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Monday 3 October 2016

Brexit - Where Is Labour?

As the Tory Party conference gets into full swing in Birmingham, we need no reminder of where Her Majesty’s Government is: it is right there, on stage, a procession of stage managed tableaux in which supposedly intelligent and rational human beings troop on, deliver the accepted wisdom as passed down by the party machine, pause to bask in the momentary glory of contrived applause, and return to well-deserved obscurity.
With the Blue Team now speaking as one about Britain no longer being a participant in the European Union, and the markets pricing the value of our currency accordingly - for which read lower - the thought has occurred that this is an occasion where it would reassure all those who did not vote Leave in June, and those who have had second thoughts about that Leave vote since then, to hear from Her Majesty’s Opposition.

Yet hearing from Her Majesty’s Opposition does not appear to be happening much right now. True, after Theresa May’s claim yesterday on The Andy Marr Show (tm) that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty would be triggered by next March, Emily Thornberry did say something. But that something did not challenge the status quo.
A commitment on the timing of Article 50 is meaningless unless Theresa May can answer all the prior and more fundamental questions about what deal Britain is going to propose for our future relationship with the EU, what the plan is to secure that deal, and what we will do if it fails … This is exactly the same mistake David Cameron made with his proposed renegotiation last year: working to an artificial, self-imposed timetable; with a flawed Plan A of what he wanted to achieve; and no Plan B whatsoever”.

And, so what? Yes, Young Dave worked to an “artificial, self-imposed timetable”, but that didn’t stop him doing the deed and calling the vote which he then went and lost, dropping his country in the brown sticky stuff and then running off. We need more from Labour.
As Glen O’Hara of Oxford Brookes University observed earlier today, “Still nothing on Labour Party or Labour Press feeds re: hard-as-possible #Brexit. Nothing on web front page”. Nothing about the benefits of being a member of the European Single Market. Nothing on the customs union that enables goods and services to move around that Single Market area seamlessly. Nothing on a second referendum to ratify Brexit.

Nothing on our borders already being controlled. Nothing about those millions of Brits who have chosen to live elsewhere in the EU. Nothing about clean beaches, lower roaming charges, open skies policy, the European Arrest Warrant, energy efficiency, world leading standards for car safety and vehicle emissions, and all those tens of thousands of jobs at risk if we leave that Single Market. Nothing. Nothing at all.

Whether it’s Jeremy Corbyn or any one of his shadow cabinet, or indeed anyone else, we need to hear from Labour about Brexit. We need an opposition to oppose: to ask the Tories the kinds of questions they would rather not answer, and which their press cheerleaders will not ask. We need to hear from Labour. And we need to hear from them now.


Prince Philip said...

Very short-termist, Tim. When the transformative Social Movement is built all the points you mention will be history, as, probably, will you and I. Forget the next 30 years or so, look to the future! (It's only just begun).

Paul Ewart said...

We do. But you know the issues.

SimonB said...

We avoided the whole Brexit thing at conference too. It suggests division at the top of the party. However there has been plenty of substantial comment from Labour on other matters.

LiamKav said...

That's all well and good, but don't forget Blair's war crimes.

Ceiliog said...

Is there a need for Labour to respond to the total fuck ups?
Look at 'unt today with his cunning plan for more British doctors - Attack all foreign doctors and fine British doctors if they try to leave - Welcome to the Hotel Tory Dogma /such an ugly place, like to smash his face/.

pete c said...

Yes. There is a desperate need for labour to respond to all all manner of matters. And shout it loud too.

Someone, as a first priority, has to be reminding the general population that there is an alternative approach to viewing and doing politics and the organisation of civil society.

Right now, the right thinks it already has the hegemony that they regard as theirs as of right. So much so, that the 3rd division scribblers that this blog skewers so well even believe that they are in position by dint of some form of 'droit de seigneur'.

Some of us are old enough to have experienced life during times when a much greater egalitarian mood was at large in the land.

And would rather like that back, thanks all the same.

asquith said...

What about all the left-wing Brexshitters that voted Leave on the, entirely reasonable, grounds that it would lead to their socialist utopia?

How's George Galloway these days?

LiamKav said...

From what I understand, the socialist utopia might take several decades and cause untold damage, but that's a small price to pay because something something Trotsky.