Author Archives: Pete Radcliff

They’ve gone – and there is nothing we should want to do about it

It is hardly news that seven Labour MPs are leaving the Party or their proclaimed reasons.

The reasons they give are shallow but not without any substance. The Party has not got to grips with left antisemitism and its failure to be clear in opposing Brexit has lost it a great many opportunities to blast this, the worst Tory government ever.

But these aren’t the real reasons why the ‘Gang of the Seven’ are quitting.

The real reasons are these. Continue reading

Advertisements

Why De Piero doesn’t understand her constituents

Ashfield’s Labour MP, Gloria de Piero has written an interesting but superficial article for the New Statesman examining the Leave views of some of her constituents.

Gloria is on the right of the Labour Party. She is a continuing opponent of Labour’s 2015 Corbyn turn and two weeks ago defied Labour’s whip and abstained on taking control of the Article 50 deadline away from May.

Her article is fairly certainly her justification for possibly further supporting a Tory Brexit.

The most interesting bit of the article are the interviews with working class Leave voters. However there is nothing here that would surprise anyone who campaigned in working class areas against Brexit in either 2016 or now.

Ironically the Leave voters she interviewed are unlikely Labour voters. Only one having voted Labour before – and that was not recently. And, although she reports they were not strongly anti-immigrant, she doesn’t seem to ask them much on that. Continue reading

May might want to be Bonaparte – but she hasn’t got an army

Reports of May contemplating a general election at the end of February are difficult to believe. But it is difficult to see any other way forward for her, so what if it is true?

And if it is true, what is going on in her head?

In both the Withdrawal Agreement and the No Confidence debate May seemed to base her challenges to Corbyn on the expectation that he would stutter because of the division both in the PLP, the Party as well as in the Shadow Cabinet.

He didn’t. He immediately called a no confidence motion and his quick response to her invitation to talks probably surprised her. These were refreshing moments of clarity from Corbyn.

But despite them, May probably still believes that lack of clarity on what Labour will actually do on Brexit renders Corbyn weak. Continue reading

The demonisation of migrants by the British government – how it began in post War Britain

Alternative title: There has never been and there is no such thing as fair immigration controls – Part 2 – The Commonwealth and Immigration Act of 1962.

The Alien Act was the first legislation passed in the UK Parliament with the aim of restricting immigration. It was passed in 1905 and primarily targeted those Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Poland. This first attack on migrant rights in the UK is very well covered in this article by Daniel Randall on the Labour Campaign for Free Movement website.

The next big change in UK migration law was the Commonwealth Immigrant Bill of 1961 which passed into law in 1962. As the name implies the Bill was aimed at restricting immigration from the British Commonwealth which had comprised a significant element of the immigration into the UK in the 1950s. As similar Acts afterwards, it wasn’t couched as being permanent legislation: its long title claimed that it was “an Act to make temporary provision for controlling the immigration into the United Kingdom” (my emphasis). Continue reading

What will come of the Tory leadership challenge?

Apparently May’s strategy is to outface and ignore all opposition to her Brexit deal in her Party. She expects business Toryism over the coming weeks to sort out the No Deal Brexiters.
The Tories’ business backers will be worried about predictions of economic catastrophe. They hold the Party’s purse strings. They could threaten withdrawal of financial support from the Party if May is deposed or the No Deal Brexiters take over.

Given the cowardly duplicity of these opponents of hers, May’s strategy could work – at least partially.  Continue reading

The fight for internationalism sometimes needs us to ‘hold our noses’

‘I’ll have to hold my nose’ is a common expression on the left for a reason. We often have spokespersons imposed on our movement and its protests, who we dislike considerably, even detest.

We are presented with a choice ‘do we protest on an important issue or do we stay silent?’.

Over the last few days there have been many attacks on tomorrow’s People’s Vote march. Those of us going on it are being portrayed as anti-Corbyn, even anti-Labour, agents of Chuka Umunna or even Anna Soubry.

We have been here before. Continue reading

Is war possible – what can we do?

The possibility of war looks real.

Can the EU states restrain Trump and Netanyahu from going to war?

Is Trump restrainable?

Saner elements in the US Democratic Party establishment have been trying to get Trump out of office for months through legal action. A few Republicans have indicated they would revolt against Trump – initially saying they would do so after the tax cuts on the rich last autumn. Continue reading