Analysis comment

Video: McDonnell and co removed any doubt about ‘soft coup’ this weekend

Last week, John McDonnell and whole Shadow Cabinet agreed that Labour’s conference decision on Brexit/referendum must be followed – while Jeremy Corbyn asked MPs to moderate language on Brexit issue
John McDonnell, speaking to a rally of the Blairite-driven “People’s Vote”

Earlier this month, the SKWAWKBOX reported complaints by senior Labour figures that Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell had attempted a coup to isolate Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn from his closest aides – and that this was driven by a desire to push Labour into a ‘full-remain/referendum-now’ position.

Such a position is absolutely incompatible with Labour’s official policy decided by member and union delegates at last month’s annual conference in Brighton: that Labour will only present a credible deal for any public vote after the general election – and will only decide its position on the deal after the details of its deal with the EU are finalised.

Labour’s conference policy agreed last month

It is also incompatible with the 2017 general election manifesto upon which every Labour MP was elected.

McDonnell denied the move and his allies heavily briefed the media to whitewash it – while Labour members unable or unwilling to imagine disloyalty rejected the very idea.

But only days after the SKWAWKBOX exclusive, McDonnell asked Blair adviser Alastair Campbell to rejoin the party – and two days later McDonnell and other hard-core remainers in the Shadow Cabinet were trampling on Labour’s official policy with declarations that a referendum must come before a general election.

Furious Shadow Cabinet members and other MPs representing leave-voting constituencies pushed back, objecting that such moves to hold a referendum first and campaign for remain were a blatant breach of the conference vote – and that any referendum on Boris Johnson’s poor deal would in effect rig the outcome.

Corbyn made two things clear last week:

  • that Labour must stick to the party’s overwhelmingly agreed conference policy: a credible EU-UK Brexit deal put to a new referendum without prejudice or favour
  • that he wanted MPs – and their allies in the ‘blue-tick’ left media – to use conciliatory language to opponents and not incite against them

Labour’s Shadow Cabinet agreed.

But yesterday – just a few days after that agreement, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Emily Thornberry and Keir Starmer all told a rally of the so-called “People’s Vote” campaign that Labour is a ‘remain party’ and that a referendum must be held on Boris Johnson’s deal:

This shameless breach, not only of front-bench ‘collective responsibility’ but of their personal commitment only days earlier, was greeted with cheers by the “People’s Vote” ‘true believers’.

But it is poison to Labour’s standing and electoral prospects in the leave-voting areas that represent a majority of Labour’s parliamentary seats – and a sign of gross contempt toward the working-class people who live there and voted heavily to exit the EU.

It’s also untrue – as the party’s policy makes clear and party chair Ian Lavery pointed out this morning on social media:

At the same time as McDonnell and co flushed away collective responsibility and their agreement to stick to policy, their allies and cheerleaders in the blue-tick media ramped up their attacks on any MPs trying to carry out the wishes of their leave-voting constituents.

Journalist Paul Mason, for example, shamefully attacked the supposed ‘lack of moral fibre’ of Blyth MP Ronnie Campbell, who was working in a mine aged fourteen and whose local voters overwhelmingly voted to exit the EU:

Mason is entirely wrong as well as offensive. As a source very close to Ronnie Campbell told the SKWAWKBOX this morning:

Ronnie would vote no confidence against Boris Johnson in the morning. This has absolutely zero to do with supporting the Tories and everything to with respecting democracy and his constituents.

The impact of such blue-tick incitement to dogpile was expressed this morning by another northern MP, Lucy Powell:

Powell is correct that any vote in Parliament to institute a new referendum will fail, with the current make-up of the Commons.

The ‘Watson Plan’ to force a referendum before a general election cannot succeed – and McDonnell, Starmer and co are shredding the democratic policy of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s huge membership – for a gimmick that is damaging Labour’s electability.

Jeremy Corbyn is dismayed:

McDonnell had softened his approach a fraction for this morning’s Ridge programme on Sky News – but still insisted, against party policy and his concession at last week’s Shadow Cabinet meeting, that Johnson’s deal must be put to a public vote.

Those Labour members who could not accept the idea of McDonnell disloyally moving to isolate Corbyn and take control of the party’s direction – against the express wishes of Jeremy Corbyn and the votes last month of Labour’s members and unions – are now confronted by reality.

Such denial of the obvious can only be maintained by ignoring the evidence right before their eyes.

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  1. I think you’re going way, way too far with this line. Note that Jeremy is on record saying that in a future referendum Labour “would campaign for Remain.”

    Another thing. Given that Labour being perceived by masses of PV people – stupidly, I know – as being a Leave party & them saying they could never vote Lab, making links to them, however repulsive the attitude of a lot of them may be, is a way to win seats at the next elections. Vital, vital seats.

    Is anyone absolutely certain Jeremy isn’t fully aware of this move, tactic? He may well be. Especially as his buddy Diane Abbott is involved.

    1. Iain Watson’s tweet above suggests that JC was not in agreement :

      ‘And i hear that @jeremycorbyn himself was frustrated that some shadow cabinet members including the shadow chancellor and shadow foreign sec were advocating avowedly pro remain positions yesterday Seems they are not taking advice to stick to more neutral ‘let prople decide’ line …’

      JMcD asks ‘How can we trust Boris Johnson?’ which begs the obvious supplementary.

      1. “JMcD asks ‘How can we trust Boris Johnson?’ which begs the obvious supplementary.”

        Exactly. Who can trust LP policy when some shadow cab MPs and their allies in media are devising their own and they are the ones with votes in this incompetent Parliament.

      2. “Iain Watson’s tweet suggests” is right.

        In BBC speak “I hear JC is frustrated” = “I bet JC must be frustrated, ha ha, let’s pretend an insider told us he is….
        we can’t be forced to reveal the 🙂 source 🙂 anyway.”

      3. Do we really at this time need to be played by the media?

    2. That’s not Corbyn’s position. Labour’s ‘side’ in any referendum would be decided in government by a special conference, once the deal is known. McDonnell and co are badging their freelancing as policy.

      Chasing remainers is the surest way to electoral collapse, when two thirds of Labour’s seats are leave areas.

      And no, Corbyn was not aware – nor happy

      1. I heard Jeremy in an interview saying that in a 2nd Referendum Labour would campaign for Remain. I didn’t imagine it.

        (BTW, I’m EU agnostic having voted R. in 2016)

      2. The whole drama at conference was the attempt by right-wing unions and centrist MPs to overturn Corbyn’s and the NEC’s ‘decide after GE’ position and force Labour to full remain. He hasn’t said Labour would campaign for remain

      3. I agree with much that you’re saying. However, you have to be careful how much weight you give to the fact that two thirds of Labour’s seats are leave areas. That does not necessarily mean that two thirds of Labour voters in those areas voted leave. Polls suggest that, across the country, two thirds of Labour supporters voted remain.

      4. Which means over 4m voted leave. Labour would lose a huge number of seats as a full-remain party

  2. Because of Skwawky’s Brexit obsession he is still trying to undermine those in the Labour Party who disagree with Brexit by pushing the ‘soft coup’ story.

    Labour MPs such as Ian Lavery are doing their constituents a disservice by not telling them the truth, that a Brexit of any complexion will damage their and their childrens future prospects.

    1. They’re not just ‘disagreeing with Brexit’ – they’re breaking Labour policy and announcing their own. Get real.

      1. Labour doesn’t have a policy, it changes from hour to hour. Just listen to different MPs trying to chase votes by triangulating. Conference has been discredited by the actions of the unions.

      2. No, it really wasn’t. Member delegates voted overwhelmingly for the same policy – and the discredited unions were the ones who abandoned the TULO policy they had agreed at TUC just 11 days earlier

      3. Having listened to Jeremy Corbyn being interviewed last weekend on the Sophy Ridge program I didn’t hear Jeremy Corbyn rule out a change of policy on the timings, or order, of a referendum and a GE

        Sophy Ridge
        “Just to be clear it sounds like you are going for an election first and then a referendum”

        Jeremy Corbyn
        “We will look at any deal that comes up before triggering a GE”

        On the contrary JC wisely rejected a fixed and dogmatic approach and left the door wide open for a change of policy should the circumstances necessitate this.

    2. Poor jack t, pissin’ the bed already before anything’s happened, and blaming everybody but himself (and watson & starmer – the REAL culprits in this shitshow)

      You must honeslty believe watson & starmer give a flying wank about anyone and anything but their cushy entrenchment at the trough.

      1. Toffee, it would be far better for your anger management problem if you migrated from this Labour site to your natural home, a Brexit Party site, where you can live in peace and harmony with all those other deluded individuals.

  3. Corbyn has planned these positions with Mcdonnal and Abbot etc. because the real historic aim of the Labour party now should be to destroy once and for all the Tory party and this can now be acheived with the help of brexit timebomb. Once Tories are in disarry only then is there a possibility of a proper Labor govt.

    1. It’s the LP that looks as if it is in disarray and Corbyn looks weak and isolated. If this theory has any validity it wont work and Corbyn’s image as a man of integrity will be smashed (which I am sure is an aim of these rogue elements). Corbyn is tarnished as leader if his own MPs in important shadow cabinet positions are blatantly defying their party policies.

      1. Maria 20/10/2019 at 8:46 pm

        It’s the LP that looks as if it is in disarray and Corbyn looks weak and isolated.”

        Only because people such as yourself keep claiming he is.

  4. I agree with this article’s argument. This is a soft coup in my eye and only makes labour look completely confused and weak. McDonnell and the shad cab have lost their nerve in the misguided notion that by voting remain they will win the public. Not so! I am sick to the teeth of this division in the labour party and wish these cowards for that is what they are, would either follow the agreed strategy and keep their mouths shut. They are short sighted and i n my view are helping to weaken Labours position.

  5. Nothing like simplifying and re-writing history – a common pursuit shared by all meeja.

    The fact is that Brexit is, by its nature divisive – and nothing will make that go away. Lavery parrots the usual stuff to try to paper over the cracks – but wallpaper won’t hold the bricks together.

    As we know, Labour support is behind ‘Remain’ – even in so-called ‘Leave’ constituencies. And there’s no way round that crucial electoral fact, so the best compromise is clearly the Referendum option at present. Trying to do the splits on Brexit won’t credibly last beyond achieving either that, or a GE, however.

    Bottom line : Brexit is a TORY plan and policy, and socialism doesn’t entail endorsing the deceitful porkies of the meeja.

    1. 4m Labour voters who voted leave. That number has probably increased. That’s the ‘crucial electoral fact’…

      1. “Probably increased” The only way to find out if overall the majority agree with Brexit is to have another referendum, get it out of the way and then have an election.

      2. And if the referendum result says ‘leave’ again, as it’s likely to?

      3. ‘Only 4m, twice as many Labour voters supported Remain in the 2016 Referendum. That is a crucial electoral fact.’

        The ‘CRUCIAL electoral FACT’ is that 17m voted leave. That 1m more than voted remain. That was from the entire political spectrum.

        Nothing else is anywhere near as relevant – if relevant whatsoever – no matter how much you want it to be.

        However, if you and your lot persist in making brexit the #1 issue for the party, steamrollering your demands through to policy and continuing to piss them off by your incessant whingeing, cherry picking of numbers and telling these people they don’t know what they’re doing, then they’re gonna desert or at least withhold their support for labour at the next election.

        And who could blame them?

      4. Into pure fantasy, now Skwawkbox? I don’t blame you, reality won’t help your cause.

        All the available evidence suggests that the desire for Remain has only increased, whilst the numbers voting for Leave never constituted a convincing majority. Certainly, despite Lavery’s desperation (desperate enough to vote with the Tories at a crucial stage), Labour is indeed a Party whose membership and support is clearly from a ‘Remain’ base.

        Anyway – lets work for a referendum – it’s a sensible policy, even if better out of the way before a GE if Labour really wants to win.

        One thing’s for sure – hanging on to tattered rags about the last referendum – a complete farce – needs to be binned. It had no convincing validity as a vote on an irreversible constitutional change, and anyone pretending it did have is just proving its lack of real credibility on any real grounds.

      5. “The ‘CRUCIAL electoral FACT’ is that 17m voted leave”

        Yo left out the end of the sentence … “and twice as many didn’t”

      6. Indeed Skwawky. Spot on. The long term , three year, anti Corbyn coup has been joined by McDonnell and Abbott. There is no doubt from new large scale polling that the Leave vote share has in fact RISEN since 2016. And of course the distribution of that Leave vote is disproportionately weighted in our Leave-voting Northern, Midlands, and Welsh, Labour heartlands – contrary to the Guardianista fantasy that even in our Labour heartlands, mysteriously, the majority of Labour voters are claimed to have voted remain !

        Poor Jeremy is now one of the very few old Bennites, with a socialist understanding of the neoliberal EU, left in the PLP. Old trusted comrades McDonnell and Abbott in particular have stabbed Jeremy in the back over Brexit, and are now the renegade Kautsky’s and Eberts of UK social democracy. The consequence of the betrayal of our 2017 Manifesto promise to respect the Referendum result by our Party will inevitably be the defeat of Labour in the coming General Election, and the end of Labour as a mass Party of the working class. A tragedy of historic proportions. Ralph Miliband explained it all in his seminal book , “Parliamentary democracy”. The Labour Left ALWAYS sells out for its own careerist reasons when it comes to the crunch. McDonnell and Abbott have had decades of very well paid parliamentary careers – spouting all the trendy Leftish rhetoric, without any negative personal consequences. Now, come the crunch and they have folded politically without turning a hair to embrace the Right’s neoliberal pro EU agenda. Those Left posters on here who still believe McDonnell couldn’t possibly have sold out, need to wake up and smell the coffee. He has, and Abbott has – and exposed the superficiality of their commitment to socialist analysis, and socialism itself, and the prioritisation of securing their own future parliamentary seats and large income streams.

      7. jpenney at 3:24 pm

        “There is no doubt from new large scale polling that the Leave vote share has in fact RISEN since 2016. “

        Do you have a link to this ‘new large scale polling’ that you are relying on. The latest study by the British Election Study appears to directly contradict the findings you quote.

      8. Again with your usual dead-horse flogging bollocks; so how does THIS one grab ya, dicky?

        You know your ‘people’s vote’ march yesterday?

        Hundreds of thousands turned up….But MILLIONS NEVER.

        Alright, knobhead?

      9. The Toffee (597) at 3:25 pm

        How many supporters did the last Leave rally attract?

      10. Not the point.

        Those that didn’t vote, don’t count. Easiest concept on the planet to grasp, but even you have a problem with it.

      11. Toffee
        Will you be answering my question above about the number of supporters that Leave demonstrations manage to attract.

      12. RH in full REMAINIAC mode again – he now instructs that the largest single vote in UK electoral history, namely the Brexit Vote of 2016 cannot stand as 29% of the Electorate that could not be arsed to vote actually endorsed the EU, meaning Exit lost despite gaining a majority of the vote.

        Now RH, do instruct me the last time a governing Party in the UK under our Electoral Rules actually achieved a majority of the actual Electorate – the answer is never.

        Further, and given turnouts were higher in the post WWII years, do you not find it strange that in 1951 the LP actually did gain a majority of all votes cast but lost the actual election under FPTP, which ensured Churchill actually became PM again – did not see blood on the streets then or Liberals moaning.

        One could go on, but what’s the point as it seems the REMAINIACS are more interested in issuing support to an anti-democratic EU than committing themselves to what’s best for the UK, which means Westminster is Supreme – something you guys like when on the winning team, but despise when on the losing team.

        I support democracy and democratic outcomes, to do otherwise opens the door to tyranny, a tyranny from the ‘we know best brigade’, rather than the PEOPLE.

      13. christopher rogers 20/10/2019 at 5:48 pm · ·

        “I support democracy and democratic outcomes, to do otherwise opens the door to tyranny, a tyranny from the ‘we know best brigade’, rather than the PEOPLE.”

        Yes the people should decide in a CV.

      14. Again steve h, with your obfuscation and distraction by insisting I answer a completely irrelevant question. brought about by a completely irrelevant point made by your fellow gobshite.

        When you learn to answer ANYONE else’s question – including every single one of mine – maybe, just MAYBE I might return the courtesy.

        Until then, change your tedious (to the point of tortuous) M.O. or forever be seen as the divvy you are.

        *Awaits the triumphalism from the twunt because I refused to answer his imbecilic question.

      15. The Toffee (597) at 7:00 pm

        I’m guessing that the answer to my question ‘How many supporters did the last Leave rally attract?’ was ‘Not Many’.

        It would be difficult to put together a cogent argument that my question was irrelevant when it was a response to you questioning the turnout at yesterdays 1,000,000+ demonstration. I have quoted the comment of yours that I was responding to below.

        The Toffee (597) at 3:25 pm
        “Again with your usual dead-horse flogging bollocks; so how does THIS one grab ya, dicky?
        You know your ‘people’s vote’ march yesterday?
        Hundreds of thousands turned up….But MILLIONS NEVER.
        Alright, knobhead? “

      16. Here’s ANOTHER question you won’t answer steve…

        Seeing as it’s so important to you, were YOU on that there march, yesterday?

        You make enough noise about me not being a party member thereby trying to question my commitment…So now I’m questioning your resolve, here.

        And, for the cunteenth time, you either answer with a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or continue being a boring little hypocritical twat.

        Yes, everyone – once again my question’s simple enough to be answered with a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

        Odds the blert doesn’t answer = Evs

        Odds the weirdo said he’s already answered = 1/1000

        Odds of a boring waffle on something like the fluctuating value of the Jorfanian dinar during the yom kippur war instead of a Y/N = UK national debt wins you a single penny.

      17. The Toffee (597) 20/10/2019 at 7:33 pm

        “Here’s ANOTHER question you won’t answer steve…
        Seeing as it’s so important to you, were YOU on that there march, yesterday? “


        Are we to chalk this up as another of your famous gotcha victories?

      18. SkwawkB. I support C14 and I continue to be deeply disconcerted by the behaviour of MCD et al most recently at the people’s march. For me their behaviour was shocking and wrong.

        However, can I just point out that it was C14 supporting me that originally posted the BES findings that Steve H has linked to. I urge you to read that link (it isn’t just another silly poll; it’s far from that) if for no other reason than to comment on its validity and any counter argument that you feel might apply.

        It doesn’t alter my position on C14, but it does merit some refection.

        Regards from paulo

      19. Fuck me ste ve you DO have a problem with numbers greater than 20. (That’s all your fingers & toes, unless you’re from Neston, Cheshire, in which case it’s 24+)

        1,000,000 was it? Rather generous but ok – I’ll settle for that.

        So that leaves me with another quesyion along with the ‘Where were you?’ one.

        What’s the population of the country , minus 1 million?

        Seeing as you’re claiming those that didn’t vote ought to count as your fellow malcontents, that means I can legitimately claim that circa 64 million didn’t agree with you because they weren’t at your ‘million man march.’ (that was full of kids too young to vote anyway)

        Got that, bellend?

        Now, where was YOU yesterday?

      20. Seems you’ve naswered while I wrote my answer…

        Bugger me! You HAVE answered it, too! Kudos where applicable!

        *But removed again because you aren’t committed enough to your cause.

        It’s only fair.

      21. jpenney, since we’re looking at surveys on this thread, I hope you’ll look at the BES one and perhaps offer a comment – no sub text intended on my part, I’m genuinely interested in what others make of it. The sample size was 30,000 btw.

    2. RH 20/10/2019 at 2:05 pm ·

      ”Bottom line : Brexit is a TORY plan and policy, and socialism doesn’t entail endorsing the deceitful porkies of the meeja.”

      That’s weird, because here you are only last month saying that within labour, brexit isn’t a left/right issue.

      Last time I pulled you on that (Scroll down to my next comment on that link) it’d only taken you 5 hours to contradict yourself.

      And you’re STILL at it?! You’re one weird cookie, you. Calling anyone waht voted remain a friend of farage, johnson & rees-mogg then telling the same people it isn’t a L/R issue within the labour party.

      I wonder just who got the punishment when your planet sent you here.

      1. I think that you may just need time for your brain to catch up.

        That’s all right. Take your time.

        The two statements are not in contradiction. There just statements of fact. Work it out.

  6. Best to go for a referendum, brexshit will be stopped and labour won’t have to clear up the Tory mess after the GE

  7. The sheer arrogance of the Metropolitan Elite is astonishing. They feel entitled to highjack agreed Labour policy and fundamentally alter it without any suggestion they seek democratic approval for such a policy change! Admittedly they are driven by their own Metropolitan voters but clearly the glimmer of the Crown of Leadership has attracted some of these people. The idea that ‘doing a LibDem’ and staking everything on Remain or Die is crazy. Kicking a significant chunk of Labour voters (if not Members) in the balls is very unlikely to secure a majority government. Thank goodness for the sanity and coolness of Corbyn amid this erupting hysteria and naked ambition. He is keeping the Party together and given the chance would do the same for the country.

    1. Some of the ‘metropolitan elite’ another meaningless description, live throughout the UK.

      1. Some of the ‘metropolitan elite’ another meaningless description, live throughout the UK.

        Yeah, and a shitload of MP’s have 2nd (And even 3rd) homes in Londimium – courtsey of our taxes and their avarice.

      2. “another meaningless description”

        That’s because Brexit has been revealed a meaningless bit of religious twaddle – so empty incantations are all that’s left (or should I say ‘right’, given where it came from.

      3. So what if MPs have homes near where they work sticky, it makes sense especially for the northerners given the mad house parlimant can be.

        Also I have ask as a non labour member and fully paid up gammon/kipper/ useful idiot of the far right what are you doing here other than stirring up shit and encouraging the hard of thinking lexiteers?

        Also I ask again what are the benefits of leaving the EU and giving full control of the country to do as they like to the most far right government that has ever sat. I want immediate benefits of this tory government being in charge right now not some fantasy of a left wing government maybe being in charge at some unspecified future date?

      4. RH get off your insults on religion, nobody mention religion you bigot and its still the backbone of the Labour party.Stop trying to sew division.

      5. Joseph, I think you may have misunderstood the meaning of ‘religion’ in RH’s comment.

      6. ‘So what if MPs have homes near where they work sticky, it makes sense especially for the northerners given the mad house parlimant can be.’

        Well that’ll be remembered the next time they’re collared flipping their houses to claim ‘expenses’ or claiming for decorating their ‘home’ then selling the fucker at an obscene profit that they keep, won’t it? You angry little sadsack, you. You’ll find the overwhelming majority of them the bliarite likes of watson, ‘mizz’ balls & co…

        Greedy, avaricious cnuts the lot of them.

    2. Indeed, Paul. The middle class Remainers think the echo chamber of their limited middle class EU-loving social circles is the representative opinion of the entire UK population. A common mistake for the terminally arrogant Guardianista class. .

      But . Rather a big BUT……. The huge new Comres poll of 26,000 people (not the usual rubbish polls with tiny samples of just over a thousand) shows that the Leave vote is now even further ahead of Remain than in 2016 !

      NOT a good time for Labour to adopt a full on Remain and a Second Referendum policy !

      1. jpenney 20/10/2019 at 9:21 pm

        The actual results aren’t what the article or yourself are attempting to portray

        Q1. Thinking about the UK leaving the EU, which of the following would be your preferred outcome?

        remaining in the EU – 42%
        leaving the EU with a deal – 30%
        leaving the EU without a deal – 20%
        don’t know – 8%

        Conflating ‘leaving with’ and ‘leaving without’ a deal is disingenuous, they are not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination.

      2. I totally agree. As long as Brexit hasn’t happened Labour will be up against it in a GE. Once it’s done, cobbled or not, then it looks like a Spring election by which time we will have had a chance to have sucked and seen how Johnson’s deal works – or doesn’t. The result in May 2020 is likely to be very different from an election held in December with B unresolved.

  8. In reality any Labour government seeking to implement socialist pollcies would either have to leave the EU or be expelled. Membership of the Union is incompatible with policies to protect and advance the interests of the many. The Few have written a constitution that ensures that its property rights-its title to stolen goods- are given absolute protection.

    Those who argue that the only case for Brexit is that being made by the imperialist ultra right, are able to do so because they have chosen to camouflage their fear of socialist policies, including getting out of NATO and having a reckoning with The Establishment, by paying them lip service secure in the knowledge that they are difficult to the point of being impossible within the EU.

    At bottom this is a struggle against the Miliband era reforms- to regain all effective power within the party to the PLP. A PLP largely selected by avowed enemies of the Labour Party- why else did they seek to change its name to New Labour?- whose signature moment was to abandon the commitments in Clause IV.

    What is happening now is that the will of Conference, which, though a compromise, took into account the decisions of the members’ delegates, is being put aside by MPs who seek only the approval of their peers in the political caste and regard the views of the people, and of the poor in particular, with patronising contempt. In this they know that they will have the support of the Polly Toynbees, Alisatair Campells and Paul Masons of this world. And with that, and a salary with perqs beyond the imaginings of 90% of Labour supporters, they are quite content.

    All of this was very predictable. What is important now is to bear in mind two things: first the EU is everywhere crumbling away as its anti-gravity ideology is overwhelmed by the reality of Imperial collapse, and second, that the struggle for democracy in society, in the economy and in the distribution of wealth must include the thorough democratisation of the Labour party and every level of government.

    1. Bollocks, sorry total bollocks.

      There is plenty of loop holes and ways to nationalise important industries that’s why most Euro countries still have nationalised industries.

      The most obvious one is we can renationalise strategic industries. So that’s water,power,transport,postal service, finance, NHS, communications and well pretty much everything really.

      1. Have you never heard of the liberalisation directives?

        The liberalisation directives preclude public monopoly – and therefore nationalisation – in power (both electricity and gas), postal services, and telecommunications as well as rail by laying down that Member States MUST have open markets in those sectors.

      2. But then, you would under EU rules have to put work done within that nationalised industry out to tender under EU comptition laws. Thats what’s running thd NHS into the ground and public services are being bled as we saw with the Carillion collapse. The bank ballance of Carillion bosses did the opposite.

      3. Well that’s not quite true Will C , altho I do agree there are Community Owned Services/Utilities , but they are not in our sense a Nationalised Utility . They are in Germany for example owned by communes in the local town or region perhaps , and are run by community boards . Now that might work OKish but it doesn’t actually make for continuity across the Country as a whole.
        I think this is one of the many areas that we either , if we somehow remain in , make the case for change, and that might be easier than we think as I believe the EU has had a hell of a shock with what we have done

      4. Bringing Socialism to the people, gosh that’s a joke Joseph, an absolute joke – lets see what the NEC has done to Joan Ryan’s former constituency, basically ridden roughshod over the wishes of Enfield and imposed a list of careerists who have zero connection with the constituency!

        Many of us re-connected with the Labour Party believing in the full democratisation process JC epitomised. Alas, our hopes have been shattered, many of us have been expelled, and our opinions don’t count for nought – the only time we are wanted is when electing careerists wearing red rosettes as MPs, the rest of the time it seems all that concerns our elected MPs is life in the Westminster bubble – just see Labour Bryant’s crap on Saturday, whinging about additional childcare payouts for those having to work a single Saturday, or, only the third Saturday sitting in 70 years.

        lets not even mention the IHRA crap, or Open Selection stitch-up, which funnily enough, RH was opposed too, however, when it comes to stitch-ups concerning the EU he’s fully on board – I ain’t!

      5. Nope, Will C, I think that an even cursory examination of the very clear EU Rules on Monopoly and state aids will show clearly that it is YOU, Will C who are talking ‘total bollocks’. The combined ignorance and arrogance of Remainer fanatics like Will C is truly hilarious.

        Even the Labour promise of joined-up renationalisation of the railways is impossible under the EU Fourth Rail Directive . ALL the currently nationalised European rail services are now having to start to comply with a mad directive that will replace efficient services with the shambles of the UK set-up !

    2. A nice weaving together of insubstantial, counter-factual wish-fulfilling myths.

      The implications of those myths is that a socialist alternative will be built on about 10% (if that) of the electorate – a percentage that exlcudes most of the current support for Labour in favour of a fantasy.

      Good luck with that gift to the Tories.

      1. Stop.celebrating RH .we have only just begun to bring socialism to the people!

      2. I’m not celebrating, Joseph. Just despairing at the fantasies dressed up as ‘bringing socialism to the people’.

        The last thing the Leavers brought was a tory government, then Johnson.

    3. But then, you would under EU rules have to put work done within that nationalised industry out to tender under EU comptition laws. Thats what’s running thd NHS into the ground and public services are being bled as we saw with the Carillion collapse. The bank ballance of Carillion bosses did the opposite.

  9. A second referendum before a GE might play in favour of labour though. With Brexit out of the way (assuming remain wins), Labour could concentrate on their strength: a socialist program working for the many.

    BUT, it’s a big gamble because it really isn’t certain remain would win.

    1. Ben, the whole point is, whether Remain won or lost, it would still get Brexit out of the way and as you say, we could then concentrate on other things. One thing is certain, we would not need to contaminate our manifesto by trying to jump through hoops to please both Leavers and Remainers, which is impossible.

      1. “…it would still get Brexit out of the way…”
        No, anything other than no brexit takes you puny humans many more years of bitter negotiation over who gets the house, the business, the good car – who gets the best kids, who pays whose bills yada yada yada.
        Eventually the lawyers’ bills exceed the GDP of the Earth and those meek fuckers inherit it just like my kid Jeezus said they would – instead of their entitlement, which is 6ft by 2ft like the rest of you.
        End of sermon, don’t forget pay on the way out Toffee – think I don’t see you tap the plate with your keys every Sunday?

    2. Ben, I think Remain would probably lose a second referendum. The evidence that they would do so is now mounting up.

      1. Danny 20/10/2019 at 4:24 pm

        “The evidence that they would do so is now mounting up.”


        Can you provide a link to this evidence that you are relying on?

      2. Danny 20/10/2019 at 6:21 pm

        The very same Survation Survey gave this result. Perhaps in the future you should take a look at the actual survey rather than relying on tweets.

        Table 11
        Q4. Imagine there was a referendum tomorrow with the question ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’ How would you vote?

        Leave 45%
        Remain 49%

      3. Conflating ‘leaving with a deal’ and ‘leaving without a deal’ is disingenuous, they are not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination.

        Q1. Thinking about the UK leaving the EU, which of the following would be your preferred outcome?

        remaining in the EU – 42%
        leaving the EU with a deal – 30%
        leaving the EU without a deal – 20%
        don’t know – 8%

      4. “I think Remain would probably lose a second referendum”

        … which isn’t the point of the democratic argument.

        We’ll risk it. Would you?

  10. Last night at a very successful Labour Rally in Liverpool the Labour organisers forcibly removed a banner saying ‘Reinstate Chris Williamson’. This is an example of the low level of competency and high handedness in certain parts of the Labour Party.

    Jeremy said we desperately need a Socialist government. Since Blair’s hollowing out of the Party, there are hardly enough Socialist MPs in the current PLP to count on two hands. How the heck can we let the JLM dominate our Party to the extent that their lobbying can get rid of good Socialists like Chris Williamson and retain phonies like Hodge and Watson, etc?

    1. Correct jack T we need more socialism in the Labour party and get real regarding the sewing of division .

  11. The point is that no-one knows whether leave or remain would win a referendum prior to a GE… and if Leave won again (which I think highly likely) we would be saddled Boris Johnson’s appalling withdrawal agreement. If we have a GE first with a Corbyn govt. elected, the choice would be between a better soft brexit or remain. The election of Boris Johnson changed everything for me. He and his cabinet are ruthless Ayn Rand Disaster Capitalists. In comparison, May and Hammond were almost pink and fluffy.

  12. Labour MPs should keep to Labour policy, otherwise there is little point in having a Labour Party Conference and party democracy.

    On the merits, a second referendum before a general election is a bizarre idea in any event,

    One needs to be in government to organise a referendum. One needs to have at one’s disposal the full State apparatus including civil service. The notion that one can arrange a referendum from opposition is completely bizarre.

    So is this really a ruse for PLP figures dumping the Labour Party in favour of a National Government, with McDonnell trying to become MacDonald?

    1. Danny, most of what you say is self evident but if it is a policy which receives a majority in Parliament then it can be done.

      1. A decision to have a second referendum needs governmental support. Without the executive branch prepared to implement, the result will be a mess. See what happened with the ‘implementation’ of the Surrender Act for example.

      2. Danny, “A decision to have a second referendum needs governmental support” Does it? This government doesn’t have anywhwere near a majority, therefore a Parliamentary majority can force it. The government does not make the law, Parliament does.

  13. While I remember any word on when the whip is being removed from the scabs who supported the impoverishment of there constituents and the removal of all workers rights and environmental protections in voting for Johnsons deal?

    I mean obviously the ones quitting the party and trying to cause as much damage as possible and hoping for a gong off the tories won’t care, but the ones who voted just to keep there jobs like flint should be booted.

  14. There is an interesting analysis by Christabel Cooper a Labour councillor in Hammersmith and Fulham, and head of Sensible Analytics.
    Below is an extract, but please read the full article. She points out some inconvenient truths to Lexiters.

    Meanwhile, something that political scientists have been patiently repeating for some time but has received worryingly little attention outside academia, is that even in constituencies that overall voted to Leave a majority of Labour voters were Remainers. This seems counter-intuitive, but even in heavily Leave-voting areas there were substantial numbers of Remain voters. For example, in Stoke, there was a 31% vote for Remain and the vast majority of those would have been Labour voters. The 69% of Leavers would have been made up principally of Tories/UKIP voters, a smaller number of Labour voters and people who did not vote in 2017. “

    1. Funny SteveH, but Steve Howell, who was one of JC’s strategists for the 2017 Election, don’t concur with this – maybe its because he resides in the Cardiff area, and despite our Capital City voting remain, the fact remains our little country voted Leave, and many of those voting Leave were lifelong Socialists such as myself – Mr Howell understands this fact and understands being ‘Remain’ alienates many of those who have voted Labour their entire lives.

      1. christopher rogers, you should know as well as anyone that in poorer areas such as the valleys and the NE, Farage conentrated his attention and canvassing for Leave on the basis of blaming immigration and cheap labour for causing local hardship.

        You should also know that no form of Brexit will improve the lives of your fellow citizens. Do the right thing, and tell them the truth.

      2. Jack T,
        Its a pity that the actual economic facts, that’s the charted economic history of the EU, and I’m discussing the EU here, not the EEC, has been the fact that many in employment have actually seen wage standards decline, not increase – inequality is at massive levels across Europe and workers share of the pie is back to pre WWII levels – of course, a few countries have bucked this trend as manufacturing has been moved to lower cost nations within the EU structure, but the facts are, since the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union its been a one way street, one it would seem you’d like to continue, which is strange, because I don’t. Still, I’m confident the Lisbon Treaty and more neoliberalism will sort it all out. Not!

        Further, we have a few ecological issues, which most don’t really wish to discuss in real terms, and as my own Labour Party and the EU itself are committed to perpetual GDP growth in a finite world, I really don’t hold out much hope for anyone. At least outside of the EU, with a fully sovereign Westminster, which means exiting NATO as well, we’d at least have some hope of real change. Alas, why bother, its all wealth to you, whilst I’m more interested in survival, which entails massive change and huge wealth re-distribution, which the EU certainly don’t offer.

        Suggest you pitch your tent over at Off Guardian, which is a hive of Leftists, most of whom don’t buy-in to the wonders of the EU.

      3. christopher rogers, The real pity is that you have bought into the neoliberal claptrap finger pointing and won’t accept that on balance we benefit from being in the EU. It’s an incontrovertible fact that leaving the EU will lose us trade and with that lost trade goes jobs. To recover the lost trade will take decades.

      4. Jack T,

        We have already lost millions of well paid jobs – where the heck do you think they have gone, they ain’t vanished, but they have moved, and this has happened across most of the EU. Still, its all economics to you, and the economics don’t look good for austerity loving Brussels, particularly given what global growth we have is actually happening courtesy of South East Asia. As for how bad we’ll have, go tell the Spartan’s in Greece, go tell the Spanish, actually, go tell all the poor in the EU, many of whom don’t have much respect for either Brussels, or their own national legislatures. And, to cap it all, when i actually discuss what changes will really be necessary to off-set ecological carnage, you opt out and start issuing crap about me talking about neoliberalism, which is the bloody enemy, and its baked into the present Treaty the EU operates under – still, lets not make change, lets all congratulate the participants at the Paris Accords and lets all get rich off the backs of the poor elsewhere globally – so much for Socialism and onwards for neoliberal victory via your beloved EU.

      5. christopher rogers. Whatever situation we are in now will be worse if we leave the EU. It’s that simple and no amount of rants by you or any other day dreaming Brexiter will change it. Wake up.

      6. Well Jack, one of us is awake, the other seems to live in a most liberal dream world where the EU is a most perfect Institution that the global populace worship. As for being economically worse outside of Fortress EU, strange, but if memory serves me correct, we were not in dire straits in 1970 outside the EEC – of course you’ll have adjustments, but much of the short term economic pain can be overcome with the correct fiscal and monetary policy, but the big shock, we’ll that will come when we finally realise the planet is warming at an alarming rate and huge change will be necessary to mitigate this – obviously, prevention is better than cure, but that horse has already bolted. But, lets not mention actual austerity for the middle class and most wealthy, I mean only the poor ever have to make sacrifices. And don’t expect much from Brussels on this matter, its so called ‘green initiatives’ being an oxymoron, particularly for those being exploited outside of Fortress EU to facilitate all of this.

      7. christopher rogers, it’s obviously escaped your notice that the world has moved on since 1970.

        Where do you get this nonsense about anyone saying that the EU is a most perfect institution? It’s obvious that you are still asleep, you are seeing ghosts and bogymen in the shadows of your mind. Farage or is it Fearage has worked his conditioning well on you.

        When or if you wake up please tell me if you can that if we leave the EU the prosperity of the majority in Britain will immediately start to increase, even marginally. If you can’t do that, just tell me that the poorest won’t be any worse off – and no rambling please.

      8. As the poorest in our society, me being one of them, or less an actual income of £18K PA for three makes me rich, we are already FUCKED and have been for a long time, far longer than having the Tories back on the block. And, again, this poverty, much of it associated with de-industrialisation, a de-industrialisation that’s destroyed so many lives, continues. And this with us in the EU, so, prey tell, please explain if my ilk are already pauperised as a result of de-industrialisation, neoliberal economic prescription promoted by Brussels & Westminster and perpetual austerity, again baked in to the Lisbon Treaty, how the fuck are we supposed to get poorer. Indeed, and as anyone who has a single functioning braincell should be aware, the correct mix of fiscal and monetary policy will mitigate most economic adjustments caused by removing ourselves from the shackles of the EU, something 17.4 million of us elected to do so from all political persuasions.

        As for your Farage insult, please fuck off and spread your nonsense to those less informed – I may be poor, but I still hold a solid post-grad education, one that actually focused on the UK’s relationship with Europe post 1945 and one that focused on the function of the EU post 1992, and that can’t be stolen from me.

      9. ” this nonsense about anyone saying that the EU is a most perfect institution”

        I’m afraid that the True BLeavers just can’t get the idea that those of us supporting Remain never make such a claim.

        The repetition of the accusation is a simply a mark of their lack of any argument, other than that somehow, in one bound, the UK will be free of its chains and will run up the hill to the New Jerusalem. Which rather neglects the facts of the situation.

        .. which is a religious/mythological belief rather than an argument.

        Of course, the ‘Leave’ minority vote was actually a con – not some revelation of a new world – built on the stories of the propaganda press. Most Leavers still haven’t a clue as to what Brexit entails – even to the simple point that the current chaos is only the *start* of an on-going train of further chaos and confusion.

        The point is – as the current direction of travel shows – that all that awaits is a further decline of the economy, a *right-wing neoliberal* dream and further resources just pointlessly chucked on the rubbish heap that is the ERG’s boot-filling plan as worse trade deals are negotiated and Britain slips further into the embrace of the US.

        The only claim that Remainers make is that this is the worst of all ideas – not that the EU is the pinnacle of perfection.

  15. Simple observation is there is zero chance of referendum on any Tory deal,
    Any individual making there position clear is again of no significance, most families, friends and colleagues are doing this every day,
    Conference policy is clear and comes after No Deal cheap and nasty Tory party have been defeated in GE,
    Skwawky if you are correct, then we should punish them by setting bar at 60% for them to reverse 2016 result, otherwise its Labour brino,
    Ask JC to endorse it and members to vote on it, before its put to 2nd referendum
    That should double six the fuckers

  16. I still think that these MPs should be sacked. All Labour Party leaders have sacked ministers for not staying on message. Jeremy, being a democratiser of the party, is allowing his ministers to ride rough shod over composite 14, voted for overwhelmingly at conference. This is making a mockery of him and he must act to retain credibility. He has become like a school teacher who the unruly kids no longer respect. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy and voted for him twice. I want him to succeed for all our sakes and provide us with a brilliant successor too. But he won’t if he can’t handle disloyal and very foolish ministers who by their stance will lose us all of those leave seats up north, in Wales and the Midlands.

  17. I believe John, Diane, Emily, Keir, have for whatever reason have Betrayed Jeremy and the Grassroots Membership, They now join the Ranks of the Infamous Watson, Phillips, Hodge,Blair, Berger, Umunna, Ellman, Sugar, Lansman, and sadly many more, I now think this Band of Backstab bears would put Judas Cicero, Brutus et al to Shame I have to say the new Bash Jeremy Gang are the Worst, They have at this time doing what they’ve done along with Watson’s Gangsters cost Labour The Government just like them back in 2017 only worse, The Decent Honest Caring Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition has been used and abused by the Right Tory loving gang of Rotten Corrupt MPs you would find anywhere in the world they are Disgusting, I wish Jeremy and His True Friends all the best but they have been set up like a kipper by all the above and other Backstabbers, The only upside to this Group of Tory Lovers Betrayal is Johnson will walk the forthcoming Election and rip us out of Europe And this will Give Scotland Independence no matter what the Corrupt English Parties At the most Corrupt Parliament in the World, We Will Be Free. McDonnell, Thornberry, Abbot, Starmer and the rest of the cesspit dwelling corrupt NEW LABOUR BLAIRITES Rot In HELL.

    1. Patrick Mcqueenie 20/10/2019 at 11:13 pm

      I believe John, Diane, Emily, Keir, have for whatever reason have Betrayed Jeremy and the Grassroots Membership”

      Believing in something, no matter how strong that belief may be, doesn’t make it true.

      I very much doubt that Jeremy agrees with you and the vast majority of both the Labour Party’s members and supporters support a CV and staying in the EU. Attempting to spread disharmony and division is not a good look for the electorate in the run-up to an election.

      Do you want a Labour government or are you secretly happier bleating from sidelines about how unfair the world is and if only Jeremy had listened to you everything would have been OK.

  18. I fear McDonnell may believe that a hard coup is imminent should Labour not comply with the right wing of the party.

    There is possibly 100 or more right wingers that could break away at their chosen moment.

    In reality those constituencies need to make their voices heard and put pressure on them, but unfortunately they may also be split on the EU.

    Politically the country has never been in such a bad way, with so many Neo-Liberal MPs in parliament it becomes virtually impossible for Jeremy Corbyn to break loose.

    Perhaps the only solution is to let things take their course, whilst hammering our policies home.

    The only thing stopping a concerted coup is that every right winger knows they are nothing outside the Labour movement, but might plumb for the prospect of defecting to the Libdems possibly knowing they would be finished in process.

    All we can do in the meantime is remind people how treacherous the right are across the spectrum in politics and patiently wait to see how things finally map out.

  19. Everybody muddle. No good. It is the time to be united. Why they muddle? The general election first and the referendum second. What’s wrong with it? I missed John McDonnell with Sophy Ridge but Keir Starmer with Andrew Marr, he clearly said that Keir will support Jeremy to be a PM. This is third time I have heard Keir announced that he supports and want to unite the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn. Hoping it will work this line.

    1. “Why the muddle?”

      How long have you got? The one thing you can say is that it’s not just a problem with Centrists and Blairites as some would have you believe.

  20. “But yesterday – just a few days after that agreement, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Emily Thornberry and Keir Starmer all told a rally of the so-called “People’s Vote” campaign that Labour is a ‘remain party’ and that a referendum must be held on Boris Johnson’s deal”.

    In Liverpool on Sat night, Corbyn spoke in Liverpool with Angela Rayner. Now we know who we can trust to be Jeremy’s successor…

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