Dear Andy Burnham, Labour cannot properly challenge Tory authoritarianism until it accepts that the Tory attack on our democracy began with the tsunami of Brexit lies and hate propaganda and Vote Leave's electoral fraud which robbed us of a fair vote.
Labour cannot properly challenge Tory authoritarianism until it accepts that after the referendum the Brexiters unleashed the fascist notion that the "Will of the People" overrides the democratic right to oppose and legal and Parliamentary checks on government power.
1/ Where Labour may be going wrong is by looking too woke. Labour was always a party that cared for ordinary working people. Its concern for minorities was always anchored in that care for the great mass of ordinary people.
2/ Labour was seldom the main force driving social liberalisation, but it didn't oppose it either, and when liberalising projects gained social traction Labour governments put the changes into law.
3/ Labour in the Corbyn years was often seen (perhaps unfairly) as being more interested in minorities than in the great mass of ordinary folk, and more interested in cutting edge ideas for social reform rather than in the concerns of ordinary people.
1/ Working class support for the Tories isn't just due to disorientated people in a fragmented society clinging onto tribal nationalism.
It's also because economic stagnation makes economics and politics seem like a zero sum struggle for resources between social groups.
2/ Economic and social change has disrupted the white working class more than any other large social group. They feel that as natives they deserve preferential treatment, and feel that the liberal-left focus on minorities betrays them.
3/ So identification with the bogus security and solidarity of tribal nationalism is augmented by a bitter white nativist resentment against a progressive politics that they believe puts them at the back of the queue.
1/ I think we need a centre-left populism. I think it should be aimed at the tax-dodging rich and the Tory elite. Rich bastards screwing hard-working honest taxpayers. Link that with Tory corruption and I think you've got something.
2/ An attack on the alliance of the Tory elite and the tax-dodging rich can pull in support from the Left and from the middle class and from decent tax-paying businesses. It's an attack on a very small venal, corrupt and cheating elite that is screwing the rest of us.
3/ I see deindustrialisation as having destroyed 20th century class politics. It's created a fragmented and disorientated populace open to manipulation by a very small coherent and well-financed elite.
English nationalism is built around the denial of the pain, loss and humiliation of loosing the empire, and around delusions of regaining that past glory. Only through acceptance of the humiliation of imperial collapse can England move to a positive & realistic national identity.
The world's largest ever empire collapsed in just 20 years. It was a huge loss of status for those who care about such things, and the humiliating reality was covered up by the myth of a gracious withdrawal.
1/ Social change, especially deindustrialisation has shattered the working and middle classes as political forces. Now we are left with a fragmented mass, part of which is hoodwinked by the nationalist drivel of the manipulative kleptocratic Tory elite. The rest is us.
2/ The part of the electorate which has not been hoodwinked by Tory Brexit nationalism does not constitute a coherent economic or social grouping. And it seems unlikely that it will let itself be drawn into some kind of bogus flag-waving unity.
3/ With such a disparate electoral base the opposition to Tory English nationalism has to be based not an a fake and unworkable idea of unity, but on the acceptance of difference and on the politics of cooperation and compromise.
1/ YouGov poll- Working Class Voters
- Conservatives 48%
- Labour 29
A short thread discussing reasons for this.
1) Deindustrialisation has disrupted working class communities far more than it has impacted the middle class.
2/ Deindustrialisation has largely destroyed the economic structures that underpinned working class communities and their social and political organisations. The sense of being part of a powerful social, trade union and Labour movement has largely gone.
3/ In quite a few working class areas a large influx of migrants has transformed areas already afflicted by deindustrialisation. Communities where people grew up have vanished. The familiar has become unfamiliar and strange.
Keir Starmer’s most senior adviser, Claire Ainsley, is a white, middle class genocide denier and ex member of the SWP, who thinks Labour should engage with working class voters through abstracts like “faith, flag and family”. jodatu.wordpress.com/2021/01/06/why…
Former RCP Trotskyite Munira Mirza is in Number 10 and set up the race report commission, while Corbyn had Stalinist Milne as his right hand man. Maybe our politics could be improved by expelling these creepy spawn of the authoritarian left from their positions of influence.
The authoritarian left may hate fascists, but what they really hate is exactly the same liberal metropolitan elite that the hard right detest, and that's because they see bourgeois democracy as standing between them and power.
Sometimes I think the Tory Brexiters have a calculated plan to turn the UK into a tax haven, but at other times they look like a bunch of petulant and deluded idiots who think the UK is a superpower and the rules don't apply to them.
I can't resist some cod psychology. Some Brexiters strike me as people who are venting displaced and long-suppressed adolescent rage against authoritarian parents - the EU standing in the place of the parents, who as children they dared not challenge.
1/ 40 Tory MPs have joined forces with the chief of law-breaking Vote Leave Matthew Elliott and the IEA in the Free Market Forum. The Tories include Priti Patel, Liz Truss and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. This is an extremist free market group. mirror.co.uk/news/politics/…
2/ Truss, Patel and Kwarteng slandered British workers as "among the worst idlers in the world" and called for Asian low taxes and an Asian work ethic. In short, a tax haven for the rich and a sweatshop for the rest of us. They are dangerous libertarian extremists.
3/ Matthew Elliott was chief of Vote Leave when it broke electoral law & robbed us of a fair referendum. He should be in jail. Elliott was targeted by Russian spy Sergey Nalobin who was very quick to congratulate him on his engagement. Nalobin described Johnson as a "good friend"
At least Corbyn kept the support of the Corbynists. Starmer has lost them, and he's loosing the Remainers and anyone wanting electoral cooperation, and he's not winning red wall votes. Starmer is a great deputy but a hopeless leader. For the nation's sake he must resign.
1987, 1992, 1997 - It took 14 years of painfully slow reform & two election defeats for Labour to regain power. With the Tories dragging the UK down the road trodden by Putin and Orban we don't have the luxury of such a leisurely process. We cannot afford a failing Labour leader.
On a smaller scale we can't afford a failing LibDem leader, and that's my view of Ed Davey, who like Starmer is a decent, humane and intelligent man out of his depth as a leader.
Brexiters often say we hate Britain. No! It is they who hate Britain. They hate our open, tolerant, diverse and European Britain. They want to destroy all that and return us the 1950s. And they support a politics of hate, lies, corruption and law-breaking to get their way.
Nationalism when it rears its malign head in established nations doesn't reflect love of the nation, but hatred of it. In order to maintain their pretence of loving the nation the nationalist places everything they hate in the box labelled 'foreign', 'alien' and 'traitor'.
Nationalism of this kind therefore relies not on a disagreement of ideas, but on the division of people into the 'real people' - the 'quiet people of middle England' and the others - the foreigners, the chattering classes, the liberal metropolitan elite...
1/ The Tories were once a democratic party serving millions of middle class people and hundreds of thousands of British businesses. Now the Tory elite serves only itself and its super-rich backers - neither of these groups cares for democracy. #FBPA#ProgressiveAlliance
2/ Like the Republican elite, the Tory elite and their kleptocratic media allies and paymasters have learnt that they can manipulate poorly educated voters through crude appeals to their fears and prejudices. The 2019 election results clearly reveal this.
3/ This politics of manipulation means the Tory elite and their kleptocratic paymasters no longer have to worry about actually benefiting the people who vote for them. All that is required is an endless supply of crude, emotive theatrics and slogans.
The political system and media are already hugely biased towards the Tories. If they win another election they will so distort our political system that the UK will in effect become a one party state. That's why a #ProgressiveAlliance is so necessary.
A #ProgressiveAlliance will not fall into our laps. Labour requires a rule change to make it possible, and Labour's byzantine decision-making process and powerful vested interests, I'm sure including Len McCluskey, will make getting agreement to a PA a massive struggle.
1/ My bet is that on June 23rd 2016 not a single person in the UK had an in-depth understanding of the full ramifications of voting for Brexit. Only a few hundred at the most properly understood the trade issues.
2/ Highly complex issues such as Brexit must always be handled via representative democracy, and to be done properly that would have meant MPs engaging in months of reading, lectures, seminars and debates to ensure they were able to make an informed decision.
3/ We have a representative democracy so that MPs can use their knowledge and judgement on our behalf. But if they are ignorant on major issues then the system is broken. We need to find some way of bringing Parliament up to proper professional standards.
Never forget that Brexit was won by a coordinated fascist hate campaign against immigrants in the tax-dodging Brexit billionaire press. It was not journalism or fair comment. It was a successful fascist and racist attempt to incite hate. Those responsible should be jailed.
And never forget that after the referendum political and media opposition to Brexit was largely suppressed by a successful populist campaign of intimidation based on the fascist mantra of the "Will of the People" as outlined Goebbels after a Nazi referendum victory.
And never forget that the fascist Brexit hate campaign in the media led to the murder of an MP and death threats to many other people targeted as enemies of Brexit; threats which actually altered some MPs' votes in the Commons. That was terrorism and it was incited by the press.
1/ If the Tories win the next election they will so distort our political system that opposition parties won't be able to win power. Brexit was just the first step in the dismantling of British democracy. That's why we must have a Progressive Alliance. #FBPA
2/ I am not saying the Tories are plotting to destroy democracy. It's rather that the Tory elite has no care for democracy. It serves only itself and its super-rich paymasters. Whenever democracy or the law become a nuisance it naturally acts to weaken them.
3/ The process of dismantling democracy has already got to the point where the Labour leadership is pretty much cowering under the table out of fear of a media dominated by offshore billionaires, and a Tory BBC. That's the behaviour of a party in a Putinist managed democracy.
The centre and left are mostly clueless about the power of propaganda. Their leaders tend to believe that we must work with voters' preexisting options. The right used a massive fascist propaganda campaign to make people blame the EU for their problems.
The centre and left tend to have a naively economistic view of politics. The left believe political views should reflect economic inequalities, the centre believes that they should reflect economic success or failure. The hard right know this is not true.
Some on the centre and left have grasped the the old economistic models of politics don't work, but now they take the prejudices prevalent in current politics as givens, whereas the right see them as raw materials to be moulded into the desired shape by propaganda.
EU Freedom of Movement must be restored in the UK as soon as possible. Please retweet if you agree.
EU Freedom of Movement is a basic right, a birthright for many. It was removed almost entirely without debate because most of our wretched cowed and cowardly opposition politicians dared not challenge the fascist hate politics of the Brexit right.
We have had five years when most of our wretched opposition politicians have sought to appease the fascist hate politics of the Brexit right. You cannot appease fascism and racism. You have to fight them unflinchingly with all your force. Always.
We've spent a lot of time pointing out the Tory elite's Russian connections. But we should note that Corbyn and Milne as well as Johnson and Bruges Group members Redwood, Bone and Jenkin were recycling Kremlin propaganda blaming Putin's aggression against Ukraine on the West.
And here is Milne shaking hands with Putin, the de facto leader of European fascism, just months after Putin's invasion of Ukraine. The so-called antiwar Left, in which Corbyn was involved, is almost always very quiet about Putin's wars.
And some of Corbyn's hard-left supporters on Twitter, now supporting NIP, are eager disseminators of pro-Kremlin propaganda. Here's one with 31k followers. The Kremlin has its claws deep in both the Brexit right and left.
1/ Deindustrialisation has led to the collapse of the working and middle classes as coherent political forces. A fragmented society leaves many people open to the bogus solidarity of dogmatic nationalism, and so to manipulation by a ruthless kleptocratic elite.
2/ But this manipulation of a fragmented and disorientated mass by a small kleptocratic elite creates an opening for left and centre parties. They must seek to drive a wedge between the manipulative elite and the people they are manipulating.
3/ The Brexit Right used the technique of othering the 'liberal metropolitan elite'. The opposition must do the same to the kleptocratic elite. They must be portrayed as not belonging to the people, as a kind of foreign body that has colonised the nation.