Thursday, 30 June 2016

Is It Finally the End for Blarism?

The ongoing and ultimately futile Coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, has exposed deep ideological divisions between the right wing Blairite faction of the Party and the left wing Corbynite faction. I explained in my last article in the subject, given the fact that Corbyn has the support from the majority of Labour members, the coup attempt against him is not only a betrayal of Corbyns supporters, but a betrayal of democracy itself. The question leaving a lot of people baffled about this case is, why now? Regardless of how you voted last week, it is absolutely undeniable that David Cameron’s refusal to trigger the article 50 notification, has literally plunged the Conservative Party into crisis. However, rather than attacking the Conservatives and asking exactly what plan they have got for a post Brexit settlement, many Labour MPs  have set about attacking their own party leader, and asking him to resign. Weather you support Corbyn or not it is utterly unrealistic to hold the view that Labour MP’s should be focusing on their leader, rather than the people on the benches opposite. This blog post looks at the reasons why the Blairites have decided to launch a Coup against their leader at such a ridiculous time, and weather this crisis signals the end for Blairism.

The Timing of the Coup

The point people supporting the Corbyn coup are unable to get past when questioned on it is, why have the Blairites settled on such ridiculous timing for it? They claim that by getting rid of Corbyn as soon as possible they are acting in the best interests of society and of the Labour Party. However, by orchestrating it now they have essentially deflected the attention of the Press away from the huge mess that the Conservatives are in, and onto squabbling within the Labour Party. This is especially ridiculous when you consider that the New Prime Minister being elected in October, following David Cameron’s resignation, may well call a general election. How will the Labour right react when during the general election, their party looks divided and immature? What the Blairites should have done, if they want to oust Corbyn while making sure the Tory Party are criticised, is to wait until a new Conservative leader is appointed and the dust has settled on the current dispute. That way, if they were not happy with the way Corbyn criticised the Tory’s during the run up to the conservative leadership election, the Blairites could put better criticisms up, using their extra criticism of the Tory’s as ammunition in a Labour leadership election. The problem with this approach is that the Blairites know as well as I do, that if they took such a path, people might actually start to take Corbyn more seriously, for putting up a fight against the Conservatives in their time of disarray. Instead, the Blairite faction of the Labour Party have decided to help the Tory’s out of the grave they are digging for themselves, by manically rushing  to get rid of their leader, without looking at the bigger picture. 

The Coup was planned long before the referendum

How ridiculously naïve would someone have to be to believe the narrative pushed by those to the right of the Labour Party, that this coup has come about as a result of Corbyns leadership during the referendum campaign? The likes of Hillary Benn have tried to constantly undermine their leader, repeatedly calling him unelectable, orchestrating staged resignations and chastising Corbyn for not holding the Tory’s to account (which, ironically, is what the Blairites are failing to do now). In their criticism of their leader the Blairites conveniently fail to mention Corbyn forcing the Tory’s to backtrack on Disability Benefit Cuts, Tax Credit Cuts, forced privatisation of schools and the deal to run prisons in Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, one of George Osborne’s budgets of austerity fell apart pretty much as soon as it was announced. However, like now, the Blairites were too busy criticising Corbyn to give a damn.
In addition to the outright propaganda being levelled against Jeremy Corbyn, the idea that he could not convince Labour voters to vote remain is not even statistically correct. In his campaigning Corbyn managed to convince 63 per cent of Labour voters to vote remain, despite competition from a Labour Leave campaign, which was funded by hard right Tory’s. Furthermore, sharing platforms with Leave campaigners, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, during the EU referendum debate, was none other than high profile Labour MP Gisela Stewart. She was also the leave campaigner who came up with the £350 million pound a week for the NHS, false promise. Surely, if right wing Labour MPs were truly outraged by the Brexit result, rather than complaining about Jeremy Corbyn who campaigned to Remain, they would be levelling their anger against some of the Labour MP’s who campaigned to Leave by using some extremely dishonest tactics. It is for this reason that far from being a crusade against an ineffective leader, the Corbyn Coup is nothing more than an ideologically driven excuse to do what the Blairites have been planning to do since Corbyn was elected.

The Chillcot Report

It is no coincidence that those people within the Labour Party, who look to Tony Blair as their Lord and Saviour, are orchestrating a Coup against Jeremy Corbyn, just as the Chillcot report, is about to be released. Indeed, Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly stated that if the report implicates Tony Blair in war crimes, for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, then he and ‘everybody who has committed a crime’ should be charged. The two main people trying to get Corbyn to go are unsurprisingly, staunch Blairites. Conor McGinn is the one managing the large amount of staged resignations from Corbyns shadow Cabinet, while the other coup organiser Will Straw is the son of Jack Straw, Blair’s foreign secretary during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In addition to this Hillary Benn, another anti Corbyn agitator, voted in favour of the invasion of Iraq before repeatedly voting against holding an independent inquiry into the invasion. Angela Eagle, the person currently challenging Corbyn for the job of Labour leader, also voted in favour of the Iraq war and against holding an investigation. In light of this, it seems strange that a lot of the 172 MPs who voted No Confidence in Jeremy Corbyn also seem to support Blair and the Iraq war. The majority who voted in favour of Corbyn or abstained were either left wing Corbyn supporters, or New MP’s who had nothing to do with the war in Iraq.

Is this the End for the Blairites?

The attempted coup on Jeremy Corbyn is the last desperate attempt by the Blairites to hold on to power. They know, that in the likely event that Corbyn is re-elected as Labour Party leader in another leadership race, that this would give Corbyn the power to deselect corrupt, right wing Labour MPs, replacing them with politicians who actually give a damn about the British Public. If Corbyn did this it would relinquish the tight hold that the Blairites have had on the Labour Party since the early 1990s, allowing Corbyn to take the Party in a social democratic direction. On the other hand, if Corbyn is actually forced to resign as Labour Leader, then the game is up for both the Labour Party and the Blairites who run it anyway. Thousands of activists and voters would abandon the Labour Party rightly disgusted at this betrayal of democracy, enacted by selfish politicians. The Blairite nightmare of the Labour Party being unelectable would finally be realised, and they, not Corbyn, would be the ones solely responsible.
To anyone who wants to argue that I am exaggerating the effects of a Corbyn Coup here, I want to pose to you that the lack of Public desire for austerity lite politics has already been proven in Scotland, where the Scottish National Party posed as the anti-austerity alternative to Labour and the Tory’s, and in doing so won nearly every seat in Scotland. The collapse of the traditional two Party system should be enough to make clear to everybody that people are overwhelmingly crying out for change. Even if some people do for some reason want austerity, they will obviously vote for the Conservatives, not some party offering a dressed up diet version of it! The Blairites ideological blindness to this simple fact, is what will be the downfall of the Labour Party. Not someone like Corbyn who is acting as a real opposition to the Tory’s.

Conclusion

Whichever side wins the battle for Labour Leadership, it is absolutely ridiculous that the Labour Party have decided to focus on this at a time when the Tory’s most need to be challenged. The main reason for this is the Blairites, who are utterly desperate to cling onto power. Only time will tell if this desperation sends Just the Blairites into electoral oblivion, or if they will take the Labour Party with them.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Why is Nationalism so Popular?

George Orwell once described Nationalism as ‘power Hunger tempered by self-deception’. He was living in a time when Nationalism was acting in extremely dangerous ways, giving birth to the horrific regimes of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. This is not to diminish the dangers of nationalism today. In almost every country, mainstream political discourse is dominated by rhetoric about the flag and the National Anthem. In America, Republican front runner Donald Trump uses the arbitrary ‘make America great again’ slogan in support for his agenda, while in Europe, it seems that every country needs its own nationalist political party, to call for that country’s independence. Rarely does anyone pause to consider the fact that ideas of nation states and races are fictional constructs, often serving to justify actions such as the recent deportation of refugees from Europe, or the ‘war on terror’ in the Middle East. I am of course looking at this issue in the context of the Recent EU referendum in the UK. Never before has nationalism been so popular in Britain it seems. Hard right Tory’s and Leaders of the Xenophobic and right wing party UKIP presided over the debate, while slightly more liberal nationalist Parties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Island made calls for referendums on their own country’s independence from the UK.  I will be making frequent references to this throughout the article, but also summarising how the ideas stated by the campaigns in the EU referendum, can apply more broadly to nationalism as a whole and answer the question, why is nationalism so popular?.

How nationalism benefits from Capitalisms Contradictions

Many nationalist parties often have an extremely neoliberal ideology. UKIP for example cite the Thatcherism during the 1980s as a time when our country was strong and prosperous. They support massive tax cuts for the rich, the deregulation of firearms, the construction of dozens of new privately operated jails as part of the overall privatisation agenda, and the scrapping of the Human rights act. All the aspects of a system that creates an insecure underclass defined by Zero Hour contracts, limited employment rights and ineffective public services, they support tenfold. What is ironic amongst all of this, is that such groups, using their patriotic and anti-immigrant rhetoric, are able to channel the anger and frustration people feel at economic uncertainty towards a given group or minority. This is a key factor in what makes nationalism so popular. It localises a problem created by the current inefficiencies of a global political – economic system, it feeds in to a narrative about the need to restore greatness to our once great nation and most of all provides an outlet for the anger precipitated by our current system. In this way, nationalist campaigns such as UKIPs are able to benefit both from capitalism itself, which it bases its ideological platform on, and from capitalisms problems, which it exploits in order to use foreigners as a scapegoat. Ideas such as sovereignty and immigration being the main platform of nationalist campaigns, also allows them to alter their economic programme to suit whoever they are trying to appeal to, without being accused of backtracking on key policies. This distinctive sense of ressentiment is what keeps campaigns like UKIPs and Donald Trump’s alive and well.

Backing the left into a Corner

So capitlitalism is a problem and a key issue at play here. Let’s look at this in the context of the recent EU referendum for a second. The EU is not an organisation being used as a way to reinforce democratic strength in the face of unfettered corporate capitalism. Instead, the European Bank and the International monetary fund, force countries like Greece to accept watered down, yet corporate austerity packages. Indeed nothing signified the neoliberalism of the EU more, than when they introduced the Single European Act in 1983, driving for liberalisation and deregulation of markets. These are real criticism of the EU which despite being ignored by UKIP are repeated by many of us on the left. Given this, it seems strange that reverence for Europe has seemed to become a defining factor of the European centre left. Eurosceptic discourse, for the most part, has largely been associated with right wing nationalist parties such as UKIP, or even Britain first.  For fear of being conflated with nationalism, those on the centre left who are running pro EU campaigns must for the most part show blind, unquestioning support for the EU. Those cases where there are exceptions, such as Paul Masons Eurosceptic remain stance, tend to be maligned and given very little room to breathe. This is not to say that fear of being associated with nationalism is the only reason for the centre left’s widespread support for the EU, I am sure many of them have enjoyed seeing governments to the left of them getting struck down in favour of free market principles. However, it really shows something about why right wing nationalist Parties are so popular when they can simply blackmail anyone who is in favour of staying in the Europe, into making it look as if they all have blind subservience to the EU.
Although the same strategy is not always used, presenting something as a simplistic choice is a key tactic, not just of nationalist parties but to all organisations making an effort to support patriotism: ‘You don’t support the wars in the middle east, you must be a terrorist sympathiser’, ‘You support refugees,  you must want our land overtaken by foreigneigners’. By presenting highly complex issues as a straight choice, these sorts of statements remove all room for nuance in political debate. Despite appealing to emotion rather than facts, this is a highly effective propaganda technique. Next time you hear a UKIP or Trump supporter using this utter fallacy, challenge them to this very obvious flaw in their reasoning!

Taking advantage of a Political Crisis

It is no surprise that public mistrust of government is currently high. The legacy of Thatcherism in the UK and Reaganism in the US has led to a situation where the whole political spectrum in both these countries has undergone a dramatic swing to the right. In their desire to meet the interests of capital, political parties who were supposed to represent the workers such as the democrats and the Labour Party began adopting positions similar of those of conservatives. We are facing a political crisis.
Since this, nationalists have opportunistically used this political crisis in order to win votes from both Labour and the Conservatives. Millions of disenfranchised labour voters, whose main concern is jobs, have flocked to UKIP, who label immigrants as the main cause of unemployment in this country. Similarly, in the US, When Donald Trump patriotically promises to make America Great Again, he does not mean by introducing healthcare and social reforms, but by banning all Muslims from entering the United States. This collapse of the two Party system has also been capitalized on by so called ‘liberal nationalists’ like the SNP, who practically annihilated Labour and in Scotland, when during the run up to the 2015 general election their leader famously declared that Labour were offering voters ‘Austerity Light’. In doing so, the SNP have called for the Welsh people to annihilate labour in Wales, by voting for Plaid Cymru. Admittedly, not all of this dissatisfaction has swung to nationalist Parties. In the Case of Jeremy Corbyn, it seems to have swung to internationalism. Despite this, all the criticisms labelled against Corbyn seemed to be based on a warped view of patriotism, using the same straight choice narrative that I explained earlier in my blog post. It is important we recognise the dangers posed by such ideologies and learn to counter them.

‘We got our country back’

As much as nationalist parties label themselves non racist, they do a good job of deliberately attracting the racist vote. During the EU referendum debate Cabinet Members and Prime Ministerial wannabees laced their arguments with racist poison.  Leave Camp Conservatives peddled their fictional fairy story about Turkey Joining the EU, using it as code for ’80 million Muslims are about to enter our great Christian nation’. UKIP plastered a huge poster everywhere, showing a line of refugees, with the words ‘breaking point’. This message further polluted the airwaves when Nigel Farage repeatedly went on talk shows to defend the poster. Even Donald Trump on his visit to Scotland expressed how great it was that Britain had left the EU. Politicians pulled at people’s worst fears and anxieties, using them to their own advantage.
Anyone who has the ignorance to label this subtle rhetoric should look at its effects. Since the EU result was announced, Polish origin children have got called ‘vermin’ who must leave the UK. On BBC news a foreign born reporter was met with calls of ‘send them back’ while he was reporting. Just to be clear, I am not saying that everyone who supported the out camp or supports candidates like Donald Trump is a racist, but simply that deliberately racist rhetoric has become commonplace in conntemory politics, and is resulting in violence. This is not political correctness gone mad or anything like that. Indeed, Oxford Universities migration research centre, Compass, have said that the unspeakable became not only speakable, but commonplace’. The sad thing is, that this is perfect for nationalists. As long as such attacks continue to get worse and worse, candidates like Nigel Farage and Trump will always have a thriving market to sell their vision to. To all those saying ‘we want our country back’, you now need to ask yourselves, what sort of country is it that you wanted back?

Conclusion

Overall, nationalism in its current form feeds of the dissatisfaction people have with our current political system. Despite this, rather than levelling this anger against the neoliberal capitalism that nationalist parties far too often support, it levels it against foreigners and Muslims. If you need proof of the dangers of nationalism look at the string of racist attacks by people who feel they have got their country back after the EU referendum result on Thursday. In light of this, it is up to anyone with a sense of morals to promote a wide vision that, while still encompassing respect for your country, encompasses respect for every other country as well. We need to realise that true patriotism lies in internationalism, not blind subservience to the flag. For example, the chillcot report will be coming out next week, implicating George Bush and Tony Blair in the war crimes which caused the current refugee crisis. If you truly care about your country it is not a question of how powerful we are or how much money we have got, but how we treat people who are in a desperate situation.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Why do Brexit Torys seem so Hesitant to invoke Article 50?

In light of 36 per cent of the electorate voting to leave the EU last week, reactions amongst the political class have been mixed. People in both the major UK parties’ are pushing to get rid of their leaders as soon as possible, presumably so they can run them in a way that matches their vision, some politicians such as Jeremy Hunt are calling for a second referendum or a general election, while UKIP leader Nigel Farage has expressed the need for a ‘Brexit government’ in the face of a ‘historic’ vote. Amongst all this, it will be the Job of whoever succeeds David Cameron as leader of the Conservatives and Prime Minister, to invoke article 50, the formal process by which the UK leaves the EU. It would seem from the behaviour of pro Brexit Tory’s, before the referendum, that they would be itching to abide by the will of the 27 member states from within the EU by taking the UK out as ‘fast as possible’. The strange thing is this does not seem to have been the reaction at all. Instead, those in the Out camp are talking about delaying the article 50 process for months. What could be the main reason for this?
 

The reaction From Pro Brexit Tory’s


Unlike the person who had inspired the Referendum, Nigel Farage, neither of the main Leave campaigners of Boris Johnson or Michael Gove, seemed at all ecstatic about the referendum result. Instead, when it came time for them to walk up to the podium to declare their victory, they were both pale faced and shocked. These were the people who, during the EU campaign, were obsessive about how the need to gain back our sovereignty from Brussels and ignore the opinions of experts, saying that it would be a bad idea to leave the EU. Perhaps more strangely, considering the fact that Brexit has forced David Cameron’s resignation and a leadership election, you would think that the pro Brexit Tory’s would be more than happy at this chance to stride through the doors of Downing Street and form the hard right Brexit government, that both they themselves and ideological bedfellows UKIP, have long dreamed of. This is not what is happening however. Instead both Gove and Johnson are stressing the need to wait to leave the EU.

So why the Procrastination?

It is undeniable that by campaigning to leave the EU Boris Johnson and Michael Gove stabbed David Cameron in the back. To Clarify, I show absolutely no remorse to David Cameron. He got what he was asking for, when he gambled on the future of the country, in order to gain an electoral advantage. Despite the Pro Brexit Tory’s being significantly to the right of David Cameron, I would never defend Cameron’s policies either. As far as I am concerned, his whole economic platform was based on the myth that we can somehow ‘cut to reduce the deficit’ and his entire debating strategy, be it with Jeremy Corbyn or mayor of London Sadiq Khan, was laughable at best. However, by refusing to trigger article 50 himself on the morning of the Brexit result, David Cameron has handed the responsibility of unleashing the chaos that will come with the article 50 notification, to whoever succeeds him as Prime Minister. Given that Boris Johnson is the most likely candidate for the job, the reason for their procrastination on article 50 should be pretty obvious. Boris Johnson knows full well that the other member states of the EU are going to stand together while the UK fights desperately for a better deal, than the one it had, with its hugely discounted membership fee. After Britain storming off, there is absolutely no chance that the Tory’s will now somehow wrangle a brilliant economic settlement from Europe. Part of the reason for this, is that those that lead the EU know that if they don’t make negotiations hard for Britain then, given the tide of nationalism sweeping Europe, other nations may want to leave as well.  

What are the Options for an Economic Settlement?

Given the abject failure of the Out camp to lay out an economic plan for a post Brexit UK, during the referendum debate, they largely had to resort to chucking out empty catchphrases and buzzwords like, ‘restore our sovereignty’ and ‘let’s take back control’. In light of this, it always seemed extremely likely that the months following Brexit, would be met with a dizzying amount of economic uncertainty, and shit options for an economic settlement.
The most likely option for an economic settlement is the one backed by the overwhelming majority of Pro remain Tory’s, where like Sweden and Norway, the UK gets to stay in the single market without being a formal member of the EU. This deal would have to work on the basis that the EU get to dictate the terms on freedom of movement and membership fees. As such, it will most likely leave a number of anti-immigration Brexiters feeling considerably irate, that the two promises from the leave camp about reducing immigration and not having to give any money to the EU, would not have transpired after all.
Another option is the one backed by UKIP and the hard right, where we go back to square one and try and renegotiate all our trade deals with Europe. The only conceivably good thing about this deal, is that it would make fantasy land Lexitters who voted out because of the EU’s neoliberalism, look on in horror as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove try desperately to carve up a trade deal with Europe, which puts deals like TTIP to shame. Under these circumstances however, every EU nation would have a veto on the deal, meaning that it won’t just be right wing nations like Germany who would need to support the far right deal, but also left wing ones such as Portugal and Greece!
A Third and final option would be for the UK government to be so ignorant and small minded that no negotiation is even remotely possible. In this scenario, at the end of the two year deadline that the UK has to make a negotiation, UK – EU trading relations would revert back to basic World Trade Organisation rules.  How anybody in their right mind could see the breaking down of relations between the UK and our European neighbours, baffles me to the point of speechlessness. Regardless, it will be the new prime minister making this decision, time will tell what happens.
 

Conclusion

Overall, after all their rhetoric about how the EU is an undemocratic institution, the main reason for Gove and Johnsons hesitancy on wanting to invoke article 50, seems to be that they know there is no way that they can achieve a better outcome than the one the UK already had. Whoever becomes Prime Minister in October, will have to deal with 27 EU member states, who will be extremely belligerent towards the idea of making negotiations easy for the UK. The new Prime Minister will also have to simultaneously, put up with arguments from within the Conservative Party, a post Brexit recession and the ongoing investigations into Tory electoral fraud. Furthermore, any failure to retain a place in the common market will be unacceptable to most MP’s and export industries, However any concessions that the UK makes to the EU will inspire outrage from Ukippers, who thought that voting to leave would secure Britain a deal of pure unfettered economic nationalism.  No wonder potential leadership contender Jeremy Hunt is calling for an early general election!   
In campaigning to leave the EU, the pro Brexit Tory’s have just realised that they have just given themselves one hell of a hard time. They are delaying this deal not out of any particular necessity, but purely out of selfishness. Why wouldn’t they, selfishness is the basis for their ideological austerity agenda and has been at the heart of the neoliberal economic theory they have constantly been pushing. Hell, selfishness is the reason we had a referendum in the first place, and more selfishness is the reason why that same referendum is causing so much chaos and disorder.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Why the Corbyn Coup Plot is A Shameful Betrayal of Democracy

A key consequence of Brexit, as predicted, has been for the Blairite faction of the Labour Party to try and launch a coup against their leader, Jeremy Corbyn. This would of course been a key consequence of a Remain vote, as both front bench MPs Dianne Abbot and Angela Eagle, have made clear that their colleagues had been plotting the Coup for months. Whatever your opinions on Corbyn or Blair, it seems pretty strange that, considering all the support Corbyn has received from Labour members, so many labour MPS still look up to Tony Blair as their lord and saviour. This is a man who declared during the labour leadership contest in late 2015, that even if he believed that a social democratic platform was the road to victory, he would not take it, making clear that Blair does not care about Labour winning an election. It is almost as if all of those labour MP’s who are so vehemently opposing their leader, are so wrapped up in their neoliberal ideological vendetta against him, that they have forgot about opposing the Tory’s or representing the general public, in the face of a Brexit vote! At the time of writing this Corbyn has already lost 20 shadow cabinet ministers, appointed eight new Ministers to the front bench, and now faces a vote of no confidence and a new leadership election. While I do not believe that this coup will be successful, I think it is an absolute disgrace for labour MP’s to be helping the Tory’s out of the hole they have dug for themselves by focusing primarily on petty squabbling, rather than issues that actually matter.       
 

Hypocrisy and Propaganda Narratives

What Labour would have done after the Brexit vote if they had any sense of decency whatsoever, would have been to lay blame for the vote at the feet of David Cameron, who had gambled with his own country’s future for the sake of appeasing the Hard right fringe of the Tory Party, and come up a cropper in the Process. What they did instead, was blame Jeremy Corbyn for not getting involved with the smear tactics and dishonesty of the official Remain campaign. This is highly ironic, considering the fact that the shadow minister for young people and voter registration, Gloria De Piero, who failed spectacularly in her job to get young people to register to vote, is now blaming Corbyn for not being active enough in encouraging people to vote remain. The most dangerous thing about the narrative being pushed by Blairites, is that once a political narrative has been set, it requires an awful lot of hard work to change people’s minds.
Every Labour MP should be well aware of the propaganda tactic just mentioned. They themselves were victims of it during the 2015 general election, when David Cameron toured the TV studios with Liam Byrnes ‘no money left’ note. The fact that the note was actually a parody on Conservative rhetoric, didn’t seem to matter to the Tory’s, who were perfectly happy to use it as ‘evidence’ that the conservatives had to impose their ideological austerity vision on the economy. Soon enough, the idea of the Tory’s as the ‘Party of economics’ became solidified in a lot of voters’ minds as absolute fact, that you would have to be crazy not to believe, despite all the evidence pointing towards the contrary. Incidentally, a look at the evidence proves that the UK’s vote to leave the European Union was the fault of the Conservatives and UKIP. It was David Cameron who recklessly gambled with the country’s future in order to gain an electoral advantage and Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson who sold the idea of the Brexit Revolution to millions feeling angry about the ideological austerity, that the out camp themselves support. The repulsive thing here, is that the Blairites in the labour Party surely knew the effects of Propaganda techniques, yet they still established a false narrative to make it look as if it was somehow Corbyn that caused Brexit.

The Response and the Consequences

 In the face of this suicidal challenge to Corbyns leadership, the labour leader has maintained that ‘Those that want to change Labours Leadership will have to stand in an election, in which I will be a candidate’. It is clear from these words that Corbyn knows that the Labour Party is full of right wingers who are ideologically in bed with the conservatives and would seek to undermine his leadership at every turn. Despite this, a coup against Jeremy Corbyn could be completely counterproductive for the Blairites who, in the process of trying to get rid of him, would only end up reaffirming Corbyns leadership.
If a leadership challenge candidate is mounted by the right of the Labour Party in the event of a new leadership election, then Corbyn would most likely stand on an anti-establishment policy of mandatory re selection for all labour MPs. By doing this he would be seen as wanting to put an end to the exploitation of labour votes and seats by right wingers, who want a one way ticket to Westminster. This means that he would be running on a policy of essentially letting the British public replace corrupt self-serving MPs, with ones that try to represent the will of the public. I would love to see the excuse those to the right of the Labour Party, would come up with to oppose this policy. It would force the Blairites who are obviously desperate to cling on to their political careers for dear life, to continually argue against real democracy and for the status quo. A backing from Labour members, the mainstream unions and Corbyns new shadow cabinet, would be more than enough to have him re-elected as Labour leader. In the event of this happening, the Blairite shills would finally have the incentive to fuck off from the Labour Party, most likely forming a new party, probably led by coup leader and backstabbing warmonger Hillary Benn. Whether these predictions will take off remains to be seen, but regardless of your stance on party politics, it would be good to have a Labour party that actually opposed, rather than sucking up to the Conservatives and showing little to no respect for democracy.

Conclusion

However long the Labour Party and Party’s like them throughout Europe, continue to be infected with a right wing, parasitic group of self-serving hypocrites, it is my personal opinion that it will be the same amount of time that they will be failing to push a progressive agenda. Corbyn represents a shift in people’s political thinking, and a collapse in the old order of things, and it is time for the likes of Hillary Benn and Liz Kendall to move over, and let that change take its course. This is not to say that we should never ever criticise the likes of Jeremy Corbyn. As someone who is vested with power, it would be unwise not to question whether he can actually achieve his proposals, or whether we should be looking at alternative methods of change. However, this coup represents nothing more than a betrayal of democracy and it is important that whether we are Corbyn supporters or not, we recognise this simple fact.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

5 Thoughts on the Spanish General Election

This month see’s one of Spain’s most significant elections in decades, being carried out. A similar general election in December saw the collapse of Spain’s two party system. A system led by a right wing party ironically named the Popular Party, and a right wing party that pretends to be left wing, named the Socialist Party (PSOE). Instead, Spanish politics has seen the rise of left wing party coalition Unidos Podemos (together we can) and right wing party Ciudadnos. In my last blog post on the subject of Podemos, I concluded that Podemos' anti austerity agenda can act as a roadblock to the Popular Parties Austerity measures and Ciudadnos growing popularity, but that we should also be sceptical in the face of a party that pretends to hold the solution to all of Spain’s problems, realising the need for direct action. This blog post looks further at the Key issues in the Spanish general election.

1. Podemos are looking to overtake PSOE, but is there any difference?

Podemos candidate Pablo Iglesias and United left candidate Alberto Garzon, have overcome opposition on some issues to form a coalition aimed at overtaking Red conservatives PSOE and improving the overall image of the Spanish left. This is a double edged sword, on one side improving the image of the left can help to win votes, but on the other it can make political parties seem more disenfranchised from those people that they are supposed to represent, by favouring internal party struggles rather than wider political issues. Indeed, one of Podemos’ main challenges is the Spanish electoral, D’Hont, system. Despite supposedly being proportional it penalises small parties. For example, The United Left won over nine hundred thousand votes at the last general election, but failed to gain more than two seats, while the Popular Party and PSOE led with about 60,000 votes. Unidos Podemos therefore need to defeat PSOE in key areas.  However, there are other challenges facing Podemos, as can be seen with Greece being forced to except an austerity ridden debt bailout package after the Geek people voted to reject it, and  with president of the European Council Donald Tusk attributing these sanctions to political fears, it seems highly likely that a Podemos led Spain could suffer a similar fate. Some are predicting that PSOE will suffer a case of ‘Pasokfication’ after this election, referring to the decline of Greece’s traditional leftist movement after the rise of SYRIZA. The question is, what will Spanish people be replacing PSOE with?

2. Ciudadnos haven’t lived up to the Business interests behind it

Before the general election in December, many were predicting a victory for the right wing Ciudadnos and their leader Albert Rivera. Even I held such a view when, in my last blog post on the subject, I described the party as a significant challenge to Podemos The actual result however saw the Party come in fourth. This position allowed it to support the conservative Popular Party, contradicting absolutely all of Ciudadnos anti-establishment rhetoric, prior to the election. The only region where Rivera’s party have ever been successful is in their home region of Catalonia, where in the 2015 reginal elections, their discourse allowed it to become the leading Party, in a highly divided Catalonian Parliament. Perhaps the main reason for the exaggeration of Ciudadnos electoral prospects is the fact that they are able to channel the anti-establishment sentiment felt by many people in Spain, without actually posing a threat to the current neoliberal economic system in Spain. In the elections in December the party attracted many former Popular Party voters fed up with corruption. However, with the rise of leftist party Podemos and the electoral failures of Ciudadnos, many of those voters are likely to go back to supporting the Popular Party this time around.

3. The Popular Party might win, but PSOE will lose out to Podemos

At the time of writing polls predict a victory for the conservative Popular Party. This is a shame as the Popular Party have already done a significant amount of damage. They have made massive cuts in education, while handing phenomenally large bailouts to a Spanish bank called Bankia. As a result, Youth unemployment in Spain is now over 50%, with general unemployment above 25%. Despite this, the split in left wing voters in Spain between PSOE and Podemos, makes it easy to see how Podemos could take over the traditional left, possibly even winning more seats. This will be a positive, as while it may not actually achieve anything, it will mean that there is an actual opposition in government opposing the Popular Party rather than pandering to them, and pretending to be socialists! What could act as a blow for the left opposition however, is a combination of Popular Party and Ciudadnos MP’s, giving the right wing a majority. This would mean that all the energy garnered by a left wing movement that shows a small amount of sympathy with the people of Spain, would not have been able to stop the right holding on to power.

4. The Catalan Question

A referendum on Catalonia’s independence has been a big issue in Spanish Politics for a long time. This gained momentum during the December General Election, when a left wing alliance led by Podemos and Barcelona’s mayor were Catalonia’s leading parties in the general election. This group proposes a referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain. Despite the groups supposed impartiality, whether they would actually approve the result, in a Spain where parties need as much support as possible, remains to be seen. Despite this, no other party is defending the position that Catalonia should have a referendum on its independence. Unless Podemos defy the odds today, by winning the general election, we will not be seeing a referendum without direct resistance from the Catalonian People.

5. What Impact does this have on Europe?

As I explained earlier in this blog post, the Greek crisis proves that winning an election does not mean winning real power. While the EU may not be able to treat Spain in quite the same way as Greece, a Podemos led government would still come under extreme scrutiny from business interests. It is for this reason that progressive policies, such as the ones advocated by Podemos require mass popular mobilization and even international support. However, far right parties are gaining momentum in France, Hungary, Poland and the UK. As a result, traditional Conservative and Social Democratic parties are sliding towards the right, and the mass protests erupting throughout Europe have not been able to stop austerity politics. A slightly progressive government in Spain could be a step towards challenging xenophobic discourse, by not only the far right but by the European Council, on the so called refugee crisis. While we cannot rely on social democracy to solve all our problems, it could be a step forward in the fight against the right.

Conclusion

Overall, while the Popular Party unfortunately look set to win this election, Podemos may overtake PSOE. While it is important we do not put too much faith in any politicians, I believe that making the progressive case for change can act as a good alternative to the politics of the Far right, who have dominated international affairs for too long.

What will be the Likely Political Consquences of Brexit?

The UK has voted to leave the European Union. This was always going to happen really. A mix of Anti-immigrant and fake anti-establishment rhetoric, by those leading the out campaign, was enough to guarantee an out vote. Understandably, a lot of people felt angry at the situation they are in, their public services are under pressure and their wages being repressed. Amongst this, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, the very people who had a part to play in creating these problems, seized hold of the anger people were feeling, and channelled it towards immigrants and the EU. Despite this, no mention of the real problems with the EU or with the UK establishment, were mentioned. The neoliberalism and anti-democratic nature of both these institutions was ignored, in favour of a simplistic narrative. I have maintained that the result of a Leave vote would be extremely dangerous, as it would empower the far right within the Tory Party to take power, and set about dismantling our public services and robbing us of our civil liberties, as part of an ideology which has already done too much damage. In light of David Cameron resigning, we are now at risk of being led by an even more right wing government, led by Boris Johnson and backed up by Nigel Farage. In light of this, I am hoping for left wing resistance, not to the referendum result, but to the ‘Thatcherism on steroids’ that is likely to dominate British politics for the next few years. In addition to this, there are a number of additional points surrounding the referendum result, which need to be bought up.

David Cameron, The Prime Minister who gambled on his own Leadership (and lost)

By the time he announced his resignation everyone with their head screwed on knew that David Cameron had repeatedly lied to the British People, he lied when he said there would be no top down reorganisation of our public services and he lied when he said he would cut the deficit, not the NHS. Something else David Cameron will be remembered for, is his willingness to gamble on the futures of the people who he was supposed to represent.
His first major gamble was with Scottish Independence in 2014. After winning enough seats, the Scottish National Party were able to call for a referendum on whether Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom, or become independent. Upon this happening, David Cameron was quick to take back all promises of devolution to Scotland and present the Scottish referendum as a straight choice between complete independence from the UK, and complete and utter subservience to his government. In the end, Scotland voted to remain Part of the UK, by a close margin of victory, winning the gamble for David Cameron. After this, in 2015, as a result of divisions over the European Union within his own Party, David Cameron decided to promise the hard right faction within his Party, the EU referendum that they had long been hoping for. Soon enough, David Cameron and the Conservatives gained a huge electoral advantage, with even UKIP encouraging its followers to vote against their own candidates, and vote conservative in the forthcoming general election! Finally, with a bit of help from an unlawful election expenses scandal in marginal constituencies, The Tory’s won an unexpected majority in parliament. This However meant that David Cameron was left with a problem, it would obviously have been convenient for him to have no risk to his leadership. He could not treat his Party in the same way he treats the general public, by promising something he could not deliver. After months of deliberation, David Cameron finally called the referendum for the 23rd of June, announcing that he would be campaigning to remain, and that other members of his party would be campaigning to leave. Whatever Cameron’s motivations for doing this, it soon backfired, with the Racism and hyper idealism of the Brexit camp, inspiring the hearts and minds of voters. On June he 24th, it was announced that the UK had voted to leave the EU, forcing the Prime Minister to resign.
 
David Cameron lost his gamble on the EU, and in doing so has changed the nature of the UK’s political and economic system. Also, Cameron losing his bet on the EU will completely undermine his victory in the Scottish independence referendum Gamble. This leads me to talk about what the likely political consequences of Brexit may be.

More Austerity

Before the referendum, both the Remain and the Leave factions of the Tory Party stated that there would be more austerity should the UK vote to leave the EU. Pro remain chancellor George Osborne promised a ‘Punishment Budget’ should the UK dare to defy him. In addition to this, pro leave former Work and Pensions secretary, Ian Duncan Smith labelled more cuts to our essential Public services as ‘a Price worth paying’ for Brexit. These statements are of course easy to make for George Osborne and Ian Duncan Smith. They are not the ones who have got to live with the unbearable burden of austerity round their necks. I am sure they are perfectly comfortable living with all their money in their posh, gifted country estates. Instead it is a burden most affecting the disabled, children and the poor.

An empowerment UKIP and the Hard Right

With David Cameron resigning, UKIP getting their way and Leave Campaigner Boris Johnson tipped as the most likely candidate to be the next Prime Minister, an empowerment of the Hard right is a likely consequence of Brexit.
The honest truth is that, angry as people are at the status quo, Brexit was a fake revolution led by those same people who had delighted in trashing our workers’ rights, dismantling our public services, repressing our wages and undermining our industry. The idea that they will suddenly stop doing this and keep their promise to invest the fictional £350 million that the UK supposedly gives to the EU every week, into the NHS is ludicrous. In addition to this, UKIP, the party that inspired the referendum, are a party led by a former Tory activist and are 90% Bankrolled by former Tory donors. Indeed, UKIP may even be looking to enter into a formal coalition with the conservatives, with Boris Johnson possibly even making Nigel Farage a lord for his ‘services’ to the UK. Also, to those that say we evaded the EU’s neoliberalism by voting to leave, a government led by the hard right faction of the Tory Party, will not hesitate to sign the UK up to trade deals that make TTIP look like a walk in the park. We can only hope from this that the hard right will be met with resistance on the streets. 

A Second Scottish Independence Referendum

Despite the overall EU referendum result, Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the EU. Ironically, one of the main arguments that the Unionist camp had to offer during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, was that a vote to become independent, would result in Scotland getting pulled out of the European Union against their will. This argument only works however, if you for some reason assume that Scots are too stupid to make informed decisions about the future of their country, while taking the EU into account. Regardless, here we are less than two years down the line, with Scotland getting pulled out of the EU, against its will.  Pretty much as soon as this was made apparent, Nicola sturgeon started making the case for a second Scottish referendum, describing the idea of Scotland getting dragged out of the EU as ‘democratically unacceptable’.
 The case for a second referendum should be largely unchallengeable, especially for those that advocated Brexit. Things have changed dramatically since 2014. If Scots had known that voting to stay part the United Kingdom, they would be dragged out of the European Union against their will, many of them would have probably voted differently. Having based their part of their argument on how the EU undemocratically imposes its vision on the UK, it would be extremely hypocritical for Brexiters to say that Scotland should not exercise its own democratic rights. Of course, if there is another Scottish referendum we can expect a similar spectacle to the first one, with project fear and project patriotism dominating the pro unionist press and the mainstream political discourse. The question is, this time, will the Scottish people be as quick to believe them?

A coup attempt on Jeremy Corbyn

One thing that was inevitable when Brexit happened, is that the Blairite faction of Labour Party, would come out in droves to blame Jeremy Corbyn. Indeed, two backbench Labour MP’s have already proposed a vote of no confidence in their Left wing leader and seven shadow cabinet ministers have resigned in protest against Corbyns leadership, after he sacked shadow defence secretary Hillary Benn.
 
Politically naïve or not, I agree with the way that Corbyn fought for a Remain vote. He didn’t lie that the EU is a great institution, because it is not, and did not engage in the scaremongering promoted by the official Campaigns in the EU referendum. People clearly have a right to be angry at the empowerment of the far right, enabled by a Leave vote. Despite this, the target for their anger should be the Labour Leave campaign, who took donations from right wingers, and in doing so were able to push a fantasy land narrative of how the labour movement would be so much more powerful outside the EU. A possible outcome of a vote of no confidence against Jeremy Corbyn, would be a re – election of Corbyn by members of the labour party, and a possible split in the Party between Blairites and Corbyn supporters. What is perhaps most ridiculous about this issue, is that if the UK had voted to remain, the Blairites would have found another excuse to launch a coup attempt against the labour leader. They do not care about who is really to blame for Brexit, and they do not care about Britain having a labour movement.
 

A block on Brexit?


Pretty much as soon as the referendum result was announced, over two million people signed a petition on the Governments website, calling for a second referendum. This might surprise some of my readers, but I think this idea is utterly daft. Unless the petition somehow gets more signatures then the amount of people who actually voted for Brexit, it will be rendered completely invalid, as it will not achieve anything except showing some remain voters off as sore losers. Hard right politicians have already begun backtracking on their lies about how Brexit would mean more funding for our NHS. As such, a lot of people are understandably upset at the referendum result, but signing this petition is not going to help. Nicola sturgeons, claim that the Scottish parliament can somehow block Brexit are, in my opinion, simply an example of a nationalist politician trying to assert their authority in the face of a seismic change in the UK’s political landscape.
 

Conclusion

This leads us to ask some interesting questions about where the Brexit vote leaves the British left. Sure the next few years look pretty hellish as far as our interests and concerned, and Lexitters have not yet explained how they won’t be hellish. I guess, that in the years leading up to Brexit, the left should try and establish a progressive program and a good way to organise and achieve such a programme. While my rhetoric seems overwhelmingly negative, this is no time for just sitting around and complaining. We face challenges ahead, ones that must be met with resistance!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Why I am Voting to Remain in the EU

At the end of what has been a long and tiresome EU referendum debate, I will personally be glad when it is all over and we can get back to talking about ways to make a difference to people’s lives that don’t involve  turning up to a Ballot Box to vote every few years. In my opinion, both official campaigns leading the referendum have put forward some pretty poor arguments for their cause. Their appalling opportunism and desire to jump on every story and make it about the referendum, is really starting to annoy me. Also, I wish Left wing Brexiters like Dennis Skinner, would fuck off with their ultra-optimism, the idea that if we leave the EU, we will suddenly become a Socialist Utopia is just as Bizarre as the idea that Boris Johnson wants to invest money into the NHS! The idea that the EU can be reformed from above is equally optimistic and undermines the power of grassroots movements to change things. As things stand, Brexit will result in a country run by the Hard Right where minority rights and workers’ rights are further crushed, in the Name of free markets.

We need a left wing movement to leave the EU

There are still a few points I want to bring up as to why I think it would be a mistake to leave the EU at a time when the far right are dominating the political debate. This is not to say I would not back Brexit, if there was a strong movement on the left and a mildly progressive government in Place. As I have said before, I deplore TTIP and the EU’s sanctions on Greece, even The EU’s progressive legislation on things like workers rights, despite being necessary, tends to view people as cogs that exist purely for wage labour. But here is an idea that I think needs mentioning. I do not think this will be our last chance to vote to leave. Just as the threat of Scotland holding another referendum has been there since the day Scotland voted to be remain of the United Kingdom, the threat of another referendum will always be on the table. However, until we have a strong left wing movement in this country, leaving the EU is potentially far too dangerous.

What World are Brexiters Living in?

I do not intend to persuade my reader here that they must vote to stay in the EU, I am sure some of them want to leave, and have got very good reasons for doing so. However, after reading this you will hopefully be able to see why I am voting to remain, and the dishonesty of the campaigns dominating the referendum.
Immigration: In their immigration policy, the Tory’s have shown utter disrespect not only towards immigrants but also British. Indeed, when Theresa May introduced legislation to ban British citizens from bringing their non – EU spouses to the UK, she knew perfectly well that she would be driving British people away. Also, the fact that immigrants tend to be of working age, means that we need an inflow of economically active migrants to sustain the UK’s aging population. Also, in Light of the refugee crisis, we have only committed to taking in 25,000 refugees per year. Brexit would give Boris Johnson and other hard right Tory’s an excuse to implement, yet harsher measures on immigration, discriminating against British people in the process. Under the circumstances, getting rid of immigrants would not even result in better wages. This leads me to my next point.
Workers’ Rights: The idea that the far right Tory’s will replace workers’ rights after Brexit is clearly fantasy land stuff. The People leading the Brexit campaign include Chris Grayling (who during his time as justice minister, drew up a harmful privatisation programme for the probation service), Michael Gove (who during his time as education secretary privatised over 3000 schools) and Ian Duncan Smith (a man famous for his callous treatment of sick and disabled people, during his time as work and pensions secretary). Also, in 1998, the EU introduced legislation preventing bosses from making workers work more than 48 hours a week, this was done in the face of fierce opposition from the Tory’s. Of course, it is perfectly possible to argue that the EU should do more to protect workers’ rights. How anyone can put faith in Boris Johnson to protect workers though, is absurd.
Democracy: the EU is a fiercely undemocratic institution, especially the European Commission and the European Central Bank, however cast your minds to what a post Brexit UK might look like. The UK would still have half of its parliament completely unelected, an unelected central bank, a unproportioned voting system where a Party can form a majority on less than a quarter of a vote, and a fucking Monarchy! Also, recent scandals implicating certain councils in Tory election fraud shows just how little of a shit the conservatives give about democracy. Indeed, the European elections are the only proportional elections that the English get to participate in, so Brexit, would clearly make England even less democratic.
Industry: A lot of Brexiters are trying to claim that the only way to save the British steel industry is for the UK to vote to leave the EU, however a look at the facts proves this to be little more than a myth. When the EU tried to intervene in the steel market by placing tariffs on Chinese steel, this was actively voted against by UKIP and vetoed by the Conservative Party. In 2015, the Tory’s also sacrificed 3000 jobs in Redcar, because they preferred sucking up to the Chinese. How can anyone believe that the conservatives would magically stop doing this, in the event of Brexit?
NHS: The fact that the pro Brexit Tory’s have promised support for a number of Public Services, while doing nothing to actually outline an economic plan, speaks volumes about their feigned support for the NHS. These are the same people who have spent the last six years underfunding the service, carrying out top down reorganisation and carving up the NHS for privatisation. All things which the Conservatives promised they wouldn’t do. Even former Conservative Prime Minister John Major, has said that leaving the NHS alone with Boris Johnson and Palls would be like leaving a ‘pet hamster with a hungry python’.
Tax: After the slow and painful revelations, when the Panama Papers were unveiled, that David Cameron benefited from his father’s offshore tax havens, some Tory Brexiters have had the nerve to say that we need to leave the EU to clamp down on tax dodging! Let’s put this into perspective, a party that have repeatedly lobbied against EU efforts to clamp down on Tax havens, who are also heavily funded by a bunch of Tax dodgers are pretending they care about the issue. I need to take a lie down, this level of dishonesty is just too much.
TTIP: A tactic of the left wing Brexit crowd is that we can beat the TTIP free trade deals, which gives corporations the right to sue elected governments, by pulling out of the EU. Even I used to subscribe to such a view, however, there are numerous holes in this theory. Firstly, the Tory’s are so in favour of the corporate takeover of our Public services that they didn’t even ask for an exemption to the NHS service, when TTIP was being proposed. Leaving the EU would give the Tory’s the opportunity to draw up much worse deals. The advantage for them would be that they would not have to put up with quite the same amount of resistance that TTIP has been met by. This would be a classic case of that well known saying ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’.

Conclusion

Whatever way you have decided to vote in this EU referendum, please keep an eye out for those that are prepared to lie to you in order to push a vicious political agenda. Those of us on the remain side, despite acknowledging big problems with the EU, see the out camp as dominated by the far right, and do not want to hand power to them. Something that we can all agree on is that all authority should be questioned, and that applies to campaigns and ideas that you side with.

Awful Arguments #3 - The Brexit False Revolution

Brexit is a false revolution. It all started when UKIP burst on to the scene in 2014, with their anti EU, anti-immigrant agenda and starting declaring themselves champions of the working class because of their desire to take power away from the EU, and give more powers to the equally undemocratic House of Lords and Monarchy. That same mind-set is now being promoted by Boris Johnson and other hard right figures in the Tory Party. Coming at the Brexit revolution stance from a different angle, are left wing figures in the Labour party like Dennis Skinner, who argue that they do not want to be part of a European Union that forces free market policy down the throats of member states, ignoring the fact that the Brexit campaign has been led by people so right wing, that it is almost beyond belief that anyone could put them in charge. The most depressing part of the Brexit revolution myth, is that people are falling for it, people are already lining up the ballot box to free themselves from the shackles of Europe, only to wake up on Friday morning, and find themselves in the clutches of a much more deadly beast.  This is extremely worrying for those of us that know what an actual revolution looks like. It finds itself in movements such as the Miners’ Strike, The fight for the eight hour day in Chicago or, to give a more recent example, The Nuit Debout movement, currently going on in France. It does not come dressed in purple waving a pint around, and moaning about immigrants.
 

Why I am Voting to Remain

Before I let you go and decide how you want to vote for yourselves, I want to reassert my position that voting to leave under the current circumstances would be an absolute disaster, no matter how well intentioned that the Person voting to leave may be
Let’s look at the current situation we are stuck in. Working class wages are miserable and pathetic. Employers like JD sports treat their employees horribly. Businesses and shops are constantly shutting down. People cannot afford to buy homes, schools are being stretched by extortionate class sizes and NHS waiting times are too long. Amongst all this, the immediate reaction from most people is to blame immigration. It is understandable why as well. Big companies have the power to advertise abroad and bring in a cheap migrant workforce, which capitalists can easily exploit. Also, through migration, the ruling class have been able to have a weak working class that constantly bickers among themselves.  But do you really think a Brexit led by Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson will make these problems any better? These are people who have fought tirelessly to take power away from the working class and give more power to bosses. Indeed, many leading Brexiters are people who want to privatise the NHS. They supported Thatcher during the 1980s, when workers communities were being torn apart by mass privatisation. On the subject of Cheap Labour, people in the Brexit camp are far from wanting to end it. What they are actually likely to do is cut wages and scrap workplace protection Laws. The only difference will be with these low paying, long hour jobs, is that it won’t be migrants doing them, it will be the same British workers, some of whom would will have enthusiastically supported Brexit before the referendum. Should there be a work shortage, Ian Duncan Smith can always get his old job back of making severely disabled and sick people, go on degrading workfare schemes, designed to cut benefits and provide cheap labour for capitalists. Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage pretend to be working class heroes, when in reality they are anything but!

Lexit Delusions

Some people living in cloud Cuckoo land, are saying that if we leave there will be a general election, from which labour and Jeremy Corbyn (who backs remain) will emerge victorious. However, the chances of this are extremely small. While there may indeed be a general election if Cameron resigns after losing the election vote, it is likely that it will result in yet another Conservative victory. Firstly, Brexit is likely to cause division in the Labour party, with lots of Blairites lining up to accuse Jeremy Corbyn of failing to put up a fight during the referendum. Furthermore, if there is a general election, all those newspapers and Leave Campaigners that put so much energy into running scare stories about migrants, will channel all that energy into running scare stories about the Labour party, making sure they do not win the election. The truth is that it is the Hard right that are setting the terms for this debate. You might as well be asked at the ballot box if you want a swing to the right, or a return to the status quo.   

How will Brexiters react if they lose?

One of the best arguments Brexiters have for their platform is ‘we didn’t consent to be a member of the EU’, and they are right. However, if remain wins tomorrow this argument will be invalid. No doubt Cameron and Corbyn will be touring the studios, thanking the British public for keeping them in a job. Also, David Cameron will most likely apply the in work benefits for migrants concession immediately. Despite this, at the far right end of the debate, things could get a bit sourer.
Behind its diplomatic image, UKIP have always been a racist party dominated by Xenophobes and an opposition to multiculturalism. The referendum gave legitimacy to this agenda, a Remain vote will take it away. A group of Young voters energised by the Tory right will be wondering where to channel their frustration, and the far right themselves are likely to get even harsher on the subject of immigration. Britain First might even show up and call for race war. It is up to those who see the value of migration and freedom of movement to defend it. We should demand short term measures such as a higher minimum wage and increased funding for public services. We should stand up for the rights of Syrian refugees seeking a better way of life, and we should not be afraid to confront far right groups on the streets. This will not be achieved solely through voting for Jeremy Corbyn or the Green Party. As such, we should obviously be prepared to use methods of protest in order to push our cause. That is how we tackle the rise of the right, which has dominated so much of public debate.

Conclusion

Overall, do not be persuaded by Nigel Farage, when he says that a Brexit vote is a revolutionary action. They only appropriate the language of the working class in order to win support for a hateful agenda. Real revolution lies in the confronting of the far right on the streets. Until we can do that, we have no right to say we are fighting for fairness!