enough. Mair’s convictions were formed by fascist propaganda, long before Brexit was a current controversy, and it is highly unlikely that he will have been strongly influenced by anything the mainstream right does or says.

After all, the fascist milieu holds the Tory right, and even UKIP, in the same sort of contempt that the farther shores of the left display for what they regard as the feeble reformism of Corbyn and McDonnell.

In this mindset, elected politicians are sellouts, not facilitators popularising the cause. They are there to deflect righteous anger, acting as de facto safety valves for the system.

Fascism is not a new arrival on these shore. Britain has had fascist groups for as long as the doctrine has been extant. At times – in the 1930s, the 1970s and as recently as the 2000s – it has come close to securing a mass base. It is not that long ago that the British National Party had MEPs and Members of the London Assembly, and even finished ahead of Labour in a Westminster by-election.

Now eclipsed at the ballot box, indications that some fascist splinter groups – and I won’t name or link to them – are returning to a more violent orientation. Whether or not Mair does turn out to be a lone wolf, and whether or not the political climate in this country right now spurred him on, fascism remains an organised threat.

Not only do fascists not like the Labour Party, the unions and the wider left. They don’t like Jews, they don’t like people of colour and they do not like the LGBT+ community, either.

What happened to Jo Cox is a warning to the entire labour movement and beyond. These people are serious. We must be equally serious in opposing them.


  1. John P Reid says:

    Immigration maybe Ukips ace in the hole,for Brexit, but the wider leave movement,haven’t even brought it up, infect The only time it was mentioned by a Ukip member , I saw at a debate he said they’ll be more common wealth immigration

    1. Ric Euteneuer says:

      You’ve obviously not done any canvassing or speaking to ordinary people or visited any stands.

      Still, what you don’t want to see doesn’t exist

      1. John P Reid says:

        Done plenty of canvassing,not gone to any stands,plenty of labour leave ones,where Ukip supporters have turned up, you know the people labour needs to get back to win,and they’re not all white working class ChAV types either,

  2. rod says:

    Let’s not forget Farage’s words in support of political violence:

    “… if people feel that voting doesn’t change anything then violence is the next step.”

    1. John P Reid says:

      Bernie Grant on Martha Osamor not being selected in favour of Kate Hoey in 1989,
      If black people cant get into parliament,they will use other ways such as violence to get their voice hearD

      Jete’y cobyn My 1987′ it doesn’t matter if the Tories win the election they will be brought down by a mixture of measures and that parliament is only a small part as the rest are outside

      The latter can be took out of context,but I tell you it was no fun canvassing for labour in 1987′ 1992 when those sort of quotes were driving away votes by the bucket load

      1. Ric Euteneuer says:

        Amazing you come up with quotes that are over 20-30 years old to counter one made this year. Anyone would think you were an embittered, UKIP supporting elderly white male with a whole cupboard full of axes to grind.

        1. John P Reid says:

          No as I sId when I was 13 in 1987 I remember labour believing we’d never win again, now I’m 42 and labour throws mud, while letting extremists enter our ranks, I feel will be in the same situation in 2020 as if a quote Jeremy made 30 years ago, can some how not be used by the Tories to put people off voting for us ,in 2020

          Those 2 quotes were relevant to the discussion,if there’s a different discussion ,I can dig up quotes for the far left now,that are repulsive,

          Take it you condemn grant or Corbyns quotes then,

  3. John Penney says:

    All quite true, David, but a bit lacking in analysis of the Europe-wide major growth of Far Right , populist, neo-fascist, and fully fascist parties today. For example the Far Right populist French National Front (presently definitely Far Right Populist – but packed out with actual fascists of course) is now a major force in French politics – and in Hungary openly neo-fascists are also a major force. In Greece the completely, openly Nazi, Golden Dawn , are also a major and growing menace, despite recent setbacks. Similar toxic developments are evident across all of Europe.

    They all feed off a toxic mixture of racism, xenophobia, and of course, lest we smugly discount fascism and Right populism as not a threat here too, an apparently “anti establishment” radicalism, which can be very seductive to populations seeing their living standards crushed by neoliberalism generally, and the post 2008 Crash Austerity Offensive in particular, and a huge increase in the influx of worker migrants competing in the job market, particularly at the lower paid end.

    In the UK , the apparently unstoppable electoral rise of the British National Party (concealing its hard fascist core within a Right populist cloak) during the 90’s and early 2000’s was really only curtailed by internal squabbling and the rise of UKIP as a “political vehicle ” for the widespread unrest of sections of the White working class at the massive increase in migration post 2004 and in the context of rapidly falling living standards with the Austerity Offensive post the 2008 Crash. In Scotland it can be argued that the pseudo Leftish nationalism of the SNP avoided the growth of a BNP or UKIP-type populist Right party in this period – so far.

    Whether the UK votes to Stay In or Leave the EU on 23rd June, there can be no doubt that under contemporary political structures at Westminster, ie, with the overwhelming majority of MP’s from all parties fully committed to both the continuance of the Austerity Offensive in the interests of Capital
    , and the continuation of unlimited labour supply to feed the UK’s now firmly established economic path as a low wage, low skill, deindustrialised, financialised, economy, there will in reality be no future significant reduction of inward migration at all, either from the EU states or outside . In fact it will massively increase.

    The consequences for this harsh reality – beyond the purely empty rhetoric of the Leave camp Tories, UKIP , and those Right Labourites now making some empty comments about “recognising the concerns of working class people about current immigration levels” – is that Stay or Leave, very soon the millions of UK citizens concerned at current migration rates, and fooled into linking the ever growing impoverishment of the Tory Austerity Offensive, directly with these migration levels, will lurch to a radical Right populist political “offer” – well beyond the tepid xenophobic populist Toryism of UKIP.

    The issue then for the Left is how to counter this inevitable future political development. Simply “denouncing fascism” or saying “the solution is to raise every state in the EU to a high economic level – so few need to emigrate ” (Jeremy’s argument on the Marr Show on Sunday) simply won’t do it.

    Nor will denying that the current unprecedented step change migration levels since 2004 are a major labour market competition issue for poorer UK workers in particular , and a source of profound community unease across the country across many UK ethnic groups.

    The Left, via a radicalised Labour Party needs to make a radical Left Keynsian “political offer” which rejects the dominant neoliberal ideology that view the UK as essentially simply a “platform for business” – with crude GDP and profit growth as the measure of success or failure of our society . A radical Left programme needs to return to the old Left commitment to Full Employment (for all UK citizens , regardless of ethnicity etc, as a first priority) – achieved via national comprehensive economic planning, selective nationalisation, a massive training and housebuilding programme, and creation of a new Green Economy infrastructure programme.

    Only this sort of radical Left approach has any chance of engaging with the many millions of workers who are going to vote “Leave” this week, and eventually embrace the poison of radical Far Right populism of a French National Front, or BNP, type if there is not a coherent Left offer available to provide an alternative to the what will soon be evident as empty promises of the neoliberal supporting majority in the House of Commons across all the parties.

    Simply denouncing racism and fascism, as this article does, is all very worthy, but achieves nothing – unless we think long and hard about what we on the Left actually have to offer to tackle the real underlying reasons for our current toxic political environment in the UK (and of course Europe generally).

    1. Peter Rowlands says:

      While I think you significantly exaggerate the likelihood of a rise in support for neo fascism, and of the effects of migration on poorer workers’ wages, the latter at least is clearly not a myth, although analysis ( I can’t remember by whom) is that its effects are limited.You are generally right in terms of the sort of programme that Labour should be advancing, with a robust trade unionism as a major means of defending and advancing wages and conditions. That is not to say that there isn’t a case for control of migration within the EU, but achieving it by leaving would be enormously counter productive.

      1. Richard Tiffin says:

        There is a truth in what you both have to say (John and Peter). A radical offering is clearly the only method that the left can use to cut across any drift to the right by the working classes.

        It’s a simple truism to say that people who need a solution to what they perceive as a problem will look for one. In politics, since the rise of the working classes, the right have proposed immigrants as the cause of so many of societies problems and thus the solution, a reduction in immigration and/or repatriation, presents itself. Simple and seductive a message, no surprise the scoundrel will promote it, go look at the leave propaganda.

        This brings us to the offering you propose, a radical Keynsian package. Without delving into causes, the fact is the working classes have deserted Labour in huge numbers. Scotland is lost and millions of ‘natural’ Labour voters are not registered to vote or don’t turn out in the rest of Britain. They even look like they want to give the ruling elites a bloody nose over Brexit, voting with Tories and Farage, so far have they moved away from the Labour leadership past and present who are out there campaigning to stay. My question is, How can a Keynsian package be radical enough to reverse this trend?

        On the doorstep and in my workplace every proposal I discuss is met with the “how can we afford it” response. What makes you think Labour can run against the Tories with the proposal to spend tens or hundreds of billions and be believed it is affordable so that the lost millions of Labour voters flock back to us?

        I am not saying it cannot be done. Billions were printed to save the banks, I am simply saying that politically the Tories and the press will make mincemeat of us and the offer will be insufficient to inspire and to bring back those lose voters in sufficient numbers to win an election.

        I am a clause IV socialist. I believe that radicalism needs more substance than a tax and spend approach. Nationalisation, on the other hand could inspire. The railways, the utilities, develop RBS in direct competition to the other banks as a national bank and these as starting points as popular, radical solutions. Actually challenging the elites and capitalism rather than make it look like yet another gravy train.

        For those that will argue that the EC don’t allow it, this will be the issue over which to break with Europe. Loudly, over policies that benifit the working classes and encourages the workers of Europe to see the EC as a business men’s club rather than the thinly veiled racist arguments doing the rounds.

        We are in a place where the politics of the day are at least as important as the economics, let’s think about them.

        1. John Penney says:

          Richard, I am a “Clause IV socialist” too, but a tactical one, and I think a tactically selective nationalisation menu of key “Commanding Heights” sectors and institutions , alongside a radical , expansionary, major infrastructure development, house building , training, rebuilding the Welfare state, regional development, pursuit of full employment , programme , within a comprehensive national economic plan, will be quite radical enough to win Labour a General Election – in the face of the continuing European and Global economic stagnation and profitability crisis for which neoliberalism has no answers at all – except austerity .

          That’s what I call a “radical Left Keynsian Programme” – in that it still operates in the context of radically reforming and transforming a still capitalist mixed economy, and though potentially being “transitional” in its direct confrontation with the capitalist class in today’s context – it isn’t by any means a revolutionary socialist programme.

  4. David Pavett says:

    Of course far right activity should be monitored and, where it stands any chance of gaining significant influence, resisted. At the same our evaluation of its influence needs to be realistic. David Osland says

    At times … and as recently as the 2000s – it has come close to securing a mass base. It is not that long ago that the British National Party had MEPs and Members of the London Assembly, and even finished ahead of Labour in a Westminster by-election.

    Is that evidence for coming close to a mass base breakout? The EU votes were anti-EU rather than pro BNP. The high point in the London Assembly was 2008 when the BNP got one seat with 5.3% of the vote (in the most recent election it got 0.6%). The Westminster election (Henley) in which Labour was beaten into fifth place by the BNP was one in which both lost their deposit with just over 3% of of the vote and with the BNP marginally ahead of Labour. Should we consider any of this as a sign of a potential mass base?

  5. Mervyn Hyde (@mjh0421) says:

    This video was taken in 1992 and shows what we are up against when such a young girl made a powerful speech then that she could equally make today.

    It really does go without saying, we take one step forward and three back for all the same reasons that existed before the last war.

  6. Robert Green says:

    A fascist doesn’t need much encouragement to murder and assassinate lefties but there are probably two reasons why this has happened now:

    1. The Labour Party has completely cuts itself off and become isolated from its mass base in the working class mainly because of its support for Cameron and Remain; and

    2. The recent Zionist/New Labour witch hunt against the supporters of the Palestinians which left those activists who do support them doubly vulnerable and doubly isolated.

    1. John P Reid says:

      Robert green there wasn’t a witch hunt against Palestinian, there were carefully looked at cases of alleged anti semeticism, as a left wing person can be a fascist, a fascist, can also encourage murder of a right wing person, the IRA killing Ian Gow for instance,
      Agree with part 1 though, blue collar working class I say,

      1. Robert Green says:

        `A left wing person can be a fascist’

        Take more tablets. Lots more.

        1. John P Reid says:

          A fascist, intimidation to prevent democracy
          Enoch Powell was a racist, but not a fascist
          The IRA intimidation to prevent democracy= fascist
          The closed shop sacking so,done,telling them they can’t have unemployment benefit, if thy don’t joins Union, the times Newspaper said this was fascist
          UAF intimidating people in Ukip to stop democracy, is fascistic
          Look up red fascism on Wikipedia,

          The tablets I’m taking for hay fever aren’t doing well
          But a left wing person can be a fascist, as in Hesbollah.

          1. Robert Green says:

            Very pleased to hear that the drugs don’t work. Take more. Lots more. As for Hezbollah being left wing I didn’t know they gave you heroin for hay fever nowadays.

          2. John P Reid says:

            Sneering at people with drug addictions very childish of you.

  7. I think the killing of Jo Cox is an exception.

    I can’t think of a previous attempt on the life for political reasons (rather than an assault), save that on Labour MP Stephen Timms, by an Islamist in 2001, of a MP or a councillor or against someone who is (or was) politically prominent (so not the attempted murder of Nigel Jones MP in 2000) other than for reasons related to the North of Ireland (and, who knows, maybe Victor Grayson?)

    I think the omnipresent, not threat but reality, is racism. Despite such attitudes dropping in the British Social Attitudes survey – the whole referendum appears to be about the ‘others’.

    Out – we gotta keep them out! In – we are keeping them out! And that’s right from Farage to McDonnell (with the latter’s talk of looking at free movement.)

    It’s racism and it’s effect – the daily reality of bigotry – which is the big problem. It is undertaken by the stupid (I saw a rash outbreak of white bigotry recently but only a numbskull like her would try such on an east London bus) and the not so stupid (well, was a Labour supporter – & party member?), ‘Of course we believe in equalities, here, absolutely. Just I’m not sure a woman in a headscarf would be well accepted by our clients there and them not accepting would in fact promote racism! I couldn’t do that to her.’ (what I heard at a NHS recruitment panel).

    The fascists are nowhere. It’s the dialogue of the ‘mainstream’ parties that can plant germs that fester when the grow, rather the incoherent ravings of a very few Nazis, that causes the most damage.

  8. Jim Denham says:

    No-one wants to use a horrible death to make political capital – it’s not done and it’s not decent.

    But imagine this: after weeks of vicious racist propaganda in sections of the mainstream press and from the far-right of the Tory party, there is then a racist attack, even though it may be by a mentally ill “lone wolf”: surely, the left would not hesitate to ascribe it to the racists in the press and the Tory party?

    We might, privately, acknowledge that there isn’t, necessarily, a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the racist propaganda and this particular attack: but we’d be clear that words have effects and those responsible for stoking up racism deserve to be held accountable for the political atmosphere they’ve created, and, therefore, for any physical violence that follows.

    A below the line commenter at Shiraz Socialist has made the following apposite observation regarding my previous post on this subject:

    “A banal example: I got off the train at San Pietro during the period when the Pope prior to Ratzinger was dying. A women was writhing on the floor outside the station wailing about the Virgin Mary, her stigmata and how she was related as mother, to the coming ‘holy father’. The police arrived, people tapped their heads – simply a ‘nutcase’ (sic), mentally disturbed. True, but why was she ranting about the Pope and stigmata? Why not rant about Mickey Mouse or the Grand Patriarch? She was clearly influenced by the ideological images and various cultural forms in which she lived. This is Jim’s point I think and taken in this way, it is not without merit. If however, he is saying that the Brexit campaign had a direct causal effect on the killers actions and his illness, then the proposition cannot be sustained.”

    I can accept that reasonable point, but it doesn’t change my question: why is much of the left so reluctant to link the murder of Jo Cox in any way to the racist campaign that has been waged by all sections of the Brexit campaign over the last couple of months? Partly, it’s an admirable sense of decency: a reluctance to politicise or seek to make political capital out of a tragic death – and that reaction is admirable.

    But also (see, for instance, the craven editorial in Saturday’s Morning Star or this wretched, evasive piece in Socialist Worker) something more simple and more shameful is at work here: some idiot-leftists have been giving “left” cover to the racist Brexit campaign, and now they seek to evade their responsibility. They’d not be so reticent about ascribing blame for a racially-motivated murder under any other circumstances. I suspect that the more thoughtful and honest of them are now recoiling in horror at their role.

    The truth is that, unlike the contemptible Labour xenophobe Giselle Stewart, the rather pathetic ‘Brexit’ campaign is so marginal and irrelevant to the main debate going on over the EU that their intervention will have little or no influence upon the final result. Even so, the “left” Brexiters will be branded with infamy by the serious left for their criminally irresponsible role during the referendum campaign.

    1. Karl Stewart says:

      An absolute pile of self-indulgent sectarian shite Jim.

      No-one, absolutely no-one, on the left is ‘giving cover’ to the racists.

      Everyone on the left who’s arguing to leave this multinational capitalist federation is a staunch anti-racist.

      Your argument, such as it is, has zero logic and simply serves to divide the forces of the left and thereby strengthen the capitalist class.

      The notion that there is a direct causal link between ‘immigration’ and low pay is a wrong theory, but it is extremely widely held and is held every bit as widely on the ‘Remain’ side as on the ‘Leave’ side.

      It’s a wrong view, and it needs to be argued against, but it isn’t a ‘racist’ view – unless you want to write off the 90 per cent of the population who hold this view as ‘racist’.

      Low pay reflects a relative weakness of the union movement, by comparison to the relative strength of the employer.

      Take a look at yesterday’s Guardian article by Unite leader Len McLuskey on this issue as a far better and more productive way to discuss this subject.

      While I disagree with McLuskey’s ‘Remain’ conclusion, he does deal well with causal link, and points out that the key factor is union control of labour supply.

  9. John Penney says:

    Why must you always elevate debates within the Left on appropriate tactics to overheated accusations of gross moral turpitude by anyone who disagrees with your own tactical choice, Jim ?

    So you describe the perfectly well argued “Leave” argument in the Morning Star as “craven”. You start foaming at the mouth in your indignation about socialists who think the struggle will be progressed by a Brexit” now, by the frankly ludicrous statement that :

    “the “left” Brexiters will be branded with infamy by the serious left for their criminally irresponsible role during the referendum campaign.”

    And on it goes in that overheated vein. Calm down, Jim – socialists are grappling with complex tactical issues on the Referendum issue. Some Left “Remainers” today, are actually “Brexiters as soon as we have a radical Left Government” (a position well expounded by Paul Mason in The Guardian today). Whilst some “Remain socialists” in contrast think the UK should stay in come what may to try and reform the EU from within. The positions are many , but all actually spring from a desire to progress the socialist cause.

    Tactical disagreements aren’t always based on fundamental issues of basic principle, and the people on the other side of the debate aren’t always complete scoundrels, Jim.

    1. Jim Denham says:

      But some people are right and some are wrong, John: as someone once said, “To let error go uncorrected is to encourage intellectual immorality.”

      1. John Penney says:

        People can be wrong – particularly on tactical issues like continued EU membership, and yet in no way be rogues or moral degenerates. In fact they can be perfectly sincere socialists with a different tactical “take” to you , Jim.

        Grasp that and you won’t make so many enemies of socialist comrades who should be allies overall – and won’t come across like the unlamented , banned, David Ellis. Stay in or Leave “La Lutte Continue” as they say in certain foreign parts.

  10. Historyintime says:

    Who are the “serious left”? There are plenty of serious left thinkers who support leaving the EU.

    1. Jim Denham says:

      Not that I’m aware of. I mean, you surely can’t mean Giselle Stewart, Kate Hoey, John Mann or Frank Field, can you. I name four who might conceivably be considered “serious”, though not really “left”. The likes of the SWP, the Socialist Party and the Morning Star are not even serious.

      The shame of these people is that they should have known all along that they were giving “left” cover to some of the most reactionary and racist forces in British politics and simultaneously helping neo-fascists throughout Europe seeking the break-up of the EU. Third Period Stalinism revisited.

      1. Karl Stewart says:

        What you’re saying here is that everyone who agrees with membership of this capitalist federation is ‘serious’ and everyone who disagrees with it as ‘not serious’.

        But what you, ‘Mr Serious’ has singularly failed to do is to advance one, single logical argument as to why this capitalist federation is in the interests of workers.

        All you’ve done is smear individuals.

        1. John Penney says:

          People can be wrong – particularly on tactical issues like continued EU membership, and yet in no way be rogues or moral degenerates. In fact they can be perfectly sincere socialists with a different tactical “take” to you , Jim.

          Grasp that and you won’t make unnecessary enemies of socialist comrades who should be allies overall. Stay in or Leave “La Lutta Continua” as they say in certain foreign parts.

        2. Jim Denham says:

          Adrew Coates (at Tendance Coatesy) writes:

          As the left and the labour Movement, from the trade unions, the Party to the majority of radical groups, stand increasingly united behind a Remain Vote the Brexit ‘left’ is desperate.

          They are scrambling round for self-justification.

          From whingeing about the ‘absence of a working class voice” in the referendum, Socialist Worker has been reduced to asserting that, “A socialist Europe is not on the ballot paper and there is no method for reforming the EU.”

          Oddly this a Referendum about membership of the EU, and it does not include an option to vote for the SWP either.

          Nor does saying three times that the EU cannot be changed make the claim true.

          John McDonnell says,

          Labour is pushing for an ambitious programme of reforms that will make the EU work for the best interests of working people here and across Europe.

          For example, all the EU member states have a share in the European Investment Bank (EIB). The UK’s share is 16 per cent, equivalent to its size inside the EU. But the Tories have failed to make the most of it, with the UK only receiving 11 per cent of funding. If we took our fair share of the extra funding that the EIB has offered, that would be £35bn of additional investment. That’s more than double the entire UK public investment spend for a year.

          The SWP’s position would have us not even try to get this ideas on the practical agenda.

          This argument in today’s The Socialist, plumbs the depths of delusion.

          voters – particularly working class voters – are increasingly seeing the referendum as a chance to protest both against Cameron and everything they have suffered in recent years: low pay, zero-hour contracts, benefit cuts, the lack of affordable housing, and public services cut to the bone. One poll shows that 60% of ‘blue collar’ workers intend to vote for exit.

          What is the basis of this ‘blue collar’ (not a Marxist category) support for Brexit?

          There is no mention in this article of something too obvious, er, to mention.

          Socialist Party ‘aligned’ Trade Unionists Against the EU leaders Enrico Tortolano and Ragesh Khakhria (both part of the PCS which officially has a neutral stand during the referendum) get to grips with the issue of what motives this support in the Morning Star.

          They observe, in arguing for something now called a ‘People’s Brexit‘ that,

          ….millions of working-class voters are unrepresented by the mainstream political parties and large chunks of the trade union movement.

          The stance and position of those who are supposed to represent labour is at odds with the experience of the working class in Britain as well as the rest of the EU.

          Working-class people are experiencing unemployment or insecure jobs, low pay, no pension with little prospect of owning their own home, or living in secure council housing.

          It’s nonsense to pretend that the movement of more people into these communities is having no impact on their lives.

          Rich Tories have already cut schools and hospitals they use to the bone.

          For the metropolitan liberal elite, far removed from such concerns, the prospect of a people’s Brexit simply violates their sense of entitlement and jeopardises the prospect of middle-class benefits that the working class will never see.

          So ‘movement of more people’ – free movement of labour in the European Union – is a problem which has created support for Brexit. Only the ’emptroplitan liberal elite’ – do not see this reality.

          This is clearly at odds with Socialist Worker’s charges against “Fortress Europe”. They charge the EU with putting up barriers to refugees and migrants from outside the Continent. SW notes that the Official Remain campaign is led by those who want to “regain control” of Britain’s borders.

          Does the Socialist Party and Trade Unionists Against the EU want to regain “control” over UK frontiers, stop the flow of “cheap labour” that is having an “impact” on “communities”?

          If so, how?

          And if the SWP opposes such moves, why are they backing a vote for those whose entire project in recent weeks has been centred on a hate campaign against migrant workers

          Perhaps we should consider not just migrants and refugees on the frontiers of Europe but “people” in “movement” who have come to Britian. Khakhria and Tortolano, whose own forebears were no doubt in “movement” have no answer to this issue.

          The pair note, no doubt wistfully, that,

          Historically, the labour movement and Labour leaders such as Clement Attlee and Hugh Gaitskell felt a much greater affinity with the Commonwealth countries than they did to the capitalist Common Market.

          Yes, New Zealand Lamb and butter, that’s the best reply to the ‘capitalist’ EU.

          1. Karl Stewart says:

            Jim, you ask what the basis is for what the Socialist Party describes as “blue collar support for Brexit.”

            As the SP article states, it’s from opinion polling, which has consistently indicated stronger support for leaving the EU from working-class people and stronger support for remaining in the EU from middle class and upper class people.

            Here’s a couple of examples:

            This is from YouGuv back in April:

            And there’s more recent report here, with data it attributes to an ICM poll:


            Are you able to reference any opinion polling indicating the opposite?

          2. Jim Denham says:

            Karl: “Blue collar” is not a Marxist concept. I suspect what the SP really mean (and are appealing to) is the “lumpen proletariat.”

  11. Karl Stewart says:

    No it comes from the collar of blue overalls.

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