Analysis comment

Video: Corbyn’s opponents gambled remain would be issue to separate him from his support. They lost – badly

Attempt to force Labour into full-remain position was functionally a coup – it failed
The shows of hands for and against

Labour delegates today voted by a large majority in favour of ‘Composite 14’ and the NEC’s statement, both of which supported Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU as a Labour government after the next general election – and then offer the public a vote on the deal.

By a similarly large majority – and before the other two votes – delegates voted against a motion – Composite 13 – to force Labour into a ‘full remain’ position and a general election campaign on that basis.

Some of those who led the charge to paint Labour into a remain corner and tie Corbyn’s hands in the coming general election may were doing so because they saw the electoral damage that such a position would do to Labour as a means of forcing out Corbyn – and the SKWAWKBOX can reveal that discussions were already underway among centrists and the ‘liberal left’ to try to control the selection of his successor.

That small number among those pushing a hard-remain line gambled that Labour members hate Brexit and want remain enough to persuade many to abandon their support for Corbyn.

They lost that bet – proving yet again how out of touch they were with Labour’s huge grassroots support.

The delegates voting today were elected by Labour’s half million members to represent their views in Brighton – and they spoke loudly today for those who elected them.

That those delegates understood exactly what the stakes and motives in play was made clear by their response when Composite 13 was overwhelmingly defeated:

As a few defeated delegates tried to challenge the count in spite of its clear result, loud and prolonged chants of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” echoed around the conference hall.

They knew what it meant.

Labour’s members, through the delegates that represent them, have shown that claims they overwhelmingly support the wrong-headed push to abandon leave voters are – at best – pure fallacy.

Most Labour members might have voted remain. They might wish for remain now. But that is a very different thing to wanting it more than a general election victory or to throw the millions of leave voters in Labour’s heartlands over the side.

Labour is for the many – and that goes for the vast majority of its members as well as for its leader. Those who gambled that this was not the case lost heavily today – and Labour members emerged the winners even more than their leader.

But this wasn’t merely a casual bet. It was a functional coup. The consequences must not be simply giving up their discredited claims to speak for the movement.

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  1. Have you Duncan Shipley-Dalton’s contact details, Skwawk?

    If so, can you ask him if it WAS him on ch4 news earlier, bitter at the result and claiming: ”It’ll make labour 3rd place behind the lib dims’.

    1. Yes Skwawkie, keep up the over-optimistic spinning – OK, this move to get Conference to adopt a hard Remain position now was indeed another play in the endless rolling Right wing PLP coup against Corbyn – with Unison, USDAW and the Musicians Union joining in.

      But when Mandelson, Blair and Campbell , Watson, and their Big Business funders of the PV Campaign, and careerist Right Wing wreckers in the Shadow Cabinet with their eye on the Leadership opposition after they’ve got rid of Jeremy, ie, Starmer and Thornberry, add up the gains and losses of the last six months they should be well pleased. They are well, well, ahead on points.

      Firstly the bulk of the activist membership still firmly believe (against all the clear evidence for anyone prepared to really examine the EU) still believe the EU is some sort of ‘internationalist’, worker-friendly, benevolent body. And that a Left government can implement a Left economic agenda within its neoliberal Single Market rules ! And they mostly want to REMAIN regardless of any Labour negotiated deal !

      Secondly ,Labour has indeed now formally adopted for the first time a second referendum as Party policy – hence betraying our 2017 Manifesto Commitment to ‘respect the 2016 result’ , betraying our working class Leave voters, and rewarding three years of filibustering against a Brexit deal by the bulk of political class in Parliament.

      And Thirdly, the supposed ‘Corbyn policy victory’ today has landed us with a ludicrously complicated, non-believable, Brexit policy to sell on the doorstep in a General Election – so Labour will be defeated badly – Corbyn and the ‘Left’ (Left Liberals only in the main) will be crushed permanently within the Party and the corrupt neoliberal Blairites will indeed ‘get their Party back’. As a burnt out unelectable hulk however – following all the big social democratic European parties, from PASOK, the German SPD, to the French Socialist Party, into that old ‘dustbin of history’.

      Not so super a day’s conference work really , methinks.

  2. Except skwakie that was not what they gambled on, they were counting on the far left to swing it so that we will now go into the GE officially with no actual policy on the most important issue in recent history.

    Well sorry we kind have a policy if you squint and turn your head to the far right, unfortunately it looks a lot like the Tory policy of the last 3 years. We will get a deal and it will be better than remain *sigh*.

    1. There is a policy: we’ll negotiate a deal and let the people decide.

      Anyone who needs Labour to take a position one way or the other is an unmitigated fool who can’t think for themselves, and who has not the slightest comprehension of the strategy needed to bring this chronically divided country together.

      You also clearly don’t understand that Labour becoming a remain party would hand Johnson his overall majority and deliver the hard Brexit you laughably claim to be against.

      Either that, or you are another of these treacherous centrists who knows full well this approach would destroy Labour in an election, and intend precisely that.

      1. I would like to say that I hope LP has an army of conciliatory campaigners such as you for a GE, it’s going to need them.

        As a leaver and non LP member I would like to see a review of the Brexit negotiating team and perhaps dropping one of the committed remainers to be replaced by a solid leaver (with professional legal background if possible) with difficult negotiating experience. That would ease my concerns that a deal will amount to BRINO. Probably asking too much but that’s my compromise on EURef version 2 which is now LP policy.
        A fresh face might bring fresh perspective as well.

      2. I agree with Ultraviolet’s stance on this issue and I am greatly relieved by conferences rejection of clause13. However, given the position that has been adopted, the credibility of a Labour negotiated Brexit choice is surely the next, most important challenge to be met.

        Maria is absolutely right about the make up of a Labour negotiating team. Though I suppose he would have to be part of it, Starmer seems to have progressively compromised his fitness for such a task. In this regard, Maria’s earlier link to the article by Laura Smith in ‘Labour Heartlands’, is especially apposite (though I’m not sure what she means by “a second vote”). It’s short, but well worth a read.

  3. Nowt on his twitter so probably wasn’t…Unless the fume’s that much he’s not bothered to tweet about the result?!

    If it wasn’t him then his doppelganger’s in Brighton….

  4. Silly and self-serving reporting of the vote (a) as left/rightand (b) as one with a large majority.

    Pure hypocrisy blaming only ‘centrists’ for divisions in the Party.

    1. “Pure hypocrisy blaming only ‘centrists’ for divisions in the Party.”
      Far from being hypocrisy, it is sound common sense: the “centrists” want a centrist government, neo-con abroad and neo-liberal at home. Their only enemy is Labour which wants a people’s government. That is why centrists do all they can to prevent a Labour victory. And they know the best place to pursue their policies is within the Labour Party-the only Broad Church in history to tolerate the enemies of its basic principles.

    2. “Pure hypocrisy blaming only ‘centrists’ for divisions in the Party.”

      As a convinced remainer I can understand why some delegates and the members they represented belived C13 was justified. I’ve seen the thought-process close to at CiF in the guardian. There are plenty (on both sides) who believe i) brexit is the most important issue in UK politics, and ii), their party should take a side. Remainers know they are a majority in Labour perhaps even believe that the 52% would change their minds if Labour so lead.

      However, considerable research (and probably much of the private polling 500k members’ fees pays for) shows that leave-voters would punish Labour for taking that *particular* side (even if most Labour members support it). More than thirty of our seats could be lost by taking the position.

      Wise-man Corbyn has argued this relentlessly and was is the case for voting agaiinst C13 and its remain position.

      However, right-ist reprobates thought if they persuaded remain-leaning members that Labour HAD to unequivocably support Remain (C13), then Corbyn was effectively rejected by the membership.

      It was a foolish and clumsy attempt at a coup. The UK’s membership of the EU is too important to the country to become an anti-Corbyn strategem and their motivation for supporting C13 deserves disapproval and contempt. AND THEN SOME.

      I feel more likely to persuade fellow citizens to remain in the far-from-acceptable EU as a member of Corbyn’s C14 Labour party, than I would as a self-declared Remainer.

      Centrist coups against Corbyn deserve contempt and disdain, voting for C14 does not.

      1. ooops, last sentence should have said

        “Centrist coups against Corbyn deserve contempt and disdain, voting for C13 does not.”

      2. I don’t actually disagree with you, qwertboi.

        My charge of ‘hypocrisy’ is aimed at the Tory-supporting ‘left’ who spend more time bellyaching about ‘centrists’ rather than the political opposition, and then complain about division.

      3. RH, those who proudly proclaim their centrism in a party of the left are beyond despicable – they’re scum because they knowingly make the Tories appear less extreme to the electorate.
        They (you) need to explain how a ‘little bit’ of socialism is going to stop the 1% owning everyfuckingthing on the planet – or fuck off with your talk of “broad church” to the Tories who’ll be far easier to persuade, given they’re already nudging social policy a millimetre to the left by reducing austerity a smidgeon before the election.

    3. RH Remember…The strength of Jeremy Corbyns Labour party is in the membership.. And at least we now know who we can rely upon and who the wreckers are…difficult week for Corbyn but despite so called friends being willing to plunge the knife in the back of Corbyn the membership have come through for Socialism and a socialist democratic Labour party government

    4. RH. Lets just call it unlucky 13 and the victory over division….no need to celebrate or strut over anyone.We now need to concentrate on the election campaign and whatever the result we desperately need internal democracy and more power to the membership.!

  5. HUGE disconnect between the way Skwarwkbox’s rosy worldview and the way Leave voters see things. It is the second referendum that will “throw millions of leave voters in Labour’s heartlands over the side”.

    1. DannyFunctional coup quotes squawk box,Hardly a Rosie world view,but at least we now know who we can rely on to fight for a democratic socialist Labour government don’t you think.Some could not contain their ambition for leadership of the Labour party and have been exposed as wreckers.We must remember that when singing the praise of the legal profession…remember Tony Blair?

  6. In the preface of the book entitled ‘Bad News for Labour: Antisemitism, the Party and Public Belief’, it says how they commissioned a national poll etc, and that on average people believed that a third of Labour Party members had been reported for anti-semitism.

    THAT really *IS* bad news, and extraordinary to say the least! On the other hand, given what happened earlier regarding Waterstones having to cancel the launch event of the book due to a campaign of threats and intimidation (as reported by skwawkbox earlier today, but absent a Comments section), the good news is that the book must have the Establishment quite rattled to have their fascist minions carry out a campaign of vicious threats and intimidation. They REALLY don’t like having their lies and falsehoods exposed!

    PS It’s available on amazon where you can check out a sample of the book.

    1. ” They REALLY don’t like having their lies and falsehoods exposed!”

      Of course not, this is how they control the narratives and shape public opinion.
      Another major way is by omission, to paraphrase Pinter, ‘it didn’t happen, even while it was happening, it didn’t happen’.

      We must support free speech and independent studies and science etc. even if we don’t agree, people have a right to voice their opinion and beliefs and be free to study all aspects of our world, politics, history and societies and present their findings for public scrutiny.

    2. Waterstones having to cancel the launch event of the book due to a campaign of threats and intimidation

      You’re too generous. The staff at the shop, who’d’ve been in the front line, wanted it to go ahead, but the higher-ups bottled it. Scumbags!

  7. Twas a good day
    Cherry on cake will be Supreme Court judgement at 10.30am
    Point of order
    The latest radical policy on private schools, only problem is it’s not that radical in other countries

    1. Doug….Public schools are the heart of the establishment and many others inside the Labour party.Do not think that a manifesto commitment despite being supported by the majority in the country and the Labour party membership will stand without blood being spilt.I fear and despise the establishment even more than the destructive conservative party

  8. For anyone harbouring or clinging onto sentimental crap about the socialist ‘opportunities’ offered by Brexit, Tom Kibasi provides a good correction – or, rather, connection with the reality :

    “The truth is that Brexit was never a unilateralist project but an Atlanticist one … the project was never about splendid isolation but rather diverging from the European social and economic model, and embracing the American way of life. That means a sink-or-swim society, with much lower levels of social protection. Its moral principles are spartan: the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

    1. RH
      The financial system that supports Austerity and is responsible for the Brexit vote is insolvent, but still supported by every central bank and government
      The choice is do you want to be at the epicentre of the next crash or do you want to create the structures that will limit the damage your country suffers,
      Hardly a fantasy, it’s all about debt which cannot be sustained
      The answer is to create a system that prioritises people over profit, the planet over GDP
      Again it’s nothing new, there are plenty of countries who take a long term view and invest accordingly and are therefore a lot more resilient to boom and bust casino capatalism
      Puts petty arguments about Leave or Remain into perspective

    2. RH. L ooking to the guardian for a lead or.inspiration on Socialism smacks of desperation ,?

  9. What is it with some vocal LP remainers, they got their PV, now they are apparently plotting to contest the vote at conference, citing a ‘leadership cult’ or is it practising one etc..

    Perhaps they aren’t that confident that the UK has gone remain majority since EURef or aren’t confident in campaigning for Remain if LP wins a GE? Do they want the party to be remain so they can just stop Brexit? Why don’t they join the Lib Dems?
    Surely once a policy has been agreed at conference it should be accepted gracefully even if you disagree? As I keep reading, that’s democracy! I’m beginning to think some will never stop campaigning and agitating for remain even if that ends up happening! *rolls eyes*.

  10. Too many one trick ponys on either side of the Brexit debate and its very dangerous to continue into a general election campaign…Lets have some sanity and a ceasfire for the election campaign!

    1. Are there any other fans of the Marx Brothers sketch involving the ‘Sanity Clause’
      Pure Genius

      1. Doug

        Was that the routine that contained that immortal line “Who are you gonna believe? Me, or your own eyes?”

  11. The country is being torn apart by the result of the EU referendum. The irony here is that there was never any great clamour for that referendum in the first place as both Andrew Rawnsley and Nish Kumar have recently reminded us.

    I also think that some people in the Labour Party are deliberately tring to damage the party so as to get rid of Corbyn.

    “The next fact that is plain as a pikestaff is that Tom Watson is seeking to throw the election. One of the few true things Boris Johnson said in his knockabout performance in Parliament’s last sitting was that there were some on the Labour benches who were worried that Labour might win the next election. ”

    1. I also think that some people in the Labour Party are deliberately tring to damage the party so as to get rid of Corbyn.

      And their minions (not you) are multiplying on these threads!

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