In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘Corbyn agenda’

Enter Captain Corbyn!

Posted by seumasach on September 27, 2018

Cailean Bochanan

27th September, 2018

The analogy coming forcibly to mind of late was of Britain as a ship adrift without a captain heading towards the rocks as the crew below indulged in an endless brawl, unaware of or indifferent to the grim fate awaiting them. But my spirits have been lifted by the Labour Party conference; could it be that someone has emerged who can put the ship of state back on course to somewhere that is not the abyss. In other words, can Corbyn finally end his highly ambiguous stance on Brexit and at the crucial moment come out for Remain.

Without of course stating anything of the kind, Corbyn has pointed to that as the only logical outcome. The bare facts are that there is a consensus now in the Labour Party that Labour will vote against any deal negotiated by Teresa May which doesn’t satisfy the criteria that Labour has set down and that Labour will oppose a no-deal Brexit. Well, no deal which could conceivably be negotiated by May could satisfy those criteria therefore Labour will vote down whatever she comes up with. That means that deal would fail to pass the Commons leaving us with a no-deal Brexit. Opposing this at any cost, Labour would then campaign for a referendum with the two options being: Remain or the deal negotiated by May. They would win support for this in the Commons and the country would vote by a clear majority for Remain.

This was the logical kernel of the fudge agreed upon at the LP conference. But it was a tiny island of logic in a sea of fudge. Truth-telling is political suicide in the contemporary world: everything must be approached obliquely, through dissimulation, through fudge. Labour haven’t actually come out for Remain. It has been tentatively suggested as an option; all options are on the table, therefore, Remain is on the table. It could even be on the ballot paper (how could it not be!) should it come, in extremis, to a second referendum.  

The main element of dissimulation is the claim that Labour prefer to have a General Election so that they can take on the Brexit negotiations, so that they can take on May’s hopeless conundrum. As if they hadn’t learnt the one clear lesson of the last two years: there is no such thing as a Soft Brexit! They must have worked out by now that the Soft Brexit scenario was merely an invention of the hard line brexiteers to help sell a Hard Brexit i.e. Brexit by lulling the people into a false sense of security and then blaming Europe for a Hard Brexit and the whole mess that would flow from it. Incidentally, why they would want a mess in the first instance is a very good question that, with a bit of luck, we will learn the answer to in the years ahead. Anyway, returning to Labour’s fudge, they’re professed aim of demanding a General Election provides a very good alibi in anticipation of  any accusations of being closet Remainers and helps smooth over divisions in the party between those with the perfectly achievable goal of Remain and those who insist on pursuing the impossible mirage of a benign Brexit, a Brexit for jobs, a Brexit for Ireland and other such nonsense.

I’m being a bit unfair. There is a benign Brexit option: the Norwegian option. This could come in handy if Labour are unlucky enough to win a General Election called, for some reason, by Teresa May. After all, it would be very difficult for them to call a referendum after reaching their heart’s desire of a chance to negotiate a “Brexit for jobs”. So they could leave the EU but remain in the single market, maintain free movement etc.. Only, they wouldn’t have any input into the EU project. That wouldn’t be the end of the world. The EU has developed quite nicely without our input: they’re already working with Russia and China to bypass US sanctions against Iran and uphold the Iran deal. Britain would just have to sit things out for a while in the sin bin, quarantined from a world that is passing us by. But the ship of state would still be afloat!

Posted in brexit crisis | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Jeremy Corbyn warns against ‘hard Brexit’

Posted by seumasach on September 25, 2016

An important statement from Corbyn. He is effectively coming out for “Remain” by supporting membership of the single market as well as free movement of labour. All the claims that he actually favoured Brexit as would be consistent with his Bennite background therefore come to nothing. Corbyn has shown himself to be an astute politician. He is now in a strong position within the Labour Party and within the country. He will win support of almost everyone who has anything to do with the real economy which will be crucified by Brexit. Now we know why the Murdoch press hate him so much. Their attacks will be unrelenting as they try to cement their alliance with a substantial sector of the working class now aligned behind the military-industrial-financial complex. This latter group can now be seen to be, if there was ever any doubt, at the core of the British system. The same grouping is asserting itself in the USA by sabotaging Obama’s Russian diplomacy. On both sides of the Atlantic we hear the rumblings, the insane rumblings, of war.

Belfast Telegraph

25th September, 2016

The Labour leader dismissed the vision of some in the Brexit camp that the UK could become an offshore tax haven by breaking away from Brussels.

Read more

Posted in brexit crisis | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Corbyn: stopping secret wars

Posted by seumasach on August 3, 2016

Read more

Posted in Global peace process | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Decision Time: New Politics, New Economy, New Britain?

Posted by seumasach on March 3, 2016

 

Decision Time: New Politics, New Economy, New Britain?

A speech by Jeremy Corbyn to  the British Chambers of Commerce conference

Labour Press

3rd March, 2016

 

This speech sets out a major policy framework including some notable quotes (with my own comments):

And we cannot outsource economic policy to the City of London. That has not served our economy well, and it has not served business well.

The subordination of the UK economy to City interests is, indeed, at the heart of the matter

The banking sector has to be reformed. Finance must support the economy and not be an extractive industry that treats consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses as cash cows.

Rather than simply going on about capitalism Corbyn clearly distinguishes between predatory finance capital and productive capital in the real economy. Robert Owen the 19th century socialist and entrepreneur who wanted an alliance between the working class and the industrial capitalists against City interests would be very happy with this speech. It is significant that he is addressing the Chamber of Commerce.

We need a national investment bank at the heart of economic policy to target investment on key public and economic priorities, not just for quick returns.

As Den Xao Ping used to say: “whatever you do never lose control of financial system.” We never had control of it but perhaps that’s about to change

For some politicians, the state is only a burden, to be reduced or removed.

But we see a crucial role for the strategic state to create the conditions for people and businesses to thrive and deliver prosperity that is stable and shared.

The term “strategic state” is an absolute taboo in British politics. Are we becoming French dirigistes? If there is one word(or two words) to sound the death knell of the thatcherite consensus, it is this.

Regarding crisis in NHS

First, there is the legacy of PFI debt – an inefficient way of delivering necessary investment.

The last Labour government lacked the confidence to make the argument to borrow to invest, and so it did what banks thought they could get away with before the crash, an off-the-books accountancy wheeze.

In both cases, putting debt off the books did not work it came right back onto the books and helped trigger crisis.

Corby takes  the Blairite legacy head on! Blair put dodgyPFI deals at the heart of his programme

Then there is the problem of infrastructure. Think about the creaking, underfunded infrastructure our country relies on.

Enterprise and innovation cannot flourish when our roads and railways, ports and airports are lagging behind our competitors.

To do this , of course, requires long term investment and planning another no-no in Thatcherite Britain

…we are campaigning to remain in the EU because we believe, like 60 per cent of businesses the BCC surveyed, that the EU is the best framework for trade and cooperation in the 21st century.

None of the above can be accomplished without incoming investment, several hundred billion of which have already been promised by China. He knows that they are awaiting the “yes” vote before committing themselves to this but it is not very politically correct to point this out since the British people are still largely unaware of the fact that we have been living off incoming investment for decades. The difference now is that investment will not be going into UK government bonds but will be direct investment in finance, manufacturing and infrastructure.

Read speech in full

Posted in UK economy | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: