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Jeremy Corbyn has made a dramatic bid to secure a Commons alliance to block a no-deal Brexit by pledging to be prime minister for a few weeks only - if other parties agree to put him in No 10.

The Labour leader has abandoned a plan to head a minority government to implement his manifesto if Boris Johnson is toppled in a no-confidence vote, and promised to call an immediate general election instead.

The move is designed to break the parliamentary deadlock that threatens to wreck attempts to stop the UK crashing out of the EU on 31 October.

He has also dangled a promise of a Final Say referendum on Brexit, if Labour wins the general election after his "strictly time-limited" caretaker government.

Mr Corbyn hopes to convince the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Nationalist Party and rebel Tories that he can be trusted to be the leader sent to Brussels to delay Brexit by agreeing an Article 50 extension. However, the Lib Dems have already rejected this offer, claiming he is not the man to build a majority against a no-deal Brexit in the Commons.



Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Aug 15th, 2019 at 06:01:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a plan to head a minority government to implement his manifesto

I must say that if he had one of those, he needs his head read.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Aug 15th, 2019 at 07:40:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the Lib Dems have already rejected this offer
Pretty much sums up the whole problem. Even with imminent collapse of everything, partisan bickering takes higher priority.

Speaking the day after Jeremy Corbyn urged opposition leaders to back a Labour plan to topple Johnson, via a no-confidence vote, and install him to lead a caretaker government before a Brexit-based general election, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said she did not believe his plan was feasible.

Corbyn would not command sufficient support from rebel Tories and independent MPs to form a stable government, Swinson said.

Lib Dems back Clarke or Harman over Corbyn to lead interim government

by asdf on Thu Aug 15th, 2019 at 04:07:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jonathan Lis in the Guardian:

The new Lib Dem leader risks making a grave mistake. Even in purely party political terms, a Corbyn-led caretaker government does not necessarily strengthen Labour in the long term. But more importantly, Swinson has always emphasised, rightly, that her party's priority is to stop no deal. This could prove the only way to do so. If the Lib Dems really believe that a few months of a limited Corbyn government is worse than medicine shortages, it is their duty to say why.



Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Aug 15th, 2019 at 06:53:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The callow Swinton called the idea ridiculous, and has been backpedalling ever since, as most of the others concerned told her to stop being a twit.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, has reiterated that she would work with the Labour party to prevent a no-deal Brexit amid pressure from other opposition leaders, but underlined her belief that a Jeremy Corbyn-led unity government would not win the confidence of the House of Commons.

but nobody gives a crap about what she believes.

A Plaid Cymru interim PM would be better, though.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 09:47:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like Swinton is following in Clegg's footsteps, demonstrating that you don't pay attention to LibDem leaders' policies because they don't have any; you only pay attention to what damage they can do you.
by rifek on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 04:37:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rafael Behr in the Guardian:

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act gives the Commons 14 days to organise a replacement when an incumbent government is defeated in a no-confidence vote. Who else is going to lead that administration if not the leader of Her Majesty's opposition? In constitutional terms he is the obvious candidate; probably the only candidate.

But in the minds of scores of MPs he is not. His past equivocations over Europe are not the reason, or at least not the only reason. Pro-European Tory rebels, Liberal Democrats, the rag-tag platoon of independents and semi-autonomous tribes of Labour MPs have spent months fretting about ways to thwart a hard Brexit, apparently ready to pull every procedural lever and contemplate all manner of unorthodox coalitions. Not much has been excluded from those considerations, except for a tacit prohibition on any route that makes a prime minister of the current Labour leader. Their horror of Corbyn is equal to - or greater than - their horror of Brexit. That has been so well understood by the participants in the discussion that few have felt much need to articulate it. Corbyn's letter now obliges them to spell it out.

(...)

There is something disingenuous about the discussions among MPs about a "government of national unity"(GNU) to avert a no-deal Brexit. It is predicated on concepts of nation and unity that don't include those who are desperate to leave the EU. Those who voted leave are broadly satisfied with the government they currently have. It is, in truth, a euphemism for a model of technocratic, centre-facing liberal administration defined as much by a rejection of Corbynism as by revulsion at the Trumpian nationalist character that Brexit has acquired.

(...)

The Labour leader knows this and he is calling the whole GNU bluff. If a government falls, the opposition leader is the next in line to have a go and, if that can't be arranged, there is an election. That is how it works. There might be many reasons why MPs do not want an opposition leader to take charge - that is their constitutional right, too - reasons of tactical political advantage and reasons of conscience. But MPs have not all been candid about what those reasons are; why it is that so many find Corbyn as toxic as Brexit. Their problem is that there aren't a lot of other options. And the laws of political motion are working against them.



Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Aug 15th, 2019 at 06:47:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
many find Corbyn as toxic as Brexit

If that is their thinking, there is no hope. Prime Minister is a temporary position, can be revoked or renewed at almost any time, has some political power but works within the existing state institutions. Brexit, on the other hand, is a permanent change, subject to possible renewal on a time scale that probably exceeds a decade, and has reams of impacts that are not even partially under the control of the state.

Corbyn should be made PM in order to back out of Brexit, then he should be replaced by whoever can get the job. The tactics at this point should have nothing to do with whether you like any particular politician, they are (or should be) entirely about avoiding Brexit.

Seems to me, naive American, that politicians saying "we oppose Brexit but will not support Corbyn" are simply Brexiteers.

by asdf on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 12:30:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Polls of Tory members have shown they hate and fear Corbyn more than even the threat of the break-up of the UK or of Brexit not happening at all. This is a totally irrational position for them to take, but then politics is often more about emotions than rationality. Right now its about not handing a victory (however temporary) to someone they hate and fear.

Rationally it shouldn't matter all that much who is the temporary caretaker PM as long as he/she requests and receives an A.50 extension long enough to call an election and possibly a referendum thereafter - and then actually calls the election.

Someone like Ken Clarke would be ideal to attract dissident Tories because of his Tory pedigree, ministerial experience, and (presumably) lack of personal ambition. Conceivably he could even offer not to stand in the election so he can "focus exclusively on his caretaker PM responsibilities" and not pose a threat to anyone else's PM ambitions.

However Corbyn is also in an exceptionally strong negotiating position, because only he can deliver the vast bulk of the votes required to elect any temporary PM. He may therefore feel no need to reward another Tory and can satisfy the minimal Lib Dem/dissident Tory demand that any temporary PM be not Corbyn by nominating his own choice as long term successor as leader of the Labour Party.

I don't know who his choice of potential successor might be, but provided it's not a hard-left choice also unacceptable to dissident Tory and Labour MPs but widely acceptable within the Labour party (and ideally the wider public), it doesn't much matter who it is. All anti-no deal Brexit MPs would be let off the hook of having to support Corbyn and be able to rally to the support of "anybody but Corbyn or Boris" on the grounds that it is a temporary appointment in the name of a greater cause.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 11:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't really follow the argument. Every Tory who votes for Corbyn, any Labour MP or to stop Brexit will end his carreer. If it isn't the rabid Tory base that turfs them out it's going to be the Brexit party. If they decide to suicide for the good of the country some faction of capital that stand to suffer they'll probably do so for a considerable payout. On the other hand the LibDems are a single issue anti-Brexit party. At least from the voter perspective, they don't seem so sure themselves. If they give that up they'll go back to their post coalition core if even that.
On the other hand, if Corbyn allows someone else to lead the interim gov the media will absolutely treat him as the new defacto Labour leader. I'd give it 90% odds that the PLP would try a new coup around that person.
by generic on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 02:23:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first person in line for leading a caretaker government (supposing Boris must resign) is the Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition. That is an official post, and the person who occupies it has the first shot, by convention, at forming a majority. The Leader of the Opposition is Jeremy Corbyn, and he will be point man. Suggestions of meritorious others at this stage are fluff and/or smokescreens (eg Swinson's proposal of the longest-serving MPs).

Corbyn has committed to a clear plan:

  1. Request A50 extension
  2. Organize elections and accept their result
  3. Abstain from any contentious governmental action in the interim

That is in accordance with convention re interim governments, and should not be an obstacle for any anti-no-dealer.

MPs who are against no deal may refuse to accept that plan under Corbyn, but it would be extraordinary if they managed to cobble a majority together under anyone else - given that a rejected Corbyn is not obliged to play ball, and he commands by far the largest chunk of opposition votes. He therefore has a quite reasonable chance of success. If Swinson has to eat her hat, no problem, politicians do that all the time. Some people just have to decide what it is they want. And, if they blow this chance, then they will have been objective allies of no-deal.

But of course, don't sell the bearskin before you've killed the bear. Boris first has to lose a vote of confidence.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 02:58:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Honestly, at this point I think the important thing is that we've gone from an interim government being a laughable idea to something they're fighting about the leadership of, with two weeks still left in August.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 03:54:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coincidentally, that is the main point of the lesser ego

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 06:44:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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