Tag Archives: labour

Don’t wait for Labour to rescue us from Brexit – Jeremy isn’t coming

It’s been quite a hectic few days with regards the Brexit process. Not through decisive negotiations and the formulation of an actual plan of course, don’t be silly – but there has been a significant amount of impotent fiddlefucking on display. Owen Smith found himself unceremoniously sacked from the Shadow Cabinet for instance, exiled for espousing views that didn’t sit too harmoniously alongside the Brexit stance of his dear leader.

“Impotence” really does seem to be the prevailing theme of the day, the news littered with prominent, ostensibly powerful individuals being reduced to offering up meek excuses. They might not like Brexit, they likely view it as the festering swamp of deceit it’s been all along – but they can’t stop it. Or so they say at least. Makes you wonder why they bothered to become an MP in the first place, doesn’t it?

andrew adonis
Welcome to my fucking life.

Both Labour and the Tories seem united on that front, Brexit being an inevitability. This is largely the cause of a perceived lack of distinction between the two main parties – they may offer varying flavours of fatuous promises, but ultimately they’re both going to dump us head first into a septic tank come March 2019. Which septic tank you prefer is ultimately up to your own taste I guess.

However, such a perspective is far from universal – at least when it comes to Labour. We all know that those nasty, old Tories are eager to play the lemming and hurl themselves into the nearest abyss, but not Labour. They’re playing the long game; dabbling in a little four dimensional chess if you will. Labour, who ran on a manifesto promoting social justice and establishing a country that works for more than just the fortunate few, wouldn’t be so reckless as to continue with this preposterous Brexit idea. Corbyn, Starmer et al are just biding their time, concealing their real intentions with vacuous sloganeering, waiting for the right moment to unleash their coup de grace by stabbing the parasitic beast that is Brexit right in the fucking eye…

…aren’t they?

i'm sure th
Don’t worry Owen. I’m sure you and Jeremy will be able to laugh about this one day. Presumably over a glass of Russian Standard.

Whether you give any credence to this notion of Machiavellian subterfuge is ultimately down to how much you’re willing to ignore absolutely everything going on around you. But supposing it is true, that Corbyn is employing an absurdly risky gambit to grab victory from the jaws of Brexit, the real question you still need to ask yourself is “when?”

At time of writing we’re just over a year from Brexit D-Day – the 29th March. Given that we’ve spent the best part of two years lurching from one ill conceived Brexit proposal to another, our minds growing ever more crammed with misconception and outright fantasy, it does rather insistently beg the question as to when this masterstroke is to be unveiled. This isn’t a movie, I’m sure many of us would take salvation here and now rather than waiting until the dying moments of March the 28th for rescue. Sure, the idea is exciting and the inevitable nationwide joining of hands to sing Kumbaya in unison would make for a good closing scene as the credits start to roll but alas, I’m afraid to say such a notion doesn’t seem entirely plausible to me.

The truth of the matter is that the only people that can stop Brexit is the people. Like the One Ring, it can only be destroyed by its creator; in this case the British public – though for a sufficiently anti-Brexit demographic to rise they’re going to need to be informed. Standing at the pulpit and declaring that you’re going to deliver a “Jobs First Brexit” or some other such phantasmagorical proclamation might bring the cheers and adulation from the choir, but it does little to inform – instead only serving to bewilder them further as they wander endlessly through dreamland.

Even if it’s all ultimately just a ruse, you can’t take the winning shot without being ably assisted by the prevailing zeitgeist and that’s the sad reality of Labour’s Brexit stance – all roads still lead to Brexit. Sure there’s only two roads, with it being debatable as to whether the second even exists, but either way you’re still left with a rather dispiriting, binary outcome – submission or failure.

It is perhaps ironic, given that the likes of Arron Banks repeatedly crow on about how the Leave vote was won by appealing to emotion, that it’s the ‘feels over reals’ brigade who seem to subscribe to the idea that “Corbyn’s playing the long game” – and if you yourself are amongst them then fine. There’s probably little that I can do myself to convince you otherwise; but, as unshakeable as your faith that Labour will save us from Brexit may be, don’t forget to take a look outside at what’s actually going on every once in a while.

Otherwise you’re just trapped in a dreamland all of your own.

 

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If you’ve never had a dream, you’ve never had a dream kick you in face

I like dreams. They’re nice aren’t they? Given life’s tendency to regularly shit out malodorous mounds of harsh reality upon our doorstep it’s a blessed relief to, every once in a while, retreat to the relatively safe confines of your head, immersing yourself in a dreamscape perfectly tailored to your own personal convenience.  Bad week at work? Finding yourself repeatedly foiled by your own innate lack of competence? Take a dose of that wonderful drug called delusion. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all need a break from the drudgery of own pitiful existence every once in a while. I sure as hell do. Why spend the day agonising over my latest, excruciating social faux pas when I can briefly drift off into a world where I’m erudite, charming and have access to a time machine? I don’t even have to get out of bed.

So there’s no real harm in it – at least providing you’re willing to come back to reality. Most of us do but, rather alarmingly, there have been some fairly prominent examples recently of those who chose to remain lost, forever scurrying blindly through the rabbit hole; searching in vain for the cheese that simply isn’t there.

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They may say I’m a dreamer…

Ah, Jeremy Corbyn. It is perhaps the perfect irony that a man who’s spent his life working to make his dream a feasible reality has found that very same existence become characterised almost entirely by artifice. Should you wish to gaze upon Comrade Corbyn through the lens of mainstream media you could be forgiven for absorbing the impression that he’s a traitorous Commie who shot John Lennon. When you brush the clouds to one side however, the picture is a little different – though it cannot be denied that he’s still a curious character.

A mild mannered, private man who seems far more content pottering about in his allotment than courting favour with the media. Certainly not the norm for a politician but it’s still undeniably bewildering that he provokes such a reaction from all ends of the political and social spectrums. However, whether he’s met with worship or disgust, old Jeremy plods purposefully onward. Sure, deep down he probably just wants to get back home to his cabbages but nevertheless, he has his principles and nobody is going to deter him from his mission.

I can’t help but respect that and, subsequently, Jeremy himself. He’s not doing it for his career, he’s doing it because he actually gives a shit and feels his voice can guide us onto a more prosperous path. He runs on the ideals of hope, proclaiming that if we simply all work together then maybe…just maybe, things might actually turn out alright. He’s far from the first politician to do employ this approach of course, but he’s one of the few who leaves you in no doubt as to the decency of his intentions.

It is perhaps then no surprise that this message resonated so strongly with the whippersnapper portion of the electorate; bright, young things with a head full of dreams yet to be contaminated by the inevitable cynicism that comes with experience. Of course they’d buy into Corbyn’s vision of utopia – it sounds bloody marvellous and, to tell the truth, I’d be pretty much on board too were it not for one, fatal flaw.

jobsfirst
Reminds me of those ‘Life First’ napalm strikes the Americans used in the Vietnam War. Probably.

Yes, of course it was going to be Brexit. What else? There’s been nothing that even comes close to it in terms of excreting misinformation and fanciful delusions upon political discourse. The referendum campaign was an entire landfill of unrefined bullshit and you’d be foolish to consider that particular stench as consigned to the past – the idea that we can somehow implement a “Jobs First Brexit” being a recent example. Less fanciful than the Tory’s laughably absurd “Moon on a Stick Brexit” perhaps but, critically, it’s similarly fuelled by the fumes of fantasy alone.

It’s true that Corbyn is a dab hand at campaigning. He mesmerised many during the snap election of last year, recruiting many a young, fresh mind to his cause in a manner not witnessed for a considerable time. The fact that he managed to achieve a respectable result, sticking two fingers up to the naysayers and stabbing the Tory majority right through the heart in one seamless motion, was miraculous in of itself. He defied those who felt he was leading his Labour lambs straight to May’s nearest abattoir and finally proved his credentials as a vaguely plausible source of opposition.

However, for all his brilliance on the campaign trail, he now appears to have bitten off far more than anyone could possibly chew. Unless he can explain how he plans to achieve a “Jobs First Brexit” when he’s set to dive head first into this cavalcade of shit:

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Long story short – we’ll be worse off with ANY flavour of Brexit. Even caramel.

I respect Corbyn. I’m far from being a Corbynite though, by the same token, I’m nowhere near the mindset that a Corbyn premiership would bring about our gruesome demise either. Despite my general indifference towards the bloke, there have even been times where I’ve found myself drawn to his charms without ever quite dropping over to his side of the fence – the deterrent in this case being his fanciful declarations on Brexit. Carrying the leitmotif of hope and aspiration is all well and good but it can’t achieve the impossible – and that’s precisely what the concept of a “Jobs First Brexit” is – impossible.

Dream all you want, oftentimes it can lead to priceless moments of insight and inspiration; but don’t get so lost in the clouds that you can’t see the facts lingering below. Even the nicest dreams can be punctured in an instant – often leaving you with both a heavy sense of shame and an ominous damp patch down the front of your pants.

 

 

The people spoke. The government told them to fuck off.

Anyone that’s paid the slightest amount of attention to the current political zeitgeist will have noticed that even now, over a year since the referendum result, the Brexit bumblings show no signs of abating. We have Theresa May racking up air miles in aid of delivering speeches to nobody of any relevance, Labour conspiring to present their Brexit stance with all the clarity of a grease stained mirror and then there’s Boris Johnson who, having skulked away in the shadows as the post referendum carnage unfolded around him, now emerges from his lair with increasing regularity – slyly injecting obviously fallacious smegma into proceedings like only Boris can.

Perhaps understandably, this has left many of us peons feeling somewhat trapped aboard an apparently rudderless ship. Given how “the will of the people” had achieved mantra like status it seemed somewhat perplexing that “the people” had been cut adrift from the process so, naturally, a petition was started for a second referendum on the final Brexit deal.

It’s fair to say a significant demographic of “the people” made their voices heard.

header
Democracy in action – that’s what we all want, right?

The proposal itself was fairly simple – when the final terms of the Brexit deal are at long last known to all a second referendum is to be held offering the electorate three options:

  • To revoke Article 50, thereby keeping Britain in the EU
  • To reject the UK-EU deal and leave the EU
  • To accept the UK-EU deal and leave the EU

Perfectly clear, right? After seemingly decades of debate as to what was and wasn’t on the ballot paper on June 23rd 2016, it makes perfect sense to offer the British people a final say on the matter, only this time aided by a (hopefully) clear picture of the ramifications that will ultimately stem from their choice.

In any case, it more than exceeded the number of signatures required to trigger a Parliamentary debate.

debate

We didn’t actually have to wait too long for a response from the government, with the Department for Exiting the European Union no less providing the statement. Was it well received?

See for yourself.

reaction

Hmmm, I get the sneaking suspicion that I’m not going to like this very much but alas, this whole Brexit malarkey has hardly been an episode of Happy Days and Boris Johnson is most certainly not the Fonz.

So let’s all take a bite into this disconcertingly shitty sandwich that’s been served up from Westminster kitchens, shall we?

opening

Yeah…right off the bat we all know where this is fucking going. The 23rd of June seems to have taken on an almost mythical place in the timeline of history, being held aloft as an apparently infallible beacon of intent. As though it was the specific moment in time where the zeitgeist became locked in stasis, never to be shifted by the emergence of progressive thought or the transient nature of circumstance. Of course such bullshit can be sniffed out and exposed by pretty much anyone who has ever noticed that life isn’t exactly the same from one day to the next.

Despite this however, it hasn’t stopped the very same government charged with ensuring our nation’s prosperity churning it out as though it were an automated email response triggered by the term “Brexit” appearing in David Davis’ inbox.

Considering that (from an ideological standpoint) Brexit was heralded as “the people” finally being able to hold those atop the hierarchy accountable, you could be forgiven for feeling you’d been duped. After all, if a government can arbitrarily wave away the concerns of the electorate, you can safely assume that accountability isn’t on their mind.

Still, let’s see how they attempt to justify this stance.

2nd paragraph

Ah yes, now this is something that comes up a lot. “In the 2017 General Election more than 85% of people voted for parties committed to respecting that result” Unsettled by the notion that public mood has shifted, Leavers will reach for this statistic first. In the time since the Brexit vote poll results have varied wildly, not to mention having had their results rather dubiously extrapolated in order to serve certain narratives. So, with a recent general election having taken place, people have finally got some ‘official’ data to muse over – but is their interpretation here accurate?

A look back to 2015 throws out a few hints.

how parties voted
4% of UKIP voters, a party with the sole mission of leaving the European Union, opted for Remain. This blows my fucking mind.

First things first you have to acknowledge that old data is being examined here, with the 2016 EU referendum results being contrasted with those of the 2015 General Election, but that’s not to say that there’s nothing worthwhile to pick at – the most crucial remnant being the Tory split. Despite being the party that promised the blasted referendum in the first place (for entirely cynical reasons of course), it didn’t deter the pro-EU demographic of Tory backers from sticking with the party and why would it? Party manifestos are crafted with an entire spectrum of issues in mind. Attempting to draw a tenuous equivalence between Labour/Tory voters in 2017 and the Leave cause is rather disingenuous to say the least. Whilst both parties essentially backed the proposal to leave the EU based upon the referendum result, the truth is that Brexit became somewhat of a side issue – lost amidst visions of prospective social justice and the Tory party conspiring to run perhaps the most laughably inept election campaign in living memory.

Further to this, Labour’s muddled and seemingly ever changing Brexit stance seemed to draw perhaps surprising support from many a Remainer. I mean sure, they’re still ultimately angling to follow through with the Leave vote, but their somewhat tangential position is far more comforting than the Tory’s apparent desire to fling the nation into the abyss as though it were a blind and confused lemming. It showed a willingness to be flexible at least and one could argue that such a gambit from Labour backing Remainers may have not been entirely misguided – not with the Labour brand of Brexit softening by the day.

As if that weren’t enough to demonstrate why the whole “85% voted for Brexit in 2017” argument is critically flawed, you’ve also got to consider the overwhelming support Labour received from younger demographic.

And we all know how our nation’s whippersnappers voted in the EU referendum…

young voters

Anyway, back to the bilge.

3rd paragraph

Now this might on the surface appear to be yet more yawnsome platitudes from a government with a finger rammed into each ear but don’t dismiss it so quickly. Otherwise you’d miss the author getting his foot trapped in his mouth so perfectly it’s almost as though the entire response was intended as a piece of irksome satire.

“Rather than second guess the British people’s decision to leave the European Union, the challenge is to now make a success of it”

Maybe I’m just a traitorous simpleton but…I’d have thought a second referendum on the final deal would have been a further safeguard against the British people being second guessed. You know, as opposed to blindly going along with a vote that was won on lies over a year ago?

Just a fucking thought.

final

To reduce the risk of giving myself a brain aneurysm I’ve opted to tackle the closing statements all in one go. Not that there’s really a lot to see here, unless endless waffle riddled with flimsy justifications is your sort of thing.

I won’t deny that when viewed in isolation certain points here seem fair enough. MP’s voting on the final deal for instance, that’s how Parliament is supposed to work after all. However when you scrape away the layers of cosmetics it becomes apparent that the entire framework of the government’s position is held together by the slim 52% majority for Leave last year. When you consider the myriad of falsehoods, misguided assumptions and outright lies that contaminated the EU referendum it’s not exactly a solid foundation in which to build from.

For all the nitpicks and bizarre ironies however, there is one question this rather risible government response has spawned in the back of my mind. That question is simply “why?”

The reasons as to why the dyed in the wool Brexiteers want to crash out of the EU vary, ranging from preposterous nationalism all the way to a conspiracy so deep you could write a most excellent book on the subject. Our own government’s rationale however, is much more unclear. Why are they ploughing on with a proposal that they know will be damaging? Why are they being so obtuse as to the concerns of the 16.1 million people who voted Remain? How can they claim with a straight face to be fighting for “the will of the people” yet deny those same people an infinitely more informed vote on the final terms?

Sadly, I don’t hold the answers. If I did I wouldn’t be a burnt out dope smoker hurtling towards 30 on a diet of Pringles and bargain basement breakfast cereals. However one thing is for certain. These are questions that all of us, whether we voted Leave or Remain, have to seriously ask ourselves.

Brexit is a decision that could last beyond a lifetime. Do you really want to have made such a decision without knowing all the facts?

Time – The greatest threat to Brexit

It’s often said that “voting doesn’t matter, they’re all the bloody same”.

Whilst the merits of this point could be debated endlessly it’s fair to say that, from the apparent public perception at least, this is how the supposed false dichotomy of a Tory/Labour Brexit was viewed. Sure, when you get into the minutiae of the matter there are differences and distinctions but ultimately, there didn’t seem to be much nuance when it came to the most notable and contentious issue – namely single market membership.

labour leave

See?

Now you can pick at the validity of Corbyn’s quite possibly flawed interpretation of the single market easily enough but that’s somewhat besides the point. Labour’s Brexit plan didn’t include single market membership – that’s all you need to take away.

In recent days of course, that’s all changed:

keir
I originally had a headline screengrab from the Sun but then my nose started inexplicably bleeding.

Wow. Quite the difference, huh?

“But that’s just for a transitional period!” I hear you cry and whilst initially this is indeed the case, there’s one very significant factor hiding away amidst the details:

beyoind
Corbyn is a secret Brexiteer/Remainer/Satanist – delete as applicable.

Ah, so a sneaky bit of hope for us unreconciled Remainers, yeah? I mean sure, the article goes on to state that it all hinges on the EU agreeing to Labour’s terms (the likelihood of which I suspect is minimal) so it’s still a few continents away from being the golden ticket to remain.

Of course, that didn’t stop Nigel from popping a coronary – displaying indignant rage amusingly befitting of a man lumbered with a chronic lack of self awareness.

nigel
“Pot? Kettle’s on the phone.”

In any case, a lot has been made of this. Are Labour now “Soft Brexit”? Or does the rabbit hole go even deeper and they’re trying to sneak a Brexit reversal via subterfuge? There’s all manner of theories flying through the ether but there’s at least a near universal synopsis emerging – a resounding distinction now exists between Labour and Tories when it comes to handling the acid smeared potato of Brexit.

The reaction has been varied with many a sceptical Remainer noting that, despite it being obviously more rational than the Tory’s lemming inspired proposals, it’ll still end up being a journey to an undesired destination – Brexit.

A fair point but don’t be giving up the good fight just yet, there’s still hope to be had from all this. It’s just that perhaps you’re looking for hope in the wrong location.

Take a look at the transitional proposal and ask yourself this – have you noticed that the closer to Remain a plan resides the more sense it seems to make? Further to this – ever picked up on the fact that the more time saunters by, the strength of Brexit dwindles? That what began as a roaring, rallying cry fuelled by fully leaded jingoism now finds itself in a state of perpetual decay, all the while being eroded by the scrutiny of time?

Time. That’s the concept we need to zero in on.

It all may seem very nebulous, as though you’re grasping at straws in a hurricane whilst wearing a blindfold, but the impact of time on the validity of Brexit cannot be understated. Take a peek at what mere hours did to the credibility of the Leave cause for instance. Even in their moment of greatest triumph, victory was significantly undermined before the new day had really begun. A revolution painted as the downtrodden majority rising up against the caviar sampling elitist establishment, seizing the reigns of power with that good, honest British bulldog spirit had already been cut off at the knees.

And, as with all wounded animals lying vulnerable whilst the vulture of reality circles overheard, they’ll do anything to avoid being exposed further.

shut down
Calling a halt to debate – a Brexiteer’s instinctive defence mechanism.

They’ll hide, they’ll misdirect and they’ll attempt to shut you down so vociferously you begin to wonder as to whether the debate is even worth your effort. They’re acutely aware that longer Brexit is dragged out, the more time you’ll have to pick at their ideological corpse.

And that is exactly why you simply can’t allow yourself to be deterred. Pick at that rancid cadaver. Bite entire chunks out of it if you can, attacking it with everything you’ve got. Brexit is weakened and it’s deteriorating with each passing moment but it’s not dead yet. It’s still slithering towards the point of no return, stubbornly refusing to stare its desperate predicament square in the face.

You won’t ever convince the true, dyed in the wool Brexiteer. They’re far too ideologically entrenched by this point so don’t grow despondent when you inevitably fail to drag them from the mire. It doesn’t matter as they’re not your target demographic to begin with. As with all democratic swings, it’s the middle ground where the victory is eventually gained.

Your refutation of Nigel’s anti immigration rhetoric isn’t for the Brexiteer. It’s for the curious onlooker, passive up until this point and pondering which side of the fence to set foot upon. It’s for the Leave voter who cast their ballot in good faith, confident in the belief that breaking free from EU shackles would actually improve life for their family who now suspect they were swindled.

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Looks like Brexit – The Movie has come out with a director’s cut.

For with every debunked argument, for every changed mind a tiny battle is won – with the ever stumbling Brexit having its momentum further curtailed. Time is our greatest weapon but it must be utilised effectively.  Keep on fighting those seemingly insignificant skirmishes and convince people to join the cause.

Because with every extra set of eyes on guard duty, there’s less chance Brexiteers will pull off a Weekend at Bernie’s and smuggle the festering carcass of Brexit over the line.