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Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit

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  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Let's get down to the brutal electoral realpolitik. The French presidential and German Bundestag elections are coming up next year. Hollande and Merkel would be politically battered if there was even a hint of the UK being allowed access to Europe on those grounds.

    Also, the EU is looking at similar moves in a lot of other countries for pretty much the same reasons (i.e. high-handed government, remote administrators, inequality gap, and migrants - sorry, refugees who don't have to cross the Channel to get there) and they really want an example pour encourager les autres

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2934 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    Claims that Labour’s campaign was singularly inept simply don’t hold up in the light of those figures. The fact that Freedland and his Guardian colleagues aren’t laying into Sturgeon and Farron for failing to mobilise their bases indicates that there’s a certain degree of bad faith in this reporting, as there is with most Guardian coverage of Corbyn and his faction.

    I don't think Freedland is prone to throwing around words like "deliberate sabotage" lightly, and if you seriously think he and Laura Kuenssberg are fabricating quotes from reporting they didn't do and documents that don't exist, I'm sure The Guardian and the BBC would love to hear from you. That's not acting "in bad faith", that's outright fraud and a sacking offense.

    The lesson that the Labour leadership seems to have taken from that turn of events is that coordinating too closely with the Tories toxifies the Labour brand and reinforces the “they’re all the same” strain of cynicism that has been eroding the Labour vote since Blair.

    So, you're saying Sadiq Kahn is going to be a one-term Mayor of London for sharing a stage with Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson? Precisely nobody was urging Corbyn and Cameron go on a national snog-a-thon, but Corbyn is reported as refusing to do any co-ordinated campaigning with former Labour leaders.

    That's a legitimate news story, not "bad faith" Corbyn bashing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Of course they’re not “fabricating quotes,” Craig. They’re reporting (legitimately) on emails leaked to them by someone within Labour as part of a wider campaign to unseat Corbyn.

    That this is now all being blamed on Labour, despite the demonstrable fact that disaffected Tories made up a much more substantial portion of the “leave” vote than Labour supporters is predictable, I guess. But it doesn’t hide the fact that it was the Conservatives’ inability to persuade their own voters that precipitated this. Only 42% of 2015 Tory voters went “remain,” after all. The Tory “remain” campaign was much more disastrous than Labour’s and had a much more direct bearing on the final result. Why isn’t anyone talking about that?

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    I’d also point out that disproportionate support for “leave” in Labour strongholds isn’t the same thing as Labour supporters voting leave. By and large, these voters probably weren’t Labour. Instead, they were largely habitual non-voters or what used to be called the “Tory working class,” largely invisible under First Past the Post and used to their votes not counting in national elections.

    And that is really spectacularly disingenuous. Sunderland voted leave by 61-39 on a 65% turn out. The City of Sunderland Council has been controlled by Labour literally for my entire lifetime. Last year, Labour won absolute majorities in all three electorates the city covers, with majorities of 11-13,000.

    By and large, you’re really reaching to find eighty thousand ghost Tories Nigel Farage raised by black magic.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    That this is now all being blamed on Labour,

    Which is so dizzyingly absurd, I'm sure David Cameron will be mirthlessly amused if he ever drops by.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I think the Conservatives will come in for their share, but this Labour meltdown is just too distracting.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1025 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Ben Austin,

    I think the Conservatives will come in for their share, but this Labour meltdown is just too distracting.

    So the Labour opposition have somehow contrived to achieve the in-the-circumstances almost impossible feat of wrestling the spotlight off the government of the day (the ones who actually completely stuffed the country, and painfully obviously have no plan for unstuffing it), and onto themselves instead.

    It's a bit like watching an old-timey music hall act, where the comedian spends half-an-hour exerting more and more effort, getting more and more contourted, but somehow by the end he has still failed to put on his hat, and now his trousers have ended up around his ankles as well.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    The Labour Party issue is one that seems inevitable though, to an outsider at least. He wasn't liked by most of the parliamentary party but the scale of his victory and perhaps the possibility of his popularity delivering results in the recent elections made it about impossible to do anything about. When it became clear he wouldn't save them in the short term the knives were out. Then of course the Referendum came along.

    So many of his party activists will have been strongly for Remain, even ones that are on his side (or from Momentum) that he's made his own position untenable. Based on what I heard during the campaign, a lot of them would seriously consider not turning out if there was another election anytime soon under his rule. We had a few Labour (and indeed CP/LDP) activists help us who had in effect stopped turning up to Labour events due to him already.

    If they don't try and roll him now, there never will be a right time to try.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1025 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Many in the PLP seem to despise Corbyn more than they do the Conservatives. They appear to have little in common with the constituencies they represent, no understanding of working peoples’ lives or opinions, and something approaching contempt for the membership of the party. Chris Bryant, former Shadow Leader of the House, who accuses Corbyn of being the man who will “break” the Labour Party if he stays on, is a case in point. An Oxford-educated former Conservative student politician who supported the Iraq War, was embarrassingly implicated in the MPs’ expenses scandal, and whose own freaking constituency voted “leave” by a healthy margin: how is he not part of the problem he blames Corbyn for failing to solve? I love how, as a final flourish to the rambling, unpolished interview he gave to BBC Breakfast this morning, he failed to be drawn on who the “strong leader” he wanted Labour to have might be. I genuinely think these MPs would rather lose an election to the Conservatives than win one under Corbyn. Dawn Foster is scathing in her assessment of what throwing the party membership under the bus will mean for Labour:

    The fear for the resignees is that even if they do manage to force a leadership election, Corbyn will win again: his mandate was staggering, and from members who were in the party for years as well as new members. After his election, many people, myself included, flocked back to a party they’d completely written off. Speaking to friends who joined after the general election, mostly members of no party, but occasional Green and SNP defectors, they said if a leadership election were forced, with no left candidate, they’d leave the party again. For many people, this would be the final straw in their relationship with a party that had destroyed their trust over the Iraq war, tuition fees, identity cards and a lack of opposition to austerity. Revealing their open contempt for party members will have a long-lasting effect that could condemn the Labour party to complete irrelevancy for a generation.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    After his election, many people, myself included, flocked back to a party they’d completely written off.

    I signed up as a supporter specifically to vote for him at the leadership election. Although I generally have no issue with him, I'm very unimpressed with his referedum performance. So he's probably not the right man in the right place at the right time.

    Having said that, given the pitiful pissings of the parliamentary party as a whole since....well.....shit....1997, I guess? I'll be flocking off again post-haste.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Nick Clegg in the Financial Times on Cameron's unforgiveable complacency:

    David Cameron and George Osborne ... alone are responsible for bringing our great country to this sorry pass.

    This need never have happened. When we were in coalition with the Conservatives I was repeatedly asked by them to agree to a referendum on their terms.

    I refused point blank because elevating internal party rows to a national plebiscite is not good enough — especially since we had already enshrined into law in 2011 a referendum trigger to ratify future EU Treaties.

    I remember asking the prime minister whether he was sure he could win a referendum designed to settle an internal Tory feud. I was breezily told that all would be well, of course it would be won.

    ... as the campaign wore on, it became clear that the prime minister and his chancellor were prisoners of their past: having spent so many years denigrating the EU, it was impossible for them to make a positive case.

    They were condemned to make a negative case — the EU is not great, but leaving would be worse — which lacked any emotional impact, culminating in the dismal “punishment budget” proposed by Mr Osborne last week.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Lessons for the left.

    A much better reaction to Brexit and to what now appears to be a wave of anti-establishment reaction across western democracies, would be for social democratic political parties to look for ways to re-engage with the electorate, and particularly the working class, on progressive issues.

    That means seeing the parliamentary left not as leaders of the debate but as an equal part of a broader progressive movement.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • frank stark, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Need to point out that the Dom has subs...

    nz • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6,

    My local MP is John Cryer, chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party (so quite likely to be a bit busy just now) - he was also a Leave voter in a Remain electorate. He has a statement on his website explaining his position. It is fair to say he is taking some stick from his constituents at the moment. I've always found him a personable, approachable and principled representative, but I am perplexed at his stance on this.His statement is here

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to frank stark,

    Peris cope….

    Need to point out that the Dom has subs…

    But as I understand they are hamstrung by Fairfax’s ‘Right First Time’ policy where journalists copy goes direct to page, virtually unmediated, with subs barely given time to throw a heading on it (though I hear the journalists are allowed to do those too… aaargh!) – perhaps The Dominion Post has been a valiant hold out.

    Can you elucidate on the current process and flow?

    PS: Hi Frank!

    PPS: some fine subbing on The Dominion Post web page today

    Wellington needs to make sure it economy was diverse enough have the ability to respond to financial shocks like the Global Financial Crisis and the more recent uncertainty created by Brexit.
    Wade-Brown said the city also needed the tools to large increases in unemployment or people going to food banks

    that last sentence needs a cope with or similar inserted.

    I just like stuff I read to make sense and not have needless ‘clunks’ throwing me out of the narrative flow
    Just sayin’…
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Tamsin6,

    I have Hoey, although to be fair to her she has been for Brexit for a while, long before I moved to her constituency.

    Suffice to say I won't be voting for her. It's going to be a while before I can vote for a Leaver, especially a prominent one.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1025 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6, in reply to Ben Austin,

    Yes, I know what you mean. My problem is, not sure who to vote for instead...

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe, in reply to Tamsin6,

    That, right there, is the problem facing a lot of voters - 'who out there looks like they'll represent me?'

    So when a populist party comes along with easy solutions to complex problems, and the main parties are filled with disappointing failures from the last Labour Govt and disappointing failures from the Coalition/Tory - people just give up on them.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    from pillage to post...
    Looks like the 'Leavers' are salting the wells and trying to obliterate their tracks...

    they are so dumb they haven't even heard of the wayback mchine it appears
    having said that this http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/why_vote_leave still seems live and what a typo riddled amateur hour job this is too...

    I guess the silver lining of Britain being beaten by Iceland in the Euro Football league is that UK fans won't have to travel to Europe on their dropping pound exchange rate...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe,

    The 1922 Committee, the Tory backbench group, has brought forward the leadership election. Candidates will be able to be nominated from Tuesday UK time, meaning the eventual new leader/PM will be in by early September. Three months though, a loooooong time.

    Meanwhile Corbyn's going nowhere, despite the Parliamentary Labour Party going after him. He's reducing some of them to tears, others to fury, by simply refusing to stand down on the basis he was elected by an overwhelming majority of the membership. They know they can't make him resign, but it hasn't stopped them trying.

    The problem comes if they start a formal leadership challenge and Corbyn is left off the ballot. The membership will be utterly furious, deepening the split between them and the Parliamentary Labour Party. There'd be retribution, although nobody's sure exactly what that would look like - de-selections, mass disruption and certainly a disintegration of the membership. They'd be MPs without, really, a party to support them.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Russell, I seem to have broken PAS again by posting an image. Does Supermodel not like PNG files, or something?

    Or do I need to have text in the post as well as attaching an image?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2934 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,


    Trying a JPG

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2934 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe,

    The thing is, they genuinely believe they're doing the right thing by Britain. Hence the tears and the fury. They think a new leader is needed, although they can't actually name who that person is - because that'd really trigger a leadership challenge.

    They believe that a united Parliamentary Labour Party can sort out a new, visionary, leader but ONLY if Corbyn is completely out of the picture and unable to stand again - because of the membership support he enjoys.

    Right there is the hypocrisy of it. They keep saying Corbyn's bad for the country, but it's not exactly hidden that the people who have the biggest problem with him are the Parliamentary Labour Party - and not even the whole of the PLP.

    Certainly, at a time when anti-establishment sentiment is running high, they're playing the role of the establishment - attempting to bully, cajole or exploit in order to establish their own power within the party. Corbyn, like I have said, isn't having a bar of it.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    Or do I need to have text in the post as well as attaching an image?

    Yes, that's the issue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe,

    Here's a prime example. Corbyn fronted Remain, but was also realistic about the EU's failing. On Referendum Day, he tweeted that he had voted Remain.

    So, resigning Shadow Cabinet member Chris Bryant goes on television and implies that Corbyn actually, secretly, voted Leave instead - even though there's no evidence for it at all.


    It then becomes the story, with journalists trying to unearth evidence as to how Corbyn actually voted - which is a breach of the Representation Of The People Act anyway, but that's not the point. Corbyn's office has repeated that he voted Remain, but the story rumbles on.

    The point is, Labour MPs are desperate to smear Corbyn and are resorting to desperate stuff like this, but it's still gaining traction. And they're doing themselves no favour with the membership or the public.

    I have to say, they're making NZ Labour look like a rational caucus, if prone to leadership changes every now and then.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

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