Brexit, Labour and Cameron March 17, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
William Keegan had a good piece in the Observer a few weeks back about the way in which David Cameron may yet require Labour to seal the deal on preventing a British exit from the EU. Actually he has a great quote at the start of his piece which I rather like:
In his Antimémoires, the French writer and politician André Malraux recalls a conversation with President de Gaulle after the second world war in which De Gaulle said he planned to nationalise the banks and public utilities.
But he went on to emphasise that he was going to do this “not for the sake of the left but for the sake of France”.
Just on that French statism is oddly unleftist, and yes, oddly nationalist. But… it abides, just about.
Anyhow. Keegan notes that:
…with so many Tories in the Brexit camp, and every vote counting – the outcome of referendums is not decided in marginal constituencies – much depends on the Labour vote.
Lord Kinnock has been giving a powerful lead in this regard, and it is worth recalling that the Labour leader who preceded Neil Kinnock in the early 1980s, namely Michael Foot, became a strong pro-European in his latter days – manifesting true repentance for the infamous Labour manifesto of 1983.
And there’s this which I like too:
That manifesto included, among other vote-losers at the time, a commitment to withdraw from the European Community. It has become a cliche that Labour’s Gerald Kaufman described the manifesto as “the longest suicide note in history”. Less well known is Foot’s rueful private remark: “But he got elected on it.”
Keegan hopes that no one would vote for Brexit simply to unseat Cameron. I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do, but I can understand why some might go that way.