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Wednesday 16 January 2019

No Confidence Vote - Corbyn Needs Plan B

The worst defeat of a Government in recent history, greater in numbers than anything suffered by Ramsay MacDonald’s 1923-4 minority Labour administration, where the party had just 191 MPs. The Tories, with more than 300, were defeated by a majority of 230 on Theresa May’s much-vaunted Brexit deal. It was the kind of humiliation that Prime Ministers of the past would have treated as a resigning matter. Not her.
So it should have come as no surprise that Jeremy Corbyn has, as leader of the opposition, put down a motion of no confidence in the Government. There are good reasons for this: as it stands, Theresa May is unable, or unwilling, to progress her Brexit deal, the clock is ticking down to March 29, the Tories are treating this crisis as if it were a jolly game of sport, and the effects of their time in power have been disastrous.

Poverty is at shamefully high levels, rough sleeping is endemic across the country, the NHS is being squeezed to the point where it is having difficulty coping with demand, the disabled are being humiliated by a benefits rĂ©gime that is totally without compassion, local Government is in crisis, the emergency services are stretched to breaking point, while those who are “just about managing” are ignored - and the rich get richer.
Yes, Corbyn has sound reasons for calling a no confidence vote today. The problem he has is that the Tory tribe will rally round Ms May, and the blinkered and intolerant of the DUP will also back her. They are scared witless of a General Election which could see a Labour Government returned, a Government which would put the majority of the population first. This is a concept alien to many in the Tory Party.

So Jezza needs a Plan B, and preferably one which has a chance of dislodging Theresa May. Moreover, he needs to get it through the Commons. Extending the Article 50 process, so named after the provision in the Lisbon Treaty on departure from the EU, may not be an option, as Guy Verhofstadt has pointed out this morning.
What we will not let happen, deal or no deal, is that the mess in British politics is again imported into European politics. While we understand the UK could need more time, for us it is unthinkable that article 50 is prolonged beyond the European Elections” he has told. So extension of Article 50 may not be possible. But revocation certainly is.

That does not take Brexit off the table. But it does remove the threat of No Deal - and neuters the weapon of seeing the clock tick down as a means for Theresa May to bend Parliament to her will. Moreover, some Tories may be persuaded to back it. Revoking Article 50 would be a greater humiliation for Ms May than last night’s defeat.
Revocation would mean she had not only failed to deliver Brexit, but that she would not be able to deliver it in the future - her sole tactic would be to tweak her deal and keep bringing it back. Without the clock ticking down, she would be bust. Thus the best prospect of seeing her go to the Palace and tender her resignation before the Queen.

A Corbyn Government would be able to negotiate in its own time, and only if the people decided they then wanted out, be able to invoke Article 50 once more.

Jezza’s Plan B should be to revoke Article 50. That is all.
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Anonymous said...

Corbyn? Revoke Article 50? How short your memory is, Tim. This is the bloke who called for Article 50 to be invoked the morning after the referendum.

Anonymous said...

He also said a great deal more about invoking article 50 which some seem unwilling to remember.

"He said the result of the poll means the exit clause – Article 50, which would give a two year period for Britain to leave – must be observed as soon as possible in an interview with the BBC.

“The British people have made their decision. We must respect that result and Article 50 has to be invoked now so that we negotiate an exit from European Union.

“Obviously there has to be strategy but the whole point of the referendum was that the public would be asked their opinion. They’ve given their opinion. It is up for parliament to now act on that opinion.

“Quite clearly negotiations must take place. There must be the best deal possible in order to ensure strong industries in Britain stay strong and strong industries that have big export markets protect retain those export markets. But we are in some very difficult areas. That’s obvious to everybody.

He went on to say he thought the Leave result was the outcome of instability and deprivation many communities have experienced under austerity, saying the choice was the reaction against Governments that have ignored them. He went to warn that Brexit could threaten stability and hit jobs in the UK.

“I think a lot of the the message that’s come back from this is that many communities are fed up with cuts they’ve had, fed up with economic dislocation and feel very angry at the way they’ve been betrayed and marginalised by successive governments in very poor areas of the country.

“My point throughout the campaign was we must have an alternative to austerity, we has to have more resources going into areas that have seen huge changes.

“We now have to try to protect the working conditions we have in the country between densely populated urban areas and the rest of the country. And to ensure obviously there are some trade opportunities for Britain because clearly there are some very difficult days ahead.

“There will be job consequences as a result of this decision. We have to do everything we can to protect jobs and working conditions in Britain.”

Unknown said...

My understanding is that in order to revoke it unilaterally, the UK needs to demonstrate goodwill - i.e. it can't revoke just to buy itself more time to work out the Brexit it actually wants... it must genuinely want to stay in the EU. Isn't that what Joylon Maughn's case was all about?

Anonymous said...

Article fifty, shmifty - we're coming out.

All the rest is a dance of the bees. That's all parliament has been for decades.

What's mildly interesting and amusing here is how Corbyn has managed to use current cynical parliamentary procedures and methods against themselves. Thus quite rightly leaving May and her fellow travellers with all the blame. Which is why the vote of no confidence result means absolutely fuck all.

The Vicar of Wibbly would do well to watch this before she dons her white collar and starts shouting from her corrupt pulpit:

Not, of course, that she or fellow travelling New Labour would understand any of it.

In the current absurd world of British politics Corbyn has run rings around the shouty bullshit Vicar. And that, more than anything else, explains why she's a raddled, disreputable wreck dressed fore and aft in Ratner bling jewellry. Nobody thought Corbyn had it in him. But he has.

Anonymous said...

Forget the Tories, Labour or anyone else. It should be revoked until such time as a full and thorough investigation has been carried out into the campaigns. We keep hearing about democracy. Well, nothing would be a bigger affront to democracy than implementing such a seismic decision that later turned out to be based on an illegally conducted campaign.

Stuart said...

Unfortunately, JC was outmanoeuvred re Vote this evening and ended up ?*(predictably) losing.

Does this provide any absolution to TM? Nope. Nothing can and nothing will.

Got to be honest on this but I feel very disappointed by JC's leadership over Brexit. He does a stunning job everywhere else but this proved his Achilles heel.

His best hope at usurping these cocksure power-hungry Tories on this issue is to put forward a stream of ideas she adopts. Put it in writing, JC!

However, I've given up hope of Article 50 being revoked or a second referendum. Labour won't force a vote on either; JC's antipathy to the corruption of the European ideals by the worst fat cats of any industry or uncivil service is too strong to force her hand into staying.

It's more than a shame and I think something he will come to regret.

Even then it's largely irrelevant once the DUP bigots get their way. That a 10-man party can flip between bringing her down if she won the EU vote to supporting these beleaguered, bedraggled and bloody useless government, underlines how politically corrupt the system is and how morally bankrupt the DUP are.

You may be surprised to learn that I don't feel optimistic about the short-term future.

But keep up the good work, Tim. Always a pleasure to read and more strength to your elbow for having more faith than I!

Anonymous said...

The difference was nineteen votes.

Four of them were, predictably, New Labour gangsters - the most obvious of whom was the loathsome John Mann.

Throw in the Old Testament nutjobs of the DUP plus a few other miscreants and the Vicar of Wibbly was never going to lose the no-confidence vote whatever the Brexit Deal vote result.

Corbyn wasn't "outmanoeuvred". After the other vote he HAD to introduce the motion. Nobody expected him to win it. It was a matter of form, nothing else. The numbers were always against a Labour win.

The bottom line is that the Maybot is exactly what her hoppo Osborne said she is: A dead woman walking. The sooner the incapable wretched woman is gone the better for decency in public life. It will be one less suited up spiv. She can then spend more time with her asset-stripping husband.