Northern Labour MPs warn “risk of no-deal higher than ever if we don’t back constituents”

Labour MPs in leave seats say no-deal exit under new ‘fire sale’ PM will follow defeat of May’s withdrawal agreement

Labour MPs in leave-supporting constituencies, primarily in the north of England, have told the SKWAWKBOX they fear a no-deal Brexit under a new Prime Minister eager to exploit it is the inevitable outcome of the failure of Theresa May’s Brexit deal when it comes to another vote early next month.

One northern MP said:

If May falls before a deal is passed, we’ll be facing a hard right Tory PM who will never allow any meaningful deal to come to the House.

They don’t need to – the law means we leave at the end of October with no deal, as long as the UK doesn’t agree a deal before then or ask for another extension, which of course they won’t.|

I’ve got to back my constituents, but it’s not only about principle. The cold fact is that it’s the only way to avoid the worst of all worlds.

Another warned:

The MPs who are gambling everything on securing another referendum seem to be missing the point that the only way to get one is to pass a withdrawal agreement. There’s simply no other route to one.

A third added:

If May’s deal doesn’t pass, we end up with Boris Johnson and his mates all poised to exploit a no-deal scenario. It’ll be a fire-sale of our rights and the country’s assets.

Theresa May is scheduled to re-table the Withdrawal Agreement on 4 June. Calls are mounting for Jeremy Corbyn to allow Labour MPs a free vote.

The MPs’ concerns about their constituents’ views appears to be backed by the surge in popularity of the single-issue Brexit party in the European Parliament election campaign and by the best of the available data.

Remain supporters have attempted to dismiss persistent support for Brexit as driven an anti-immigration mentality – but a data by Survation, the most accurate pollster in the 2017 general election campaign, suggest that this is not the case:

Percentage of voters from each party who say Immigration is the most important issues for them“:

• Tories 20%
• Labour 14%
• UKIP 13%
• Lib Dems 8%
• Change UK 7%
• Brexit Party 8%

The same survey also strongly suggests that the LibDem/Green vote in the recent local elections was not primarily driven by remain sentiment.

47% who intend to vote Green next week say their primary issue is the Environment, while only 41% who plan to vote LibDem say their number one issue Brexit. Only 43% of those who voted Remain in 2016 said that Brexit is their primary issue next week.

In fact, a large majority of voters intending to vote Green, LibDem or Change UK do not even understand what the Brexit policy of those parties is:

SKWAWKBOX view:

Tory incompetence and dishonesty has brought the UK to a point where the only choices available are unpalatable and the spin by media and centrist politicians can’t be trusted.

MPs need to be free to decide for themselves which is worse.

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77 responses to “Northern Labour MPs warn “risk of no-deal higher than ever if we don’t back constituents”

  1. No. We have to oppose the deal which threatens the good Friday agreement and is a Tory Brexit. We then need a concerted campaign of people on the streets led by labour and the unions striking for a general election

  2. “47% who intend to vote Green next week say their primary issue is the Environment, while only 41% who plan to vote LibDem say their number one issue Brexit. Only 43% of those who voted Remain in 2016 said that Brexit is their primary issue next week.

    Shock, horror
    The Green Party’s core vote support them because of their policies on the environment.

    The majority of LibDem voters (their core vote) vote for them because they support LibDem policies.

  3. “In fact, a large majority of voters intending to vote Green, LibDem or Change UK do not even understand what the Brexit policy of those parties is”

    Or it could be taken as an indication that these 3 parties are 3 times more effective at communicating their position on Brexit than the Labour Party is.

  4. I’d say this poll has totally believable results. For some time now, remain supporters have dropped the racist accusations, they still have a popular narrative about why people voted leave: the lie on the bus, to give the powers that be a kicking or because they support the hard right, but they’ve dropped the hugely damaging “they didn’t know what they were voting for, racist idiots who all drink in Wetherspoons pubs” trope.

    • “they didn’t know what they were voting for”

      Well I suppose I’ll have to concede that the supporters of Brexit were individually certain in their own minds what they were voting for but it is obvious that collectively they can’t agree what that was, and there lies the problem in the rather disparate Brexit camp.

      • It’s not a problem, a lot of people voted primarily to have sovereignty over their lives. That can be interpreted as a vote against globalism or vote for nationalism depending on your politics. It’s down to us to elect a government that reflects our wishes.
        I have always viewed a vote for remain as a vote for neoliberalism, racism and rule by technocrats yet you would see it as support for internationalism, collective protection in a dangerous world.
        I see the collective positions of leave as easily achievable through national elections, while the remain position is untenable because you can’t/won’t see the polarity of what you want over what actually exists: the EU does have neoliberal economics written into law, it is racist in its policy on Libya and it isn’t really democratic because its MPs can’t legislate….and as I’ve said many times, you can’t change it without dumping the Euro and tearing up the treaties since Maastricht.

      • It’s not really difficult to diagnose that a significantly large proportion of ‘Leave’ voters actually voted as they did because of the overwhelming propaganda spewed out by the right wing non-dom propaganda press – including dog whistling about ‘immigrants’.

        You’d have to be blind not to be able to follow the trail of bread crumbs.

        The ‘Remain’ position covers a range of attitudes, with a common essential core – that, by any detailed analysis, the Leave scenarios don’t hold water – any more than the ‘NHS bus’.

      • Right on time, here comes sneering RH with his “detailed analysis” nonsense, never having provided any reason why we shouldn’t leave other than economic scare stories while totally ignoring the problems facing the EU and the Euro and dismissing my comment (as usual) and inserting his own/the Guardian’s/Lib/Dem narrative of thick leave voters motivated by a lie on a bus to vote against their own best interests all because they succumbed to base racist instincts embedded by foreign devil newspaper owners.
        “The ‘Remain’ position covers a range of attitudes, with a common essential core – that” leaving of any kind will see us worse off forever, even after the next crash, when the Euro collapses, when other countries leave the EU, when there’s no one left in Lithuania, when most of Europe is governed by far right parties, when the bankrupt economies of Greece and Italy go to the wall, when inflation hits Germany and France and they have to put interest rates up but can’t because the whole of eastern Europe would collapse like dominoes.
        Thankfully, most remain voters are unlike you RH, they are practical, realise that compromise is essential and accept that the vote must stand and there can’t be a second referendum.
        It’s just you and a few others in your Guardian, LibDem bubble.

    • Perhaps you could tell Clive Lewis that the racist accusations have been dropped. He was calling lexiters racist in a meeting a few days ago. Never expected him to be as bad as Adonis.

      • Lexiteers are racists, thick and easily led. Really, he said that sort of stuff. We have an honourable history which includes having the support of political giants. I don’t need to name them because we know who they were/are. This nonsense must end it’s bad for us and the country and it is confusing everybody. The working class in my area voted out. Not because of the media but because we want to remain sovereign. It’s hard enough getting rid of this lot never mind adding more onion skins. Just ask the French, Irish, Greeks etc. There is a mood in the air and it’s blowing all over Europe. Let’s get on with beating the Tories using poverty, privatizing the NHS, prison reform, there are loads of things that we can use including two points which they always claim as their own, the police and whatever is left of our defence. Ask the yellow jackets and they have pavement cafes and Gitanes.

  5. Failure of May’s deal will and should result in putting the choice back to the people. Northern MPs should then forget about massaging their constituent’s prejudices but help them to understand it was Tory right wing policies which resulted in their misfortunes, not the EU.

    • It would be a complete repudiation of their duty as an MP in a representative democracy not to do so.

  6. ”but they’ve dropped the hugely damaging “they didn’t know what they were voting for, racist idiots who all drink in Wetherspoons pubs” trope.”

    Whilst reserving the overlty condescending tone and disparaging innuendo for almost every other excuse they use for why they lost.

    …Still without registering that it’s of no avail, nor will it be.

    And still not one of them have told/ can tell us how they’d ‘Reform from within’ (The only ‘guarantee’ they could invent) because it’s been tested and proved unworkable.

    • They can’t, and what’s worse is that they won’t. They want to ignore camps in Africa stopping immigration and they want to ignore the horror stories coming from places like italy which are the natural first stop for arrivals.

      They want to dream that MEPs are there for us, instead of the €10k a month in lobbying per MEP. They want to dream that the EU doesn’t exist solely for business.

      They want to pretend that the EU gives us social rights, and protects them like an eager terrier. They want to jam their fingers in their ears over the EU army, and treaties such Aachen.

      They don’t want to dig into the origins of the EU, and how it came to be. Not do they want to find out about the people “hired” to start it.

      Most of all though, is that they want to be able to take their dog skiing, and still fly at weekends to their “modest” holiday home in Tuscany (regardless of how ecologically unsound).

  7. What a lot of remain Labour members do not appreciate is that there is very little interest in the country for a second referendum/confirmatory vote. Just because x% of Labour members want to remain does not translate into a remain voting electorate. You have think beyond your own bias. Northern MP’s are crapping themselves because they know they will not be thanked by their electorate if they do not vote accordingly. It’s time for remainers in the party to hold their nose and get Brexit through parliament and we can focus on the real issues of austerity, climate change, NHS, social care and poverty.

    • “…and we can focus on the real issues of austerity, climate change, NHS, social care and poverty.”
      In order to do that we have to be in government.
      MSM spin right up to 2022 will be “Tories beat off fierce opposition from Labour and that nasty, conniving Corbyn to provide the Brexit the country demanded and the whole of Parliament, including Labour, promised.”
      Tories will be renewed, re-united under a new leader and open for business with the US and anybody else with the cash to buy our infrastructure.

      • Exactly! We need to be in government. We need a general election not a people’s vote/confirmatory vote. You can’t change society and introduce truly inspiring and transformative policies without a Corbyn led government. The PV gets in the way of all that. So the question people should be asking is do you want a Labour government or remain in the EU because you can’t have both?

      • “We need a general election ”

        That’s known as a pointless wish.

        The Tories aren’t going to vote for Christmas, will gain a bit more traction with a new leader, and will just hang on until ’22. And, of course, Brexit would give them all their wet dreams in one Christmas package.

        So – in the meantime?

        Actually – it should be clear – just follow Party policy and get working on pressure for a proper, informed referendum and live up to the image of a renewed democratic Party. It really isn’t difficult – and, if not a perfect solution – is the best way out of the Tory shit-heap.

      • Again with the bloody polling…

        When will you understand that these things are here to distort the truth? In the past, no editor would have touched a poll.

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-poll-brexit-remain-vote-leave-live-latest-who-will-win-results-populus-a7097261.html

        There’s the poll of the morning of 23/06/16. Remain to win, 55/45. Remind yourself of the results that night. Forgotten the looks on the pundits faces as the glass passed between their cheeks?

        The only polls that count are the elections themselves.

        Can’t wait for next Friday and the torrent of excuses and insults!

      • NVLA 17/05/2019 at 3:47 pm

        “Again with the bloody polling”
        I empathise with you , it must be incredibly frustrating when none of them support your assertions (not even the Leave Means Leave poll)

        “The only polls that count are the elections themselves.
        Something we can agree on, so let’s have a CV, then we’ll all be certain about whether the country still want Brexit. Why prat about trying to interpret proxy votes, let’s get on with the real thing and have some certainty.

      • That’s not a second referendum question based on the bilateral question of the first, is it??

        Err….Nope. And look! Only 51% said yes in your poll; that’s 1% LESS than the 52% what voted out that you’ve risibly and repeatedly claimed ISN’T a majority.

        And how many didn’t get to vote in that poll? Can I claim them as ‘No’ voters like you do with your ‘only 37% voted out’ ?

        So what happens if the people were to vote to accept the deal, steve?

        We leave the eu and you finally belt up once and for all? (We can always dream)

        But what happens if the people were to vote to reject the deal, steve?

        We leave with no deal. Unlucky.

      • The Toffee (597) 17/05/2019 at 6:01 pm

        Awww come on that’s a really crap ‘analysis’ by any standards.

        The significant figure is the difference between Yes (51%) and No (32%) a 17 point difference. As for the don’t knows well nobody knows really, do they? But the difference between Yes and No is so great even in the inconceivable event that all the Don’t Knows decided to oppose a CV then the majority would still be for another vote.

      • ” these things are here to distort the truth”

        Trans. : The facts don’t fit my preconceptions. Must be CONSPIRACY!!!”

      • @SteveH

        I don’t bother with polls because they are cobblers. Its got nothing to do with them not representing what I want…

        Frustrating? I’m not frustrated. Why would I be? I was correct on my prediction of brexit, and put my money where my mouth was too. And I’m doing the same again for next week (sadly, the odds aren’t as good). This is partially why I don’t follow polls. They distort the picture.

        I’m waiting for next Thursday’s poll. The one that everyone gets a say in. Until then, it’s all speculation (at best), but mostly it’s FUD

      • @Right Helmet

        The polls said leave would win. By 10%.

        They were wrong. If that’s not distortion, then what is?

        🤦‍♂️

      • Never voting labour again 17/05/2019 at 7:08 pm · ·

        @Right Helmet

        Says far more about you and the veracity of your argument than it does about anyone your pre-pubescent playground language is directed at.

        Why would you embarrass yourself like this.

      • ”Awww come on that’s a really crap ‘analysis’ by any standards.”

        Oh, really? I’ve only employed the same desperate trick as you and the other moron and claimed all the people who didn’t get to answer that poll as ‘no’ votes.

      • The Toffee (597) 18/05/2019 at 10:10 am · ·

        “Oh, really? I’ve only employed the same desperate trick as you and the other moron and claimed all the people who didn’t get to answer that poll as ‘no’ votes.

        You are ‘mistaken’ I have never said what you claim above. You are more than welcome to try and prove otherwise. However thanks for admitting that you had to resort to employing a “desperate trick” in your crap analysis.

      • You are ‘mistaken’ I have never said what you claim above. You are more than welcome to try and prove otherwise.

        If and when I DO prove it, will you do the off from this site – NEVER to return?

        Think very carefully now becuase I’m going to type…

        …’37%’

        You know what I’m angling at!? You still gonna deny you’ve used that one?

        And why have you typed mistaken inside apostrophes? Some sort of get out clause, is it?

      • The Toffee (597) 18/05/2019 at 10:45 am · ·

        If and when I DO prove it, will you do the off from this site – NEVER to return?
        Think very carefully now becuase I’m going to type…
        …’37%’”

        Type away all you want, but please don’t show yourself up again with inaccurate or partial quotes.

        And why have you typed mistaken inside apostrophes? Some sort of get out clause, is it?

        I thought it was politer than saying you were lying, I hope that satisfies your curiosity.

      • So you’ve NEVER used that excuse about the 37% then?

        As I can’t be arsed trawling through your post history (becuase I actually have some semblance of a social life) I’ll just hand you back your accusation and call you a barefaced liar, and we’ll see who agrees with me.

      • The Toffee (597) at 11:15 am

        “So you’ve NEVER used that excuse about the 37% then?

        I honestly haven’t a clue what you are prattling on about

        As I can’t be arsed trawling through your post history (becuase I actually have some semblance of a social life)
        Which translates to I’ve had another look at what you actually said and I’ve taken your advice Steve and decided not make a prat of myself.

        “I’ll just hand you back your accusation and call you a barefaced liar, and we’ll see who agrees with me.
        Which translates to I’m not man enough to admit it.
        🙄

  8. It’s very easy to sneer at Brexiteers, and I have to confess doing my share at the Tory idiots.
    But don’t give me that holier than thou remainer BS.
    We’ve had all the months of remainer drivel with no leader. We had a Remain campaign that was more honest than Leave, but it had a fair number of lies, plus the Fear Factor that had worked in Scotland, but failed in this campaign.
    We’ve had the LibDems claiming to be THE party of remain, but showing themselves to be a running joke. Especially the Lib Dems who troll here.
    And we’ve had ongoing campaigns for PVs, CVs or whatever the latest gimmick is, because they haven’t the guts to campaign for a Repeat Referendum, let alone “Revoke Article 50” which is what they really want.
    And all through, they have deliberately lied about Labour policy, which has been crystal clear from the start.
    I voted remain. But I have nothing but contempt for the remain campaigns.

    • That’s an incredibly confused, non-argument, Andrew.

      I agree, however, that Party policy, now that discussions with the Tories have fallen through, is crystal clear : namely to campaign for a proper referendum – even if most of the public hasn’t found it clear.

      But where have you seen LibDems ‘trolling’ here? I haven’t.

      • Labour policy has always been clear to those that were prepared to listen, rather than distort it for their own ends.
        But I wouldn’t ever expect you to see that.
        Not in a million years.

    • Andrew, obviously anyone would concede that there were people spinning and spending on both sides – but even if we ignore the difference in scale between the two sides surely the facts that implementing the decision is taking forever and that the Tories were unable to achieve anything approaching a decent deal after all their posturing – point to the whole thing having been a complete disaster from start to finish?
      I don’t see walking away with no deal as coming even close to cutting our losses.
      I do see the very real possibility of the EU offering some attractive incentives to remain were a sensible government to ask them.

  9. Just because x% of Labour members want to remain does not translate into a remain voting electorate.

    In THEIR world, it does.

    16 million plus 83% (or whatever) or 500k > 17-odd million.

    Yet they still delude themselves that anyone what might’ve changed their mind has ONLY done so from leave, to remain, bolstering remain numbers.

    No proof whatsoever, naturally, but you’re somehow ‘scared’ if you challenge them for evidence or dismiss their gabage outright (As you should, because it’s the same tired old shite day-in, day-out)

    No acknowledgement from them that their fantasy flies in the face of repeated and widespread reports from all over about the popularity of the newly forged brexit party demonstrating that most people are thoroughly hacked off with the whole bloody rigmarole and want an end to it …by getting out as voted for; rather than undergo rerun after bleedin’ rerun all on the same premise.

    Nope, you’ve guessed it – you’re ‘scared of another ballot’. It really is THAT desperate.

    They really wouldn’t know reality if it jumped up and bit them on the arse.

    Well, it’s going to. Wish I could be a fly on their wall when it does…. Watch a few heads explode 😀

    • The Toffee (597) 17/05/2019 at 3:18 pm

      Only if you completely ignore all the available evidence from the polls and academic studies.

      Why would anyone take you seriously when you choose to ignore all the available evidence and yet you completely fail to provide any evidence yourself.

      • The only vote that counts is the ballot box. You cherry pick statistics to suit your case, even though you know it’s just a game, and have little awareness of the real world.
        You are going to be a disappointed man, and you simply postpone the day that reality hits you.
        I feel sorry for you.

      • ”Only if you completely ignore all the available evidence from the polls and academic studies.

        Why would anyone take you seriously when you choose to ignore all the available evidence and yet you completely fail to provide any evidence yourself.”

        Do WHAT? You mean like the 52-48 one?

        Away and shite. YOU pontificatin’ to ME about ignoring polls, F complete and utter FS?!

        Gi’ yer heid a wobble, son…

      • The Toffee (597) 17/05/2019 at 6:08 pm

        “You mean like the 52-48 one?

        You mean the vote that was so long ago that even if you ignore the right of the electorate to change it’s mind the demographics alone would probably dictate a different outcome.

        If you’re confident that Brexit have been able to convince todays electorate that Leave is still a good idea then you should have the confidence to put it to the test. To quote from the Labour Party composite motion – “If the Government is confident in negotiating a deal that working people, our economy and communities will benefit from they should not be afraid to put that deal to the public.”

      • steve h

        ”You mean the vote that was so long ago”

        You’re actually serious… F absolute and total FS.

        You are worse than them weird cultist kopites who say that 13 of man utd’s league titles don’t count because they’re premier league titles. (I’ve actually had this said to me by two of them when I worked in JLR)

        The saying’s true…You just can’t educate pork.

      • The Toffee (597) at 10:04 am

        Well what I actually said was “You mean the vote that was so long ago that even if you ignore the right of the electorate to change it’s mind the demographics alone would probably dictate a different outcome.” Your somewhat truncated quote doesn’t accurately convey what I wished to express. I guess you knew that already though and that’s why you edited it.

        I have absolutely zero interest or knowledge about football so I’m afraid your analogy is lost on me

        As to your somewhat bizarre reference to pork, well I guess the accuracy of your statement rather depends on whether you are referring to a live pig or a dead lump of meat.

      • ”Well what I actually said was “You mean the vote that was so long ago that even if you ignore the right of the electorate to change it’s mind the demographics alone would probably dictate a different outcome.” Your somewhat truncated quote doesn’t accurately convey what I wished to express. I guess you knew that already though and that’s why you edited it.”

        That’s right; no need to ask where l picked up that particular method from, is there?

      • The Toffee (597) at 10:33 am

        To be honest I couldn’t care less where you picked it up from, the fact that you’ve freely admitted that you needed to misrepresent what I said to make your ‘point’ (whatever that was) is enough for me.

      • The fact remains that you believe the result’s validity evaporates with time.

        You said as much. No escaping it.

      • The Toffee (597) at 10:35 am

        “The fact remains that you believe the result’s validity evaporates with time.
        You said as much. No escaping it.”

        Why would I want to escape anything I meant exactly what I said. Any attempt by you to argue that the demographics haven’t changed would be ridiculous.

      • almost as ridiculous as thinking the referendum result isn’t alid because it was three years ago.

        …or spuriously trying to connect remainer types to the people that gave us the nhs & welfare state.

        Yes, ’twas you said them things. Not I

      • You are making yourself look silly again. Provide the proof to back up what you say or stop wasting my time and do one.

    • The Remain camp just do not see the bigger picture. Do they want to see a “Scotland” where Labour was routed by the SNP because of their warped and delusional thinking? If the North goes then so does at least a third of the party, never to return again, in opposition for perpetuity. Thats the cost for the Remain fanatics. I realise you want to support the bureaucratic establishment that is the EU but I support all those who have suffered austerity for the past forty years. I have never seen a poor EU bureaucrat yet!

      • As I understand it a majority in Scotland voted to remain. Within the UK the only way they get their wish is with Ref2.
        Otherwise they’d first need to win a referendum to leave the UK and then win another to apply to join the EU, which then has to accept their application – which would take far longer than Ref2 unless you know another way?
        Scotland was close to solid Left Labour until Blair.
        I believe with Corbyn as PM we might tempt them back, but first we have to prove we genuinely value them and their opinions. What better way?

      • Just saw this :

        “The Remain camp just do not see the bigger picture”

        I reckon that’s the precise opposite of actuality. Most Remainers I know are such precisely because they do – not because of any attachment to the structure of the EU as it exists now.

    • “Just because x% of Labour members want to remain does not translate into a remain voting electorate.”

      So .. put it to the test. Simple. Democratic. Obvious.

      • On the basis of 83% of 500k, dicky demands a national electorate of @48 MILLION do his bidding.

        ”Simple. Democratic. Obvious.”

        ‘Democratic’ he says. Oh yes – it’s right there in black & white, folks.

        And he calls ME ‘slow’…Fuckin’ Ada :/

      • … and your argument is???

        1. You like democracy – but not the risk of it going against your predelictions?

        2. You don’t like democratic votes in general – unless it confirms your predelictions?

        3. The suggestion of a referendum is insulting to the population?

        4. All majority votes should be eternal, even if austerity never ends?

        5.The pubic shouldn’t be given opportunity to revsit their last decision ofn Brexit?

        6. Only dictators argue for voting?

        Do elaborate.

      • *sighs*

        As defunct and devoid of self-awareness as you are intelligence.

        I’m tired of spelling out your idiocy to you. You just carry on in the exact same vein with the same rehashed bollocks.

        It’s like trying to teach a newborn calf with CJD how to do algebra in chinese ffs.

        There’s nothing left to school you on (for the cunteenth time).

        You make imbeciles look positively einsteinesque.

        ‘Democracy’

      • The Toffee (597) 17/05/2019 at 6:41 pm

        Oopsie daisy, things have got difficult again, time to throw a few insults around before retreating to the safe space under the duvet.

  10. KEY:

    Labour MPs in leave-supporting constituencies = Labour MPs in PLP-supporting Westminster

    Meaningful = Meaningless

    “I’ve got to back my constituents” = “I’ve got to back my hard right Labour PLP”

    MPs need to be free to decide for themselves = MPs need to be free to betray the 25% of May 2017 general election Labour voters who had backed Brexit

    Cheers, you’re welcome!!

    Paul

  11. Why immigration is an issue to be addressed in working class areas & should not labelled by those with the morals of a Guardian reader as racist.
    Recently, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that he was ‘brought up’ in a flat above a shop in Stapleton Road, Bristol. He stated that it was the most violent & criminal street in Britain & that he was lucky not to have been involved in a life of drugs & criminality. Instead, he left Stapleton Road, Bristol to get a job in the Chase Manhatten Bank, New York & then acquiring another job @ a Merchant Bank in Germany (see EU Troika) salary over £3 million pounds per anum.
    My parents had a pub nearby, in Lower Ashley Road, which runs almost parallel with Stapleton Road. The clientele originally were solid white working class as was Stapleton Road & the surrounding area of Easton & St.Pauls. There was no crime; no violence; no drugs; no prostitution & almost full employment; a great place for a kid to grow up in. The clientele of the pub slowly changed as more ‘West Indians’ moved into the area & drank in the local pubs. A more lively & challenging environment for a young boy to grow up in, as prostitution & drugs were now available on the streets, but the night air was full of great reggae; rock steady & calypso. My mother despaired as ‘Frenchie’ taught me the guitar chords to some the most lewd calypso songs. Black & white lived & grew up together in St. Pauls, although not entirely in peace & harmony. Everyone drank & sang together.
    The next wave of immigration was muslim; they did not drink alcohol & there was conflict on the streets. Rival gangs of white; black & asian kids fought over their turf. The pub closed & my parents, now in their late 50s, bought a ‘Wool Shop’ on Stapleton Road. Halal butcher on one side & ‘deli’ on the other. There was no peace & love on the streets as ‘white flight’ ensured that almost the entire area became muslim. My mother & my grandmother watched in horror as their world disintegrated; they blamed immigration. I had left home for Art College & only returned occasionally, one of those times with a pick axe handle; stood with my dad outside the shop to protect their home during the 1970s riots. Gangs of asian & black youths fighting each other & throwing bricks & petrol bombs @ shop windows on Stapleton Road. I made every excuse I could, but I was wrong! No place any more for the indigenous population; my parents moved out of St. Pauls. My unskilled father unable to gain employment.
    My experience of immigration is not the same as Savid Javid or the bourgeois Islington Sect of London. Immigration is cheap labour that drives down the cost of labour & creates the ‘gig’ economy, but only in working class areas. It is a hallmark of globalism & the European Community. Immigration issues do matter.

    • steve richards, of course immigration issues matter, and of course it’s used to suppress wages – but that’s down to capitalism and would have happened in or out of the EU – because neoliberalism is global.
      Natural enough that a young man’s going to love reggae and pubs and clubs and find Muslim culture as inexplicable as the previous generation found the Caribbean culture.
      You may not remember the “No Blacks, no Irish, no dogs” signs in boarding houses but I do, just. England’s never been that welcoming to immigrants so conflict is hardly surprising.
      “It’s our country not theirs” is an essential element of your complaints and that’s no more welcoming than a St. George’s flag in the garden – the modern equivalent of the old boarding house sign.

      • I was born in the 1940s & yes I do remember ‘No Blacks; No Irish; No Dogs’. but even in those days there weren’t that many boarding houses, only on National News in London. My father was Irish & his family were ‘Tinkers’.
        I spent some time during ’90s, teaching in Blackburn to predominantly Pakistani children. I lived in that community for a few years, helping to set up up a free newspaper & playing cricket in the park & on the streets. I learned to have nothing but complete respect for that community & their culture, but I was wrong to criticise my parents & grandmother. They had their world taken away from them, the school; the shops; the church; their friends & neighbours. It was their community not yours or anybody else’s….it was their world ripped apart; something the bourgeoisie cannot comprehend. If you summarise that as “It’s our country not theirs”, so be it. Flags can mean different things to different people, but mass immigration destroys working class communities, not the world of the comfortable middle classes who can eat the odd curry & find a cheap plumber.
        The 4 Freedoms are predominantly the Freedom to exploit markets. The globalisation ideologies of Blair; Thatcher & the EU accelerate inequality.
        Interesting how the Bundestag just passed a law making it illegal to criticise Israel & promote BDS. No mention in MSM. Democracy in action in the EU.

    • Hard hitting posts Steve. Kudos.

      Being unskilled is bad in your twenties, but in your forties or fifties it’s practically a death sentence.

  12. When we were young a family could afford a mortgage and three kids on a skilled man’s wage and council houses weren’t as hard to access for the unskilled or unemployed. One wage – you know as well as I most wives back then still didn’t go out to work.
    The fact that today even a deposit for a mortgage is out of reach for many young couples, even with both working two jobs tells the true tale and it has very little to do with immigration.
    Oil shocks, UK management incompetence, Thatcher selling off council houses, the Big Bang, the buy-to-let boom, employment deregulation, attacks on unions and legal aid reduction caused our problems.
    I’ll have forgotten some others but I’m old.

    An HMRC with adequate staffing, freedom to monitor company and directors’ bank accounts and enthusiastic enforcement of the EU Tax Avoidance Directive would go a long way toward fixing the country, together with a reversal of Tory “neoliberalisation,” reappraisal of corporate taxation and replacing austerity with government investment.

    The fact that immigration has been used to keep wages down is hardly the migrants’ fault – unionisation and diligent enforcement of decent minimum wages are needed, naturally.
    It’s the fact that wages are encouraged by Tory and Pretend-Labour governments to be artificially and illicitly kept down that’s the problem, far more than the means by which they’re kept down.
    Without immigration they’d just use other tactics like low pay for the young and justify replacing old with young as “opportunity for all.”
    Capitalists and the governments they rent are the enemies of ALL working people everywhere – we have more in common with workers of all other countries and cultures, migrants or otherwise, than we do with our exploiters – who will increasingly become the same few people.

    • “They had their world taken away from them, the school; the shops; the church; their friends & neighbours. It was their community not yours or anybody else’s….it was their world ripped apart; something the bourgeoisie cannot comprehend”

      Firstly, I’m no part of the bourgeoisie, I’m not even a teacher.
      I’ve worked in banking & finance and been self-employed but I’ve worked on factory floors for as long – so I think I have some perspective.

      When farming first began to be mechanised exactly the same thing happened.
      When mills were mechanised and then again when they closed, same thing.
      When mines closed, same again.
      Migrants played no part in any of these things. Change is painful but it’s nothing new and it’s not particular to migration.
      Imperialist ‘migrants’ from this country played a considerable part in the disruption of other countries too, if you remember.
      Our armed forces too have been illicitly used by succeeding governments, particularly in many countries from which today’s migrants and refugees hail.

      • “Change is painful but it’s nothing new and it’s not particular to migration.”

        You’re right – migrants provide a focus for discontent, with blame often misattributed to them. The depression of wages by the availability of migrant labour was not a significant factor in the economic hardship visited on the mixed area where I lived for most of my life: poverty was home grown as the coal and textile industries collapsed and individuals and families were left to suffer the consequences.

        But Steve also has a valid point that is not in contradiction : high rates of migration have affected particular (often the same) areas that have also been asked to absorb rapid rates of cultural change without the resources that create stability and resilience. The combination of the two has not been without problems for the affected communities.

        But … the experience on the ground has been much more positive in an unspectacular way – and the most anti-migrant (and Brexit-voting) communities actually tend to be those that have the fewest migrants.

        I used to get really pissed with OFSTED inspectors asking ‘and how does the school (I was a governor – 20+ languages were spoken) aid social cohesion?’ (answer : we *are* f.ing ‘social cohesion’) – or press questions about ‘integration’ or ‘multiculturalism’, because, in actuality, the different sections of the communitity actually rubbed along quietly in a generally reasonably effective, unspectacular way despite the problems visited on them and occasional tensions.

        That was before the Brexit issue did its wind up and increased instances of racial tension – another reason why I’m pissed.

      • Ignoring refugees (which we are very guilty of creating) for a moment, there is no escaping the fact that migrants drive down pay and conditions.

        Would you share a 3 bed house with about twenty others? Will you work long hours (12+) with mandatory (and often unpaid) overtime? Will you live on a couple of frankfurters and a piece of bread?

        And if you will, what about your other half and the kids? All the while thinking about what your parents had.

        The EU stinks. But, I am willing to change my mind. Just show me where in Europe I can travel to double or triple my earnings upon arrival doing an unskilled job.

        There also the knock on effects of poaching trained people. What does the country they were poached from do?

        Its a race to the bottom, and I bitterly resent having to take part in a lottery where there is never any winners. Dog forbid what it’s going to be like for the kids/grandkids

      • I posted “the availability of migrant labour was not a significant factor” . The emphasis was on ‘significant’.

        … and I would hold to that; research tends to support the statement. There is some effect in the area of low skill jobs.

        The point I’m making is that the current distribution of poverty and the dire effects of inequality are much more to do with home-grown factors. The example I used was that of an area I know well, where it is the destruction of well-paid jobs in traditional industries that chopped the legs off the local economy.

        It warn’t migrants that done it.

        But the other two salient point are important :

        – that migration has been badly managed, and the cultural impact on some communities severe at a time when public resources were being savaged

        – that it is actually communities with low levels of migration that tend to be most antagonistic.

        And certainly the Brexit wrangle fed inherent racism where it exists.

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