Very interesting video. I agree with a lot of this. But disagree with a fair bit too. Lots of it is speculative, and we need to play things by ear. Preparing for Brexit is something the left should do, but given we have about 24 hours before we get the result, we need not waste too much time planning for something that may not happen. Wait and see.
If we get Brexit, it’s key for Owen and the rest of the left to help the left pick up the pieces. Predicting doom and gloom isn’t a great idea if there’s more battles to be fought. We can rest when we’re dead. There are always silver linings, and I don’t think Owen sees what could be there for the left if we have to navigate our way around Brexit.
Will a more right-wing Tory Party get reelected with a landslide victory? Owen thinks that’s inevitable. I’m not so sure. It’s a danger. But the fixed-term parliament act means 95% of the PLP and maybe half the Tories and possibly all the smaller parties may frustrate any early election. We are likely to have a zombie parliament for the next four years.
Boris may not have the numbers because he’d need Blairites to help him, which doesn’t seem likely. I think a more likely scenario is a grand coalition, possibly even one that rips up the referendum result, on the basis of a state of emergency ‘legitimized’ by markets crashing and investment strikes, interest rate hikes. We could expect a mass influx of EU immigrants to get in during 2 year negotiation period, crashing wages, allowing UKIP/Britain First to scapegoat them. Boris and Gove would happily let wages crash, simultaneously cutting benefits to ‘incentivize’ Brits to take lower wages or starve to death.
Mass civil disobedience by the extreme left and extreme right would be inevitable. Roll on mass strikes, including political strikes, wild cat strikes, occupations, flying picket. Don’t be surprised if Boris finally gets to use his water cannon, with armed cops shooting ‘terrorist sympathizers’ like STWC protestors or Labour MPs.
None of this is good because the left isn’t prepared for any of it. But both UKIP and TUSC are likely to benefit from the polarization that would be inevitable under Brexit, which is why both happily tapped into the alienation of most working class families, especially those who are not organized into unions, and small employers, self-employed who are happy to defy the experts dancing to the tune of the CBI and similar organizations, the rich bankers etc who starve small businesses of the credit they need to stave off bankruptcy.
The left needs to prepare for an early election. Jeremy Corbyn said he’s ready. He really isn’t. There’s no agreed manifesto. What about Trident? What about taxation? More borrowing simply won’t work. Who will be Labour’s candidates? The ones who were afraid their voters wouldn’t vote in the referendum, and then discovered that, due to their atrocious behavior in the television studios, in their bubble, that most Labour voters intended to give David Cameron and the British Establishment a kicking, and that meant if they voted it would be to blame someone, even if it happened to be foreigners.
The PLP is a nightmare. It’s their fault, not Jeremy Corbyn’s that Brexit is likely. It is they after all who have awarded themselves the brief of selling Labour to the voters on the television, stitching up Jeremy Corbyn’s voters by censoring us.
Labour needs more Jeremy Corbyn’s as MPs, including a younger generation because he can’t live forever. In other words, mandatory reselection is key to preparing for the next general election whenever it comes. We all need to agree on that much.
And we need to tell the left outside Labour to stop pissing about under first past the post. They all have to agree to join Labour, and to do so today. And if the PLP don’t like that, too bad. We need a broad church. In the absence of that, Owen’s prediction about a landslide Boris government will be inevitable, the only question being when.