“Growing the grassroots”? The corporatists and right-wingers behind “People’s Vote” campaign

Late last year, the SKWAWKBOX revealed that the “Open Britain” company behind the so-called “People’s Vote” campaign had used the same company employed by the Tories that earned the Tories a less-than-adequate warning from the Electoral Commission for its ‘unlawful’ campaign activities.

Late last year, the SKWAWKBOX revealed that the “Open Britain” company behind the so-called “People’s Vote” campaign had used the same company employed by the Tories that earned the Tories a less-than-adequate warning from the Electoral Commission for its ‘unlawful’ campaign activities.

In the summer, this blog had already flagged the campaign, with its Blairite backers including Peter Mandelson and his godson as directors, as a likely vehicle for attacks on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and for raising the profile of MPs from the ‘Progress’ faction.

And in July, the SKWAWKBOX highlighted the misleading presentation of a ‘Unite’ poll – all too predictably claiming Unite members backed a new referendum – when in fact the poll was organised by the Open Britain pro-referendum vehicle.

Now, the Morning Star has looked in detail at the rest of the company’s board – and revealed an array of Tory, Lib Dem & right-wing Labour politicians, company directors & chairmen of global corporations running the company and therefore the campaign – who are not mentioned on its website.

One which claims, on its website, to be a ‘grassroots’ effort.

These directors include:

  • the chair of a huge fracking company criticised by the United Nations for its damage to “economic, social, and cultural rights” and to the environment
  • the multimillionaire founder – and brother of shamed DWP Secretary Amber Rudd – whose company made almost £30 million in profits and paid out £10 million in dividends, yet paid barely half a million pounds in tax. And which happens to consider Brexit one of its top-10 business risks. Rudd also guarantees the lease for the hugely expensive Open Britain offices in Millbank Tower, which also happen to host other ‘grassroots’ stop-Brexit groups like OFOC (Our Future Our Choice), apparently for free
  • the multimillionaire founder of a drinks company and an investment company
  • a key adviser to ex-LibDem leader Nick Clegg, while Clegg was busy facilitating the Brexit-enabling David Cameron’s coalition
  • the son of Blairite former Home Secretary Jack Straw
  • the son of a knighted, exclusively-educated former deputy governor of the Bank of England and Private Secretary to the Blair government
  • and, of course, Mandelson

Green MP Caroline Lucas’ office told the SKWAWKBOX last year that she was a director of the company when it was the ‘Stronger In’ official remain campaign vehicle, but that after the referendum the company no longer had a political board, so she stepped down.

On this basis, Open Britain looks at least as corporate as political – yet is clearly using a political approach to achieve its ends.

For more, read the full Morning Star article.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Trying to reconcile the names above with the idea of ‘grassroots’ is enough to make your ears bleed.

The Morning Star considers the so-called “People’s Vote”, both the idea and the campaign for it, to be a serious – and intentional – threat to the prospect of the Corbyn-led government the country so desperately needs and also to the UK and global environment.

The more one thinks about it, the harder it is to disagree.

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36 responses to ““Growing the grassroots”? The corporatists and right-wingers behind “People’s Vote” campaign

    • Unless you have some actual evidence to the contrary all the evidence indicates that the vast majority of Labour Party members also want to stop in the EU,

      • SteveH , that may or may not be so ,it is based dare I say on polling results of small scale sample size and questionable bias of those running them, for example 2017 polls predicting the wipe out of Labour under JC , we know the result of that polling debacle .
        Unless a vote of the entire membership is taken to indicate the true attitude to staying within the EU then any statement of ” vast numbers etc etc ” is just an extrapolated guess and not a fact .
        It would be more correct to state that some Labour party members want to remain in the EU and that is all that can be concluded from the polling .

        I am not questioning your right to voice an opinion but I do question the integrity and trustworthiness of the data behind the polls used to derive that evidential indication from.
        The only recent poll , that really mattered possibly was the 2017 GE.
        Labour ran on a manifesto that clearly stated that it would respect the referendum result , biggest vote share increase since 1945 was the result .
        Now let me be clear I would willing vote to remain in an EU that is Socialist in nature and deeds , BUT the present form of the EU most certainly is not , it is a Neo-liberal big business supporting organ , and remaining in it as it is would certainly make any of the radical policies ( Nationalisation , state intervention etc ) we need enacted , impossible.

      • rob 04/01/2019 at 10:32 pm ·
        Well thanks for the tutorial on how all opinion polls and surveys work, I’m sure everyone on here appreciates it.

        I agree it would be great if the Labour Party polled us all, although I suspect that some on here wouldn’t be as keen.

        The only recent poll , that really mattered possibly was the 2017 GE.

        I have yet to see anyone provide any evidence that supports the idea that the majority of the members support Brexit or don’t support a second referendum. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary I would argue that the links I have provided below in conjunction with two and a half years of polls and surveys that consistently show comparable results is pretty conclusive evidence.

      • Can you please provide any evidence to support and validate your assertion; “the vast majority of Labour Party members also want to stop in the EU”.

      • SteveH,

        You are at it again stating the majority of Labour Party members want the UK to remain in the EU. Well, as a victim of the McNicol Purge, I trust I qualify partially as a ‘member’, despite my own involuntary suspension from the Party for two years – funnily enough fighting for Corbyn as it so happens. Now, I voted Leave, I did so as an International Socialist and will Vote likewise again, unless of course JC issues some instructions I can agree with.

        Now, I hang out with a few thousand Labour members and voters and most follow the ‘agreed’ Party line on Brexit, namely, a second referendum remains on the table, but is not our overriding priority, rather getting rid of the Tories remains goal number one.

        Again, when you can present me with an actual Poll of 100,000 members I may take notice, until then, speak for yourself and stop speaking for others when it comes to the EU and the UK’s relationship with Europe, which funnily enough ain’t the EU, or it was not the last time I glanced at a map, that’s not saying that Brussels would not like all of EU to be under its undemocratic auspices, with the exception of Russia of course!!!!!

      • @SteveH
        Putting aside the sarcasm in your response ,
        I outlined the fallibility in your blind belief of the polls , you may not like it but it needed to be pointed out especially when you make such factually incorrect statements that “ vast numbers of members “ etc etc . It is your opinion not a fact and should not be passed of as a fact.
        It’s a well used ruse to try and build momentum by trying to create the herd instinct reaction , they all can’t be wrong so I’d best follow …
        I couldn’t care less if you are a Remainer or Leaver , its the blind belief and unquestioning trust being put in poll results without critical analysis being employed . The Ge2017 result definitively illustrated that error.
        You mention in response to Colin Wilkes the polls produced by ESRC , the backers of ESRC have links directly to the Govt , Home office Dept , the Founding Director is also the MD of Metro Dynamics and it’s client base includes the LSE who’s Director was previously the Deputy Director of the IMF .
        This to me paints a picture of not exactly unbiased impartiality to say the least , it looks like ,walks like & smells like “ the Establishment” not really going to be a friend of JC Socialist Labour party for sure !

        Instead of arguing your case on polls , try persuading people of the benefits of remaining in the EU and explaining just how , specifically , Labour is going to be able to execute its radical Nationalisation manifesto contrary to the EU rules on state intervention and support .

      • rob 05/01/2019 at 9:11 am

        Instead of arguing your case on polls , try persuading people of the benefits of remaining in the EU

        The simple fact is that I don’t need to because the vast majority of Labour Party members already agree that they want to stay in the EU. As a recent article in the Observer pointed out the problem is not the data produced by these polls but the misrepresentation of it by the MSM. Please refer to my comment above
        SteveH 05/01/2019 at 12:56 pm

      • @SteveH “The simple fact is that I don’t need to because the vast majority of Labour Party members already agree that they want to stay in the EU. As a recent article in the Observer pointed out the problem is not the data produced by these polls but the misrepresentation of it by the MSM. Please refer to my comment above”
        SteveH 05/01/2019 at 12:56 pm

        Well that’s a shame Steve because if you wish to persuade people to your cause then providing information is the rational logical way to go about it.Simply stating ( factually incorrectly) “the vast majority of Labour Party members already agree ” etc etc is not an answer to the question I asked.

        As you have Ref’d me to your statement on SteveH 05/01/2019 at 12:56 pm , then the whole point I was making is that the data is questionable because of whom the organisation is backed by and funded by .Frankly I don’t give a fig for what the Observer says about the data , as it, itself , is part of the “Establishment” and an MSM that is no friend of Labour under Corbyn.
        Now if a poll was taken by our Gen Sec across all of the membership then you’d have no complaints from me as to the validity of the results and the trustworthiness of any suppositions made on them .
        But hay-ho you have your POV and I have mine, we differ .
        The priority and I trust we can agree on this , IMO is a GE and a PV is subservient to that ,and supporting the policy stance agreed at our Conference in Sept is the best chance of wining a GE.
        So the question I asked was , how by staying in the existing construct of the EU because that is exactly what a PV would mean , any Socialist Labour Govt is going to implement its state aided nationalisation manifesto .So far not a single PV’er has been able to answer that simple question .
        Now if an answer can clearly outline how that could be achieved I’d be very interested to know given the fact that All European governments are hamstrung by the stability and growth pact, even us outside the Eurozone. It focuses economics on deficit repayment and halts capital investment which leaves a Democratic social party with no options except PFI, privatisation, outsourcing and shrinking government.

    • Does no-one yet understand, that it is the corporations who are desperate for us to remain in the EU???”

      … and this is paralleled by another part of the establishment, representing the hedge funds and other funny-money promoters (as well as some foreign interests) advocating Brexit.

      So the ‘argument’ goes nowhere in terms of deciding virtue.

      But … one thing is for sure : Brexit was originated and championed by the most extreme neoliberal advocates, represented by the ‘Britannia Unchained’ gang.

  1. What sort of parallel universe are those people living in who think it is not democratic to ask people if they have changed their minds since the first vote now that more facts are available? Let me guess, they haven’t the slightest interest in democracy, they just want Brexit no matter what the consequences.

    • Jack T , sorry to do this BUT

      What sort of parallel universe are those people living in who think it is not democratic to keep asking people to vote until the right answer is forthcoming ? Let me guess, they haven’t the slightest interest in democracy, they just want to remain no matter what the consequences.

      You see the exact same response could be elicited by the Leavers against those that voted Remain.

      This is a vicious circle going nowhere except in splitting the Left and the support for JC and the Leadership.Perhaps an examination and questioning of why the polls now and more importantly as the article refs to who is behind/backing /funding them. WHo’s real interest does it serve to see a JC Socialist Labour Govt fail to win power?

      Repeating yet again that the Labour Party Conf Sept 18 agreed democratically exactly what the position is re Brexit ,

      Should Parliament vote down a Tory Brexit deal or the talks end in no-deal, Conference believes this would constitute a loss of confidence in the Government. In these circumstances, the best outcome for the country is an immediate General Election that can sweep the Tories from power.
      If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote.

      including campaigning for a public vote. including campaigning for a public vote.including campaigning for a public vote.
      including campaigning for a public vote.including campaigning for a public vote.
      including campaigning for a public vote.including campaigning for a public vote.
      including campaigning for a public vote.including campaigning for a public vote.
      including campaigning for a public vote.including campaigning for a public vote.

      It really can’t be any more clear !

      As of yet there has been no Tory voting down of any deal , so any attempt to elicit or bounce the Leadership into a PV is premature to say the least , the goal IMO is to engineer a Left split and ensure that LAbour does not come to power .

      • Rob, just like all second vote deniers you chose to miss the salient point here which I’m afraid makes your reply meaningless. The important point is;- NOW THAT MORE FACTS ARE AVAILABLE.

        There can be few people who have decided upon a course of action, such as to go somewhere or buy something but when they have had more information have not reconsidered their decision and I’m willing to bet you are one of them.

        It is not as though the question will be asked of a different electorate, it will be the SAME electorate who will be free to stick to their decision or change it either way.

        It is so obvious it hardly needs mentioning. Those who are afraid of a second vote are afraid of democracy. They do not want the electorate to have a say based upon information which they didn’t have first time around and it would be more honest of you to admit it.

        Even though it’s obvious that I think to leave the EU is crazy, if the people made the same decision based upon sound information and not the emotional anti immigration garbage pumped out by the UKIP and the far right prior to the vote, being a democrat I would accept it.

        By the way, you have also shot yourself in the foot by intimating we don’t know what will happen if we remain. Yes we do, every study shows we will be worse off by leaving and this is borne out by forty years of experience. Whereas Brexit is a pig in a poke and a sick one at that.

      • rob 04/01/2019 at 10:02 pm

        including campaigning for a public vote.including campaigning for a public vote.
        It really can’t be any more clear!

        Apparently not, because the Labour Party Conference decided to add further clarity to their policy in the very next sentence
        “If the Government is confident in negotiating a deal that working people, our economy and communities will benefit from they should not be afraid to put that deal to the public.”

    • Jack T,

      Can you elucidate on these ‘facts’ you keep telling us about, namely do I take it ‘Operation Fear’ is still up and running with the FBPE Brigade and mad globalists who love destroying our planet?

      Anyhow, most of these facts you like reminding us about were actually well known in May 2016, oh, and May 2015 and May 2014, unless of course some of us were missing something as that bloody Red Bus blinded us with Rightwing crap.

      Anyhow, most Voters were not banned from actually looking up the EU, the UK’s relationship with the EU and how EU legislation and decrees becomes UK legislation, so, to keep claiming Voters were pig ignorant really does get on this persons nerves.

      Would you like me to recommend some books on the subject matter, or better still, urge everyone to read the Lisbon Treaty, something to do with ‘ever closer union’ I believe, among other stuff, like a penchant for continual austerity.

      • Christopher Rogers. You must have heard the maxim ‘The left eats it’s own babies’ This is exactly what is happening today in the Party and in these comments. We have certain sections on the left (at least that’s who they claim to be) trying to make out they are more ‘left’ than others and trying to smear those who disagree with them as ‘Blairites’ promoting ‘Operation Fear’ If that’s the low level of your argument when genuine concerns are raised, you emulate Gove’s stupid views on not trusting experts.

        As to your challenge about the new facts, I could ask you to check out various web sites showing at least fifty negative aspects of leaving which have become clearer since the referendum. However probably the most important one is that there is no form of Brexit which won’t make the country poorer had Brexit not happened. Some of these studies were done by the Government before the vote but for obvious reasons the results were not released to the public.

        But where will the worst effects of Brexit be felt? It will hit hardest in the North East where the economy, it is estimated, will be worse off by 11%. And guess what? that is the area where UKIP with their anti immigration clap-trap campaigned so hard!

        Nigel Farage, who left the Tory Party because it was not right wing enough for him was given wall to wall coverage by the BBC and others to promote his smoke and mirror tactics. He pushed the half truth that ‘the EU sells more to us than we sell them, therefore they need us more than we need them’. In fact the opposite is true because in percentage terms the EU’s sales to us are only 16% of their economy whilst ours to them are nearer 50% and rising because of trade deals with China. Therefore we need the EU more than they need us. This is the reason we cannot get a better deal, in short we have little bargaining power.

        Some on the left claim they are only following Tony Benn’s dislike of the EU. I too am an admirer of Tony Benn, his unquestionable integrity and his view that there is no need to be nasty to anyone, although I sometimes slip in that regard but I’m not blind to the fact that he admits he didn’t get everything right.

        As a member of the EU, Britain has a strong influence on policies. With a Corbyn government we could have an even greater influence by combining with other Socialist groups. If we leave we will have zero influence and immediately create a giant competitor on our doorstep, it makes no sense whatsoever.

        By the way, I am 100% in favour of open selection.

      • @Jack T,

        The only issue I have with your response is the fact I’ve not denied whatsoever any economic impact associated with leaving the EU, quite the reverse, these will be large indeed, many will be negative, but others positive, like returning to manufacturing, rather than relying on financial services – all of this was well known prior to the calling of an actual Referendum on the EU by Cameron, a Referendum I fundamentally disagreed with as it was several years too late. Indeed, I actually blame New Labour for this crap for we should have been allowed a Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, which was promised but never delivered.

        Now, as an opponent of neoliberalism, perpetual austerity and blatant warmongering, do you really expect me to support an Institution led by a tax avoider in Chief?

      • Jack T , no IMO UK doesn’t have a powerful clout in negotiations with the EU , example, Greece and the imposed continued Austerity from the EU on that Nation., the utter crushing of Syriza and its capitulation to the EU ,
        France , right now undergoing it’s own Yellow Jacket rebellion over the EU Neo-liberal straight jacket, and various Presidents who thought they could control and guide the EU have found to their cost they cannot , resist and change the balance of power vis Germany via the Euro monetary union system . Oh and BTY lets not even think about Spain and Catalonia and the repression going on there , EU response was ….. 0.
        Have a look at this interview for who you / we would be up against https://novaramedia.com/2018/11/27/the-left-must-put-rupture-on-the-table-aaron-meets-costas-lapavitsas/, try a quick read of John Gillinghams book “The EU An Obituary “ for further ref to the fallacy that the EU is all things good for the working class , it’s not .

        BTW in your earlier response to me @05/01/2019 at 12:31 am “Rob, just like all second vote deniers …..”

        I am not denying anyone a PV ( and I am having difficulty in keeping a straight face here not falling off my chair laughing at your attempts to pidgin hole/label me . Assumptions can make an ass out of oneself.)

        I am supporting the Conf motion and Labour stance on Brexit which allows for a PV campaign , in fact I was a remain voter and now knowing more about the fallibility of the EU ,certainly wouldn’t be . As you say ” more facts are available” and boy have I found them re the EU !
        Staying in the EU as it is , would ensure Labour fails in its reforming Nationalisation program .
        Thats why Corbyn and the composite motion agreed by Conf is so right .The only way forward perhaps for Eu reform is a Internationalist way that Christopher Rogers mentions in his post .
        PS I too support open selection in solidarity there comrade .

  2. Yes capital with all these TNCs in the UK not surprisingly wants to remain part of the EC Neo-Liberal capitalist club.
    And the City of London too.
    Perhaps Tory Neo-Liberal nationalists and Tory Neo-Liberal globalists (with City of London links) are divided?
    Oh on a minor point wouldn’t quote Caroline Lucas, in my view a mainly middle class liberal with a tiny little bit of socialism.
    So not surprising Right Wing Labour and Lib Dem etc. (Neo-Libs) act as they do.
    The real question is how do we break the EC Neo-Liberal Chain?
    Perhaps with a Brexit for working people and internationalism via independent nation states who each democratically control labour and capital supply .
    A victory for labour over capital in its latest Neo-Liberal form as its death knell comes from its own drive for cheap labour which restricts working people from purchasing commodities whilst leading also to dangerous levels of personal debt.
    The legal thieves of the surplus labour of working people as Streekt argued perhaps “Haven’t a clue what to do.”
    One sobering thought – Thatcher used our North Sea Oil politcally to crush trade unions to herald in the age of cheap labour and to focus on finance capital at the expense of manufacturing but in comparison Norway kept its North Sea Oil for its people (and now has a trillion dollar wealth fund) and just think without the Tory Neo-Liberal Ideologues there would never have been the need for Tory Political Austerity in the UK!
    Oh and short sighted Cameron and Clegg ended migration adjustment funds for councils which contributed to public dissatisfaction and contributed to their own deserved destruction!
    Have faith in JC and ignore Labour’s Right Wing and middle class liberals – some suggest all they really want is crumbs for working people whislt stuffing their own mouths with gold?
    I am really tired of these Neo-Liberal capitalist grovellers and history may never lnow they were here?
    Neo-Liberals in my opinion are Barbarians?
    We need a Left Wing Democratic Socialist Brexit as an example to the World.

    • “Have faith in JC and ignore Labour’s Right Wing and middle class liberals”

      I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this modern simulation of People’s Front of Judea.

      (a) My support for Corbyn doesn’t arise from ‘faith’ – he’s not the Messsiah.

      (b) Disregarding a major part (probably majority) of the support for Labour is hardly canny electoral thinking. In fact, it should be a gift to the Tories!

  3. I see Steve H and Jack T, the PV trolls, are straight out of the blocks again – and as usual their posts are devoid of political argument, relying on anecdote and selective statistics. We’re talking about Corbyn and the the real prospect of a decent socialist government for the first time in my lifetime and yet we’re hearing from them “the vast majority of Labour members” etc. etc. May I remind them that the vast majority of Labour MPs voted for the Iraq war, voted for benefits cuts and austerity, voted for harsh immigration laws and other similar stupidities. They were wrong and Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott and a small band of others who opposed them have been vindicated by history. This is the very reason why Labour Party membership has mushroomed now and it was only a matter of time before smart alecs like these two would pop up, as they do all over social media, to try to spread division and confusion amongst the members. You might be able to bounce a certain proportion of Labour members with your scare tactics but fortunately our leaders (and most readers of this blog) are made of sterner stuff.

    • and as usual their posts are devoid of political argument, relying on anecdote and selective statistics

      Unlike yours posts that are completely devoid of any evidence and rely on ??? Well you tell me, Incidentally where relevant I have always tried to provide links to the original source material so that readers can verify any results I have quoted in context..

      “the vast majority of Labour members” etc. etc. May I remind them that the vast majority of Labour MPs voted for the Iraq war, voted for benefits cuts and austerity, voted for harsh immigration laws and other similar stupidities.

      I fail to see how the lack of socialist principles exhibited by Blairite MPs is in any way relevant to opinions of the majority of Labour members on Brexit. Hopefully, providing the NEC gives us permission, we will get the opportunity to resolve that soon.

      I am not the one spreading division, I have stated many times that I am quite happy to fight for the policy that was agreed at this years Labour Party conference that we attempt to force a GE and if we fail to secure one then we should campaign for a second referendum. Can you say the same.

    • labrebisgalloise – I’m straight out of the blocks again – yes, that may be the case and it also applies to you but at least I’m not trying to insult anyone by calling them a troll!

      You are living in a daydream having fallen for the same ‘milk and honey’ promise of the racists and the far right with whom you’ve aligned yourself.

      Being out campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn practically every weekend, I want a Corbyn Socialist government just as much or more than anyone but I don’t want it to be hamstrung from the start by those like yourself who are not thinking with their heads and continually use the phrase ‘neoliberal EU’ thinking it gives their pathetic arguments any credibility.

      A Corbyn government with us out of the EU will then need to do the Tory’s dirty work by trying to replace all the the trade that even the Brexiters admit we will lose. Remember the magician Liam fox saying trade lost here will be replaced by trade gained there and that’s just to break even.

      It’s about time you Lexiters got real and tried to help us win the next GE and not hamper it with your backward looking fantasies.

      • It’s about time you Lexiters got real and tried to help us win the next GE and not hamper it with your backward looking fantasies.

        I couldn’t agree more. The general consensus even amongst Brexiteers is that the UK economy will take a significant hit, if we Brexit, where do they think a Labour government is going to get the funds to do anything.

      • Mmmm so one side are with “the racists and the far right”and the other side are with the neoliberals in the Labour party along with the LibDems and some of the Tory party.I think I will stick to getting a Labour government and the policy decided at the last conference.

    • “I see Steve H and Jack T, the PV trolls …”

      Out of the arses of babes and sucklings!

      It is ironic that I’ve just read a (justified) put-down of media bias on this site – and now read this sort of mirror-image garbage that sees what it wants to see – the fantasies of a fevered imagination.

      We are now into the realm of reality denial with the conspiracy theories of fixed sampling/polls that consistently, over a period of two or three years, come up with the finding that both Labour members and Labour voters are heavily of the ‘Remain’ camp.

      By all means – argue against their choice – but don’t indulge in mere flights of fancy because the fact doesn’t suit the preconception.

      “their posts are devoid of political argument, relying on anecdote and selective statistics”

      What a black pot! Both the above have consistently argued their corner, rather than just ranting – with slightly different emphases.

      Shouting into the void and denying evidence doesn’t make an argument, nor does the continual repetition of the phrase ‘working class’ as a shortcut to piety and righteousness.

      In a nutshell :the reason for remaining ‘Remain’ is that the *one* sustainable potential argument that Brexit has come up with over three years (the idea that a UK outside the EU would be free of neoliberal constraints and free to create its own socialist economy) doesn’t stack up for us in terms of probabilities against all the contrary indicators.

      Argue against that assessment, but do stop the tabloid nonsense and the pretense of representing ‘the working class’ – many of whom didn’t suddenly become ‘middle class’ by voting ‘Remain’. The confusion is a desperate category error.

      Similarly, *argue* against it, but drop the hypocritical ‘will of the people’ nonsense and the ‘ant-democratic’ nonsense about the possibility of a further democratic vote.

      Many of us who voted ‘Remain’ don’t need any lectures about ‘Blairites’ and ‘Centrists’, and the Iraq warafter enduring the period of the last Labour government.

      When that stops, I’ll stop using the term ‘Leftory’ to describe those on the putative left who support the policies of the rabid right.

  4. As a reminder to the FBPE Brigade posting their usual stuff on these BTL Comment Threads. As an International Socialist I push for another Referendum on the EU once Brussels decides to abandon the Euro and all convergence criteria used to foist the rubbish on gullible Europeans, until then I remain sceptical, Which, funnily enough may have something to do living in the fast expanding part of the Global economy, which ain’t Europe, and, most of the World’s population lives within spitting distance where I reside for much of the time, less the two months I spend annually in the UK.

    • Christopher Fox 05/01/2019 at 9:50 am

      Well thanks for the link to this excellent article, unlike you I wasn’t in least bit surprised because for the most part I agree with what is being said.

      Obviously you will have noted that the article does not question the findings in the ESRC academic survey (in fact it overtly agrees with its findings) What it does question is the selective use of and misreporting of these statistics. Which is precisely why I prefer (if possible) to link directly to the source rather than someone else’s interpretation of it. I deplore some journalist’s practice of selectively presenting a very narrow sample from a body of work without providing a link to the original report/data.

      I have always been quite clear (can you provide evidence to the contrary) that I support the Labour Party policy that was agreed in the Brexit Composite Motion at the 2018 conference.

      “As for the Economic and Social Research Council report on Labour members’ views on Brexit being circulated this week, the commentators who are representing the overwhelming favourability of a People’s Vote among Labour members as evidence that there may be a break with Corbyn on the way, are, again, missing the point. It is true that almost 90 per cent of Labour members personally support a second referendum.Yet it is less often being reported that a clear majority either support Corbyn’s stance (47 per cent) or are indifferent either way (19 per cent).

    • The article is an interesting take on the facts. But it, perhaps underplays that there are two different – but not necessarily contradictory – impulses at work.

      One is continued support for Corbyn (which rather trashes the idea that ‘Remain’ supporters and supporters of another vote are ‘Blairites’)

      The other impulse is clear a future-oriented one – towards ‘Remain’ and, if necessary, another vote amongst members.

      That is the issue that Corbyn is trusted to navigate.

  5. Like many others I find it arrogant that remainers have adopted the term “People’s Vote” when there is no evidence of the overwhelming support of the people for a second vote.I suggested arrogance was not a trait foreign to Blair and Mandelson. Steve H responded by asking if I didn’t find Rees Mogg and Farage arrogant. Not sure how that is pertinent but reading the above thread it strikes me how arrogant some of these remainers are. We are all entitled to our views,there is no absolute on such a nuanced issue so please remainers stop adopting such a supercilious attitude.

    • ‘Arrogant’? How about ‘People’s Will’ to describe a split vote that resulted in a minority of the electorate voting for Brexit.

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