Why Corbyn must hold nerve and close loophole before backing GE

Pressure to agree to general election is immense – but key task must be completed before Labour can back it

The Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn identified a trap in Boris Johnson’s plan to call a general election in response to MPs’ attempt to take control of Commons business and prevent Johnson taking the UK over the no-deal cliff edge.

The party has taken extensive advice from lawyers and from clerks of the House of Commons who have confirmed that a vote for a general election this week would give MPs no control over the date on which the election would be held.

This would mean that there would be nothing preventing Boris Johnson scrapping his trailed date of the week beginning 14 October and moving the election back beyond the 31 October Brexit date – and with Parliament suspended for the election, MPs would have no way to prevent the UK crashing out with no deal.

Corbyn brought a point of order after Tuesday night’s vote to say that Labour will support an election – but only after the threat of no deal has been removed – and the party abstained last night to ensure Johnson’s attempt to force an election through Parliament to his preferred timing was unsuccessful.

Labour can, of course, look to do that at a time of its choosing, by means of a vote of no confidence in Johnson’s government.

Corbyn has demonstrated time and again that he has the backbone to hold his nerve – and he will do so now in the national interest, to ensure that Johnson’s route to a no-deal Brexit by subterfuge is blocked off.

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  1. Useful clarification SB. So when is the threat of a no deal scenario (until 31st Jan) removed? One might think it was the 31st October from some PLP member’s tweets. My own assumption was that it’s removed if and when it gets royal assent.

  2. Right lads and lasses
    How to negotiate our way through and destroy this Tory/Brexit/BNP party forever,
    Basic principle is DO NOT give them the liickings of a dog, nothing, let them implode before our eyes,
    The bill allows them to come back with a deal, ain’t going to happen, then on 19th October Cummings glove puppet has to ask for an extension, he cant, so will have to resign,
    Government of National Unity can then take on negotiations and ask for extension on two grounds
    Brino agreed with EU followed by GE followed by 2nd referendum v No Brexit
    End of cheap and nasties all before Christmas

  3. This great fear of “crashing out with No Deal” is essentially a demand for conservatism and non-socialism.

    Democratic socialism requires a transition from a privately-owned economy to a comprehensively planned economy based on public ownership. This transition is quite impossible within the EU because of its free movement and competition provisions which forbid public monopoly and require marketisation. These pro-privatisation laws are particularly robust with regard to most of the public utilities which would be the natural first targets for nationalisation. Any deal with the EU is certain to include adhesion to these provisions.

    Skwarkbox’s plea to avoid No Deal at all costs is profoundly a plea to the Labour Left not to change anything very much when they get into office. This is because there is no real scope within contemporary capitalism for a programme which benefits “the many” as opposed to “the few”.

    The left-liberals who presently dominate the Labour Left are in denial on this fundamental issue. Debate on the subject is not particularly welcome. By contrast previous generations of the Labour Left had fewer illusions about capitalism. They recognised capitalism’s limits and campaigned for a “Keep Left” policy of constant expansion of the public sector until public ownership was the dominant form of property ownership.

    The contemporary Labour Left’s desperation to avoid No Deal is therefore really a desperation not to change anything very much. We are so terrified of supply lines being disrupted that we are willing to forfeit the entire socialist project. The Left thereby becomes a force for the status quo, making any Corbyn government strikingly similiar to the Blair and Brown administrations – after all these years of bother!

    1. “We are so terrified of supply lines being disrupted that we are willing to forfeit the entire socialist project.”

      What utter bollocks. Let’s do a translation :

      “We can throw millions of workers under the bus and make the UK an even bigger impoverished shitehouse to satisfy our fantasies of ideological purity.”

      The message from Planet Zog.

    2. You can do anything you like in this world, as long as you are prepared to pay the price,
      Let socialism take care of public services and capatalism take care of enterprise, both operate at their best in a free society
      You cannot privatise the army and you equally cannot nationalise free enterprise
      1989 and 2007, the wall came down and casino capatalism disappeared up its own backside
      Time to press the reset button and play fair again, pre 1979 if your a politician of pre 1971 if your an economist,
      It’s not fucking rocket science

      1. The problem is that “public ownership” is a meaningless term unless it’s form is specified.

        If it substitutes a political elite for a financial elite, nothing significant changes.

        In parallel, the simple replacement of elite private capital by elite political power is not likely to produce an any more effective, egalitarian or innovative use of resources in social terms.

        Without specificity, it’s all ‘motherhood and sliced bread’ white noise.

      2. Natural monopolies need to be in public ownership, water is not a commodity it’s a public health issue,
        A free market is based on competition not cartels,
        Retail and Merchant banking are chalk and cheese, t’s our job to ensure one does not poison the other,
        Looking at history it’s the structure we put in place to allow nationalised industries to manage themselves,
        Enterprise comes from within, you cannot legislate for it,
        If you want a clear philosophy then its governments job to create a path out,
        To be able to take risks because you know there is a safety net that will catch you if you fall,
        Universal Credit is actually an integral part of clearing the way from welfare dependency to full time employment once you get rid of marginal tax rates
        Theres nowt new, history has taught us that its horses for courses, rather than the stale political dogma

    3. “Any deal with the EU is certain to include adhesion to these provisions” – is this a weakness in your argument Danny? There are examples across the EU of public monopoly (you’ll know of these). Surely, negotiations would be about extending already existing examples? How can anyone say with ‘certainty’ that an orderly exit which includes agreement on privatisation provisions is impossible? (all said with the proviso that AEIP is nonsense).

    4. Thanks Danny, well said. My Mother knew Corbyn when he was a young MP and always praised him as being ‘not more of the same’, he was known for his opposition to joining the Common Market. The Tories have a gun to their head to carry out the will of mainly working class voters (not just the ERG) to leave the EU, something not considered to be in the intersts if British capitalism. Labour, in oposition has come under enourmous pressure to rescue capitalism by shifting policy to become ‘remain’. Suddenly, Corbyn is coming into favour with approvel from Blair, the Financial Times and now the money markets! This is all being watched with dismay in marginal Labour ‘leave’ constituentcies like ours.

      1. “the will of mainly working class voters (not just the ERG) to leave the EU”

        Indeed. Many (arguably a narrow majority) working class voters are Tories. Being working class guarantees neither intelligence, political awareness nor virtue. It’s simply a description.

  4. Seems a day for translation services :

    “Downing Street has rejected the claim attributed to Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, that talks with the UK are in “a state of paralysis”. ”

    So – as Corbyn said yesterday – they are indeed not happening.

    This shitfest has to play out a bit more before a general election.

  5. Twas Harold McMillan who told the Milksnatcher that you cannot sell off the family silver

  6. That’s what happens when you have an humble man at the helm who will put collective interest above party and his own.
    He learns, he listens, he adapts and, more importantly, he surrounds himself of talented people and trusts them. Bring on the GE (once the threat of no deal is passed, of course)

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