While it was useful to remove Corbyn, centrist ‘red lines’ abounded – but now they’re disposable
Centrist MP Ben Bradshaw was one of the most ardent anti-Brexit, pro-referendum voices in the years leading up to last year’s general election. So much so, that in 2019 he vowed he had,
never abstained on #Brexit & never shall.
Fast forward to today – and Bradshaw flatly stated that he was going to abstain on the Tories’ Brexit deal:
Whether in Bradshaw’s specific case it’s simply a reflex reaction to the abstention-addiction of his fellow-centrist leader Keir Starmer – who, ironically, is for once whipping MPs to actually vote on the agreement – or a sign of something else, his absolute determination not to budge on Brexit under Corbyn and his screeching u-turn now illustrate neatly the fact that Brexit was never that much of an issue to the right compared to the primary aim of getting rid of Corbyn.
As neatly as arch-referendumer Starmer’s example itself, in fact: now whipping to vote for a Brexit deal before he’d even read it, but from 2018 onward pushing Labour into the fatal abandonment of its 2017 commitment to carry out the referendum result, even when that meant adding a ‘people’s vote’ promise into his conference speech that had never been agreed with the leadership.
Then again, the Labour right didn’t balk at helping Johnson win the general election and guaranteeing Brexit. Ensuring there would not be a left-wing government was more important to them than anything.
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