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Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

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Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:46 pm

First topic message reminder :

Before the EU referendum on 23 June, only 9 of Labour’s 232 MPs backed the Leave campaign. Analysis of the result shows that Labour persuaded two-thirds of its supporters to vote for Remain. The Labour conference in September 2015 recognised “that our membership of the EU means companies can sell to a market of 500 million people, employees are provided additional rights and protections in the workplace and everyone across the UK has the freedom to travel, live, work, study and retire anywhere in the EU”. Everything suggests that Labour is very much a pro-EU party.

It therefore seems strange that in Parliament on 7 December, Labour appears to have handed Theresa May what some newspapers are calling “a blank cheque” for triggering Article 50, as only 23 of its MPs voted against the motion to do so, while another 56 abstained. Virtually every MP who supported the UK remaining in the EU said they did not want to block Article 50 outright, merely that they want Parliament to have its say.

Simple souls will tell you it’s “undemocratic” if you don’t accept “the will of the people” as expressed in that referendum. Of course it wasn’t the verdict of “the people” but of 51.89% of those who voted, just 37.46% of the electorate. It certainly wasn’t the will of the people of Northern Ireland and Scotland, where a majority of those who voted wanted to stay in the EU, and it definitely wasn’t the will of the people of Gibraltar, where 96% voted for Remain. In any case, the so-called ‘democratic’ process was flawed. 3 million EU residents in the UK were denied a vote, as were 1.5 million 16/17 year olds (unlike in the Scottish referendum) and 700,000 UK citizens living in other EU states. There were restrictions on how much the Remain and Leave camps could spend, but no limits were placed on tabloid publicity, paid for by the UK’s 5 anti-EU media billionaires. Furthermore, the fact that there is so much argument over what people actually voted for suggests that the so-called mandate for leaving the EU isn't exactly very clear.

The referendum was only advisory, Parliament is sovereign. Parliament voted to hold the referendum, so it could also vote to ignore its practical effects. The unwritten British constitution, with all of its complexity and common sense, has never been about mob rule, the tyranny of the majority. In any event, a new referendum on the relations between the UK and the EU may well be required under the European Union Act of 2011. This Act created a ‘referendum lock’, which requires a referendum before an amendment of the EU treaties can be ratified. Because the 2011 Act has been written in very broad terms, it almost certainly applies to the treaties that the UK is likely to conclude with the EU in order to withdraw from it.  

The philosopher and author Professor A C Grayling has written: “I have heard from a number of MPs who will oppose Brexit in Parliament. I have heard from a number more who say they would like to oppose it. I wish to demonstrate to these latter that to treat the outcome of the referendum as binding on them is precisely undemocratic, and that the interests of the nation and its future lies in their exercising their responsibility to oppose Brexit if that is what they believe is right for the country.” Grayling has also said: “Resistance to Brexit is resistance to the reinvention of the UK as ‘The Mail’, ‘The Express’, Farage, Murdoch and the far right want it”.

Theresa May can waffle on about “securing the best possible deal for Britain”, but there is no right deal. All of the possible outcomes of Brexit would lead to a loss of jobs, wealth and the UK’s status in the world. There is no moral or legal obligation for MPs to collude with May’s government in bringing about a national catastrophe on the basis that a simple majority of people voted for it in a referendum. Many Labour MPs are no doubt wary of the fact that they represent constituencies where the majority voted for Brexit. So what? Many MPs represent constituencies where a majority of voters didn’t choose them. It misses the point.

Labour performed badly in the by-elections at Richmond Park and Sleaford and North Hykeham. At a time when Brexit is the issue most dividing the country, Labour is not sending out a clear message. Those who support Brexit will vote for either the Tories or UKIP, while those who passionately oppose leaving the EU may well be inclined to rehabilitate the Lib Dems, 5 of whom (along with 51 SNP MPs, Caroline Lucas and Ken Clarke) also voted against giving May a blank cheque to trigger Article 50. Labour should be leading the fight to overturn the referendum result and to stay in the EU. It’s what most of its MPs, a clear majority of its supporters and its party conference want. They have a duty to do what they believe is in the best interests of the country, and they might even gain some respect for showing integrity in the process.

Grayling says “it is not acceptable that any MP can believe that Brexit is a bad thing yet choose to stand impotently aside and do nothing”. It is even less acceptable when a political party is in that position. On what is the most important issues facing the nation for decades, Labour should show some leadership, oppose Brexit unequivocally and damn the consequences!

http://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/culture/philosopher_ac_grayling_on_why_parliament_must_resist_article_50_1_4635481

https://www.nchlondon.ac.uk/2016/07/01/professor-c-graylings-letter-650-mps-urging-parliament-not-support-motion-trigger-article-50-lisbon-treaty-1-july-2016/
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:54 pm

Angela Rayner wrote:-
I fully support Jeremy on his position…….We are putting down significant amendments and trying to hold the government to account with members from across the house. This will inform the public about what Brexit means to them and ensure we get a vote on the final deal. We cannot vote it down at second reading as this action is to 'block' brexit before we have even debated what it will mean and any details of a deal. This would be completely against the democratic process.
I like Angela Rayner, and we follow each other on Twitter, but I can’t agree with her on Corbyn’s three-line whip for triggering Article 50, and I shall probably resign my membership of the Labour Party next week. “Getting a vote on the final deal” will be too late. May has said it will either be whatever deal she can get or we leave without a deal.

Is it “against the democratic process” to oppose accepting the close result of an advisory referendum? Probably, if you insist on defining ‘democracy’ in such a simple way. But isn’t it undemocratic to force Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar out of the EU against the will of the majority in those countries? Wasn’t it undemocratic not to let 16 and 17-year-olds vote on their future, as they had been allowed to do in the Scottish referendum in 2014? Wasn’t it undemocratic for 700,000 British citizens living in other EU states to be denied a vote? Wasn’t it undemocratic for strict spending limits to be put on the campaign groups, but no restrictions on tabloid publicity paid for by the UK’s five anti-EU media billionaires? Wasn’t it undemocratic that as soon as the referendum was over, the promise to give the NHS an extra £350 million a week was dropped? Isn’t it undemocratic that May plans to take us out of the single market, when the Tory manifesto of 2015 said that it would “safeguard British interests” within it?

Labour should do everything it can to try to block Brexit. The Remain campaign was supported by all but nine Labour MPs, most party members, two-thirds of Labour voters, the party conference in September 2015 and the TUC. It would also be a good long-term strategy to represent the views of the 48.11% of us who voted for Remain. If – or more likely, when – Brexit turns out to be calamitous, Labour would be in a strong and principled position to offer an alternative to a failed Tory government. By giving May a blank cheque to trigger Article 50 and take us out of the EU, Labour will share the blame when it all goes pear-shaped.

This was posted on Twitter by the team responsible for ‘Have I Got News For You’: “Despite 3-line whip, Corbyn insists Labour will hold government to account over Article 50 legislation, as long as that’s OK with Theresa.


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C2yzWa-WQAAMP30.jpg

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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:10 pm

True, Jeremy Corbyn is not getting a good Press. But does any such thing exist in the UK?
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by boatlady on Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:19 pm

Personally, I find I'm convinced by his arguments and will continue to generally support Corbyn over this.

I think trying to prevent the triggering of Article 50 at this stage would seriously upset those who voted to come out of Europe and who still feel they made a good choice. The process of debating the terms will serve to show up just how bankrupt the Tory government is and would hopefully further discredit the Tory brand.

I'm by no means a strategic thinker, but that's how it seems to me.
Actually, whatever Labour does will, as commented, lead to a bad press but I think Corbyn's approach is at least honest - and we desperately need honesty in politics - even more perhaps than we need a favourable trade deal
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:15 am

This article has not been copyrighted and can therefore be reproduced in full:-



https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3X4etZWcAc9HD4.jpg
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by boatlady on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:31 am

I think what you have quoted also makes sense - but I'm aware that the Brexit vote was won largely as a result of the millions of disenfranchised folk in this country who feel the government isn't listening to them.

To me, it seems important that those people, having cast their vote, get to see that they CAN affect government policy. By no means all the Brexit voters were racists - many were just ordinary people who feel alienated and unhappy with 'politics as usual' - actually listening to those people and responding to their concerns does involve approaching the idea of Brexit in a positive spirit and looking clearly at just what it entails - the Labour amendments seem to provide a vehicle for doing this - and as Clive Lewis has pointed out - voting for Article 50 at this stage serves only to create the opportunity for a full debate - no-one is obliged to nod through the final document unless s/he is fully satisfied

Clive Lewis' comments below

Labour’s amendments will:
i) Allow a meaningful vote in Parliament on the final Brexit deal. Labour’s amendment would ensure that the House of Commons has the first say on any proposed deal and that the consent of Parliament would be required before the deal is referred to the European Council and Parliament.
ii) Establish a number of key principles the Government must seek to negotiate during the process, including protecting workers’ rights, securing full tariff and impediment free access to the Single Market.
iii) Ensure there is robust and regular Parliamentary scrutiny by requiring the Secretary of State to report to the House at least every two months on the progress being made on negotiations throughout the Brexit process
iv) Guarantee legal rights for EU nationals living in the UK. Labour has repeatedly called for the Government to take this step, and this amendment would ensure EU citizens’ rights are not part of the Brexit negotiations.
v) Require the Government to consult regularly with the governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland throughout Brexit negotiations. Labour’s amendment would put the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) on a statutory footing and require the UK Government to consult the JMC at least every two months.
vi) Require the Government to publish impact assessments conducted since the referendum of any new proposed trading relationship with the EU. This amendment seeks to ensure there is much greater clarity on the likely impact of the Government’s decision to exit the Single Market and seek new relationship with the Customs Union
vii) Ensure the Government must seek to retain all existing EU tax avoidance and evasion measures post-Brexit
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by sickchip on Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:38 am

boatlady,

3.9 million people voted UKIP at the last election. There can be little doubt they also voted to leave the EU......easily the contingent that tipped the balance. You respect them, and their vote, then you must also respect Nigel Farage and his opinions.

If it comes to mps voting on Article 50, and they voted according to how each parties voters voted........here's some interesting number crunching.

Seats:................. Tory - 328......Lab - 231.....SNP - 54.....Lib Dem - 8......Ulster Union - 8
% voters remain: ..........42%.............63%...........64%................70%.......................55%
% voters leave:.............58%.............37%...........36%.................30%......................45%

If mps reflected these numbers in a parliamentary vote they would vote as follows:
Approx. 325 mps would vote to stop Article 50, against approx. 296 voting to trigger it. Article 50 would be stopped. Brexit would stop.

There are a few other seats in parliament - UKIP have 1, Green Party have 1, etc. Obviously UKIP got 4 million votes but only one seat at the last General Election, and those UKIP supporters pushed Brexit through......so UKIP would be crying foul; but tough - they only have one seat in Parliament......so only one mp to represent those 4million votes. Thus Article 50 / Brexit fails if mps vote according to their own voters.

So are MP's, and their respective parties, going to reflect the wishes of the people who voted for them? Or will Tory and Labour mps do UKIP's bidding?

Let's face it, it was Farage, who after year's of campaigning, who eventually forced this referendum with the weak Cameron acceding to Farage's will. Farage - a man who today has come out supporting Trump's ban on people travelling to America, and suggesting the UK do the same. So instead of making the argument, and persuading 4million UKIPPERS, they are wrong, Labour and Tory mps roll over and do their bidding......I guess it makes life easier for those mps. Nigel Farage - the most effective person in British politics? Does that make you proud?

...the referendum was a national vote - not a constituency vote. Hence mps should respect the national percentages as I have demonstrated.

- of the 17 million voting for Brexit, 4million were more than likely UKIP voters at the last general election....enough to tip the balance. Unfortunately, for them, our system means they only have one mp in parliament so tough - unless of course, as I say, will Labour and Tory mps do UKIP's bidding?

Even on a constituency basis: let's say a Labour mp won their seat with 35% of the vote, while Tory received 25%, UKIP 20%, others 20%. Now let's say in the referendum all of UKIP voters and the majority of Tory voters voted Brexit, while the majority of Labour voters voted remain. Brexit wins via combined Tory/UKIP voters. So the Labour mp backs them......thus ignoring the Labour voters who actually elected them to parliament. Do you think those Tories and UKIPPERS will now vote Labour at the next election? Do you think those Labour voters will vote Labour at the next election? It's a lose - lose situation for Labour.........however they'd be far better remaining conscious of the fact that 63% of the electorate did NOT vote leave - only 37% gave the affirmative to leaving.
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Lies, Damned lies ... and Statistics

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:13 pm

sickchip wrote: ....the referendum was a national vote - not a constituency vote.

So it was, and here we are. (A lynching party for Cameron may be not far away.) Nevertheless
MPs are quite rightly concerned for their constituents, who are unlikely to be sympathetic to an explanation later:
"I did what was best for the Nation/Party/My career - sorry it wasn't what you actually voted for in the referendum."

Many MPs spend time thinking about the next election, and whether they'll still be there after it. It may well shape their proximate voting on Brexit.

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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by sickchip on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:34 pm

Many MPs spend time thinking about the next election, and whether they'll still be there after it. It may well shape their proximate voting on Brexit.
Indeed.......and as I suggested in my post I believe Labour mps are in a lose-lose situation.

Even on a constituency basis: let's say a Labour mp won their seat with 35% of the vote, while Tory received 25%, UKIP 20%, others 20%. Now let's say in the referendum all of UKIP voters and the majority of Tory voters voted Brexit, while the majority of Labour voters voted remain. Brexit wins via combined Tory/UKIP voters. So the Labour mp backs them......thus ignoring the Labour voters who actually elected them to parliament. Do you think those Tories and UKIPPERS will now vote Labour at the next election? Do you think those Labour voters will vote Labour at the next election? It's a lose - lose situation for Labour.........

We've already heard Ivan on here talking about cancelling his membership. How many Labour remainers will feel let down if the mp they got elected backs a leave vote in their constituency that was driven through by UKIP and Tory votes? How many will feel betrayed? How many will decline to vote for that Labour candidate again, and vote Green or Lib-Dem instead?
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:31 pm

Yes, sickchip is correct, Labour appears to be in a lose-lose situation. It’s quite possible that if the party opposes the triggering of Article 50, it will lose some more working-class supporters (not members) to UKIP, but should the party try to appease them? Were they ever real Labour supporters if they can desert to a xenophobic, right-wing party whose past and present leaders support Trump?

I fear that some Labour MPs may be frightened after what happened to Jo Cox. That’s quite understandable, but it’s not the way forward. You can’t defeat fascism by appeasing it, surely the 1930s taught us that?

If press reports are to be believed (always a big ‘if’), Labour members are leaving the party in droves because of Corbyn’s three-line whip on triggering Article 50. I can understand that, as I’m also thinking of leaving. Apparently, many are joining the Liberal Democrats because they are the only people who seem to be standing up for the 48.11%. There’s no way that I’ll be joining them, firstly because I’m a socialist, and secondly because they handed the keys of Downing Street to the Tories and facilitated policies such as the trebling of tuition fees and the passing of the Health and Social Care Act of 2012.

I don’t see how we can “approach the idea of Brexit in a positive spirit”, because being in the EU is the best deal for Britain and anything else is just damage limitation. The case for leaving the EU, which I’ve never understood, would seem to be even weaker now that a narcissistic psychopath is in power across the pond. As Professor Brian Cox has said: “A lot of people voted to leave the EU in good faith. Now the world has changed. Now we have a choice to make: Europe or Trump?

This is not like a general election. Trump will be gone in four, or at worst eight, years, if he hasn’t been impeached before then. Leaving the EU is for the long-term future, probably for ever. There’s no point in waiting for the end of the negotiation process, because we’ll be out of the EU, full stop. The only choice then will be the deal which the EU offers, or no deal.

Labour is supposed to be a pro-EU party. It campaigned as such in the 2015 election, and most of its MPs, members and supporters are pro-EU. In my opinion, Labour should stick to its pro-EU principles. This issue is so important for the future of the UK that it shouldn’t be decided by the 37.46% of the electorate who voted – many of them without a clue as to how the EU operates or what it has done for us – to leave the largest free trade area the world has ever known. And which happens to be right on our doorstep.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Penderyn on Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:15 pm

The right wing tried to get rid of Mr Corbyn because they reckoned he was lukewarm about fighting Brexit, and they are now denouncing him for a three-line whip forcing them to support the allegedly democratic vote. I begin to wonder, watching the rebirth of Appeasement as a result of Brexit, if the only possible answer is going to be a Popular Front!
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:40 pm

Only moderate Tories can prevent a rock-hard Brexit. They must rebel

From an article by Rafael Behr:-

There is a good case for Labour accepting that Britain must leave the EU, since that is what a majority of the country has said it wants. That is Corbyn’s view. The opposition could then define itself through an alternative vision of the nation’s post-European destiny, one that is kinder and more reasonable than May’s rock-hard Brexit. But convincing leave voters that their anger is sincerely heard, while reassuring anxious remainers that they are not being abandoned, is a tricky message.

Labour’s position is doubly hard to sell since Donald Trump started making good on his nastiest promises. The availability of some compromise Brexit, defined by continuing intimacy with the rest of the Europe, is shrinking daily. Trump was not bluffing about his vicious immigration policy. It would be wise to assume he was also not bluffing about trade protectionism and willingness to see the EU unravel. There is no better man hiding inside the one who radiates scorn for civil society, pluralism and the spirit of the US constitution. Yet May is happy to have his capricious little hand tug Britain away from its continental alliances.

Pro-European Tories admit that they failed to understand and address important social and economic grievances. But most still believe that leaving the EU is a false remedy. There was only one commandment handed down on June 23 2016: leave the EU. There is no additional mandate for a Brexit that aligns the UK with Trump in hostility to our European partners and in betrayal of our true American friends – those who fear for their republic and their constitution. Labour has no capacity to force May to change course. That power belongs to a few dozen moderate Tory MPs. It is time they summoned a more rebellious spirit.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/31/tory-moderates-must-rebel-rock-hard-brexit-pro-trump-alignment
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:24 pm

Tory Europhobes always seem to have two very different complaints about the EU. One is that it has too much regulation and socialist affection for human rights and workplace rights; the other is that it’s not regulated enough and people can move about to follow the jobs which are created by the largest free market the world has ever seen. For decades their party has been split over the issue, and it has played a significant part in the downfall of the last three Tory PMs. We can hope that it will do the same for the present incumbent.

However, in the parliamentary vote on Article 50 yesterday, only one pro-EU Tory had the courage to vote according to his conscience, and that was Ken Clarke. He had been the only Tory to vote against holding the referendum in the first place, and he dismissed it for “the absurdity of such an enormous question answered with a single yes or no on one day”.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/01/ken-clarke-brexit-zealots-european

Sadly, the Labour Party, which is overwhelmingly pro-EU, is frightened of appearing to defy “the will of the people”, even though there is no such thing, just 65 million individuals with varying opinions. It thinks it would be “undemocratic” not to accept a 51.89% vote for such a major upheaval. Presumably if only 49.99% of those who voted had opted for Leave then it would have been acceptable to ignore their “will”? Had the result been on the scale of the 1975 result, when 67.2% voted to stay in what was then the EEC, nobody could have argued with it, or could they? Europhobes, aided and abetted by 40 years of tabloid negative stories and downright lies, continued to agitate for their cause until a weak PM in David Cameron gave in to their demands for another referendum. And it was a referendum with no requirement for all parts of the UK to agree, and no thresholds to be reached before a change to the status quo could take place. Even an organisation as small and inconsequential as my local cricket club requires a two-thirds vote for any changes to its constitution to take effect.

A referendum has been narrowly won by the Leave headbangers, and now the House of Commons, where 480 of the 650 MPs are by instinct pro-EU, has effectively given up on fighting for what they believe is best for the country. As Polly Toynbee writes: “Jacob Rees-Mogg proclaimed this moment stood with Agincourt and Waterloo; most MPs know this is Dunkirk”. But now the Tories will not be damaged by this. They can claim to be “respecting democracy”, and when Brexit leaves the UK in dire straits and dependent on the goodwill of monsters like Trump and Erdoğan, they can negate any political fall-out by reminding voters that Labour went along with the decision.

I've also given up. Stephen Bush of ‘The New Statesman’ says he has it on good authority that 7,000 people have left the Labour Party over Article 50 in the past week, and I can understand why. Those members haven’t gone to UKIP, but some traditional working class Labour voters still might. The cancellation of my membership will be with the general secretary Iain McNicol by the weekend. I won’t be joining any other outfit and will continue to vote for Labour, but I can’t remain a member of a party that won’t stand by its principles on the most important, and potentially catastrophic, decision facing the country in over forty years.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Penderyn on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:57 pm

It seems to me, more and more, that the current party system is - given the MPs we have - so outmoded that it really is time to begin thinking again. Many of us are being pushed into the ridiculous position of having to support the Blairites against the elected leadership because of this fantasy about the 'people's will' that so many seem to have accepted.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:21 pm

Anne Perkins:-

Labour MPs have now given their backing to a measure that many of them believe will make life for their constituents poorer and harder, that they fear will seize up the economy, divide communities and force the UK into a humiliating intimacy with leaders it would be infinitely preferable to hold at arm’s length. Their names are there, on the division lists, in perpetuity.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/02/labour-challenge-brexit-lies-brexit-bill-article-50

Emma Brennan:-

It has always been obvious to me, as it is to the majority of Labour members and supporters, that you cannot be internationalist, forward-thinking and progressive without also being ardently pro-EU. However, although the official policy of the Labour Party has long been to support EU membership, the way we have campaigned has not reflected this. Labour has been, and still is, pro-European but shy about it.

The way to win hearts and minds over any issue is to have strength and belief in your convictions. In the same way that Labour has never convinced anyone in the past that we are blasé about Europe, we are not convincing anyone right now that we are happy to accept the “will of the people”. Instead, we are losing support to parties that are more passionately remain or leave. It is destroying my party.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/02/labour-shy-pro-european-labour-against-brexit
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by boatlady on Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:54 pm

I was very struck, on the evening of the Referendum, going quite late to the polling station, by the large numbers of people from this small town, marching in a proud and motivated way to vote 'Out'. We were overwhelmingly 'out' in Great Yarmouth.

We have a very depressed economy in Great Yarmouth and very high inequality - a large portion of the community depend on seasonal work, or very poorly paid agricultural labour and work in the chicken factories. The norm for much of the town is minimum wage, long hours, and winters spent on the dole.
In the more affluent areas, people work offshore on the oil rigs, earn large salaries, buy big posh houses, and never mix with the 'underclass' - they don't spend enough time in the town to be aware of the issues and are happy to believe what they are told by the well-dressed and socially connected UKIP and Tory candidates.

As a result of the EU open borders, we have seen a large influx of Portuguese and Eastern European labour into the town - mostly young, fit and better-educated, who consequently are better placed to move into the physically demanding jobs within the agricultural sector and move up the ranks to become charge hands and middle managers. Local employers actually recruit in Portugal and Eastern Europe, through employment agencies - so are able to 'try before they buy' in a way that would be more difficult to do wholesale with locals. EU citizens are accommodated by the agencies and their fare to England is sponsored (later repaid out of their earnings)
Because the EU workers are not at first entitled to any benefit help, they are often satisfied to work inhuman hours, and live in overcrowded conditions in substandard accommodation, which has driven up rents, further disadvantaging locals.

The consequence of this is that the majority, competing against what they see as the unfair advantages enjoyed by EU workers and suffering under a benefit regime which becomes harsher by the moment became inspired and energised by the chance offered by the Referendum to get rid of their competition - this wasn't as such racist but was born out of a feeling that in a society where you are competing for scraps it's better to eliminate as much of the competition as possible.

On that night in June, I saw neighbours who to my knowledge have never voted before - marching to the ballot like a conquering army - they finally felt, after years of having no interest at all in politics, that here was an issue that directly affected them and they were determined to win.

It's that kind of energy that Labour should be tapping and making more of - this was the party's chance to overturn the Tories - Labour on the whole campaigned to stay in the EU, it's true; however, as the party of the working class I strongly feel that once the results were in it was Labour's job to pre-emptively come up with a Brexit strategy that would show up the Tories.

The people have spoken - not all of them, and they didn't say what we wanted and many of us think they were wrong - but those particular people had stopped speaking out on any political issue - and when they finally do, I think the party of the working class has a duty to respond to what they have said and seriously try to deliver the outcome they want
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:43 pm

The classic Tory advice in such circumstances has always been less than helpful: "Get on your bike!"
In a Nation dividing against itself due to greatly differing standards of living, it's hardly surprising that the Parliamentary Labour Party is struggling for a credible identity.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by sickchip on Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:10 am

Unfortunately I find myself agreeing with much of what is said about Labour in this article.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/11/british-government-cruel-opposition-useless

The most obvious demonstration – and explanation – of how badly Labour is broken came with this week’s Commons vote on article 50, triggering Britain’s exit from the European Union. Labour was in pieces on the issue; even the whips defied the whip. Labour proposed a series of amendments, every last one of which was defeated. And once they had been, Jeremy Corbyn – a man so loyal to his conscience that he rebelled against a Labour government 428 times – led his MPs into the division lobby to vote in lockstep with a Tory government. As one Twitter wit observed, Labour’s position amounted to: “Give us everything we want, and if you don’t, we’ll give you everything you want.”
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:39 pm

When "customer loyalty" for The Labour Party is being seriously tested even in places like Cutting Edge it's probably a good idea for supporters to take a step back from the feverish press commentary which alongside PLP uncertainties has reduced approval ratings for Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to an all-time low. When even the whips ignore a three-line whip it may be time for someone to fall on their sword. Such an event may become imperative when the results of the two forthcoming by-elections are known.

So the sensible thing for everyone to do is examine the alternatives. Many suggestions that are put forward include Unity of the political parties not forming the current administration, so why not do it?
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by sickchip on Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:37 pm

If Corbyn goes I can only see Keir Starmer as a potential unifying leader....
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:57 pm

.... then there's that bloke who resigned before he voted against the whip...
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Penderyn on Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:14 pm

oftenwrong wrote:When "customer loyalty" for The Labour Party is being seriously tested even in places like Cutting Edge it's probably a good idea for supporters to take a step back from the feverish press commentary which alongside PLP uncertainties has reduced approval ratings for Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to an all-time low.  When even the whips ignore a three-line whip it may be time for someone to fall on their sword.  Such an event may become imperative when the results of the two forthcoming by-elections are known.

So the sensible thing for everyone to do is examine the alternatives.  Many suggestions that are put forward include Unity of the political parties not forming the current administration, so why not do it?

The sensible thing is to acknowledge that, like the Country, the Party is divided between sensible people and quislings who pretend to accept Ze Nazional Vill.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by boatlady on Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:02 pm

The sensible thing is to acknowledge that, like the Country, the Party is divided between sensible people and quislings who pretend to accept Ze Nazional Vill.

I think many of us are getting confused as to which is which ?
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:21 am

oftenwrong wrote:-
Many suggestions that are put forward include Unity of the political parties not forming the current administration, so why not do it?
The time for that came and went in May 2010, when the electorate had served up a ‘hung’ parliament, but the Lib Dems rolled over and became enablers for a very nasty, right-wing Tory government. For decades, the Lib Dems (and their predecessors in title) had stated that the ‘red line’ in any coalition negotiations was a change to proportional representation for general elections, yet after only four days of talks they settled for a referendum on the alternative vote, which didn’t satisfy anyone and was lost easily.

A different scenario in 2010 could have been a ‘rainbow’ coalition for a limited period, say eighteen months, followed by an election using proportional voting. The Tories had 306 MPs at the time, Labour and the Lib Dems had 315 between them. From among the remaining 28 MPs, enough progressive people (Caroline Lucas, plus SNP and SDLP members) could have been found to form a government. They could have ensured that there would never again be a majority Tory regime, and that the Tories would have to be more 'moderate' (like the German CDU/CSU) if they wanted to be involved in future administrations. Sadly, Nick Clegg and his ‘Orange bookers’ ignored the lessons of history and allied themselves with the Tories. To be fair, there were dinosaurs - such as John Reid, Ed Balls and Peter Mandelson – who were opposed to Labour’s involvement in a coalition, but it should have been given greater consideration and it could have worked.

Not so now, I fear. Labour is deeply divided between the majority of its members and the majority of its MPs, and hostility towards the Lib Dems, who were still in government with the rancid Tories less than two years ago, will take a long time to fade away. It’s hard to imagine much co-operation between Labour and the SNP, when Labour is pro-UK and the SNP wants independence for Scotland and has taken all but one of Labour’s seats north of the border. Even on the single issue of the EU, Labour has committed itself to respecting the majority vote in the UK as a whole, which was very different from the outcome in Scotland, where 62% chose Remain. The sad fact is that the opposition to May’s horrible government is hopelessly fragmented and seems likely to be for the foreseeable future.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:18 pm

boatlady wrote:-
We have a very depressed economy in Great Yarmouth and very high inequality - a large portion of the community depend on seasonal work, or very poorly paid agricultural labour and work in the chicken factories. The norm for much of the town is minimum wage, long hours, and winters spent on the dole.  In the more affluent areas, people work offshore on the oil rigs, earn large salaries, buy big posh houses, and never mix with the 'underclass' - they don't spend enough time in the town to be aware of the issues.

As a result of the EU open borders, we have seen a large influx of Portuguese and Eastern European labour into the town - mostly young, fit and better-educated, who consequently are better placed to move into the physically demanding jobs within the agricultural sector and move up the ranks to become charge hands and middle managers. Because the EU workers are not at first entitled to any benefit help, they are often satisfied to work inhuman hours, and live in overcrowded conditions in substandard accommodation, which has driven up rents, further disadvantaging locals.

The consequence of this is that the majority, competing against what they see as the unfair advantages enjoyed by EU workers and suffering under a benefit regime which becomes harsher by the moment became inspired and energised by the chance offered by the Referendum - this wasn't as such racist but was born out of a feeling that in a society where you are competing for scraps it's better to eliminate as much of the competition as possible……I think the party of the working class has a duty to respond to what they have said and seriously try to deliver the outcome they want.
In the 1340s, the Black Death ravaged Europe. People looked for scapegoats, with some blaming dogs for spreading the disease, while others blamed Jews, many of whom were murdered in their synagogues. Scientists have in more recent times concluded that the disease was spread by fleas which lived on black rats, although only this month someone has suggested (maybe just fake news?) that hamsters, rather than rats, were the culprits. I can imagine that if filth like ‘The Daily Mail’ or ‘The Daily Express’ had been around in the 14th century, “immigrant rats from Europe” would have been the headline.

Times move on, but people never really change. It’s only natural for those in Great Yarmouth who feel left behind to look for scapegoats for their unfortunate predicament which you have described so eloquently. Yet they are just as wrong as those medieval souls looking for the cause of their affliction. If wages are too low, that’s the fault of greedy bosses, the EU doesn’t prevent them from paying decent remuneration. Similarly, if rents are too high, blame the greedy landlords and the government which refuses to regulate rents. The EU isn’t responsible for our harsh benefits regime, you must put the blame for that on psychos like Iain Duncan Smith.

I accept that telling people they are wrong is always likely to fall on deaf ears, and in the words of the old music hall song, may even result in “two lovely black eyes”, but I don’t see how Labour can, or should, adapt its policies to accommodate their falsehoods. It could promise rent controls and a higher minimum wage, and it could question why the European immigrants are better educated, though trying to rectify that last point won’t do much to help those who are currently struggling. What I do suggest is that making the country poorer by leaving the EU won’t assuage the anger of those who feel left behind, which is why Labour should have taken a stand and not given May a blank cheque to trigger Article 50.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by boatlady on Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:53 pm

I think one could argue all day about this - both strands of opinion are valid to my mind.
I suspect the approach you describe, which would be my preference also, is likely to be too 'nuanced' for a population nurtured on the Sun and the Daily Mail, poverty porn on the TV and the deficiencies of the BBC.
Speaking one-to-one with people, it's often possible to encourage a change of mind - in the sort of political exercise that the referendum turned into the loudest shouter won the day - and the 'winners' as far as I can see are in no mood to accept compromise.
If you look at the hysterical reaction to the proposal to subject the vote to Parliamentary scrutiny that to my mind indicated the mood of the country.
I think Brexit is a big mistake and we will all live to regret it - but maybe some things need to be learned the hard way.
In relation to the Labour stance - I think once the leadership decided the party position I'd have preferred to see the MP's falling into line - especially as May was going to be in a position to trigger Article 50 with or without the Labour votes.
Presenting a united front might well have enhanced the party's image - which is at present very poor indeed - mostly due to the constant undermining of Corbyn and his shadow cabinet.

Not sure at this point that Labour is capable of improving its image - and as the party does not constitute a really strong opposition at present maybe how they vote in Parliament is less important at present than just getting its act together as a political party rather than a playground fight
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:41 pm

Ivan wrote:
....opposition to May’s horrible government is hopelessly fragmented and seems likely to be for the foreseeable future.

But where there's a will, there's a way.  Several other countries, notably those with a PR electoral system, can form an administration from a group of Parties (not always the same ones all the time).
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:05 am

notably those with a PR electoral system
And those are the key words. ‘First Past The Post’, where the winner takes all and you get to form a majority government with just 36-37% of the votes, encourages tribalism and gives our political parties little experience, or incentive, to work with each other at a national level (although they sometimes do at a local level). The completely ‘foreign’ nature of forming coalitions in the UK was what enabled those naïve Lib Dems to be stitched up so easily by the Tories in May 2010, without even being offered any of the major posts in government.

An issue such as our membership of the EU ought to have provided an incentive for cross-party co-operation, but Labour is unlikely to work with the Lib Dems any time soon, and even less likely to make any arrangements with the SNP.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:29 pm

Several of us, including myself, have thought that the narrow vote for Brexit was largely the result of those who feel ‘left behind’ blaming their troubles on the EU and immigrants. However, writing just three weeks after the referendum, Ben Chu said there is no one reason why people voted the way they did:-

“Scotland has seen its share of heavy industry disappear since the 1980s. Yet it was strongly pro-Remain. Wales, as a region, voted to leave, having struggled economically for many years.  If it’s about wealth, why did (as the Resolution Foundation has also found) areas with high levels of home ownership incline towards Leave? Areas with the highest levels of foreign-born population – including London - were also the ones with highest Remain votes. Clacton, the seaside constituency with the only UKIP MP, has a very low share of foreign-born residents.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-theresa-may-when-article-50-why-did-people-vote-wages-housing-market-young-people-a7141206.html

On the same theme, Nick Cohen points out that we are told the leave vote was a protest by the 'left behind', even though there was almost the same proportion of leave supporters in the wealthy south east of England (51.8%) as depressed Wales (52.5%). There is no one reason why the majority of those who voted chose Brexit, because we are a nation of about 65 million individuals with varying outlooks and competing interests; there is no “will of the people”.

Cohen writes:-

Ah, “the people”. What lies are told in your name. To be with “the people” is to be a good neighbour and a good citizen. To be against “the people” is to be against the sole source of legitimacy in a democracy. If you are not a traitor or an agent of a hostile foreign power, you are at the very least an “enemy of the people”; an aloof member of “the elite” that fixes the system for its own benefit. Who does not want to be on the people’s side? Who will admit to standing with their enemies in the “elite”?

As we know, tabloid trash like ‘The Daily Mail’ can label judges “enemies of the people” just for doing their job, while useless, incompetent politicians like Liz Truss – whose legal requirement as lord chancellor is to defend the independence of the judiciary – can hide away instead of doing hers.

Cohen again:-

If a social democratic party loses an election, no one thinks of accusing its activists of “refusing to accept the verdict of the people” if they continue to campaign for a strong welfare state and the redistribution of wealth. That is their job, after all. And yet in Britain, the 52% who voted to leave the European Union are now “the people”, while the 48% who voted to remain are now "the elite".

For the final deceit in the language of “the people” is that membership is colour coded. Those of us who had fondly imagined that the growth of liberal tolerance would prevent a return to blood-and-soil nationalism have had to think again. Not every citizen can hope to be in “the people”. Have the wrong skin colour, religion or birth certificate, and you can never join.


http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/posturing-behind-the-people-brexit-trump
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:51 am

Are we shortly to see Tony Blair blamed for by-election defeats by 'undermining Corbyn' in continuing to oppose Brexit..?

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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:47 pm

Labour hasn’t lost those by-elections yet, and Paul Nuttall seems to be doing his best to sabotage his own chances in Stoke, but I’ve seen that conspiracy theory doing the rounds on Twitter. One person is even conducting a poll, which after 748 replies currently shows that 57% think Blair is trying to undermine Labour’s chances in Copeland and Stoke in the hope that defeats will finish off Corbyn. Personally, I don’t buy into the theory.

Blair has become something of a Marmite man, toxic to many mainly because of the Iraq war, but admired by those who give him the credit for winning three general elections, even if he did lose nearly four million votes between the first and third victories. Of course the ‘truth’ about the man is somewhere between those extremes. His Iraq folly has been discussed enough, and a number of tweeters have shown photos of the massive anti-war demonstration in 2003 which he chose to ignore. What doesn’t seem to get mentioned is that he facilitated the Good Friday Agreement, which ended 30 years of conflict in Northern Ireland, doubled spending on education, trebled spending on health, and presided over the longest period of uninterrupted economic growth in UK history for at least 200 years.

I don’t buy into the theory for three reasons. Firstly, Blair has always been passionately pro-EU and had to be stopped by Gordon Brown from taking us into the eurozone. He sees Brexit as the nation making a catastrophic mistake, based on a bucketful of lies and the ill-informed choice of just 51.89% of those who voted. In a democracy, we have the right to carry on opposing what we dislike and what we think is fundamentally wrong, even after we’ve lost. Secondly, Copeland and Stoke are constituencies where the majority voted for Brexit, but they’ve got what they wanted. Unless they think there’s a chance that Brexit might be stopped by Blair's intervention, won’t they return to voting along traditional party lines? What’s the point of UKIP now that Article 50 is about to be triggered?

Thirdly, Blair has a big ego and would never concede that he might have a negative effect on any debate or election. I don’t think the timing of his speech has anything to do with the by-elections and that he has something much more long-term in mind. He calls for a coming together of people across parties who share his passion for the EU. I suspect his aim is not for just a pro-EU movement, but for a new ‘centre’ party to emerge from anti-Corbyn Labour supporters and others who couldn’t countenance joining the Lib Dems after their recent history in government.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:36 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:Are we shortly to see Tony Blair blamed for by-election defeats by 'undermining Corbyn' in continuing to oppose Brexit..?


Well, sort of .... maybe .... but some writers have an individual way of explaining it:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jeremy-corbyn-labour-by-elections-paul-nuttall-ukip-tony-blair-a7587371.html

(Not sure the sub-editor got the point there, but see what you think)
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:13 am

Remain voters must now be Labour’s top priority – Stoke and Copeland prove it

From an article by Professor John Curtice:-

"Labour’s share of the vote has now dropped in every single by-election since the Brexit referendum. From leafy Richmond to windswept Copeland the message has been the same: the party is struggling to hang on to the already diminished band of supporters who backed it in 2015.

The party’s problems were, of course, in evidence long before 23 June last year. But the vote to leave the EU has exacerbated them. Labour seems to have decided in recent weeks that its first priority is to stave off the threat from UKIP to its traditional working-class vote, much of which supposedly voted to leave in the EU referendum. But in so doing it seems to have forgotten (or not realised) that most of those who voted Labour in 2015 – including those living in Labour seats in the North and the Midlands – backed remain. The party is thus at greater risk of losing votes to the pro-remain Liberal Democrats than to pro-Brexit UKIP. And the Liberal Democrats edged up in both Stoke and Copeland, just as they have done in every by-election since the EU referendum.

UKIP itself shares this misapprehension about the importance of the Labour leave vote. Hardly anyone who voted remain is willing to vote for UKIP. Yet it insists on targeting a Labour vote that voted by two to one to remain, rather than a Conservative vote where well over half voted to leave
."

For the whole article:-
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/24/stoke-copeland-labour-remain-richmond-copeland-ukip
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:00 am

boatlady wrote (on another thread):-
I really hope we end up staying in the EU, or rejoining later but if a majority wants out, I think we need to be listening to their reasons, trying to give them what they want, explaining why it may not be such a great idea and ultimately avoiding recriminations if they later find out they were mistaken - if we don't do this, my fear is that those disaffected and unhappy people will join the growing ranks of right-wing racist extremists and then we will have civil war
If, at some point in the future, there is enough support for the UK (or what’s left of it) to rejoin the EU, we would have to join the queue, meet the relevant criteria and accept the euro. There would need to be a very different political climate if the Little Englanders were to agree to the scrapping of the pound.

We’ve “listened to their reasons” for well over a year, and there aren’t any which make sense. The UK never lost its sovereignty; if it had, the government couldn’t have held the referendum and couldn’t be about to trigger Article 50. Bananas do not have to be straight or sold in bunches of three or less. The EU is not a foreign power which dominates us, we asked to join it (three times) and we’ve been a part of it for 44 years. 75% of UK laws are not made in Brussels, the true figure is 10-15% and we have helped to make them. Turkey is not about to join the EU and millions of its citizens are not about to come here. The NHS won’t be given more money, it will just lose many of its doctors and nurses. When people are just plain wrong, their views shouldn’t be accommodated, otherwise we will end up giving credence not just to climate change deniers but to those who believe that the earth is flat.

When the Article 50 bill was passing through the Commons, Labour MPs who rolled over and adhered to the three-line whip were neglecting their duty “to act in the interests of the nation as a whole”, as is required by the MP code, section 111.6. Spencer Livermore, a Labour peer and former adviser to Ed Miliband, criticised his own party for backing Brexit: “If we sincerely believe the course we are on will do untold damage to our country, we have a duty whether elected or unelected to say so, to oppose it and to tell the truth. I believe that working people’s lives will be made worse by this bill.”

Sadly there are plenty of ‘Alf Garnetts’ in the working class who get their prejudices reinforced from the Tory tabloids and will complain about benefit cheats a lot more than tax evasion. They believe Murdoch and Dacre when told that we need a free market, not the wicked intervention advocated by many on the left. Yet their belief soon evaporates when immigration is mentioned, then the government can’t intervene enough. They will tell you that the left has “done nothing for them”, forgetting that it gave them the welfare state, the NHS, social housing and pensions.

Labour must never betray its principles by pandering to the racist and xenophobic views of ignorant people in the hope of some short-term political gain. It seems, from evidence supplied by Professor John Curtice, that Labour has far less to lose from Little Englanders deserting to UKIP than from pro-EU people (the majority of its supporters) switching their allegiance to the Liberal Democrats. Apparently, around 7,000 of us have left the Labour Party in the last month. I guess that’s because it’s not pleasing anyone on the issue of the EU. Those who are for Brexit know that Labour is really a pro-EU party, while the 48.11% who voted to remain feel that it no longer speaks for what for many of us is our primary concern. If a party doesn’t adhere to what most of its MPs and supporters believe, and acts in a way which it knows is detrimental to the nation, it is bound to lose support.

At present there is a wave of nationalism and xenophobia sweeping the Western world, and Theresa May appears to be invincible. Yet just two years ago pundits were reminding us that the Tories hadn’t won a majority for 23 years. Labour should hold its nerve, stick to its core beliefs, and remember the wise words of George Orwell: “Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible”. One of these days the tide will turn, and that may be when it dawns on people that Brexit is going to be a complete disaster.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:52 am

Ivan wrote: ".... when it dawns on people that Brexit is going to be a complete disaster.

Well, if it hasn't dawned upon them yet, it will soon enough. The UK is looking forward to a return to WW2 privation if the current administration becomes free to follow its intentions.

Ration books. Limited private motoring. Restricted movement of goods. Luxuries for export only. Directed labour. Exchange controls on holiday travel. Ask your Gran.


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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Penderyn on Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:23 pm

I think we'll move even further back:  ration books are far too socialist - think starvation or the workhouse.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:55 pm

Labour should be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU, especially when you look at who is on the other side.....  Evil or Very Mad


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8CDrvCXQAAIJOX.jpg
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:52 pm

Many people (on both sides exit/remain) now realise that Brexit might produce a real car-crash result.

Allocating blame then will not butter any parsnips, but the big question will be who's going to lead us out of the wilderness? Obviously not anyone in Westminster prior to the event.

(Look at 'em!)
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by iamjumbo on Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:43 am

it's truly sad to see so many who are so bereft of reality that they are actually stupid enough to support the european union.

the irrefutable reality is that the eu is the most evil monstrosity to ever exist. it has nothing to do with trade. the european common market was perfectly suitable for any and all trade issues.
the eu is about attempting to have a single entity controlling every aspect of people's lives, and the imbecilic notion of one world.
there is NO such thing as one world. the world is 195+totally separate and distinct nations.

end of story
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by Ivan on Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:54 am


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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by iamjumbo on Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:49 am

that's good, but, i don't think that there is enough room in all the mental hospitals in britain for those who are demented enough to support the eu
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:50 am

By the 5th. of April 2037, British people (or whatever they may be calling themselves 20 years from now) will be fondly recalling the millennium as the good old days.
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Re: Should Labour be leading the campaign to keep the UK in the EU?

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