Analysis News

Contrary to media claims, today’s ShadCab was never to change Brexit policy. Here’s why

‘Mainstream’ media claims don’t stand up
No fudge, no delay – just a plan

Media are talking up strife among Shadow Cabinet members over the ‘failure’ of today’s meeting to change Labour’s policy on Brexit, claiming that a decision has been ‘delayed’ for two weeks.

But this is not news. Unions had already asked for time to consult, meaning that even if there was a change it was not on the cards before 8 July at the earliest.


Once again, those desperate for Labour to go ‘full remain’ are trying to control the narrative and box Corbyn in by briefing the media.

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  1. Watson leading a rabble of New Labour leftovers in an attack on Corbyn’s leadership again hardly raises an eyebrow these days does it.

    1. I hope you are correct, Skwawkbox. But increasingly doubt it. This latest quote (in the ghastly Guardian admittedly) from John McDonnell (and earlier pro PV and Remain statements from Diane Abbot ) , suggests Jeremy is increasingly without NEC allies in keeping Labour from embracing both PV and Remain – and electoral oblivion in its traditional Labour heartlands ! If John McDonnell really thinks being in the current EU Single Market set-up is so great then we can wave goodbye to renationalising the rail system and much else of the 2017 Manifesto promises ! Are John McDonnell and Diane Abbott more concerned with safeguarding their own solidly Remain London seats than the big picture of Labour’s electorally vital working class pro Leave voter numbers in the North, Midlands, and Wales ?

      From today’s Guardian 25th June

      “………Speaking at a car industry conference on Tuesday, John McDonnell was asked directly if the Labour party was campaigning for a second referendum, replying: “Well, I’m arguing the case … The discussion we are having in the Labour party now, and it is no secret, is what would our attitude be if there is a referendum?”
      “I’ve said personally, I’d vote for remain, I campaigned for remain because I can’t see anything better than what we have got at the moment. I can see the consequences in terms of jobs and living standards.”

      1. You rather undermine your argument with your gentle slur against Diane Abbott; I don’t think she has any need to fear for her majority, even if she was as unprincipled as you imply.

      2. J Penny , its a case of holding ones nerve , did any of us expect anything other than a concerted remorseless constant drumbeat to batter down Corbyn and the threat he and ( us the DS Labour Party ) present to the ” elite ” , big Business and Corporations so well catered for by the establishment .
        Of course NOT , and none of us inc the RW rags of the MSM were present in that room so any and all crap that pours out of the Indy and arse wipe Graun should be treated with the disdain it so richly deserves .
        I’m with Corbyn and will remain so , the powers that be are desperately trying to drive a wedge in to divide and conquer , it must be resisted as only a Corbyn lead Govt will deliver the desperately needed improvements for the many of us working class folks .

      3. I’m with you all the way Rob.
        If we go against the tide and vote to remain we will lose!
        I voted Remain, I lost, Leave won!
        I support Jeremy and his policey for a GE plus leaving with a deal.
        All I hope is we don’t go down the road of remain!
        Which I believe would crucify us and we wouldn’t win an election!
        All this hangs on who wins this tory leadership election either one would be a disaster!
        A vote of no confidence will be on the agenda the closer we get to the 31st of October!

      4. “electoral oblivion”

        Well … the current strategy of fuzzily shadowing the essential Tory policy doesn’t seem to be avoiding that possibility too well, does it? The graph of electoral support mimics the cliff that is Brexit – an ineluctable submission to the downward pull of gravity.

        The idea that working class conservatives in the so-called ‘heartlands’ will slough off Daily Mail propaganda and flock to Labour looks a bit of a crap idea after a couple of years.

      5. ” its a case of holding ones nerve”

        … he said as the cliff edge approached and the ERG cheered.

      6. heenan73, I don’t think my stating the obvious, ie, that avowed Labour Left MPs like Diane Abbott (whilst sending her children to posh private schools) and John McDonnell, have had very, very, personally remunerative comfy lives paid for entirely from spouting the usual Left mantras for thirty to forty years in the totally psonally risk free role of powerless Left wing MPs.

        Nor that their continued personal prosperity depends on them getting re-elected in hugely Remainer constituencies – regardless of the fate of the wider Labour Party – particularly in the Northern and Welsh Labour heartlands. This observation does not undermine, but perhaps is a partial causal factor in explaining, the harsh , and tragic to see, reality today that Jeremy’s decades-long supposedly closest Left comrades have deserted him and joined Rightists ,Tom Watson and Kier Starmer and Emily Thornberry, in supporting a major shift from Labour’s carefully nuanced Brexit policy agreed by Conference – to an unconditional , electorally suicidal, pro PV and Remain stance. McDonnell has now , in press reports (eg, the Times today) , claimed that he fully expected the NEC meeting to adopt this major policy shift, and is deeply disappointed that it didn’t. And Jeremy has only bought a little more time by “consulting the trades unions” , of a month at most.

        It’s “wake up and smell the rancid coffee time” fellow socialists (All the paid Right trolls on here obviously excluded). We are potentially very close now to the last great historical betrayal of the working class by the supposed Labour Left , which in every confrontation with the Labour Right across the entire history of the Labour Party, has finally chosen capitulation. This time though such a capitulation over Brexit would be our Party’s terminal ” Greek PASOK , or German SPD, or French Socialist Party, moment” , and the end of Labour as a mass working class voter-supported Party and potential vehicle of Left advance. We are not quite there yet, but very, very, close.

      7. I should also explain (but forgot) re John McDonnell that whilst his Hayes and Harlington constituency returned a 58% Leave vote in 2016 , the latest local polling reveals a surprisingly major shift to a majority Remain position. Whilst Diane’s Hackney and Stoke Newington Constituency voted 78% to Remain in 2016, and it’s probably higher yet today !

      8. jpenney, Re: Hayes and Harlington “the latest local polling reveals a surprisingly major shift to a majority Remain position”

        There is nothing at all surprising about it. It is entirely in line with the electorate being now better informed and the switch in more than 100 other constituencies, according to the latest survey, from Leave to Remain.

    2. Extract from Labour’s Brexit composite motion:

      “…If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote. 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…”

      This is the only portion of the conference motion that mentions PV. And it is very clear that here, the vote is on the Tory deal. The vote is not a re-run of the referendum, but rather to ask people if they agree with the Tory deal. It is worth noting that the Motion also states: “…Conference also believes a no-deal Brexit should be rejected as a viable option…”. What this means by default is that – at least according to Labour Party policy – we remain in the EU until a satisfactory deal is negotiated which meets the six tests.

      So, no fudge at all, and the MSM know this but are willing to misrepresent JC anyway.

      1. Stuart, the problem is there isn’t a Tory deal, neither the Tories nor Labour i.e. Parliament could agree. What there is, is a Theresa May deal and she has lost her job because of it. There will never be a TORY deal because a) they are so split and b) we would never vote for it to pass Parliament.

        We need to start from scratch and do a much better job than we did last time fighting to Remain or recall A50 and forget the whole sorry mess.

      2. I would love to think that Rob was right because “we weren’t in that room” and I agree with Stewart that any vote should not be “a re run of the referendum”, but as defined above .

        However, Hilary Benn, Emily Thornberry, Margaret Beckett, amongst others, seem to be publicly voicing an opinion that goes way beyond the conference brief: campaigning for a PV on any deal is one thing; Publicly talking about campaigning for remain per se, regardless of what kind of Brexit is finally on the table, seems to me, at this stage, to be staggeringly undisciplined and short sighted re how Labour is perceived in its heartlands, not to mention the fodder that it provides for an anti Corbyn media

        I reserve judgement about how much of the manifesto is attainable in a Brino or remain scenario, but I do worry about the electoral oblivion that can ensue from the continuing lack of SC/ PLP discipline when dealing with the MSM.

      3. @ Jack T 26/06/2019 at 9:08 am · ·

        “…b) we would never vote for it to pass Parliament.”

        Even if – hypothetically, say – it meets the six tests?

        “…We need to start from scratch and do a much better job than we did last time…”.

        The job that we need to do much better is campaigning to win an GE that will give us a DS government led by JC, rather than a re-run of the referendum. In any case, even if the PLP can go against current Party policy and link up with SNP, Lib-Dems and some Tory rebels to bring about re-run of the referendum, what next if REMAIN loses again? As Jon Cruddas MP has pointed out in today’s article in the Guardian: “This debate has become an unresolved numbers game, an internal stalemate, despite the millions piled into polling by the People’s Vote campaign.”

    3. “… all crap that pours out of the Indy and arse wipe Graun should be treated with the disdain it so richly deserves .”

      I’m fascinated how the main purveyors of incontinent crap – the Brexit propaganda press – escape any such venomous censure so often. It underlines the alliance of interest beween Lexiteers and the extreme right of Farago and the ERG.

      1. RH the simple reason why I didn’t mention any of the ” other ” RW Tory supporting Rags is cos I don’t read them ,,,, ever,,, and refuse to even give them any on-line revenue via click bait headlines , so bear that in mind before making assumptions please , to me they are ALL fit for one purpose and I think you can work that out .
        I’d be saying exactly the same and probably even more venomously re the Hate Mail and other shite rags that fall under that banner.

  2. If the Labour Party decides to become a Party for Remainers, then as a Brexiteer I shall have no choice but to do what I did in 1994 & for the same reason…………. Blair became leader of the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn & Chris Williamson are well aware of the consequences of backing one side in this civil war, but so too is Blair; it will be the end of the traditional working class Labour Party & the re-birth of Bourgeois Blair’s New Labour.
    However I have saved myself the trouble of resigning as I have just written to Jennie Formby proclaiming Israel to be a racist endeavour. Je suis Chralie Ebdo!

    1. Steve We have lost too many vocal and able party members that Corbyn and the Socialist Labour desperately need.We see corbyn daily being isolated by his so called friends in the shadow cabinet.Our most able mps and vocal have been silenced either kicked out or forced into leaving.I hope you reconsider leaving the Labour party and hang in there!

    2. Steve – your image of the Labour Party as ‘traditional working class’ is quaint and totally fallacious. The Party is comprised of a variety of working and middle class members, with the latter in the majority. Has been for a long time. Slightly greater numbers of working class voters vote conservative than vote Labour.

      Marx is an interesting historical writer, not a revelatory guide to social structures and the way in which class interests operate in the 21st century.

      1. RH You are the one obsessed with class.Don’t worry though we can always help you to admit you belong to the sadly confused and delusional Liberal democrat party and naturally have an aversion to being labelled working class.Anyone that works for a living,other than royalty are working class..So stop worrying regarding your background,don’t be a snob you would then have to move to the Tory party,? ?

      2. Joseph, Steve Richards said if Labour support Remain….. “it will be the end of the traditional working class Labour Party” which is clearly nonsense. It is the sort of emotional language Farage and others have used to snare the less well informed ….. and don’t go for another Farage tactic of saying I’m calling people thick.

        To keep saying Labour is a traditional working class Party is now out of date and self-limiting. Whether you like it or not, many voters don’t see themselves that way, therefore we need to appeal to anyone, from whatever section of society, who see themselves as having a social conscience and can see through those who are trying to divide our society so they can rip us off without being noticed.

  3. “Earlier today on Politics Live on BBC2 Jo Coburn was excitedly promising an announcement tomorrow by the Labour party indicating a shift towards an official Remain position on Brexit.

    So expect massive disappointment and cries of fudging when it doesn’t happen!’

    I posted this yesterday. Told you!

    1. We stick with corbyn whatever,brexit or not and support a socialist Labour party.Thats the only way to go.We need to hold our nerve and the public will support us!.Stick together and we will have our just rewards We might not win all we want but eventually we will win the battle.

  4. Steve, don’t leave the Party, wait to see what happens when we are in government. If because of EU rules and regs we can’t do all the stuff we want and need to do, that’s the time to say you were right and leave if you still feel so strongly.

    Well done for writing to Jennie Formby about racist Israel. By their own actions they are racist and it cannot be by accident therefore it must be by desire and it fits the description of an endeavour.

    One of the worst decisions we ever made was to listen to people such as Len McCluskey and adopt the discredited IHRA definition, how utterly foolish, another black mark for the NEC.

    On that subject it’s about time we had member’s representatives on the NEC. Not of the permanent type but chosen randomly from the membership each time the NEC meets, rather similar to the way juries are chosen.

    1. I see no point in leaving the Party over Brexit, although large numbers will, I fear, if it doesn’t align policy with the views of members. It’s not difficult to find individuals who already have let quietly their membership lapse.

      Many of us will stay with the Party, even with gritted teeth – as we did with Blair. What will change will be the degree of support for Corbyn as leader, who will be seen to have failed and to have allowed progressive change to be hampered by fictional dogma that imposes further economic decline.

      It’s those policies that the Labour Party is about; Brexit is relevant only because it impacts on achieving them – as the ERG well know. The Lexit myth is just that – illusory ‘freedoms’ that actually compromise the objectives. Continuing in the current vein is doomed both electorally and in policy terms – as well as deadly for a revived Party.

      I want Corbyn to succeed, not fail.

  5. If Labour supports a 2nd PV & Remain it is in my view electoral suicide.
    It’s possibly poorly read and uncritical thinkers could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory & condemn millions to continued misery!
    The Tory Neo-Liberals offer fake Neo-Liberal nationalist Johnson (he is a political opportunist neither Leave or Remain but for himself) v Neo-Liberal Globalist (City of London type) Hunt.
    Both are for the rich and powerful.
    As a working class socialist It is as far as I am concerned a progressive Labour Brexit or an extreme Tory Neo-Liberal one.
    As capital has found it’s Neo-Liberal Capitalist 2nd X1 in the Right Wing Brexit Barbarians, I would argue for Labour to have the courage to stand by its working class supporters in 66% of its constituencies and win others by its progressive policies “You can’t always get what you want” – Rolling Stones.
    A 2nd PV & Remain in my view equals political oblivion, a progressive Labour Brexit could in my view see a transformative Labour Govt as an example to the World.
    But perhaps some cannot see the wood because of the trees?

    1. Bazza, as much as you wish otherwise, circumstances don’t support your view, in fact the opposite is true.

      We do now support a PV and must go the whole hog and support Remain, no more fence sitting, firm and decisive leadership is required.

  6. Your all missing the Harold Wilson strategy aired at last weeks meeting by JC,
    Steve Richard’s FFS can you not see how that will scuttle neverenders,
    Worst case scenario, Labour brino v remain with a 60% safety net and a free vote,
    Schadenfreude, step back and watch as they finally disappear up their own arses, can you hear the squeals, not fair, not fair
    Never mind how things pan out with reselections
    Steve now is not the time for a completely futile gesture ‘Black Adder’

  7. The NEC doesn’t have the power to change party policy – only conference can do that.

  8. Katherine,the NEC seem to be unaware of their remit and have acted ON and at other times gone beyond their remit.Whe have seen Chris Williamson suspended within hours of a tabloids report on AS and the same applied to others,including Derick Hatton ,ken Livingstone Galloway.Some of our most able cast out or forced to leave.The NEC is not fit for purpose.,and the worst thing is when they do need to act on the powers they have They do NOTHING.Corbyn has lost many able friends and supportors who are desperatly needed to the Lunacy of the NEC.We need to look at reforming the NEC ASAP before they do more damage to the Socialist Labour party.!

  9. Caroline Flint, that Boris Johnson supporter, is all over the media saying we must honour the referendum result and we must support democracy. How many Lexiters agree with her?

    If the result of Brexit was to harm only those people who voted for it then o.k. honour it and let them commit self harm. However, as many of us know from our own common sense and the Government’s own findings, this is not the case, Brexit will harm the vast majority of the population. Therefore, coupled with the dodgy circumstances in the way we now know the referendum was conducted, we certainly do not have any obligation to implement the result.

    Her second point, with which I agree, is that we should respect democracy. Now that we know there are droves of electors who have changed their minds, including over 100 constituencies from Leave to Remain, respecting democracy demands that the people should have the chance to express an up to date and hopefully more informed choice.

    1. Jack to take your veiw on(the voters have changed their mind)We would have a General election campaign every year. Frankly until we have a written constitution the Torys Will do whatever pleases them. Johnston will show you how the royal prerogative works and throw in a few Henry the eight power’s for good measure.

      1. Joseph, you have missed my main point. In a GE we already know from years of experience what a shower the Tories are and many people make their decision based upon that prior knowledge.

        However in the run up to the Referendum new characters we’re on the scene promising all sorts of goodies to those who were looking for someone to blame for their misfortunes, goodies which they now know to be pie in the sky. Or to be more blunt – lies. For that and other reasons, another vote is required.

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