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No other game in town August 15, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Reading this this evening it strikes me Corbyn has played this well and the Lib Dems have not. There’s a basic reality that without the BLP nothing will fly on the soft(ish) Brexit side. The SNP gets it. Interesting who doesn’t.


1. Dermot M O Connor - August 16, 2019

Holy hell is this bad for LibDems! Even writers in the G and Indo seem to be turning on them – and the comments which are usually anti JC (curated it almost seems to my cynical eye) are against her now.



It’s not been a good day for the Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson. Still on a high after snatching a seat at the Brecon by-election, chillaxing in the after glow of picking up another recruit from the much-missed Change UK, and making uncomfortable waves for Labour with her Tom Watson chum-in, I expect she arose this morning felling quite chuffed.

And then that utter bastard Jeremy Corbyn went and ruined everything.

In his letter to the leaders of opposition parties, and the smattering of independents and disgruntled Tories, he holds out the hand of friendship. To stop no deal, in the event of a successful no confidence in Boris Johnson’s government JCorbz proposes a Labour-led caretaker government that would apply for an Article 50 extension and call a general election in which Labour would campaign on the basis of a second referendum with the option of remaining. Surely the Liberal Democrats, the self-styled party of remain would applaud Labour’s move to stop no deal. After all, this disastrous outcome must be avoided at all costs, yes?

Not on your nelly. Throughout the day the LibDems have doubled down on their refusal to back Labour’s plan. This is despite a positive reception from Caroline Lucas (partly making up for the weekend’s nonsense), a cautious welcome from pro-EU Tories, and pressure from centrist Labour MPs. Awkwardly, even Sarah Wollaston, the newest LibDem MP, has shown a flash of pragmatism. And so watching LibDems, FBPE weirdos, the remnants of Change UK, and Z-list celebrities lose the plot on Twitter this afternoon was the most fun I’ve had on that blasted platform for many a year. Because for all their bluster, Labour’s plan against no deal is the LibDems’ worst nightmare.


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2. Dermot M O Connor - August 16, 2019
3. CL - August 16, 2019

“Remainers will do anything to stop Brexit, except install Corbyn as PM. Why?”

“The British political system may yet withstand the tumult. But scholars say it has been more than a century since the country’s constitution — a medley of laws and customs, many but not all of them written — has come under such strain….
Malcolm Rifkind, a former foreign secretary, suggested that the sovereign consider firing Mr. Johnson to stop “the gravest constitutional crisis” since King Charles I tangled with Parliament in the 1600s.
“King Charles lost his head by flouting the constitution,” Mr. Rifkind wrote. “Mr. Johnson will wish to keep his, while some around him are, clearly, losing theirs.”…
the worry of some scholars is that Britain’s mishmash of laws and customs can no longer restrain lawmakers bent on engaging in constitutional chicanery….
“Parliament has ruled the end, but not the means,” said Vernon Bogdanor, a professor at King’s College London.
It is that political vacuum that has spawned fantasies of the queen stepping in to rescue one side or another from the grips of a constitutional crisis.”


Alibaba - August 16, 2019

Yes, as suggested in the Guardian article Corbyn has called the bluff of the Remainers and maybe successfully. As for the NYT piece I wouldn’t rule out an intervention by the queen in the Brexit crisis because monarchs do have these powers. But not having a crystal ball I don’t see how it will all end up.

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4. tafkaGW - August 16, 2019

Yes – nice to see the BLP has got their act together on Brexit finally, and is beginning to play with a certain skill, having stopped listening to McCluskey on the matter.

The fiction of a ‘Labour Brexit’ being possible at this stage still needs to be ditched and then they should give their members a firm and explainable position to represent on the door-step should an election occur.

This should have happened at the latest well before the Euro-elections, i.e. late 2018, but let’s hope it’s not too late.


5. Roger Cole - August 16, 2019

Totally agree with you WorldbyStorm, and its great to do so. It is all up to the LD’s, and if don’t support the Labour led caretaker government they will get the blame for the NO Deal Brexit.

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Fergal - August 16, 2019

Breathtaking arrogance and sense of entitlement on the part of Swinson! It oils like Avery tight number game and Lab have ce up with an alternative to a no-deal Brexit and rule by Johnson… and she wants to decide the outcome before it happens… what do they hate most? Corbyn? Or No-Deal Brexit.self righteous political myopia


WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2019

+1 and likewise Roger


6. irishelectionliterature - August 16, 2019

Really foolish on the LibDems part, it made them look petty. I wonder will their attitude cause a rethink from The Greens , Plaid Cymru and others with regard to the proposed Remain Electoral Alliance they have been linked to.
I wonder too , despite the narrow majority of Johnson, are the numbers there for this. Will the likes of Kate Hoey and other Labour MPs put Brexit ahead of having Corbyn as PM?
How many Tories would back Corbyn?


tafkaGW - August 16, 2019

I don’t think it would get a majority because of the Hoeys and the Manns mentioned above. But it’s the first move in a more complex game, designed to politically flush out those who would prefer a no-deal Brexit to any form of government headed by the leader of the opposition in the dUK.

Don’t think it will change the Remain alliance, but who knows this far out from an election.


7. dermot - August 16, 2019

LibDems blink – and here’s their duckspeak! We have always been at war with…


The Liberal Democrats have no objection in principle to supporting Jeremy Corbyn as an interim prime minister, party sources have said.

Jo Swinson’s opposition to the Labour leader heading up a government of national unity is purely “pragmatic”, they insisted, amid a backlash over her rejection of the idea.

One Liberal Democrat MP suggested that the party would support Mr Corbyn becoming prime minister if he managed to build a majority in the Commons to stop a no-deal Brexit.

And a party source told The Independent that the Liberal Democrats did not any have “principled objection“ to the Labour leader entering No10 with the purpose of stopping no-deal.


8. CL - August 16, 2019

“Jeremy Corbyn has made his play. It was the obvious move and the smart one from a party political stance….
As a ploy to stop a no-deal Brexit, the odds are against this move but to gain an advantage for the Labour party, it is perfectly pitched….
he has put the Liberal Democrats in a very difficult position…
Now Mr Corbyn has them in a trap. If they support him he reclaims the Remainer mantle and leads the opposition to no deal….
If his pitch fails and there is a no-deal Brexit at the end of October, he can blame the Liberal Democrats, telling Remainers that Ms Swinson’s party let them down”

“Corbyn… and his allies.. face unremitting hostility from the party’s right wing, to supplement that of their Tory opponents and the mainstream media….
All factors seem to point towards ultimate defeat, except one: the fact that Corbynism has already survived against the odds to reach its current position….
when the Tories returned to office in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, mps like Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell looked more like refugees from a Bennite Atlantis than the vanguard of a future left-wing revival…
By the winter of 2016–17, with Labour’s poll ratings in dreadful shape, Corbyn’s inner-party opponents expected that his leadership would soon be over. …
During this period, the Labour right repeatedly attacked Corbyn for his reluctance to embrace a so-called ‘hard Brexit’, requiring a clean break with the European single market: a necessary move for those who wanted to scrap free movement of labour from eu countries….
In April 2017, when Theresa May called a snap general election, the average polling lead for the Conservatives was 18.5 per cent, boosted by former ukip voters….
The eventual result left the country’s political commentators flummoxed, and it was some time before they could piece together an explanation that denied Corbyn and the left any credit for the outcome. Labour’s vote jumped from 30 to 40 per cent—the biggest increase for either of the two main parties since 1945—and the party gained thirty seats, depriving May of her parliamentary majority….
Corbyn’s electoral achievement opened up a new phase of consolidation that lasted until the early months of 2019….
The plp is now much younger, with mps more likely to come from a trade-union or local-government background, rather than the think-tanks or media outfits that contributed so many New Labour candidates….
While the 2017 election greatly strengthened Corbyn’s authority within his party, Labour’s advances also set the scene for a parliamentary quagmire that would ultimately bog down his political momentum….
now, any deal could be voted down by Tory rebels who thought it was either too soft or too hard. May’s reliance on the Democratic Unionist Party added another layer of uncertainty. …
The greatest flaw in Labour’s Brexit platform may have been a tacit assumption that big capital would step in to impose some discipline on its traditional party. However, Britain’s capitalist class proved unable or unwilling to put its thumb on the scales for a more pragmatic approach..
The unrelenting focus on Brexit drained attention from the domestic reform programme that was the centrepiece of the Corbyn project….
The British governing class has long boasted of its unwritten constitution. But in the absence of a coherent and codified framework, the Brexit crisis has produced a national-political impasse”


9. Alibaba - August 16, 2019

If the Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid and Greens don’t agree a candidate to lead a ‘temporary government’ — and Corbyn is the only feasible one — they will have gifted the Tories and the Brexit Party with the no-deal Brexit. I bet Labour will take no trappist vows about that.


10. saintsandscholars - August 16, 2019

I get a sense that most of the correspondents here are viewing things through Corbyn tinted spectacles. Finally, after floundering around, the boy has done something smart. Well, by his recent standards, it probably does count as smart.

But, it reminds me a bit of Fintan O’Toole’s formula for Ireland to kill no-deal. (i) Its not at all clear really what the end point would be. Lots of batons to be passed between no-confidence motions, Corbyn being installed as PM, general elections, negotiation of a “Labour” branded deal, referendum and lots of non-controllable jigsaw pieces required to fall nicely into place and other external stakeholders, including EU to wait around politely while they do, but (ii) This is really about giving the impression there’s some life left in the old dog. If this were really about preventing no-deal, Corbyn would have left room for somebody else to be the caretaker rather than himself. You might say that as leader of by far the second largest party, how could it be anyone other than him? But, this is supposed to be a caretaker, strictly mechanical role, not a substantive one so why does it have to be him? This is a publicity stunt, not a plan. If Corbyn were serious, might he have sounded folks out privately first before writing and posting? The Fintan template being reapplied. (iii) There is a huge difference between the SNP and Plaid on one side and the LDs on the other. The former are like SF in the sense of being local nationalist parties who, as such, don’t really care too much about who might be caretaker PM, possibly even who might be real PM. The LD’s are in a categorically different position.

Not saying he shouldn’t have done it and, if it gives him an electoral boost, good luck to him. But, its a cheap, cosmetic one (like Fintan’s circus), indicative of lack of serious ideas on Brexit in Labour’s cupboard rather than being a serious idea in itself.


WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2019

True in many respects though you might be surprised re views in Corbyn – some are enthusiastic others like myself would be somewhat sceptical as regards his approaches to the issue so far (indeed I’ve said before I think the shadow chancellor is more persuasive). But re the immediate issue I don’t disagree the SNP see it differently but that said it would be a hell of an ask that the twice democratically elected by his own membership leader of the BL P would step aside. And he could legitimately ask why should he fall on his sword and not others – for example why is the LDs leader mandate greater than his (he could also reasonably point to the last election as part validation – I’m not dusagreeing there’s a problem but the LDs do look self serving in this


11. saintsandscholars - August 16, 2019

OK Don’t agree but we are not far apart. This is not an issue of “mandate” at all. The only thing for which there is believed with some robustness is for there to be no parliamentary or popular mandate for “no deal”. What Mr. Corbyn has proposed is a mechanical process to prevent that but also to do other things subsequently – which might reasonably be said to require a more substantive mandate to proceed with than exists at present and, even more certainly, that Mr. Corbyn has no mandate to manage. The first (no deal blocking) is mechanical as I say and Mr. Corbyn has no superior mandate to anyone else in being the “labourer” who executes it. I may have misheard but I wasn’t aware that the LDs were proposing that they lead the process, simply that Mr. Corbyn does not do so. In persisting with his self-nomination, even when various Tories sympathetic to the objective have rejected him, Mr. Corbyn is showing himself to be self-serving.

And the point about why not consult privately before going public is still there to be answered. Fintan again.

By the way, Saints and Scholars, not sure how that appeared. Its a relic of a different identity. Daire O’Criodain here.


WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2019

It’s a wordpress thing. The app is genuinely weird. I’ve no doubt Corbyn is self serving – met only a vanishing few politicians who weren’t. I see on the news this evening he seems to have moderated his approach a little but I can’t really blame him trying to take the role as is at least st first. But we’ll see how it goes – Ken Clark’s objections to the whole process involving him and H Harmon’s name us that it’s way too premature. I think he’s right. I’d pay out the line a bit longer since there’s a bit of time for people to engage.


saintsandscholars - August 17, 2019

From Matthew Parris (reasonably fair minded individual) this morning:

I’m worried that Jeremy Corbyn has this week been trying to muddy the waters. I cannot dispel a suspicion that in the coming struggle Mr Corbyn, or more importantly the tight-knit group who help steer his leadership, have cloudy intentions. On Brexit they have a history of triangulating and this week, by steering the question away from no-deal and towards who should be prime minister, they’re at it again


EWI - August 17, 2019

by steering the question away from no-deal and towards who should be prime minister, they’re at it again

On the other hand, I find this demonstration of the neoliberal determination to nuke even a mildly socialist government to be timely.


12. benmadigan - August 17, 2019

missed the discussion as was writing this post – not entirely off-topic. hope you enjoy!

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