Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
You must understand that the Government controls all business in Parliament. No bill is discussed without its consent, no vote is meaningful unless the government wishes to adhere to it.

Opposition parties cannot propose anything, they cannot make law. they cannot force a new referendum, they cannot even influence the wording os said referendum.

this is why I have never understood all the noise in the media about Corbyn and what he thinks about brexit. His opinions are irrelevant, his desire, for or against a referendum, is irrelevant.

So the independent group can't achieve anything, except make lots of noise in the media (which appear to be the only group that takes them seriously). Their only ambition seems to be to ensure that the Labour party is weakened

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 09:55:06 PM EST
Although the Speaker, John Bercow, did create a bit of a kerfuffle recently by accepting backbencher amendments the Government didn't want to see debated or voted on, and some elements of the HOC are currently threatening to take control of the whole Brexit process away from the Government in the next few days...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 10:12:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Birth Announcement
What is the Brexit Delivery Group and who are the key players?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 11:17:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 11:24:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A prominent kipper, with all the televisual charisma the 1940s can offer

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 11:56:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have fond memories of the dog, Kipper. Wish he'd thought about immigrating.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 10:51:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The media noise about Corbyn is to persuade people not to vote for him.

Which is also the point of the former-Labour groupie exodus.

The missing fact is that all of the so-called rebels are prominent in a group called the Friends of Israel, all have been vociferous Corbyn critics, and all have been involved in the various unsuccessful attempts to remove Corbyn.

This is just more of the same - it's a coup by different means, intended to reinforce the meme that "Labour are in chaos and unelectable".

And it's not happening because of Brexit. It's happening because if Labour are elected a lot of very rich people, and especially a lot of arms dealers with close links to Israel and Saudi Arabia, are going to be significantly inconvenienced. As will the government of Israel itself. The so-called anti-Semitism is a ridiculously transparent pretext.

I'm honestly unconvinced that Brexit is a major motivation here - at least not in a way that anyone hoping for anti-Brexit actions can rely on.

Nominally most of the rebels are pro-people's-vote. But they've given the PV option zero press time since the split, so I think we can assume it's just not that important to them.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 at 10:15:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read an interesting piece that suggested TIG are a company so that they can hide the fact that much of their funding (supposed to be around £1 million) is sourced from Israel, specifically to help their tilt against Corbyn.

I also notice that Tom Watson, an avowed enemy of everything Corbyn stands for, is running around TV studios like a dog with two tails to denounce Labour "anti-semitism".

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 11:51:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This sort of internal bickering within the two parties shows a couple of things. First, that neither party is unified on Brexit (duh). But second, and worse, both are operating on an assumption that their internal party structures will survive the next year in a form that makes the bickering worthwhile.

Rearranging deck chairs.

by asdf on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 07:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True, but keep in mind "centrist" is media-speak for "hardcore neoliberal" while "left-wing extremist" is code for "someone who would like rich people to have a little less money so no one has to starve or lives in wage slavery."

The real battle in the UK at the moment is the one trying to keep Corbyn out of power. Brexit is largely a sideshow, although it's been a very useful one.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 08:35:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The real battle in the UK at the moment is the one trying to keep Corbyn out of power. Brexit is largely a sideshow, although it's been a very useful one.


He has been accused of equivocation on Brexit, but as you mention above, Brexit is less of a concern for him than reform of the present paradigm, seen dying on the vine in front of our eyes.
Within or without Europe, the UK faces challenges not seen since the last war, (there was more unity then.)

For Corbyn to support May's fiasco may bring an instant of relief - mostly from the business community, but it would enable May's will to keep her party together to succeed.

The breakout group are betraying their voters who put them there. The decent thing would be to resign and propose themselves as independents.

Failing that at least they have shown their true colours.

There was a while where his fence-sitting was a bit irritating, but when I saw the naked venom May displayed, the true stakes of this (class) conflict came into sharp relief, and I understood why he was keeping his powder dry and waiting until he could see the whites of their eyes before declaring where he stood. He knows full well the problems in the UK go far beyond those conjured by Brexit, and will remain unaddressed (or worse, will degrade further) under Tory misrule.
The Tories are decimating their own hold on power.
Any sharp move by Corbyn will only unite them further. He knows once he declares he will lose a big chunk of his potential GE vote, so he has to hope the the Tories' self-immolation can complete itself before his back is pressed right up to the wall.
Since May is in (putative) power and the main protagonist, he has to mirror from the opposition side her recalcitrance, lack of transparency and ambition to guide the fate of the country, or what kind of opposition would he represent? (NLP 101).
Most of all he has to mirror her relentless playing for time to force change. (Game theory).

Change has to happen, the country is having a nervous breakdown, May (and the ERG and DUP) own this shitshow and deserve the full repercussions to fall squarely on their own shoulders.
He has to take the risk of outwaiting her, watch her burning the bridges and not flinch when he sees what her ham-handed diplomacy is wreaking on the country, because he has to stay real.
His only 'sin' is discretion, with a pinch of realpolitik, not schadenfreude.
The UK has more than Brexit at stake, hard as it is to see under all the faeces flying out of the fans.
He has a hard row to hoe, and cannot afford to be other than reticent until the chips stop falling (where they May!)
The Tories risk being as wiped out as has happened to Berlusconi's party Forza Italia.
These breakawayers are political nonentities, and shouldn't worry him too much.
Brexit is the battle, Corbyn knows this is the best opportunity since Blair for Labour to gain power and change the horrendous inequality that the Tories stand for. That's a class war.
He can't be seen to descend too much into the fray, to enable or disable her own majestically moronic trajectory.
After his visit to Brussels, suddenly the Euro negotiators are talking about a 2 year extension.
After dealing with May's serial dissembling and mendacious red lines, dealing with Corbyn must be a pleasure though there is no painless form of Brexit possible and further delay will cost possibly many more business contracts lost than even the hardest of no-deal Brexits.
Not an enviable fate for Labour to mop up after.

(If it doesn't split itself along the leave-remain axis.)

Gunfight at the OK Corrall has nothing on this.


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2019 at 12:34:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I try to avoid getting into the personality side of things, but after Matthew Parris' character assassination of May your look at the dilemmas facing Corbyn is worthy of a separate diary and discussion. I do think he is in an invidious position: his job is to oppose and present an alternative strategy, but all the Media and chattering classes want him to do is bail May (and the Country) out.  For him to bail May out is political self-immolation, for him to bail the country out (a near impossibility for an opposition leader) he must time his intervention perfectly and gain the support of a mixed bag of political ne'er do wells who can't be relied on to do anything right.

Ultimately, the situation is outside his control, he can but hope that an opportunity arises before a no deal Brexit becomes a reality.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 25th, 2019 at 12:51:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour have just announced they want a People's Vote, so... that's a good thing.

It puts the Tories on the spot. If they vote against it, Brexit becomes their baby. If they vote for it, Brexit is killed democratically, and Labour take the credit.

IMO the press narrative around Corbyn is completely wrong. Labour played some blinders in the run up to the last GE, and it was only an inexplicable outbreak of terrorism - which inexplicably evaporated immediately after the GE - which allowed the Tories to scrape their not-quite-majority.

This move is likely to be more of the same. It undermines the TIGs and takes the wind out of their pro-PV posturing, while putting even more political pressure on the Tories. It also keeps the Labour members who forced a pro-PV motion through conference happy and onside.

It's irrelevant how much of this is down to Corbyn personally, and how much is the work of the team around him. Miliband certainly never had similar heft.

As for May - an infinite number of sweary insults would be nowhere near enough to describe the worst PM, and perhaps even one of the worst people, in recent British history.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2019 at 05:54:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How is it even conceivably possible to have a "people's vote" within a month? Seems to me that this is all political positioning leading up to a grudging approval of May's agreement.
by asdf on Tue Feb 26th, 2019 at 12:55:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It can only happen in conjunction with a vote to delay Brexit, something the EU has said it will agree to if it is to facilitate a second referendum or an election.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 26th, 2019 at 09:29:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's increasing chatter about a 21 month extension that takes it to the end of the current budget period and almost certainly kills Brexit stone dead.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2019 at 11:55:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
keep in mind "centrist" is media-speak for "hardcore neoliberal"

Boy, have you got Macron's number.

by Bernard on Mon Feb 25th, 2019 at 07:35:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also a strong possibility that the next general election will see Corbyn elected and all these "centrists" eliminated. The formation of the Independent Group might then in retrospect seem to have been a very useful bit of voluntary house cleaning...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 09:08:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn's popularity rating is extreme low ... recall the HRC/DT "battle" of Nov. 2018.
by Oui on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 10:03:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the relentless media and Blairite attacks on Corbyn since the moment he was elected it's no surprise his ratings are poor.

However, everybody knows that the media got a bloody nose during the last election when they predicted a drubbing for Labour and instead saw their vote increase markedly.

Fact is, polling companies are not responding well to changes in the demographic and are probably mssing the big story. There probably won't be another general election till 2022, which gives TIG and their backers plenty of opportunity to make mischief. But it also gives the fallout from Brexit plenty of time to work its way through the country.

the next election may not be quite the reckoning the media hope for

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 10:14:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]