Guest post by Lavery: “Unity not threats will see Labour into Number 10”

Ian Lavery MP
Labour Party Chair Ian Lavery has responded to talk by pro-referendum commentators and MPs of a leadership challenge if Corbyn does not commit to a new public vote on Brexit. The article below appeared on his site and is reproduced here by request:

In 2017 Jeremy Corbyn led Labour to a general election result which left political pundits shocked and the Tories without a majority. In achieving the biggest increase in Labours vote share since 1945 the party won almost 13 Million votes and seats across the UK.

It is estimated that of those who voted Labour between 3 and 5 million had backed Brexit in 2016 and significantly to win the much needed General Election many more would need to flock to Labour’s banner. The analysis that suggests turning our backs on either side of the Brexit divide will reap rewards is either lazy or done in bad faith.

It is equally as dangerous for the country to ignore the referendum as it is to head full tilt towards a hard Tory Brexit. To pretend there are no consequences in failing to deliver on the referendum result is simply living in fantasy land. Labour’s position has been clear since the referendum and involves bringing people back together and to ensure democracy is respected whilst building a relationship with the EU that ensures people in our country are not worse off.

But for too many across our movement Brexit has become yet another stick with which to beat Jeremy Corbyn. MP’s suggesting his leadership is in peril if he does not back a second referendum is simply nonsense and MP’s suggesting Labour voters should back other parties is simply a disgrace.

As Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly said the real divide in society is between the have’s and have nots and it will be under his leadership that we build the radical redistributive government that will heal these wounds. Exploiting the polarisation that exists in our society on Brexit is cynical and whilst we expect it from some in the party others should know better.

In first past the post democracies the coalitions of government almost always exist within the party structure. It is unsurprising that there are those within Labour who have wide and varied views on Brexit which span the entire spectrum. It is Jeremy Corbyn seeking to bridge that divide to ensure whatever happens next that Labour, a party united in their core values of economic and social justice, is in a place to pick up the pieces and rebuild the broken nation that will await it.

Parliament is deadlocked with no majority existing for any of the options put before it thus far. Simply hoping for a change in the party leadership’s position on Brexit will end the deadlock is not a strategy for the future.

As we lose our collective minds over Brexit, the country that we love is falling deeper into chaos under a Tory government that is disintegrating before our very eyes. As the contenders to replace the hapless Mrs May jostle for position precarious work is on the rise, poverty is increasing and our schools, hospitals and public services continue to deteriorate.

Our ambition, to build a Britain that works for the many, can only be realised if we work reach out across the Brexit divide with a message of hope. Only then can we improve the lives of everyone who desperately need a Labour government.


If MPs are misinformed enough that Brexit is a ‘wedge issue’ between Corbyn and the Labour membership to challenge for the Labour leadership, bring it on.

But Ian Lavery is right – it will be an unconscionable disservice to the millions suffering under the Tories. Those millions are united by their desperate need for a Labour government far more than they are divided by their view of the EU.

Brexit or remain is and must be a secondary issue to that primary need – and the movement will not remember kindly any who help the ‘elite’ to use it as a wedge.

Let’s focus on getting the main job done.

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  1. We find ourselves in an unusual position.

    The left wing of the party wants to win elections but the right wing is intent on sabotaging the party to lose Labour elections. The right wing of Labour is not really Labour, they are basically Liberal Democrats, one graduation away from being Tories.

    This is going to end badly for the right wing saboteurs. The more members realise they are being used by the right wing to undermine the leadership and destabilise Labour the quicker they will be chased out of the party.

    There is no place for right wing saboteurs in the democratic socialist Labour Party. The sooner they are kicked out the better for the party and country.

    It begs the question why they are in a party they hate in the first place? The answer is simple, Labour is the only way social democrats have been able to gain access to power. They simply haven’t got the electoral support to stand on their own social democrat ticket. They would sink like a stone if they formed their own social democrat party, like Change UK have done.

  2. Fact is the are some people who should not be in the party at all in high places. The has been a change of management and they don’t like it. For years the rode the back of socialism while just pretending to want to change things for the people at the bottom of the food chain.
    They either can’t change or don’t want to, we had all the rubbish about people won’t vote for “him” or won’t vote for the polices and it’s all been proven wrong. Yet after a short spell where they had to eat cake they’ve come back again to try and bring down the party. Hard decisions need to be made and it’s at the point where we can’t wait to do it from a position of power because these people stop us gaining that power.

    1. So some kind of firm intervention is required.

      The cancer patient who shuns chemotherapy knows he/she has not long to live. In this case dying is not an option.

      So whaddya gonna do, Jeremy, old son?

  3. SB and Lavery are correct on this,and it is difficult to believe a well intentioned person of the left could think otherwise.

  4. “MP’s suggesting his leadership is in peril if he does not back a second referendum is simply nonsense and MP’s suggesting Labour voters should back other parties is simply a disgrace.”

    I was under the impression that it’s not “simply a disgrace” – it’s a breach of party rules punishable by instant expulsion. Maybe somebody changed the rules as well? i.e. one rule for black people and socialists (Wadsworth and Livingstone) and another for Zionist millionaires (Hodge).

  5. I reckon the preceding sectarian generalisations don’t bode well for restrained ‘unity’ – or winning elections that require a wide consensus 🙂

    1. Tough. Consensus that is so wide that it embraces enemies is utterly self-defeating and is no consensus worth the name.

      The church that tries to move it’s walls forever outwards will eventually bring the roof down.

      1. Soooo … the large majority of the Labour Party and its voters who are in favour of ‘Remain’ are ‘enemies’?

        Sounds like a sure fire election-winning winning strategy. 🙂

      2. So … Lavery was talking bollocks about unity is what you are saying?

        I know Brexit *is* illogical and contadictory – but I’m surprised that you flaunt this condition of belief so openly.

  6. I have said this to my comrades in my CLP that the main focus is a General Election not PV/CF or whatever they want to call it. You can only change things if you have the power to do so. Those on the right who wish to fight the battles of yesteryear can do so, but they need to be confronted with the consequences of their actions. Such as deselection or removal of the whip.

    1. “the wish to fight he battles of yesteryear”

      That sounds like those who hang on to a Tory referendum several years out of date.

      1. A toerag referendum several years out of date, it says.

        A referendum brought about after an election that saw the utterly fucking useless weirdos (moribund and balls) utterly trounced by a shit toerag austerity-severity government.

        Why did the toerags get in after promising a referendum?

        because people wanted a referendum after camoron thought he was billy big bollocks and thought he’d give them euros what for; but came home with his kecks round his ankles, sucking his thumb…While merkel pissed herself laughing – And telling everyone: ‘Ve gave him Nossink’

        Don’t hear you moanin’ about them FACTS though – or even mentioning them.

        Why IS that?

  7. More sitting on the fence by Ian Lavery. A decision has to be made one way or the other and by refusing to make that decision we are losing support.

    Farage and Tommy Robinson are at it again, touring the hardest hit areas of the country telling them it’s all the fault of the EU whilst hiding the truth from them that it is successive right wing governments here who are to blame.

    MPs such as Ian Lavery should face their Leave constituents head on and explain that it’s not immigrants who are responsible for their conditions it is governments of the type which Farage and Robinson want to introduce which have caused the deprevation.

    Ian Lavery appears to be one of those MPs who thinks we cannot implement a Corbyn manifesto if we remain in the EU therefore he so confused himself he cannot give proper guidance to his constituents. He and others like him should read the Brexit Blog at Monckton Chambers one of the UK’s foremost competition law firms. Particularly the articles by George Peretz QC and go back to his constituents and explain there is no such thing as a Brexit which will benefit them.


    1. Extraordinary: Ian Lavery listens to his constituents, many of whom are former miners, but you would prefer that he listened to a barrister in London instead! You are everything that is wrong with certain elements of the Labour Party – neatly rolled into one offensive package.

      1. ” Ian Lavery listens to his constituents”

        That, of course, needs revision :

        ” Ian Lavery listens to some of his constituents,”

        “many of whom are former miners”

        Yes … and … what has that to do with the price of fish?

      2. My preference is that he and others listen to experts on whatever subject is up for discussion so that they can have an informed opinion and not base their choice on hateful emotions whipped up by the far right as typified by Farage and Robinson.

        Your Govian comment is rather childish.

      3. I’d prefer MP’s to listen to opinions from everywhere – even from godless heathens in London – even including people other than former miners – and most particularly if they happen to be experts in fields relevant to the question at issue.
        Salts of the earth as former miners surely are they won’t all be of the same opinion, nor be expert on the EU – and neither will be the rest of Mr. Lavery’s constituency.
        Some leavers here are fond of quoting “EU law” – what it allows and what it doesn’t.
        I prefer to consult real lawyers whenever I need legal opinion – not persons unknown who may or may not be Labour supporters commenting on a blog and claiming Papal fucking infallibility while doing so.

      4. “Salts of the earth as former miners surely are they won’t all be of the same opinion”

        … Actually, they are no more inclined to sainthood and omniscience than any other occupation. And of course they’re not all of the same opinion – an effete myth generated on the wilder fringes of the so-called ‘left’ (the one that has formed an alliance with the wilder shores of the right)..

        I can immediately call to mind a recent conversation with an ex- miner and staunch union man who went through the strike and who would laugh at any such pseudo-notions about Brexit.

      5. The ‘salt of the earth’ thing was intended to be wry, RH.
        I thought you’d have spotted that.
        Clearly I need to up the ante to sarcasm.

    2. This of course is a false narritive based on the “wantings” of remain voters who care nothing for the party or the democracy it was built on. If Labour ignore the votes of working class people what is the point on the party existing. We shouldn’t be re-running a vote that we already have the result for. We should be offering the best solution to deliver what the people want and Labour are the only party doing that. All others are just fighting to claim the votes of a seperated nation and that will not end well for any of them when this Brexit mist clears.
      Brexit can be delivered and must be, the is no such thing as a “no deal” the is and always has been only a negociated way forward working with the EU but not under it’s control.

      1. ” If Labour ignore the votes of working class people …”

        Now – would that be the *majority* of working class votes that went to Labour – and which came from working class Remainers?

        “Brexit can be delivered and must be …”

        … errr … we must have missed something during the past three years, it would seem, since all the actual evidence contradicts both assertions.

      2. kickoff3pm
        “If Labour ignore the votes of working class people”

        Implying that the ‘working class’ want to leave. This is the sort of nonsense spoken by some Lexiters.

        Many of us in the working class have recognised that Farage, Robinson and their cronies on these pages who pretend to be Socialists, have used dog whistle tactics to split communities to promote their hateful policies. It’s an age old tactic used by the landed gentry for decades, it’s simply been re-clad from tweeds to cloth caps to fool the less well informed.

  8. It all boils down to “we must remain because it’s the best thing for capitalism” and if we have to destroy the Labour Party in the pursuit of that, so be it.

    1. The US is an international bully, so are China and Russia. Many more smaller bullies are working hard to become bigger bullies.
      Out of the EU we’re just another small country in terms of trade and there are some in our ex-empire outgrowing us and with scores to settle for historic Tory imperialist bullying.
      So far Brexit has made us a laughing stock and weaker in terms of bargaining for trade deals. That hurts all of us but it hurts the Tories most.

      There certainly will be remainers who want “the best thing for capitalism” but there are leavers who want exactly that too.
      It’s a capitalist world – for now.
      There are also remainers and leavers who want a Corbyn government and real socialism – FFS stop imputing evil motives to people who simply believe a different course is the best way to reach that goal.
      Trolls exist but not everyone who disagrees with you is one.
      Best to assume we’re going to have to wait for 2022, stick together in solidarity and let the Tories get the ulcers.

      1. David ,there are Remainers who want the best thing for capitalism inside the Labour party,and at the same time don’t want a Corbyn led party.As for the general argument,I agree with your argument about stronger in the EU.What I believe is that we can’t have another referendum and a Labour government.,at least not one led from the left,and almost certainly not at all.The fact that my personal preference is for Remain is not important now.The best thing we can do is leave with the best terms possible,perhaps to fight another day on EU membership.
        If people are suspicious of the motivation of some people here who argue for Remain as though it was the most important thing is understandable.The most important thing,as Lavery says is to get a Labour government elected,that is first second and third for me.

      2. The same arguement as to why we HAVE to have nuclear weapons! I don’t agree with that either. The answer to rapacious competition is not more rapacious competion. Some of us are socialists.

      3. Russia is _not_ a bully. They now have the tech to make anyone’s day rather warm. About 9000°c warm. Yet they sit on their hands. Because we have America.

        Working to become bigger bullies? That would be us and France. FUKUS

      4. NVLA: “Russia is not a bully but the US defends us from them” is effectively what you wrote.
        Might want to spend a second marshalling your arguments before posting.

      5. Russia is not _my_ enemy

        It is the enemy of the FUKUS arms sellers (can’t sell weapons without someone to point them at)

        Do you honestly believe the Russians poisoned Skripal?!?!

        Why would you attack Russia? I can think of many reasons to hate the yanks before I thought of one reason to hate the bear

      6. Not attacking Russia – I don’t trust the US or Russia but try telling Ukraine, Georgia or Belarus Russia isn’t a bully. Or Uzbekistan or Finland, Estonia or Lithuania. None of them trust Russia.
        I blame US capitalists’ economic war on the USSR for almost everything post-1919, including the cold war and everything that evolved from that.
        I’ve always held the retarded US cowboy mentality to be far more dangerous and far less cultured than either Russia or China.
        Than almost anyone in fact.
        That doesn’t make anyone else less dangerous and it doesn’t prove anyone won’t be a bully in certain circumstances, including the UK.

        I’m agnostic on Skripal. I always consider the number of people required to be complicit and to keep the secret when conspiracy is claimed. For the UK to be behind Skripal there’d need to be too many and I haven’t heard of any coincidental deaths among them.

      7. Oh… and I admire the Russian people more than I can express for what they achieved in WWII – they contributed far more and at immensely greater cost than the UK or the US and we should celebrate their victory with them every May 9th.

      8. I’m suspicious of Russia, and of China. But when I compare what they’ve done to what the yanks have done, there is no comparison.

        Smedley Butler (the most decorated US marine ever) had his own country nailed almost 100 years ago.


        “Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

        Then there’s the military bases globally.

        Chinese 2
        Russian 8
        American… Well, no one knows for sure. Absolute minimum of 700. The Pentagon’s 2010 Base Structure Report, on the other hand, lists 4,999 total sites in the US, its territories, and overseas (this number is obviously unfair as it counts domestic bases)

  9. I have asked this many times and no answers, When was the Labour Party Membership Polled for Leave and Remain, Many many people(mostly Remainers it has to be said) tout these figures which reportedly show a huge majority for Remain, I have never been asked by my party, and don’t know anyone who has.
    And before you start pointing me to YouGov polls I have to warn you it only reflects badly on you if you use these tory propaganda lies as fact,
    I was a YouGov poller for many years, once I told them I was a Jeremy Corbyn supporter I got no more political polls sent my way,
    they were interested if I thought a Jaffa Cake was a biscuit or a cake though.

    1. No – it’s not all ‘YouGov’ fictions. That’s just a comfort rag for True BLeavers to suck.

      If you haven’t yet grasped that The Party and its voters are majority ‘Remain’ voters, you need to get up to speed (also in the simple facts of probability of being asked a polling question), and then argue with the hard reality rather than fiction.

      1. So no answers then just Insults, so much for reasoned discussion from you, or for that matter, facts, as you just re-asserted your ‘belief’ that most of Labour is remain with no Data to back it up.
        I wont believe stuff because some random loudmouth says so,
        as for the probability of being polled I stayed with YouGov all through the JC smear years(still ongoing) and still never got polled about him again, what are the chances?,
        this proved to me that (as is often said) polling is to inform sheep/idiots what to think, so well done with that.

      2. So no answers then just Insults, so much for reasoned discussion from you, or for that matter, facts, as you just re-asserted your ‘belief’ that most of Labour is remain with no Data to back it up.

        Been visiting this site long, @mrmoose66?

    2. The solution is to vote anything but Labour this week, and then write to them (containing your name and address). They can confirm your choice (although they aren’t supposed to able to).

      Tell them what you did and why. This is my plan. I’ll be voting for Farage because the Labour party wants to ignore me and my ilk.

  10. Ian Regarding Jeremy’s leadership, he has proved himself to be a born leader, a man of principle who can inspire others, who can stand up to bullies and won’t be intimidated – a man of steel as Len McCluskey called him.
    Brexit is just the latest stick being used to beat him with. Once that’s over here will be something else, another ” wedge” and so it will go on, one smear after another, one attack after another from within until we have a clear out of the MPs and others who are Labour in Name Only and who work hand in glove with the Tories and the MSM to prevent a Socialist government under Jeremy Corbyn.
    CLPs have the power to substantially change things and should ask themselves if it is right to re-nominate people as PPCs who undermine the party and the leader at ever opportunity – people who make a very good living for themselves on the back of the party yet are totally disloyal to it. Are such people fit to continue to represent Labour in parliament?
    In more general terms anyone actively working against the party has no place in it and should be expelled regardless of what position they hold or held in the party.
    I know the above course of action will be very difficult and will generate a lot of bad publicity – I can hear the cries of Stalist Purge, Hard left Revenge etc already – but I can’t think of any other way out of the deplorable situation we are now in.

  11. “Brexit is just the latest stick being used to beat him with.”

    Oh stop this pitiable whining because the facts don’t fit your wishes and its impoverished view of the Party and its membership. It is simply a hard fact that the country is genuinely split down the middle on the issue, and the Labour Party reflects this split – but, like it or not, with the majority in favour of ‘Remain’. The general attacks on Corbyn are something else.

    1. Whatever your preference is on Brexit a decision had to be made and has been. You can argue to the cows come home but at the end of day it’s make your mind-up time and any Labour member voting Lib/Dem, Farage or Green based on Corbyn either being a hard Brexiteer or a closet Remainer clearly doesn’t think the many issues caused by this Tory Party are important.

    2. I won’t descend to personal insults in order to make my points. You really shouldn’t do so either.

      1. smartboy 21/05/2019 at 3:06 pm

        I can see criticism of your actions and ideas but I can’t see any personal insults.

        Perhaps you could help by pointing out these personal insults.

      2. If you read RH’s comments and can see nothing wrong with them then unfortunately I am unable to help you.

      3. smartboy … that’s a simple description of what you wrote – not a personalised comment. Corbyn’s a big boy.

    3. Domino effect,
      Take out one and the rest will fall
      When Hodge called JC a fucking anti semite and a racist, his response was ‘I’m sorry you feel like that’s
      When Ian Lavery was screamed at by Ian Austin he kept his cool,
      Awesome is all I can say,
      However it becomes problematic when there is no moral hazard for the these individuals actions
      Maybe it’s all about timing, so call Hodge in and expel her from the party for advising Labour members to vote for other parties
      It’s been recorded and there are enough witnesses
      Just do something for the members and supporters

  12. Labour is a broad church but we would be in dereliction of our duty to the party and country if we let Satanists intent on demolishing the chapel be members of the congregation.

  13. Ian Lavery joins the ritual denuncation of hard Brexit. This little Groupthink chorus has been widely sung on the Labour Left with scant thought being given to what is actually required for a democratic socialist economic policy.

    Such a policy requires a comprehensive economic plan backed up by public ownership to make sure that plan is implemented in the interests of working people. Support for this sort of radical, interventionist programme traditionally distinguished the Labour Left from the Labour Right.

    EU law and EEA law renders such a programme unlawful. The Commission’s control over State Aids, its bans on public monopoly outlawing, in effect, the nationalisation of economic sectors, and its prohibitions on control of public procurement, controls on the free movement of capital and persons, all serve to make such a programme legally impossible.

    Any corporation merely has to go to their local British court and obtain an interim injunctions against the Corbyn government and even Parliament, stopping a reforming programme in its tracks.

    Removing such restrictions would be excessively unlikely without the reviled No Deal, WTO-default Brexit, since the EU Commission and Council would almost certainly insist on these “level playing field” conditions in any deal with the UK.

    It’s all been rather like obsessing about defence policy without ironing out foreign policy first (arguably, one of the Left mistakes of the early 1980s). In this instance, we have allowed the EU tail to wag the economic policy dog In fact the socialist economic programme ought to have been the absolute pivot of a Corbyn-McDonnell leadership and it ought to have driven our approach to the EU.

    Socialists economic programme first. Our attitude to the EU should be slave to that.


  14. Danny – we’ve seen what the US has done to Venezuela, we’ve seen economic embargo and war on countries defying US will. They’ve foisted capitalism on every country on the planet for a hundred years.
    Government financial support for any UK enterprise that US capitalists covet or that competes with them will result in economic sanctions on the UK and on any other nation with which we trade if it refuses to enforce the US-dictated sanctions on us.
    You know this as well as I so how do you propose we overcome this problem?

    1. Easy

      1) Ditch the dollar. This will cause massive pain.
      2) Boycott American products. This will be like rubbing salt in the wounds.
      3) Pivot elsewhere. The choices are endless. Its a big world, with lots to offer. We still have a few skills, including logistics and specialist engineering.

      Other countries are already moving away from the yanks. This was what sunk Libya. Its harder to sink Russia and China.

      1. Frying pan and fire come to mind.
        Ever heard the expression “When the US sneezes the whole world catches a cold?”
        You (don’t feel picked on, nobody else has either) still haven’t addressed the problem of a US-instigated cascade of sanctions against a left wing government that denies the US our NHS and refuses to buy its shale gas etc.

      2. The US using lawfare against the UK would probably be the final proof to the world that it’s time to walk away from America.

        A decision such as this would rock the world to it’s foundations. Its unlikely in the extreme.

        Far more realistic to see a coup by our own. Operation Gladius springs to mind.

  15. Assuming you mean Gladio? Don’t see how stay-behinds are relevant.

    If by any chance you’re suggesting UK Tory government using our armed forces to stage a coup I wouldn’t put it past them but they’d have a hard time swinging it and they’d have to divide us a lot more than we are first – and this is the worst I remember in my lifetime.
    Fuck it, if they do I don’t mind going off grid.
    Almost there now.

      1. Oh yeah, I had read that. Fascist fuckwad Rupert.
        Servicemen have families though, and they and their families have friends outside the services.
        It’s up to us to make sure they know what to do when some fucking Rodney tells them to open fire on our mates.

      2. On the Gladio thing – sorry, I stopped reading stuff like that years ago. Once you realise how dumb people are, like when you’re six, and that the world’s liberally sprinkled with evil fuckers who don’t have your best interests at heart or even in their field of view – there’s not much point.
        Drop out if you can.

      3. I’ve been a soldier. Seemed the thing to do at the time.

        You’re trained to suspend your mental facilities. To obey. One of the reason we have such a high amount of PTSD is because of the actions performed during service, and the thinking about it afterwards (never during).

        If our soldiers can shoot civilians outside of Britain, they are capable of doing it inside too. Look at France and their actions towards their own citizens (flash balls and the missing eyes etc caused by them)

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