YESTERDAY Jeremy Corbyn launched the Labour Party manifesto for the upcoming elections to the EU parliament: ‘Transforming Britain and Europe: for the many not the few’, and made it perfectly clear that he is right behind the demand for a second referendum to overturn Brexit.
In typical Corbyn fashion, this complete capitulation to Labour’s right-wing was dressed up with mealy mouthed talk about how as a ‘democratic socialist,’ he could not ignore the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum to leave the EU.
He pointed to the Labour Party manifesto for the last general election which pledged to respect this vote but Corbyn made it crystal clear exactly what this ‘pledge’ amounted to. He said: ‘The view we put forward, the party conference put this forward, the national executive agreed this, that we should include the option of having a ballot on a public vote on the outcome of the talks and negotiations on what we’re putting forward. I would want that to be seen as a healing process, and bringing this whole process to a conclusion.’
It did not go unremarked that Corbyn was repeating almost word for word an interview given by Tony Blair last month where Blair also talked about a second referendum being a ‘healing process’.
Corbyn is now openly embracing the Blairite position of a second referendum in which there would be no option on leaving the EU with ‘no deal’ on the ballot paper just a vote on which rotten deal parliament could come up with.
Given that in all the votes that have taken place over the past months not one single deal has won a majority of MPs, the choice has been whittled by the pro-EU majority of Tory and Labour MPs down to just one – Remain!
Corbyn was adamant in his speech that leaving the EU without a deal would be catastrophic for British capitalism, insisting that: ‘For millions, No Deal would mean no jobs’ and cause ‘An economic shock threatening entire industries.’
This is a rehash of all the dire warnings dished out before the 2016 referendum by Labour and the majority of trade union leaders and that was decisively rejected by millions of workers.
In place of this Corbyn floated ‘Labour’s alternative plan for Brexit, which protects jobs, living standards and communities, would end the chaos caused by the Conservatives and let us focus on the other big issues facing our country.’
Labour’s plan is simply to try and negotiate with the EU an agreement that keeps Britain bound to the customs union and closely aligned to the EU single market but without any say whatsoever in the decisions made in Brussels. In other words, tied to the EU with no rights.
The once mighty British capitalist system reduced to the status of an EU vassal with the working class still under the domination of the bosses and bankers determined to cling to a rapidly collapsing EU falling apart under the impact of the world capitalist crisis.
This is the deal that Corbyn is discussing in talks with the Tories, talks that he himself admitted were going nowhere as it is ‘difficult to negotiate with a disintegrating government’.
This begs the question, if the Tories are disintegrating why is Labour propping them up with useless talks? Why aren’t they demanding that this disintegrating Tory government and all its austerity attacks be brought down, that the trade unions mobilise the working class in a general strike to kick them out?
The answer of course is that Corbyn and the right wing are terrified of the working class kicking out the Tory government and then pushing forward demanding socialist policies, the expropriation of the bosses and bankers and placing them under the management of the working class under socialism.
There can be no healing of divisions between the working class and the capitalist class – Workers must boycott these EU elections and demand the unions organise a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers government that will expropriate the capitalists and advance to a socialist society that will join with the workers of the EU to bring it down and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe.