Scotland and Ireland should now secede from the Confederate States of the United Kingdom

“Forgive them father for they know not what they do.” Attributed to Jesus Christ as he lay dying on the cross, those words neatly describe the ramifications of the astonishing vote just taken to end Britain’s membership of the EU.

However, with the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland voting to remain in the EU, and with a majority in the North of Ireland voting to remain also, we are now looking at the prospect of the fragmentation of the UK itself.

UKIP’s Nigel Farage, a politician whose entire political career has been built on the objective of effecting Britain’s exit from the EU, is today the man of the hour in British politics, even though just one week ago he unveiled a gratuitously racist poster in support of his Brexit campaign which in a civilized society would automatically have heralded the end of that career. Its unveiling came just prior to the murder or Labour MP Jo Cox by an avowed neo-fascist, which today puts the words uttered by Farage in response to the referendum result – that it was “achieved without a shot being fired” – into stark relief.

Brexit will go down in history as one of the most ugly, reactionary and regressive political campaigns ever conducted in an advanced and mature democracy. For strip away the embroidery this was a referendum on immigration and migrant workers, whom a large swathe of the white working class across England’s deindustrialized north have been persuaded are the source of their increasing alienation and inability to make ends meet. In conditions of severe economic depression, compounded by austerity, along with the free movement of people that is a condition of the single market, the archetypal perfect storm was in place, one that proved political manna from heaven for the right and extreme right of the British political spectrum.

Placing Brexit in a wider context, it is the UK manifestation of the resurgence of the far right that has and is taking place across Europe – in western Ukraine, Scandinavia, Holland, Hungary, France and Germany – such as we haven’t since the 1930s, when similar conditions of economic depression and austerity obtained. Ultra nationalism, even neo fascism, is the result, portending an alarming retreat into national particularisms, chauvinism, and in the last analysis the elevation of racism to mainstream prominence.

Meanwhile, back in the UK we now have a situation where the people of Scotland have voted for the future while the people of England have voted for the past. In response, as England prepares to sail back into the 19th century, a second referendum on Scottish independence has already been placed on the table by the leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon.

Unlike the first referendum on independence on Scotland in 2014, which was defeated, the stakes involved in the second will be even greater. For unlike in 2014 when the primary objective of its progressive wing was to break from the status quo of neoliberalism, the second will involve breaking from an even more grievous status quo of xenophobia and ugly British nationalism, erected as a monument to the country’s colonial past. Indeed, for a picture of what Brexit looks like in the raw just cast your eyes over to France and the thousands of drunken English football fans who are over there at Euro 2016, boorishly waving the Union Jack while serenading the locals with songs in tribute to British jingoism and martial might.

In the short term we can expect an economic shock as the markets deliver their verdict in the form of a sharp drop in the value of sterling, followed by a concomitant rise in UK interest rates and a rise in inflation. The three million British workers whose livelihoods depend on Britain’s membership of the single market will be feeling less than comfortable now, as indeed will tens of thousands of migrant workers across the UK who’ve been demonized, stigmatized and scapegoated over the course of these past few weeks and months.

This is not to say that the EU is anything other than a banker’s union tied to Washington’s coattails when it comes to foreign policy, specifically the implementation of economic sanctions against Russia and NATO expansion. But is anybody seriously suggesting that Britain, a country whose malign role in the world as a colonial and imperialist state predates the EU by around 400 years, will now suddenly morph into Russia or China or Iran or Venezuela’s best friend? On the contrary, watch now as the British establishment subordinates itself to Washington even more, as it places even more emphasis on its membership of NATO, in order to retain its seat at the imperialist table.

So, yes, the one ray of hope from all this is the very real prospect of an independent Scotland, perhaps followed or joined by a united Ireland, and the break up of the UK. Speaking personally, as someone who opposed Scottish independence in 2014, I am now unofficially one of its biggest supporters and advocates on the back of this referendum result.

Let them have their Union Jacks, their Buckingham Palace, their monuments and statues dripping in the blood of the millions of victims of a British Empire that was nothing more than a vast criminal enterprise. Yes, let them have all that and let Scotland join the rest of the world as a progressive, sovereign, and civilized country wherein its people are regarded as the end rather than the means to the end.

As the man said, “A reactionary is a man walking backwards with his face to the future.”

Welcome to Brexit Britain.

 

 

43 comments on “Scotland and Ireland should now secede from the Confederate States of the United Kingdom

  1. Let’s see.

    The result is not only an unwelcome one for progressive politics (putting to one side the deluded dreams of the Lexiteers), it is also an unwelcome one for the establishment, and was not what some Tories at the top of the Leave campaign wanted, as Th ey clearly haven’t prepared for it.

    England and Wales voting to leave the EU is not South Carolina seceding from the United States, despite your colourful evocation of the spirit of Robert E Lee in the title!

    The key here is the reluctance of the UK government to trigger Article 50 ( Google makes us all experts!). Once Article 50 is invoked we are on an unstoppable ride out, but also the true terms of Brexit will become known to the electorate.

    The Tory plan is to prevaricate, delay while they choose a new leader, and then call an election, before the Leave voting electorate wise up that they have been sold A pup.

    Hence the determination of EU leaders to call their bluff by demanding that UK invokes Article 50. You will recall almost exactly the same strategy being employed by B’rer Rabbit begging B’rer Fox not to throw him into the briar patch.

    This is a bit of a problem for Labour, as the best approach would be to pile the pressure onto Cameron, saying the will of the people needs to be respected, knowing that the Tories are all at sea over Article 50. But the internal politics of Labour means that Cornyn might be misinterpreted as being a Eurosceptic if he did that.

    The Tories need to be left on the hook as long as possible. And my guess is they will delay. Then say the timing isn’t right,and we will stay in the EU until the timing is right, which will be when Swindon Town win the Champions League.

    So any precipitate move by Sturgeon would be opportunist.

    BTW, I have to say that Ian Paisley Jr advising unionists in Northern Ireland to apply for Irish passports has been an almost Biblical revelation. Truly all that is solid … …

  2. John on said:

    Andy Newman: Let’s see.

    I was of course being provocative with the title. However the analysis within the article is I think solid.

    I acknowledge in the piece the role of alienation and marginalisation of large swathes of the deindustrialised north and midlands. However, the victims have clearly been won to the right wing narrative that their suffering is as a result of immigration and migrant workers. This of course is completely false.

    Ultimately, we are now seeing the consequences of the lack of a strong counter hegemonic response to austerity from the left. The political space opened up as a consequence of the collapse of the centre ground has been filled by the right and far right not the left.

    Brexit is the result.

  3. non-partisan on said:

    While I agree with the tenor of the article, in rejecting the isolationist and xenophobic Brexit vote, it should be noted that not only London, but Bristol Manchester and Liverpool voted to remain. The vote has shown what in my mind has existed for a number of years, the growing narrative that immigration is the problem, actually from parts of Labour as well as the Tories we have all seen the attacks on refugees, in the press and on TV. The votes in major cities and the close vote overall show the fight in some ways is at least out in the open now. Corbyn needs to go on the offensive now with ‘ blame the tories and austerity not immigrants’ and take the offensive through the LP and TU move ment, Pushing back against the plotters, and yes organising deselections if possible, combined with a drive aimed at the WC communities in which UKIP etc have gained momentum. There is very little option now, hedging bets and placating the PLP will only end in Corbyn being further isolated and permanantly on the back foot. At least this should be a project the whole left, including Lexits can get behind. It feels like shit or bust.

  4. Andy Newman: The Tory plan is to prevaricate, delay while they choose a new leader, and then call an election

    Which will most likely alienate much of their support, quite possibly leading to UKIP winning a significant number of seats at Westminster, without even the benefit of getting rid of First-Past-the-Post.

  5. Regarding a united Ireland, is there any possibility that the unionist parties, Orange Order, UVF, etc would accept that without resorting to violence?

  6. John,

    Yes but will the political establishment and major divisions of British capital so lightly abandon a long term strategic orientation that they have been pursuing for almost half century? Just because they have lost a vote literally to the hoi poloi?

    This is a difficult question for the left operating in a liberal democracy, of how to deal with right wing populism, when we would conclude that the the interests of capital and the objective interests of the Labour movement overlap, and are out of step with the popular mood

  7. Andy Newman,

    Part of the reason it doesn’t hold is the presumption that the German government will give the UK time. The Grman ruling class have emerged as perhaps the most sophisticated and sucessfull in the world, alongside the Chinese CP.

    They have been here before, and Helmut Kohl played an absolute blinder in destabilising the SED government, and achieving exactly what the BRD wanted.
    Exploiting a populist unfocused revolt to secure Weidervereinigung totally on their own terms.

    The Germans have been given an opportunity to secure a major strategic victory over Britain, and won’t pass it by.

  8. George Hallam on said:

    Andy Newman: non-partisan,

    I dont think it flies.

    I agree, Paul Mason hasn’t given a workable alternative.

    We can’t go on like this
    Inequality is out of control. It takes the 100 top CEOs in Britain two and a half days to earn what the average worker earns in a year! All the conditions are in place for another crash. The British economy is weak – we have the largest shortfall in the balance of payments in peacetime for 200 years!
    Austerity won’t solve any of these problems; it will just make things worse by forcing more people into debt and reducing taxes and increasing inequality.

    We need emergency measures at three levels:

    Nationally We must support sustainable manufacturing and agriculture to reduce the import bill and ensure food security;

    Regionally all areas of the UK need investment and jobs – this would take the pressure off London;

    Locally we need strong local economies – small business must be protected from unfair competition from big business.

    Leaving the EU removes the legal barriers to a range of measures.

    We can now:

    Take back essential services into public ownership rail and bus transport, energy, water, telecommunications and postal services; we must reverse privatisation of our health and education services

    Scrap PFI and provide finance for investment through government and council owned banks;

    Ditch TTIP and rebuild our productive industries through government investment;

    Repeal anti-union laws. It is Labour’s shame that in 13 years in power it left in place “the most restrictive trade union laws in the western world”. Returning to free collective bargaining would have an immediate effect on pay and conditions and reduce the need for families to get into debt and claim benefits.

    Protect the environment and create jobs by building a ‘circular economy’. This would be more than a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, it would mean designing products to be longer-lasting, capable of being upgraded, repairable, and finally, easily recycled.

    We can’t leave it to the politicians.
    These policies make sense to everybody except the rich and powerful. Making them reality means overcoming the City, the Murdoch press and other vested interests. We the people must take actions ourselves.

  9. anon on said:

    This is the sort of emotional, irrational response you’d expect from a hormonal teenager.

    Something didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, so the toys are out the pram.

    Ridiculous.

  10. Andy Newman: The Tories need to be left on the hook as long as possible. And my guess is they will delay. Then say the timing isn’t right,and we will stay in the EU until the timing is right, which will be when Swindon Town win the Champions League.

    Ian Paisley Jnr wrapping himslef in the tricoleur is almost as surprising a turn of events as John Wight reversing his opposition to Scottish independnece in the interest of subverting an act of self dertmination by the British people (which by veirtue of the Scottish vote to maintain the Union includes the Scots).

    The most powerful, venal, leading element of our ruling class – the one most closely tied to US capital, to big business and the banks, to the City and finance capital – has been defeated by a combination of divergent interests between itself and the subordinate section of our bourgeoisie and a popular revolt against consensus politics.

    John Wight is absolutely right to warn us to “… watch now as the British establishment subordinates itself to Washington even more, as it places even more emphasis on its membership of NATO, in order to retain its seat at the imperialist table.”

    It is precisely because of the interpenetration of US and British capital and Britain’s US-ordained role as the bridgehead in the EU for US strategic interests that there will now be a tsunami of measures to delay implementation of the vote, confuse and disorientate voters, intimidate all those who campaigned to leave and prepare the ground for a new vote or for a parliamentary initiative to subvert the decision.

    Perhaps Boris Johnson, who has stood carefully on both sides of the debate and whose strategic preference is a renegotiation of Britain’s membership, may be the instrument for this manoeuvre.

    He already has willing accomplices in Blair and Mandelson and the media chorus who seek to put the blame of their reverse on Corbyn.

    It would be extremely dangerous for the left to become further compromised with manoeuvres to negate the result of this vote. Jeremy Corbyn’s statement to respect the decision (and Momentum’s similar announcement) serve to keep the left on course.

    You have to admire Corbyn whose long standing position and his political instincts have put him closer to thinking of millions of working people – and the majority who voted – than the Blairite cabal in the PLP or even the left wing Remainers.

    With a party policy from which he has long dissented, a PLP actively working against him and a trade union leadership still gripped by illusions of a ‘social Europe’ he had an impossible hand to play. But his refusal to appear on the same platform as Cameron, his clear and well articulated criticisms of the actual operations of the EU as they affect working people, his statement that Labour would veto the TTIP deal between the EU and the USA and his evident disdain for the tenor of either campaign put him close to the thinking of many people.

    Corbyn thus has more credibility than any other figure and is in a better position to reach out to the millions of Labour voters, both those who followed the lead of the party in this referendum and those who didn’t, and especially those lost in the Blair and Brown years.

    The first priority is to defend the Labour leadership from treachery and the second is to renew contact with all those sections of opinion that are needed if implementing the mandate conferred by this vote is to be carried out in the interest of working people rather than our ruling class that is already implementing measures to reverse their defeat.

  11. anon,

    The decision to leave the EU was made on a largely irrational and emotional basis, with very little consideration for the implications and evidently no clear plan for implementation.

    That isn’t a defence of the EU, by the way, but the discussions that should have taken place didn’t.

  12. Andy Newman: The Germans have been given an opportunity to secure a major strategic victory over Britain, and won’t pass it by.

    It is more a German victory over the US. It is Britain’s role as US surrogate that clips Germany’s wings.

    Of course, historically Germany competed with Britain, most suvccessfully in manufacturing and today it is trying to compete in finance. Britain in the EU was for Germany a Britain partially constrained at the price of it acting in US geo-political interests.
    The last GDR ambassador to Britain told me that Thatcher told him that she was encouraged by the the GDR’sresistance and supported the GDR’s defence of it sovereignty. From the standpoint of the US British alliance a divided Germany was a positive.

  13. George Hallam: We can’t leave it to the politicians. … We the people must take actions ourselves.

    Sounds like you know a way of implementing this programme without getting state power. Please tell us more.

  14. jock mctrousers on said:

    Nick Wright: Andy Newman: The Germans have been given an opportunity to secure a major strategic victory over Britain, and won’t pass it by.

    It is more a German victory over the US. It is Britain’s role as US surrogate that clips Germany’s wings.

    I seriously doubt this whole narrative about German power, the EU as a potential counterweight to the USA, and the UK as a US Trojan horse… you know the story? Before I say my bit, let me refer you again to something I posted on another thread a few days ago – it’s depressingly rare to see a respected academic touch this topic (and he also quotes substantially the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans Pritchard ):

    Professor Richard A. Werner EU Basics – Your Guide to the UK Brexit Referendum on EU Membership
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/eu-basics-your-guide-to-the-uk-brexit-referendum-on-eu-membership/5532351

    This story is obviously handy to mask the US domination of the EU, but more sinisterly includes the option of depicting any German attempt to resist US domination as ‘ a resurgence of German militarism’… Germany, like Japan, has been substantially an occupied country since WWII. I’ve seem the Bundesbank described as a regional branch of Goldman Sachs… The German ruling class is the US ruling class. The EU is not a counterweight to the USA; the EU IS the USA! Richard Werner makes a better case for this than I could.

  15. jock mctrousers on said:

    Sampler from link above (Richard A. Werner):

    Only yesterday, an impressive-looking leaflet was dropped into the letterbox of my Winchester home, entitled „EU Basics – Your Guide to the Referendum“. It was issued by an organisation called the „European Movement“. The 16-page colour and high gloss booklet argues for Britain to stay in the EU. Who is this „European Movement“, and who is funding it? This little-known organisation seems financially powerful enough to drop a high-quality print booklet into every household in the entire UK.

    The declassification of formerly secret records has solved both mysteries. For as it turns out, they are connected. In the words of Nottingham University academic Richard Aldrich:

    „The use of covert operations for the specific promotion of European unity has attracted little scholarly attention and remains poorly understood. … the discreet injection of over three million dollars between 1949 and 1960, mostly from US government sources, was central to efforts to drum up mass support for the Schuman Plan, the European Defence Community and a European Assembly with sovereign powers. This covert contribution never formed less than half the European Movement’s budget and, after 1952, probably two-thirds. Simultaneously they sought to undermine the staunch resistance of the British Labour government to federalist ideas…. “

  16. George Hallam on said:

    Francis King: George Hallam: We can’t leave it to the politicians. … We the people must take actions ourselves.

    Sounds like you know a way of implementing this programme without getting state power. Please tell us more.

    The bit you missed out was:

    These policies make sense to everybody except the rich and powerful. Making them reality means overcoming the City, the Murdoch press and other vested interests.

    I was putting forward an economic programme. Thank you for acknowledging that.

    In relation to economic policy, there are two traditions on the left; one is to ignore the issue of ownership (private/ nationalisation? who cares) and to treat the economy as a milch cow that can be taxed to fund social programmes; the other is to assume that revolutionary politics (‘socialism’, workers’ control, industrial democracy, etc.) will solve all economic problems.

    Since the Nineties there has been a third practice, that of looking at the political constrains on government and framing economic policy accordingly.

    The programme I put forward is the product of an entirely different approach. I looked at the problems that confront ordinary people – unemployment, inequality, housing, etc. – and then tried to find economically workable solutions.

  17. George – you started with “Paul Mason hasn’t given a workable alternative”. The implication in what follows is that you have. The bit that seems to me to be missing from your programme is the bit about how to get a government that seeks to implement your workable alternative. Without that bit, its workability or unworkability is an interesting, but rather secondary, consideration.

  18. jim mclean on said:

    JN:
    anon,

    The decision to leave the EU was made on a largely irrational and emotional basis, with very little consideration for the implications and evidently no clear plan for implementation.

    That isn’t a defence of the EU, by the way, but the discussions that should have taken place didn’t.

    I thought that initially, then I thought racist bastards, then I thought find out what happened. The working class of the UK, unlike other member countries, had zero input to the whole process, the UK as a service economy, had simply sidelined a large section of the population. In retrospect I have no problem with Brexit, the financial and banking system will suffer and there will be problems. In the long run, and I am not making any form of Socialist reconstruction of society point, the UK has a chance to recreate a manufacturing base and bring in those who have gained nothing from the EU. People are happily pointing out that the areas that voted leave get the most EU subsidies, maybe that is why they voted leave, they wanted to stand proud. In Scotland, as in England the majority of WC voted for Brexit, people forget we in Scotland are a 30.30.40 class country. I would rather be in the UK, and if the UK breaks up, England than anywhere else in Europe at the moment if I were of working age.

  19. anon on said:

    What happened in England and Wales was that a disaffected and marginalised section of society, poorly educated and uninformed, leading shit lives was persuaded that their problems were caused by the EU and could be solved at a stroke if the UK left the EU. Underlying this was an underlying, latent dislike and distrust of foreigners and migrants.

    That didn’t happen in Scotland.

    And the reason that didn’t happen in Scotland was that that demographic was already spoken for.

    They had already been convinced that their problems weren’t caused by the UK being a member of the EU, but by Scotland being a member of the UK. And underlying that was a latent dislike for England and the English.

    So lets not kid ourselves that Scotland is progressive and England reactionary. They are both afflicted by the same infantile disorder.

    By all means posture that Scotland might leave the UK as a tactic to persuade some of the Brexitters to change their minds, but don’t go embracing nationalism and separatism. That is not the way out of this mess.

  20. John Grimshaw on said:

    Hilary Benn has been sacked overnight for disloyalty and another member of the shadow cabinet has just resigned I think. The story is half of them are going to go very shortly. We shall see.

  21. John Grimshaw on said:

    anon,

    Aaah! The poor marginalised uneducated uninformed. Do you not think this is more than a little patronising?

  22. Andy newman on said:

    anon,

    That makes sense to.me, i have always thought that UKIP have not made prigress in Scotland as their space is filled by the SNP

  23. Andy newman on said:

    Nick Wright,

    Of course, for Kohl and the German state, Britain was irrelevant when the Berlin wall came down.

    My point is that the West Germsn rulers were extremely adept at exploiting the populist discontent in the DDR, discontent that was based upon false promises and unrealistic expectations.

  24. anon: So lets not kid ourselves that Scotland is progressive and England reactionary. They are both afflicted by the same infantile disorder.

    Sorry, that just won’t wash. This referendum was on immigrants and migrant workers. Scotland culturally has adapted to multiculturalism in a way that parts of deindustrialised England has not.

    The main motive force for support for independence in Scotland is a hatred of the Tories, which in Scotland includes the Labour Party, succesfully depicted as ‘red Tories’. Corbyn has and continues to face a near impossible task in turning this disdain for New Labour around, esp with a Scottish Labour Party that is absent of any serious talent.

    You cannot in all seriousness compare the SNP to UKIP. Nationalism covers a wide spectrum and Scottish nationalism has developed and grown in response to its British counterpart embodied in the politics and ideology of Thatcherism.

    This is not to suggest the SNP is a socialist party. It is not. But it is centre left on key issues important to Scotland – Trident especially – and has benefited from six years of austerity during which it has been spared the rancour directed at the wider UK political class.

    I find myself attracted to independence now in reaction to this result and its impact on migrants and minorities. Sturgeon’s initial statement in response to Brexit, during which she made a point of reassuring EU migrants living in Scotland was sublime. Brexit has played into her and the SNP’s hands.

  25. Interesting that the word “globalisation” hasn’t come up in this thread. It seems to me that this is the key to understanding why many of the less well-off who voted “leave” did so. Globalisation processes are why their jobs are being exported. A transnational labour market is why many employment agencies are able to import East European workers en masse to staff the remaining factories. “Foreign competition” is one reason wages are held down in manufacturing; the ready availability of labour from poorer regions of Europe allows firms to keep wage costs down in services. Life for the less well off is precarious in ways it used not to be. The EU is the most visible symbol of those globalisation processes. It celebrates them. And people were give a chance to say what they thought of it…

  26. jqmark on said:

    whats left? the so called far-left swp-spew-counterfire-tusc-respect. have colluded in a victory for racism, we will now have to mount defensive campaigns for any rights that were guaranteed by eu law that the governement may decide to attack? we will have to work to make eu citizens who live here feel welcome again. we will prob sign ttip before the rest of the eu do! our economy and living standard in free fall with the drop in the pound and they just wondering around in a fantasy world that we are about to launch a counter attack and destroy capatalism because you know thats what ordianairy people have voted for? what fools!

  27. Andy newman: i have always thought that UKIP have not made prigress in Scotland as their space is filled by the SNP

    While the success of the SNP probably is a major factor in blocking UKIP in Scotland, they aren’t remotely equivalent politically. Anyone who would suggest they are just has no clue about Scottish politics. Does Nicola Sturgeon sound like Nigel Farage to you?

    anon,

    The person equating the SNP with UKIP is in no position to be calling anyone “poorly educated and uninformed”.

    anon: And underlying that was a latent dislike for England and the English

    No, underlying that was an open dislike of the Tory governments that Scotland keeps voting against but that much of England keeps voting for. Also, the discrediting of the Labour Party by Tony Blair and his minions (y’know? The people who are wrecking Labour just now?).

  28. John Grimshaw: Hilary Benn has been sacked overnight for disloyalty and another member of the shadow cabinet has just resigned I think. The story is half of them are going to go very shortly. We shall see.

    Presumably this is going to culminate in a direct challenge for the leadership very soon.

    The question is are they going to give Corbyn the 35 nominations that would allow him to run in a leadership election? Do they think they would win against him?

    If they don’t let Corbyn run, they will essentially be rigging the election. The PLP will be directly telling Labour Party members, and the elected leaders of 12 major trade unions (Unite, Unison, GMB, FBU, etc) that they do not care what we think, that our opinion does not matter, that the Labour Party is not a democracy.

    If they do that, they will kill the Party.

  29. Marko on said:

    This vote was not about alienated and disenfranchised people leading shit lives reacting to austerity or increasing inequality. These racist attitudes were prevalent before Tony Blair hijacked the Labour party.

    This was about people conditioned over many decades by a rotten press and one imperialist adventure after another following the liberation of the colonies (who according to the Brexiteer mindset would be better off if they had remained a colony to this great nation!). Flag waving for the military only ever leads in one direction, and Brexit is the culmination of imperialist policy carried out by Blairites in the laughable name of humanitarian intervention.

    The thing about this referendum is that it allowed the racists to fully express and vent their anger over multiculturalism and assert their daily star addled brains with glorious stories of glorious England. To them this wasn’t a general election where economic issues overrode their innate insanity, it was a vote on do you like immigrants, yes or no, is England great, yes or no. The insane side took over. Not one thought about jobs, inequality, shit lives passed their addled brains.

    All that passed their addled brains was the thought of masses of Muslims and Eastern Europeans at the border threatening our great British customs, a prospect far worse than leading shit lives.

    This is what they believe they have voted to preserve, dear old England. But what they have given power to is the economic project of the likes of Digby Jones and other unenlightened business leaders. There is nothing the most progressive UK government can do when it loses out on trade deals, even if it wanted to improve workers rights it will soon find that out of necessity it will have to reduce workers living standards just to compete.

    Being part of a larger economic block automatically brings structural barriers against a race to the bottom, a race Britain is now in.

  30. anon on said:

    UKIP and the SNP offer an interpretation of social and economic reality based on nationality rather than class.

    They appeal to the same demographic, and for similar reasons.

    They appear different only because the material conditions in relation to the extent of EU and other migration differ between the two countries.

  31. John on said:

    anon: UKIP and the SNP offer an interpretation of social and economic reality based on nationality rather than class.

    Yes, but in response to the decimation of class as a political and social force, and with it class consciousness, as a consequence of Thatcher’s structural adjustment of the UK economy and annihilation of the trade union movement as a strong social, political, and economic counterweight. Labour under Blair’s leadership carried on where she left off in placing the emphasis not on rising with your class but from it.

    We are witnessing the result of the lack of counter hegemonic political resistance worthy of the name from the left to this process. There is now a clear democratic deficit within and across the UK that can no longer be denied or understated.

  32. JN: If they do that, they will kill the Party.

    They will do so happily – to them preventing Corbyn’s (rather moderate) policies being implemented is far more important than winning an election or even preserving the party. Remember Ben Tre : “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it”.

  33. anon,

    You are talking in reductive abstractions that have nothing to do with the realities of Scottish and British politics. If you genuinely can’t see the difference between the SNP and UKIP then you are as clueless as the SWP and it’s fellow ‘Lexit’ supporters.

  34. non-partisan on said:

    Good to see Corbyn sack Hilary Ben, they now need to continue to go on the offensive – the no confidence vote is a rearguard action by the Blairites. Len McCluskey has raised the issue of deselection it should be made clear the newly formed shadow cabinet will brook no backstabbing. Corbyn should call for Blair to be tried for War Crimes following the Chilcot report. This can really be his clause 4 moment, his chance to show a break with the establishment, Labour and Tory, and an opportunity to win back those conned by Brexit. Take the political fight to them for once, put the right on the back foot. An anti austerity alliance, with SNP Plaid, Green whoever will sign up, to change the direction and content of political discourse. A new referendum for Scotland, an amicable split, with devo max and independence as options. I was for remain, but the fight has always been about what the labour movement here does, in or out of the EU.

  35. anon on said:

    non-partisan on 26 June, 2016 at 4:44 pm said:

    ‘An anti austerity alliance, with SNP’

    ###

    That’s the SNP who refused to increase income tax, have frozen council tax for the last 9 years, and who are relying on the Tories to get their budget through Holyrood.

    Seriously, I wish some of you guys would start judging the SNP on what they do, rather than what they say.

  36. anon on said:

    JN,

    I can see differences between the SNP and UKIP, but they are not significant.

    The main point though is that the SNP captured UKIP’s potential demographic in Scotland thereby queering the pitch for them, that’s why UKIP and their particular policies haven’t gained traction here, not because the Scots are innately more progressive than the English.

  37. anon,

    See above. The only thing I would add is that I didn’t say “the Scots are innately more progressive than the English”, because that would be ridiculous.

  38. Anyway, more importantly:

    “What appears to have happened is that Iain McNicol, the party’s general secretary, has received legal advice that he should not put Corbyn on the ballot paper unless the parliamentary Labour party does so – advice that he is willing to put his job on the line to follow.” (New Statesman)

    And the PLP presumably won’t as that would defeat the entire purpose of the exercise. This whole thing is a shameless subversion of democracy.

  39. JN:
    anon,

    You are talking in reductive abstractions that have nothing to do with the realities of Scottish and British politics. If you genuinely can’t see the difference between the SNP and UKIP then you are as clueless as the SWP and it’s fellow ‘Lexit’ supporters.

    http://youtu.be/qIjUESuwqes

    Socialist Worker placards were much in evidence at the anti-Brexit demos in London over the weekend. Those handing them out probably weren’t too keen on pointing out the finer points of Lexit.

  40. Andy Newman on said:

    JN: “What appears to have happened is that Iain McNicol, the party’s general secretary, has received legal advice that he should not put Corbyn on the ballot paper unless the parliamentary Labour party does so – advice that he is willing to put his job on the line to follow.” (New Statesman)

    That is not the legal opinion that the party itself has been given. See Paul Waugh’s article here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jeremy-corbyn-legal-advice-automatically-on-ballot-leadership-challenge_uk_577003cfe4b0d2571149d42a

    the legal advice from Doughty Chambers lawyers, shows that the need to have 20% of MPs or MEPs’ nominations only applies to challengers, not to the ‘incumbent’.

    Of course, the party has also been offered two other conflicting opinions, but that is the nature of lawyers “one the one hand, …., but on the other hand”

    The coup against Corbyn jeopardises the very existance of Labour as the party of labour:

    Read McCluskey: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/26/labour-mutineers-betraying-national-interest

    GMB and UNISON:http://labourlist.org/2016/06/gmb-and-unison-issue-fresh-backing-for-corbyn-amid-resignations-row/