Jeremy Corbyn should delay Article 50


Theresa May is being protected by editors at BBC, SKY News and Channel4 News. All the above consciously corrupt democracy with blatant censorship and barely disguised contempt for Labour Party members and voters.

These influential opinion-formers, these Tory editors and their so-called journalists reduced themselves to mere glove puppets for Dodgy Davie’s 24% Tory dictatorship during the EU referendum, and now they perform the exact same function for Theresa May’s  0.0% Tory dictatorship which has a mandate to do absolutely nothing whatsoever.

I am a so-called ‘Corbynite’. That word happens to be an insult in the mouths of Jeremy Corbyn’s critics. As such, surely it is a term Iain McNicol ought to ban if Corbyn’s voters are banned from using the term ‘Blairite’, which has long been in the dictionary. Either way, we so-called ‘Corbynites’ shouldn’t let Tory editors at the five broadcast networks get away with their abuse of power. We should seize every single opportunity that comes our way to damage those who never stop corrupting democracy. And that is why I’m appealing to Jeremy Corbyn to unite with others – including most of the 172 MPs who launched this unnecessary Labour leadership election – to, not necessarily stop but at the very least delay the triggering of Article 50.

Theresa May – according to the BBC, SKY News and Channel4 News, as well as Owen Smith, Tom Watson, Iain McNicol etc – is so popular that she would obliterate the Labour Party’s representation at Westminster unless this Chicken Coup succeeds in dumping Jeremy Corbyn. I beg to differ.

Jeremy Corbyn will, I predict, win the next election when it comes – provided his supporters play our cards right, admittedly something none of us can afford to take for granted.

Theresa May is desperate to trigger Article 50 for her own very selfish reasons. She knows she can’t get it through parliament, so she relies on an ineffective minority of MPs – Brexiteers – to pretend she needs no parliamentary support to do this. Theresa May is banking on the toadying Tory editors at BBC, SKY News and Channel4 News to bury the truth from most voters.

The electorate is being kept in the dark. And the barely visible minority of broadcasters who feel brave enough to defy their bosses, alerting voters to what’s really going on have mostly been silenced. Jeremy Corbyn needs to help these journalists get their message across.

Does ‘Brexit mean Brexit’? I guess it does in the sense that ‘gibberish means gibberish’. Both statements add nothing to the sum total of human knowledge. Theresa May’s pro-Brexit ministers broke it, but neither they nor their unelected boss can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. And British, European and global capitalists are seriously worried about what this means for the viability of their economy. But British voters can do something about this, provided we are given the facts we need, including – possibly – those that may lead to a reversing of the decision taken during the EU referendum, which could be legitimate if the majority decides it was based on deliberate misinformation.

Jeremy Corbyn has been attacked for calling for the immediate triggering of Article 50. I criticized him at the time he did this. But it’s hardly as big a mistake as Owen Smith wants everyone to think: it was never going to happen when Jeremy Corbyn called for it, and he’s the very last person Theresa May would be taking advice from anyway. A mistake, but not a serious one. However, we now have plenty of time to debate strategy and tactics.

From the points of view of the left, Jeremy Corbyn should join forces with The Scottish National Party’s MPs and MSPs, as well as most of the anti-Corbyn wing of Labour’s MPs, and others to delay the triggering of Article 50. The reasons for this delay from a left-wing perspective isn’t necessarily the same one that would motivate Corbyn’s temporary allies. They’d find themselves in the same lobby to set limits of Theresa May’s contested, and entirely illegitimate, constitutional power.

The crumbling of any parliamentary bloc between Corbyn and other anti-Brexit forces could not be ruled out, even in the relatively short term. Nevertheless, an initial coalition of interest to frustrate Theresa May triggering Article 50 can – and definitely should – go ahead. A majority already exists at Westminster to stop Theresa May, and Jeremy Corbyn should lead the MPs who remain loyal to his mandate in joining that majority block of MPs. Such a united front at Westminster could indeed demonstrate the potential for Corbyn to engage in coalition-building with those critics who pretend he’s incapable of such a thing.

Delaying the triggering of Article 50 most certainly is not the same as sabotaging the EU referendum lock, stock and barrel: I am not asking Jeremy Corbyn to frustrate the referendum result indefinitely, which is what Owen Smith and most of the 172 MPs want. This refusal to ignore referendum votes simply because we lose them is not a problem for Jeremy Corbyn, but it most emphatically is one for Owen Smith, Sadiq Khan etc. This means a break between Corbyn and the anti-Corbyn wing of the PLP (or, to be more precise, most of them) may occur on Brexit at some point, but it needn’t happen until Jeremy Corbyn has had ample opportunity to explore what Brexit really means, and to what extent it has nothing to do with what was promised during the referendum: £350,000,000 for the NHS, greater democratic power, higher wages for many unskilled labourers, and the ability to nationalize things the EU refused to let us nationalize, and an ability to raise progressive taxes while lowering or even abolishing regressive taxes such as VAT.

Everyone is laughing at Theresa ‘Brexit-Means-Brexit’ May precisely because nobody knows which flavour of that meaningless soundbite she intends to opt for. Indeed, everyone assumes she herself has no idea what’s on the menu. Just because something is bad for the capitalist class doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for anti-capitalists, and there is a coincidence of interest between most capitalists and socialists on the form of Brexit that Theresa May feels she could exploit for short-term electoral advantage. Theresa May is placing what she believes to be her interests above that of the class the Tory Party typically represents. They’re kinda pissed off with her for doing this. And this tension is the left’s opportunity. Let’s not throw it away.




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