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tony nog #FBPE @tony_nog
, 25 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
1) Why Labour #Brexit Conference policy is flawed

Unfortunately Ben is wrong here, Corbyn is following the agreed policy here because that policy let's him do exactly what he wants on Brexit, not what the members want

The policy is a well crafted stitch up
2) there's 2 consistent themes from Corbyn supporters
a) this is the policy Labour conference overwhelmingly supported
b) Corbyn's following that policy to the letter
Both of these are true, but neither stand up to critical examination if we're being honest
3) in terms of the first "this is the policy conference supported" well, as a remainer its essentially the same as the non meaningful vote May tried to create
May's choice was her deal or no. Deal which, if true, is no deal at all
It was the same with Labour conference policy
4) now, it's about this point when Corbyn supporters will start talking about #FBPE Corbyn hate and the blockings will start but the following is an honest, external assessment of how that conference vote came about, and it is deeply concerning for a democractic party
5) 150 CLPs in a heroic effort put forward motions to get a #PeoplesVote in place as party policy. Over the course of a long evening of negotiation a composite motion was agreed, which had "all options on the table, including a #PeoplesVote" tacked on the end
6) we can argue about how 150 clear calls for a #PeoplesVote became "all options on the table including a #PeoplesVote *after all other options have been exhausted*" but nevertheless it did, the call for a 2nd ref was pushed to the end of the policy
7) but in terms of that motion being voted on at conference, what other choice did Labour Remainers have? There were no other motions on #PeoplesVote available to vote on at conference so the choice became "vote for this motion with a chance of a PV or don't vote at all"
8) now let's pause there for a second. Labour leadership have quite rightly pointed out the attempted blackmail of May with her "my deal or no deal", her attempt to prevent a meaningful vote.
But this was the same choice given to Labour members, this motion or no motion
9) now whether you're a Corbyn supporter or not, leaver or remainer, if you're a democrat then this should leave you feeling very concerned

150 calls for a #PeoplesVote became a possible 3rd stage in a very ambiguous Conference policy, with no other option available to vote on
10) the Labour Party process created a situation where you could either vote for a slim chance of a #peoplesvote or not vote at all.
And when you voted for that slim chance your vote was taken as overwhelming support for the policy.

This is deeply suspect and not democratic
11) democracy requires a meaningful choice, option a or b, candidate x or y.

Putting forward one motion with no alternatives is like putting forward 1 candidate or saying "my deal or the chaos of no deal"

All of these are a twisting of democracy
12) then we move onto "Corbyn is following the policy" and he is, because the policy let's him do whatever he wants
Firstly the "calls for a GE"
This should never have been on the policy in the 1st place because its a given, the opposition is *always* calling for a GE
13) secondly a GE doesn't solve anything regarding Brexit and this was a Brexit motion, supposedly.
Many people might want a Labour government regardless & that's fine but as part of an attempt to deal with #Brexit it doesn't change anything, the same options are available
14) but most importantly the call for a GE part of the policy gives Corbyn his first get out, because it has no time limit & no test criteria.

When has the call for a GE failed? How do we know that it's failed? When do we give up & move to the next stage? Only Corbyn knows
15) calls for a GE could go on right up until March 30th, post Brexit. The belief is that there will be a Vote of No Confidence called if May's deal is voted down, and this will be the point when calls for a GE have succeeded or failed, but Corbyn hasn't said that
16) but even if Corbyn gives up on a GE and moves to the next stage, what exactly is that next stage? The assumption is it's a #PeoplesVote campaign but the Labour conference policy doesn't say that - it says "all options, including a #PeoplesVote"

That could mean anything
17) the conference policy doesn't constrain Corbyn to call for a #PeoplesVote, it just says he can do whatever he sees fit, such as his current position demanding May goes back to the EU27 for a better deal (even though he knows this won't happen)
18) Labour conference policy translates into "Corbyn, take as long as you like calling for a GE and then, when you've decided it isn't likely to happen, do whatever you see fit as the next stage"

And so of course he's following this to the letter
19) now, again, I'll be getting the chorus of #FBPE Corbyn hater, and I appreciate supporters are tired of the attacks however the above is an honest interpretation of where the Labour Brexit policy currently is, summarised as follows and which I'd ask people to consider:
20) Labour Brexit policy:
- pushed its key original aim, a #PeoplesVote, to a *possibility* at the end of a 3 stage process
- was presented as a "Vote for this or nothing" at conference
- let's Corbyn do whatever he wishes over whatever timescale, and does not bind him at all
21) I would respectfully suggest this is not democratic. This is not how a healthy party democracy operates and gives far too much power & autonomy to a leader, especially if that leader is in opposition to the majority in the party
22) yes Labour members voted for the policy, but they didn't have any choice, and yes Corbyn is following that policy, but its fairly meaningless because that policy let's him do whatever he wants over a timescale of his choosing

This is why #FBPE is concerned
23) it just doesn't stack up. As a directive to the leader on #Brexit Labour policy isn't a directive at all - "all options on the table" means "do as you see fit"

In the hands of an open, inclusive pro remain leader, great
In the hands of an authoritarian pro Brexit leader...
24) this thread will be dismissed as an anti Corbyn rant I'm sure.

But there are serious questions for Labour as a democractic party.

The membership must be able to decide policy in a meaningful way.

That means distinct, unambiguous choices must be offered at conference
25) obviously the leadership cannot be completely constrained but motions which in effect say to the leader "we trust you to do what you think is right, at a time of your choosing" is the stuff of dictatorships, as is "this policy or no policy"

Just think about it, please
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