Europe and Brexit, yesterday & tomorrow

Europe and Brexit, yesterday & tomorrow

It wasn’t a good night for Labour last night and but not as good for the Brexit Party as they might have hoped. This article was written mainly on Tuesday and backdated to Monday 27th. It looks at the impact on the European Union, how the earth moved in the UK,  and the dreadful and inept campaigning decisions taken by the Labour Party. It finishes with a brief look at the immediate reactions in the Labour Party not least the twitter spat between Paul Mason and LOTO.

This is what the European Parliament will look like.

ep-2019-2024-hemisphereFrans Timmermans, the Socialist Spitzenkandat is now appealing for the Euro Liberals (ALDE) to build a progressive alliance in the hope of winning the Presidency of the Commission. How those lost 10 Labour seats would have helped him. This is an important initiative; the European Parliament has been run by the pan-European equivalent of the German grand coalition and while the numbers might have made this necessary, if a progressive majority could establish itself and the German Social Democrats weaned off their alliance with the Christian Democrats then a reform agenda for the EU becomes much easier since the German Social Democrats are both large and influential although. (This reminds me I must write to the Charlottenberg SPD to see what joint work we i.e. Lewisham Labour might do.)

Another good aspect of the results across Europe is that the hard right did less well than they had hoped, although the story in France is less optimistic.

This is the worst result in the Tories history, they have lost big time, their worst result since 1832. The main beneficiaries would seem to be the Brexit Party but some Tories moved to the Lib Dems, Labour and even the Greens. I illustrate the change in seats.

What happend to the votes is best described on Lord Ashcroft’s blog where he presents this chart showing the movement of votes from 2017 to 2019.

It doesn’t make good reading for Labour either. The LibDems stolen slogan, “Bollocks to Brexit” was clearly helpful to them and they have been historically sticky, once people learn to vote for them and they win, they stick with them despite having some disgraceful and unprincipled candidates, although that’s not something they have a monopoly on. (Huhn and Hughes). This was before Clegg & Cable’s tuition fee betrayal and their collusion on the Osborne’s Tory led coalition austerity programme.

If ALDE’s behaviour in the European Parliament repeats this submissive support of the executive committee of the bourgeoisie then this might have some consequences for the Lib Dems & Verhofstadt.

Labour’s hope must be that we have the 2017 manifesto, and many want & need that radical hope. What ever happens Labour needs to be anti-austerity and in my opinion clearer on remaining. Ashcroft In fairness to the Party, we have always believed that Remain is better than a bad or no deal exit.

Another thing that Labour needs to fix is the dreadful campaign. Elements of what might seem deliberate actions are detailed in John Howarth MEP’s letter to his members and published by the Huffington Post who selectively quote him as shall I. He says,

As such it was either phenomenally naive or utterly mendacious to put in place a policy that would knowingly lose votes in remarkable numbers.

From there on the party machine sought to close down any deviation for the suicidal central message. In an unprecedented decision the General Secretary was appointed agent for the entire country. At all other EU election since regional lists were introduced Regional Directors have been agents. They managed the desire of CLPs to promote candidates and help win the elections. The spending limits for these elections are huge, easily capable of accommodating local activity aimed at enhancing the campaign. This time spurious legal grounds were used to clamp down on local activity and even additional union assistance. The much derided nationally produced leaflets which carried no mention of a ‘confirmatory vote’ were presented to MEPs as a fait accomplice that was “already at print” – this turned out to be untrue but it shows how the campaign was run. The eventual product was no better. While it was frustrating to be fighting an election with hands and feet bound and with Labour staff in apparent opposition it is not the fault of junior staff or middle managers – responsibility lies elsewhere.

Howarth elsewhere in his letter talks of the poor role played by the NEC in developing and agreeing the Labour Manifesto.

To his words, I would add the late selection of candidates which delayed the production of election material, ensured there was no trigger ballot and no membership ballot to settle order, the stunningly shit “Fight  Farage” leaflet with his picture FFS and the late delivery of out cards and election addresses; half my canvassing we had no material to leave the very few doubtfuls.

The question I ask is where is the member led party? Conference has been firm that Remain is better than a bad deal! The compromise starts from we oppose a Tory Brexit, tactically we prefer a general election because it’s easier to talk about austerity, jobs, education and the NHS in an election and turnout is better, but elevating the general election to the point of principle and opposing a 2nd referendum is foolish and dishonest.

One silver lining is that the shadow cabinet and Jeremey Corbyn are now arguing that a 2nd referendum is required for any deal; we’ll have to see if the votes are there to push it through. They may have been influenced by Paul Mason’s article and the acrimonious fallout on twitter as he accurately lays the blame at the feet of the Leader of the Opposition’s office (LOTO).

ooOOOoo

Related Posts

‘The people have spoken’: How Remain parties beat Hard Brexiteers in European elections from business insider

Notes From The Cult: After EU. No, After EU from a blog called disappointed idealist, a different take on what happened and what should happen next. He or she starts by looking at who didn’t vote.

Labour’s priority should be helping to build a European socialist left by Sabrina Huck at Labour List

Unhinged by James Butler at the LRB, Labour’s front bench’s room for manoeuvre is constrained by divisions in the PLP and by it’s membership’s enthusiasm. It’s not as free as either side of the debate think.

 

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Vote Labour again

Welcome to the Brexit merry-go-round!

I have been reading the news as have you all. Labour’s promised vote seems to be plummeting, in London in 2017, we got 61% and in the Mayoral election, Sadiq Kahn got 41% of first preferences. Polls are suggesting that Labour is on about 24% in London, although they could be wrong.

Labour supporters should vote Labour.

If you are a Remainer, and we win, these MEPs will sit for 5 years holding a Commission accountable.

Labour’s MEPs will be the Party of European Socialists and will pursue the objects of the PES Manifesto, which is largely influenced by Labour’s agenda of anti-austerity economics and social solidarity. Labour MEPs will vote for the Socialist candidate for the position of President of the Commission.

In London our candidates are good people. Claude Moraes has an exemplary record as European Legislator acting as Rapporteur (i.e. author) for the GDPR which redefined the right of Privacy in Europe. He has been Chair of the Civil Liberties committee, Seb Dance is probably best know for the he’s lying stunt but has been campaigning on environmental rights, Katy Clark used to be an MP and was a strong civil rights campaigner and Laura Parker is an articulate socialist who would strengthen Labour’s parliamentary team; she has been part of the team that has led Momentum to its “remain” supporting decision.

We talk of beating Farage; this is not just important in the UK for our own political health but the number of MEPs in the European Parliament matters. Historically Farage has sat independently with allies but apart from the Fascist parties from France & Hungary. These far-right parties are likely to be joined by the Alternative for Deutschland and the Italian hard right. The idea of an alliance of the political right of such size is frightening and all democrats should do their best to oppose these people. i.e. coming first or second matters in the UK.

The alternative for many seems to be the LibDems. If elected, they will sit with the ALDE group led by Guy Verhofstadt, who has been the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator; he has given up partly because he feels that ALDE will be more powerful without a strong Labour delegation. The British LibDems are no longer part of a British progressive alliance and ALDE cannot be trusted to fight the far-right.

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Candidates for London Labour’s Board

Candidates for London Labour’s Board

And we begin the run in to Labour’s London Region Conference, Momentum are indicating who thy’d like supported here. I shall be supporting this list and believe that most of the Left will also do so. As ever, this is a two stage process of nomination by CLPs and then voting at Conference.

In addition, CLPs can also make nominations for the positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, Women’s Officer, Disabilities Officer, Ethnic Minorities Officer, LGBT Officer, as well as two representatives on the National Policy Forum. These positions will be elected by an electoral college, of which CLP delegates will hold 50% and affiliates will hold the other 50%:

Lewisham Deptford is in CLP Division 4, together with the London Assembly constituencies of Greenwich & Lewisham and Bexley & Bromley, we are supporting the candidacies of Munir Malik and Dorinda Duncan as Board members representing Division 4.

Featured Image Credit: CC Mark Seton 2012 BY-NC …