In Weekly Worker back in July (1) I argued that “The election of Johnson as Prime Minister is a time to reflect on the dangers the working class movement now faces. Johnson can win as long as he avoids imposing a no-deal Brexit and avoids a general election before the UK leaves the EU on 31 October. After the deal is ratified by the Commons, Johnson will use this patriotic kudos to call and win a general election”.
How could this happen? “We can only guess how Johnson will get his revised May-deal. The most straightforward is to draw the economic border with the EU down the Irish Sea and do the checks in Liverpool etc. There is then no need for an Irish backstop. Of course Johnson will have to throw the DUP under the bus. Yet the Tory rank and file have already said they would happily lose Ireland if only they could get Brexit and defeat Corbyn”. (1)
In October the Sunday Times editorial came to a similar conclusion – “A Prime Minister who has delivers Brexit would be in a strong position to inflict a heavy defeat on a hopeless Labour leader, particularly one around whom the vultures in his own party are already circulating”. (2). The birds of prey, Swinson, Watson, Blair, Starmer, Thornberry and McDonnell were seen in the skies squawking for a second referendum to finally finish Corbyn off.
Rachel Sylvester (3) noted that “most Labour MPs would prefer to have a (remain) referendum first. Some of them hate the idea of campaigning for a hard-left Labour leader to become PM, others fear that the party’s position on Europe is so confused that they would haemorrhage votes”. So the last battle in the Commons had Corbyn securing Labour backing for a general election not a second referendum.
It is perhaps no coincidence with Corbyn’s victory came in the same week that the Peoples Vote campaign split. The underlying or unseen tension is between two polar extremes – a democratic demand for a ratification referendum and the liberal demand for remain question in a ‘second referendum. The democrats confront the liberals.
The demand for a second remain referendum has no majority in parliament and no majority support in the country. The liberals are trying to overthrow the 2016 referendum without the backing of the majority of the working class. This is straight from the anarcho-liberal playbook of Swinson-Watson etc. The only purpose of this nonsense on stilts was, like the Zionist campaign, to undermine or destroy Corbyn.
The tension between the more democratic and more liberal sides of People’s Vote campaign burst out into the open this week as confrontation between millionaire business man Roland Rudd, who wants an ultra remain campaign, and James McGrory, Tom Baldwin and Patrick Heneghan who want to appeal to leave voters (which a second referendum slogan cannot!)
It is a long time since Prime Minister David Cameron told Corbyn he should resign -“For heaven’s sake man, go!” Every day since then the main stream national media attacked Corbyn as the worst Labour leader ever, opposed even by his own MPs, many of whom say he is not fit to be PM. Yet Corbyn has seen off Cameron and May and had a central role in keeping the UK in the EU by the absolute deadline of 29 March 2019.
Then Labour led the fight to stop No-Deal by building a giant barricade. Despite Johnson getting his deal by selling out the DUP, he was blocked from his ‘die in a ditch’ total absolute deadline of 31 October. Thwarted again, Johnson was forced to get an extension until 30 January 2020. If Labour wins the general election we will still be in the EU by September 2020.
This is surely the greatest example of guerrilla warfare since Fidel Castro, with only nineteen supporters, more than Corbyn has in the PLP, conducted a brilliant campaign in the Sierra Maestra mountains. No wonder Corbyn hailed Fidel Castro as a “champion of social justice” (4) whilst Boris Johnson compared Corbyn “to Fidel Castro, Goldilocks and Count Dracula”. (5)
By pretending to be useless, Corbyn has lured or even forced the Tories into two general elections in two years despite having a law which only allows it once every five years! He held his nerve and has now come out fighting for an election. While he is doing that, he has at least a chance with an army of close to half a million ready to go to war against Tory Brexit and their anti-working class austerity policies.
Who would have a chance against the combined leadership of Castro, Goldilocks and Dracula? Not many. So the last word belongs to the Tory, Andrew Gimson. “Corbyn, the disregarded Corbyn, may turn out to have greater affinity with Middle England than opinion polls suggest. He could be the underdog who was underestimated”. (5) Soon we will find out the next twist in the Brexit revolution.
30 October 2019
1. Weekly Worker 1261 25 July 2019
2. Sunday Times13 October 2019).
3. Times 15 October 2019
4. Independent 26 November 2016
5. Conservative Home – Andrew Gimson 30 October 2019