Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
From PWF and Karl - Labour Councillors and Leave Voters in Southwark
The last four days have been a rollercoaster, and unleashed a period of turmoil and uncertainty in our communities, borough and the country as a whole. We voted for #Leave, for this #Brexit, for left wing reasons, reasons we believe support and give a voice to our residents here and ordinary people across the UK.
Neither of us regret our vote, nor our public position, but we take no delight in this distress. There’s no joy in watching something be destroyed, especially when it was supported by so many comrades.
Our excitement will come when something new has been built.
We’re not racists, bigots or xenophobes, and will continue not just to deplore such sentiments but actively fight and campaign against them. We do not believe that the majority of Leave voters were either. The simple fact we need to state this shows how quickly the right-wing campaign to leave has drowned out the left-wing argument. That is why we need to quickly provide the left wing answer to this crisis, and not allow the current vacuum to be filled with the hate, free market economics and the cries of Little Englanders that we saw too much of during the referendum.
And we know that the onus is on us, as we voted to leave, to provide the answer to: What’s next?
Over the coming week, we will be writing ‘blogs and discussion points to be published here to start the constructive debate about what kind of Britain – and Europe - we build.
Other contributors from a left perspective, whether Leave or Remain voters, are very welcome to contribute constructive articles about what we build next.
But we want that voice to be inclusive and to hear from all wings of the party. We want to hear from those that voted to leave, and those that voted to stay. If we’re leaving, we need to make it work, together.
So, to kick this off, we’re also convening a meeting, to be held at:
Inspire, the Red Room; 7pm on Wednesday 6th July
for Labour Party members and supporters to discuss NOT the referendum campaign and its effects, but a policy-based approach the negotiation and the social, economic and constitutional settlement we want to see.
This is an emotional time for lots of people, but we can make this a #Lexit, not just a #Brexit – before the British right #WrecksIt.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
So it’s almost over, this whole referendum malarkey; and what a rollercoaster it’s been.
Before it really started I was full of hope for a different type of political debate. With only two options, colleagues and comrades on different sides, surely we would enter a generous, principle driven conversation about the future of the UK, Europe, and World.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Karl Eastham - Guest Contributor (which sounds rather grand, but I don't know what else to say. Ed.)
Being an elected Labour Party member and a Eurosceptic is a lonely business. Lumped into the same camp as fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, our isolation from both the left and right-wing mainstream only increases. However, speaking to members of the Labour Party and the public more generally, two things become clear. Firstly, there is a left-wing case to be made for Brexit and, secondly, there are Labour voters out there who want it heard.
So here are just a few reasons why I’m convinced that we need to make the argument for a Brexit in order to best protect the people we fight hard to represent.
In this, my second ‘blog on Europe, I’m looking to tackle the arguments made by the ‘Remain’ campaign. Before I start, for the cynics, my earlier, first post sets out the positive reasons to leave and my third (to come) looks constructively at the benefits as I see them for industrial strategy taking the steel industry as an urgent case-in-point. There are lots of comments made about how negative the ‘Out’ campaign is, and they can often seem justified – but this is often because it’s being fought on the terms of the ‘In’ campaign, of tackling the status-quo.
So here are my handy, but brief, objections to the case to remain:
I’m opposed to being in the EU, and it surprises me greatly when this revelation is met by surprise by people on the left. The reasons for Euroscepticism, as expressed by ordinary voters are not right wing ones, they’re left wing ones; it’s just that the mainstream left in the UK has failed, on this issues as with so many others, to connect real world concerns with left wing solutions, and have allowed the Conservative right to own the realm of a different Europe.
Indeed, in the whole debacle of a renegotiation which has offered nothing new, we’ve allowed the vision of Britain’s reformed Europe to be led by Cameron’s dog-whistle nationalism, and the referendum debate – and its aftermath whatever the result - is in danger of that too.
But let’s say this, first and foremost: I believe in political union, in social union, and I think those should come first. This union should be a global one, ever increasing, but based on the principle of subsidiarity, where we empower everybody from the family to every worker of the world in an accountable, ordered way for the purpose of bettering the lives of working people. This is a totally new model of European integration (and beyond), and certainly not reform of the old, not a reform of what we have now.
I’ve written two posts – this details the constructive case for why I’m voting out; the other challenges the confused case made by the liberal left in Britain.