Further Thoughts on Labour's Brexit Tragedy: Guest Post by Deborah Maccoby

December 27, 2019

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ADDENDUM TO BREXIT UPDATE 56: Further Thoughts on Labour’s Brexit Tragedy


The election campaign didn’t have the excitement and fizz of the 2017 election campaign.  This wasn’t just the awful winter weather; I think everyone knew in their hearts that Labour was going to lose and in a way deserved to lose.  As David Broder points out, in an article entitled “Labour’s Brexit Stance Defeated Corbynism Months Ago”, the soul of the Corbyn movement had become corrupted by caving into the agenda of the middle-class, elitist Remainers.[1]  A radical Socialist movement can’t survive if it betrays the working-class.  By the time of the election, it was far too late to win back the Northern and Midlands working class; this was why the manifesto (despite its transformational policies)  came over as incontinently promising all kinds of goodies, in a desperate attempt to win back the working-class, which had lost its trust in Labour.

I’ve reached the point at which I am glad now that there wasn’t a hung parliament (a Labour majority was, from the start of the election campaign, out of the question).  It is far better for Labour to lose disastrously and now have an opportunity to understand what happened and recover its soul than for Corbyn to have cobbled together some kind of coalition government with the Lib Dems and SNP that could never have worked, would have been irrevocably committed to holding a second referendum and would have permanently destroyed everything the Corbyn movement stood for.   If Labour can learn the right lessons from this tragedy, there is hope for a Labour majority government — led by a left-winger who continues the genuine Corbyn legacy — at the next election.