42 comments on “Editorial statement on the referendum result

  1. Alysia on said:

    Gutted by the result but in all honestly many politicians did not take seriously the wide spread feeling of those that saw Mass Immigration as a major negative. Europe looks like it’s fragmented when one leader (German) can effectively make a decision that effects all other countries and in the same breathe tell other nations what to do without so much as a debate. So one country can make such a BIG decision and there is nothing any other country can do. Problem is, people now see the European project as out of touch, unfair and financially draining with the only option is to go it alone before they are all dragged down.

    Sorry to say it but I can fully understand why people fear for their future under the European Union. If politicians listened to people of both the UK and Europe this situation could have been avoided.

    Gutted !!!!!!!!!

  2. Andy H on said:

    @JN

    Or maybe support the attempt to oust him and work with the membership to elect a leader with the same policies and outlook but instead is actually good at the job of being the leader of a political party?

  3. Andy H,

    Oh, I’m sorry, did I miss the meeting where the left voted to go collectively fucking insane? In any given political dispute, let’s side with the worse option. Great plan!

  4. Andy H,

    Seriously, Corbyn is not the problem here. He’s doing about as well as could possibly be expected in extremely unfavourable circumstances and while being continually attacked and undermined by sections of his own party. Those sections that didn’t have a problem with Tony Blair’s catastrophic war-mongering, and who couldn’t even be bothered to vote against the Tories’ cuts in parliament during the Labour leadership election.

  5. Andy H on said:

    Corbyn is doing a rubbish job. Yes, he’s under attack but he is TERRIBLE at getting the policies and messages across and finding a path to do the things he needs to do as a leader while staying true to his principles.

    Referendum is a case in point – a very short and half arsed approach to campaigning on an issue that could have terrible consequences for the very people he’s spent a career fighting for. Why wasn’t he out with the slogan ‘Boss’s Brexit’ in all of the communities that strongly voted for Brexit, week after week, month after month? All we got was a cringeworthy appearance on The Last Leg and one (or maybe two) half arsed broadcast interviews. That had nothing to do with attacks from Blairites (who were mostly for remain anyway) and everything to do with him not really liking the EU anyway and letting that cloud his judgement on what he needed to do.

    This whole sorry debacle shows he isn’t the right person for the job. Better bin him earlier rather than later in favour of someone with the same policies but can actually do the job.

  6. John on said:

    The white working class that has been used as election fodder by Brexit will be its biggest victim.

    England has voted for the past while Scotland has voted for the future. A second referendum on Scottish independence beckons and I declare myself one of its most ardent supporters.

  7. Andy H: Better bin him earlier rather than later in favour of someone with the same policies but can actually do the job.

    I don’t agree that Jeremy is not doing a good job.

    However, do not think that if Corbyn is bumped that there is any chance of another left leader being elected. Jeremy going now would be a generational defeat for the left in the party

  8. Andy H: Better bin him earlier rather than later in favour of someone with the same policies but can actually do the job

    What makes you think that any candidate from the left of the party is going to get a sufficient number of nominations from the PLP (IE: from at least 35 MPs) to even stand in another leadership election?

  9. John on said:

    Andy Newman: I don’t agree that Jeremy is not doing a good job.

    Jeremy and Seumas Milne have to take some responsibility for this result Andy. More than once – debating Galloway followed by Alex Gordon and Rob Griffiths – I found myself refuting the claim that Corbyn was not really a supporter of Remain and was only doing so out of internal party reasons. The other day I even accused Griffiths of impugning Jeremy’s integrity.

    Corbyn should have come out and refuted these claims himself. He fought this campaign with all the passion of a wet fish and now millions of working class people are going to suffer, especially the white working class who’ve been used as election fodder by Brexit.

    Utterly inept and not good enough.

  10. What was on the table in this referendum was a choice between staying in on the terms Cameron had negotiated, or leaving on the terms of the Tory right and whatever they can negotiate. A choice between a status quo representing one lot of transnational corporate interests, or change shaped by a slightly different lot of transnational corporate interests, with a large dose of chauvinism thrown in either way… No socialist of sound mind could possibly be passionately enthusiastic about either option. Passion should be used sparingly in politics anyway. It’s usually a sign of either insincerity or psychological disturbance.

  11. Matty on said:

    Francis King,

    Well said Francis. I wonder how much the CLP’s got involved in this campaign. At my branch meeting in May there was no talk of canvassing. We could warn of the consequences of Brexit but there was nothing positive we could offer because we are in opposition.

  12. Matty on said:

    Also, one figure that seems to be overlooked is that according to the Ashcroft polls, the proportion of SNP voters who voted to Leave was nearly the same as Labour – 36% SNP, 375 Labour- nobody is calling for Nicola to stand down.

  13. Francis King: No socialist of sound mind could possibly be passionately enthusiastic about either option. Passion should be used sparingly in politics anyway. It’s usually a sign of either insincerity or psychological disturbance.

    This referendum for the left was not about defending or supporting the status quo. It was about denying space to the far right, which has just won a huge victory. I was not voting or campaigning for the EU, I was voting and campaigning against Brexit.

    The extreme right wing context in which this referendum took place has been grievously underestimated.

  14. George Hallam on said:

    Francis King: No socialist of sound mind could possibly be..

    What is it about the Left?

    They seem to treat any disagreement with their view as a mental health issue,

    Where are the political correctness police when you need them? 🙂

  15. Andy Newman: I don’t agree that Jeremy is not doing a good job.

    However, do not think that if Corbyn is bumped that there is any chance of another left leader being elected. Jeremy going now would be a generational defeat for the left in the party

    100% correct. The Left would be idiotic beyond belief to do anything other than defend Jeremy and his leadership.

  16. Marco on said:

    Incidentslly, after being hounded on this site for being anti Semitic for having the temerity to claim Zionists were whipping up hysteria over anti Semitism on the left the comment above is a one off outpouring of disdain.

    You can all now f off, especially witchfinder in chief, Andy Newman.

  17. George Hallam on said:

    Marco: It is about time the left called people for what they are, racists and morons

    Frankly, I can’t recall a time when the left has every held back on calling people “racists and morons”.

  18. John Grimshaw on said:

    George Hallam: What is it about the Left?

    They seem to treat any disagreement with their view as a mental health issue,

    Where are the political correctness police when you need them?

    Ian Nichol LP compliance department?

  19. George Hallam on said:

    Marco: No one should be under any illusions about this vote. It was a vote built on fascist instincts.

    Interesting piece in today’s Guardian on the Remain campaign’s post mortem.

    “The campaign conducted more than 40 focus groups, which revealed the extent to which the erosion of public trust had led to cynicism about the raft of experts the remain camp produced to warn about Brexit. Some believed that Cameron and Osborne were also damaged by the fallout from the budget and the Panama Papers controversy about the tax affairs of the prime minister’s father.

    One strategist said: “The public just said they lie and pull the wool over our eyes. I asked one woman to give me an example of these lies, and she said, ‘9/11’. The only people the public slightly trusted were Martin Lewis, Richard Branson and, on a good day, Mark Carney so long as he was not seen as a banker. We had a credibility problem, but so now does all public debate in the UK.”

    Some in the remain campaign urged the chancellor, George Osborne, to broaden his message about the economic risks of Brexit because it was not resonating with Labour voters who felt they had less to lose economically.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/senior-figures-in-remain-campaign-say-they-were-hobbled-by-number-10

  20. John Grimshaw on said:

    Is it me? The still of the video reminds me of Robinson Crusoe. A good analogy perhaps?

  21. There is a thread running through the various recent political upsets like Corbyn being elected Labour leader, Trump winning the Republican nomination, the success of Bernie Saunders campaign, and the result of the EU referendum, and that is that people are fed up with what they regard as the established political order and its representatives.

    In such a climate it would be the height of folly for the PLP to try to impose their will on the Party over the issue of selecting the leader of the Party.

    It would be seen by the electorate as an attempt to perpetuate the usual top down, paternalistic approach that people now reject. Just more of the same when people want something different.

  22. Marco: From my experience the left have been too indulgent with the working classes. Too ready to believe their anti immigration had anything to do with jobs or working conditions. It hasn’t! It is the product of ignorance, bigotry and prejudice.

    I cannot but agree. The working class is not a monument to be worshipped at. It has its rump and its head. Brexit proves that it is being led by the rump at this juncture.

  23. anon: people are fed up with what they regard as the established political order and its representatives.

    And who can blame them/us? The established political order has consistently, almost systematically, discredited itself over the last 35 years. It couldn’t have done a better job of it if it had been deliberate. Unfortunately the anger about that has been very successfully diverted into right-wing channels.

    anon: In such a climate it would be the height of folly for the PLP to try to impose their will on the Party

    It would be suicidal. If they boot out Corbyn they’ll be very clearly telling the membership that they just do not care what we think, and they’ll be saying the same to the leaders of Unite, Unison, GMB, FBU, etc. Doubly so if they don’t allow the opportunity for Corbyn or some other left-wing MP to stand in a leadership election.

    And the thing is, what alternative do they offer? Do they not get that this isn’t 1997 anymore?

  24. Marco: From my experience the left have been too indulgent with the working classes.

    Not working class yourself then? I mean, I don’t know, but the way you’ve put that it sounds like you’re not. The left can not succeed by approaching the working class from, or as if from, the outside. Nobody is going to change their mind because you’ve called them a moron.

    The fact that it’s been possible to frame a racist Brexit led by right-wing millionaires as a “revolt of the working class against the establishment” is on the one hand ludicrous, but on the other indicates that the left has a real problem with how we are perceived. There is at least some truth in that perception, most obviously the prevalence of career politicians from middle class backgrounds which is common to all parties.

  25. George Hallam on said:

    Marco: Anyone who thinks this vote had anything to do with the panama papers or the budget is deluding themselves.

    I don’t suppose that he panama papers played a very big role in this.

    It was just another grain of sand that ‘Swells the mountain of resentment/ Oh, there’s anger in the land’.

    The point is that the credibility of the Establishment has been eroded over the years. This is was the feeling the Remain campaign insiders picked up from their 40 focus groups.

    An analysis of the election results of the last 80 years would have told them the same story.

    Marco: In fact one motivation for brexit was to avoid having to comply with EU tax laws. The spiv businessman wants to leave the EU precisely to reduce his costs and pass them onto his useful idiots (or employees as they are sometimes called).

    Evidence?

  26. JN,

    With regard to the diminished authority of established political parties and the establishment. Is this the same problem that the 2nd world had catching up with the first world?

  27. George Hallam on said:

    anon: There is a thread running through the various recent political upsets like Corbyn being elected Labour leader, Trump winning the Republican nomination, the success of Bernie Saunders campaign, and the result of the EU referendum, and that is that people are fed up with what they regard as the established political order and its representatives.

    I agree. And they turned out to make it happen.

    An interesting comment from YouGov:
    “Unexpectedly high turnout in Leave areas pushed the campaign to victory
    Unusually, the North outvoted the South

    We do not hide from the fact that YouGov’s final poll miscalculated the result by four points. This seems in a large part due to turnout – something that we have said all along would be crucial to the outcome of such a finely balanced race. Our turnout model was based, in part, on whether respondents had voted at the last general election and a turnout level above that of general elections upset the model, particularly in the North.”
    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/06/24/brexit-follows-close-run-campaign/

    Stephen Bush of the New Statesman had guessed that turnout would be low:
    “My instinct is that the past tends to be a good guide to the future. Following that line, since turnout in the 1975 European referendum was ten points below the 1974 general elections, this time we’ll have a turnout of 55 per cent, which ought not to tilt the contest one way or the other.”
    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/06/over-martini-my-mother-i-decide-id-rather-not-talk-brexit

    In the event the turnout was 72.2 per cent. Turnout at the 2015 general election was only 66.1 per cent

  28. Andy Newman,

    I’m not entirely sure what you mean. Are you referring to living standards? If so, then yes, kind of. Except that rather than not catching up, they’re declining from what they were. It’s not some other part of the world that’s relatively better off than us, but the previous generation.

    And who can possibly take “austerity” seriously as an explanation when we have a government so blatantly of the rich, and the state can produce hundreds of billions for the banks at the drop of a hat?

    The most fundamental issue, I think, is unemployment/ underemployment/zero-hour/agency work, and therefore no guarantee of a secure and adequate income. That and inflated housing prices. Both of which are easily scapegoated onto immigrants, when the real cause is government, employers, and landlords.

    There are of course other factors.

  29. John: England has voted for the past while Scotland has voted for the future. A second referendum on Scottish independence beckons and I declare myself one of its most ardent supporters.

    If Corbyn lost credibility by moderating his long standing position on the EU how do we evaluate John Wight’s abandonment of his opposition to Scottish indpendence? 🙂

  30. John: The working class is not a monument to be worshipped at. It has its rump and its head. Brexit proves that it is being led by the rump at this juncture.

    After the uprising on the 24th of June

    The editors of Socialist Unity

    Posted statments on the internet

    Stating that the people

    Had forfeited the confidence of the editors

    And could win it back only

    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier

    In that case for the editors

    To dissolve the people

    And elect another?

  31. Nick Wright,

    Not much of an uprising, and don’t you mean the 23rd?

    This narrative that Brexit is a “revolt of the working class against the establishment” is false and people should stop parroting it. The fact that a majority of working class voters IN ENGLAND supported Brexit does not change the fact that what they were voting for was itself a faction of the establishment, and a worse one.

  32. jack on said:

    Nick Wright: After the uprising on the 24th of June

    Yes, it was an uprising, but one led by Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage and largely ideologically shaped by the right wing. There’s the problem.

    I see that Corbyn has finally sacked the repulsive Blairite puddle of slime Hilary Benn. Long overdue.

  33. Marco:

    From my experience the left have been too indulgent with the working classes.

    I’m sure they are all devastated to have lost your support.