“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?” John Maynard Keynes asked that question, and it’s an apt quote for me vis-a-vis Article 50.
It seems I have lost a significant battle on this front with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership team. I can’t deny I’m slightly disappointed. However, regardless of what I wish Labour’s leader had done in the past, there’s no going back. There is a new juggernaut in town that is rushing forward threatening to damage all of us. We need to play by the rules of this new game whether we like it or not.
Jeremy Corbyn justifies his attitutde towards Article 50 in a way that I reject, simply accepting the legitimacy of the EU referendum regardless of how undemocratically it was managed. However, is there any point my explaining in detail why he could have adopted a different attitude towards the Brexit vote, one that Diane Abbott and others could and should have accepted? Doubtful.
In the first place, there would be no way to prove if I was right. So I’d be fighting a meaningless battle. The left simply doesn’t have the luxury of wasting precious time on unprovable hypotheses.
Secondly, if I succeeded in persuading Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott that they had made a mistake, that couldn’t do much more than undermine their confidence. But I want to do the exact opposite. I want them to professionalize the Labour leadership by rejecting free vote jelly, imposing collective responsibility, uniting members and voters behind his leadership regardless of our individual differences. We need unity, not interminable navel gazing. So I’ll postpone a deep analysis of why the Brexit policy could have been different until we have time to indulge in academic exercises. Don’t hold your breath.
I now accept that Brexit has taken on a life of its own, and the best thing Labour can do is try to win an election based on what kind of Brexit is best for the British people.. And when I say British people, I’m not referring to the billionaire asset-strippers and money-launderers so beloved on Theresa May. I’m referring to the exploited and oppressed, who make up the overwhelming majority of voters. They are up for grabs, and Jeremy Corbyn can win a landslide victory by exposing the degraded Donald Trump hellhole that Theresa May and Paul Nuttall each have in store for us.
A Tax haven dystopia where corporation tax is slashed to next to nothing is what Jeremy Corbyn predicts lies in store for us if Theresa May isn’t challenged. He dismisses it as a race to the bottom, and he’s absolutely right. That’s Theresa May and Paul Nuttall’s Brexit Britain sees them both joining hands with the twenty first century Nazi Donald Trump. He demonizes hundreds of millions of Muslims. And that in turn gives the green light to KKK and Britain First arsonists to burn down Mosques, putting their molotov cocktails where Theresa May’s mouth is.
Race wars are coming to our streets of the USA and any country daft enough to tolerate Donald Trump’s hate speech. Such race riots will prove very fertile recruting ground for the likes of genocidal psychopaths like ISIS, a disease of a organization whose crucifictions and beheadings of Syrian Muslims is a matter of supreme indifference to Paul Nuttall and Theresa May. Britain doesn’t want to have anything to do with Donald Trump’s America, and we’re not gonna tolerate any of this shit in Britain neither.
Donald Trump’s government of billionaires plunders national assets and robs the poor of public medicine. And that’s the price Britain will pay for writing off taxation for the employers as public services like the NHS are sold to the highest bidder with the taxes on the poorest 99% rising to make up lost revenue from corporation tax cuts. Wages and conditions will plummet to turn Britain into a paradise for ultra-rich slave labour Tory ghouls.
Jeremy Corbyn can offer an alternative to all of this. But this requires amending Article 50 in such a way that makes it impossible for Theresa May to waste two years in meaningless ‘negotiations’, then to reject the take-it-or-leave-it deal to embrace her Plan B of Donald Trump’s NHS privatization and race-to-the-bottom Thatcherism.
Labour MPs incapable of uniting to get rid of this Tory government are in the wrong party. Their CLPs need to pass votes of no confidence as soon as possible. The sooner the better.