Clarification on the Brexit situation

Thanks to all who commented on my earlier post expressing my bafflement as to where things stand with respect to Brexit. It was helpful in clarifying the situation somewhat. Via commenter Jeff, I read this article that explains what is at stake and it is worth reading. The article is by Tim Russo who described himself as “an American Clintonista who worked on all three of Tony Blair’s Labour victories” but discovered his own “radical lefty zeal of the recently converted during Corbyn’s rise”.

Russo says that it is not at all a sure thing that a second Brexit referendum will result in a reversal of the earlier result. In fact, he suggests that there are many people who voted to remain who are fed up and now may vote to leave. Of course, this is speculation and we don’t really know.

He describes the evolution on Brexit of the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn to its present situation and how the Blairite dead enders are determined to bring him down, the way that in the US the Third Way and Clinton dead enders are determined to bring Bernie Sanders down, and he warns us what to expect, especially from the so-called ‘liberal’ media.

For the American left, Brexit is thus a window into the political, ideological, and historical forces that will gather against Bernie 2020. In that spirit, I leave you with some quick bullet points of commonality between Bernie and Corbyn which Brexit illuminates.

Any socialist as close to power as Corbyn is today will get the kitchen sink emptied at them in perpetuity. Bernie Sanders will be no different. In particular, Corbyn’s enemies love to smear him, and Labour, as hopelessly anti-semitic, based almost solely in conflating anti-Zionism and support for Palestinians with the ovens of Auschwitz. Centrists in America will do the same to Bernie and his movement, even though Bernie himself is Jewish. Since these attacks are always baseless and ugly, they always backfire, but also always repeat, despite their ineffectiveness.

Corbyn’s Brexit position illustrates British media’s Pavlovian dog hatred very well. He is uniformly reviled by every single mainstream media outlet in British politics, especially the BBC. Even The Guardian, once seen as a bastion of the left, has been in constant Corbyn meltdown mode since 2015, which Brexit is aggravating. Stateside, this manifests on MSNBC daily, hourly. MSNBC has been teeing itself up to kneecap Bernie Sanders in 2020 ever since he nearly won Iowa in 2016. Online, this dymamic is far worse, with the likes of DailyKos and its assorted DNC loyalist grifters joining every anti-Bernie paid troll op Peter Daou and David Brock will ever dream up to pay their mortgages. Once Bernie wins Iowa in January 2020, just as when Corbyn won leadership in 2015, the attacks will explode into a viciousness previously unimagined. They will all backfire.

In the interview below, Jeremy Corbyn explains what the situation is and what his views are. It is refreshing to listen to someone who is measured, knowledgeable, and thoughtful


  1. leszekuk says

    With all respect, those of us actually living in the UK and dealing with the Brexit horror have been appalled by Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of leadership. He’s never been pro-Europe. He supports Brexit just like Theresa May.That’s why he’s been twiddling his fingers, whistling and looking the other way while May flounders. The Labour party he leads opposes his views on EU membership.

    He’s no Bernie Sanders. He’s said that a Labour government would take Britain out of Europe just the same. Even though Labour supporters, like sane individuals, oppose it. And he has no chance of getting any better deal. He’s totally betrayed my European ideals. I would as soon vote for Corbyn’s party as for the Tories.

    His path and May’s lead to the break-up of the UK, a position I have long opposed. But now it looks like we are faced with no other option. Corbyn and May look like the midwives for the dissolution of the United Kingdom. Labour needs a better leader more in tune with reality.

  2. deepak shetty says

    The cynic in me feels that the UK should implement the solution that they felt was good for India -- Divide the country into 2 one for the Leavers and one for the Remainers,

  3. anat says

    deepak, if Scotland leaves the UK in order to remain in EU (or more likely to join it as a new country) that’s pretty much what you are proposing.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    What leszekuk said. Corbyn is literally as bad as any of the last half dozen Tory leaders.

    He was scandalously weak on support for the Remain vote before the referendum, but, massive hypocrite that he is, he didn’t actually come out in favour of Leave. Most of the workers’ rights we enjoy in the UK are the result of our membership, at a time after Thatcher dismantled the power of trade unions. Membership is a HUGE net positive for anyone who isn’t independently wealthy. But he’s a seventies lefty -- which is to say his attitudes are moulded by that decade and his “solutions” are based on the idea that nothing has happened since that decade. He wants us out, which is why I, who have voted Labour all my life, will not vote for the party while he leads.

    On anti-semitism, he is slightly more complex. He is a died-in-the-wool lefty, and he legitimately abhors racism in all its forms -- that much I believe. However, on the one hand he is a loud supporter of the Palestinians, which the not-a-global-Jewish-conspiracy-oh-no Israel lobby can’t have. (These are the same people, remember, requiring American citizens to effectively sign an oath of allegiance to a foreign power as a condition of employment.) And on the other, while he’s not an anti-Semite himself, he demonstrably doesn’t consider specifically lefty anti-Semitism that much of a problem (otherwise he’d, y’know, do something about it.) While this point is perhaps arguable over dinner in private, as a demonstrated (if not stated) position for a public figure, and especially a mainstream politician, it is ridiculously self-destructive. It paints a target on his back and another between his eyes that the media and opposition can’t miss. It is one of the reasons he is a disaster as Labour leader. It is all the more ridiculous as the leader he replaced (the one I could and did vote for) was Jewish.

    Suffice to say that the government of this country is in an absolute shambles, and any responsible leader of an opposition party should be in a position to be making a mockery of them at every turn, hammering them in the polls and lining themselves up for their inevitable landslide win at the next election (much as Tony Blair did in 1995). That we are not in that position -- that Labour in fact aren’t even leading in the polls -- tells you all you need to know about the dire inadequacy of Corbyn as leader.

    If the US system worked like ours -- if Bernie was “leader of the Democrats”, if such a thing existed -- he’d be all over Trump like a rash making him look even more ridiculous every single day (as if he needs the help). Specifically, he’d be demonstrating to the Trump base how Trumps policies are directly hurting them, and turning them against him. Corbyn isn’t doing that, and US politics doesn’t work like that… so four more years in 2020 and smiles on Corbyn’s face when we leave with no deal.

    I despair.

  5. says

    Thanks for noticing my piece, Mano. I find the commentary on Brexit this side of the pond to be totally ignorant, knee jerk status quo defense, baloney. Glad you’re being a bit more discerning than all that.

  6. file thirteen says

    Being supportive of Palestinians doesn’t make you look like, be painted as, or be, an anti-semite. It’s disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

  7. leszekuk says


    I get this. I support the left, and I support Europe. Europe needs the British left. But Corbyn, stuck in the past as you say -- I read a critic saying he’s never changed his mind n 40 years and I can believe it being of similar age -- wants to revert to the politics of his youth. It ain’t gonna happen. He’s a fish out of water. Sometimes he manages to make May look good.

    I also believe Corbyn is no anti-semite. I’ll give him credit for that. Being for Palestinian freedom is not the same as being anti-Jewish. But he doesn’t shut anti-semitism down in his party. Neither does he acknowledge that the reason the EU exists at all is because of a reaction to WWII created by an anti-semitic regime in Germany, No, he wants to undo all that, and go back to the pristine halcyon days where Britain was an empire striding the world.

    Another thing that ain’t gonna happen. As a leftie, I have no faith in Corbyn. He has no grasp of reality, no realistic vision of a future outside Europe. He has offered nothing but platitudes. No-one believes he can get a better Brexit than May. He’s a total disaster, as bad as May. He is the reason I will not be voting Labour again. If Brexit goes through as May and Corbyn hope, I’m voting Scottish independence.

  8. Glor says

    “With all respect, those of us actually living in the UK and dealing with the Brexit horror have been appalled by Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of leadership. ”

    Yeah, all of those people that voted for him, and keep voting for him, are apparently from… somewhere-not-UK. Who knew.

  9. leszekuk says


    Ah, the Corbynistas! Even Trump has his base. Corbyn’s party is not with him on this one. Labour members overwhelmingly support staying in Europe; Corbyn does not and is out on a limb. He thinks socialism is more achievable in an economically isolated Britain, desperate for economic partnership with the likes of China and Trump’s America. Aka cloud cuckoo land. I’d like a bit more socialism, but Corbyn is the dogmatic obstacle against getting it. He’s entrenched in the 70s.

  10. KG says

    Russo’s article is deeply dishonest, as one might expect for a long-time Bliar-associate, even one who has now apparently become a Corbynista.
    1) As already noted by leszekuk, a clear majority of Corbyn’s supporters among the Labour membership, as well as of Labour voters, support the UK remaining in the EU. Odd that Russo neglects to mention that.
    2) The claim that it was “Core Labour voters outside London largely delivered Brexit, who had first fled Labour to UKIP” who “delivered Brexit” is simply false. The majority of “Leave” votes came from Tory voters, as exit polls made quite clear. The quintessential “Leave” voter was an elderly white Tory who hates immigration, and despises multiculturalism, environmentalism, feminism and LGBT rights -- again, all this is clear from exit polls (the best demographic predictor of a Leave vote was actually membership of the Church of England). Labour voters, POC, and young people voted heavily for Remain -- which gives the lie to Russo’s claim about Remain voters corresponding to “US coastal elites”.
    3) Scotland, northern Ireland and the Welsh-speaking parts of Wales also voted Remain, which again gives the lie to that claim. These are not the privileged parts of the country, although it is true they may well have benefitted from EU membership through funds for development for poorer areas.
    4) “First, a second referendum would inevitably be more Brexity, not less, largely due to an entirely predictable backlash against ignoring a referendum result.”
    This is crap. No-one can know what the result of a new referendum would be, but polls show both that there is now a majority in favour of one, and that there is now a majority for Remain. I do agree that a second “Remain” campaign run by the likes of Mandelson and Campbell would probably lose.
    More to say, but I’ll have to come back to it.

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