A Broad Front in Name Only

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A Broad Front in Name Only

Saturday saw the launch of a new left-wing pro-Brexit campaign, Leave-Fight-Transform (LeFT) in the pages of the communist newspaper the Morning Star.

It’s hard to tell at this early stage if LeFT adds anything to the 2016 Lexit alliance of rail unions RMT and ASLEF, foodworkers’ union BFAWU, the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), the Socialist Party, Socialist Workers’ Party, Labour Heartlands, Counterfire and others.

Of course, the campaign has time to grow, especially if new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government breaks its promises and seeks another extension – or if the pro-Remain Labour Party comes to power before the October 31 leave date.

But more significantly, LeFT excludes the great majority of Brexiteers, who are concentrated among the Conservatives and Nigel “Mr Brexit” Farage’s Brexit Party (BP).

In a Morning Star feature article accompanying the LeFT founding statement, Alex Gordon and Paul O’Connell write that “grasping the character of the Brexit vote is no simple thing” — after reeling off a long list of very good reasons why 52 per cent of us voted Leave in 2016.

“Both the mainstream Leave and Remain campaigns during the referendum were explicitly racist, though often expressed through the “respectable” racism of the middle classes,” they write.

Two such stalwart Brexiteers as Gordon and O’Connell should be well aware the myth that Leave voters were driven by racism was invented by the very liberal Remainers they oppose.

Why is the majority of the British Left so afraid of a broad front with European Research Group and other Tory Leavers – 85 per cent of the party membership by some accounts – and the BP?

The “racist” and “right-wing” BP fielded one of the most diverse candidate lists in this year’s European Parliament elections, and has several members of the defunct Revolutionary Communist Party as members, one of them now an MEP. The BP is in fact a broad front in itself, welcoming anyone except fascists and anarchists.

Remainers in the Tory, Labour and Green Parties, along with the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru, are ready and willing to work hand-in-glove to delay or stop Brexit.

That includes open plots to form national unity government with a prime minister picked from the back benches. How desperate is that? Britain did not even resort to a national unity government during WWII.

If Remainers of all stripes can unite to thwart the people’s will, why can’t leavers do the same to defend it?

James Tweedie, Plymouth, August 11 2019

“James Tweedie is a journalist and commentator on world affairs”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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