When May loses on Tuesday, there will be nowhere left to Hide
I’m saddened to see @HackneyAbbott doubling down on Labour leadership backing Brexit. Time for members and supporters to sign this. Members and supporters overwhelmingly want a @peoplesvote_uk https://t.co/sV06tqcCOD
— Ian Murray (@IanMurrayMP) 11 January 2019
I’ve been re-reading Hugo Young’s “This Sacred Plot” which is a wonderfully written history of the “difficult” relationship the Declining and Falling British Empire has had with the incrementally growing and maddeningly successful Empire of Europe from 1945 to 1998, from Churchill to Blair.
Among the goodies therein is a wonderful clarity on past (and now myth transformed) events. For example, The 1975 referendum, for example, happened principally to stop a split in the Labour Party just as the 2016 referendum took place to stop a split in the Tories. Both splits happened anyway…(the formation of the SDP in 1981/ and the No Deal Brexit Tory Civil War in 2019)…because that’s what Europe does to British politics.
My point is this, it does it to ALL British politics, taking a left right split (and the two “broad church” parties that represent that divide) splitting them AGAIN on what is basically an issue of Nationalism. (And you thought the Brits didn’t DO nationalism? Dear me No. “Britain” is the construct that the English use to pretend that they are above that kind of thing.) But I digress.
As I write, and as Ian Murray MP tweets, the Tories are already in bits, bleeding all over the carpet. Labour have tried very hard not to follow them to Splitsville, compositing and prevaricating like demented fowl on the way to the chopping block.
When May loses on Tuesday, there will be nowhere left to hide. Labour, like the Tories, will split openly into Leave and Remain, ironically over NOT having a referendum. Unless Corbyn locates his Inner Wilson and reluctantly and pragmatically supports a @peoplesvote_uk
For what it’s worth, I’d put the chances of Corbyn giving in to his Remainers at around 20%…and of Corbyn finessing a way to effectively support May’s Brexit at around 40%. (No Deal at around 20%, People’s Vote about the same). I don’t see any way of Labour escaping an explosion whatever happens. And again, for whatever it’s worth, I think the chances of an election happening before March 31st are precisely 0% And I think EVERYONE knows it no matter what evasive, burbling nonsense comes off the Labour front bench.
As for the “minor” parties…the SNP, the Liberals, Plaid, the Greens…even the DUP…they have been able to be consistent and united (pretty much) throughout the whole debacle partly because none of them are even prospectively in power in the UK.
There is a tremendous temptation for them all just to sit back and watch Westminster politics implode. However, for my money, the fact that they have all engaged in the process fully, (on different sides) , strengthens each of them in different ways.
The SNP is the one I’m invested in, and for me their vocal support of the People’s Vote option for stopping Brexit has been a very, very important and defining marker for the future, however that future pans out. They have demonstrated to the anti-independence voters of 2014 and Remain voters of 2oi6 that they are serious about protecting Scotland from Brexit by whatever constitutional means are available. This will continue in the attempt to define a distinct “Scottish Brexit” through the devolved parliament. There has been important progress, I think, in positioning Scotland for a distinct continuing relationship with England and with the EU which one day, I hope, will pay dividends.
In any case, whatever the next electoral test, no matter what any of the parties are saying now, both Brexit AND the constitutional future of the UK will be on the line and up for grabs. For those of us engaged in all this stuff, even on twitter and blogs, we need to saddle up.