Saturday, January 28, 2017

Grassroots Labour supporters revolt against Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit

That's the headline on a story that has gone up on the Guardian website this evening.

Toby Helm writes:
Jeremy Corbyn is facing a serious revolt by grassroots Labour supporters who backed him to be leader as the party’s crisis over Brexit escalates rapidly. 
With more members of Corbyn’s frontbench considering resigning – shadow Welsh secretary Jo Stevens became the first to quit the shadow cabinet on Friday – the rebellion is now spreading among local party members, who are furious at his support for Theresa May’s plans for triggering the article 50 process. 
On Saturday night a highly critical open letter to the Labour leader, circulating on Facebook, had been signed by almost 2,000 members in constituency parties across the country, around half of whom are believed to have voted for Corbyn as leader. The letter, organised by a group called Labour Against Brexit, accuses Corbyn of a “betrayal of your socialist values” and of backing a policy that will hurt working people.
This is good news, as it is hard to see a path to the overturning of the current right-wing ascendancy that does not involve the early defenestration of J. Corbyn.

It is also significant that this revolt is not confined to Labour MPs or to centrist forces within the party.

It is when the left turns against Corbyn that he will be finished.

But Labour Against Brexit is wrong when it says that supporting Brexit is a betrayal of Corbyn's socialist values.

Corbyn has always been against European integration because he believes it will make it harder for a left-wing government to govern Britain as it would wish.

This anti-Europeanism was a key component of the Labour left's 'Alternative Economic Strategy' after Jim Callaghan lost in 1979, which was just the era when Corbyn rose to prominence. He probably had a hand in writing the thing.

He has not changed his views since then. In fact we know he has not changed his views since he climbed the Wrekin as a teenager.

What I suspect is happening is that a lot of people who backed Corbyn are now realising that his politics are very different from theirs.

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