Guardian’s corrects fake-news headline on Corbyn article – hours late

Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the difficult issue of Brexit has been exemplary – a fact even acknowledged, in one of its weaker moments, by the BBC. The result has been the collapse of May’s government – and of her credibility.

But the centrist section of the Establishment is still ready to undermine his intelligent stance and determination to represent the whole population.

On Thursday evening, an article by Jeremy Corbyn was published by the Guardian on the topic of Labour’s plans for Brexit and the party’s ability to negotiate a far better deal than May has achieved in over two years.

It’s pitch perfect – laying out the weaknesses of May’s deal, avoiding any hint of complacency about the result of the parliamentary vote on it next week and describing the advantages of Labour’s plan.

The article mentions, correctly, that Labour’s policy is to keep all options on the table until a good deal is agreed, acknowledging that one of these options is a public vote on the deal.

It goes no further on that particular topic – but the Guardian’s initial headline gave an entirely different – and entirely misleading – impression.

The headline ‘quotes’ Corbyn treating the matter as a ‘binary’ issue – that the Labour is putting forward only two choices – that Labour takes over the negotiations or else there must be a public vote:

The Guardian’s misleading original headline, top, and the corrected version published hours later, below

The Guardian eventually corrected its headline, but only after the misleading one had been online for around three hours. The Guardian’s initial tweet of the article link, with the misleading headline, was still on its Twitter feed at the time of publication of this article, almost six hours later.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Any suggestion that Labour is planning to block Brexit would damage Labour electorally, especially in northern ‘heartlands’ that strongly voted Brexit.

The SKWAWKBOX has not yet confirmed whether the party complained to the paper about the misleading headline.

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  1. Not sure what’s misleading there. The sub-heading before the change and after it clearly says all options including another referendum on the table if May’s deal is voted down by the Commons

    1. I’ve had my run-ins with the Grauniad – particularly over the ‘antisemitism’ scams and the stream of anti-Corbyn opeds in general. Their their journalism is disgraceful on these and related issues. It is essentially a LibDem/Blairite (for want of a better word) paper.

      However, it does no good to develop blanket paranoia, and in this case, Corbyn has been given a fair hearing. After all, the rest of the mainstream is even worse, and there is still some decent reporting going on if you use an intelligent filter.

  2. The big mistake Labour as a ‘Remain’ Party made, was immediately after the result not saying. We recognise the result but we believe it was achieved not on facts but on lies and emotional hooks. If by the time Brexit is due and the consequences have become clearer and there is a mood in the country against it, we will offer the public another referendum if we get to power.

    If we had done this from the start, Labour’s position would have been absolutely clear and we would not now be in the invidious position, as a Remain Party, of having to say we can implement the Tory Brexit better than they can, because as we now know, there is no such thing as a good Brexit.

    This is not hindsight, it was suggested by some of us at the time.

    1. That would not have worked. The official, Tory-led Remain campaign was also a farrago of lies and scaremongering.

      Labour’s six tests was the right way to go. “OK, this is what you have promised. So this is the benchmark against which we will judge any deal.”

      It’s a different tactic based on the same premise as your suggestion, but without the contentious element implicit in your approach of accusing millions of Labour voters of being dupes.

      1. ‘Ultraviolet’, Imagine someone wanting to self-harm by slashing both wrists and a group of people standing around them, some shouting ‘go ahead’ and some shouting ‘stop’. Labour is now in the position of saying the ‘cutters’ are shouting a bit louder so go ahead but just cut one wrist.

        People get duped every day in all sorts of situations, Brexit is no different. Don’t shoot the messenger for calling it out, it’s an observation, not an ‘accusation’.

      2. @Jack T I am not sure it is helpful to use a self-harm analogy, but the fundamental problem with your argument there, which does translate across, is that physically stopping a person from self-harming does not stop them from WANTING to self-harm.

        Corbyn’s tactic is aimed both at minimising the harm and demonstrating that there is another way.

      3. ‘Ultraviolet’ Self-harm perfectly describes the constitutional vandalism of the ultra-leavers.

        Just because someone WANTS to self-harm is no reason to adopt the ‘one wrist’ policy, to minimise the damage, which you have admitted is the basis of Corbyn’s policy. This is the sort of woolly thinking which has dogged Labour in the past.

        The aim should surely be to eliminate the damage not just minimise it!

    2. You are absolutely right. Labour *is* an overwhelmingly ‘Remain’ party – like it or not, and ‘respecting the referendum’ would mean respecting the majority who did not vote for ‘Leave’ (as is the norm in one-off constitutional referendums. The idea that it is to be treated like general election – without a threshold – means also that there needs to be a re-vote for consistency.

      I have consistently supported The Corbyn leadership. But not over this, where the simple fact is that the Party has not distinguished itself from the Tory/UKIP project. As we’ve seen, Corbyn would have been hammered by the Tory press anyway, but a different policy would have been something of a counter – and would have undermined the devious right in the Party.

      Forget the idea of a ‘socialist’ Brexit – it doesn’t stack up in the impoverished reality of a weakened client state – and there are ways round the undoubted EU leanings towards ‘the market in all things’. Remember – this was a *Tory* project, and one where the desired structural outcome was always the precise opposite of socialism.

      No-one can argue convincingly that joining the Tories in a rush to implement Article 50 made any tactical or strategic sense – this was the point at which to make a distinction. Now, after two years of drifting, pointless negotiations, we are in a position where May is still rated ahead of Corbyn, with the public in general is unable to see a distinct difference in policy – they just want it all ‘over and done with’.

      Face the reality – the high ground has been left to the untrustworthy LibDems and the Labour right whilst Labour been fannying about in this way (even accepting the short-term tactical logic of letting the Tories hang themselves). The idea that the strategy has been ‘pitch perfect’ is wishful thinking. It is fairly obvious that there is a slow, but consistent movement towards ‘Remain’, coupled with a structural change as old, conservative voters fall off the perch.

      Turning the bus around has got more difficult the longer the trip down the dead end of Brexit has gone on – but it needs to be attempted. Labour needs to be the party of the future and ahead of the game.

    3. Hi Jack,
      don’t forget that those of us who voted Brexit are stupid; racist; ignorant; working class morons who have no idea what we voted for.

      1. Ah, so that’s why we are in this mess 🙂

        Steve, as a Brexiter don’t be so brittle, kick of those feelings of persecution and insecurity and see the big picture. The EU doesn’t hate you, that’s the prerogative of the Tories and the far right, who whilst pretending they are your friends, will fleece, cheat you and encourage division at every opportunity.

  3. Jeremy is in a tricky situation because he realises that the EU provisions on State Aids would be an obstacle to a socialist Labour government, and I trust he sees the EU’s array of marketization-privatisation provisions in the same light. There is also the issue of taxation and whether we have the right to strike a new balance between direct and indirect taxation, the latter being an EU matter.

    Problem is, deals by their very nature need to be negotiated. The evidence which we have is that the European Commission view a Corbyn government as the chief threat to the level playing field of the European market. This ardently neoliberal body is far more concerned about a Corbyn government than some Boris/Rees-Mogg administration which would not use legislative freedom to effect such radical interventionist change as Left-led Labour might do so.

    So what does Jeremy et al do when the Commission (and Council) insist that the State Aids provisions and the various prohibitions on nationalisation just HAVE to be part of any deal? Sadly my best guess is that he would capitulate in the Syriza fashion. Jeremy’s needless denunciation of “no deal” means our bargaining power is entirely non-existent from the outset.

    Only the usual huge dollop of wishful thinking can wish this problem away.

    1. I fundamentally disagree with your description of the EU. You are attributing to the EU things that were done by the UK Government. While the UK Government was foisting neoliberal rules on it, the French and German governments were introducing EU-wide protections for workers that our own government demanded an opt-out from. The EU went along with our proposals because few of them had been stupid enough to privatise everything in the first place.

      I strongly believe that if Corbyn asked for it, the EU would give an assurance that he could implement his renationalisation agenda while remaining in the EU.

      That is one of the things that negotiations between the EU and a Corbyn government would explore.

      And that is why I simply don’t buy the Lexit argument, which makes unfounded assumptions on this point. If after Labour led discussions those assumptions proved correct, then I might well reconsider. But the price is way too high to make that leap in the dark when there might be no need to pay it.

      1. Yes, I think you made that point before. However, there is creeping/ walking privatisation of those services and utilities and Macron’s so called nationalisation bid was, I believe, an “emergency” i.e. temporary measure.

        As before, your para two would be quite an outcome.

        Refreshing to read measured comment on this issue.

  4. A common theme in recent interviews with ministers including the PM is to hint that somehow Labour is blocking “the democratic will of the people ” for Brexit and that they need to be careful that this does not lead to civil unrest. This could be read as “if this all goes wrong take your anger out on Labour politicians and supporters.A dangerous game.

  5. Quoted from the article:
    ‘…In the past, a defeat of such seriousness as May now faces would have meant an automatic election. But if under the current rules we cannot get an election, all options must be on the table. Those should include Labour’s alternative and, as our conference decided in September, the option of campaigning for a * public vote to break the deadlock. * ‘

    3 points made in the above statement:

    The first point is FTPA rules, which might prevent an election. Because agreeing with the DUP, Brexit Ultras in the Conservative Party, LibDems, etc. to disagree with the deal does not mean agreeing to have a general election. Corbyn has stated clearly why he is not supporting the deal, but that is not the reason why Boris Johnson nor the DUP are not supporting the deal either. The Johnsons/DUP axis might be wanting to use it only for purposes of staging a no-confidence vote on their leader, nothing more.

    The second point is Labour’s alternative. Mind you, that is Labour’s Alternative to be presented in parliament, not to the people. Will our Blairite contingent in parliament support it, let alone the Conservatives and their Brexit Ultras? Given the antics displayed by the Chris Leslies of our Blairite contingent at the last PMQs, I doubt it.

    Which leads us to the third point: Public Vote to break the deadlock. It wont be a re-run of the 2016 question – which the Blairites and their friends in the neo-liberal establishment are advocating for. It will be a choice between Labour alternative and the deal as negotiated by the Conservative government. In my humble opinion, that is what we should all be advocating for. It should somehow be worked into the proposed withdrawal bill that defeat will result in the matter being taken to the people.

  6. All medias are so nasty to Corbyn. Some being interviewed by Mat Frei were always stopped when they tried to say to choose the general election. Every broadcaster stops interviewees comments and induce to their own notion if which are supporting Corbyn. It seems still long way to go for Jeremy. Jeremy has reached so far, not bad but a bit more push required and will succeed to what he believes and we believe.

  7. New reduced electoral register,with fixed term parliaments, a general election now will give Jeremey five years in power time to undo all Tory planning
    an election with the new boundaries will result in a tory majority for ever
    She will do everything to hang on REPORT THIS

      1. Links like this are why SkwawkB has my undivided loyalty. Thanks, as always, Maria.

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