Polls send clear message to Labour: Labour MPs must have free vote on Brexit deal

MPs must be free to vote for their constituents on Withdrawal Agreement


As the SKWAWKBOX has reported, electoral experts have dismissed claims of a surge in the remain vote in local elections at the beginning of this month, while Labour strongholds that voted leave in 2016 saw a ‘stay home’ protest by many Labour voters.

For the European Parliament elections next week, the Brexit party is currently topping polls of voting intention in spite of a complete absence of any policies beyond leaving the EU – and the well-known Thatcherite leanings of Nigel Farage.

The only party that can hold the field against the extreme right’s attempts to exploit anger among Brexit supporters in Labour’s heartlands is Labour – and the SKWAWKBOX has long advocated that the party must drop all talk of any new referendum for the sake of a country that desperately needs a Labour government.

Labour honoured the decision of its annual conference last September, supporting motions for a new public vote three times with a ‘three-line whip’ – the strongest available discipline. On all three occasions, the votes were decisively lost and many northern MPs were forced to defy the whip in order to respect the wishes of their constituents.

Continuing to pursue such an option, one that has no prospect of success and that damages Labour in the minds of voters, is impossible to justify – and Labour must also be seen by the public to fulfil the core part of its conference policy and its manifesto promise: respecting the 2016 result.

The 22 authorities in which Labour lost five councillors or more this month. All voted leave in 2016 (2016 leave % in brackets)

The news that Theresa May is bringing her deal back to the Commons on 4 June presents Labour with a choice. If the party’s leadership tries to ‘whip’ MPs, especially northern MPs, for the new vote it will be viewed and spun as Labour ‘trying to stop Brexit’, fuelling anger among Labour’s traditional working-class support.

This would be an absolute gift to the far right, which by then is likely to have been emboldened by a strong protest vote for the Brexit party next week.

To cauterise this problem properly, Labour needs to drop the notion of a public vote completely – but as a first step in the right direction it must allow its MPs a free vote in the Withdrawal Agreement debate.

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  1. Skwawk, e used my postal vote and voted Green (have always previously voted Labour) because of Labour refusing to support a confirmatory referendum. You keep on banging on about the Labour council’s in the N West who voted leave losing seats in the locals, yet the reason Bolton Labour lost seats was almost certainly because they ran the council very poorly, and ignored many Labour areas (eg Breightmet,. Farnworth). When do you ever listen to anybody else but yourself!?

    1. You’re talking to those that wish upon a star, Joe – not serious analysts of what is actually happening.

      An alternative analysis (YouGov) of 25000 voters (pause … wait for the screams of *this* YouGov finding is x,y,z etc – because it doesn’t suit.) is as follows :

      ” the number of Labour remain defectors to remain parties is three times as large as Labour leave defectors to leave parties – and has continued to grow.

      This relates to a wider point. It has become commonplace to ascribe the leave victory in 2016 to the votes of working-class Labour supporters. This is misleading. Most leave voters live in Conservative constituencies. The Tory shires mattered more than Labour’s industrial heartlands. … Just one in eight leave voters was a working-class Labour supporter … to suggest that the referendum’s 17.4 million leave voters were dominated by working-class Labour supporters is simply wrong.”

      1. Which 25000 voters?

        Anyone here commenting on this thread ever been contacted for polling purposes? By any polling organisation?

        In 27 years of voting eligibility, I’ve never once been polled for my political opinion. Would be interesting to hear if others here have

      2. I’d lay money on you being a member of YouGov doing surveys for 50p and pretending you’re a Labour member/supporter. I’ve never met anyone so full of shit as you.

      3. Nah, lundenial – you’re way ahead in the fabulous shit stakes (as my other post outlines) – I wish I’d had your latest departure into fantasy land when I compiled the IQ (Idiot Quotient) stakes :

        “I’d lay money on you being a member of YouGov doing surveys for 50p and pretending you’re a Labour member/supporter. ”

        Why do you do it to yourself? You *can’t* be so stupid. I reckon. Why do you persist in inviting piss-taking with such wildly fantastic ramblings?

  2. Couldn’t agree more: and before the usual suspects open up, I happened on this twitter-thread from RachelSwindon yesterday, whose words I reproduce in full because she is a remainer.

    “Sometimes we hear things and dismiss it as impossible, but I heard something today I find entirely believable. I say this as a Remainer, but I’m not as Remainyfied (new word?) as many of you. But that’s for another day. Let’s talk about ‘Northern Labour’.

    A huge number of our MPs, in Northern towns and cities, are under immense pressure. Most of them voted Remain, but accept the result of the referendum. They are in leave seats, and they are watching degenerates such as Yaxley-Lennon and chancers like Farage, hoover up votes.

    And let’s be clear about this. It is not a pro or anti-Corbyn thing. It’s about bursting out from the Westminster bubble. Much of our working class vote is being ignored by a growing number inside the bubble. Much of our working class vote is in the North.

    We have a Brexit policy. The problem we have is large numbers of MP/MEPs briefing the media and telling voters something different to what our policy actually is. This is alienating voters in huge numbers. Tom Watson seems to favour this approach.

    ‘Northern Labour’ would be a separate party. One that does what it says on the tin. One that would work with Labour on most issues, but their focus would be on things that benefit their constituencies and regions. Tom Watson’s vision doesn’t do that.

    And one of their key policies would be to leave the EU, with a good deal, but essentially, leaving. Yes, I know this is our current policy, but a growing number that can’t see outside of the bubble are coming up with their own versions. It is blatant sabotage.

    This group obviously wouldn’t support a 2nd vote as that’s the big problem for them. They are watching the damage unfold in front of their eyes on a daily basis. Their constituents are furious because Mr Watson, Mr Starmer, and others, are sticking 2 fingers up to them.

    Our policy is abundantly clear. I’m now beyond repeating it. I don’t like it. I campaigned for Remain, I am a Remainer. But, I accept we have to implement one vote before we can have a try. IndyRef being an example. The SNP want another referendum, but the 1st was accepted.

    If you want an example of what the North of England will look like politically in 10 years time just look at Scotland. But you’ll have hard-right Brexit Party MPs instead of SNP MPs. We are on the verge of losing our heartlands to the hard-right, because of a 2nd vote.

    These heartlands held their noses and voted for Blair, but now they feel betrayed. Every time Watson opens his mouth we lose a few more to Farage. I’m not sure how anyone can continue to be OK with this. It sounds like some of our Northern MPs aren’t OK with this.

    But they are outnumbered, they know that. So ‘Northern Labour’ is far from impossible. Some people are shouting the loudest, but their voices aren’t being heard much past the M25, where a vast majority of our voters are. But for how much longer?

    Tom and Co are happy to make things up as they go. But for whose benefit? Do we think hoards of Lib Dem voters will get behind us? Or is it more likely we will lose vast numbers of Leave voters to Farage? The answer is obvious enough. I’m Remain, but I’m still Labour.

    My politics will not be defined by the single issue of Brexit. The world is in a right old state at the moment. Climate Change, crime, poverty, health, THIS IS NOW. Had Remain won 52/48 I wouldn’t entertain the thought of another vote because Leavers want one.

    I can see serious damage ahead. This may well suit the deputy leader. He’s tried everything else and it’s failed, so now it’s the nuclear option. If we continue to push this ‘2nd vote at all costs’ approach we are fucked. And this is coming from a Remainer.”

    1. Fucked doesn’t come close to describing what’s coming. And it’s not just northern labour. Most of all, it’s thoroughly deserved.

      The evidence is there if you take the time to look. Take Bristol. Nice place, when I wonder around the city centre, it’s easy to see why too. They are going places.

      Yet Bristol is one of the best examples of the division inside modern Britain. Go south, just a few miles to where the sink hole council estates are, and they tell you a different tune. They voted out, because they are fed up. Fed up with being ignored. Except when they are pissed on and told it’s raining.

      We often hear about the economic cost, but it’s just FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) to the average person struggling.

      Two quotes stick in my mind, both from northerners.

      “Its not my GDP”

      “Look around! What have I got to lose?” (When told of the (unproven, speculated) economic shock).

      The only way things are going to change for the better is 1) a proper socialist government (fat chance) & 2) a large amount of helicopter money, given to the people (not banks and businesses)

    2. Good post, Labrebisgalloise. Meanwhile the Blairite Labour Right and centrists and smug, short-sighted, Guardianistas, and our tiresome constantly posting cynical right wing Left-hating trolls on here, ignore what has happened right across Europe – with the utter eclipse of the social democratic centrist parties by various versions of radical Right Populism or slightly concealed neo-fascism – and keep pushing for our Party to destroy itself in like manner , by ignoring the deep anger and pain of our working class supporters at the endless toxic impact on their lives of neoliberalism and its enforcer, the EU.

      If it hadn’t been for the utter fluke of the Corbyn Leadership victory in 2015 (down to a huge tactical miscalculation by the PLP Right on £3 supporters and letting Jeremy on the ballot at all) , the Labour Party would have about 80,000 members by now and would have followed the rest of European social democracy into the dustbin. That narrowly avoided future still looms ever closer though, as sabotage by the still majority PLP Right and centrists and the Left Liberal political naivety of too many of the middle class LP membership opens up an ever greater credibility gap between Labour and our temporarily revived post 2015 “Corbyn Wave” working class voter base in the North, midlands, and Wales. Skwawkbox is one of the few Left sites that “gets it” . The rest are mainly ideologically captive in a middle class liberal bubble in which the likes of that shameless pro EU faux Left Guardianista huckster , Paul Mason, and Owen Jones too, are seen as ideological gurus .

    3. ”Their constituents are furious because Mr Watson, Mr Starmer, and others, are sticking 2 fingers up to them.”


      It’s THEY who serve US, not the other way around. Once the nation’s highest ranking lawyer, starmer – of ALL people – should know that barristers don’t manufacture their own brief and then foist it on their client(s).

      The reason plenty of people voted out in the first place was because of careerist MP’s hubris. These knobheads are still at it. It’s just another attempt to kick those proles what told them to start earning their corn, in the bollocks; so they can maintain their cushy numbers.

      Well it looks like an ever increasing amount of proles are reaching for their pitchforks daily. They’re even irritating those that originally voted the same way as them as made evident by your post.

  3. Absolutely and unequivocally NO. Labour’s position if no deal is reached should be a whipped vote against. Never mind all the UKIPers and Brexit Party trolls who comment here.

    1. To Labre’s quote, absolutely and unequivocally YES!

      To Jack T, PV trolls like you presumably being perfectly ok then?

      1. ” PV trolls”

        Why do you stick the label ‘IDIOT’ on your metaphorical forehead by using such meaningless chanting?

      2. RH…..Why don’t you challenge Jack T for starting “the metaphorical idiocy” and tell him to stick an IDIOT label on his head.

  4. Completely right, the evidence is incontestable.

    Anyone Labour member who campaigns for a second referendum is basically campaigning for Tommy Robinson and Nigel Farage.

    1. “the evidence is incontestable”

      Indeed it is – and leads to precisely the opposite conclusion to what you think.

      When did bowing down to the right reap dividends?

  5. Not sure giving MPs a free vote gets us anywhere.
    Whether May’s deal or no deal gets through Tories will be praised for getting it done and Labour will be blamed for the delays.
    I appreciate the argument that the country desperately needs a Labour government but to me enabling this Tory project is like Blair sucking up to capitalists.
    If those constituencies care more about Brexit than getting rid of the Tories and returning a Labour government then fuck them and the rest of the idiots.
    We’re supposed to be about principle, not craven acquiescence.
    If the people believe black is white then fucking well educate them.

    1. You are a shameless hypocrite, David. You talk of principles while you refuse to accept the referendum result to leave the EU.

      You are a fraud, a charlatan, a shyster.

      1. That’s told you, David. Are you cowering from the incisive intellect that forensically demolished your argument?

      2. This comment illustrates what people dislike about you RH. You have to poke your beak into other people’s comments while trying your best to stir the shit”

    2. … said lundiel, poking her beak into other people’s … just a second, this is MY comment.
      Gerroff! 🙂
      Slight lack of self-awareness there, InternetPoliceLady.

      1. David, I just wish Lundiel would stick to putting arguments and avoid the unnecessary and counterproductive personal abuse.
        I know RH gets unnecessarily mardy on the other side but by far the most abuse comes from Lexiters on this site.

      2. Acid rather than mardy, Simon :-). And I admit I should resist the temptation more – but often *necessarily* so in the face of sheer fabrication, illogicality and crude abuse – the key sins of anti-social media.

        If I’m gratuitously rude to the undeserving, feel free to tap me on the shoulder.

      3. I understand your reaction to the endless ad hominems but I’m doubtful it does any good. There seem to be some people on here with real anger issues and I’d like more of us to remember we’re mostly on the same side rather than get the haters here pumped up to dangerously high blood pressure levels.

      4. Simon Dewsbury: “but by far the most abuse comes from Lexiters on this site” [towards hostile PV trolls].

        Funny that, what with it being a de facto Lexiter site an’ all!

  6. Rachael Swindon: “Had Remain won 52/48 I wouldn’t entertain the thought of another vote [just] because Leavers want one.”

    I’ve a lot of respect for Rachael but what’s happening isn’t equivalent to that.
    Say the remain vote had won but since the referendum our EU membership had been discovered to be seriously disadvantaging the UK – then another referendum would be perfectly justified and I believe Rachael would agree.

    Since the referendum leaving has been discovered to be seriously disadvantageous to the UK.

    1. Nonsense…..we haven’t had that debate. See my post below.
      Since the referendum we’ve been inundated with remain propaganda and “cliff edge” predictions. The fact is, if we left without a deal (which looks very unlikely) we would still trade with Europe, we would negotiate a new trade agreement with Europe and many other countries. That is all you can say for certain.

      1. Remember it was you who said, “That is all you can say for certain.”
        I don’t disagree but why is that?
        Documents exist, numbers exist, records of votes & treaties exist, recordings of speeches exist – proofs of arguments were completely absent – instead all we heard were the partisan rantings of both sides.
        Kind of an important decision to make on the strength of lies, exaggerations and spin from both sides, don’t you think?
        I’m really quite bright and I didn’t have enough information to make a well-informed decision given the complexities – you say you and everyone else in the ‘Labour heartlands’ did?

      2. Yes, we had 46 years to make our minds up. I never read a word of argument, for or against. I never saw a bus with a magic mind turning slogan on it.

    2. There is another aspect, which Swindon hasn’t grasped – namely that it is normal in constitutional questions that the proposition for irrevocable change has to be established (usually by a threshold) – not the reverse.

      I note that IA is into his sophisticated arguments again.

      1. RH. If remain had won by a single vote, you would DEMAND the result ended all discussion forever.

      2. No. Simply that Leave had not established its case. As now.

        We’re proposing a chance for it to do so. What’s so frightening?

      3. Significant that you describe this as a constitutional question, involving irrevocable (constitutional) changes.
        These changes having been made without any consent from the electorate which has been regularly assured that the EU does not involve a surrender of sovereignty. A surrender not to a broader and more diverse, European, electorate but to a mid Atlantic political caste which hasn’t had a new idea since “The End of History” in the 1990s and in terms of economics is stuck in the 1840s.
        A political caste exemplified in the person of Tony Blair.

      4. ‘What’s so frightening?’

        Nobody’s ‘frightened’ so just stop trying to flog that horse…it died a long time ago ffs.

        For most people it’s become beyond tedious. Your infantile behaviour and tactics aren’t working, dicky. You’re doing nothing but provoking people and alienating them further from your futile, overtly self-serving purpose.

        Not that it should be considered anyway. Maybe it would’ve been, but seeing as you’ve shown ZERO respect for the opposite view, and worse, for the people who hold the opposing view, you and your minority deserve to see your ideals stymied.

      5. Actually – it looks like a majority, Toffee.

        … which is what worries Brexiteers.

        I have to laugh at your whinging about ‘respecting’ the alternative point of view as you try to shut down debate about the issue by shouting loudly.

      6. No dicky, let’s have it right.

        I just shout you and the other whopper down when you take your usual condescending, sneering tone, which invariably occurs when your arse is getting handed to you – i.e. almost on a post-by-post basis.

        It’s just as well skwawkbox has removed the ‘Tory slump in the polls thread’ from yesterday because I could show everyone just how you act with some sort of weird obsession as you told me to ‘stop digging ffs’ , then, 25 minutes later – without any reply from me inbetween – you then said: ‘oh ffs toffee, just stop it’…

        ‘Shouting down debate’ is it? Well at least I give the other person a chance to make it a debate, dope 🙂

      7. “What’s so frightening?”
        What’s so frightening is that a PV, confirmatory vote would undoubtedly attract less votes than the referendum did. Many people are so sick to death of Brexit they’ve had enough. In that, the Westminster MPs have been very successful kicking the can down the road.
        You’ve made a huge deal here about the referendum being undemocratic because “less than a third of the electorate voted for it”. Any confirmatory/PV would be decided by substantially less people, I say this with certainty because of the many votes in the referendum from people who don’t usually vote.
        If a PV decided to remain, you wouldn’t complain it was undemocratic, you’d demand the result was honoured.
        There can be no second vote.

      8. Lundiel, that’s a new point. I don’t see that refusing to hold a confirmatory vote because it’s possible that there will be a lower turnout is a strong argument though.
        But I suppose it does raise the possibility that remain might win but with less than 17.4 million votes. That would be exploited by Farrago and those who are lusting to cry ‘betrayal’. I don’t see that as a reason for not having another vote, though, because the economic and social downsides of leaving would be worse.

      9. I’ve previously argued and still think that if a second referendum were decided upon there ought to be a threshold of perhaps 60% to reverse the original decision.
        In fairness I think 52% ought to be enough to confirm the leave vote.

      10. lundiel –

        ” Many people are so sick to death of Brexit they’ve had enough.”

        I totally agree. The whole pantomime should never have arisen, and only did so because of the Tories trying to undermine Farago and placate their own extreme right. It was never high on the public agenda.

        Went well, didn’t it – turning the whole country into an international joke of a backward Ruritania whilst the ERG counted the coins?

        “There can be no second vote.”

        Yes there can – the genie’s out of the bottle. In a democracy, a simple majoritary vote always has a succeeding one.

  7. Labour MPs in Leave seats should do their job and explain to their constituents that there is no such thing as a Brexit which will benefit either them or the country. They should expose Farage’s lies and deceptions.

    Labour must LEAD and not prevaricate.

    Abstentions must not be allowed against a Tory/far right/Skwarwkbox inspired Brexit.

    1. I note that Labour is currently perceived by the public as having the least clear policy on Brexit.

  8. Yesterday Labrebisgalloise attempted to initiate a debate with our fanatical remainers and was ignored by the main ones but answered by David McNiven who provided a synopsis of the “Socialist” group’s policy document…..which was tinkering and largely unobtainable without tearing up the Maastricht treaty and dumping the Euro.
    In the same vein, I’d like to reference some of the problems facing Europe using this article from the Economist: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2019/03/next-crash-why-world-unprepared-economic-dangers-ahead
    Firstly, there is the coming problem with money tightening. The end of QE across the western world is in sight. “this year may herald the end of the post-crash decade of easy money as interest rates are increased across the world and QE is unwound.Perhaps the most significant consequence would be unmanageable debt in the global south. It is an obvious truth (albeit rarely stated) that the only countries to have experienced acute debt distress are those that borrow in a foreign currency or lack control over their own monetary policy. The former category – mainly emerging economies in south Asia, eastern Europe and Latin America – could be severely affected by monetary tightening as capital flows out of these economies and back to the US (in search of higher returns).”
    Not only will eastern Europe be hugely affected but also southern Europe, this could well spell the end of the Euro.
    “The third cause for concern is the sick man of the world: the eurozone. Growth has long been anaemic in the currency area, with the outlook for Greece and Italy particularly grim. In the absence of control over their monetary policy, there are only two ways for these countries to escape the debt trap: a major state-backed stimulus programme or internal devaluation (through cuts to wages and production costs).

    Germany, the eurozone’s hegemon, has a strong preference for the latter. Its economic competitiveness is based on wage repression and a rigid approach to controlling inflation. “If we can do it, why can’t you?” Germany asks. The inconvenient truth, of course, is that the currency union makes this harder for southern European countries and easier for northern ones. The euro makes German exports look cheap, and Greek ones look expensive, acting as a huge economic boost to the former and a constraint on the latter. The only sustainable – and indeed fair – way to deal with the divergence is to make major fiscal transfers (the redistribution of income and wealth) from north to south. But political reality precludes this solution. The German state, and its allies in northern Europe, would block any continent-wide pro-growth reforms for fear of the inflationary consequences. Germany will also continue to veto anything that resembles debt mutualisation – the sharing of sovereign debt across EU states. As a result, austerity will prevail, stunting the southern European economies’ growth and immiserating their people. Without structural reforms that promote growth in these economies, the disparity between north and south will only further widen. Over the long term, if unaddressed, this surely can only have one outcome: the break-up of the currency union itself.”
    When you add this to the other problems facing Europe: The European workforce will decline by 0.4% a year until 2040.
    The Italian banks are bankrupt. 18% of bank debts are bad debts. Non performing loans now stand at 360 billion Euros.
    Right wing populist parties are on the rise. Inflation is coming to the richer countries but they can’t really raise interest rates without hurting the poorer countries.
    Thanks to our sovereign currency we have weathered the storm of Brexit pretty well so far. The same isn’t true for Europe which is stuck with a single exchange rate and monetary policy for all members.
    Change is coming and leaving in an orderly manner is preferable to the political and financial turmoil that is on the way for Europe.
    The next crash, when it comes, will not be lessened by being a ‘collective’ of countries unless the collective was prepared to ‘spread the load’, something the neoliberal EU didn’t so in 2008, and won’t do next time.

    1. Lundiel, why not just post the information you want others to read without prefacing it with insults?
      It’s a decent post about upcoming problems with the world economy and the euro but I almost didn’t bother to read it because of the first sentence.

    2. ….and we pro Remainers aren’t fanatical. I agree that there are bigoing problems ahead for the EU. I still think that we’re better as part of a big trading bloc rather than at the mercy of US business interests.

      1. So we align with the Chinese and their BRI. Its certainly a promising future. And, the Tories have had their tongues flapping in the Chinese crevice for sometime, so we may be able to cut a reasonable deal.

        Its already been said the we’re supposedly the best at logistics in Europe, so the possibilities are there.

      2. NVLA, I can’t see that we’ll do any better with China than with Trump. I get the impression that BRI is starting to be seen as a bad move by those who’ve signed up to it.
        And the US has forgiven us the War of Independence (especially as they won). Chinese haven’t forgotten the Opium Warsop.

      3. Like anything, it’s who you get your information from.

        BRI looks bad, because it’s going to empower countries that have been exploited. Its going to provide opportunities to those who never had any. Which countries don’t like change to the status quo? The same countries who wage wars thousands of miles away creating death, misery and migrants.

        The biggest issue with BRI is it’s going to make the world multi polar. Is that a bad thing?

      4. NVLA, it would be fine if that were the end result but I’m significantly more sceptical than you about the altruism of China’s motives. They are a fairly ruthless regime when it suits their purposes.

      5. “So we align with the Chinese and their BRI”

        … and that subservience – or the more likely subservience to the US – is a better future than a partner within Europe?

        That takes a stretch of the imagination.

      6. @Simon

        It doesn’t matter who we “align” with, we will get shafted long term. The yanks have done already, and on more than several occasions, in a wide variety of ways.

        At least the BRI offers more than what the yanks ever will

      7. NVLA, I disagree that being a minor trading partner for China or the USA out on our own would be better than being a powerful entity within a block, ie the EU. Both have downsides (like most complex issues) and I think the former has more than the latter.
        And I suspect that China is rather more concerned about building influence with Russia to exploit Artic shipping routes because of climate change than cultivating a divided and unpredictable country like ours.
        In any event, if we do leave in October it will be under a Tory government and by the time we have a chance to kick them out the deals with US big business to privatise the NHS will be a done deal.

    3. Europe will – along with the rest of the globe – face considerable problems. But

      “… we have weathered the storm of Brexit pretty well so far. The same isn’t true for Europe …”

      – is simply not true, and the UK economy is extremely fragile in its current unbalanced structure – without Brexit.

      As I’ve sid before – the nub of the economic case for ‘Remain’ – an isolated UK will be in a weak position outside the EU, subject all the time to the negotiating strength of stronger partners, including the EU that will be in a position to demand compiance with their requirements.

      Simply – there is no New Jerusalem waiting on the other side of Brexit. Just a further weakened economy and lack of political clout.

      Beyond that, with all the current issues about Europe, the continued participation in its co-operative framework offers more options that fighting off predators single-handedly.

      1. Are you stupid or purposely ignorant? I’m not being rude, I honestly think you are totally ignorant of economics.

        “Beyond that, with all the current issues about Europe, the continued participation in its co-operative framework offers more options that fighting off predators single-handedly.”

        My comment above went to some lengths to explain how Europe is locked into a single exchange rate for 27 countries with very different economies and a single monetary policy for 27 countries with very different levels of debt. Yet you come blundering in with the view that strength comes in numbers when exactly the opposite proves true in this case….Europe will be in a position of damned if it does or damned if it doesn’t (interest rates are a good case in point).
        If the EU were a level playing field and they had bailed out Greece had torn up the Maastricht treaty and rewritten economic policy to compensate the poorer south, I might have voted to remain. There is no fiscal cooperation within Europe, they are at the whim of the ECB. The crash of 2008 proved that and it suits Germany’s economy to keep things as they are. The whole idea of European unity is fake, you’ll see that plainly when things start unravelling.

      2. “Are you stupid or purposely ignorant?”

        No, lundiel. Just aware of what the worst option is, despite the issues in Europe – that of an isolated country with a structurally weak economy struggling to keep itself afloat amongst the sharks.

        That’s the scenario that appeals to the ERG shysters – for obvious reasons.

    4. Lundiel, yes, there’s a possibility that the EU may unravel, though Germany is in the EU not simply for economic reasons.
      However, I’d rather be part of that risk than have the near certainty of the NHS being permanently broken up and given over to US private health firms

      1. Never voting labour again 17/05/2019 at 7:35 pm · ·
        NHS is already gone. …. Remind us what the EU did to stop this…”

        You seem to mis-understand that our own government (the one the UK electorate voted for) had the sovereignty to do that all by itself. The EU just provides a basic framework that that EU member states are compelled to follow in order to prevent discrimination in the supply of services . How we as a country chooses to provide those services is up to us. Hence the disparate versions of health services provision throughout the EU.

        For instance by making it unlawful for the NHS to discriminate against the elderly by refusing treatment solely on the grounds of age. Bearing in mind that it took a ruling from the EU Courts to force the NHS to change its policy do you think that the NHS should scrap this regulation if we Leave.

      2. NVLA, yes the NHS is under huge pressure because of open tendering, and the Branson capitulation is appalling, but I think it’s not gone yet. And if it is, how will leaving the EU assist with reversing this?

  9. The reason many of them voted leave had nothing to do with anything that came out of Farage’s mouth. It was a vote based on their own experiences at the hands of the Status Quo and they wanted to give it a bloody nose.

    But you go ahead and “explain” to them they voted leave because they were thick and ignorant. That should go down well!

    And do learn how to spell Skwawkbox (no “r”), there’s a good chap!

      1. TimfromUKIP defending Farage and who thinks the ‘status quo’ is an entity!!! 😁

    1. Exactly. It was based on 46 years of experience of a trade deal that turned into a massive bureaucracy that we had no voting rights on. Not even satisfied with that they wrote neoliberalism into law and because of the unstable Euro, they now have to rush into federalisation. None of these things are acceptable to the British public, polling has always shown that we are 2:1 against joining the Euro, I can’t imagine anyone other than the fanatics here would want to join a federation.
      To say we were affected by what Farage/Johnson said is utterly preposterous. I for one, never read any material from either side. It just shows their desperation and lack of any argument.

      1. Interesting that I “provided a synopsis of the “Socialist” group’s policy document” given that I haven’t seen it – I told you before that I think for myself.
        On your NS piece which I haven’t read – I also believe another crash is certain and I stated that here or on Twitter more than a year ago. Maybe on facebook too. All in my own name but I can’t be arsed checking back.
        Found one. Sorry for the length.
        11 Jun 2017, 12:30
        If our societies don’t soon begin serious preparation for economic changes arising from new technologies it may be impossible to avoid catastrophe.

        The last few years have seen innumerable advances in electronics and the pace of technological improvement continues to accelerate, so far with no end in sight.
        While technology has provided new employment opportunities it has also caused many job losses. Which number is greater is immaterial to my proposition – that job losses will necessarily outpace job creation as technology improves.

        In other words the more human work the machine can do the more it will replace the human.
        Companies are obliged to maximise members’ returns and are thus forced to replace employees with technology as costs dictate – or be overtaken by competitors.
        Ever greater unemployment or as-yet-unknown poverty wages will be unavoidable without big changes to social policy.

        I’m two years retired already but judging by the last ten years I think it’s possible that I may live to see the end of employment as we know it unless governments respond decisively.

        For almost a decade there has been rapidly accelerating income inequality. The super-rich use offshore tax havens and the best accountants and pay almost no tax. The rest of us face perpetual austerity to save banks from the consequences of their own incompetence – and the greed bubble begun by Thatcher and Reagan’s deregulation is growing again. Another crash is certain because the banks are again gambling with borrowed money. Your money.
        Today’s governments compete harder than ever to offer the lowest taxes to the richest.

        Market forces having been proclaimed sacrosanct by the Right the balance of power has shifted away from governments to corporations and markets – the markets are casinos and some of today’s corporations are big enough to dictate terms to most States.

        Originally designed to provide finance for business development, profit from the trading of shares became an end in itself. Traders only care about quick or preferably instant profit from manipulated share prices.

        A possible first step toward coping with technological change might be to rework stock markets to avoid the short term, quick buck motive responsible for market excesses.
        Governments collaborating to enforce fixed term investments would prevent wild fluctuations and make the markets support real businesses and investors rather than the gamblers who create nothing but unearned profit for themselves. Markets would be reduced in both size and volatility but investors would necessarily be forced to continue investing in a more creative and productive market.
        Or putting it in the bank so we can still use it.
        The rich can’t hide it in their mattresses if we stick together.

        Tax havens and tax loopholes could no longer be tolerated. Online public accounts for individuals and all other entities would remove opportunities for creative accounting and criminality.

        Removing the ability of the super rich to manipulate the world for their own benefit will require close collaboration between governments which we can hope might even remove some causes of conflict.

        The super rich will shout loudly the impossibility of everything but the status quo – but then they would, wouldn’t they? Right up until the time all the jobs are gone and they don’t need us any more except as customers and serfs.
        Then we can all go to hell hungry.
        Or kick off the revolution.

        Your position seems to imply that you believe the EU has had a greater influence on our impoverishment than the Tory or New Labour governments – or the Thatch/Reagan finance crash.
        I believe austerity is the cause of the Brexit effect and the EU was a handy scapegoat for Tory incompetence – look at who started the Brexit ball rolling with “take back control” – as if the wealthy hadn’t been in control the whole time.
        I still believe the answer to our decline lies only in a Labour government, whether in or out of the EU.

      2. I’ve told you before, we can change our own government, we are powerless to change the EU. No one can, you need the agreement of 27 governments at the same time. You need to rip up every law passed since the Maastricht treaty was foisted on us. You need to dump the Euro……..we can’t even lea be the EU after voting to do so.

      3. What IS preposterous is the guff that FroJo didn’t affect “we.”
        Toot much?

    2. “The reason many of them voted leave had nothing to do with anything that came out of Farage’s mouth. ”

      Not necessarily Farago – but certainly from the stable of the right wing propaganda machine. Remember – more working class voters gave their vote to the Tories than did to Labour.

      A lot of the ‘Leave’ vote was about kicking the cat – nothing to do with coherent political analysis aimed at remedying current poverty and inequalities.

      1. A lot of the ‘Leave’ vote was about kicking the cat – nothing to do with coherent political analysis aimed at remedying current poverty and inequalities.

        Ah! Another opportunity to proffer the question yo lot perpetually shy away from….

        Where was the eu, stopping WCA’s & sanctions? Bedroom Tax? hmmm?

        Where were they – stopping the flogging off of the NHS?

        I’ve got all day…

      2. “Where was the eu, stopping WCA’s & sanctions? Bedroom Tax? hmmm?
        Where were they – stopping the flogging off of the NHS?”

        Accuse the EU of interfering in British affairs one day and next day accuse them of not interfering – another well-reasoned argument.

        Incidentally – I think those disgusting attacks on those least able to defend themselves were planned and carried out by the Tories, not the EU.
        And so was neoliberalism.

      3. The question was for dicky to answer. Very telling that he never, iinit?

        However l’ll entertain you if you wish. Dicky mentioned ‘remedying poverty & inequalites;.

        So, with that in mind, where were the EU ‘protections’ when the tories went against and have disregarded all sorts of human rights directives/issues in implementing their draconian measures on the poor & sick?


        But they’ll happily allow the corporates their tax dodges.

        And impose – nay, inflict – austerity on the likes of Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain…

        Nowt but another layer of bureacracy for John Q Pleb to fight against, unelected corporate shills

      4. In fact, David, short of allowing the toerags to actually delve into the poor’s bank accounts….oh hang on that’s EXACTLY what the eu did to the Cypriots, isn’t it?

        Well, isn’t it?

      5. Was THAT down to UK tory ‘neoliberalim’ , David?

      6. Toffee – The question doesn’t really need an answer – even though David has accurately supplied it.

        Do you really base your predeliction for Brexit on the myth that the EU is able to prevent the self-generated hari-kiri that the UK has suffered under the Tories, and is about to be amplified by Brexit?

        P.S. I don’t leap to respond as the first item on the agenda after you issue a papal bull(shit).

      7. The Toffee: “So, with that in mind, where were the EU ‘protections’ when the tories went against and have disregarded all sorts of human rights directives/issues in implementing their draconian measures on the poor & sick?”

        lundiel: “I’ve told you before, we can change our own government, we are powerless to change the EU. No one can, you need the agreement of 27 governments at the same time. You need to rip up every law passed since the Maastricht treaty was foisted on us.”

        And I thought you guys were on the same page.
        Or the same person.

      8. Yep, way to go about obfuscation and evasion.

        David, lundiel’s entirely right; we CANNOT change the eu. It’s really not that long ago camoron beat his chest; telling the public he was gonna ge this that and t’other off the eu….And they howled with laughter and sent him home crying for his mam??

        (Conveniently) Forgotten that, have ya?

        What the fuck do you think it was that broke the camel’s, led to the referendum and made more people want to leave?

        Only last week juncker was boasting about who has the power within the eu…and it’s not the plebs.

        Oh, and I noticed you completely swerved the Cyprus question…As well as the helmet (rh’s) poverty and ineqaulity response…

        Because you have NO answer for them. You’ve become every bit the tool as the other two beauts.

        Pitiful attempts to distract from what you (rh originally, but he was too shit-scared to, from his middle class bubble…Not until you popped up on his behalf – and didn’t make anything better for yerselves) were asked.

        Typical. It’d be laughable if it wasn’t so incessant, predictable, boring and annoying.

      9. RH 16/05/2019 at 10:59 pm · ·
        Toffee – The question doesn’t really need an answer – even though David has accurately supplied it.

        Accurately, my arse.

        Oh, and you’re too much of a shithouse that you have to wait in the hope one of your mates will answer the difficut questions (with another load of bollocks) before you’ll step in and add your loaof shite.

        Fuck the fuck back off to your middle class bubble. Snivelling cowardly gobshite.

      10. Toffee, would you speak like this face to face to anyone you disagreed with? Do you (I hope not)?
        If not, why do you think it’s acceptable to do so here? I know RH likes to wind people up a bit but what you do goes way beyond that. It’s just a string of coarse insults at the moment.

      11. … and one more for the Idiot Quotient test 🙂

        Keep on digging, Toffee, if you really must.

  10. Well, stepping back for a bit of a laugh away from the inherent seriousness of the Brexit crap, I thought I’d do a brief (and on-the-hoof) analysis of the insights that the Lexit cheer leader bring to politics.

    So I limited myself to the factual ‘insights’ that I could remember from their combined brain – related to things that I actually *know* about. I’ve scored each item as ‘0’ (‘bollocks’) or ‘1’ (an intelligent guess).

    a. I live in Scotland – 0
    b. I am a LibDem – 0
    c. I am a paid troll – 0
    d. I didn’t vote for Corbyn as leader – 0
    e. I am a supporter of Tom Watson – 0
    f. I am a supporter of Blair – 0
    g. I drink latte – 0
    h. I have a second home in Spain or the Dordogne – or perhaps both – 0
    i. I make up polling figures – 0
    j. I (and perhaps others) claim that Tory ratings are bad ‘because they aren’t a remain party’. – 0
    k. I have no experience of local government – 0
    l. I am middle class – 1 (like 70-odd percent of Labour members : guessing with the odds there)

    I make that a round 12 facts – and a score of 1 in terms of accuracy.

    So – this is the starting level for penetrating political and electoral analysis?

    Say no more.

    1. Is (k) the only one that’s wrong? I can absolutely see you pontificating about dog shit in local government.

    2. Why is there the one glaring omission, dicky?

      Oh, that’s right – ‘cos everyone knows what it is/was.

      Say no more. 😉

    3. RH, by the end of the week Toffee will get you up to Z and beyond. I see s/he now knows your shopping habits.

      1. Indeed, Simon – the skiing one could be added today.

        … and the Waitrose one – because, as Toffee should well *know*, I obviously gave up shopping there when the number of proles using it went up and the latte went down in quality. 🙂

      2. The Toffee (597) at 10:56 am

        “But where were your precious eU for this?

        I scanned through the link you provided and, unless I missed it, I could see no mention of anyone lodging a complaint to the relevant EU body or the EU Courts. Did any EU body make a ruling on this?

  11. …and none of them have any relevance at all to whether the actual arguments you make are right or wrong.

      1. Oh – and lundiel : as I said, do stop digging your own grave with fantasy upon fantasy and untruth on top of conspiracy. As I’ve said – why do you make a caricature of yourself? Even for a Lexiteer, it’s not compulsory.

      1. Hypocrisy – as well as the ravages of intelligence – is demonstrably lost on you, isn’t it?!

        You only need to go back a bit in this thread to see that you run away from an easy straightforward question, and don’t come back until others can think up an (Incorrect and completely irrelveant) answer on your behalf.

        But the kicker is that even your mate gets as schooled as you do – although in fairness he at least had the bollocks and courtesy to front it.

        Like you’ve ever been concerned about ‘poverty and inequality’

        Your own cowardice to answer the question put to you on the subject demonstrates irreconcilably that you’re nothing but a desperate fucking fraud.

      2. Sorry, Toffee … I guess any ‘question’ got lost in the froth that speckled the various incontinent posts.

      3. You’re kidding nobody, fraud. Everyone’s wise to you & your desperate attempts at ingratiating yourself with the left; and your deluded exertions to actually pass yourself off as a leftist with your deluded arrogance that nobody’ll notice. .

        Except it all turned to shite from the beginning because you continually grass youself up with your persistent sneering at the working classes – simply because it was (mainly) them who’ve put the kybosh on your little jolly, isn’t it?

        That’s what you get when you don’t bleedin’ listen. And you don’t listen.

        You don’t give a flying one about poverty & inequality. Your own words & actions when confronted with questions about it have proved that. You just want your skiing holiday uninterrupted and unfettered; your waitrose checkout girl to be foreign to give you that cosmopolitain feeling when she asks you if you need a carrier bag, because few would doubt that’ll be the most common of the rare occurrences when you actually interact with foreign people here at home in blighty.

        You’ve been sussed from the word ‘go’ and yet you persist with the same tired old shite and the same m.o. when called out. It’s pitiful, truth be told. But you’re a thoroughly annoying charlatan belend and I’ll continue to call you out in front of all & sundry because you just won’t learn.

        *Awaits the usual, nonsensical ‘keep digging’ drivel*

  12. Channel 4 has exposed some interesting facts about ‘man of the people’ Farage’s relationship with his ‘sugar daddy’ Aaron Banks.
    Would be Brexit Party voters should take note.

    * Rented Mr Farage an exclusive £4.4m Chelsea home, through one of his companies, paying for furniture plus council tax, water and electricity bills.
    * Provided a Land Rover Discovery car, valued at £32,300, plus £20,000 for a “close protection driver”.
    * Leased private office space for £1,500 a month and paid Mr Farage’s personal assistant.
    * Spent hundreds of thousands of pounds promoting “Brand Farage” in America, allowing him to attend the Republican National Convention and address a Donald Trump rally.
    * Paid a Fox News anchor £11,305.41 to interview Mr Farage at the convention.
    * Paid more than £15,000 to fly Mr Farage to and from Washington for Mr Trump’s inauguration, plus £1,000 on a room at the plush Mayflower Hotel.

    The programme, being broadcast on Thursday evening, points out Mr Banks remains under investigation by the National Crime Agency over the source of his funding for the Brexit campaign.

    1. Now, why aren’t we surprised?

      But … hey, SteveH … you should know that he (and Mr Toad – the Tory favourite) are the anti-establishment voice of the dispossessed reaching for a better Britain! (Or was in just the voice of the Mail/Sun doing the daily con job?)

    2. Who gives a rodents furry crack? They are all at it in one way or another.

      If brexit, the people choice, had been implemented then Farage would have been yesterday’s news. Remainers have created a hydra, and there’s no coming back now

      Sow wind, reap whirlwinds.

      The EU is going have a very unpleasant bank holiday weekend, from all across Europe.

      Maybe they can lobby some business friends…

      1. Actually : ‘Brexit : the Tory choice”

        … but ” They are all at it in one way or another.”

        Really? So ‘all’ are the same as Farago and Toad?

        Well – that’s a new way of making excuses for liars, shysters and fraudsters flogging snake oil – drop any discrimination at all.

      2. So then Helmet, how many Dave Nellist’s are currently in the HoC?

        Remember, it’s a big club, and we ain’t in it

      3. NVLA at 7:43 pm

        I’ll be quite happy to address your points when you show you have grown up a bit. Why do you insist on undermining your own argument with gratuitous and childish insults. FFS grow up.

  13. A quote from Jeremy Corbyn’s email to members (16th May)

    Electing Labour MEPs will help us work with socialists and others across Europe for better jobs, an inclusive and diverse society and action to tackle the climate emergency.

    The stronger our performance in these elections, the stronger our springboard for success at a general election.

    Together we can build a country for the many, not the few.

  14. I was just pondering the message of this thread :

    “To cauterise this problem properly, Labour needs to drop the notion of a public vote completely – but as a first step in the right direction it must allow its MPs a free vote in the Withdrawal Agreement debate”

    Which, stripped down, means :

    1. Drop current Labour policy
    2. Vote for current Tory policy.

    Interesting ‘radical’ idea.

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