Friday, 24 June 2016

New Statesman letter on Referendum

George Eaton appears convinced that the referendum campaign has "exacerbated" the "angst" of the Labour party, blaming Corbyn for "not getting out of third gear", with the result that the immigration issue has become "a nightmare" for them (Politics,17th June,2016). Eaton`s criticism is substantiated by quoting Liam Byrne`s view that Labour is "the party of the working class" and their job is to "address their concerns".
   Some of this is correct, but Labour is not the party of the white nationalist working class, and attempting to out-ukip the Brexit camp, or emulate Miliband`s error by campaigning too closely with the Tories (on the Scottish referendum) would be disastrous. It must be remembered that there is so much dissatisfaction in Labour`s "working-class base" because of governments` austerity policies, the stalling of the country`s economic growth, the decline in real wages, and the failure to invest in sufficient schools and hospitals. A largely biased press has allowed the bankers and others responsible for the worst slump since the 1930s to escape blame-free, whilst allowing immigrants to face culpability for the country`s ills. 

     Corbyn is right to oppose limiting the free movement of EU workers; sacrificing the party`s long-held principles, in order to appease the desire of little Englanders to put the "great" back in Britain, would signal the end of the party as we know it, and ruin its chances of election success

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