More on Brexit

July 2020 Forums General discussion More on Brexit

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 395 total)
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  • #176558
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    Just as long as we continue to expose and oppose its infantile leftist posturing for what it is, as undeliverable barely reconstructed reformism, instead of pandering to his supporters naivety with sweet words.

    #176605
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Ominous warnings from Brexiteer

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-46847169

    #176612
    ALB
    Participant

    Actually, the words of that tweet are not bad. If they had come from us it would be an appeal for the class struggle. But it didn’t come from us but from the leader of the band of professional politicians known as the Labour Party. In this context it means something different.

    It’s a text that takes into account that Labour voters were and are divided between Leavers and Remainers and is an appeal to both of them to forget their differences and vote Labour.

    It also reflects Labour’s fence-sitting on the issue for fear of antagonising one side or the other.

    From their point of view of getting their bums on the seats on the other side of the dispatch box, Labour’s strategy makes some sense. It’s their only chance of getting a general election before 2022. May’s withdrawal bill is essentially only a technical document which Labour could easily support as they wouldn’t be able to negotiate anything much different. The real negotiations about the UK capitalist class’s future trading arrangements will take place during the 21-month “transition period” when they will stay exactly as they are now (in customs union and in single market). But if Labour votes through May’s bill then the Conservatives will be in power during this period and will probably negotiate something that might be a bit different from what a Labour government might. In any event, the Labour politicians wouldn’t get a chance at coming into office until 2022. No wonder they are engaged in parliamentary manoeuvring to force an early general election.

    Still, the fact that Corbyn is using such language gives our position some credibility and us some standing in the debate.

    #176613
    vincentM
    Participant

    Matt said:

    Just as long as we continue to expose and oppose its infantile leftist posturing for what it is, as undeliverable barely reconstructed reformism, instead of pandering to his supporters naivety with sweet words.

    Alan posted the Pope’s words and not one SPGBr jumped down his throat. Does that mean you support the Catholic Church? Or does it just mean you also believe that Nationalism is poison?

     

    #176615
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    From their point of view of getting their bums on the seats on the other side of the dispatch box, Labour’s strategy makes some sense…..

    Oh he is playing a blinder. No question. Much more skillful than some pundits give him credit for.

    Still, the fact that Corbyn is using such language gives our position some credibility and us some standing in the debate.

    That remains to be seen, his appeal is to the complacent mass who generally think,  “they do not do anything for us” and look to saviours, their loyalty is just as likely to switch to Nigel Faragist populist types.

    The more thoughtful ones are going to have their energies depleted in reformist activity and then their loyaties tested in defending future indefensible governmental deviations from perceived ‘socialistic’ objectives, as they govern over us or as we hit the slump which is coming.

    The outcome will be a traducing of socialism as a revolutionary objective by references to tried that and failed labourism.

    We are surely not ‘supporting labourite rhetoric as the rope supports the hanging man’?

    This is when our hostility clause really means something. When we lose members too, as a by product side effect.

    #176617
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    Alan posted the Pope’s words and not one SPGBr jumped down his throat. Does that mean you support the Catholic Church? Or does it just mean you also believe that Nationalism is poison?

    The Popes electoral platform is inclusive of virgin births and resurrection from the dead and thus appeals to a different demographic, to  the thoughtful ones we are aiming at, and thus hardly needed comment.

    #176618
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    I very much doubt that the media will steer the debate as Corbyn would hope.

    It is part of the power possessed by our masters that they determine what the issues will be in political debates.

    I fear that the debate will continue as it is now, various sectors of the capitalist class with vested interests vying for political supremacy and many seeking concessions and compromises as the best option for themselves making things even more complex for any yes/no answer.

    Brexiteers and Remainers will persist in presenting the illusion that their interests are in the interests of us the working class, the “national interest”,  when in the end, there is very little for us as a class to gain, although at an individual level there may be advantages and disadvantages. Personally, I have been on the receiving end of the Brexit decision but I cannot give support to the Remainers. A plague on both is my attitude.

    Our role as a party is to offer a class analysis which has led us to conclude that we should stand aside regards support or no support for those who say they speak for us but instead continue to criticize the hypocrisy of them all.

     

    #176619
    vincentM
    Participant

    I think this is going way off topic Lol But supports what I was thinking.

    I think Alan’s idea of a party wide discussion is a good idea.

    Members first need to admit they are doing things wrong. Socialism’ is now a fashionable word and many people are now proudly declaring themselves to be socialist and yet the party is shrinking. Why?

    I don’t wish to be accused of taking this further off topic so will leave it at that. Perhaps a new thread?

     

    #176640
    ALB
    Participant

    Class War banner at the assembly point for today’s pro-Labour march in central London calling for a general election:

    #176644
    ALB
    Participant

    It wasn’t just the anarchists who were there So were the many varieties of Bolshevik-Leninists, but they were split three ways: for Brexit, against Brexit, and against both.

    FOR BREXIT was the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist Leninist):

    “If we truly want to fight against austerity, privatisation, the loss of our jobs, homes, hospitals and everything else that we value, we must not allow the referendum result to be overturned.”

    AGAINST BREXIT was “Socialist Fight, Liaison Committee for the Fourth International”:

    “But socialists should demand Brexit be cancelled to defend free movement against reactionary attack from little England chauvinists, including those who claim to be on the left and support so-called ‘Lexit’.”

    AGAINST BOTH was the Revolutionary Communist Group:

    “neither Brexit nor Remain offer any solution for the working class … The British ruling class is deeply split over Brexit – whether to side with the EU imperialist bloc of fortress Europe, or to go it alone with an illusory dream of an independent British imperialism, ultimately siding with the US … The debate over Brexit is an expression of the crisis of British capitalism. For working class people the only option is to reject both choices …

    What about the SWP and SPEW which both campaigned for Brexit? The SWP had their conference last weekend and debated the issue. As reported in the latest (9 January) issue of their paper:

    “Sabby from north London argued that a ‘low level of class struggle’ meant that the debate had been pulled to he right. He said socialists should not support leaving the EU. Others strongly disagreed. ‘If you really think the EU gives a space for progressive politics, think again,’ argued Alex Callincos from the central committee …. People debated how socialists should respond to calls for a ‘People’s Vote’ — effectively a second referendum. This would split the working class and the SWP is opposed to it … If it was a clear choice between Remain and May’s Brexit, a possible option would be ‘active abstention’ — a campaign to reject both options … Several people said it is possible to win people to opposing the EU.”

    So, still basically Brexiteers. SPEW seems to have shifted its position from the days of No2EU and its leftwing nationalism.  They too are opposed to a second referendum, and support calls for a general election (and voting Labour in it).  In their leaflet, however, there is support for staying in a customs union:

    “And, as he [Corbyn] has said, he will need to seek a customs union which would enable the continued flow of necessary goods – for people’s needs and jobs.”

     

     

    #176646
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Sadly, Vinnie, there is little support for the idea of a wide-ranging conference and that is something which is reflected in the low level of participation on the forum of the membership as a whole. Many voices and views are missing.

    Why that is so and what the consequences may be can only be speculated upon but it does not lead to a cheery prognosis for our future when so many of the members forego discussion and debate when the means and methods have never been so available to all to engage with one another and exchange opinions and information.

    I was pleased that ALB and hopefully others attended this EU demonstration, but Class War, an organization that is relatively small and very much lacking our resources, is capable of a creating a more prominent presence than ourselves. It has been the way of things that we are not able to get our own message out there. For all intents and purposes we are invisible.

    We need an audience to hear our case and we are not being very successful in attracting one.

     

    #176647
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant
    #176682
    ALB
    Participant

    Bruton has a point about Northern Ireland. At the general election 10 DUP, 7 Sinn Fein and 1 Independent Unionist were elected. In the referendum 56% voted Remain. But because SF refuse to take up their seats, only the views of the pro-Brexit DUP count and are seen as representing the views on Brexit of the majority in Northern Ireland. It also gives them bargaining power with the government that depends on their support. The voice of the lone NI MP who supports Remain, the Independent Unionist Lady Hermon is hardly heard at all even though it is her who represents the majority view on the issue.

    If, because of the DUP taking advantage of its anomalous position, there is a no-deal Brexit, then a hard border will be erected between Northern Ireland and the Republic. It would have to be, by the EU to prevent goods that did not meet the specifications for its single market entering it by the back door as well as to collect tariffs. It would turn the clock back over 50 years to before the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Agreement of 1965,

    The trouble with turning the clock back is that it goes against economic reality, which always has consequences, usually a downturn in economic activity. In Northern Ireland it could have obvious political consequences, not just a revival of the troubles but even a referendum vote to join the rest of Ireland.

    #176684
    ALB
    Participant

    A reminder of who are the minority section of the capitalist class that support Brexit and who financed the Leave campaign:

    http://www.cityam.com/271478/top-brexit-donors-odey-and-hargreaves-say-britain-not-leave

    Mind you, that’s not necessarily what they really think but could be preparing the ground for making a financial killing from what happens.

    #177009
    ALB
    Participant

    I suppose someone should say something about Brexit. Everyone else is. I heard Tony Blair the other morning explaining on the radio the dilemma the UK capitalist class faces. He pointed out that for the past 40 or so years their governments (even under Thatcher)  had pursued the policy of being part of an EU single market (i.e. a market with common regulations and not just a tariff-free trading area) and that they were now completely integrated into it in terms of export markets and supply chains. They could withdraw but this would cause disruption and would be giving up something they have already got. A referendum had voted in favour of withdrawal but this could be interpreted in various ways, including just withdrawing from the EU’s political decision-making and enforcing institutions. He said that this (now called Norway Plus) would limit the economic damage but would leave the UK in the position of a rule-taker, as the extreme Brexiteers pointed out, as it would have no say in drawing up the common single market regulations. Hence, he concluded, it would be better if the UK stayed in completely.

    This is politically impossible, at least not without another referendum. It is true that if the UK withdraws from the single market this would be the first time in the history of capitalism that a capitalist state has voluntarily surrendered the favourable access to a market that it already has. The extreme brexiteers are in effect arguing that two birds in the bush are worth more than one bird in the hand.

    If there is no second referendum and no deal is ruled out, the only deal that would make sense from the point of view of the majority of the UK capitalist class would be Norway Plus as that would at least ensure the status quo of frictionless access and would avoid having to turn the clock back by unravelling the single market integration that has happened so far. The trouble is that this is likely to split their main party, the Tories, down the middle, as the Tories like to remind themselves happened to them in the mid-1840s when Sir Robert Peel embraced Free Trade and repealed the Corn Laws.

    From the point of view of pure democratic theory, there is nothing wrong with holding a second referendum. One referendum result can be overturned by another referendum. You could even argue that a change that is the equivalent of a change in an organisation’s constitution should require a second vote to confirm the first (as an alternative to requiring for instance a two-thirds majority as in many organisations).

    Of course in this particular case — which is about the trading arrangements of the UK capitalist class — the issue is not one that interests socialists. It would be an even greater festival of xenophobia than the first. And those favouring it might not get the result they expect. I have been surprised that interviews that I have heard on the radio with workers from Blyth and Sunderland show that people in these places which voted by a large majority for Brexit haven’t changed their minds (or at least are not saying they have). Another reason, incidentally, why the UK capitalist class might settle for Norway Plus as less risky politically. But of course they don’t act directly. They leave that to their political representatives, the MPs, who have their own agendas (like staying in or obtaining office), so there’s no guarantee they’ll get this.

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