Analysis comment

Oi centrists! Look at this list and tell us Brexit wasn’t the reason

Wilful denial by the Labour right continues, but a simple list of Labour’s losses to the Tories on Thursday destroys their argument

As the SKWAWKBOX has shown, the right of the Labour Party is desperate to avoid its blame for Labour’s general election results – and to push it all onto Labour’s leadership and policies as part of a long-planned attempt to take ‘their’ party back.

Instead of accepting that their push to make Labour adopt a referendum/remain position caused disaster in Labour’s leave-voting heartlands, they are shamelessly claiming the same leader and same policies that were so popular in 2017 were unpopular in 2019 – when in fact the only key variable was the move away from the party’s commitment to see Brexit through.

Last night on BBC Question Time, an audience member bravely and eloquently made the point in a video that has gone viral – but a simple look at the seats that Labour lost to the Tories and how those seats voted in the 2016 referendum exposes the absolute and wilful dishonesty and denial involved in the ‘centrist’ ploy:

Blyth Valley – leave
Workington – leave
Barrow & Furness – leave
Blackpool South – leave
Leigh – leave
Bolton N.E. – leave
Bury South – leave
Hyndburn – leave
Burnley – leave
Keighley – leave
N.W.Durham – leave
Bishop Auckland – leave
Darlington – leave
Sedgefield – leave
Stockton South – leave
Redcar – leave
Penistone – leave
Dewsbury – leave
Wakefield – leave
Scunthorpe – leave
Great Grimsby – leave
Lincoln – leave
Don Valley – leave
Rother Valley – leave
Bassetlaw – leave
Bolsover – leave
Ashfield – leave
Gedling – leave
Peterborough – leave
Ispwich leave
Derby North – leave
Stoke on Trent – leave
Newcastle – under – Lyme – leave
Crewe and Nantwich – leave
Wrexham – leave
Clywd South – leave
Vale of Clywd – leave
Delyn – leave
Yns Mons – leave
Wolverhampton N.E. – leave
Wolverhampton S,W. – leave
Dudley North – leave
Birmingham, Northfield – leave
Stroud – remain (54.1%)
Bridgend – remain (50.4%)
Kensington – remain (68.7%)
Colne Valley – remain (50.4%)

Of the four ‘remain’ seats, all but one were seats in which Labour shocked Tory incumbents in 2017 by overturning big majorities to win by a fraction. Emma Dent Coad in Kensington and Chelsea lost by just 150 votes – and only because an ex-Tory LibDem sucked away anti-Tory votes.

The Labour right-wingers need to find a better plan. Labour members won’t buy this one when the facts are screaming in their face.

But people watching the nonsense unfolding in the Establishment media might. Spread the word.

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64 comments

  1. Correct ! And you can bet your bottom dollar that all leave areas listed are those that had coalmines.

    P.S Stoke on Trent lost X2 MP’s = Stoke on Trent North & Stoke on Trent Central ( R Smeeth & G Snell)

    1. Why would anyone vote for an MP who openly despises their own party and it’s leadership.

      1. Now that the dust has settled and we have had time to think about everything that has happened your comment above sums up exactly how I feel – most of the MPs who lost their seats sniped constantly at the party and the leader are the therefore the authors of their own downfall.
        They attacked Jeremy about everything – no matter what he did, it wasn’t good enough – they called him incompetent , an antisemite and other vile names and then forced him to adopt a second referendum policy which went down like a lead balloon in leave areas.
        The only good thing to come out of this defeat is that we have had a massive clear out of faux Labour MPs , right wing careerists who were prepared to destroy the party in order to destroy the best leader we ever had – Jeremy Corbyn. Instead they ruined their own careers and helped the Tories to a landslide victory. I hope none of them are looking for any sympathy from me- it won’t be forthcoming.

      2. signpostnotwindchimes at 5:03 & 5:01pm
        “different tune being sung now by the ARS H Bot.”
        “hmmm singing a different tune now”

        If you are referring to me thenplease desist from telling lies
        I you believe that you have any evidence that supports your ridiculous lies then please feel free to provide the links and direct quotes

    2. CLEAR LIST which matches the post EU Election map i intended to post months ago in response to the one of yge BOTS. It is what the usual suspects failed to see, failed to acknowledge. STILL they pretend not to understand. I say pretend, as BOT controllers are not so stupid. No human being is so stupid. Bots ARS McNiv’s Hs it is clear enough for you now? No? As i said before, we need to emulate your persistence … 10/10 … 💯%. But we will never be able to match your unmatchable 10/10… 💯% FULL STRENGTH McNivian a r s H olery 🔶🔶🔶

    1. Meaning…..? I assume you find those areas ‘not as worthy as yours’ or am I wrong?

  2. Let them EAT Cake!
    This GE was about 2 things and 2 thins ONLY!
    1. SAVE OUR NHS!
    2. SAVE OUR Human Rights!
    Everyone who voted against that, I will merely Smile and offer you some more Cake, when you’re wailing that you can not afford to pay for your Families Urgent Medical Care! OR When your Husband is mistakenly identified as the killer and sent down to be Executed, because without your Human Rights Patel can do Pretty much do what she wants! We all know she called for the death sentence from the word go!
    You DID This ALL of YOU Who Voted AGAINST IT!

  3. For all those who dispute the main reason we lost was because this was a brexit election: “73% of those who voted Leave in the EU referendum voted Conservative, while 16% voted Labour”
    Ashcroft poll: 73% of those who voted Leave in the EU referendum voted Conservative, while 16% voted Labour

    1. This was NOT a Brexit Election!
      Brexit would have been dealt with, BUT THIS was about Saving the NHS and our Human Rights!
      The Brexit issue can almost SQUARELY be Placed on Galloway’s Shoulders for ALL shit he Spewed about this being a Brexit Election same with the EU MEP Elections!
      So to all of those of you who were stupid enough to vote Tory for a Brexit here is what you will have!
      You will have NO NHS before we have Brexit!
      You will have NO Human Rights before we have a Brexit!
      WHEN you get a Brexit AFTER 2023 You WILL HAVE an Elitist Establishment Brexit DICTATED to you by the TORIES, That, if it at all POSSIBLE, WILL DAMAGE YOU MORE than the First two points!
      So WELL Done to YOU!
      You COULD’VE had the above 2 INTACT NHS AND HumanRights and a DAMNED Good Leave Deal that would have had our say incorporated on the Table Next to Article 40!
      Why ANY SANE Human would imagine that more People would choose Article 50 is beyond me! THIS WAS NOT A SECOND REFERENDUM, This was a Confirmatory Vote! and Could have been done in 6 Months as a New Party Negotiating with the EU!
      BUT OH! NO! You PREFER a FUCKED UP BAD DEAL or NO DEAL Dictated to you by Elitist TORIES!
      You deserve EVERYTHING Coming your way!
      Well Done You and George Galloway for your UTTER Stupidity!

      1. I personally will not be demonising nor slagging off any Labour voter from our heartlands that gave their vote to the Tories for Brexit this time. I’ve seen their pain, lived with their pain of our communities that have been forgotten since Thatcher.

        When Brexit is done, watch out for the mood swing in communities when they realise Boris has had them over and their community is in a worse state even though they’ve got a Boris Brexit. When their ‘NEW’ Tory MP’s don’t get the funds to stop their Council tax being cranked up to high heaven, when they can only get healthcare when they pay into the private healthcare system Damian Greene was talking about yesterday – this will be their poll tax groundhog day !

        We need to listen and give them our time so as we can begin to earn back their trust for when their realisation happens. They won’t come back to us if we shit on them, blame them and slag them off

      2. SORRY FOGGY That is FUCKING CRAZY!
        “Seen their Pain” and then they go and vote for something 10 times FUCKING WORSE!
        Anyone Who VOTED against Labour Did EVERYTHING Coming ALL OF OUR WAYS to THEMSELVES AND US!
        I can Never forgive them! I am one Brown Envelope away from being on the Street! Guess WHAT! I will not EVER Live on the Street, Not because I am too good, but because I am too Vulnerable and would not survive ONE night! So YES I blame EVERY FUCKER who voted against Labour at GE19 for EVERYTHING that is going to happen to us all over the next 5 years! I will Most Likely not see that, but I sure AS FUCK hope that my Stardust can group together to come flying back and give everyone of those bastards and George Galloway gone Fucking Loopy a Smack Square on the NOSE!

      3. HateHate

        There is no need to use foul language at me, you may be angry but no need. I too am disabled/housebound, live alone. No savings, pension etc. I know the fear of that brown envelope, how you can’t open it for days living like on your death row with the DWP wondering when your time is up, getting paranoid that they’ve got it in for you so please, don’t talk at me like I know nothing of the distress it causes.

        How we feel, the miners have felt like this since the 80’s, screwed over by the government who has convinced them it’s an EU thing why their jobs & communities have gone. Leave communities wanted leave, they spoke. We/Labour failed to honour that guarantee of such so they went with what was second best, ‘fall back plan Boris’. I voted Remain as I know what rights were at risk. I know it’s hard to not be angry, I’m terrified of what’s to come but please try to see it from this point of view.

        My dad, served in the army, used as a guinea pig at Christmas Island with the atom bomb testing in the 60’s – suffering with debilitating COPD due to the radiation, he gets no help from the government nor recognition for being used as a test dummy. It all makes me incredibly angry but I’m not going to take it sitting down, I get busy fighting back.

        Join Unite community, £2 a month, they have free specialist help with benefits, form filling and tribunals should you need help. There’s a Unite community office in every area. Make sure you apply for warm home discount with your fuel supplier to get £140 and check with your water supplier for help to reduce payments (I know Severn Trent do a section for income related & outgoings but can’t remember the name of it right now) < could find out the name of that scheme if you needed ?

      4. And WHY do you think they voted for something worse hater? Could it be anything to do with all the lies and falsehoods they’ve been fed by the corporate media and the semi-corporate BBC and the Tories since the 2017 GE, after which ‘they’ redoubled their ‘efforts’ PRECISELY because of the result.

        Direct your hate where it deserves to be directed hater, not at those who have been duped and deceived by the Few!

  4. Reviled JPenney and my reviled self were saying for AGES that the Second Referendum proposal would annihilate Labour in the heartlands. So did some others.

    In fairness so did Skwarkie himself, before he fell into line with his customary surfeit of loyalty once the policy flip took place.

    Events proved us right. The voting public saw the “People’s Vote” for the sheer chicanery and scam that it was.

    But there was no need to be wise after the event: the data we put forward at the time was pretty convincing, like the 64 per cent of working class voters who voted Leave, the fact that our TARGET seats were overwhelmingly Leave, the fact that our VULNERABLE seats were overwhelmingly Leave…

    I hope that Labour calls time on woke scattergun leftism and becomes an overtly partisan pro-working class party, embracing democratic socialist economics, protecting the workers from globalisation and rejecting engagement with supranational capitalist projects such as (but by no means confined to) the EU.

    1. said and posted the same, over and over. Expected the flawed policy would have been dumped in time, along with the Streetings, Khan and Coyles. Streatham was won with a brand new candidate. The well exfoliated, moisturised and Saville Row suited Chukka Ummuna has been DUMPED A G A I N with the other REMAINIACS in REMAIN OBSESSED LONDON.
      Our policy should have been – WE WILL IMPLEMENT THE RESULT of the REF. We would now be implementing a TRUE LABOUR Withdrawal Agreement. Instead we now have those who should have been expelled trashing Jeremy this very minute now on Talkradio 17:16 hrs.

      And the likes of Steven H singing a different tune now that is too late. Without even an apology.

      1. What precisely are you accusing me of? Please provide the links and the direct quotes that support you accusations.

        I have done nothing to apologise for.

    2. Danny. “64 per cent of working class voters who voted Leave”

      The problem is Danny, because you and jpenney also have a thing against the EU you failed to examine the motives of why that was. You simply came up with stuff like they had been ignored etc., and not that they had been convinced by the racist arguments of UKIP.

      1. ”You simply came up with stuff like they had been ignored etc., and not that they had been convinced by the racist arguments of UKIP.”

        Utter horseshit, spouted with no conviction in a risible attempt to try to exonerate yourselves. Labelling people as racist to get yourself off the hook, you really are a bunch a slimy shithouses.

      2. As I said a few days ago, the Toytown Left of Tooting (TTLT) were getting their justification in first – before the result. Many of us did fear a defeat some time ago, although I feared it would possibly be in the order of 20-30 overall majority about six weeks ago – not of the current order. I certainly didn’t relish the thought as the usual suspects obviously did.

        But a continuing look at what was happening showed it wasn’t about Brexit in any simplistic sense – or indeed any other of the other simplicities.

        Above all it was about an astoundingly biased media aimed at undermining Corbyn in particular (the main reason given by Tory voters) and the Party at large . To this, the Blairite tribe in the PLP contributed massively, particularly on the ‘antisemitic’ falsehoods.

        The background to the Brexit issue did indeed contribute – but. again, not in the simplistic TTLT sense. Most recently, it was the forcing of a December election that raised my level of fear. It was a time of the Tories’ choosing, and had nothing to recommend itself to Labour. It was too early in general, and, of course, the weather on the day didn’t help – thus enhancing the well-known stay-at-home factor. Not that this on its own would have changed things, burt it didn’t induce optimism.

        What is for sure is that the TTLT’s recipe for success is about as helpful as prescribing lead as a health benefit.

  5. On radio 4 this morning a taxi driver from Rotherham followed up an unpleasant anti immigrant rant by saying ” but if Labour get a proper leader I will go back to them” Wonder if when the analysis of why voters switched from Labour to Bunters Toris his unchecked racism will prove to be a factor?

    1. the slurs on Jeremy were never rebutted as robustly, clearly and repeatedly as necessary. Repetition as “Get Brexit Done” is vital. ZEN LIKE APPROACHES are not.

      Occurred to me this minute, as much as i admired Tony Benn, his “policies not personality” mantra probably fed Jeremy’s approach. Maybe that’s why he never became leader.

      Another puzzle: odd “kinder & gentler politics” for open “knife in the front” Ms Phillips et al, but NONE for decent hardworking defenders like George Galloway and Chris Williamson. Jeremy’s staunchest and ONLY EFFECTIVE articulate defenders, especially Chris, George and Ken Loach and Ken Livingstone (without the strange H Tourettes), were meticulously demonised and picked off one by one. Instead of asking for VERIFIABLE SOUND evidence, and consistency of outrage re the Tories, including those infesting our party.

      Ken, Chris, George et al, were kicked under a bus. A doomed attempt to appease the determined attackers. WORKED WELL??? Answer on a postage stamp for a miniature doll in a miniature doll’s house.

      ps and long before ever contributing here, someone wrote that sacrificing Chris was worth it for the time being. How did that work? And what sort of morality is that?

      1. Still dissembling your falsehoods then signpost! How many times have you repeated this particular falsehood in the past few weeks since the election was called…..12, 15 times or more? And what about these ‘hostile presenters’ you’ve mentioned on several occasions; are you going to name any of them? AND name some of those who spoke about planting trees? Or is it just MORE lies and deception on your part?

        You really are a nasty little piece of work signpost, pretending you’re a Jeremy Corbyn supporter whilst repeatedly using those who demonised and smeared and falsely accused of A/S to do so, as other im-posters on here have been doing between them on an almost daily basis for the past six months or more.

        But pray, do tell, how can you rebut the smears when the enemies of the left have more-or-less total control of the MSM AND the narrative as such. And you and your buddies KNOW it!

        Oh, and I just noticed that in your 11.55pm post you are complaining about that very fact – ie that the enemies of the left are given free range to spout their propaganda lies without with no opportunity to contest them! What a complete and utter fraud you are signpost!

      2. THAT should have read……. ‘those who *were* demonised….

  6. On Radio 4 News at 5pm today, Anna Turkey, ex Redcar, and Phil Wilson, ex Sedgefield, both used virtually the same form of words to explain JC’s ” unpopularity on the doorstep”.
    I came to the conclusion that they were both using a prepared script.
    Why am I not surprised?

    1. yes and allowed to deliver their propaganda without interruption. Freedland was allowed on LBC 2051 – 2059 almost total free reign to blame Jeremy. Similar script. Then they cut to the legal hour so no rebuttal by a Corbyn supporter nor challenge by presenter Clive Ball. Expect from now on the line “let’s stick to Labour”. If there is a negative story eg Islamophobia or AS specific to the Tories the LBC presenters and most Talksport presenters except George Galloway (when he was on) , the propagandist would say “lets broaden the discussion”. It works on some, but it feels as if they believe everyone is deceived. Iv heard several callers today contradict the lies but they are argued down quite rudely. That it is allowed is strange. And why call a program and allow oneself to be brow beaten like all the other callers??? The callers mostly seem surprised by the rudeness of four particular presenters on LBC and about FOUR on Talkradio. Since the Iraq invasion i only dip in and out to BBC but all tge news bulletins and current affairs are dreadful powdered propaganda. Emma Barnet is brilliant but only when a Jeremy supporting MP slips up is it repeated ad nauseam. Heard David Gawke, the then Chief Sec to the Treasury being extremely ignorant of figures after the Shadow Home Sec stumble which was played ever bulletin on every LBC & Talkradio & BBC bulletins i heard, for weeks if not days. Chief Sec to the Treasury? NOTHING clipped and played on loop. That is why Jeremy must not be forced out. The fight he has had so far is David and Goliath proportions.

      Folks, lets help him. We must not give up this opportunity. We already have several parliaments worth of policies and Manifestoes. We can stop now and deliver the now in a more managed sequential way, MUCH smaller chunks and with intelligent PRIORITISING. Oh and drop the ideological signalling. Homeless in Chequers. The meaning may be noble but to the wider public it sounds Sixth Form…. NB not years before that. Its a first year university attitude. Gestures without thought. Two minutes of thought would have revealed it as a gesture. WE NEED NO GESTURES. There are enough real solutions to be dealing promoting. ALSO short to medium term focus. Yes we have a longterm vision a broad vision but have to start in the here and now. Think Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

      Don’t reinvent the wheel. Learn effective methods even from those we may despise. And, repeat: here and now… i go to bed. nite nite 🌹🌹🌹

    2. The hard fact is that Corbyn *was* unpopular – objectively and irrefutably. The enthusiasm of supporters didn’t reflect the wi9der populace.

      That was the accomplishment of the persistent media campaign – and it was that campaign that was the plot, not the statement of what had become the bleedin’ obvious by election time.

      1. Funny though, isn’t it, how his unpopularity only played out in terms of the way people voted in Leave areas!

        And 10.3 million people don’t appear to have been too bothered about voting for a party allegedly led by an anti-semite and infested with antsemites. As Roger Silverman says in an article reproduced on JVLs website:

        ‘Labour has twice in two successive elections won more than ten million votes – something that Blair failed to achieve in 2005, Brown in 2010, or Miliband in 2015.’

        YES, of course all the smears must have had an effect to some degree, but it was Labour Leavers who rejected the Party on account of feeling betrayed, that mainly won it for the Tories and gave them such a big majority. AND will quite possibly lead to the Blairites – the so-called ‘moderates – regaining complete control of the Party again.

        And YOU of course played your part in making that happen, along with several other personas on here. Funny how you showed up when you did, and in next to no time you were posting all day long every day, week after week, month after month. When was that now….. about sixteen/seventeen months ago, wasn’t it?. Such dedication!

      2. Allan Howard 15/12/2019 at 10:34 pm

        Allan – Your lack of self awareness is staggering.

      3. Unlike yourself and a few other ‘personas’ on here Steve, I DON’T spend all day every day monitoring and posting on here AND about a third of my posts are to draw peoples attention to the machinations and the falsehoods being dissembled by you im-posters! I don’t always pick up on them right away, but the current one – at the time of writing – is to endlessly repeat how Jeremy should stay on as leader AND ‘it’s his duty’ blah blah blah, so as to THEN condemn him for letting down – and no doubt ‘betraying’ – the membership when he DOES step down – ie the im-posters are repeating this over and over again so as to make much of the membership who support Jeremy and follow skwawkbox feel exactly THAT when he DOES stand down. But having now picked up on what they’re doing and realised what their motive – their agenda – is in doing so, I will of course be drawing attention to it.

        So far I’ve found NINE such comments, three of them saying ‘Jeremy must stay’, and TWO of those – both by signpost – in capital letters!

        The very fact that you come out with such a comment – ie ‘Your lack of self awareness is staggering’ – just reinforces what I already know, NOT that it needs reinforcing of course!

      4. Allan Howard 25/12 at 11:55 pm

        Allan – Thanks for entering into the Christmas spirit by so generously sharing your thoughts about yourself with us. I’ve always been really impressed by your humility and self deprecating nature.

  7. We shouldn’t forget recent history when we are considering this issue. A few days before the may 2019 MEP Elections this poll was published

    What we could have had
    https://twitter.com/ElectionMapsUK/status/1130900865995485184
    Election Maps UK‏ @ElectionMapsUK
    Follow Follow @ElectionMapsUK
    More
    European Election Voting Intention IF Labour ‘Became Pro Remain and Promised an in/out 2nd Referendum’:
    LAB: 36% (+12)
    BXP: 30% (-2)
    CON: 11% (=)
    LDM: 9% (-6)
    NAT: 4% (=)
    CHUK: 3% (-1)
    UKIP: 3% (+1)
    GRN: 2% (-4)
    Via @ComRes, 17 May. Changes w/ Regular poll.
    11:19 AM – 21 May 2019

    1. You put a lot of faith into Polls don’t you SteveH, as much faith in Polls as New Labour put into its little focus groups – that played out well in the end too. Now, given we have the real facts now, those being the LibDems increased their vote at Labour’s expense, but lets not forget tactical voting please, and Labour lost real votes to both the Tories and Brexit Parties in the seats that actually mattered, namely the bloody seats they held prior to Thursday, we can see this Poll is crap, and as with all statistical references gauged on Polling, or any other data collection for that matter, if you put shit in you get’s shit out.

      Well, and as a result of Remainiac pressure within the PLP, and pressure from the London-centric Left in the guise of John McDonnell, this is the very policy effectively that the Party adopted, and the Party only gained 32% of the vote in what was a two horse race, with the Brexit Party being the spoiler.

      Thankfully, Wales being small, its quite simple to actually look at voting records and gain useful info from that, which can then be used to benchmark in both England & Wales, and the sad fact is, the Party kinda naffed off enough voters in the wrong places to lose an election, and lose it not by that greater a number of real votes in reality. Such are these vagaries of FPTP, which Cumming’s understood, which Corbyn’s own advisers understood, but which the Remainiac Brigade failed to understand, namely, if you can’t turn votes into seats said votes, how ever heavily concentrated, mean fuck all – I wonder when the Pink Pussy Hat Brigade will be holding demonstrations again, wearing the most expensive attire they can afford and claiming it was the Russian’s wot done it?

      1. And again steve h with his stock answer when he’s been caled out.

        And he wonders why people lose their rag?!

        There’s a place in hell for your type of shithouse, steve. Haven’t even got the bollocks to put up your own case rather than posting opinion polls or the opions of the inifintesimal minority of utterly delude helmets who still agree with you despite having been forecast, then proved, wrong.

      2. “You put a lot of faith into Polls … ”

        It’s not ‘faith’ – it’s evidence. ….which turned out, unfortunately, to be fairly accurate. The decline in Labour support started way before the 2nd referendum policy, and, simply, as with Trump, the quiet Tories in the supposed ‘heartlands’ were impressed by Johnson the fake appearing as Tory leader.

        Then, of course … there was that fateful decision of the Tories getting their way on an early election, and Labour having to appear enthusiastic. Disastrous timing.

        I’d hoped against the evidence : but my underlying twitchiness based on the polling became an even worse actuality.

  8. The list above shows the target areas for Farage with his messages of:

    Take back control.
    The immigrants are stealing your jobs.
    The immigrants are filling your schools.
    The immigrants are taking your houses.
    It’s all the fault of the EU.

    And they believed him and would not be shifted from their original decision, especially since they had NO guidance from the Labour leadership.

    This is the exact message the Tories have been pedalling for years and they ran like hell with it. It was a godsend for them, it meant they didn’t have to do the dirty work once it was out there.

    Farage got to most of the least well off communities first – lies and boots etc., – while the Lexiters such as Skwawkbox were busy labelling everyone one the left or the right who didn’t agree with them as ‘Centrists’.

    This is the cold hard truth which in the columns of Skwawkbox will be either ignored or derided. Instead Skwawky and his fellow Lexiters are trying to shift the blame onto those who say that by remaining in the EU we already have the best deal.

    1. And how many seats did ukip/brexit get, gobshite?

      Zero. None. Zilch. Diddly-squat. Fuck-all.

      THAT’S how far they were believed.

      Just fuck off and take your sorry deluded excuses with you you godawful fucking spoilt brat bastard.

      1. Ah Toffee, I see you have woken from your torpor, probably better to get back to that dung heap you infest.

  9. Opinium (the polling group which called the election result the closest) asked voters why they had not backed Labour, with the “leadership” coming out on top at 43%, the party’s stance on Brexit turning off 17% of potential voters, and its economic policies alienating 12%.

    But more fundamentally, If you want to convince people, you have to argue what you believe to be true, and be seen to be convinced yourself.

    If your message is: “Tell us what you want to hear, and we’ll play it back to you”, you will be seen to be shifty and unreliable. And that seems to have been how we were seen, by both Leavers and Remainers.

    It is true that many long-time Labour people who back Leave have become alienated and angry. No wonder: they have heard very little from Labour arguing the issues honestly with them. They have only seen Labour edging towards Remain, while suggesting we still half-support Leave.

    On 8 November BBC News reported: “In the next two weeks, if you live in a Leave area, you are likely to see a very different style of campaign.

    “Labour will give a higher profile to shadow cabinet members who back a Leave deal rather than Remain…

    “The message will be that Labour’s Leave deal would offer voters a genuine choice – and that a new referendum will not be an attempt to remain in the EU by the back door…

    “In other words, the party leadership is not opposing Brexit by opposing Boris Johnson’s deal – it simply wants to find what it regards as a better one”.

    Since that “better one”, if it could be got at all, would have included sticking to EU customs-union and Single-Market rules while giving up access to making and changing those rules, it was never likely to convince Leavers.

    Labour should have told the truth: we backed Remain in 2016, nothing has happened since then to make Brexit look better, we oppose the actual deals that have proved possible to negotiate, and we want a referendum with a Remain option, which we will campaign for.

    Labour-aligned people who back Leave should have been treated with respect and given honest arguments. They knew that Labour has been pushed, bit by bit – by steady rank-and-file pressure on the reluctant leadership – into a de facto Remain position. All the evidence is that trying to appease pro-Leave voters did no good whatsoever. In fact, it only served to bring Labour into contempt when, in heavily-Leave constituencies, Labour (known to be pro-Remain) said: “But for you, we can sing a different song”.

    Some basic points:

    * To “respect the result” [of the referendum] more than Labour in fact did would have meant voting for May’s deal and/or Johnson’s deal. Doing that would have been an unforgivable political surrender, meant the total collapse of the Corbyn ‘project’, and also meant no election.

    * Many voters were frustrated that parliament repeatedly blocked a Brexit deal. Labour didn’t offer a plausible explanation for frustrating Brexit. The leadership preferred to mollify Remain members by voting against Brexit in parliament, but drew back from offering a serious political explanation.

    • Labour was only “pro-Remain” in the vaguest possible way. If you listened carefully, Labour’s actual policy was pro-Brexit: “we’ll negotiate a great Labour Brexit, it’ll be brilliant, then you’ll have the chance to vote to endorse our brilliant deal! But, if you’re one of those stick-in-the-mud Remainers, we suppose you could vote for that instead….”

    • How does “Labour would have won if it was more pro-Leave” explain Scotland? Labour also lost votes to more explicitly pro-Remain parties.

    • If the pro-Brexit elements in Labour are so confident Labour would have won with a pro-Brexit policy, why didn’t even a single one of them propose this within the party, at any point? As far as Shiraz is aware, not a single CLP passed a single pro-Brexit policy, and neither of the two pro-Brexit affiliated unions (Aslef and BFAWU) ever proposed such a policy. Nor did the craven Len McCluskey, for all his “Brexity” posturing. They had no confidence whatsoever in their own ideas, and never put those ideas to the membership of the party.

    • The idea that there was an otherwise-politically-neutral pro-Brexit electoral constituency waiting to be corralled by either left or right is plainly nonsense: it radically underestimates the extent to which nationalists ideas have taken root. People so deeply committed to Brexit as a political idea, presented in explicitly hard-nationalist terms, were not going to vote for a “Labour Brexit”. They wanted the fully leaded version.

    * Arguing the issues honestly is not a magic answer. But it is the only answer compatible with serious politics: the only answer compatible with building a movement that wins trust and the right to a hearing.

    Lots of us hoped Labour might break through because of disgust with austerity (the 2017 phenomenon). But Brexit was always going to dominate because of the preceding three and a half years of stalemate.

    Labour lost because the present leadership chucked in the towel on Remain after the referendum and arrogantly decided that the political division on Brexit had nothing to do with change in society and therefore their ability to win against the Tories.

    Labour are not presently a party deeply rooted in working-class communities. They are a mass paper membership party which has an effective machine to mobilise only for short-term efforts. That’s not good enough for confronting big social and political issues. The task is to reassert class politics and basic, internationalist socialist culture. That’s a task for years, decades – maybe generations – to come. There are no shortcuts and there can be no concessions to the backwardness of nationalism and xenophobia: the Stalinists and little-Englanders who would pander to Brexit and all it represents must be fought every inch of the way.

  10. Jim,

    Thank you for a well thought through analysis of the LP’s Brexit position post the EU parliamentary elections, and fallout associated with the muddled response to this and policy actually adopted at Conference, namely Motion 13, which, a majority of the Shadow Cabinet were opposed too, favouring Motion 14 that would have place the Party as an absolute remain party, one of several Remain parties in the UK – SNP; Plaid Cymru; the Green Party and the LibDems, by contrast, their was only one out and out Leave party, namely the Tories, with the Brexit Party (a Tory trojan horse) being the fly in the ointment.

    Now, prior to the EU Parliamentary Election’s Labour’s Brexit position was quite clear, it still desired to honour the 2016 Brexit Vote outcome, but would not in any way, shape or form allow a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. Further, the Party made clear that any Brexit Deal it could negotiate must protect jobs, workers rights and the environment, not withstanding honouring the Good Friday Agreement – this Labour Party Leave Voter had no issues with this stance, as effectively the narrative was that of a Norway Plus Deal to try and heal national divisions, whilst listening to both sides of the argument ( of course, not for one moment did I believe Brussel’s would negotiate such a Deal, but that’s another story, we are discussing internal UK politics.

    At the end of the day, and despite a low turn out for the EU parliamentary elections, many in the Shadow cabinet and PLP baulked at the results and became convinced that the Party had to become an out and out Remain party, and that the 2016 Brexit outcome needed rescinding, this via the so called ‘People’s Vote’, which to any observer was in reality a second Referendum, which is what Motion 14 was pushing.

    Following the passage of Motion 13, we then effectively had a Palace Coup led by most of those in the Shadow Cabinet, that coup led to the Party’s EU policy effectively being removed from Corbyn and his small group of advisers, now confirmed in media reports – they were opposed to Labour being presented as a Remain Party, alas, Emily Thornberry and John McDonnell had different ideas and from that juncture onwards in late September it was game over.

    Of course it would be crass of me not to recognise that both the PLP and the fully paid up membership were predominately pro-Brussel’s, and recognise the fact that not too many genuine working class folks are members of the LP, and as such, their opinions and culture is hardly touched upon in any internal dialogues – however, said membership did not represent the Party voting base at large, a significant minority of which came from the working class, which in 2016 voted Leave in considerable numbers in the Labour Heartland’s, and it was this voting block that was vilified by the PLP, which remains totally divorced from their realities – I’ll hold up Jess Phillips and Ms Cooper-Balls as poster children for this fact.

    Now, their is no doubt that in 2017 a reasonable number of Leave working class voters actually voted Labour, with the former UKIP vote moving to the Tories, or they did not participate at all – it was this segment of its electoral base, in those areas that counted, that the Party lost, despite warnings from Corbyn’s own electoral strategists that its convoluted stance post September, effectively making it a Remain Party would have dire consequences.

    Now, I’m all for Principles, so was disappointed that JC never came out and stated clearly as Leader that he was opposed to the neoliberal EU, alas, had he done so, the unholy alliance within the PLP would have fractured. That said, elections are not won on Principles alone, they are won on strategy and tactics, and Labour’s Election stance was plain wrong if it really wanted to stop the Clown entering No10. And, how can i say this, well, it so happen that one of the leading anti-Corbyn lights, Stella Creasy, and her cohort of Blairites were seen celebrating in a Pub in her Constituency once the Exit Poll result was announced, which sums it all up, Corbyn was forced into a PV position by his enemies, who effectively threw this election to ensure JC never entered Number10 and that his Party revolution would be smitted once he was removed from the Leadership, which is playing out now.

    If in politics you are in it to win, if in politics you understand the Rules of the game, regrettably, the London-left of the Party played by a different set of Rules and lost most of the Labour heartland’s as a result.

    1. ” Corbyn was forced into a PV position by his enemies”

      Christopher – that is just presenting a simplification of what happened. It presents a binary opposition of forces within the Labour Party, and is unrealistic.

      Jim Denham is right in taking analysis back to 2015, after which Labour switched from a rationally based ‘Remain’ position (and Corbyn made a very good input for the Remain case – now largely forgotten) to a tactical (some might say ‘cynical’ position (a) to promise to ‘honour’ a referendum – even though that referendum could only be advisory, had no safeguards against an unconvincing result, and, in the event, did indeed produce an unconvincing result, backed by only 37% of the electorate.

      This was compounded by the next tactical decision to try to force the Tories into a corner by calling for the immediate invoking of Article 50 – a move that bore no relation to the complexity of the issues involved and which was rightly seen as playing games over a major constitutional issue.

      The net result of the short-term politics was to actually hand the initiative to the Tories – who could be seen as the ‘honest’ advocates of Brexit.

      At that point, many in the Party, the majority of whom had voted ‘Remain’, saw a betrayal. Most still put Corbyn and the Party above that sense of betrayal; the irony is that those members were largely of the left by any reasonable definition. However, a drift to the LibDems and the Greens began at that point.

      Realistically, even on a tactical view, Labour was heading for defeat at that point if it had continued to unequivocally back what was essentially the Tory policy of Brexit. It was a hiding to nothing that divided the leadership from the Party at large, even though some swallowed the ‘honouring the referendum’ tactic as an excuse.

      The wider problem was that the electorate at large could see nothing to distinguish Labour policy from that of the Tories. It was that situation that created the notion of a confused policy with no clear distinctive characteristics. This, of course, emphasized by the massive media bias against Corbyn and the Party.

      Given the fix that the Party was in at that stage, the only way of rationalising its position was the one adopted. It couldn’t go back to what would have been a more principled stance, so the second referendum., giving a better opportunity for consideration of the issue was about the only step open. This did partially address the leakage of Remain votes, but the wider damage had been done.

      The trouble is that the die had already been cast by the earlier mistakes and the continuing media propaganda. The Brexit press continued portraying the policy as unclear (surprise, surprise) and, of course, the readers, of those headlines (who weren’t a ‘core vote’ in any meaningful sense) did indeed swallow it – just as they had done in the original campaign. They also swallowed the linked media portrayal of Corbyn as both confused and ‘dangerous’.

      The rest is now history – a history that would not have been changed by following the instructions of the Tory propaganda press.

      1. RH,

        Sorry RH but it is rather binary, you either accept the outcome of democratic verdicts or you don’t, I accept them, Remainiacs do not – how much more simplification do you want?

        And, when middle class Remainiacs became so galvanised, so convinced that the Brexit Vote was wrong, that it was stolen and they expressed this fact wonderfully in the streets of London, this working class oik just wanted to vomit, as did many persons from my background.

      2. Christopher Rogers, you like to see things as binary when they very rarely are that simple.

        How about answering my question about if a majority voted for the death penalty would you accept it?

      3. I see Jack T playing a bait and switch game, how hilarious, and actually, if ever such an eventuality occurred, which it will not, of course I’d abide by the outcome of such a Referendum if I actually believed it right and proper to uphold democratic outcomes, however ghastly they are to me as an individual.

        However, the EU Referendum was not a life and death issue, rather, and at its heart it was an issue of do you desire to proceed with the European project, or Exit said project, and the popular vote decided by a majority of 1 million plus to Exit, which, as far as I can discern looking back, most of our Parliamentarian’s agreed to uphold said vote once known, which is why Article 50 was triggered.

        The rest is just theatre I’m afraid, and if you wish to behave like the Hilary Clinton Pink Pussy Hat Gang, so be it, but most strange we have a Clown in power today, when we were told a Second Referendum (People’s Vote) was a sure winner – not from my vantage point I’m afraid.

      4. What an admission!!! that you would support something no matter how ghastly it was if it was agreed by a majority.

        Thanks, I do not need to know any more about you.

    2. Sorry, Christopher. Most obviously – there is nothing undemocratic about another vote. We do it at every election for issues decided by simple majority. I’m not signing up to eternal Tory rule on the basis of Thursday’s vote!

      Leaving aside the particular flaws peculiar to 2016 (which are indeed glaring), your argument has two strands of verifiable illogicality:

      1. If a vote is irrevocable, then the first referendum to stay in the EU should stand, not the 2016 one.

      2. Because constitutional issues in a *proper* democracy need to command wide support, they are not usually decided by a simple majority. That’s why the 1975 vote had more legitimacy in the first place.

      The 2016 affair – apart from other flaws- only commanded the assent of just over a third of the electorate.

      Essentially you confuse ‘democracy’ with simple ‘majoritarianism’. They are not the same thing.

      1. Misrepresentation. Not EU: EEC,different organisations, however when every political party agree ‘the rules of the game’ & the vast majority of parliamentary MPs vote in favour of holding a referendum & then in favour of implementing Article 50, the Labour Party tell ‘Lexiteers’ that they got it wrong & they now must vote the right way, Could it be Labour Party MPs got it wrong & their constituents took the opportunity to tell them so. It seems the Metropolitan Bourgeois elite still hold these constituents in contempt.

  11. As a bit of light relief to the gloom, I thoroughly recommend the following from Mitch Benn, singing about moving to Scotland to avoid ‘the monkeys ruling the zoo’ and ‘the English piss away all that they had” :

    https://youtu.be/S-FT3W-rXsA

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