It started with a coup.

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Jeremy corbyn brexit

It started with a coup.

The Labour Party had just elected our new leader Jeremy Corbyn he entered the leadership competition as the Left underdog a token gesture by a predominantly centralist PLP.

He was expected to fall at the first hurdle, the Parliamentary Labour Party felt secure in their power base from the New Labour of Blair to that moment they held the power that blocked all but their own centralist view.

The one thing they did not see was that Jeremy Corbyn was the oasis in a desert of centralist parties a thrusting Left had all but lost hope of finding within our elected parliamentarians a true voice for the Left and the people.

He had been pushed to the back and was now seen as a no danger candidate.

We all know the result that followed.  The membership had spoken no longer would they be denied their values or aspirations for a real Democratic Socialist Labour Party.  Jeremy Corbyn was elected party leader on the 12 September 2015 with a landslide victory of 59.9% of the vote.

This should have been the death of New Labour, the old guard once again back and leading from the front.  The New Labour experiment to shift the party to the centre that had seen massive landslides in its early years but failed to deliver should have died, or at least gracefully moved aside to be forgotten in the political history of the party.

Unfortunately, like a Zombie with its zombie policies and aspirations, New Labour would simply not die. It hunted the benches of the PLP with mutterings and conspiracies “How dare the Left claim the Labour party!”  The loyalty to its Blairite doctoring’s and neoliberal agenda was being threatened by a true socialist.  Not just any old socialist but one that had given credence to a real way forward, where Labour would bring in a renascence of socialist values a new model of socialism fit for the 21st century.

blair zombie politics

Jeremy Corbyn could only be described as a Eurosceptic, throughout his political career he voted against the Maastricht treaty the very treaty that created the EU, Corbyn stud shoulder to shoulder with party stalwarts like Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner and Peter Shore in his condemnation of the EU, saying how it took away democracy from parliament.

  • He voted against the Maastricht Treaty that created the EU. Here’s what he had to say about it — “It takes us in the opposite direction of an unelected legislative body—the Commission—and, in the case of foreign policy, a policy Commission that will be, in effect, imposing foreign policy on nation states that have fought for their own democratic accountability.”
  • He voted against the Lisbon Treaty which is the current constitutional basis for the EU. Writing about the Greek crisis last year Corbyn said — “There is no future for a Europe that turns its smaller nations into colonies of debt peonage.”
  • Writing about the Greek crisis last year Corbyn said — “There is no future for a Europe that turns its smaller nations into colonies of debt peonage.”
  • In an LBC interview, Corbyn implied that the EU was treating Greece “brutally.” — “If Europe becomes a totally brutal organisation that treats every one of its member states in the way that the people of Greece have been treated at the moment, then I think Europe will lose a lot of support from a lot of people.”
  • In an article on his website, Corbyn wrote that the EU was responsible for the gross abuse of human rights in  Western Sahara. However, the article was deleted.
  • In another deleted article on his website, Corbyn wrote this — “The project has always been to create a huge free-market Europe, with ever-limiting powers for national parliaments and an increasingly powerful common foreign and security policy.”
  • A spokesman for Corbyn said the articles were deleted because they are “converting it [the website] to reflect his work as leader and afterwards.”

Is it any wonder that during the party leadership camping he criticises the EU, saying how the EU undermines workers, both here and Europe, he talks about his concerns relating to EU tax avoidance but is quickly put down by Liz Kendall in the Labour leader candidate campaign, Liz Kendall a member and chair of ultra-Europhile and Blairite group Progress.

It may have been that very speech that brought about the conspirator’s amongst the PLP in deciding that if the up and coming referendum result was to leave the EU, then Jeremy Corbyn must go!   No matter if this or Jeremy Corbyn’s past real Eurosceptic attitude and statements it would not endure the ultra-Europhile progress group or other Pro EU Labour MP’s to have a confirmed Eurosceptic leading a Labour Party after the referendum vote to leave the EU.

Officially it is stated that “Although Labour had campaigned for Britain to stay in the EU, opponents within the party accused Corbyn of running a lukewarm campaign. Several senior Labour figures resigned from the Shadow Cabinet in the days following the referendum, and on 28 June, Corbyn lost a motion of no confidence by 197–40. Rejecting calls for him to relinquish the leadership role, he vowed to stand in any resulting leadership challenge. Angela Eagle and Owen Smith subsequently announced that they would launch a formal challenge, although Eagle later withdrew from the contest and gave her support to Smith. Following the leadership election, Corbyn was re-elected as Leader on 24 September 2016 with a marginally higher majority of 61%. The Membership had again spoken and a clear message was sent to the centralist of the PLP. The Labour Party is a party of the Left.

In May 2017 Labour suffered poor results at the local elections. This caused a shock throughout Labours Heartlands how could such a change take place? How could a Tory government return so many seats in the local elections whilst still peddling and conducting the Austerity lie?

In answer to that we only had to look inwards the Labour Party seemed to be a broken body, far from accepting Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership the PLP stud at his back not in solidarity but in anticipation of striking him down from behind, at every turn our very own members of parliament undermined Labours own leader to cause maximum embarrassment, undermining him at every turn the drop in confidence in Labour caused confusion and disarray through the UK.

In June a snap general election was called.  Theresa May must have been so confident that she would return a huge majority, in that her dominance of parliament would be supreme. At this point anyone would have believed that the Labour Party would put aside their differences coming together in unity, to fight for the people party and the country, our chance in a time of need to make the change the nation so much needed, if nothing else to stop the austerity and inhuman treatment of the people by its own government.

But no the Europhiles had a bigger agenda, they wanted Jeremy Corbyn gone even at the expense of government and the people.  Not having a Eurosceptic leading the country out of the European Union, been far more important to the political elite of the Labour party than making a real defence to the lives of its member’s supporters and the people of the UK.  Centralist MP’s and Europhiles actively undermined their own leader during the General election and refused to support him, some MP’s even tried to disassociate from the Labour party, refusing to have boards saying “Vote Labour” instead boards would be placed just with the Local MP’s name.

It was probably the dirtiest general election campaign in UK history, not all the attacks and slights came from the right but from within our own party.

What they did not bargain for was the fact that Jeremy Corbyn and a handful of left Labour MP’s along with the great work by the grassroots organisation Momentum, would carry out a campaign that is rarely seen in politics today.  Corbyn spoke to the people and the people listened, he was real and genuine, he reflected the hopes and aspirations of the nation, his words offered hope and renewal.  The Labour party had found its missing link!  That of the Labour party leader and the people.

The election brought with it a manifesto fit for a 21st century socialist UK.  One with a clear divide between state and business, one that would bring into public ownership that which is the peoples and allow that which is not the right environment to flourish.  The manifesto was clearly a manifesto for Brexit or Lexit as we would prefer.  The manifesto was not radical but practical it offered Nationalisation in both rail and utilities, a clear costed why in how it would be achieved.  It gave medium and small business the support to grow and thrive outside the EU, with its National bank.  It allowed for investment in all regions without the dependence of the EU administration of UK money by lottery.

Labour under Corbyn’s leadership again finished as the second-largest party in parliament, but increased their share of the popular vote to 40%, resulting in a gain of 32 seats, and a hung parliament. Labour’s 9.6% vote swing was its largest since 1945. After the general election result, senior Labour MPs and former advisers who have previously criticised Corbyn expressed notably different attitudes towards him. Many from within the party praised Corbyn after Prime Minister Theresa May was prevented from obtaining the increased majority she sought at the election. After the election, Labour pulled ahead of the Conservatives in many opinion polls.

After the General election, a quite truce seemed to exist within Labour.  However a new tact has been drawn involving Labour’s position on the EU, again we see MPs feeling that they can both undermine the leadership and Labour’s position on the referendum, which is to respect the will of the people with no second referendum.  This leaves us with the question who do our MPs represent, if not the people why are they comfortable in not representing the will of their constituency but that of a group who are so intent on the UK remaining in the EU by hook or crook, that they are willing to break the very party they represent, sending out articles from their false prophet Blair saying that stopping Brexit is more important than the Labour party.

It is very clear in the eyes of the electorate that Jeremy Corbyn sees unity within the party more important than leaving the EU.  There has been no damascene conversion it is more of a threat of rebellion or even open war. It is now Jeremy Corbyn needs to ask “Who do I serve?” if it is the PLP then nothing will change but if and quite rightly it is the people then he should know the people are behind him.

The Labour party needs to ‘come off the fence’, own the ground that will take us out of the EU.  We to see the party being important but at what cost?  If the party is seen to be the party of remain,  back peddling on respecting the referendum to leave the EU, that promise and the one for a new kind of politics becomes the same old politics of a rigged system.

We in the Labour Heartlands have a message to our MPs.  Stop your Byzantine scheming,  start working to create a better post Brexit UK.  Use your time that we pay for, to create the schemes that matter, like that of real infrastructure not faster trains to London but industry networks and Jobs within our regions.  Help in the real creation of wealth for the people not the old trickle down dried up slogan, used to pacify the people who are left to thirst while waiting for the splash to lift their lot.

The days of pinning a red rosette on the donkey are long gone.  Labour MPs should represent their constituencies not their own agendas.

labour donkey
Paul knaggs

Article by

Paul Knaggs

Labour Heartlands