Weather-‘vain’ Watson: Labour’s Boris Johnson – but without the leadership prospects

Labour deputy leader has done a u-turn of convenience on Brexit issue
Boris Watson


Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has responded to the establishment of the Brexit Party by claiming that this somehow means Labour must throw 100% support behind a new referendum, in spite of polling – and simple common sense – that shows Labour must not ignore or disrespect its heartlands that voted to leave the EU in 2016.

Farage’s new party poses a huge threat to the Tories, but inasmuch as it threatens Labour, the danger is that it outflanks Labour in those heartlands and allows Labour to be perceived there as a ‘stop Brexit’ party. Labour has honoured its conference policy – on three occasions it has backed a new referendum in Parliament with a ‘three-line whip’ and on each occasion the motion was defeated.

The Brexit party’s emergence makes clear that, with its conference commitment fulfilled, it’s time for Labour to abandon any notion of a new referendum and do what it’s 2017 manifesto said it was committed to doing: delivering Brexit – but one that avoids the craven surrender or no-deal alternatives offered by the Tories and which would do huge damage to this people, while respecting the referendum result.

But Watson’s position looks like one of convenience rather than conviction – and it has a familiar feel.

Before the 2016 referendum, Tory Boris Johnson infamously wrote two statements about his position on the EU – one backing remain and one backing leave – while he made his mind up which side of the issue would best suit his ambitions.

Long before the referendum was called by David Cameron, Watson was among those backing the prospect – and in 2017, he said emphatically that Labour would suffer a disastrous general election if the party did not promise to end freedom of movement:

Johnson and Watson: two politicians who have performed a shameless about-face to suit their own agendas while presenting it as principle. But there is one key difference between them.

Boris Johnson’s antics have always been calculated to play to his base within Tory party – and have positioned him with a reasonable, if perverse, chance of becoming Tory leader.

Tom Watson’s behaviour, by contrast, has put him beyond the pale in the eyes of the vast majority of Labour members. He has absolutely no chance of becoming Labour leader.

Never mind leader. If Watson had the courage to test his mandate by triggering another contest – or in the more likely event that a challenger gathered enough support to trigger one – for the deputy leader’s position he would be hammered so emphatically even some of his opponents might be embarrassed for him.

More wouldn’t.

Tom Watson is Labour’s Boris Johnson – an opportunist chancer, driven by ego, waving his principles but always ready to pull out another set if the wind changes – but without the leadership prospects. The sooner he is gone, the better for the party and for the millions in this country who need a Labour government.

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  1. I’m delighted I’m not the only one who was provoked today – this was my response earlier. Please quote me at will.

    “Twatson is a fool distinguished by his inability to shut his stupid mouth. As Len McCluskey says: “When Labour has needed loyalty, he has been sharpening his knife looking for a back to stab. When unity is required, he manufactures division.” He is a Judas without equal this Easter. Most of all, he is plain wrong – but that has never stopped the racist, sexist, slime-weasel, Friend of Israel in the past. First, supporting another referendum will not bring one about; it will turn the euro-elections (if they happen) into a surrogate referendum of which Farage is in control and Labour supporters will desert in droves to either support a Brexit party or abstain and Labour will get its face rubbed in the dirt. Second, other centre-left parties in Europe are just about to get pummelled (e.g. French Socialists 6%, Greece 8%, Holland 13%) and are projected to lose a quarter of their seats in the fake parliament. Thirdly, middle-class people more interested in veganism than schools, the NHS or the housing crisis will not be attracted to Labour in anything like the numbers needed to make up for those who walk away in derision and disgust. Finally, it is more than likely that this “shock intervention” (it is nothing of the sort) is designed to discomfort and ultimately destroy Jeremy Corbyn so that Fatberg Slim can pick up whatever remains of the Labour Party after he’s finished cleaning his knife.”

      1. It’s the National Socialist vegans you’ve got to watch out for!

        Think of You Know Who…

      1. I wonder if his form teacher called him that at school?

    1. I couldn’t agree more and have been disenchanted by the Labour supporters on this blog who put freedom of movement as their “red line”. Modern economics demands all tools to be available, the short sightedness of Labour’s neoliberals and their bogus argument that we are ” stuck in the past”, just shows how single tracked and factional they are. It’s time they stopped pretending to be anything other than middle class shills.

      1. “middle class shills.” = 57% of the Labour vote.

        What a stupid, brain-dead, term. Particularly when you add to the 57% the ‘working class shills’ who voted for ‘Remain’ (actually the majority of working class Labour voters).

      2. Labour need additional votes to win elections or keep current votes we got. They’re the working class brexiters who are tempted by brexit party They may have bought their council homes and consider themselves middle class but they’re still defined as being working class by wealth

  2. Hear hear, Tom Watson is an electoral liability to the party. The sooner he is gone the better for Labour.

  3. I must speak for thousands of members when I say he makes my blood boil and I voted for him. His first job as Deputy Leader is to assist the Leader to bring about a Labour government. He has signally failed in his task so it is time that the NEC issued a statement stating that the Labour Party will stay true to their heartlands for to do anything else is to commit political suicide.

  4. Of course he wants Labour to commit to a second referendum. Like many Labour MPs he does not want Corbyn to become Prime Minister and knows that tying Labour to the “People’s Vote” will DOOM the Party in the key target Labour-Tory marginals, 79.9% of which voted Leave.

  5. to quote Manuel Cortes Clarity of conviction will be our vote winner.

    With a confirmatory vote pledge, Labour will smash the European elections

    Political events have opened up the prize of a thumping victory for our party on May 23rd, paving the way for the Party of European Socialists (PES) candidate for European Commission President, Frans Timmermans, to gain power. Even if the UK is to depart the European Union on October 31st – and I sincerely hope we don’t – a big win for our Labour Party can hold the key to shifting the EU to the left.

    It would be political folly for us to even consider supporting Brexit-lite if we are instrumental in tilting the balance of power in the Commission towards working people. And, let’s face it, close alignment with the EU – which our party wants – makes us rule-takers, whereas a winning vote in May could make us king-makers. Choosing the latter as the best way to serve our socialist cause should be a no-brainer.

    The PES manifesto on which our Labour candidates will stand posits a New Social Contract for Europe. It’s very bold, inspired by Corbyn’s manifesto. It tackles head-on the biggest challenge facing our generation and those to come – climate change – by promising decarbonisation and a just transition. As you would expect from any socialist manifesto, it’s also big on equality, fair taxes, fiscal evasion, quality public services, social and economic protections for working people and an end to austerity. I will proudly be on the knocker selling to our electorate this vision of a Europe for the many, not the few. I’m sure I will be joined by tens of thousands, our vast army of members who are excited by the prospect of another Britain within another Europe being firmly within our grasp.

    Our polling position has improved quite significantly since we started supporting and voting for a confirmatory vote in Westminster. Let’s build on this momentum. A clear, unequivocal manifesto pledge to a confirmatory vote will do just that. With our internationalist view of a Europe for the many, we will smash the Euro elections, Brexit and the Tories. Defeats for Conservatives in the local elections next month are certain. A heavy defeat in a national Euro poll will bring the government down. The route to a Corbyn premiership before the year is out now depends on our solidarity with our socialist sisters and brothers in Europe. Vive socialisme international! Vive solidarité! Vive Corbyn for PM!

    1. What can I say. You don’t believe any of that guff, you just want to keep whatever advantage you think you have. Even my most devout remainer associates are aware that the EU can’t be changed without it being dismantled and rebuilt without influence from ourselves, Germany and France. It currently suits the German economy to the detriment of the rest apart from the common agricultural policy which suits France.

      1. I would have thought that the words of the General Secretary of the TSSA are worthy of your consideration.

      2. Europe-wide dissatisfaction with the status quo is spreading – there’s growing recognition of the effects neoliberalism, globalisation and new technology are having on employment and on all our futures.

        The frustration and anger is taking different forms – polarisation of politics, Brexit, climate change protests, yellow vests, growth of the hard right, even “religiously motivated” terrorist attacks – with few exceptions they’re all rooted in economic deprivation and resentment of the powerful.

        Nothing is going to stop technological advancement and radical changes in society are required – whilst most capitalists are still pushing the “new tech always brings more jobs than it costs” line the smartest of the tech-based 1% begin to see the truth.
        As the die-hard neoliberal types among them build bug-out bunkers others are already arguing for redistribution as the best way to save their own over-privileged arses.
        The 1%’s best hope of survival is to take the lead in that redistribution.
        It will happen one way or another – we massively outnumber them and they don’t want to be killed by pitchfork-wielding angry mobs.

    2. SteveH, I agree totally even though I see T W as a Machiavellian operator.

    3. Just a few issues with this pipe dream of a statement: First, with Twatson and Lord Adonis mouthing off in the opposite direction, neither aspiring to an actual left-wing Europe, never mind EU, how do you think these traitors comments play out with the average Joe?

      Second, having got Adonis and Twatson out of the way, have you noticed the Pro-EU, anti-JC line-up of MEP candidates we have in Wales? Hardly inspiring stuff is it. Alas, I’m supposed to vote for these Twatsons, which is detrimental to the JC Project as a whole.

      Word of advice, all the action is in the EU Commission and Council, whereas in the UK, all the actions in Westminster, so best we get decent representatives in Westminster, rather than the Twatson Brigade we currently have, so in my humble opinion, the struggle for Open selection is of greater import than the EU Parliament vote, one, which ever way it goes, will be used to beat Corbyn with.

      1. I think the following paragraph addresses most of the substantive issues you raise ref EU. I’ve provided a link above so you can read Cortes’s article in full.

        Political events have opened up the prize of a thumping victory for our party on May 23rd, paving the way for the Party of European Socialists (PES) candidate for European Commission President, Frans Timmermans, to gain power. Even if the UK is to depart the European Union on October 31st – and I sincerely hope we don’t – a big win for our Labour Party can hold the key to shifting the EU to the left.

        As for your references to Labour’s Welsh MEP candidates I’m sorry but I don’t feel qualified to make any comment on their qualities (or lack of). However I support you 100% on mandatory re-selection OMOV for all candidates whatever office they are being elected for (or occupy). It’s the only way to excise the recalcitrant RW from all levels of the party. We can’t claim to be a member led party until this is achieved.

        There is no conflict between the campaign for the EU elections and campaigning for mandatory re-selection because they are in separate time-slots. The EU elections will be long-gone before any decision can be made at conference about mandatory re-selection.

        I strongly believe that we should all work as hard as we can to achieve success at both the LA and EU elections. It is vital that Labour achieve as much power and influence as possible right across the political spectrum. The LA and EU elections are a prelim to the next GE and success really does breed success. People like voting for winners.

        You can download PES 2019 manifesto here.

  6. There are very few people higher on my list of those I would like to see out of the Party than Watson. However, on this issue he is on the money.

    There are a few eccentrics in the Party, including Skwawky, who don’t appear to understand that because the referendum was three years ago and a lot has changed since then, it is perfectly acceptable and democratic to ask the public if they want to keep to their original vote, whatever it was.

    To say Labour will have nett loss of votes if it campaigns, as per our policy, to let the people have another say is absolute garbage. In fact, the reverse is true, as born out by canvassing in my own area.

    1. Ffs look at the polls are you blind ? It’s you Who s talking nonsense. Look how many Labour voters are going to vote Britex party.Even George Galloway is voting tactically for farage. Then Labour put “lord” Adonis on the Labour list ,its a joke and slap in the face to the grass roots of the party. Your like a broken record ,even when the truth is staring you in the face.

      1. In most people’s eyes GG lost any credibility he may once have had some time ago.

      2. Speak for yourself, pal. Many of us still have a lot of respect for him. He’s more of a socialist than you’ll ever be!

        You watch too much reality TV…

      3. SteveH 21/04/2019 at 7:41 pm · ·

        “In most people’s eyes GG lost any credibility he may once have had some time ago.”

        Wow, that’s some claim… “most people” eh? Count me out of that sweeping statement and include me in your minority.

      4. Galloway’s a loose cannon to be sure – and I still cringe at the thought of the cat thing – but he’d be an asset to the party.
        Nobody who saw him beat up the US Senate could deny that.
        Whatever his views on Brexit.
        It’s not the only thing on our plate at the moment FFS.
        I’d far rather him as deputy than watson.

  7. Find myself wondering if losses at the EU elections will make either side wake up and face the coffee?

  8. Steve H and Jack T – I’m afraid you’re living in cloud cuckoo land (or at least the land of wishful thinking), wherever it is that you live. Most socialists I know will abstain if the elections are held in May; others may mischievously vote for Farage or UKIP, knowing that this is (and always has been) a meaningless vote for a meaningless parliament, in which the centre left is about to get trounced across Europe. EU elections are a repository for protest votes; people can safely stick two fingers up at the establishment knowing it won’t make the slightest bit of difference. That is why UKIP won the largest number of seats in the 2014 election and the National Front won the largest number of seats at the same time in France. The only “meaningful vote” in the offing is the next general election; if before that election, Labour treats the EU elections of May as a genuine test of opinion – and campaigns to stay in the EU, that general election is as good as already lost. The fact that you can even consider that what Watson is arguing should be taken at face value, rather than as evidence of of a rotting rat in the body politic, is testament to your naïvety. As for all your trendy French slogans Steve H, I actually live in France and can tell you that the socialist party are just about to slip into the dustbin of irrelevance; that is a lesson you guys would do well to heed along with most other pro-EU centre-leftists whose lights are about to go out for good. Corbyn has learnt that lesson: you’d do well to follow.

    1. Would you regard Manuel Cortes as being naive?

      Apart from the first four words of my comment everything else (including the french language) is a direct quote from Manuel Cortes. You should read his article in full and then give us your critique.

      1. lundiel 21/04/2019 at 6:27 pm

        Are you advocating that we should ignore the words of a Cortes, a staunch Corbyn supporter because you’ve concluded that the members of the TSSA aren’t the ‘right sort’ of working class.

      2. Your effete classist views (‘white collar’!) are an interesting exercise in over-compensating snobbery.

        … and quite amusing as an exwercise in playground politics..

      3. Why do you keep referring to me as being “effite” RH? Do you know me? What qualifies you to label me as a fake? “Over compensating snobbery” indeed….from the man who swallowed a dictionary.

      4. lundiel at 7:38 pm

        You’re right ““over compensating snobbery” is not the most apt description of you.. As I’m sure you’ll agree ‘reverse snobbery’ would have been a more appropriate description.

        a person overly proud of being one of or sympathetic to the common people, and who denigrates or shuns those of superior ability, education, social standing, etc.

      5. “Why do you keep referring to me as being “effite” ”

        … because you keep rattling on about your alignment with some weird notion of ‘working class’ virtue in a way that reflects fictional notions of class as displayed by the likes of Tory public school boys/girls pretending to get ‘down and dirty’ without the faintest idea of what it actually is.

        I’m not pretending to know you – just your stream of naive generalisations about class labels.

    2. Note how SteveH and JackT haven’t got a word to say about what a liability Watson is, they just come here to repeat people’s vote campaign talking points. A campaign led by Blair, a war criminal.

      I don’t think they are even Labour. Probably Lib Dems or Ind Group trolls.

      1. Repeating the same thing over and over again won’t make it true and one of these days you are just going to have to accept the reality that your views are in the minority. (apart from amongst Tory party members)

        I have frequently expressed my distaste for Watson on these pages so for you to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

      2. “Repeating the same thing over and over again won’t make it true”

        … but it keeps reality at bay and delusion in the saddle.

      3. The irony of SteveH, the habitual repeater, accusing others of repeating themselves is just beautiful.

        You’re an idiot. A complete fool.

    3. Arguing that it’s better to run away before a shot’s fired rather than risk losing a vote you say you don’t even care about is so far beyond pathetic Pétain himself would disown you.

  9. You Brexiters need to calm down, have any of you been out canvassing on the doorsteps, if so you’d meet reality slap in the face.

    The only people who don’t want to give the people another chance to have their say are the die-hard Brexiters who think they may lose. Neither do they want those who were too young to vote first time around to express their opinion because they know 70% are in favour of Remain – get real.

    1. If you knocked out door and started spouting all that stuff while claiming to support Labour, you’d get sent on your way a bit sharpish, with massive flea in your ear.

      1. They are clearly Liberal Democrat’s/People’s vote campaigners trying to damage the Labour vote.

        The Lib Dems lost over 300 deposits standing on the platform Tom Watson, JackT, RH and Steve H are advocating.

        They must think Labour members are as stupid as they are.

      2. internal Affairs 21/04/2019 at 6:48 pm

        Oh dear that tiring old trope on the LibDems again. I haven’t noticed rush of LibDems to UKIP, have you? It is well known that the reason they got rejected at the polls is that they betrayed their core voters, something the Labour party should heed

      3. Err, the LibDems were true to their core voters (the orange Book, Reclaiming Liberalism), they were even more extreme than the Tories with their wish to privatise the criminal justice system and as much of the NHS as possible…. It’s little wonder they love Macron and the EU.

  10. Can’t stand Watson. But he’s right about Brexit.

    All this :

    ” Labour must not ignore or disrespect its heartlands”

    … is correct. As long as you recognize that the ‘Labour heartlands’ is the vast ‘Remain’ constituency, not the fringe of UKIP. To think that this is its ‘heartlands’ is the opposite of reality – aka electoral bollocks. We need an opposition to represent half the nation – not a shadowing of Tory policy.

    Electoral analysis shows that neglecting its majority ‘Remain’ vote will not be good for Labour, and every conversation I have on the subject confirms this.

    1. If you need prompting to slag off Watson you’re as much of a wrong’un as he is.

    2. I know it helps, IA, but crass ignorance isn’t a *necessary* Lexit quality.

      You ought to try joining the majority of the Labour Party some time and working for a Labour rather than a Farage victory.

      1. Typical Blairite, accusing others of what you are guilty of.

        Peoples Vote are the architects of the Brexit Party.

        If Labour had not been influenced by anti-democracy extremist remainers like you and Keir Starmer then the Brexit Party would not exist.

        You are a useful idiot for the far right. You are a fellow traveller and enabler of fascists. You are willing to pay any price in your futile attempts to block Brexit, be it a Tory government or the rise of the far right, in your view they are prices worth paying to remain.

        You and people like you are a menace to our democracy.

      2. “You are a useful idiot for the far right.”

        … says the ERG arse-licker.

        You really couldn’t make it up.

    1. The eight bullet points show the gulf between the average remain and leave voter.

    2. AAV hits the soot again! “The latest display of absurdist Remainer groupthink centres on the European Parliament elections that Theresa May and the Tories swore blind that the UK was not even going to participate in just a few weeks previously.

      This new groupthink narrative is that the five very different hard-Remain political parties should scrap off all of their existing policies and hastily cobble together a “Remain coalition” in order to turn the Euro elections into a de facto referendum on Brexit.”

      BRING IT ON.

      1. Great picture btw Skwawkbox.

        Reminds me of The Terminator as he’s falling apart.

  11. These geezers (I won’t call them Remainers because this isn’t about Brexit, it’s about how we achieve a socialist government in our country in our lifetime) never address the arguments you put to them. “These are the words of Manuel Cortes,” is on a par with “you can’t criticise Walt Disney because everybody’s heard of him.” I don’t doubt the sincerity of people like Cortes, nor of some of my friends like Julie Ward MEP, with whom I profoundly disagree but I debate them on the issues because I think they’re mistaken. Neither does “70% of demographic X agree with me, therefore I must be correct” cut any ice because Jeremy Corbyn spent most of the last 35 years being part of a tiny minority but I don’t think you can show me any major issue on which, in the light of history, he was wrong. Sadly, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, I find myself agreeing with Snowy, Lundiel, Internal Affairs and others that these geezers might be trolls.

    1. “these geezers might be trolls.”

      I had to laugh at this conclusion to a plea for rational debate.

      I guess that makes the 67% of Labour voters who want to remain in the EU ‘trolls’.

      … and I’ve never questioned the sincerity of Corbyn when he spoke for remaining in the EU, either. Nothing has changed in the substantive arguments he made then – except the weasel decision to treat the minority referendum decision as binding at the behest of the Tories.

      1. Living in the past again? And quoting what of relevance? I’m quoting actual post-referendum actual figures.

        The key figure, of course, is the amazingly small percentage of overall votes on which the Brexit argument is shakily constructed.

  12. Which way will the public vote if and when it is put to them, and which, if any government, will honour what they vote for, assuming that they can workout what it is.

    1. heavitreeman 21/04/2019 at 7:24 pm

      If it was pre-legislated then a second referendum could be made binding so that it is the final act in the process of enacting legislation without the opportunity for further interference by the government or parliament. (see the Kyle amendment)

  13. “… when we look at how voters in each party voted in 2016 by region, it is clear that even in heavily Leave voting areas, the majority of Labour voters were Remainers.”


    Hardly news – but it seems that the message hasn’t penetrated the Lexiteer brain waffling about a Labour victory built on Kipper converts.

    Every conversation I’ve had recently with Labour voters has shown a substantial latent vote moving to the Greens – even the LibDems – if Labour doesn’t back a new Referendum. This won’t be saved by a vain hope of capturing the conservative vote in small town and rural areas. The Labour ‘heartlands’ is a solid Remain vote in urban areas, not a imagined industrial working class vote. That disappeared with the heavy industry on which it was based.

  14. Watson is a politcal moron and comments like his whilst most of the rank and file are out slogging their guts out in local elections
    are unhelpful to say the least.
    We should end free movement but have democratic control of labour supply (people needing job offers) and we could take workers needed from anywhere in the world
    plus control capital supply.
    If Labour backs a second PV or confirmatory vote then it snatches defeat from the jaws of victory and it becomes like
    Pasok in Greece.
    And bring back migration adjustment funds for councils, trade unionise migrant workers and support a customs union which eliminates need backstop N.Ireland.
    Socialist analysis and planning needed and could be an example to other countries.

  15. RH. You can’t reason with fanatics and it’s beyond doubt that the majority of those here trolling for Leave are fanatics.

    Not one of them has been able to put up a sensible argument why it is unreasonable to ask the public after three years if they want to change their mind. They are so myopic that a reasoned discussion is alien to them and any question of it drives them into apoplexy resulting in fits of insults.

    1. JackT: “Not one of them has been able to put up a sensible argument why it is unreasonable to ask the public after three years if they want to change their minds.

      1. Are we to take it that like Peter Oborne you’ve changed your mind ?

      2. Posted in error, I meant to say: We all know when money is being thrown at ‘changing people’s minds’. We all recognise when a decision is being kicked into the long grass. We all know when we’re being overloaded with propaganda, even to the extent that a fire in French church becomes tantamount to a family bereavement and their loss is our loss etc.
        It is unreasonable because it undermines the democratic vote which the political parties promised to honour. It is unreasonable to imagine we have changed our minds to the extent that there would now be a landslide for remain. It is not only unreasonable, it’s fucking mental.

      3. lundiel 21/04/2019 at 8:59 pm

        As I’ve pointed out above a 2nd referendum could be configured so that its result was binding.

        What’s not to like, it stops the issue being kicked around in the long grass and gives a definitive and final answer on the opinion of the electorate now that they are better informed and know what’s on offer from both Leave and Remain.

        You never know, if you’re right about public opinion, you might get a definitive result in your favour.

      4. Linda, it’s more than obvious now that you do not want ‘informed consent’ and therefore your attempt to justify not giving the people a chance to reconsider their original choice is derisory.

      5. “We all know when we’re being overloaded with propaganda,”

        Evidently not, when the Brexit vote parrots lines straight out of the Sun/Mail etc. popaganda axis

      1. I don’t. I’m no longer a member of Labour, and have no desire to join any other political club.

        I have previously, and can say that here in Gloucester, it’s going to stay a leave voting city.

        Willing to bet it stays Tory too. Have spoken to the new PPC, and she seems nice and genuine too. However, national policy stops me from backing Labour.

        A vote for Labour will not change my predicament in the slightest.

      2. Can’t get your own way so prepared to help the Tories, just as I suspected.

      3. NVLA 22/04/2019 at 11:45 am

        Out of curiosity I looked up in the polls to see if they were reporting a shift in position. You may find the results interesting.
        June 2016 – 58.90%
        June 2018 – 51.70%
        Nov 2018 – 50.50%
        Support for Brexit is showing a definite downward trend.

      4. ” Gloucester … going to stay a leave voting city…. Willing to bet it stays Tory too. ”

        Out of the mouths etc.

      5. @RH

        I’ll stick wasps in my arse before I vote for Dick. And he is one too.

        I will however admit that he’s a great source of advice for speeding and getting away with it.

        I can’t help knowing my constituency and their preferences, can I?

        BTW, the last Labour PPC was a right winger, and he lost.

    2. When they have refused to implement the first referendum, why the f #@k should the have an other one? I don’t need to put any argument s about a second referendum, just implement the first one then argue the case to join the EU . Simples!

      1. Only a person afraid of the result would try to prosthesis such nonsense.

      2. Snowy, your comment shows a complete lack of understanding of why we could not just leave the EU after the referendum and it is typical of those who see the world in black and white.

      3. This is the EU way. As was shown with Maastricht ratification

        Hallstein was a shrewd git

  16. So the first referendum doesn’t count according to you? I wonder why that is?oh that’s right remain lost ! Is the next referendum going to be the last one then ? Or will there be another one of remain losses again? When will this nonsense end? Just get over it . Implement the first vote then argue to rejoin if it’s going to be so bad ,you won’t have to much to do to convince people , as you say, if there is so much Support for remain what s the worry? But you know and I know theres no majority for eu. You can’t have a socialist government in the EU. Overturn the will of a democratic vote your peril.

    1. “But you know and I know theres no majority for eu.”

      No there’s not.

      … in the Tory Party.

      But there is amongst Labour voters.

      I note that your certainty doesn’t go as far as having the basic faith in democracy to ask people.

      Not really a very coherent position, is it?

    2. Snowy, if you are so confident that the first vote was conclusive you won’t mind it being tested in an up to date re run will you?

      1. And if remain wins a people’s vote, you won’t mind running another either?

        I think we should have a best out of 55 referendums. That will settle it.

      2. NVLA 22/04/2019 at 10:25 am

        That would be silly wouldn’t it. Why not make a second referendum mandatory. ie: The referendum result would be the final act in enacting legislation that had already been passed conditional on being enacted by the referendum results. Their would be no opportunity for further political interference. We would have a definitive and final result, what’s not to like

      3. No it wouldn’t.

        This isn’t going to go away anytime soon is it?

        What happens if remain loses again? Are vocal types like yourself suddenly going to give up and go home? Not likely!

        And if leave loses? The demands for another will be loud due to remain having another “go”

        Only referendum saturation will fix this.

        After all, the proper solution of implementing the democratic choice has been abandoned.

  17. And another thing I don’t want my kids or grand kids being called up to a European army.,to be sent to war on the nod of some unelected psychopath like Blair or macron ,and you can get your bottom dollar it will be people like them who will be next inline for the top jobs on the gravy train. Sick to the pit of my stomach at the thought of it.They can stick their EU up there arses!

  18. Snowy, you do realise that Brexit is a right wing obsession with which you are colluding and whose nonsense you have swallowed don’t you? X

    1. Remainers’ refusal to respect democracy enables the rise of the far right in the UK and had brought the Brexit Party into existence.

      You are the fascists’ best friend you Blairite imbecile.

      1. Internal Affairs. I wondered when some idiot would throw that argument into the mix and by so doing would completely destroy any credibility they had.

        So you think that the far right respect democracy and therefore we should give them their Brexit otherwise they will be very annoyed :-). Are you a joke?

      2. I would imagine that the far right are hoping that people like you are successful in reversing the largest vote in British history. They could then say look, we told you, the establishment is corrupt and democracy doesn’t exist,

        You are the fascists’ best friend. You are a useful idiot for the far right.

    2. We need out of EU or no socialist government. I want a JC labour government. Not some unelected phyco telling me what way to live, whether that’s by stopping the rationalisation of the trains,water and even helping to keep the l industries afloat is not allowed. Before long they will be setting a standard tax rate for me and you, but not for the Bankers. Or sorry their neo liberal pay masters.

      1. Snowy, who is the unelected phyco (sic) telling you which way to live?

      2. Jack T, THAT is precisely the matter. The EU is such a large, corporate faceless organisation that you JUST DON’T KNOW who is telling us how to live.

      1. NVLA 22/04/2019 at 10:56 am

        The evidence directly contradicts your ‘assertions’, but you knew that already didn’t you.

        Here’s what Labour members and voters think
        Some 73% of current Labour voters think – in hindsight and irrespective of what they themselves voted in 2016 – that the UK was wrong to vote to leave the EU. That proportion rises to 89% among Labour members – and is a view shared, too, by 31% of the small minority of members who did vote Leave in the Referendum.

        and here’s what the Conservative members and voters think
        Some 79% of Conservative Party members think voters made the right decision in the 2016 referendum – and that includes a quarter (26%) of the (23%) minority of them who voted Remain two-and-a-half years ago; 97% of those who themselves voted Leave maintain the country made the right call.
        No surprise there, perhaps: after all, two thirds (68%) of voters who currently support the Conservatives think the same. But what is really striking is how little support there is at the Tory grassroots for Mrs May’s deal.

      2. 1000 hand picked people can give me the answers I want everytime.

        Polls have been proven to inaccurate. The day of the referendum, remain was predicted to win, 55%.

        Then we can move onto project fear. Emergency budget. End of Europe. World war 3…

        At all levels, the choice was clear. Leave.

        Except in parliament.

      3. NVLA 22/04/2019 at 11:53 am

        I suppose your comment would be worthy of some consideration if it wasn’t for the fact that all the polls and surveys consistently give similar results.

        As I’ve said many times before if you have any credible evidence to the contrary then please, please post the links. (suggestion – why don’t you start with Leave Means Leave’s very own poll, surely you’ll be able to find something positive within their results).

  19. The ones who make the decisions, the heads of the European commission ,juniker and co, who elected them? They even have a European border force now! So they can patrol the borders now anywhere in Europe…They are putting sanctions on countries on our behalf. Then the cheek to recognise some clampit as a president of another country on a different continent. Who s name did they do that in? The EU army is on its way as well .Why would the EU even need a army?

    1. Junker is not unelected. I suspect that like many in the UK you know little about how the EU functions and it’s probably not your fault. Farage and his followers spouted so many myths about the EU which were not challenged by the BBC and other right wing broadcasters that many of the British people were taken in by them, hence the Brexit result.

      Don’t forget, Farage left the Tory Party because it wasn’t right wing enough for him.

      1. Juncker was unelected, in the sense that no citizen got to choose.

        Yes, the leaders of each EU country picked him (26 to 2), but it’s hardly democracy.

        Would you honestly say that you believe Juncker was the right choice? And we’ll pretend we don’t know about the tax shenanigans at this point.

    2. By the way, the ‘EU’ didn’t recognise anyone anywhere. Some members did that, NOT the EU. It seems you have been ‘had’ again.

      1. BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament recognised Venezuela’s self-declared interim president Juan Guaido as de facto head of state on Thursday, heightening international pressure on the OPEC member’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

        EU governments, divided over whether to recognise Guaido, also agreed to lead an international crisis group with South American nations to seek new elections, setting a 90-day time limit, and threatening further economic sanctions.

        EU lawmakers voted 439 in favour to 104 against, with 88 abstentions, at a special session in Brussels to recognise Venezuelan congress head Guaido as interim President.

      2. By the way, I know the European Parliament lacks real power and is only there to give the whole caboodle the veneer of legitimacy (and provide a healthy income for scrounging MEPS) but it is a good weather vane for the direction of European political travel……IT AIN’T LEFTWARDS.

      3. Why no unity from the EU?

        By Gavin Lee, BBC Europe reporter

        The EU doesn’t typically make any decisions on whether or not to recognise a government.

        What there has been is action from individual member states, a co-ordinated effort by the UK, France, Germany and Spain to persuade all EU countries to take the same position.

      4. Bloody hell. I give you “facts” from one of your own neoliberal mouthpieces and you blatantly ignore them and come back with what is obviously part of a statement designed to excuse the EU.
        Here it again JackT, this time from the Indy, another neoliberal rag: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/venezuela-eu-parliament-recognise-guaido-president-maduro-european-a8756116.html

        “The parliament in a statement recognised him as “the only legitimate interim president”, until new elections can be called “in order to restore democracy”.

        The vote was taken and 439 in favour to 104 against, with 88 abstentions,a massive victory for America, NATO and the CIA puppet Random Dollars Guaido.

    3. Well contrary to what you’ve been told the President of EU Commissioner job is up for grabs soon. Don’t you think that we should fight hard for the EU elections so we have as much influence as possible in this election.

      Frans Timmermans: #ItsTime for ‘A New Social Contract for Europe’
      Frans Timmermans today pledged to radically rewrite Europe’s social contract, to transform the EU and to build a fair Europe for all, if he is elected as the next President of the European Commission.


      1. Aye sure Lord Adonis will be there sorting it all out and fighting for us!

      2. Snowy 22/04/2019 at 1:16 am

        Or instead of just regurgitating empty rhetoric you could try doing a little bit of reading so that you’ll know what you are talking about.

        At the very least you should familiarise yourself with how members of the EU Institutions are elected. You should also read the PES manifesto that all Labour MEP candidates will be standing on. I think it’s a good manifesto, what do you think?

      3. I had a laugh at that one SteveH. The only way to rewrite a social contract for Europe is to nullify all legislation from/including the Maastricht treaty and dump the Euro. That someone thought having countries with totally different economic structures on a level playing field was a good idea is only slightly less ridiculous than believing Germany (the economic winner of current practice) would agree to change.
        Also….What on earth has brought on this devout belief in the words of politicians all of a sudden?

      4. lundiel 22/04/2019 at 8:53 am

        We should all be thankful then that most Democratic Socialist have a bit more backbone than you. Just giving up will never achieve anything.

      5. lundiel 22/04/2019 at 12:50 pm

        As you well know we are still members of the EU and will continue to enjoy all the rights and privileges that our membership entitles us to until the day comes (if ever) that we actually leave.

  20. Will that’s a good point who are the commission then making these decisions? Tusk and and whoever the rest are,, can’t be bothered to get there correct names.Who could name them? But that’s who your giving your sovereignty over to.

      1. Never Been a Labour Voter. The more you post, the more you show your ignorance. The CSDP is nothing to do with soveriegnty, it is about sharing in the responsibility for the security of Europe, including ourselves.

      2. So you’re saying that our military has nothing to do with our sovereignty?

        I’m sure you’ll have imperialists frothing with that statement.

        Let’s start with an easy one.

        Who protects your sovereignty? Who helps to project it? Zippy and Bungle?

      3. NVLA 22/04/2019 at 12:05 pm

        You really do live in the past. It’s a while since the British Armed Forces could project our sovereignty without the help and support of other nations and why would we want to?

      4. Why would we want to? Dunno, maybe if we’re invaded by the Isle of Man?

        Joking aside, an EU army would make crushing protests like the Gilles Jaunes and Extinction Rebellion very easy. German troops won’t care about shooting French citizens, Dutch troops won’t care about shooting Brits etc etc.

        Feel free to scoff, but as you do, think about how their own countries are treating their citizens, and about how this would solve their governing issues.

        Think of Geneviève Legay.

      5. NVLA 22/04/2019 at 5:11 pm

        If you want to indulge in ridiculous hyperbole and make yourself a laughing stock then why should I want to stop you. Please feel free to indulge yourself, you’re the gift that just keeps on giving.

      6. Always ad hominems around here…

        I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

        Seems the right quote to use in reply

      7. NVLA 22/04/2019 at 8:03 pm · ·

        I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

        Well I’m glad you’re managing to hang on in there and keep strong, however I think you’ll find that the majority of the criticisms are directed at the rubbish you post rather than you as an individual. Also you can’t really blame people for occasionally biting back when you are repeatedly and consistently so unpleasant to others.

      8. The rubbish I post?!?!

        And as for;

        Also you can’t really blame people for occasionally biting back when you are repeatedly and consistently so unpleasant to others.

        1) This renders the previous part of your post null and invalid.

        2) i haven’t been unpleasant to anyone here. Treat people how you expect to be treated is my attitude. Just because my opinions and experiences are different to yours doesn’t mean I’m unpleasant. I’m here to debate. Either swish your mental rapier back at me or twiddle your thumbs. Don’t give in to ad hominems.

        Feel free to trawl through my posts to prove me wrong.

      9. NVLA 22/04/2019 at 10:04 pm

        With regards to your second point you are right. I was wrong to accuse you of being unpleasant to myself and others. Please accept my apology.

        I also owe you a further apology for temporally confusing you with Internal Affair.

  21. It’s pretty futile rehearsing the plain electoral facts to rabid Lexiteers, since their assertions long departed the realms of reality where most Labour voters actually live. Denial brooks no contrary evidence – even when it’s in the form of a mountain.

    But even worse is the fundamental delusion that this Tory-inspired policy will somehow magic a socialist paradise in one country by simply permitting the mass ‘nationalisation’ of assets.

    Dream on. Firstly – control of capital is much more feasible now than the Laexiteer fantasy dares to allow. The current state of Britain is a home-grown neoliberal catastrophe rather than simply one imposed by the EU. The succession of Tory governments also gives the lie to the simple-minded notion of a pool of ‘working class’ votes waiting to be simply harvested. Ask the Scots.

    But – more importantly and practically – the fantasy of new trading arrangements are going to change anything of substance. Does anyone with a functioning brain think that the EU itself is going to negotiate new agreements that vitiate its common position on trade? Or that the US is going to do other than use its weight to screw over L’l Ole Britain – the sad, friendless social incompetent at the edge of the playground? Or that China will do other than chuckle and ask the country to surrender.

    What a great prospect of regained ‘sovereignty’! The red-nosed clown as serious negotiator?

    But above all – the core belief – that an increasingly impoverished and isolated country with a highly fragile economic base is going to have resources and energy to turn around the Tory disaster?

    The city slickers in that Party must love the compliance of the deluded of the Lexiteer faith.

    1. RH seems to be under the impression that you win people over and win a debate by insulting them.

      Extremist remainers have learned nothing since the referendum. All they have achieved is the hardening of the leave vote.

      I voted remain but respect democracy and so respect the result. I find the remain campaign toxic and its campaigners like RH utterly repellant.

      They are a lot like Clinton supporters, rude and patronising with a sense of entitlement. In their eyes everyone else is either thick or a racist. Their arguments make no sense and when their lack of logic is highlighted they either change the subject or insult the person.

      I will now wait for the troll RH to repeat a people’s vote talking point and insult me.

      They are so predictable.

      1. Internal Affairs 22/04/2019 at 11:12

        On the contrary it would be patronising not to point out when your comments are untrue, how else are you going to learn?

      2. IA – I’ve insulted no-one – just highlighted some stupid arguments.

        … But if the cap fits, and you want to be s snowflake … feel free.

        … and feel free to join the Remainer tribe that is the actuality, also.

  22. Brexit is a classic case of high power advertising by those who wish to sell us a pipe dream or what may be better described as ‘a pig in a poke’.

    Many of the public appear to have become more gullible and susceptible to advertising cons than ever before. Take the case of bottled water. Years ago people would have laughed at you if you’d told them to go and buy fancy bottles of water from a shop when they knew in most instances better quality water was available free out of the tap.

    Those who are telling us that a bright shiny future is available just over the horizon if we kick our neighbours into touch are merely snake oil salesmen trying to manipulate the public for their own good. They are tricksters using smoke and mirrors to convince the public that any problems they have are caused by ‘those over there’ when in fact the cause is under their noses in the form of the Tory Government.

    Don’t be fooled, some of those on these pages advocating Brexit will be Tories up to no good, no matter how sincere they appear to be at burnishing their ‘Socialist’ credentials.

    1. I guess we might coin a new phrase to describe the *actual* Lexit believers assisting the Tory narrative :’ fellow grovellers’? They certainly don’t travel.

      1. Oh my God, now the two trolls are talking to each other to give the impression everyone shares their anti-democracy, Blairite views.

        It is entirely possible that they are the same person.

        They’re completely bonkers.

      2. Oh my god Internal Affairs embarrasses himself yet again by attempting to set himself up as gatekeeper and censor in chief again.

  23. You sound like that lunatic Alex Jones. I can picture you wearing your tin foil hat hammering away at your keyboard in your mum’s basement.

      1. There’s the troll, bang on schedule. You will need to create yet another account now your other three accounts have been flushed out.

        You do realise what an asshole you are making of yourself don’t you?

      2. Internal Affairs 22/04/2019 at 2:24 pm

        I’m not the one indulging myself by having a mini rant. As there was no indication as to who your comment was aimed at I was simply enquiring who your comment was directed at.

        ps: you must have got distracted by your tantrum because we are still all no the wiser about the identity of your intended recipient.

    1. As someone pointed out, they really have lost the plot and can only see Europe in terms of their own little authoritarian construct.

      1. “only see Europe in terms of their own little authoritarian construct.”

        Oh lundenial – you really are a batty laugh a minute: ‘authoritarian’ to describe those who are happy with normal democratic process. Keep them coming – it injects a bit of light relief into the drumbeat of Lexiteer fantasy denial.

      2. The mask slips. It was only a matter of time of course, RH had been spouting hate filled troll comments on this site for some time now but had managed to hide their dark prejudices from sight until they made the homophobic comment above.

        “Batty” is a term of denigration used against gay people. It is used by people who incite violence against members of the gay community.

        You are a disgusting individual. I will be contacting the editor requesting you be banned for posting homophobic hate speech.

        People like you are not welcome here.

      3. Internal Affairs 24/04/2019 at 3:16 pm

        Perhaps you should look to your own prejudices, it was you that associated the word ‘batty’ with homosexuality (which really doesn’t fit with the context) whilst most others would associate it with any of the multitude a more common usages of the word which would all fit much better in the context of what was written.

        Have you ever considered that you might be the one with a problem.

        mad; insane.
        “you’ll drive me batty!”
        mad, insane, odd, queer, eccentric, deranged, demented, crazed, out of one’s mind, not in one’s right mind, sick in the head, lunatic, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable; mad as a hatter, mad as a March hare, away with the fairies, foaming at the mouth; foolish, stupid, idiotic, silly;

        crazy, mental, daft, bats, bonkers, nuts, nutty, nutty as a fruitcake, dotty, potty, loony, screwy, off one’s head/nut/rocker, round the bend, out to lunch, raving mad, stark staring/raving mad;

        barmy, crackers, barking (mad), off one’s trolley, off the wall, not the full shilling;

        nutsy, whacko
        “she has gone completely batty”

      4. Internal Affairs. You have lost every argument. I hope Skwawky tells you to grow up and get lost. There is none so spiteful as an idiot scorned.

    1. Wow! What a wanker. And they’ve actually let the toerag run under the Labour banner…

      Adds yet more weight to my choice…

  24. Good grief 153 ( and counting ) comments on one topic,, must be a record for hatred and animosity to each other here on the Left .We forget and become distracted at our peril , The enemy is the Tory and their murderous polices . WE ARE LABOUR AND WE ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN BREXIT

      1. SteveH. Never had much time for Alison McGovern or Labour List, both are too right wing. Is McGovern for or against another vote?

      2. Jack T 22/04/2019 at 10:15 pm

        I take your point about LabourList but I like to read a range of different views.

        I think I would probably describe her attitude to a 2nd referendum as being ambivalent.

        Spending all the time on the question of a public vote, when our MEPs have little direct control over that question, is a mistake. It is a matter only Westminster can decide. But use these elections instead to focus on the future, not the past, and we might win the argument for a final say on leaving the EU at all. Better still, we will win the right to stay in the EU when the time comes.

      3. ,A reminder if folks may indulge me ,,,

        – 4,200,000 children in poverty – 13,000 homeless veterans – 6,600 MH nurses cut – 350,000 children in destitution – 120,000 austerity linked dead – 1,332,952 Foodbank parcels – 21,000 Police cut – 124,000 homeless children

        and this


        Which many of you no doubt have seen I hope .
        This is what IMO is more important than the obsession with BREXIT
        ” People are sick of Brexit starving our politics of air. ”
        SO very very true .

      4. Rob, no matter who our (Labour) MPs are, they will be reflecting and promoting a Jeremy Corbyn government’s position and policies.

        If we are to be a global player and not an isolated country on the edge of massive markets with massive trading power we need to remain in the EU otherwise we will not be able to make all the corrections you highlighted. The majority of us Socialists know what needs to be done but we have to get the basics right first and not be distracted by isolationists who will ruin our economy in persuit of their Brexit illusion.

    1. You aren’t wrong. But you miss the vital connection.

      The problem is that the victory of the extreme neoliberal right that is Brexit will handicap the possibilities available to address the Tory predations of the last 40 years. These are not separate issues, and the divisions and conflict are essentially Tory distractions, dependent on Tory propaganda, aimed at perpetuating the neoliberal hegemony in conditions that would otherwise have created a change in government.

      Sucking Labour into willingly supporting this ploy (‘honouring the referendum’) was a strategic masterstroke.

      1. Thank you RH but I didn’t miss any vital connection , I just happen to think that remaining in the EU, without any real opportunity to effect meaningful change , and this IMO is impossible within the EU’s present neo-liberal schedule of rules and construct , will in essence itself be a handicap to address the 40 years of Tory destruction .Now if there was , as I ‘d hoped , some chance of this even beginning to happen as a result of the MEPs election then I’d like to believe it , but having just been presented with what I can only describe as a Centrist RW slate , picked for me , not by me , then it looks highly unlikely that the Centrist incumbent or for that matter even if he failed to win then the number 2 choice Centrist , would be very unlikely to make any changes in the D.S direction ,,, more of the same ..
        I respect your position in that you appear to believe the opposite and that is quite clear from the many many comments you have made . I don’t think there is anything to be gained by having any further debate on the issue , in fact doing so would only weaken my original comment / plea that Labour is so much more than just Brexit , yet here we are talking Brexit AGAIN !

    2. Or it’s bored middle aged folks itching to get back to work after a long bank holiday weekend?

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