Saturday, July 02, 2016
Those who campaigned for Brexit are no comrades of mine
The narrow vote to leave the European Union (EU) was, primarily, an expression of reactionary (and often xenophobic) nationalism, but it was close enough that the misguided campaigning of those seeking the mythical “left exit” (or Lexit) could have made a difference.
All those who campaigned to leave the EU can therefore congratulate themselves on the subsequent spike in racial hatred, since the referendum result legitimated the prejudice of so many of those who voted with them. This is their responsibility whether or not they sought it.
Thus far they haven’t quite got the existential crisis in the Conservative Party for which they were hoping, but they have given an excuse to Blairite traitors in the Labour Party to do what they were going to do anyway. (For that, at least, the “Lexiteers” cannot be held responsible).
The demand for an immediate General Election is, though, spectacularly politically illiterate given that, in an early election, sitting Labour Parliamentarians will be Labour candidates (and other candidates of the left will stand no chance whatsoever). The sooner the imminent General Election comes the fewer socialist candidates will be in place with a chance of victory.
It’s hardly a shock that such stupidity should come from those on the left who campaigned to leave the EU. This was a campaign supported by all the least intelligent elements of the left; those on the Labour Left who failed to notice that the world had changed since the 80s together with some of the flotsam, jetsam and other relics of twentieth century Leninism.
The deplorable result of the referendum has happened now. We should not rule out a popular campaign to reverse this anti-working class outcome, but we can hardly expect that Labour’s leadership can call for this right now whilst aspiring to Government. The fight against nationalism, and those on the left who have accommodated to it, is a battle for the long term.
Our immediate priority must be to defend the socialist leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, whatever our position was on the referendum (albeit that none of those who are members of a political party with the word “socialist” or “communist” in its name can play any useful role in the defence of Corbyn – and are more likely than not to be counterproductive in anything they do).
I am an ally to all those who would defend the best Labour Leader in the history of our Party. But, if you campaigned to leave the European Union please never presume to call me comrade again.