Analysis

Labour’s front bench MUST get out and visit ‘leave’ seats before GE manifesto launch

Senior MPs must get outside ‘bubble’ and see for themselves – and then commit to campaigning for Labour Brexit deal
Bubble must be burst

Three polls in quick succession – each giving more than 50% of the general election vote to Brexit parties – have shown the damage being done by Labour acceding to centrist demands to tack further to remain on a new referendum.

Blocking Johnson’s ‘no deal’ is the right thing to do – but voters in Labour’s leave areas need an absolutely clear message that the party will honour its 2017 manifesto promise to respect the referendum result and deliver Brexit.

Any of Labour’s front-benchers pushing for a remain tack in Labour’s next manifesto need – as a matter of the highest priority – to get out, right now, to at least one hundred ‘Labour leave’ constituencies and talk to voters in those areas. They won’t have to talk to many before the realise the reality – if they’re prepared to listen.

A map showing the overlap of Labour’s held and target seats with Brexit intention. Recent polls suggest the position has only hardened

And then every one of them needs to come back and commit Labour’s position for the coming general election to campaigning for a Labour leave deal. Achieving that deal will be the easy part, as senior EU figures have already welcomed Corbyn’s idea of a UK-wide customs union and no need for an ‘Irish backstop’.

The minds and hearts of voters wavering from their usual Labour habit in the north and Wales can be drawn back – but it will take the boldness of an unequivocal commitment to a Labour path out of the European Union, while of course maintaining close relations, to do it.

Those voters know that a continued Johnson government will be a disaster – but many feel their 2016 vote has been despised and discounted by ‘hard remainers’ and the disdain for their decision strikes an even more instinctive chord.

Labour’s senior representatives owe it to them and to democracy to get out and talk to them. Right now.

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43 comments

  1. ” – but voters in Labour’s leave areas need an absolutely clear message that the party will honour its 2017 manifesto promise to respect the referendum result and deliver Brexit.”

    Why would you want to piss off 70% of Labour supporters

    I think that the minority of Labour supporters with UKIP/Brexit Party tendencies have already fucked off and are unlikely to return until this RW Tory inspired mess is sorted. Why on earth would you want to alienate the vast majority of our supporters who are in favour of another referendum and Remain.

    1. This is not terribly convincing. An overriding focus on existing Labour supporters isn’t too smart: it may have escaped your attention but Labour actually LOST the last general election.

      We need to win people who did NOT vote Labour last time and the only route to a Labour victory is through LEAVE-VOTING, TORY HELD marginal seats.

      https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2019/02/04/labours-path-to-vicotry-is-through-leave-voting-conservative-marginals/

      The 70% – indeed 100% – of Labour supporters were actually quite prepared to vote for a Labour manifesto which promised that Labour would respect the referendum result.

      I applaud that Skwark has pulled back from supporting the PV and Remain, but my misgiving is that it is now actually too late to win the leave-voting, Tory held marginals because of the Party’s policy switch over the summer.

      1. Like this comment and link. I would add that even before the summer switch the Brino position may in itself have struggled to persuade those voters in the marginals (see the comment by Wirral In It Together below).

      2. Beware the emerging quite possible nightmare scenario for our Labour vote in a snap election – an official, or more likely nod-and-a-wink ‘arrangement’ between the Tories and Farage’s Brexit Party – whereby the Brexit Party gets an unopposed run at Labour’s heartland, majority Leave voting, constituencies.
        https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/farage-calls-brexit-party-pact-tories-destroy-Corbyn
        This is unfortunately a very real possibility, and regardless of the Guardianista Left Liberal (and the trolls on here constantly) delusion that even in our heartland constituencies most Labour voters are somehow Remainers, this stands a good chance of losing us up to fifty traditional Labour seats.

    2. You’re fond of posting polls as answers, steve.

      So how about you ask Skwawky WHICH polls gave these unfavourable results and then you can do your usual trick and dismiss them as something spurious or from some ‘obscure’ polling company, because EVERYBODY wants to remain because the poll YOU post (Of a contrary direction) says so.

      Nevermind the damage that HAS been & IS being done by watson & starmer’s shithousery. Dunno if you seen the black immigrant on the ch4 debate the other day who said he’d be voting toerag because tom watson and starmer have bollocksed things up.

      He was patted on the shoulders by a black woman sitting behind him. They obviously werent arsed about Windrush – Brexit is more important to them than that.

      And he is/was representative of exactly the sort of vote we need to capture.

      That’s CAPTURE… NOT RETAIN.

      Shove your 70%. If they’re not loyal to the party let them vote elsewhere and be rightfully fooked off a-la campbell.

      The party’s probably lost more votes nationwide than the 70% of your party membership you think would go – Although most of them will hold their nose & vote labour – that’s IF they REALLY want a socialist Govt.

    3. You’re absolutely right, Steve, about the fallacy of futilely nurturing the core working class Tory vote at the expense of a core Labour one that Danny has unconsciously satirized.

      I’m fascinating by this cunning plot of a left wing strategy based on implementing the policy of the extreme right – even allowing for electoral illiteracy.

      “Here, Swinson, have a chunk of our vote. (You muppet).”

    4. Tell the leavers they have two choices leave with nothing but an empty bag or leave with a people’s deal that protects jobs and health care for all. A people’s deal will respect the Brexit Referendum and finally unite the whole country. A no deal Brexit means we all loose, a Brexit deal means we all win something better for Britain. vote Labour.

    5. SteveH , agreed. Skwawky’s heading is spot on but then it goes down hill. Labour leaders should get out to Leave areas and undo the damage that Farage did with his lies and spin.

      By far the best outcome for the country, not just Leave areas, would be to Remain and have a Corbyn government. No one in their right mind should now be promoting any flavour of Leave.

      1. And don’t give me the “we must honour the referendum result” or “we must leave for democracy” arguments. These are sound bites stuffed down our throats by those who are neither honourable nor democratic.

        The referendum result was ‘bought’ by right wing money to force Britain away from Europe and closer to the USA. Who the heck want’s that sort of outcome?

    6. ” the minority of Labour supporters with UKIP/Brexit Party tendencies have already fucked off”

      This is what observation supports. It certainly hasn’t been anything to do with Labour becoming more favourable to ‘Remain’ and/or second referendum as the wish brigade would have it : the trend of the polls just gives no support to that idea.

      This vox pop (from the Groan) from a city I know well rings true as a summary of what’s been in play :

      “Previously a lifelong Labour voter, Lakin said he ditched the party when Jeremy Corbyn became leader and has backed the Conservatives since 2016. He would vote Tory in any general election, he said, and hoped for a Boris-Farage coalition. He stands by his decision three years ago to vote leave, he said, partly because of immigration. “I’m not racist at all, I’m half-Arab, but there’s too many Slovakians, Romanians … a lot of them don’t work.” ”

      … i.e the party’s main battle has been with the vilification of Corbyn in the media.

      Another take is in an additional quotation – again pretty typical of a different viewpoint :

      ““I’d be going down the Liberal Democrats now,” he said. “As far as I can see, Labour are going nowhere with Jeremy Corbyn. But these people who are saying ‘get out, get out’ like [Jacob] Rees-Mogg and all the rest of them, if we go out and it all goes to crap, it’s not going to affect them. They’ve got the money to get over it.” ”

      These attitudes won’t be contradicted by backing the Tory policy.

    1. An interesting fiction – in the sense that it’s not clever enough to be credible.

      Behind is the reality is, of course, the sad fact that those who desperately need some relief with their current impoverishment are faced – if Brexit happens – with the possibility of even more right-wing policies or a staggering Labour government under the economic cosh that can’t manage to improve their lot in the short period before the Tories take over again, having passed the blame.

  2. I voted Leave as did my family & friends and personally will be glad to see the back of Brexit BUT I do not want a No Deal under any circumstance. I live in a marginal Tory seat that voted Leave & under no circumstance would I or my family & friends vote for any other party other than Labour as we don’t want the continuation of a Conservative Government especially with a dictator in charge..
    I have friends on social media who are full blown Brexit supporters in the North who vote Labour but when it comes down to it they will still vote Labour.
    The only way that I can foresee them not doing so in the future is if it is Labour that keeps us in the EU which isn’t happening, at least I don’t think so.
    By the way if I had a chance to vote now I would vote to remain now I can see the consequences of Leaving, better the devil you know than the one you don’t.

    1. Hilary….I am pleased that you’ve kept the faith …but many in the heartlands are loosing theirs,We have to bring in regional development and dump the traitors,many who’ve never properly represented the heartlands Safe seats,….brexit was the hitting back at carreer politicians who like Blair and Mandelson Miliband and many others who had safe seats and nothing in common with the people they never represented properly…..Jeremys started the visiting of our ignored heartlands…but never again parachuting in enemys of the people!who know nothing of working class lives and only know what they read in a book?

      1. “brexit was the hitting back at carreer politicians”

        Dream on. No it wasn’t – it was a Tory con using their media propaganda tools to manipulate the gullible.

    2. In 2016, after considerable thought and engagement with many of the academics I’ve engaged with over the years, I threw my weight behind leave believing it a valid protest vote agains neoliberalism, be it Westminster neoliberalism or Brussels neoliberalism – essentially, and given the Scots Referendum result, I did not believe Leave would win.

      Since then, I must say, due to the antics of Parliament and forces within the PLP, my stance on leaving the EU has hardened.

      Suffice to say, if Labour goes all out Remain, and all out in support of a second EU Referendum, I’m placed between a rock and a hard place – essentially, as a lifelong Labour voter I feel my vote in the Labour safe seat of Torfaen is being taken for granted.

      Unlike others, I honour democratic outcomes, had Remain won in 2016 that was that and I’ve kept my focus on fighting neoliberalism and pushing ecological measures to benefit our planet.

      I don’t under stand why the same courtesy has not been applied to the actual outcome in 2016, not the preferred outcome that the Elite desired.

  3. And you are spot on Squawk box…..but who’s listening now we are told by the msm that we can win……just watched another interview with a serial class traitor jack dromey on BBC world news Singapore,and had to explain to a bunch of ex pats that they don’t represent the Labour party……We need to get rid of people’ like dromey and get out to places like BOLTON and speak to the disillusioned Labour party there and the labour voters who now have a Tory regime council,the first in nearly 50years….which is just under the time when the cotton industry collapsed finaly and I left the town….and never made it back….nothing much as changed in my home town….a crumbling infrastructure and a town fighting to get back to the prosperity from the past….but when? and I don’t know what the answer is….not everone can get on their bike,and I struggle now lm an old man…….All I do know is that nothing much changes in Bolton…..but at least we’ve still got a football club…..but nothing ELSE?

    1. And get trigger ballots bloody fast or Right Wing Labour MPs will sell out the dream of a left wing democratic socialist transformation in the future.

  4. If you are on Facebook, see this post by Charlie Winstanley who works for the mayor of Salford and who is very worried about a loss of northern Labour leave constituencies.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10162200842805646&id=575705645

    “FWIW, I voted Remain (not out of love for the EU – but just a total loss as to how Brexit could possibly be played to the left’s advantage in the present political climate). But I have to say; as outrageous as proroguing Parliament is, it’s justified to its proponents in the context of a Parliament which is doing everything in its power to not enforce the results of the most widely participated-in referendum in British history.

    No-one comes out of this smelling like roses now. And no-one has the moral high-ground – which is a very dangerous political place to be.

    Had the Centrists adopted a compromise position geared towards a soft-Brexit, we could well have an overwhelming cross-party parliamentary and public majority for a Labour-led Brexit maintaining the customs union, free movement and workers’ rights by this point. Pig-headedness on the side of remain campaigners has forced a situation where No Deal is the most likely of options. Worst of all, one that could well be backed by a Parliamentary super-majority of Brexit-Party/Conservative MPs come the next election.”

  5. For Labour, the direction of travel over the last three+ years is away from Leave and towards Remain, but does anyone know for sure what the *declared* version of the Labour Party’s #Brexit is now (if such a thing exists)?

    The one that they’re going to put before us at a general election?

    The one that’s gonna say:

    “Here is OUR Brexit for All, that’s different to the Tories because of…

    ▫️This
    ▫️This &;
    ▫️This

    We won’t betray democracy or let you down and thanks in advance for your vote.”

  6. For the first time I have to disagree strongly with Skwakbox. Yes, Labour MPs should get out there. But they should most definitely be campaigning to remain in the EU. They should be exposing the lies of the S*n, Mail, Express and Torygraph. They should be declaring the truth that we had a referendum in 1975. 62% of voted to be European. The second referendum was called because Cameron wouldn’t stand up to Fascist Faridge and UPRIK. Vote Leave was funded by crooks and racists and engineered by the psychopath Cummings. May was afraid of Johnson. And Johnson takes his orders from Trump. Supporting Brexit is an anti working class action. When the jobs, protections, medicines and food disappear Rees Mogg will still have his millions in Ireland. Democracy is not a close vote secured by crime and lubricated by sinister data robbery. Leaving is a project of the millionaire class to entrench and enhance their position.

    1. Objectively for the working class, splits between imperialist factions are not invitations to take sides, they are opportunities to rebel. Straight after the 2016 result, Tariq Ali quoted Mao: “There is great disorder under the heavens, the situation is excellent.” The big question thrown up by Brexit is therefore not one of leave or remain but of how can we best take advantage of ruling class divisions. There is no doubt that all socialists should support leaving the EU just as they should support leaving NATO because both are conceived as bulwarks for capitalist hegemony. The debate should therefore be about in what order these objectives are achieved. Cummings understands these things and thinks along similar lines: he’s just on the other side. His ilk and their anti-working class schemes will not be defeated by wishful thinking but by a similar clarity about our objectives. Campaigning to remain in the EU this side of a GE is suicide; it’s largely why the enemies of Corbyn and socialism, inside and outside the Labour Party, are engaged in a headlong drive to encourage him to jump off the parapet. Skwawk is 100% right. Just as an aside; I voted in 1975 to leave the Common Market – I didn’t vote to stop being “European.” I will always be a European; I live in France and I campaign tirelessly against the EU; the failure of the French/EU ruling class to even acknowledge that we rejected their “constitution” in a referendum in 2004 is one of the prime reasons for the growth of the National Front and the near death of the Socialist Party. The writing has been on the wall for a long time; it’s a shame that centrists/Blairites/Liberals are too stupid to read it.

      1. ” Tariq Ali quoted Mao: “There is great disorder under the heavens, the situation is excellent.”

        Oh yeh – that went f.ig well, didn’t it – a ‘cultural revolution’ and a few decades on?

        Mao’s sayings wore a bit thin a long time ago – even in China!

    2. Nivekid….explain what millions has he got in Ireland?Mr O reese mogg… I do know Ireland very well and mr moggs not a popular name!

      1. Joseph OKEEFE 05/09/2019 at 6:53 pm

        Try using the search term “Jacob Rees Mogg Ireland investments” in Google and take your pick. There is more than enough evidence of JRM moving his Investment Funds out of the UK.

  7. I pity the future if Johnson wins but the people deserve the governments they get.
    Hate to say it but if they still don’t deserve Corbyn then fuck ’em.

    1. Trouble is the way things are, get Corbyn = get a load of neoliberal warmongering, pro Capital MPs you cannot trust for one minute who also want Corbyn gone as leader..

      1. Yes maria…..but we also get a massive largely socialist membership who will not tolerate the traitors much longer no matter the excuseses of broad church and affiliated bodys are…..

  8. Lets not get too despondent- people now know for sure that the Tory Party is the truly nasty party which shits on itself publicly;massive electoral registrations of young people especially are going on right now; MPs like Laura Peacock have made very clear that the EU is not the sole issue by any means in the minds of her constituents. We won in Peterborough through a powerful campaign.People do want change.Labour leave voters do worry about the NHS and many have friends from the EU whos status here is threatened. There are profound concerns over Johnsons character ,his racism and his honesty .The vast majority want a deal. I agree with the SBox and hope that the PV is played down and better explained.Enough may well understand the pressures on JC and the dangers of a split. People are not stupid.Many more recognise the media demonisation of JC and msm sales are all falling.We can win this

    1. “People are not stupid.”

      I fear that is hope rather than observation. Large swathes are – and that’s a major part of the Tory vote.

  9. Labour could pull rug from under Johnson, accept Brexit, get Better Brexit Deall that supports jobs & environment, grant immediate right 2 remain all current migrants free, control labour supply, customs union (no need Irish backstop) migration adjustment funds councils, trade unionise migrants + raft progressive policies to appeal to working class.and progressive middle class- we can do it, Jez We Can!

  10. Johnson speaking in front of seated rows of police (I think – only just caught it a few minutes ago) said something like “I believe the people have to decide” (on where brexit goes from here, I assume he meant).
    Don’t know if that was before or after the “I’d rather be dead in a ditch” bollocks.
    Very Prime Ministerial Boris. Put it in writing and I’ll see what I can do.

    A general election is clearly his preference but “people must decide” might mean he’s seeing support for no deal fading and wants help carrying the can.
    I think he might be about to propose a second referendum – in which Tories will campaign hard for brexit and if he wins he’ll put Labour out of contention that way, while absolving himself of blame for the disaster to come. If he loses he casts himself as the true democrat for listening to the people.
    Handy face saver for Oct 31 having to be put back because those tricky EU bastards didn’t fall for his brilliant bluff.

  11. Starmer will try and sway the delegates like he did last year in favour of a remain with no other option . This year regardless how they voted in the referendom members are realising they have been used by the peoples vote and liberal’s .We voted for Jeremy Corbyn to lead lets allow him the oportunity to do so

    1. “members are realising they have been used by the peoples vote and liberal’s”

      How’s life out there without oxygen? 🙂

  12. Johnson had two articles for the Telegragh – one for Remain and one for Leave but went with the latter, as a bourgeois careerist, opportunist, to win the majority nationalist Tory rank and file.
    So it could have been:
    “I would rather be found dead in a ditch than Remain, OR.
    “I would rather be found dead in a ditch than Leave.”
    Just Listen to the Neo-Liberal Tory Barbarians – divided between nationalists (majority) and globalists (minority).
    Neo-Liberal capitalism is declining and the Right Wing Tory lunatics are trying to take over the asylum, but are Mediocre Mad Monks and Monkesses of Moneterism!
    We need constantly to think about capital.
    JC4PM!

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