When it comes to Brexit, Farage is in charge of both Labour and the Tories

by Trevor Fisher

Jonathan Todd’s Remain piece (17th July) ended with him asking for a speech by the leader at conference denouncing Brexit and vowing to lead the fight against it. But as Rob Marchant has pointed out more recently (26th July), Corbyn has always been anti-EU and telling Marr a couple of weeks ago that his policy was, like UKIP, to take Britain out of the single market was no surprise. This was the man who voted against the Single Market in 1996 and the Maastricht treaty and the Lisbon Treaty and there is only one question to ask about the man who leads the Labour Party.

Why did the Party allow him to run Labour’s Remain campaign into the ground?

But that is history – as will be the anti-Brexit campaign if the parliamentarians cannot be removed from running it. But more of that later. At present, the key issue is why the politicians cannot make an opposition that has an effect. For Labour, Corbyn is the problem. For the Lib Dems, the puzzle is the failure to stand up for anti-Brexit. Its position in the election was for soft Brexit. Much like Labour’s Brexit for jobs. But for the real disaster position, we have to look to the Tories, and their commitment via Theresa May to the dogma that No Deal is better than a Bad Deal. For once I agree with frequent Uncut commenter, Tafia. There will be no deal. The forces that control British politics will not allow a deal since any deal is from their viewpoint a bad deal with hated foreigners.

And who are these forces? Well, as Jonathan may recall, some weeks ago I pointed out at a meeting he was at that the key element is Nigel Farage. I might have done better to swing from the ceiling singing the Hallelujah Chorus. The reaction was that Mr Yesterday had gone, so good riddance and hopefully UKIP has gone too.

But Farage has not gone, just abandoned UKIP with his backer, Arron Banks. According to the Daily Mail, he has botoxed (and a before and after showed the anxiety wrinkles completely vanished), has a new (French) girlfriend and is full of the joys of spring.

So he should be. He has completely changed politics, destroyed the old political consensus and with Banks money behind him can come back at any time, UKIP’s current leadership being political bankrupt. Farage is now the guardian of the gate into the future. Any backsliding and he will lead the Brexit army, as Theresa May knows. The Brexit brigade destroyed Major leading to Labour’s 1997 landslide, then  David Cameron and the Liberal coalition – neither of which wanted the 2016 Referendum. May fears being PM #3 to be destroyed by the Eurosceptics.

With Labour and the Tories dancing to the Brexit tune, the Lib Dems could have moved  up a gear and taken the anti-Brexit leadership. That they capitulated to the same Soft Brexit vs Hard Brexit mantra that Labour has done shows that the Referendum trap is still working. The Labour Party with its Brexit for Jobs rubbish can be quietly sidelined. Essentially Labour is split between Capitulationists and Micawberites. The former think the referendum was binding – it was not, as the two EU referendums and the SNP call for a second indie ref made clear – and as a good constitutional lawyer would point out. Do we have any?

The dangerous people are the Micawberites, thinking something will turn up, arguing anti-Brexit must keep quiet and the people will come to their senses. While John Harris is right on one point – the backlash to an effective campaign will be vicious  – it is time for a People’s Campaign to Vote Again. As  Cameron said, Brexiteers are swivel eyed loons. Giving in to them is madness.

Trevor Fisher was a member of the Labour Coordinating Committee executive 1987-90 and secretary of the Labour Reform Group 1995- 2007. He was a member of the Compass Executive 2007-2009

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23 Responses to “When it comes to Brexit, Farage is in charge of both Labour and the Tories”

  1. John P Reid says:

    Why did labour allow him to run our remain campaign into the ground

    For a start,yes he was always anti the EU in the past, but many of his supporters had the, we’ve got to make the best of a worse, job, scenario

    He did run the campaign Alan Johnson did, it was no surprise Jeremy couldn’t jump for joy about the EU during the refendum, the parties policy at conference was to support EU membership,so he couldn’t have canvassed for leave, even if allegedly he may wanted too

    Wilson in 75 kept a low profile,let Healey and co, canvass for remain, so maybe ajeremy could have dine that, if so, you’d have been criticising that

    And then there’s the fact that Diane Abbott, red Ken, Neil kinnock, Charles Clarke, Margaret beckett,the TUC, John Prescott, many others who wanted us to leave the EEC, 40 years ago, backed staying in,

    You mention dogma, then say disaster Brexit

    As for the Brexit brigade destroyed major, ok the per runner to Ukip the refendum Party took a million or so votes from a Major, but.. that was because Major never had a referendum on Maastrict that changed the EEC to the EU, even Margaret Thatcher, post Maastrict still wanted the
    UK to be in the EEc, right uo to 5 years before her death,when she stated to say we should leave, thr arrogance the Tories thought they could beball thing sto all people, and trees leaders badly and still win, did help destroy thr Tories, but they lost in 1997′ because the public finally thought that they could trust lsbour with their money after Gordon browns, commitment to Tory spending plans, post the ERM

    Don’t think Cameron did say brexiters are swiveled eyed loons, but if he did, it would explain,why he lost

    I recall Trevor that compass let the libdems join, how well did they do at the recent election?

  2. Ex Labour says:

    So, after all the words from Mr Fisher it boils down to “we want another referendum”. Having voted to remain, I now have to accept the democratic vote of the UK public. The latest wheeze from the remoaners is that a referendum is not binding, but lets be honest and clear, that is not what the public thought when they voted.

    The irony of all this is that the vote was a reaction against the beliefs of those now complaining. If they had listened to the concerns of the public in the first place the referendum would probably have been unnecessary and we would still be in the EU.

    With Corbyn in charge of Labour and May still the PM there will be no need for Farage to return, leaving the EU is not in doubt.

  3. Anon says:

    Trevor Fisher – Do you know what it does to a nation’s people when the organisations that they think represent them are welcoming foreign workers at the airport.

    My company’s union were posing with foreign workers whom they had just signed up as union members, and my friends and family couldn’t get a sniff of a job.

    Why is there this public and political determination that the UK people can be dismissed as unworthy of training and employment?

    Why are Labour lining up alongside the banks and corporates to exploit the poorest?

    But you keep blaming Farage, or the Mail, or any other bogeyman – when it is you who are whipping up the “swivel eyed loons” rhetoric.

    Politics is surely broken when a nation’s politicians are intent on crushing its people seeking democracy.

  4. No vote is final. Only a decision is final, and triggering article 50 only starts a process of negotiation. the 2016 vote was of a minority of those entitled to vote

    A grasp of constitutional law is absent in the Brexiteers case, though some know what is at stake as UKIPer who put down the epetition on a third referendum (before he knew they had won

    We are still in the EU. Does Ex Labour not grasp any thing about current reality? When did the UK leave? FOr the record, the date for the suicide pact to kick in is March 29th 2019

    less than 20 months to stop national suicide. Just enough time if Remain splits the tories

    Trevor Fisher

  5. Rob Parker says:

    “The former think the referendum was binding – it was not”

    yes it was. And I say that as a remain voter. Maybe not legally/constitutionally, but politically and morally ti absolutely was binding and it’s no good putting your head in the sand and pretending that Brexit can be stopped or that Labour should oppose it. Wrong on both counts.

    Brexit is coming and the real challenge is to firstly accept that basic fact and then to work out what the best Brexit settlement will be, and to campaign for that. I would have preferred to stay in the EU but that just can’t happen now.

  6. Vern says:

    I genuinely believe that had Corbyn been honest with the electorate about his long held views on the EU then many more millions would have voted for leave and much of the nonsense we have witnessed afterwards would not have happened.
    Im certainly not Farage’s biggest fan but I find it strange that the figurehead and spokesperson for “Leaving the EU” is not sat at David Davis shoulder. And May’s recent call for cross-party support appears to have fallen on stoney ground.
    Farage, to people like me is the gutsy and determined sort that we need. He also happens to know how the EU works and isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said. An Old school politician who sadly leaves Corbyn, May and Cable in his wake.

  7. Tafia says:

    The referendum was binding.

    1. It was a benchmark manifesto pledge of the party that went on to win a General Election election.
    2. During the debate in Parliament to grant the Act to allow it it was made plain and accepted by both Houses that the result would be honoured.
    3. The morning of the result both the Prime minister and the Leader of the Opposition accepted the result and vowed to honour it, as did the subsequent Prime Minister on Csameron’s resignation.
    4. The arguments that the result is binding were accepted by the Supreme Court in the Gina Millar case.

    Then theres the Article 50 debates and votes.

    You can’t get much more binding than that.


    @Trevor Fisher The 2016 vote was of a minority of those entitled to vote
    That is a desperate clutching of straws (but amusing).
    First of all, more people voted in that election than in any national vote ever.
    It had one of the highest turnouts of any election since before world war 2.
    No politicall party has got over half the votes cast let alone over half the total electorate since before world war 2 so your stance means you reject every generall election result since before 1945 to the present day.
    The only people that count are those that vote and Leave got most votes.

  8. John P Reid says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2017/08/01/remainers-not-socialism-won-labour-votes/ Labour got back up votescwholl go back if WE reject. BRexit

  9. james says:

    The issues are the issues. It all depends on what you mean by ` a strong economy in a fair society`. At the moment we are evolving from an EU first mindset (EU workers are like Brahmin that will teach the recalcitrant Brits how to work plus create a system that predetermines the need to be subservient to the EU due to EU-wide corporatist structures) ie economic expansion down to mass migration and low wage economy TO economic expansion fuelled by smart migration and upskilling British people along with an enabling state.

    The political elites (including Corbyn) are so out of touch they do not understand the need to contain discontent by innovatively radicalising state support for employment from a punitive and passive aggressive Job Centre Plus to one which assists unemployed people in mapping a route out of poverty.

    The Liberal Left is in paralysis – it has rightly won the war on diversity yet has failed to pull up those at the bottom to enjoy those same opportunities. It fails to understand that this is a necessary prerequisite to an endorsement of its favoured economic system. It is in effect more conservative than the conservatives and has perpetuated its own elite that sneers at others.

    All this pushed Leave over the edge. Yet the Leavers are the `stupid ones`. Sorry, I think the reverse is true.

  10. Why did the Party allow him to run Labour’s Remain campaign into the ground?

    That’s being a bit unfair to Alan Johnson isn’t it? I thought he tried quite hard.

  11. paul barker says:

    Fisher seems to spend a lot of effort attacking The Libdems & misrepresenting our position, no doubt this is primarily to cover his embarassment. Why is he still working for a Party whose (twice Elected ) leader he loathes & which backs a “Hard” Brexit ?

  12. Can’t we have an assessment of the economic consequences of each option? Remain, stay in single market, customs union, WTO. etc.
    Once people agree on which would result job loses, or lose trade or harm economic growth they could be ruled out, we should go for which ever is best for prosperity.

  13. Ex Labour says:

    @ Trevor Fisher

    “the 2016 vote was of a minority of those entitled to vote”

    So you’ve outed yourself as a delusional remoaner with your comments. Ever heard of the concept of democracy ?

    By your grasp of voting logic all those union votes to strike where only 20% of those entitled to vote actually voted should not have counted as the 80% did not do so.

    So I guess you are in favour of the governments policy of putting a minimum vote percentage on the unions ?

  14. John P Reid says:

    Trevor when you’re in a hole stop digging,

  15. Tafia says:

    @Will Douglas Mann – No we can’t have an assesment for the simple reason nobody knows. Just look at the Referendum and the economic forecasts of the Treasury and the BoE. Both were subsequently revoked.

    A forecast is only a guess – and as an article in the Financial Times pointed out, of all the forecats from the top ten finance/economic houses made over the last three decades only two didn’t have to be revised. The rest were wrong. So all you can deduce from an economic forecast from any leading fincial institution is that it is almost certsinly wrong. And they all missed 2008.

  16. steve says:

    “The Labour Party with its Brexit for Jobs rubbish ”

    Quite right!

    I for one am looking forward to the Liam Fox negotiated version of the EU’s TTIP.

    Of course, the EU wanted to do exactly as Fox is doing now but were stopped in their tracks by an EU-wide upsurge of opposition from a misinformed public.

    Let’s hope Liam is able to sideline public opinion by using the ‘realities of Brexit’ argument as cover. He can then go on to do what the EU wanted to do: open up the UK to the business expertise provided by giant, global corporations.

    So, Trevor, all power to your elbow! Let’s kick this jobs rubbish into touch once and for all. Remember: at all times, in or out of the EU, business first!!!

  17. Anne says:

    I think there could be some analysis based on probabilities. Yes there are always unknown situations which impact on outcomes such as war, disease or change of government etc but nothing of substance appears to be happening. Liam Fox is visiting America to obtain a deal to import chicken washed in chlorine, Boris seems very untrustworthy (350m on side of bus), David Davis appears unprepared for negotiations. Apparently hundreds of civil servants have been employed to deal with Brexit, and MPs are on their summer hols – who is in charge? It is like a small bolder which has started to roll down a hill gathering size and pace, causing damage along the way, before it falls off the cliff edge. No one trying to control it or have a plan to deal with the distruction that is caused.

  18. there is a basic lack of knowledge of the constitution which makes all the leave comments invalid.

    No law is ever final and binding. All laws can be revoked. Parliamentary sovereignty is absolute.

    This transfers to referenda, which are subject to parliamentary approval.

    The first referendum was not binding (1975) and the leavers were within their rights to campaign for a third one. Ditto the second one.

    If the leavers are not prepared to support a third vote, and they have refused to do so, then please stop talking about democracy, You do not have any right to deny a third vote. And please remember 1975. No one objected to you campaigning for your position, but

  19. I will finish this post

    …. do accept the constitutional position, all laws are revocable, and this applies to referenda and the vote on article 50.

    If you deny that this is the constitutional position, say so. And explain what parliamentary sovereignty means. What parliament does it can undo. Same applies to referenda, of which we have had two

    Trevor Fisher.

  20. Tafia says:

    Anne Liam Fox is visiting America to obtain a deal to import chicken washed in chlorine

    That is a blatant lie.

    Trevor there is a basic lack of knowledge of the constitution which makes all the leave comments invalid.
    It may have escaped yur knowing, but we don’t actually have a constitution.

    Parliamentary sovereignty is absolute.
    Parliament cannot overturn EU law while we are in the EU, therefore Parliament is currently NOT absolute

    This transfers to referenda, which are subject to parliamentary approval.
    Both Houses approved the holding of the Referendum and have accepted the result as has the Supreme Court

    If the leavers are not prepared to support a third vote, and they have refused to do so
    The vote to leave has been taken and therefore we will leave. Once we have left you are more than welcome to campaign for a vote to re-join – that s actually the democratic process, not what you have described. I wouldn’t hold out much hope at the ballot box for any party that tried that though and I suspect you know that – that once we are out you will not get public support to re-join.

    You aren’t actually making any of these points because that’s what you actually believe, but rather it is blatantly transparent hat really you just to find a way to sabotage and stop Brexit.

  21. dear me, TAFIA,- are you male or female by the way? And why anonymous?

    The first lesson in any politics degree is that Britain does not have a written constitution, but has an unwritten one.

    Second lesson is that any law can be unwritten. Parliament accepted that it would take EU law and it is now the attempt of BRexiteers to reverse this, making my point absolutely true. If the EU were a dictatorship as the BRexiteers constantly claim then this could not be done. The Fundamental Test of democracy, as my first year undergraduate course made clear, is not voting, but the ability to reverse a vote.

    Hitler and Stalin both allowed votes. They simply did not allow votes against.

    The result of the 2016 was accepted and if you want to make this point stronger, the House of Lords rejected a third vote. Have you not been following the debates?

    Makes no difference, they can turn that vote over tomorrow. You do not accept that voting is not a final solution. As the disaster of the EU negotiations becomes clear, then the public will demand a 3rd vote and will get it.

    Finally, and this is the last time I will respond to your offensive and ignorant ranting, you say that I do not believe in what I am saying. I do indeed intend to sabotage and stop Brexit., Your lot

  22. again I will have to finish separately

    have tried to sabotage and stop the UK participating in Europe, and are trying to impose this will on Northern IReland and Scotland both of whom voted to stay in. You know who I am – unlike yourself whose cowardly position of relying on a pseudonym is a sign of weakness. You do not understand the legal position and have no grasp of democracy. This is the end of conversation with you. From now on the argument will be with the British people who will not take kindly to being told that it is undemocratic to want vote. Even Hitler and Stalin did not go that far

    Trevor Fisher

  23. Tafia says:

    ROFL – You just proved me right. (and John Reid, Rob Parker, Vern, Anon and ex-Labour)

    And how do we know Trevor Fisher is your real name? Prove it.

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