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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Labour’s road to here

Labour’s road to here

There has been much a-wailing and gnashing of teeth as the Labour Party NEC decides what Labour’s Euro manifesto should say; they have reiterated Conference ’18 policy, to oppose a Tory Brexit by all means including a Referendum.

I was asked elsewhere when we established and then stepped away from the six tests; The six tests were confirmed at Conference 18 although the phrase “respect the referendum” which was inserted to the 2017 Manifesto presumably through the Clause V meeting, has not been approved. I have over time tracked the development of Labour’s Brexit policy as set out by Conference.  The first is about #lab16  which says we’ll stay if terms set by the Tories are unacceptable and states that we’ll accept any mandate including a vote in Parliament. I cover the  the #lab17 stitchup but while it’s weaker, it’s still fundamentally about no worse than in, (read the comment for the bad news), and I record the words of #lab18, last year,  which opposes a tory brexit by all means, prioritises jobs, the economy and the Northern Ireland border. I also talked about the abandonment of the six tests, in this article, called “Consenus” and the low profile insertion of the Common Arrest Warrant as a requirement. …

Sometimes it’s only the long odds that work

Sometimes it’s only the long odds that work

We have got to a position in British politics, where people will say anything to get what they want. One annoying meme doing the rounds is that Remain voters should abjure Labour because it is a Brexit party. It isn’t. But it is the only anti-austerity party, the only Party that will address investment, jobs, and the labour market, housing and education. Remainers must consider Labour, as the likely alternatives to a Labour MEP are a Tory or a Brexit Party MEP.

To non Labour Remainers, it ain’t going to happen without Labour; you should play your hand to maximise the strength of the Remain cause and voting for likely losers only strengthen’s the hand of Farage & the Tories’ brexit extremists.

I used to read Jeremy Flint’s bridge class, I also used to play a bit but not very well. Flint’s bridge class was a comic and the lesson he repeated time after time was that if the obvious odds meant you failed to make your contract you had to bet on longer odds, and because it was a fiction it always came off. I didn’t really get it until a couple of years later. How come he always bets against the odds and wins? The answer is that if he bet with the odds, he was going to lose. …

Consensus?

Theresa May finally reached out to Corbyn to aks for his help in getting Brexit over the line. She wants to apply for another short extension, avoiding the Euro-elections. The good news is that having seen the weight of opinion in Parliament, she’s moving away from catastrophic towards pointless. Here’s what Corbyn said last time, in February about what he thought was acceptable, and I commented on the letter here … and then wrote a small piece about the requirement to be able to keep the European Arrest Warrant.

As I said, the latter is an important demand, since it invokes the justice pillar which brings the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Court into play. Another Tory red line bites the dust.

ooOOOoo

This also is still true, from, my “New Red Lines” article, which still holds true,

My one true fear is that it means Labour accepts the withdrawal agreement which will throws those Brit’s living in the EU under the bus, and the will permit the Tory government to implement another Windrush by placing EU citizens in the UK, having lived here for months or years under the same hostile environment applied to other alien immigrants and subject to uncertainty about their rights to remain. For me this might be a price too high!

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Back to the Commons for more on Brexit

Last night the House of Commons voted on four alternatives to No-Deal and May’s Deal Brexit, they were any deal to be confirmed by a confirmatory/final say referendum, aiming for Custom’s Union, aiming for a Customs Union and Single Market membership, and changing the default, currently to leave without a deal to Revoking of article 50. They all failed to win a majority, but the Customs Union only lost by three votes. Here is a graphic from the Institute of Governance showing the votes. I also present the majorities/minorities in bar chart form.

 

A number of MPs and commentators have argued, partly as a result of the ERG’s stupid game playing, that accepting May’s binding deal in exchange for a promise that the non-binding political declaration becomes better than May’s first draft is unacceptable; much of the problem in compromising in or with Parliament is that it can’t bind itself, so its promises are worthless. It’s one of the reasons I still support remain as Pariament can’t break the accession treaties. This means that “Customs Union” and “Common Market 2.0” have questionable value and the Withdrawal Agreement with it’s sub-standard citizenship guarantees and its failure to underwrite the Good Friday Agreement underwrite them. The vote however is meant to be indicative.

I have previously argued that Brexit is either catastrophic or pointless and I have learned that there are at least two forms of decision making, which either polarise or coalesce foci. Parliaments allow coalescence, compromise and the ability of popular second choices to become a reality. It seems that MPs are not yet ready to make these comprises, as shown by the high number of Labour votes against all these positions and Nick Boles decision to resign the Tory Whip. See below/overleaf for the bar charts, … …

Revoke Article 50, a petition

Revoke Article 50, a petition

After May’s speech last night, someone started a petition on the Government’s e-petitions site calling on the Government to Revoke the Article 50 notice to quit the EU.

The growth in signatures has been explosive, hitting the 100,000 in hours, having a rate of 50 minute at 3:30 am and hitting 2,000 a minute in the early morning (100 TPS) and then it crashed. It was restarted early morning and went down again, but is now up and states over ¾m signatures. …  …