Corbyn’s Labour and The Path to Power

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

quote:

The Right’s Demise

In 1986, upwards of 2.5 million conference votes could regularly be delivered to the party’s right while the soft left — which by this time had long since broken with the Bennites — was also well represented by the T&G’s 1.3 million votes and National Union of Public Employees (NUPE)’s 600,000 votes. The Left, however, was marginalized. Indeed, in 1988 the unions delivered 99 percent of their votes, over 5.5 million in total, to Neil Kinnock following a leadership challenge by Tony Benn.

By comparison, today Usdaw and Community are the only Labour affiliates that could be described as on the party’s right. Meanwhile, Aslef, BFAWU, CWU, FBU, TSSA, and Unite are all on the Left, albeit with degrees of variance.

In part this comes down to changes in the industrial and political landscapes. Since 1979, trade union membership has more than halved and moderate unions have been forced to amalgamate, diluting their unique character and culture. Likewise, the end of the Cold War significantly weakened anti-communist trade unionism.

Throughout the postwar period, the Communist Party of Great Britain played a key role in British unions. Its conflicts with broad left and moderate groupings had an impact across the movement. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, such sharp political divisions have gradually diminished. So, too, has the folk memory of the general strike, increasingly replaced by a more strident and openly socialist approach to trade unionism.

But perhaps the most important factor in undermining the trade union right was the party management and industrial policies pursued by Tony Blair. Under Blair’s leadership a new right was born and actively sought to limit its association with old Labour, not least the trade union movement. It produced a generation of sharp-suited special advisors for whom trading favors with union officers was an alien concept. Labour was the party of “Cool Britannia” and trade unions were decidedly off-brand.

The suspicion was mutual. Blair’s decision to replace Clause IV caused concern among activists, as did his ambiguous suggestion that New Labour would “be respectful of the unions’ part in our past (but) have relations with them that are relevant for today.” Indeed, the modernizers went as far as “proposing that conference might be reformed to exclude trade unions altogether.”

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Unlike Most Western Leaders, Corbyn Demands End to US-UK Complicity in Yemen's Suffering

While most political leaders and U.S. media outlets continue to perpetuate the "power-serving" notion that the West has played little to no role in causing and worsening Yemen's humanitarian crisis, U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn penned a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday slamming American and British forces for fueling the Saudi-led bombing campaign and demanding an independent war crimes investigation.

"At least 10,000 people have been killed since the conflict started in 2014 and 7 million people are in extreme hunger. Food shortages and the cholera outbreak are a direct result of the continuing blockade of Yemen by the U.S.- and U.K.-backed Saudi-led coalition," Corbyn wrote. "Whilst the immediate priority should be humanitarian assistance to Yemen, it is time the government takes immediate steps to play its part in ending the suffering of the Yemeni people."....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Corbyn ally Richard Leonard Elected As Scottish Labour Leader

Staunch Jeremy Corbyn supporter Richard Leonard has been named Scottish Labour leader after defeating his rival Anas Sarwar. 

Leonard won with 56.7% of the vote and a clear majority amongst members and affiliated supporters in an election which will cement Corbyn’s powerbase in the party across the UK. 

He told the crowd at his election in Scotland today that the party north of the border “will become a movement for socialism” under his leadership, adding “we need a change to the political culture”......

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Labour must become the party of people who want to change the world, not just Britain

quote:

Potter saw the unskilled working class as helpless and degraded, incapable of rising out their ignorance and self-oppression without intervention from above. This was a consistent trope in 19th century sociology – reinforced by skilled, self-educated workers themselves as they clawed their way out of poverty and expressed scorn at those they left behind.

The popular assumption was that middle class women like Beatrice Potter had agency; the workgirls of Limehouse did not.

Within 12 months the entire assumption was blown away. In July 1888 the “match girls” famously went on strike at the Bryant & May factory; then in 1889 the dockers – whose lives Potter had described as a mixture of “bestial content and hopeless discontent” – shut down the Port of London through mass, spontaneous strike action. Then much of London joined them, led by union organisers who could quote Marx because Karl’s own daughter had been educating them.

The London Dock Strike of 1889 was not just a British event. It was part of a global moment in which the unskilled and migrant working class of the late 19th century found collective agency. Potter’s memoir of that year is entitled “How I became a socialist”, though by now she had also become Beatrice Webb.

t took 12 years from the formation of mass trade unions in 1889 to the formation of the Labour party in 1901, under the tutelage of Webb and the Fabian socialist movement she helped create. Between then and the outbreak of the war, progressive social movements hit the British establishment like a meteor shower. The Suffragette agitation and the mass strike agitation, which reached a peak in 1911-1913, had the greatest impact. But Robert Blatchford’s The Clarion newspaper and the emergence of working class voices via the new repertory theatre movement show that a wider popular radicalisation was also under way.

By 1914 nobody could dispute the facts: a labour-movement consciousness was widely and spontaneously shared by millions of working people; it was rooted in the technological and social realities of early 20th century capitalism; and it was allied to demands for wider democracy and social justice – even if it took until 1924 for the word ‘socialist’ to appear in a Labour party manifesto.

Labour’s challenge today is to repeat this process with a whole different set of people. It’s not going to be easy and, as with the Fabians, the Suffragettes and the syndicalists of the Edwardian era, it will take time.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i've always found paul mason's perspective worth considering..even when i disagreed with what he was saying. more from the above piece

quote:

After reporting on the 2011 revolts, and observing the similarities between the people in the streets and squares of Cairo, Athens and New York City, I became convinced that a new kind of person had emerged, which sociologists labelled the “networked individual”.

Networked technology, combined with high levels of education and personal freedom have created a new historical subject across most countries and cultures which will supplant the industrial working class in the progressive project, just as they replaced the cottage weavers and artisans of the 18th century.

Orthodox Marxists are appalled by this proposal, and for good reason. If the classic proletariat, owning no substantial property and destined to spontaneously solidaristic ways of life, is not in fact destined to overthrow class society, then a key tenet of Marxism is disproved.

This, as I argued in ‘Postcapitalism’, is the inevitable conclusion we have to draw from 200+ years of working class history. The working class always wanted to go beyond the piecemeal reforms offered by parliamentary socialists like Beatrice Webb, but never – outside extreme circumstances – wanted to impose the proletarian dictatorship proposed by Marx. Nor during the rare times that workers’ council-type bodies gained power were the working class able to secure these institutions against the influence of outside parties and bureaucracies.

The actual 200 year record of the proletariat is heroic: it wanted control and cultural space within capitalism and would fight to the death for this, even against parties claiming to be communist. But it persistently refused to play the role of capitalism’s gravedigger.

However, all this is only a tragedy if you have never read the early Marx. In the so-called Paris Manuscripts of 1844, Marx argues that the ultimate goal is not communism; that humanity needs to overcome scarcity and to reconnect with its fundamentally social nature. Communism, says Marx, is only the initial form society will take once you abolish private property, but this itself is not the goal. Individual human freedom is the goal.

But since the individual human being created by mid-19th century capitalism cannot achieve it, there needs to be a collective subject to make it happen. The Marx of 1844 designated the working class the agent of human liberation because of the altruism, self-organisation and education he observed among the left wing workers of Paris.

If you see the networked individual of the early 21st century not as a degenerate offshoot from the proletariat but as an improvement on it, then it is possible to accept that Marx was wrong about the industrial working class while maintaining the belief human history has both an outcome (self-emancipation via the abolition of private property and the achievement of individual freedom) and a collective subject with the interest in achieving it.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..my last quote.

quote:

Almost everything the networked generation has done can be interpreted within the framework of resistance and adaptation to these new forms in which capital exploits us.

The #MeToo movement is just the latest example. Consumer boycott movements against cheap labour in garment factories; the widespread sit-ins in banks and pharmacies in 2010-11 launched by UK Uncut; the Occupy movement and its political aftermath – which was the occupation of the Labour party by tens of thousands of active, educated, young networked people – can all be seen through this lens.

In the USA, Black Lives Matter was a product of the independent means of communication, access to the legal system and, above all, the emergence of a networked and educated generation who had actually studied at school and college the movements they would now emulate.

Even where issues of social oppression collide – as with the increasingly bitter “trans vs radical feminist” dispute in the English speaking left – you are dealing with two sets of network-empowered people fighting for the right to define their own oppression and set social norms to alleviate it.

When they first emerged among the tech workforces of the 1990s studied by Richard Sennett, the behaviour patterns of networked individuals seemed negative from the point of view of social justice movements. They cultivated weak ties, refused to form permanent organisations, framed all struggles in terms of the self not the collective, and seemed at home in the most alienating of modern environments – the newly gentrified inner city. The title of Sennet’s 1998 book sums up how the effects of networked technology looked then: “The Corrosion of Character”.

Since then, I think it is fair to say that this new demographic (I would not call them a class in the sense of 20th century sociology) have defined themselves fairly clearly “vis-à-vis capital”, as Marx put it.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

I have been reading "Debt, the first 5,000 years" which is available by PDF. It is a 500+ page tome, but well worth it. The author's outlook is definitely from the left, and makes a lot of sense.

https://libcom.org/files/__Debt__The_First_5_000_Years.pdf

What is odd is that the Eastern Med, India, and China, all seemed to develop more or less in parallel.

Give gold coins to soldiers -> Have them capture slaves -> Put slaves in mines -> make more gold coins. While the soldiers are spreading around gold coins, markets form. It trashes the concept of markets forming spontaneously, and definitely trashes the concept of 'bartering' being anything more than ceremonial in early times.

It seems our whole concept of private property came from medieval debates on Roman Law, to come up with a concept that students of Quebec Civil Law would know "usus, fructus, abusus", or if you own something (or someone) you are entitled to use them, enjoy the fruits of them, and abuse them. This debate arose over the question of slavery...

As it is about debt, there is quite a lot of talk about usury, which was basically a method of turning a poor person who had to come up with some ceremonial offering into a slave or a 'debt peon'.

NDPP

Chunky Mark: Your Local Election Round Up

https://youtu.be/JLVD366i26c

"Bring On A General Election: Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Would Smash It!!!"

 

"Behind all the spin in the Tory media, here is what yesterday's election results would mean at a General Election: Labour would be the largest party in the House of Commons..."

https://twitter.com/RichardBurgon/status/992416887962251265

(while here at home the NDP sinks like a stone)

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..nicely done!

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Shame there isn't an SDLP in Ulster any more which might put them over the top. Sinn Fein won't sit. However Labour might work with the SNP, who have a few good ideas of their own.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The SDLP still exists in Ulster/N.I./The Six Counties(to use each of the names different groups apply to the area in question), though it currently has no Westminster seats.  The SDLP candidate actually had a gain in vote share in the Mid-Tyrone by-election which was also held last Thursday.  SDLP's major problem is that it had moved too far to the "respectable" center on economic issues, totally abandoning the working and kept-from-working pro-Irish poor.  Sinn Fein was able to move past it be presenting itself as "left" on the same issues-though in the next few years SF is likely to lose credibility on that due to the fact that, in its "partnership" role with the DUP(Democratic Unionist Party-the party founded by Ian "Niverr! Niverr! Niverr!" Paisley) in the Northern Irish Assembly Sf has unhestitatingly joined in in administering a harsh austerity program that directly attacks SF's working-class base.

NorthReport

Debbie Abrahams sacked as shadow work and pensions secretary over workplace bullying claims

'Investigation was not thorough, fair or independent,' says Oldham East and Saddleworth MP

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/debbie-abrahams-sacked-wo...

NDPP

"A bit of honesty from Jenny Mason ( Jewish Voice of Labour) about anti-Semitism. 'I do not want any more allegations treated as truth and being used to criticise the Labour Party. I'm Jewish, I have been in the Labour Party for 50 years, I have never experienced anti-Semitism."

https://twitter.com/Fitzy_Red/status/995617653845889024

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..23 min video. an important listen.

UK’s Labour Party Manifesto

While Britain’s Conservative government has taken definitive steps on Brexit, the Labour Party is no longer fighting the effort as a practical matter, but is looking to develop social democratic principles for the economy, says Professor John Weeks

progressive17 progressive17's picture

The EU is a double-edged sword for British workers. It has brought them more rights, but it has also brought their bosses even more.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

progressive17 wrote:

The EU is a double-edged sword for British workers. It has brought them more rights, but it has also brought their bosses even more.

That's the point I've been trying to make:  The Brexit Left(and the anti-EU left in the rest of Europe) needs to commit to pushing for a strong antiracist anti-social oppression, anti-xenophobia agenda as part of its program.  Those issues clearly can't be left to the mercy of the unwritten UK "constitution". 

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Ontario had brought in Minimum wage at $1.00 an hour in 1965 I believe. Labour was to run England for an almost interrupted time until Margaret Thatcher won in 1979, and no minimum wage in all that time. No minimum wage under the Conservatives of course. It did not come in England until not much before the turn of the century. Left alone, neither Labour nor the Conservatives have had any interest in the well-being of the lowest paid members of the working class. 

Whether a country has a 'written constitution' or not hardly matters. A constitutio was a decree by the Roman emperor on the advice of either the council of pontiffs, the senate, a tribunal, etc. Canada's constitution is just Part One of a number of Constitution Acts. At the top of Canada's 'constitution' it says, "The Queen, on advice of the Parliament of Canada". That is really all we need to know about that. The constitution in both Britain and Canada is that the Queen signs the bills on advice of Parliament.

On the American one it says "We the people" which was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying "We, these 13 colonial administrations", if you will notice who were the signatories at the bottom.

NDPP

re Canada's Constitution. No. That is really NOT 'all we need to know about that'. There's a bit more, actually...

Occupier's Justice, Canada's Broken Constitution and Ongoing Genocide  

https://dissidentvoice.org/2015/11/occupiers-justice-canadas-broken-cons...

The reason you don't know about Canada's constitution isn't an accident either. Sorry for the thread drift but could hardly let such a statement pass without an attempt to impart some correction and truth, in case there was any seriousness to the conversation. Hope this is of interest. It should be, but around here one never knows.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

progressive17 wrote:

Ontario had brought in Minimum wage at $1.00 an hour in 1965 I believe. Labour was to run England for an almost interrupted time until Margaret Thatcher won in 1979, and no minimum wage in all that time. No minimum wage under the Conservatives of course. It did not come in England until not much before the turn of the century. Left alone, neither Labour nor the Conservatives have had any interest in the well-being of the lowest paid members of the working class. 

Whether a country has a 'written constitution' or not hardly matters. A constitutio was a decree by the Roman emperor on the advice of either the council of pontiffs, the senate, a tribunal, etc. Canada's constitution is just Part One of a number of Constitution Acts. At the top of Canada's 'constitution' it says, "The Queen, on advice of the Parliament of Canada". That is really all we need to know about that. The constitution in both Britain and Canada is that the Queen signs the bills on advice of Parliament.

On the American one it says "We the people" which was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying "We, these 13 colonial administrations", if you will notice who were the signatories at the bottom.

For that matter, Labour could have passed a minimum wage after 1945, when it won a landslide majority and could pretty much have passed anything.

Labour was not in "nearly unterrupted power" from 1964 to 1979.  The Conservatives had a majority government under Edward Heath from 1970 to early 1974...and nearly held on in a minority after the February 1974 election, winning only five seats less than Labour in that election.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour vs. the Single Market

In recent weeks there has been intense debate in Britain about the Labour Party and the ongoing Brexit process. Advocates of the European Union have sought a range of concessions from the party leadership ranging from another vote on Brexit, to continued membership of the single market and Customs Union, and focusing on Brexit at party conference.

Underpinning this campaign to change Labour’s position on Brexit has been a barrage of articles arguing that European Union or single market rules would not impinge on Jeremy Corbyn’s program for government. These have come from a wide range of sources including the journal Renewal, the New Statesman, the Fabian’s website, the New European, LabourList, Open Labour, OpenDemocracy and Open Britain. But are they correct in their assertions?

In three interrelated areas EU rules would place severe restrictions on a future Corbyn government: State Aid, public procurement and nationalization. These are not minor issues. They lie at the heart of any attempt to transform Britain’s economy in a socialist direction, especially when it comes to industrial policy. As the debate over Brexit rumbles on it is clear that the EU would place unique barriers to a Corbyn-led Labour government—making even a reversal to WTO rules more advantageous than either EU or Single Market membership in these respects.....

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

progressive17 wrote:

Ontario had brought in Minimum wage at $1.00 an hour in 1965 I believe. Labour was to run England for an almost interrupted time until Margaret Thatcher won in 1979, and no minimum wage in all that time. No minimum wage under the Conservatives of course. It did not come in England until not much before the turn of the century. Left alone, neither Labour nor the Conservatives have had any interest in the well-being of the lowest paid members of the working class. 

Whether a country has a 'written constitution' or not hardly matters. A constitutio was a decree by the Roman emperor on the advice of either the council of pontiffs, the senate, a tribunal, etc. Canada's constitution is just Part One of a number of Constitution Acts. At the top of Canada's 'constitution' it says, "The Queen, on advice of the Parliament of Canada". That is really all we need to know about that. The constitution in both Britain and Canada is that the Queen signs the bills on advice of Parliament.

On the American one it says "We the people" which was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying "We, these 13 colonial administrations", if you will notice who were the signatories at the bottom.

For that matter, Labour could have passed a minimum wage after 1945, when it won a landslide majority and could pretty much have passed anything.

Labour was not in "nearly unterrupted power" from 1964 to 1979.  The Conservatives had a majority government under Edward Heath from 1970 to early 1974...and nearly held on in a minority after the February 1974 election, winning only five seats less than Labour in that election.

The Ted Heath government was hardly Conservative by modern standards. More like Blue Labour. 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

progressive17 wrote:

The Ted Heath government was hardly Conservative by modern standards. More like Blue Labour. 

Back in 1970, the post war consensus in favour of a mixed economy was still in effect. Heath was as right as Nixon, which was as right as any serious politician was in those days. The revolution wrought by Thatcher and Reagan was so overwhelmingly successful that people these days forget what the situation was before 1980.

bekayne

Michael Moriarity wrote:

progressive17 wrote:

The Ted Heath government was hardly Conservative by modern standards. More like Blue Labour. 

Back in 1970, the post war consensus in favour of a mixed economy was still in effect. Heath was as right as Nixon, which was as right as any serious politician was in those days. The revolution wrought by Thatcher and Reagan was so overwhelmingly successful that people these days forget what the situation was before 1980.

Stephen Colbert in 2006: "Nixon was the last liberal president. He supported women's rights, the environment, ending the draft, youth involvement, and now he's the boogeyman? Kerry couldn't even run on that today."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Labour HQ spray painted by Heathrow activists

Activists from new non-violent direct action campaign ‘Vote No Heathrow’ are kicking off a campaign of civil disobedience at Labour HQ to pressure the Party to honor its environmental commitments and oppose the expansion of Heathrow Airport

josh

bekayne wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

progressive17 wrote:

The Ted Heath government was hardly Conservative by modern standards. More like Blue Labour. 

Back in 1970, the post war consensus in favour of a mixed economy was still in effect. Heath was as right as Nixon, which was as right as any serious politician was in those days. The revolution wrought by Thatcher and Reagan was so overwhelmingly successful that people these days forget what the situation was before 1980.

Stephen Colbert in 2006: "Nixon was the last liberal president. He supported women's rights, the environment, ending the draft, youth involvement, and now he's the boogeyman? Kerry couldn't even run on that today."

Not to mention that he imposed wage and price controls.

NDPP

Galloway: Did Saboteurs inside Labour Thwart Jeremy Corbyn in the General Election?

https://twitter.com/DennieMorris/status/1005606002090217473

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Leftwing group at odds with Corbyn pushes for UK to stay in EU

A leftwing organisation that led demonstrations against student fees and Conservative higher education reforms has set itself at odds with Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit by pledging to increase its campaigns to keep the UK in the EU and maintain the free movement of workers.

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) said it would join anti-Brexit demonstrations the National Union of Students (NUS) is organising this summer and autumn, and establish a “radical, leftwing, pro-migrant bloc”. The move is another sign of young people increasingly mobilising against the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU in March next year.

quote:

Student organisations representing almost a million young people studying at UK universities and colleges joined forces last month to demand a “people’s vote” on any final Brexit deal as fears grow that leaving the EU will have a disastrous effect on their future prospects.

The NCAFC is not formally linked to Labour, but many of its supporters are Corbyn supporters.

The rebellion by Labour MPs happened after party whips ordered them to abstain over a motion that backed staying in the EEA. The Labour leadership objected partly because of concerns that membership would mean obeying free movement rules after Brexit, and also because it might make it difficult for the UK to join a customs union and therefore find a solution to the Northern Ireland border issue.

Concerns that the party’s stance on Brexit is hitting its support grew on Thursday when Labour’s Janet Daby won the the Lewisham East by-election but with a severely reduced majority.

The poll saw the biggest swing – 19% – from a Labour opposition to the pro-EU Lib Dems since 1983. It came despite Daby saying she would argue to stay in the single market and the customs union.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i post this as a  companion piece to #78. i very much like the students' idea of a "people's vote" on any final brexit deal.

The Windrush Scandal proves the government can’t be trusted to renegotiate our border policies

Amber Rudd took a bullet for Theresa May in the immediate aftermath the Windrush scandal, stepping down is because she ‘inadvertently mislead Parliament’. But really, it’s the current prime minister, now in charge of Brexit, who is really to blame for the disastrous immigration policies which lead to the deportation of Black British citizens. We should all be concerned that the chief architect of the ‘hostile environment’ is now heading up the renegotiation of Britain’s border policies.

A hostile legacy

It was Theresa May who, during her six years as Home Secretary (the longest tenure since WWII), introduced and designed the ‘hostile environment’ that became Amber Rudd’s accidental legacy. Theresa May has yet to take responsibility for her design and creation of this system that has, seemingly intentionally and systematically targeted and harassed British citizens who originally migrated to the UK from parts of the Commonwealth.

So much so that the entire energies of the Home Office have been devoted to implementing its immigration policy. The Windrush generation, who have been incorrectly and cruelly targeted by Home Office officials, have had the misfortune to be victims of a system that has failed to protect them as British Citizens. Specific legal protection for the Windrush generation was removed from the statute books in the 2014 Immigration Act when the specific clause was omitted without consultation or debate.

May’s approach to immigration is well documented. In 2016 she noted that her prefered strategy for handling migration and asylum claims was to lock people up, rather than dealing with those claims in the community. Her approach to civil liberties was described as ‘careless’.

As Home Secretary, she conceived strategies and policies to cut net migration figures – which reached a high of 330,000 in June 2015 – including splitting up families, enforcing English language use requirements, and removing overseas students from the figure. 

NDPP

George Galloway on Why He Still Backs Brexit

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/George-Galloway-on-Why-He-Stil...

"...Most importantly the British working class voted leave. The vast majority of constituencies with Labour MPs voted Leave. The majority of the low paid voted leave.

There is nothing progressive about the EU as we said in 1975 in our 'No' vote campaign under the leadership of Tony Benn, the greatest progressive leader we've ever had in Britain. The EU has nothing to do with internationalism nor with anti-racism as those suffering under the lash of racism and islamophobia in mainland Europe know. And those sinking in the Mediterranean trying and failing to enter Fortress Europe know.

The EU is the political wing of NATO. It has nothing to do with workers' rights and economic justice either, as the people of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland know. The EU is an anti-democratic bankers ramp where neoliberal austerity has beggared Europe whilst imposing as economic orthodoxy the 'principles' of globalization and the strangling of the idea of democratic control by people and peoples of their own lives.

It is being rejected everywhere in Europe and will soon be gone. People will not accept being ruled by those they did not elect and cannot remove. This is the spirit of our age..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..while i don't disagree with leaving the eu the brexit vote should not be the last expression for the population. most important, if britain is ever to make it on it's own it needs the population on side.

..if the threat is that britain leaves with a hard brexit and the torries in charge it will be a disaster. no matter how bad the eu is things can get worse for the population. and a vote on the final agreement is an important part following a skewed process that hasn't had enough time to debate or look at a full range of options. this is being rammed through by a bunch of tories that has no interest in doing what is best for the population.   

..maybe a better option is to leave under a corbyn labour but that is not how things are shaping up if they loose the public support that got it to where it's at today. this can not be some geopolitcal move to end the eu but a community based position. and not driven by the torries. labour needs to come up with something inspiratonal that would somewhat satisfy both sides on this highly divisive subject.  

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Why ‘remain and reform’ is the only progressive position

quote:

There is of course a left version of hard Brexit. The idea is that if we separate ourselves from the EU we can build socialism in one country. There was always a problem with this notion as the Soviet experience showed – but nowadays it is fantasy. We live in an interconnected world where we cannot shut off flows of goods, people and capital without huge costs in terms of prosperity, human rights, and everyday life.

The argument that we would be freer to provide state aid to ailing industries defies the reality that countries like France and Germany already provide far more state aid than we do within EU rules and that, outside the EU, our capacity to provide state aid would be hugely diminished. But most importantly, the Lexit argument fails to take account of the politics of Brexit, the fact that the left would need to ally with right-wing Brexiters to achieve a hard Brexit and would play into the populist nationalist appeal of Brexit.

The parliamentary arithmetic suggests that a soft Brexit, or slightly less bad Brexit, is more likely. The softest Brexit means staying in the single market and the customs union so that in economic terms, everything more or less stays the same. But we would not be part of the decision-making procedures  and would have not say on the future evolution of these institutions. We would probably be consulted but, as the Norwegian Prime Minister made clear in an interview with the Today programme, this is not the same as political participation. A semi-soft Brexit is the current Labour position -staying in a customs union with full access to the internal market but not membership in the single market whatever that means.

Soft Brexit means subordinating ourselves to the rules of the European Union. Many of those rules, of course, are beneficial; they include health and safety, workers’ rights, standardisation of mobile phone charges, digital privacy or environmental protection. Indeed, without Britain, the market fundamentalism that has tended to dominate EU policies in recent years might be more likely to be mitigated. But basically, soft Brexit  means preserving the pre-referendum status quo with no possibility of contributing to change.

quote:

The only genuinely democratic left position on the European Union is to remain inside the Union and be active in the European institutions, to ally with other progressive movements across Europe in order to oppose the two dominant political tendencies – right-wing populism and neo-liberal elitism that feed upon each other. We need a new internationalist left and green political narrative. The Labour Party is viewed in other parts of Europe as an example of how to avoid the demise of social democracy. It has half a million members more than any other party in Europe. With the possible exceptions of Portugal and Spain it is the only party that has the potential to implement a socialist programme. Inside the European Union, a Corbyn led government could press for such policies as closing down multinational tax havens, controlling financial speculation, reforming the euro or investing in resource saving infrastructure that would provide an environment in which progressive policies could be implemented. Outside the EU, if Corbyn-led Labour was ever able to win an election, it would find itself in hugely unfavourable post-Brexit conditions, extremely vulnerable to financial and other market pressures.

josh

Totally disagree.  The EU is an inherently neo-liberal project.  Has been and always will be.  

The intent of  getting out was, and is, not to build socialism in one country.  That is a red herring.  In more ways than one.  It is to permit the UK to be in charge of its own fiscal policy, and not cede control to an undemocratic neo-liberal economic elite.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..labour's position supports the single market which is very neoliberal. not sure if can be in charge of it's own fiscal policy with the single market.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour vs. the Single Market

quote:

In three interrelated areas EU rules would place severe restrictions on a future Corbyn government: State Aid, public procurement and nationalization. These are not minor issues. They lie at the heart of any attempt to transform Britain’s economy in a socialist direction, especially when it comes to industrial policy. As the debate over Brexit rumbles on it is clear that the EU would place unique barriers to a Corbyn-led Labour government—making even a reversal to WTO rules more advantageous than either EU or Single Market membership in these respects.

josh

As I said the EU is a neo-liberal project from conception.  It can never be anything else.  And those who think it can are just deluding themselves.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

josh wrote:

As I said the EU is a neo-liberal project from conception.  It can never be anything else.  And those who think it can are just deluding themselves.

..i don't think anyone is under any delusion. there is no good path to follow and folks are struggling with the choices facing them. labour faces choices as well and if they don't come up with a way to bring opposing points of view to some consensus..they risk alienating some of their base to the point where the cons stay in power. this is a tricky spot for everyone on the side of labour and that must be acknowledged.

..what i appreciate the most is the engagement both inside and outside the party. this is as close to democracy as you can get in these times.   

josh

Keeping control of your government’s ability to intervene in the economy is a good and easy choice to make.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..but josh the single market doesn't give you that and that is what labour is proposing.

cco

josh wrote:

Keeping control of your government’s ability to intervene in the economy is a good and easy choice to make.

Will Corbyn also withdraw the UK from the WTO and all other trade agreements, and the Bank of England from the Bank for International Settlements? The EU isn't the only restrictive neoliberal international institution out there, and if the UK continues to belong to the EFTA, for example, its ability to intervene will still be greatly restricted. It's fun to put it all on the EU, much as UKIP managed to blame Syrian immigration on the EU, but true economic sovereignty requires a much deeper break, as well as a hard border in Ireland.

NDPP

The Big Money, Lobbyists and Blairites Behind Stop Brexit Outfits

https://t.co/DIpAA3lOaV

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..while it may be  true that there is no good path forward re brexit going into the future with a corbyn labour gov is full of hope. i don't really believe that a head to head battle between labour and capital will end well in any case. capital is just to powerful as i've declared ad nauseum. 

..the eu doesn't stop the country from building an alternative economy while living in the old. an economy that doesn't rely and even bypasses neoliberalism. building coops, community banking, health care education, transit. in short where and whenever transformation that begins at the community level is possible. in concert with the ecology and not against it. limited only by your imagination.

..under a corbyn labour gov there is hope. the key is going into the future with most of the population on board. this is the priority i would think and not the eu.

josh

cco wrote:
josh wrote:

Keeping control of your government’s ability to intervene in the economy is a good and easy choice to make.

Will Corbyn also withdraw the UK from the WTO and all other trade agreements, and the Bank of England from the Bank for International Settlements? The EU isn't the only restrictive neoliberal international institution out there, and if the UK continues to belong to the EFTA, for example, its ability to intervene will still be greatly restricted. It's fun to put it all on the EU, much as UKIP managed to blame Syrian immigration on the EU, but true economic sovereignty requires a much deeper break, as well as a hard border in Ireland.

The EU is the elephant.  Belonging to the WTO does not prevent you from doing nationalizations and runnng large deficits to stimulate your econ9my.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..imo this is the best way to go. it's the most democratic.

quote:

Student organisations representing almost a million young people studying at UK universities and colleges joined forces last month to demand a “people’s vote” on any final Brexit deal.

iyraste1313

UK opposition leader Corbyn would recognize Palestinian state

 Jun 23, 2018 @ 8:51 (Debka)

British Labor party leader Jeremy Corbyn spent his first trip outside Europe as party leader visiting Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. He declared that if elected his government would recognize a Palestinian state “very early on” as a full state and part of the United Nations. He would also push hard for a political solution to the Syrian civil war. Corbyn has been condemned for failing to deal with anti-Semitic manifestations in his Labor party and never hidden his anti-Israel bias.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Huge anti-Brexit demonstration throngs central London

At least 100,000 people took to the streets yesterday as part of the largest ever demonstration of support for a new referendum over Britain’s final Brexit deal.

With more businesses poised to issue dire Brexit warnings this week and senior Tories already drawing up plans to soften Theresa May’s exit proposals, organisers of the march on Sunday said it showed Britain’s departure from the European Union was not a “done deal”

quote:

Conservative supporters marched alongside Labour voters and Liberal Democrats during the protest, which saw angry denunciations of the chaos that has ensued inside government since the Brexit vote. Labour’s leadership also came under pressure at the march for refusing to back a second public vote. There were chants of “Where’s Jeremy Corbyn” from the crowd. The Labour leader was on a visit to a Palestinian refugee camp.

josh

They all should have been carrying We Want Neo-Liberalism signs.

Corbyn has skillfully handled the question so far.   He has avoided totally embracing one side or the other.  Thereby holding voters who would otherwise go to UKIP, if not the Tories, or the LDs if he did.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I'd have voted Remain(while acknowledging the basically neoliberal characteristics of the EU), but they need to accept that this has been decided and that soft Brexit is the best that can be done.  The hopeless fight to prevent Brexit is not worth keeping the Tories in power.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

UK Government minister hides leading role with hard Brexit group

The Cabinet Secretary has been asked to investigate the conduct of Brexit minister, Steve Baker, after an openDemocracy investigation revealed that he had undisclosed meetings with the European Research Group, an influential group of Conservative MPs who want a hard, no-deal exit from the European Union.

Baker, an arch Brexiteer, was chair of the ERG before being promoted last year into David Davis’s Department for Exiting the European Union. But the Tory minister continues to play a leading role in the ERG, attending private meetings of the anti-EU group in Westminster and corresponding regularly with ERG members, including current chairman, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

In contravention of ministerial rules, none of these meetings nor Baker’s correspondence with ERG MPs has been included in transparency records published by DExEU.

Through a sequence of Freedom of Information requests sent to DExEU, and in discussions held with senior Whitehall sources, openDemocracy has established how Baker avoided publicly disclosing his continuing links with the ERG by claiming his attendance at their private events “were not in his capacity as a minister” and therefore did not need to be listed in quarterly disclosures of relevant meetings.

quote:

Last year openDemocracy revealed that more than £250,000 of public money was being used to fund the ERG, an 80-strong private caucus of Tory MPs that is widely regarded as a party-within-a-party.

Baker is acknowledged as the ideologically-driven MP who turned the ERG from being an ignored backbench talking shop into a formidable group demanding a complete break with Europe and an end to what he called “the EU’s despotism”. They have also been described as holding Theresa May hostage over any attempts to water down Brexit.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

I'd have voted Remain(while acknowledging the basically neoliberal characteristics of the EU), but they need to accept that this has been decided and that soft Brexit is the best that can be done.  The hopeless fight to prevent Brexit is not worth keeping the Tories in power.

..there is nothing to accept ken. there is no deal yet soft or hard. there is though the possibility of it all going to shit. meaning all that has been achieved re corbyn labour could be set back for years to come. i very much like the notion of a final deal vote.

..maybe i would have thought differently if labour had made substantial gains in the last round of voting but it didn't. numbers basically stayed the same.      

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
..there is nothing to accept ken. there is no deal yet soft or hard.

I think Ken was suggesting that at this point, it's either a soft deal or a hard deal, but that the time to have a do-over on Brexit itself is past.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs magoo. i'm not so certain that it's over but we'll see. 

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