So some labour supporters were shocked to learn last week that Saint Jeremy Corbyn, the lord and saviour, was actually a brexiteer, who has no intention of reversing or stopping brexit. Indeed, even if he gets his early election, he wants labour to campaign on a leave platform. Needless to say this is at odds with what was agreed at the party conference. And the fact that 90% of labour supporters voted remain and 86% of whom want another referendum.
Of course this is only news to those who never googled “corbyn” and “eu”. Or those willing to ignore the fact that he’s voted against every piece of pro-EU legislation that has ever come up. So it should only come as a shock to aliens recently arrived from outer Glaphobia. And the polls now show labour’s lead slipping, even despite the chaos within the Tories. In fact among young voters Corbyn’s support has fallen by 12% since the start of the debate on May’s deal. And those same young voters have previously indicated that if Corbyn was to back leave then support for him drops from 60% to as low as 26%.
In fact, just to highlight the insanity of Corbyn’s policy, let’s pick it apart. His grant scheme is to first win a confidence vote, get a general election, win it, then go to Brussels and get a better deal than May managed (in about 4-5 weeks, while she had 2 years). Well firstly, he ain’t going to win a confidence vote. The only way he’d convince all of the opposition parties and a handful of Tory rebels to back him is if labour were backing remain. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Even then in any election Corbyn’s brexit policy would fall apart in the first week. The EU have made clear there will be no re-negotiation. I’d guess they might be open to further discussion during the transition phase (and allowing an extended transition) but they’d probably insist and May’s deal being accepted as an interim solution. In short, Corbyn’s choices are May’s deal or no brexit. So he’s going to go to the country having provoked an election at one of the most inconvenient times in UK history, because he didn’t like May’s deal….only for his brexit policy to be May’s deal!
Voters will inevitably see this for what it is, a cynical power grab, and punish labour accordingly. And the idea of young millennial remainers, who are going to get screwed over by brexit (a right wing project that strips millions of both UK and EU citizens of their rights), going out and selling his leave policy on door steps is fanciful to say the least.
In the best case scenario, the vote’s he’ll lose to pro-remain parties of the left will be cancelled out by gammon’s, angry at May, voting for UKIP. But that still leaves the Tories the largest party and leading a minority government. The worse case scenario is a party spilt and a collapse in labour support. And in any event, the only way he’s getting into power is via a coalition. And none of the other parties will back any coalition with him, while labour adopts a leave position.
Of course, what Corbyn won’t mention is that not only does he wants leave, but he actually doesn’t mind if there’s a no deal. Because the chaos of a no deal might be what it takes to get the country to vote for him. However, if this is his plan, its a crap plan and it won’t work.
The Tories are clearly trying to position themselves so they can blame Corbyn for any no deal chaos. They’ll point out that they had a perfectly good deal with the EU, which would have passed if he’d have supported it (and, if like him, you are committed leaver there really is no other alternative to May’s deal). No doubt some pro-Tory hack will come out in the middle of any election with revelations from a whistle blower (real or fabricated) that the above was labour’s strategy all along. Again, the odds are he’ll still lose the election, possibly by an even larger margin, as the consequences of any no deal are likely to be strong shift to pro-EU parties (or the far right), not other forms of euroscepticism.
Bottom line, a labour party that is committed to leaving the EU at all costs, is a labour party committed to losing the next election no matter how badly the Tories screw up. Doubly so if Corbyn is in charge. Yes a policy of remain will cost them votes, but not as many as they’d lose by supporting leave.
And recall, we’ve been here before, Corbyn would be PM already if he’d been willing to do an election deal in 2017 with the other left wing, but pro-EU parties. He refused and as a result about a dozen Tories got in by margins of a few hundred votes or less. And he’d have destabilised and brought down the Tories by now, or killed off their EU withdrawal bill, if he’d been a bit more aggressive and willing to delay or disrupt the brexit process. I mean he’s had an open goal for the last month, which he’s failed to exploit. Bottom line, Corbyn has already chosen supporting leave over becoming PM. And as a result, he will almost certainly never be PM. So what’s the point in labour having him as its leader?
What’s that I hear labour party supporters say, well we’ll censure him. We’ll call an emergency conference on the matter and maybe even force a leadership contest if he doesn’t listen. LOL. Did you not learn anything at the last conference? Corbyn doesn’t give a damn what the members of the party want. He’s not changed his mind about anything since the 70’s. Trying to reason with Corbyn is a waste of time, his actual reasons for backing leave are simply wrong and ignores certain realities (notably that the EU does allow state aid, they just want to prevent states turning their state owned companies into monopolistic money burning machines). You’d have more luck trying to talk my neighbour’s cat into becoming vegan. And he sure as hell ain’t going to change policy just because a bunch of millennial’s had a vote and are worried about the post-brexit fate of the NHS. What, do you think the labour party is a democracy or something? As for a leadership challenge, that ship sailed some time ago.
The only alternative is to force Corbyn out and to do it quickly. And failing that, set up a new pro-EU labour party. That means his MP’s need to resign the party whip en-mass, give him a week to resign (changing policy isn’t good enough, he’s flip flopped so often you can’t trust him anymore at his word) and if he doesn’t, switch to another party (or set up their own party). And his supporters heed to follow their lead, notably those in Momentum, leaving labour and joining the lib-dems, SNP, greens (or this new party) all at once. Only then when confronted with the threat of total annihilation can we expect any form of movement on Corbyn’s part. But even that’s unlikely to succeed.