Whatever happens after Brexit it’s very bad news for the Labour Party I love

Whatever happens after Brexit it’s very bad news for the Labour Party I love

The battle over Brexit dominates British politics and will go on doing so until we get some outcome from negotiations, rather than shouting at each other. So it’s difficult to say what politics will be like post Brexit. It’s split both parties. The divisions will go on. They’re far more than an argument over in or out of the EU.

On the Tory side opposition to Brexit comes from the disgruntled ambitious (Morgan and Grieve) and an older generation of wets who were paternalistic, not neoliberal. The gaps may be bridgeable. Tories are more loyal and prefer a knife in the back, a body in the river. Now they have no alternative to Theresa who’s slowly giving up on neoliberalism. Tories also have the advantage that UKIP voters will come back to a Brexit Tory party. They’ve nowhere else to go.

Labour’s situation is more difficult. The Blairites for whom the EU is now more important than Labour believe in Europe because it will keep Labour on the straight and narrow Blairite path. Last week’s sad little foray by Blair’s alter ego, David Miliband was the relaunch of that. They don’t like Jeremy, a longstanding Eurosceptic, but they’re forced to put up with him as long as he seems successful. So they’ve managed to force him into a series of compromises, including acceptance of “a” customs union, and, they hope, the single market to rule out left wing policies and tie him down to the EU.

As yesterday’s men fighting to stay in power, Barnier’s Labour boot boys are strongest in the home of dead causes, the Lords, where they’ve imposed conditions to keep us in the EU as a colony. These can be removed in the Commons but only if Corbyn can command his entire party.

Which the Euro loyalists are trying to ensure that he can’t. They see colonial status as a way of cheating the people’s verdict while tying Corbyn’s hands. It will be a little odd to see Momentum defending the establishment and its capitalist club but then they always were quixotic.

This theological argument among the political class hasn’t penetrated down to the mass of the nation. They want the Brexit they voted for and see it as the responsibility of the politicians to get on with it, not dance to Barnier’s tune.

If the Tories can hold together and convince their rebels not to sink the ship for love of the EU, they can get some diluted Brexit, or even go to the country on a platform of Sod the EU.

Either way to have tried and failed will get them whatever gratitude is going, while the Brexit regions and voters will feel that Labour has let them down.

If the Tories fail then popular alienation from a system which drains us is heightened, the nation is forced back into an organisation it dislikes and has come to hate for its intransigent duplicity. Labour will get no gratitude for helping that process. Nor will Yesterday’s Men. Knocking your own country is not the way to return to power. In or out of the EU, Labour is the loser.

Only the professional pundittieri can foretell the future. For them it’s all pro-EU, but we should understand the feelings of a proud electorate, which is more nationalistic than its politicians, is fed up with decline, angered by EU duplicity and by Remainers telling them that they’re stupid. And it ain’t guilt for voting the way they did.