Analysis comment

Video: Blair, Wilson and Thornberry booed in Sedgefield over ‘stop Brexit’ position. Ignore centrist spin

Farage event in Sedgefield made clear to media extent of Brexit anger – yet reviews now are discounting evidence
Nigel Farage in Sedgefield in September – audience members called to hang ‘traitor’ Blair

Shameless spin by media types and Establishment media has focused on the north-east constituency of Sedgefield – Tony Blair’s old seat, lost 11 days ago by Labour right-winger Phil Wilson – as an exemplar of the supposed unpopularity of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the party’s policies.

Wilson – who turned a 2017 majority of around 6,000 into a 2019 defeat of around 4,500 – tried to blame Ian Lavery and the party’s leadership for his loss and Labour’s overall performance:

Yet only three months earlier, the Guardian’s North of England editor Helen Pidd attended a Brexit party event in Sedgefield – and reported on the extreme manifestations of Brexit-driven anger against Wilson’s predecessor and his anti-Brexit comments:

Centrists are currently pushing the nonsense that Labour’s new leader needs to be more like Blair in order to win back working-class communities. But the anger toward the former Labour PM – who used to win the seat by 20,000 votes or more – was intense.

And that anger was not only directed toward Tony Blair. Then-MP for Sedgefield Phil Wilson was loudly booed for his disdain – as painted by Farage – for the leave votes of his constituents. Similarly, Emily Thornberry’s name triggered loud anger for saying she would campaign for remain against the Brexit deal Labour hoped to negotiate in government:

The claims by centrists that the election result was not about Brexit – or even worse that Labour would have done better in their leave-voting former strongholds if they had been more ‘remainy’ – simply do not stand up.

Instead, by their contempt for working-class leave voters they put Farage and Johnson where they should never be – in a position to pretend they were standing up for democracy.

MPs – and ex-MPs – who spent two and a half years demanding that Labour abandon its 2017 commitment to carry out the referendum result have nothing to teach those MPs and party activists who warned constantly what that abandonment would cause. They owe us their silence.

Except for apologising, that is – but there is precious little sign of that.

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  1. They blame not just Corbyn on a personal level – which everybody is only too used to – but they knock the Manifesto which in the near and long term is more serious. They cite some poll that says 45% of people oppose tax increases on the rich and a similar number oppose Nationslisation of utilities. REALLY? It’s simply not believable, akin to a LibDem chart. I recall another poll about 6 weeks before the election and before it was called. It gave figures for Labour if the election was before a Brexit decision and figures for an election after. The first scenario meant disaster and the second victory by a substantial margin, it was interesting enough to attract some attention but was very quickly ‘forgotten’ and not discussed. When Thornberry and Starmer turned Full On Remain, contrary to party policy I felt the campaign stumble. You could see it in Corbyn’s face; how the hell could he face down the Senior Shadow cabinet members without splitting the party? Soon it was all Remain, stuff the stupid racist Leavers. McDonald’s turning was the last straw. The campaign fell apart with daily promises not well explained and the constant Remain, Remain background. As a Leave voter myself I can tell you how that made me feel; bloody angry! Corbyn’s policy of a new agreement and a referendum was perfectly reasonable and do-able but his colleagues never argued it, just ignored it. The Remainers were determined to match the LibDems in their passion for the EU and ignored the inevitable debacle, privately pleased to see the left trounced no doubt. If they can pin the blame on the Manifesto, despite its popularity in 2017 then they can scream and shout about any potential leader who is even slightly to the Left.

  2. So… the message… what message do we take from this, Master? Is it that Labour should have listened to Fartage?
    I’d be confused if I could be arsed following the ‘logic’.
    Turning Kipperese I think you’re turning Kipperese I really think so, ladadadumbdumbdumbdumb.

    1. “Yes” is the short answer to your question. “Wake up and smell the coffee” is the polite answer and “go jump in the river Thames” is the right answer.

    2. Corbyn’s policy made perfect sense. A new agreement was On Offer as it were, a Customs Union and the single market to protect jobs followed by a referendum on the new deal. Yes Brexit. Your casual abuse persuades me that you are just a Wrecker.

      1. Brexit was the big reason for the defeat plus the crackpot behaviour of Lady Nugee and Starmer left Corbyn up the creek sans paddle. Just seen Lisa Nandy had the revolutionary idea of asking former traditional labour voters (ex miners not wine bar socialists) why they turned Tory?1.Didn’t think much of Corbyn; 2. Didn’t want a return to the 1970’s with the industrial relations chaos. I mentioned this before (as a socialist and traditional labour) and was called a racist and fascist on these pages.
        Do we want socialist purity or power?

      2. Plain citizen – the power to govern as a Tory surrogate like Blair isn’t worth having.
        I’ll take socialist purity, thanks.
        Society will either catch up with us or it won’t.
        It would help if our best speakers took more time to explain why ‘socialist purity’ is so crucial to the future of the people and the planet, but hey – if you want to fight each election on what the BBC decides is topical, and bet the farm on coming up with a snappier soundbite than Boris – well, that’s an option.

      3. Plain citizen….you unfortunately do not know anything about the fight to retain industrial rights in the 1970s,you just parrot Tory propoganda…The 70S was the battlefield for retaining hard won righs for,workers and civil rights for the Catholic community in N.Ireland.The reply in both cases was to try to trample the working class .by the establishment..Certainly the veiws you express regarding,industrial chaos and quoting handy Nandy arch plotter betray socialism.

    3. Unfortunately, Skwawky, David McNiven’s, response, and the oft repeated insults towards our now lost heartland working class voters by the middle class privileged Remainer ‘Corbynista trendies of the likes of Novara Media, or that dreadful Guardianista celebrity faux Leftie, Paul Mason, and posters on here who have responded to the collapse of our previously secure heartland vote with a ‘fuck em’ bit of vitriol, shows there has been no mea culpa reconsideration of out suicidal adoption of Remain and second referendum by our supposed ‘Left’ membership, any more than by the PLP’s cynical Right and their press mouthpieces.

      Labour’s supposedly ‘Left’ leadership should of course have explained in depth over years now to our members and potential voters the totally neoliberal function of the EU Single Market rules, blocking as they do any serious Left economic programme , and in practice, not cynical verbiage, ‘respected the outcome of the 2016 Referendum’, and campaigned for a Labour government committed to national sovereignty to carry out a radical Left agenda .

      But that has never been the Labour Left’s way, ever, Instead , as always, the Corbyn Circle endlessly tried to accommodate to the demands of the Labour Right and centre, never confronting them, demobilising Momentum into a passive canvassing force, failing to deselect or expel a SINGLE PLP traitor , no matter how blatant their abuse , slander, and sabotage. And most of the Corbynista middle class ‘Left’ (mostly just Left Liberals in reality) actively backed the Labour Right’s demand to shift Labour to its suicidal pro EU position.

      Sad enough that Labour has for the umpteenth time failed to be a suitable political vehicle for even mild Left advance. Sadder still that most of the ‘Corbynista Left’ are still in complete denial that staying in the neoliberal EU makes any Left economic programme impossible, and that the gut instinct of our now millions of lost Labour heartland voters that for their lives to be improved the UK, under a Left government of course, not a Tory government funded by Russian oligarchs and hedge fund spivs, has to be out of the neoliberal straightjacket of the EU, is correct. Well, the Tories have temporarily ridden the disgust of our betrayed ex Labour voters to power now. But the Tories will deliver them nothing. After the Tories fail to deliver, the xenophobic scapegoaters of the radical Far Right will enter the political void of our old heartlands in ever growing strength. And this is the Labour Party’s fault, ‘Left’ and Right wings both, not the millions of desperate working class voters we have betrayed.

      1. Bad Penney
        No Deal Brexiters and snowflake remainiac neverenders are two sides of the same coin,
        Fuck em

  3. Fucking tragic but so true. I speak as person who has lived and worked in this constituency – and taken on the Labour mafia there. There’s a very small part of me that likes seeing Wilson and his pathetic mates get their come-uppance but there’s a much bigger part that is desperately sad that these brain-donors and Blairite apparatchiks are still in denial, even after the truth has punched them in the face.

    1. It’s nothing to do with ‘denial’. They know what the reality is….. how could they NOT when THEY made it happen – ie made sure that it did.

      1. Exactly many of the LP RW-Moderates have been pushing the idea of “letting” Labour lose so that they can take control in time for the election after that ( now 2024) hopefully with their “King over the Water” David Miliband returning in triumph for several months now.
        This GE result is the result of their plotting!

  4. The final paragraph should read not that ” they owe us their silence ” but that ” they owe us their RESIGNATIONS !”

    It is extremely concerning to me that we have such poisonous individuals now attempting to become the next leader , we MUST learn the lesson of TOM WATSON ….NEVER EVER AGAIN !!!!!

  5. So – duggies became brain-washed into being sock-puppets for Farage and Johnson.

    Hardly a revelation.

    1. Brilliant strategy. Alienate the voters even further in seats you need to win.

      As usual the point goes sailing way above RH’s head.

      This has been decades in the making. Commencing with the abandonment of communities by the Continuity Conservatives with Kinnock. Continued in the disdainful approach of Blair, Campbell and Mandelson who were blatently open in their disdain for those communities in both word and deed.

      Diverting EU regeneration funds for those communities to the corporate pet vanity projects (like Sheffield Airport) leaving the GDP of South Yorkshire below that of Greece until the Greek crisis ten years later whilst disdainfully announcing that traditional Labour voters in those Northern and Midland communities had ” nowhere else to go” but New Labour.

      Well they found somewhere else to go RH. Initially they stopped voting and the Party lost millions of votes, see here:

      and then they switched to UKIP and the right. And they went that way because they and their communities were abandoned and taken for granted over three decades.

      The result of which is that in both Barnsley seats, the very heart of the Yorkshire Miners, the Brexit Party came second. Don Valley, Rother Valley, Penistone and Stocksbridge, Colne Valley, Bassetlaw, Mansfield, and many more all now Tory Blue. A Tory Blue tent which now includes supporters from BF, Yaxley-Lennon’s EDL and similar ontemporary manifestations of what used to constitute the BNP and NF.

      And the proposed solution to this is to hand over the reins to those who caused his situation in the first place to carry on down the his disastrous route because they “know better.”

      If I were you RH I’d change my name to Baldrick. That’s one hell of a cunning plan you have.

  6. Maybe we have to go back to the Germany of Luther to truly understand where we are now with the Labour Party. Luther confounded and ultimately trounced the Catholic Church (and the ruling class that it represented at that time) by refusing to use the same language as they did; by addressing the common people in the language they understood and by translating the bible (the code of “god” by which all human interactions at the time were mediated) into their language. Whosoever leads the Labour Party in future needs to wake up to this reality. Moreover, whosoever leads the Labour party in future needs to speak not just with a working-class accent but with a working-class world view.

  7. So what you are saying is that in a meeting called by the Brexit supporter in chief an anti Brexit MP was booed.
    That amazes me!
    Get a grip Skwawky for crying out loud.

  8. The argument about whether the Remain stance of senior Labour MP’s caused the debacle (I think it did) is rapidly becoming redundant because Johnson is getting out. Its unfortunate the Remainers want to fight a battle already lost.

    1. Unless of course the new policy will lead to a request to re-join the EU which is their logical next move. Will they dare? Maybe they will just to finish the job of destroying the Left!

  9. Leaving the EU is economically a really damaging thing to do whether you are left or right. Portugal is introducing a socialist agenda, many EU countries have nationalised services. The source of cheap labour is rapidly ending anyway as Eastern countries become wealthier. After we leave our cheap labour will come from India and Africa. Brexit panders to xenophobia. A socialist UK would have been a huge positive influence in the EU and a force for progressive change. I would never vote for something promoted by Farage and other fascists, stirring up hatred for their own ends. The fact that so many Labour voters agreed with him is a national tragedy.

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