Jeremy Corbyn’s broad church or #FBPE?
Some who claim to be on Labour’s left back the #FBPE ‘movement’ on Twitter. I’ll refrain from calling them liars, at least until I find some proof. Most of them, I am sure, have their hearts in the right place, and that’s what matters most. But they are nevertheless, imho, making a very big mistake.
#FBPE is a popular front strategy. It works by subordinating everything and everyone to a single issue and this always benefits the right and is always a disaster waiting to happen. What the left wing supporters of this hashtag haven’t worked out yet is it is a key pillar in the Blairites’ strategy for crushing Jeremy Corbyn.
172 members of the PLP outrageously voted to overturn the democratic decision of hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members. If they had their way Jeremy Corbyn would even have been banned by the capitalist courts from getting his job back democratically by exposing precisely how disgusted members were with these Blairites plotters. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, imho, #FBPE is an indispensable tool to identify potential activtists for a second Social Democratic Party which will offer jobs to Tory rebels such as Corbyn-hating Anna Soubry.
Today’s Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, has form. He helped split the anti Tory vote alongside other Lib Dem MPs under first-past-the-post ensuring Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister three times despite most voters rejecting her at the ballot box. Most of the 172 Blairite MPs are preparing to repeat this treachery. They have to deny it, of course. But they would say that, wouldn’t they. Shirley Williams denied the Gang of Four split right up until the day they split.
#FBPE isn’t just designed to help ballot rigging McCarthyites like Tom Watson. Those behind it hope 600,000 Labour members will turn against Jeremy Corbyn while extending an olive branch to Tory MPs who have, thus far, voted to keep Theresa May in power, and David Cameron before her. This is not a well thought out strategy, imho. Baldrick’s name springs to mind.
Vince Cable’s pledge breaking bastards who kept David Cameron in power for five years; Blairite war criminals and vote-rigging McCarthyites; Tory MPs to this day unwilling to withdraw support for Theresa May’s rotten government. Unite with these people? Are you on drugs?
How did Brexit win?
The reality is Brexit was lost because the only voices who weren’t vetted by the Tory editors on telly and radio during the referendum were almost never any better than the Brexiteers. It was a choice of the lesser evil. Many who consider themselves on the left don’t accept this. They think voting against Brexit was a no-brainer. These people suffered from complacency, and they need to wake up and smell the rotten role played by David Cameron, George Osborne and the Blairites. They screwed up big time. The #FBPE ‘movement’ is nothing more than a clone of the original bullshit position of Cameron and Blair.
Is Brexit inevitable, and should it be?
This may seem counterintuitive given what I’ve said up to this point, but I don’t think the left should rule out a second referendum. Having said that, it’s far more likely that if the hard version is to be delayed it will almost certainly be by voters electing parties committed to renegotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU, potentially in a way that postpones Brexit more or less indefinitely. The alternative Vince Cable wants begs too many questions: for instance, if Theresa May’s deal is rejected in a referendum, what happens next? Just because she screwed it up, that doesn’t prove voters don’t want to leave on different terms, or possibly renegotiate continued membership in a way that is different from what David Cameron so pathetically negotiated. A second referendum can’t be taken seriously until we get answers to: ‘what happens next?’
Don’t insult most voters unless you want to keep losing votes
The left needs to stop insulting everyone who voted for Brexit. You have to be an idiot to not recognise just how counterproductive that is. The majority needs to be won round, and telling them they’re all racists and morons is hardly likely to accelerate a change of mind. On the contrary, doing that would guarantee most voters turn a deaf ear to everything we say, making it much more likely they’ll do the exact opposite of what we advocate no matter how perverse they admit that is.
Of course if every Brexiteer was a racist moron there’s no harm pointing it out, but it’s just not true. Many Brexit voters were and remain daft racist bastards. But others are anything but. Despite what you would gather from watching the BBC, SKY News, Channel4 News, ITV and C5, there were those promoting a left-wing defense of Brexit, the kinds of arguments Tony Benn deployed, arguments Jeremy Corbyn used to take for granted, not all that long ago. Pretending this is untrue makes it impossible to change people’s minds, as Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott changed their minds. Ignoring the arguments that lead to the large left vote for Brexit helps Theresa May and Nigel Farage. Unlike most people, I think Brexit in its hard version can be avoided, and must be avoided. But this cannot be achieved by embracing the reactionary methods of those who champion the #FBPE hashtag.
How can Hard Brexit be stopped?
The leader of David Cameron’s official Remain Campaign admitted publicly that Brexit would lead to higher wages. Being a capitalist, he thought that was a bad thing, confident that absolutely everyone would agree with him. The leader of the campaign was too stupid to realize that most voters are employees, not employers. He effectively told the majority of the electorate that if they wanted to raise their income they should vote for Brexit. Since most bosses at the television and radio networks opposed Brexit, and since they were not all quite as stupid as the man handpicked by David Cameron to win this vote, they didn’t go out of their way to publicise this own goal by their man. On the contrary, they clearly hoped voters might have missed it. But the truth remains that by cutting the supply of unorganized and unskilled labour, wages will rise — other things being equal. For self interested reasons, this basic fact is exploited by xenophobes and racists, as it was by UKIP and those even further to their right. But this economic law doesn’t need to lead to xenophobic conclusions. The democratic and internationalist left can deploy basic supply and demand economics to fight racism, provided we make the case for organizing everyone, regardless of country of origin, into trade unions. That is what was argued by some who campaigned for Brexit. The liberal ‘Remoaners’ who continue to stick their fingers in their ears on this issue of wages only alienate most of the unemployed, underemployed, and the living-from-hand-to-mouth low wage workers, into the bargain insulting them for not having been able to get degrees, snobbery which merely adds to the hatred of most workers against this smug, pampered ‘liberal elite’.
The behavior of the EU towards people of Greece — which we now see repeated vis-a-vis the people of Catalonia — exposes the alleged democratic credentials of these Bureacrats. The truth is reactionaries are to be found on both sides in the Brexit debate. Denying this fact when most voters know they are being lied to by politicians they already dislike, those they already dismiss as incorrigible lying opportunists…. Any attempt to bury the truth about the Tory ‘Remoaners’ makes it simpler for Nigel Farage’s right wing populists to exploit voter alienation. By calling for unity with the Blairites, with Lib Dem bastards, and with Tory MPs, the #FBPE hashtag risks playing into the hands of Theresa May and Nigel Farage. I vote that we don’t go down that road to nowhere.