I get mailings from the optimistic Labour For a Public Vote group. Today, I wrote back. Here’s what I wrote.
Hi, Mike. Thanks for somehow finding the energy to push on with this very dispiriting task.
I have come reluctantly to the conclusion that nothing is going to change in Labour while Jeremy Corbyn is leader — that your party’s position will remain vague and spineless even while it haemhorrages support to the Lib Dems. (They look stronger now, not only due to the good local-election and Euro-election results, but because the potential remain-vote splitting of Change UK has not materialised.)
Almost all of the UK’s European Election results are in! We don’t quite have all the results yet, but there’s enough for us to see the trends. Let’s look at the numbers and see what they tell us. Here’s the Guardian’s summary (from here):
I see two big trends here.
With the European elections nearly upon us, it’s nearly time to decide how to cast our votes. Unfortunately, the choices are very complicated. A friend has asked me to lay out the options, and this post is my attempt to do so.
Hold on to your hats. This is going to get difficult.
I have just sent this email to the Labour party candidates for the local elections that are happening today.
Dear Jackie Fraser, Doug Scott and Shaun Stammers,
I will be voting today in the council elections for Mitcheldean, Ruardean and Drybrook. In the past, I have voted for Labour councillors. But I am writing today with a heavy heart to tell you that, because of the NEC’s dreadful non-decision on a Brexit policy, I cannot vote Labour in this election (nor in the forthcoming European election).
I came across an extraordinary short (18 seconds) video, which I will transcribe:
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: The Conservative MP Ben Bradley is in the House of Commons. He voted to Remain, then became a Brexiteer, then voted against the deal, then voted for the Deal, then said he’d struggle to back the deal again, but now says he will back the deal. Ben Bradley, why do you get to change your mind?
Ben Bradley: I haven’t changed my mind.
Poor Mark Harper. As my democratically elected representative, it’s his job to read what I write to him. I last wrote back in early December, and rapidly changing events have led me to write again. Here’s the letter:
Dear Mark Harper,
I am sorry to write to you yet again about Brexit — this must be at least the fourth time, more likely the fifth, and I assure you that I want this to go away at least as much as you do. But you will recognise that since my last letter, sent on 8th December, the circumstances have changed dramatically, and not for the better.
I’m not going to advocate remaining in the European Union in this post: I just want to address one specific thing that emerges from the present omnisuperubercatastroshambles+++, and that is the understandable impatience about Brexit that we hear a lot in vox pops: “Why’s it taking so long? We should just leave!”
‘We should have left on the day after’: Colette Rayner in Hastings. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian.
Here, through the medium of parable, is the reason why, even though we may well leave the EU, we’re not “just leaving”.