Analysis comment

While centrists refuse reality, McCluskey nails reasons for Labour’s defeat

“When a party wins 44% of the vote, as the Tories have done, saying “get Brexit done” and literally nothing else for the whole campaign, to deny the centrality of this issue to the outcome is wilful blindness.” Unite boss hits nail on head

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey’s column in today’s Huffington Post squares up the real – and unmistakable – reasons for Labour’s defeat in the general election and lays out what Labour needs to do now.

McCluskey observes correctly that Labour’s pummelling in leave-voting seats puts beyond question the fact that the party’s move away from its 2017 commitment to enact the EU referendum result – the only significant variable compared to the 2019 campaign – was the reason for Labour’s losses.

“When our losses are concentrated in former coalfield constituencies and other post-industrial communities that voted heavily “Leave” in the 2016 referendum, and yet we happily retain our position in London more-or-less unscathed, it is staring us in the face.”

McCluskey also points out, entirely accurately, that there is a move underway by the very centrists that demanded the policy shift that caused such damage are now trying to exploit that damage or avoid responsibility:

Others will try to make a different case, either because they have volubly hankered after the New Labour past throughout the years of Corbyn’s leadership of the party, or because they lack the honesty to accept the consequences of their advocacy of keeping Britain in the EU at any political price.

This has been borne out in comments from numerous so-called ‘moderates’ today – and exemplified in a thread by Hove MP Peter Kyle, one of two co-authors of the main parliamentary attempt to bind any Brexit deal to a new referendum, the very concept of which has been so toxic in Labour’s heartlands.

“Kyle’s co-author in his ‘confirmatory vote’ amendment was Phil Wilson, whose leave-supporting Sedgefield constituents voted him out on Thursday – and yet Kyle still denies reality.”

Kyle’s denial of obvious reality is staggering – and matched only by the sheer arrogance with which he delivers it, launching a call for a take-over of the Shadow Cabinet by centrist MPs at the same time as claiming he only wants ‘a conversation, not a fight:

But that’s just the beginning of the arrogance.

Kyle claims that he and his clan have ‘heard what voters have said and what is expected of us’ – yet in the same thread he ignores the Brexit-related outrage so obviously demonstrated on Thursday and instead tries to claim that abandoning its Brexit commitment was not the driver for Labour’s losses being concentrated in leave seats.

Kyle’s co-author in his ‘confirmatory vote’ amendment was Phil Wilson -whose leave-supporting Sedgefield constituents voted him out on Thursday by more than 4,000 votes after giving him a majority of over 6,000 in 2017 when Labour pledged to respect the leave result.

And yet Kyle still denies reality.

McCluskey’s article and Kyle’s thread are a perfect illustration of the choice facing Labour supporters in the aftermath of the election result.

In the blue corner, wilful, centrist denial of reality that is all about shifting blame onto those who tried to respect working-class communities and perpetuating the disrespect that has cost the UK’s vulnerable so dear.

And in the red corner, authentic working-class voices who’ve never looked with disdain on their brothers and sisters and will not start now – and who intend to take Labour back toward the people who feel the party moved away from them.

Working-class people need Labour – and Labour needs them. The Kyles in the party must not be allowed to repeat and extend the damage they have caused.

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    1. i strongly suspect the the Establishment press’s constant villification of Corbyn has played a very large part in non-voters citing disrespect and dislike of him as a reason to not vote Labour, that is when they reject Labour’s transformative offer. For some, it will even be caused by feelings of guilt. Self–reproach isn’t easy or likely when people feel bad about their actions.

      That’s not to say that Corbyn would be universally loved without the press’ and BBC’s incessant vilification of him, but it does explain the extent and scope of it.

      1. I think that’s a fair summary. The attack on Corbyn has been unprecedented in modern times, and you didn’t have to go far to discover how much it had infected the electorate’s brains.

    2. Regarding the poll/survey in the D Mirror, I can’t help but be sceptical. And I have no doubt whatsoever that polling organisations in many cases are part of the Establishment”s propaganda ‘machinery’ and, as such, can be used to influence what people think and believe. Yes, of course all the relentless negative propaganda had an effect, and the fact that a survey commissioned by the authors of Bad News For Labour found that, on average, participants believed that 34% of LP members had been reported for A/S is testament to their power and the effectiveness of the smear campaign(s). But most of the Labour seats that were lost were in Leave areas.

      By the time of the 2017 GE the smears had been in full swing for nearly two years, and yet the LP did very well despite all the smears (and would no doubt have WON but for the smears). I think the PTB are intent on having people believe that it was mainly down to JC, as opposed to Brexit, because it was the Blairite ‘moderates’ who forced Jeremy’s hand regarding a second referendum, and of course the last thing they want is for their red Tories to be blamed – ie to be seen as responsible – for the historic result/loss in the GE.

      Surely if this dislike of JC was universal AND *that* was the main reason people who normally vote Labour voted for the Tories or the Brexit Party, those who voted Remain would have voted LibDem or Green, as such. But they DIDN’T, and it doesn’t make sense that only those in areas that voted Leave would not vote for Labour because of their dislike of JC.

      1. The following is from an article in the Indy:

        If we look at the overall vote shares of the parties, this is actually fairly obvious. Labour seems to be heading for around 33 per cent of the vote – not far down on what it won in 2005 when it won a majority (35 per cent) and better than it won in 2010 and 2015, but lower than 2017. But Boris Johnson’s Tories appear to be on course for a historically huge share of the vote.

        There are some implications of this. One is that the idea that voters have somehow historically “abandoned Labour” in its traditional heartlands – any more than they did in 2005, 2010, or 2015 –is not really correct. Rather, in most cases, a temporary boost that Jeremy Corbyn won in 2017 has unwound. More research will be needed to understand better why this happened in 2019 compared to 2017 – it may have been that negative stories about Jeremy Corbyn stuck more. But the fact that these losses are overwhelmingly in Leave areas, while Remain areas stood firm or even were added to Labour’s collection, suggests there is some kind of Brexit connection. Labour went into the election promising another referendum and the Tories hammered home the message that the party wanted to “block Brexit”.

        It was of course the following part that I was drawing attention to:

        But the fact that these losses are overwhelmingly in Leave areas, while Remain areas stood firm or even were added to Labour’s collection, suggests there is some kind of Brexit connection.

        Do you have a link to a more reliable source Qwertboi? I mean it doesn’t make sense or add up, because surely we would have lost many more seats in Remain areas than we did in Leave areas if that were the case. But we didn’t.

      2. Very well argued. This very short Mirror article DOESN’T explore the REASONS voters were disaffected with Corbyn, particularly how their disaffection with the Brexit change reflected on their view of Corbyn’s leadership.

        If we see a further breakdown of seats which went Tory, I wouldn’t b at all surprised to see Labour leave seats having a substantially REDUCED turnout: I many such seats people either vote Labour or they don’t vote. A mass boycott of Labour in in otherwise ultra-safe Labour seats would make sense of the numbers.

        As would my mp giving the game away by saying 2 our GC shortly b4 GE19 ” we must become a remain party” .

        Let alone the unintentionally hilarious Ayesha Hazarika letting the cat right out of the bag by saying – was it b4 all votes were in ? – “it was Corbyn, not Brexit. ”

        As has pointed out, beware of gaslighting.

        Shifting the blame onto Corbyn is the central stock of the gaslighting

    3. Absolutely no time for McCluskey, with his disgraceful appeasement tactics and failure to support open selection. He was a contributor to the reason we lost.

      It’s not the job of politicians to follow the electorate after they have been swung by people like Farage, it’s their job to analyse a proposal calmy and clearly and put options to the people. Instead, in the Labour Party, we had MPs using Brexit as a way to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn who in the end didn’t know which way to turn. Blame falls both on the left and the right of the Party.

      Because they still pander to their own bias, if you want an analysis of why we lost far better than either McCluskey, the Mirror or Skwawkbox could produce, see this:

      1. Interesting article by Tony Greenstein, whom I know. Will read.

      1. It’s no surprise that Leave voters had a big influence in Labour areas, the question is why? when without doubt, leaving the EU is their worst option.

        The answer is fairly clear, it’s because the left and the right in the Party spent that much time fighting each other that they failed to mount a concerted challenge to Farage who focused on those areas and got in there first.

      2. But it obviously goes without saying that THEY didn’t see it like that Jack – ie that leaving the EU was their worst option.

        As for the fight (between right and left in the Party), I would hardly call it THAT, and it was solely the right attacking and undermining the left via the might of the corporate media and the semi-corporate BBC.

        But just out of interest, how would they have gone about mounting this ‘concerted challenge’ to Farage anyway?

      1. Absolutely Florence. People in long-standing LP constituencies left behind 4 many years quite rightly see the EU as an engine of privatisation, cuts and thoroughly anti-democratic to boot.

        To say their best future is with the EU is nothing short of grotesque.

  1. the Kyles were indulged. We did not rebut and be on the front foot. We obsessed about every remote and niche metropolitan diversion do had no time to notice that our heartlands had been let down badly by Blair, Brown & Co – Conservatives. So we failed to publicise that BEFORE the election was called. Then suddenly day after day revealed policies like planting trees, instead of repeating seven or fewer TANGIBLE concerns. IMMEDIATE concerns… everyday since 2016. Not wait until a campaign to offer the moon and the stars and the remainiac hogwash of Blair Major & Heseltine Cuck munna soubrey berger … all that lot. The my lost! Leave them to it.

    1. You keep going on about planting trees signpost! THAT’s the THIRD time you’ve mentioned it in the past week, and you say it in the sense that it was a mistake to do so, implying that THAT was the only thing that Labour candidates were talking about, or that people can’t digest a whole range of policies that Labour candidates were talking about, and somehow get stuck on just THAT one, which is of course complete and utter testacles. It’s like when JC said that if he were elected he would have Chequers transformed into a hostel for the homeless AND Steve H chimed in with ‘it would probably cost more’, and then shortly afterwards posted again saying it’s a distraction. Yeah, sure Steve, people can only take in ONE thing and THAT one blocked out their ability to take on board anything else. What total propaganda claptrap…. oh right, and then RH chimed in with a couple of posts/replies agreeing with Steve!

      Yes, the old ‘consensus’ propaganda ruse to ‘persuade’ people to agree. I encountered it literally hundreds and hundreds of times during the seven/eight years I spent countering the propaganda lies and falsehoods of the anti-camera brigade – ie SafeSpeed, so-called, the boy-racers friend, and the important-sounding Association of British Drivers. And they ALSO manipulated the ‘Likes’ (and ‘Dislikes’), just as the im-posters do on here all the time.

      Anyway, signpost, as soon as you’ve sorted out the ‘hostile presenters’ you referred to in another thread, don’t forget to post them on here. And I’ll keep reminding you just in case it slips your mind. Oh, and could you name a few Labour people who were talking about planting trees as well? Cheers.

      And needless to say, Jeremy’s idea to transform Chequers into a hostel for homeless people (until they can be found permanent accommodation) was a Wonderful idea, and in its own way exemplifies the man he is, and everything he stands for. Here’s a link to Steve H and RH (related by any chance!) doing their ‘dismissive’ number:

      1. The basic idea that the Manifesto presentation was too unfocused is, I think, a valid one – and one, I think, that Corbyn himself felt.

        That said, I doubt that this individually was a significant factor in the result.

  2. Not only do we have the Red Tory Remianiacs within the PLP fail to recognise the bleeding obvious, namely the Election was lost by Labour on the alter of Brussels – a fact that even the EU Commission itself now fully endorses, but they, that is the Establishment and Red Tory Toads on our own benches, wish to now transfer the blame on to Corbyn’s shoulders, much as the fuckers transferred the Brexit loss on to Corbyn’s shoulders in July 2016 when they launched their unsuccessful Chicken Coup.

    So, and despite the MSM/Establishment stitch up of an honest and decent man, the fact remains that the Labour Party was seen as part of the problem in the UK fulfilling its 2016 Referendum outcome of withdrawing the nation from the EU, and many associated with this fact from all sides of the House were punished for denying democracy, which many had warned about, alas such warnings had bile heaped upon them, even in the post-GE aftermath.

    So, lets get it straight, the Remainiac and Red Tory infestation within the PLP authored its own demise and has utter contempt for democracy and democratic outcomes – allegedly these fuckers know better than me, despite the glaring fact of more than 20% of their peers being ejected by the Electorate, which they still despise, be that the actual UK Electorate, or Labour Party membership.

    A few other facts the Remainics need to consider when they tally up voting slips and claim a majority of the UK opposes Brexit because the Brexit Party and Tories did not gain an absolute voting advantage, namely buggers like myself, a Labour Leave voter, who stuck with Corbyn and the Party despite his own reservations about the anti-democratic nature of many within the Labour Party, so its fair to say the nation as a whole remains split 50/50 on this issue and that the Tory’s played a blinder, namely focusing their efforts on Labour Leave seats, many of which were/are inhabited by toads – Ms Cooper Balls being one that comes to mind.

    So, could the Remainiac posters on this board, please explain to me how any Labour Manifesto promises could be believed given most of the PLP had zero respect for it and would have deposed JC whatever the outcome of Thursday’s vote – its these traitors who have gifted us the Clown that needs sorting out, together with a Party machinery that allows such festering sores to prosper within the Labour Movement at the working classes expense – they are not Moderates, they are not Centrists, they are anti-democratic scum that need removing if the LP has any hope of surviving outside of the London Bubble.

    1. ” Remainics ….” etc. etc. – actually half the country – abandoned had Labour continued coat-tailing the Tories.

      The usual blind blather from the Toytown left that reinforces the MSM image of the Party as a joke influenced by the Tooting brigade. Out of touch, out of evidence and and out of mind.

      1. Perhaps on reflection you would like to withdraw your silly “Toytown left” remark Richard.?

      2. Dear Mr Hayward,

        It may well have slipped your mind but the entire Brexit dialogue has been driven by ERG Brexit maniacs and liberal progressive Europhile Remainiacs, who, don’t represent the views of the average voter in the UK – indeed, given the vote in 2016 and massive division it caused some compromise position was needed, and funnily enough Corbyn offered such a position via the 2017 Party manifesto, namely a Norway Plus Deal with Brussels, which, whilst not being perfect, at least appeased most of the Leave and Remain electorate, sadly however, the PLP was festooned with Remainiacs, whilst the Tory Party had its fair share of ERG maniacs, and the LibDems, well, they just wanted the Brexit Vote rescinded, as if it never happened.

        Now, if you don’t like my terminology, I don’t give a damn, but one’s analysis is based on the fact that all politics and political outcomes require compromise, not appeasement, just compromise, regrettably such compromise could not satisfy the nutters, so we now have a racist clown as PM. facts old bean, facts and the facts are the bulk of the electorate was quite pissed off with the Brexit charade, which has dominated our political agenda since June 2016.

        And, if that’s toytown politics, then fuck off please.

      3. john thatcher – Thanks for your invitation, but no.

        To be clear : the ‘Toytown left’ is that section of the left who constantly provide aid and comfort to the Tories by such nonsense as ‘Remaniacs’, calling democracy ‘undemocratic’, and other such related stuff.

        They are the mirror image of the PLP members who attempted to undermine Corbyn.

    2. I would have been a Remain voter ,(if I still had a vote),but I agree with your analysis completely Christopher.

      1. Funny old world John, but at least on Off Guardian, posters and readers have no issues with understanding such terminology, which when i use it really is dripping with contempt – I dislike all those who are incapable of accepting democratic outcomes and some of the Remainiac antics have been below the pale, at the same time i give no support whatsoever to uber free market basket cases, and its that camp that epitomises the extremist Brexit Brigade, not Leave working class voters.

      2. Christopher Rogers “I dislike all those who are incapable of accepting democratic outcomes”

        When we leave the EU, there will probably be cries from the ‘hang em and flog em’ brigade, typified by Prity Patel, to bring back capital punishment, which is outlawed by EU membership. If there was a democratic vote to reintroduce it, would you support it?

    3. Many good points christopher rogers, but it isn’t helpful to accentuate the ‘remainiac’ thing. The entire party is split on this. Many fine red-blooded pro-Corbyn members favour being pro-remain, so don’t use it as a proxy for ‘enemy within’. (I’ll concede that many anti-CorbynProject labourites seem to be using their own remain inclination as a reason to oppose Corbyn and his concilliatory stance – aand this is attrrocious – but let’s not sink to their level. The crime is disloyalty to the party and its leader, not being an internationalist who favours remaining in the EU).

      1. qwertboi,

        Whilst our nation may be divided by the issue of the UK’s relationship with Brussel’s and all who cast a vote in June 2016 vote must count, and their opinion be heard, the sad fact is that in both camps you had extremists, on the one hand your had ERG fanatics in the pro-Brexit camp, and in the Remain camp you had liberal progressive Europhiles quite happy to sacrifice the UK on the alter of Brussels. Of course a clear majority of the electorate did not belong to either extremist group, also, all the MSM noise, and Parliamentary noise was heard from both extremist sides, which actually deepened divisions – the policy JC had in mind, as recommended to him by Prof Yanis Varoufakis was the Norway Plus compromise solution, which effectively is what was put to the nation in 2017, and, if it had been adopted by parliament could have solved the Brexit conumdrum for a majority of the electorate.

    1. This in general illustrates perfectly the sort of venom was being planted in the minds of voters over a period of years – and, of course specifically aimed at that audience in the old industrial seats.

      Clearly the major factor in the result

  3. It’s not unlike the 1970 election, the first one I was able to vote in. Harold Wilson was portrayed as a Soviet Agent as opposed to racist. Corbyn. A progressive ‘centrist’ government that had done so much to update the country was soundly defeated by Edward Heath. He brought us the first miner’s strike, the 3 day week, Internment without trial and a shoot to kill policy in NI.

  4. It wasn’t Brexit, it was Jeremy Corbyn. Who says?……….Andrew Neil; Laura Kuenssberg; plus uncle Tom Cobbley & all the entire MSM. No need for anti-Semitism now that it’s done its job! Who next for leader…..Chris Williamson (sorry, just wishful thinking); what about Yvette Cooper or any other Blairite?

    1. You confuse public perception with the propaganda that created it.

      Corbyn was – objectively – a major reason for people voting Tory. Just a fact, not a judgment.

  5. Amongst the losses were some good left leaning MP’s so now I’m worried. Does anyone know what the number of supporting MP’s to get onto a leadership ballot is and do we have the left numbers now ?

  6. I told a CLP a while back if they passed a resolution on a 2nd Ref then we would lose the election and with 400 Leave constituencies and 200 Remain “It was electoral suicide” and we should respect the Leave result but the majority (poorly read & timid) Right and Progressive middle class Left (with socialist hearts but a poor analysis) passed it by 2:1.
    Because most of us love Jeremy because of his humanity (and he mainly thinks like us) we went along with the conference compromise JC felt he had to make but we tried to make it at least credible to give us a chance.
    But essentially we lost because Remainers were self actualising and were putting themselves first without looking at the bigger picture.
    They were not asking the right question, Leave or Remain could work and the question was: How do we build a left wing democratic socialist society?
    I think thanks to the hard work of activists we managed to get 203 seats but perhaps if we had had a Leader like Boy Wonder David Miliband and out and out Remain we would have ended up like Pasok with what 100 seats?
    The Right in Labour are good at ignoring democtratic results (JL as leader TWICE) and Leave.
    I wasn’t impressed with Ed Miliband as Leader but did not criticise him once publicly in 3 years.
    The Right want a few crumbs for working people, nice rewarding careers and cosy meetings.
    Capital wants a compliant Labour Party that is no threat who they can throw the odd crumb to whilst continuing their exploitation and stuffing the mouths of the rich with gold.
    So we need a Left Wing Democratic Socialist Leader and deputy and since sadly we lost a few stars the only 2 that come to mind are Rebecca Long Bailey and Richard Burgon (in any order).
    Do we want to be passive and politically docile or “The stars that ride the storm” ?
    3 things are now certain:
    1. The Right Wing (now nationalist but will pretend to be one-nation) Neo-Liberal Tories can be intellectually crushed.
    2. As Streekt argues with quantitative easing (Tories have spent £435b on this since 2010 just to keep the economy static) “The rich and powerful are just buying time because they haven’t a clue what to do” but Labour does with public investment and the transformation that is needed.
    3. The number of kids in poverty and the homeless and those in poverty pay will increase and we need to help and fight alongside them and for the NHS now more than ever!
    I have managed to suppress my tears for these citizens so far since the result probably because I did everything to warn Labour if we didn’t respect the Leave result then we would lose but perhaps like change they will come.

  7. For a start, Opinium (the polling group which called the 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 of 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 started saying: “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, and even then it depended upon who you listened to. If you listened carefully its 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’ve 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.

    1. Jim Denham. Completely agree, Labour triangulated to chase votes instead of taking stock on Brexit pros an cons and coming to the inescapable conclusion that under no circumstances would Britain be better off outside the EU. Corbyn took too much notice of the Self Indulgent Lexiters.

      1. Jim Denham. My agreement above does not mean I support in the slightest your criticisms in another article of Chris Williamson, one of if not the only true Socialist, sadly no longer in the PLP.

      2. Labour MPs voted for having a Referendum; voted for Article 50 & placed in the Manifesto that they would respect the result before telling me I got it wrong & I have to vote again. I got it wrong?

    2. Thanks for that analytical dose of reality and the history of this debacle.

      Mythology and factionalism is no way forward.

  8. Labour lost because it refused to honour Leave and the Right are clinging at straws to push their narrative.
    With a centrist Remainer it would now be like Pasok with what 80 seats?
    I would back Rebecca for Leader and Richard for Deputy.

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