A Plea to Fellow Remainers – Our Best Chance Lies In Jeremy Corbyn
If you are a hard-core Remainer, it might present a depressing prospect that the Labour Party officially “accepts the result” of the referendum, but ask yourself this question: under which government – Labour or Conservative – will it be easier to defend the rights and privileges of EU membership once the dust has settled after 8th June?
Just a few weeks ago the progressive movements of France suddenly woke up to the reality of a possible Fascist takeover of their government and united around the only man who could stop them: Emmanuel Macron.
Never mind the fact that Macron is the protégé of the previous President, Francois Hollande – who may well be the most despised and unsuccessful President of the French Fifth Republic (if not since the fall of the ancien regime). Never mind that he was a banker and remains a champion of the existing failed economic order. Liberals, socialists and communists of all stripes rallied around him because they knew that the alternative meant the likely destruction of the EU, empowerment of the most vicious and racist movements in the country (and abroad), and that Marine le Pen’s election held the real risk of sounding the death knell for progressive politics in France, and possibly all of Western Europe for years to come.
Theresa May is not Marine le Pen, of course, and Jeremy Corbyn is no bland centrist (in fact, the 2017 Labour Party Manifesto is far more in line with the mainstream British left than Macron’s vapid neo-liberal pitch.) Neither will the threatened “Hard Brexit” destroy the EU – Europe can geographically, politically and economically get on perfectly well without us. And yet for us Brits, a hard Brexit commanded by Theresa May and her cronies will be an unequivocal disaster. Even the business sector – traditionally the stalwart base of Conservative support – has reacted “coldly” to May’s return to the idea that “no deal is better than a bad deal”.
Whether your concerns primarily lie in environmental protection or action against climate change, protection of civil liberties and human rights, electoral reform, retaining workers’ rights or in the wholly unexpected attack against pensioners– the Conservative Party Manifesto is a Charter of Chaos that has something that will appal every section of the British left and confirms that this General Election is about “taking back control” only for the very wealthy, leaving the rest of us in the lurch.
Despite this very blatant power-grab in the wake of Brexit by the extreme right, there is still a reluctance from some on the left to unite around the one man who can stop it: Jeremy Corbyn.
The parallels with the French election are irresistible. While the 2017 Labour Party Manifesto may not allay the fear of some liberals, who worry about Corbyn’s middle-of-the-road stance on Brexit, or Greens who are concerned that the Labour Party is not strong enough in prioritising climate change (though the Party is, for example, firmly committed to banning fracking, where the Tories wish to encourage it), the hard truth is that while there are some constituencies where the Conservatives are little threat, it remains the case that the vast majority of seats will be won either by a Labour candidate, or a Conservative one.
In this election, voters cannot afford to equivocate. If you are a hard-core Remainer, it might present a depressing prospect that the Labour Party officially “accepts the result” of the referendum, but ask yourself this question: under which government – Labour or Conservative – will it be easier to defend the rights and privileges of EU membership once the dust has settled after 8th June? For starters, remaining in the Single Market and the Customs Union is in the Labour Party Manifesto (both of which the Conservative want to abandon) as is protection of EU citizens’ rights living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. True, there is a commitment to ending Freedom of Movement, but surely having a smaller number of issues which could be fixed after the election would be easier than fighting against a full-throated and electorally-empowered isolationist government under Theresa May?
But I wish to make another point. This piece isn’t just a plea for tactical voting (which you will no doubt have read about ad nauseam over the past few months) – it is a plea for solidarity. Every facebook post, leaflet, or speech by an opposition politician slagging off Jeremy Corbyn, mocking Tim Farron, or patronising Lucas and Bartley is another boon to the Conservatives and damages our chances of electing a progressive government. Fair enough, where there are fair fights in constituencies where the Tories are no real threat, you must have a sensible debate about the priorities for your community. But nationally, if the left is seen to be fighting amongst themselves, while the “lost tribe” of Tories of UKIP slink back to the mother Party from whence they came, then it becomes ever more likely that this election will see the rise of a dangerous, backward, anti-social and illiberal government which will be extremely difficult to overturn and we will all lose out.
So don’t just tactically vote in this election. Just for these last few weeks, stand in solidarity with the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn. Herein lies the opportunity of a lifetime to turn around the previously irresistible tide towards totalitarian government and extreme neo-liberal economics.
And when on June 9th Jeremy Corbyn is in No. 10, the fight for Britain’s place in Europe can begin again with fresh hope and the British people, not wealthy Tory plutocrats, in the driving seat.
how can Calum be allowed to write on ‘bright green’ without saying who he is? Given he has long supported Labour – view his twitter.
This article makes a mockery out of ‘bright green’.
Bright Green is not an exclusively Green Party supporting website. We’re left wing progressive media, and support Green ideology rather than specific parties, and as such we may from time to time publish articles from Labour supporters.
Hope this cleared things up,
How can it be in the interests of Remain when Corbyn dismisses the idea of a second referendum? If leaving the EU is bad for Britain we’re stuffed whether Corbyn or May win because both are on record as saying they will take us out of the EU. We need tactical voting to ensure neither May or Corbyn win an overall majority, and since May has shot herself in the foot (some say it was a deliberately self-inflicted wound), the chances of this being possible are very much increased.
I’m One of those despised pensioners that took an 80% of basic/minimum State pension and moved to Spain. I didn’t leave Britain. I left what would have been a miserable life living on state hand out and came to a country I knew I could survive longer in. I don’t smoke or drink, well a beer once a week maybe! I just knew with my heart and diabetes issues and British weather I had a shorter life expectancy and changed that for sun and cheap vegetables that’s all! I never was a strategic voter like some. I believed in the values that created the NHS, I also believe we ought to be able to leave this world a better place than we found it. Better for everyone. But I’m not a Communist! I’m old fashioned and I care about my neighbors! Mr Corbyn is a man head and shoulders above the British main stream politicians. A man of integrity. He is not a coward neither is he a protectionist. He is an honest realist that sees the threatened changes coming to Britain, forced on us in the main by poorly and miss informed English Bigots who have no clear idea at all of what Brexit means in real terms to our exports/Imports in and out of Europe. The inflation that will follow our lump sum turn key payment that will release us from EU membership. This sum is likely to Eclipse Donald trumps triumphant sales deal to Saudia Arabia 2 weeks ago! Everything the average person buys in from the USA comes with a 21% Import tax it’s unlikely the rate for importation from Europe will levy a lower tax: What price Tulips next year. Or anything else like Food, Clothing? Then there are those of us who still pay tax and are tax liable in the UK. We are dependent on the health services of the countries we reside in. UK pays nothing towards that despite our decades of paying into a health system that does nothing to support us. Me for instance in Spain. My wife and I have no home in the UK. No saving to fall back on. I know few Brits who live like us who have anything other than their meager state pensions. My wifes a trasplante. Just one of the tablets she takes every day cost 500Euros a month. But The Spanish health service provides more than 800 Euros a month of free medication to keep her alive. With more than 700.000 Brits in Spain. Can you imagine if we all had to run back to the UK and beg for health care? The NHS would fold in a week! then you have the rest of us ex pats living in the other European countries. More than 2 million us. Will the Brexiteers build a wall to keep us out? Mr Corbyn is a realist, honest compassionate and reliable pair of hands to steer Britain. A new Britain where everyone is important. We no longer rule the waves, the air and barely have an army smaller than the Philippines. OK we leave the EEC, but lets not leave Europe. Lets put the British first, but lets not forget the price we paid to be British. Please remember us to live where we do not because we turned our back on the UK, but because we did not want to be burdens on a system we felt might falter because of us. What Britain has to offer is still our inheritance not to be given to others freely while ignoring us who now need you!
I note my scroll meanders and I apologies. Morphine has an adverse effect on my literary skills. Think of the future of our young and Please remember your old folks. We are vulnerable, and we are British tax payers still today!
Nice article. But please correct your spelling of ‘lose’. Sorry – but this is shabby and removes 50% of the gravitas that your article needs.
I will vote labour as a vote against the tories. I believe in tactical voting and that the primary imperative in fighting brevity is to diminish conservative power, but Jeremy Corbyn leaves me incredulous. As soon as the labour party appears to have a chance of winning he insists in shooting the party in the foot. Is he a secret tory mole in the pay of the Conservative party. He is certainly their best ally.
Never the less I will vote labour in spite of him because it is more important to fight the conservatives than concern ourselves with his stupidity. We are voting against the tories not for Corbyn and it is a necessary step in fighting brevity.
You realise, I hope, that a vote for Corbyn is also a vote to let Militant back into Labour.
OK as long as we do not concede the principle that we will never agree to Brexit.
But it’s a given that Corbyn does accept Brexit! He’s on record of saying there will be no 2nd referendum. The only way he will go back on that is if he has to form a coalition with the LibDems or SNP.
So you are opposed to democracy? I assume you’re a Stalinist and think a stronmg socialist government is the answer to everything. And you call it a principle! LOL
What is it about the EU you like so much? Is it the planned morphing into the United States of Europe, nuclear ar med and as da ngerous as the USA that you like so much? Is it the anti-democratic power mongers Junker, Tusk and Barnier that you think will ensure a bright future?
The proble with the majority of remainers is they have no idea why they support the EU and think leaving it is a disaster like finding out Nanny is leaving. I guess socialists naturally thi nk big states are good, power is everything right? But greens have been repeating the mantra ‘Sall is beuatiful’ for decades, yet also seem to be seduced by a giant bureaucracy bringing out thousands of new laws annually to restrict and control our lives.
I assume greens are persuaded that onmly government can make a difference , but I believe it is down to e very single obne of us and the way we live. De mocrac y means politicians have to pay attention to what voters want, but most often pamper top the lowest possible selfish motives. On ly i ndividuals can make the decision to live lightly on the planet, to restrict firt-level desires of ego and lover as if others matter, because they do.
In the referendum run up I tried repeatedly on social media to get remainers to list what it is convinces them the EU should be our masters, and not one reason was produced. Instead abuse was served up against what was perceived by the unthinking as ‘right-wing, UKIP, zenophobic, small-minded racists’, to whic h I responded with a list of reasons I was, and had been since its inception when I understood exac tly what was planned, in favour of leaving. Those with no memory of pre=EU Britain have a deranged idea of what life was like back then, they know what they have been taught, which in many cases is very much short of the truth.
The US proposed the EU leading to a US of E as a means of removing the risk of another European war, since there had been two in quic k succession. Since then a complacent, corrupt European political class has been theorising and profiting in equal measure, and built themselves a pretty expensive Euro-Empire, with two palaces where power is brokered alternatively. Gravy train expense accounts soak up hardworking taxpayers’ earnings for the provilege of having them dictate how we should live.
As far as greens are concerned, the EU is not a green haven, much of the environmental legislation and animal welfare legislation the EU has is less than the UK’s native legislation, our standards of animal welfare superior to any other European nation’s.
The CAP has been a disaster for the environment and farming as tho0se NGOs working in the farming sector have known. The Common Fisheries policy has drained the seas of fish.
A nuclear=armed Europe is not what the world needs. A Europe crowded with millions of migrants is a disaster happening now. The EU will split apart in the coming years as divisions proliferate. Open borders is a nice liberal dream for an ideal world, with the present world awash with terrorism it is a ludicrous policy which is evaporating in the face of reality.
Well each one of you who repeat the anti-Brexit mantra over and over just think for a bit, drop assumptions and examine what exactly the EU [and EC] is, what it does and what it costs. There’s a damaging binary us and them, good and bad, right and left, nice and nasty that distorts everything and pits people against each other. And please stop whining, you are starting to appear deranged, a year on and you can’t let go of disappointment, move on and make the best of life.
Instead we have social justice warriors hissy fitting in public, and even so-called intellectuals like Richard Dawkins behaving like millenials without any idea what’s going on.
Politicians are toxic, they screwed up the referendum ‘debate’, changing it to a vicious civil war online where truth went out the door and insults were considered the OK way of answering a view you disagreed with.
And the blanket assumption that e veryone who voted leave is dim, racist, right wing and to be sneered at. My IQ is 146 and I have studied this subject intensively, unlike most whose knee-jerk support for this giabt bureaucracy seems to be more sheeple behaviour than reasoned political thinking. Groupthink leading to assumed superiority that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
No, staying in the Single Market is NOT in the Labour manifesto. What is in there is a pipe dream of keeping as much as possible of the benefits while tossing Freedom of Movement, something not just the governments of the 27 but also industry leaders have announced simply will not fly. Your claim there was a smaller number of concessions is thus completely ludicrous.
And do you seriously believe that slinging mud at continental leaders is going to make them more amenable to make concessions? Probably – after all, you also want to sell a politician who rejects the fundamental core of left philosophy – INTERNATIONAL solidarity – in favour of insipid flag-waving as “left” and an alternative to the jingoistic nutcases running the UK now. But hey, let’s attack Macron, a staunch internationalist
Both you and Corbyn seriously misjudge the dynamics on the Continent, and you are seriously misguided if you believe that with your attitude and that Labour manifesto, Corbyn is getting anything BUT a hard Brexit. That is precisely what he will get, and all his voter-buying with promises he declares “costed” because he attached some fanciful numbers to them which aren’t worth the ink they were printed in because Brexit will make all tax expectations moot, will turn to dust.
Had he actually promoted staying in the single market instead of trying to have his cake and eat it, too, you would have a point. But the fact is that he’s just as jingoistic in demanding to get all the benefits while taking on none of the obligations as the Tories are.
Greetings from the Continent. You’re in for a rather rude awakening. There’s a pretty broad support for having the whole affair done with as soon as possible – the EU has enough other issues to chew on, from the situation in some mediterranean countries to the issue of refugees. I normally sympathise substantially with Labour, but both with his lack of leadership and his support for Brexit to the point of invoking a three line whip, Corbyn has disqualified himself and the party for the time being.
International solidarity? LOL Yeah I feel close to such people as the drunk Juncker whose outbursts are erratic, threatening and arrogant for anm unelected bureaucrat. Actually the problems the EU faces are on the road to complete disintegration; most nations already have a split population on staying and with planned referenda it’s only time before more leave. The strains of uncontrolled migration in the tens of thousands will continue to challenge the stability of Europe, and you think free movement will remain? Macron weill last a year or two, b ut the Front National have not gone away, LePenn said ‘next time’ so don’t be complacent.
I saw all this happening decades ago. Anyone remember the BBC drama The March’? About the movement of people to the north from Africa. Quite prescient.
amazing how Brits generaly dont understand what freedom of movement actually means. And that includes politicians and journalists who should at least swot up before publishing erroneous information.
For the record and its time you inwardly digested the point – f. o. m includes goods and services as well as people. How difficult is that to understand? You cannot split off one of the target areas through negotiation either the principle is set in stone under the TFUE which to all intents and purposes is the EU constitution and cannot be deviated from without the consent of two thirds of the EU parliament. Not going to happen. When the single market and the customs union are referred to what is meant is freedom of movement, of which they are both features.
Hope this is not too difficult for you I worry about the British sometimes.,,,planks have more brains…
I think Corbyn may be telling white lies when he says he wants a a free trade deal with Europe but restrict free movement. Sure he knows that is not possible but he wants to get back the UKIP voters. Think he may well accept free movement (which he believes in anyway)if he got in, to get free trade. Never the less I will be voting green as it is green values I support and I think Labour would like to get back to a 2 party system and extinguish the green party. A small green vote will encourage them in that goal.