It’s time to move the Brexit spotlight. Its focus on Theresa May’s deal has thoroughly exposed the bankruptcy of the British Prime Minister’s proposal and left the government frantically planning to minimise the chaos of a no-deal Brexit.
But Opposition Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is so wedded to his revolutionary socialist ideology that he is making as big a contribution to the national crisis as the conservative government.
The British House of Commons is divided—and in the strangest of ways. The vast majority of its members voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum. And, if the truth be known, would probably vote the same again. But, in both parties, there are powerful minorities in favour of Brexit, and they are determining their respective party’s actions.
The Labour Party’s Brexiteer wing is much smaller than that of the Conservatives. But it is led by party leader Corbyn. He is a lifelong Eurosceptic. He voted against Britain joining the European Economic Community in 1973 and campaigned to leave it in the 1975 referendum. And since then Corbyn has voted against every European treaty, law and regulation that has come before the British parliament.
In the 2016 referendum he was faced with a dilemma. He was leader of a party whose clearly stated policy was to remain in the EU but he was personally opposed to membership of what he regarded as a neo-liberal capitalist club. So Corbyn did the dishonest thing. He paid lip service to party policy but conducted a campaign that was so ineffectual that he might as well have been sharing a platform with staunch Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.
Since the Labour Party’s autumn conference it has been overwhelming official party policy to push for a second referendum on EU membership. Corbyn has ignored every opportunity to fulfil this policy decision and focused instead on the impossible task of forcing a general election.
Jeremy Corbyn knows full well that a second referendum could very easily lead to a Brexit reversal. That is the last thing he wants. He could have secured a second referendum this week by tabling a vote of no confidence in the government. But instead, he tabled an ineffectual no-confidence vote in the prime minister.
Corbyn wants out of Europe. The EU’s rules enshrining fair competition and prohibiting industrial subsidies and state aid are a major obstacle to his plans for a revolutionary socialist Britain. As well as introducing socialist economic policies, Corbyn wants to abandon Britain’s nuclear deterrent, withdraw from NATO, relinquish Northern Ireland, cosy up to Vladimir Putin, support Cuba and Venezuela and actively back the Palestinian cause
In normal times such a radical platform would make the Labour Party unelectable. That was the case in the 1980s when they were forced to ditch Clause 4 of their constitution which called for “the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.”
The British voting public are not radical socialists. They are a nation of shopkeepers struggling to feed their families and know full well that a radical socialist model would be a major obstacle in the pursuit of that simple goal. That is why—despite all their failures—the conservative government is four points ahead of Labour in the polls and Theresa May is 11 points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn.
That could change with an election. With all his faults, Jeremy Corbyn is a formidable campaigner, and if an election was called soon British voters would be faced with the unpalatable two-way choice between perhaps the most incompetent government in British history and a Labour leader who hides his radical agenda behind the confusion of Brexit.
Jeremy Corbyn recently referred to Theresa May as a “stupid woman” (although he unconvincingly denied it). He is a manipulative, disingenuous and—most of all– dangerous man.
Tom Arms is editor of LookAheadnews.com