if labour dumps corbyn & commits to remain in EU, lib dems will form an unbeatable coalition with them, QED

Could the Lib Dems really avoid doing a deal with other parties after the election?
Jon Stone, Independent, Nov 14 2019

Jo Swinson (Photo: PA)

Jo Swinson has said that “Liberal Democrat votes” will not put either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn into Downing street, effectively ruling out any deal after the election. She told the FT that she would rather have another election immediately rather than put either into office. The policy is strategic positioning ahead of the election. The party thinks it will be more able to win over Tory switchers in the seats it needs to win, if it repudiates Jeremy Corbyn. But does this approach actually stand up to scrutiny?

It’s notable that the Lib Dems are ruling out working with leaders rather than parties. They might try and force a change in leadership in one party or the other. Labour MPs have already tried this once, so they might see it as another opportunity to get rid of a leader they don’t like. But the PLP of 2020 will be very different to the PLP of 2016, and new MPs are far more likely to support Jeremy Corbyn than the ones they replaced, especially if he was in a position to become prime minister. So this would not necessarily work.  In a hung parliament where the Lib Dems held the balance of power, it would be technically possible for them to come very close to forcing an election. They could vote against every confidence motion, blocking the installation of any government, unless of course Labour and Tories vote together against them. The liberals couldn’t actually call an election without the support of other parties, but they could wait the other parties out and block the formation of a government, causing a deadlock that could only be broken by an election.

This probably isn’t going to happen. One looming problem is the countdown clock to no-deal Brexit at the end of January. Playing waiting games isn’t really an option for a party that says it wants to stop Brexit, especially if Boris Johnson is still caretaker PM, as Gordon Brown was during coalition negotiations in 2010. The most likely scenario seems to be that the Lib Dems will simply break this pledge not to work with either parties. Firstly, the party has form in ditching pre-election pledges: cast your mind back to 2010 and their MPs’ pledges to vote against increases in tuition fees. The leadership at that time appeared to relish putting large chunks of their manifesto, foisted on them by members and events, into the bin. Secondly, there’s the threat of no-deal. Thirdly, if a Final Say referendum was on the table from the Labour side, there would be huge pressure on the liberals to make sure it happened. Stopping Brexit is the Lib Dems’ main policy, and to reject it would be a betrayal that would make tuition fees look like a minor kerfuffle. British parties have a habit of saying they won’t do deals with anyone ahead of elections. After the election things tend to look a bit different.

Corbyn and McCluskey oppose Labour conference free movement pledge on immigration
Robert Stevens, WSWS, Nov 15 2019

UNITE trade union leader Len McCluskey said this week that he expected Labour to take an anti-immigration stance in opposition to the free movement of labour in its manifesto to be published next week. McCluskey is a long-time backer of curtailing immigration rights for foreign workers. He heads the largest union affiliate to the Labour Party, which is also its biggest single donor. Last year Unite donated £490,300 to Labour. Attempting to strike a pro-worker pose, he told the Guardian:

It’s wrong in my view to have any greater free movement of labour unless you get stricter labour market regulation.

Speaking about the causes of the 2016 vote to leave the EU, he said:

A main reason was migrant labour coming to the UK from Europe. If you don’t understand those concerns, you fail to grasp the divisions that exist. Migrant workers are to blame for absolutely nothing in this country. They are just trying to better their lives and the lives of their families. It’s the greedy bosses that are using them to undercut pay and conditions.

McCluskey then claimed that advocating anti-immigration measures was what “white” workers insist on, and in the name of combating the far-right, he urged:

If we don’t deal with the issues and concerns, we will create a vacuum that will be filled by a far right seeking to become the voice of the white working class.

The trade union bureaucracy has always portrayed foreign workers as hostile competitors rather than allies in the struggle against capitalism. Labour has always competed with the Tories as to who has the most effective anti-immigration policy that still meets the needs of the employers for skilled or cheap labour, the considerations shaping its policy of “managed migration.”
Labour’s 2017 general election manifesto read, as its alternative to supporting the free movement of labour:

Labour believes in fair rules and reasonable management of migration.

This year’s Conference adopted a motion to maintain and extend “free movement rights” and put an end to the “hostile environment” policies against immigrants championed by Theresa May’s Tory government. It declared that “free movement, equality and rights for migrants are socialist values and benefit us all.” It committed a future Labour government to closing all ten immigration detention centres, where thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers are held indefinitely, ending caps and targets on net immigration and removing the requirement that economic migrants should be able to support themselves through promised work or accumulated funds. It backed an equal right to vote for all British residents, regardless of their national origin. McCluskey said of this resolution:

We will have to see what’s in the manifesto, but I don’t think that is a sensible approach, and I will be expressing that view.

Labour’s manifesto is to be finalised on Saturday at a meeting of its “Clause V” committee. There is no doubt that it will be McCluskey’s position that makes the cut, and not that voted for by delegates at September’s annual conference. McCluskey’s intervention was a direct riposte to Conservative Home Sec Priti Patel, who has announced that freedom of movement will end with Brexit and immigration levels slashed. She wrote to Shadow Home Sec Dianne Abbott, stating:

I have grave concerns over the policy agreed at your conference which would place enormous strain on our public services and represent a considerable departure from our democratic norms, or indeed to norms of any western-style democracy. Analysis shows that it could lead to a trebling of net migration into the UK to 840,000 people per year.

McCluskey is in fact late in expressing his opposition to Labour’s conference proposals. He intervened not to oppose Jeremy Corbyn but to ensure that it is Corbyn’s own position that is reflected in this year’s election manifesto. Corbyn is a lifetime advocate of the Stalinist position on immigration issues, which is based on economic nationalism, like the trade union bureaucracy and the labour left as a whole, even when combined with holiday sermonising about international workers’ unity. His positions are shared and shaped by his core leadership coterie, including the Stalinists Seamus Milne and Andrew Murray. As soon as the conference vote was passed, it was pounced on by Abbott, who confirmed that Labour would not abolish immigration controls but would operate a work visa system. She told BBC Today:

We’re saying that we will renegotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU, and as part of that renegotiation we have to look at the question of freedom of movement because it’s all in with our trade negotiations, although people who have been granted freedom of movement rights up to now will keep those rights.

Abbott was supported by Tony Blair’s former home sec David Blunkett, who has long been a ferocious advocate of tighter immigration controls and specialises in vomiting up anti-migrant rhetoric. Blunkett derided the conference resolution in the pro-Tory Daily Mail as a “ridiculous proposal,” saying:

It drives a coach and horses through efforts by all parties to devise a fair and workable immigration system in the post-Brexit era, one that balances the needs of the economy with the sensitivities of ordinary Britons living in ethnically mixed communities. What could be worse than a policy announcement by Labour suggesting that a party on the verge of government is about to junk many safeguards, ushering in a fresh wave of unfettered immigration based on little more than the ability to stamp your feet on British soil?

A man without a democratic bone in his body, Blunkett also made clear he understood that Corbyn would quietly do what was expected of him in the end, writing:

In the past, Labour’s NEC and the leadership would have resisted conference resolutions with stupid things in them. Jeremy Corbyn has decided not to oppose anything at conference, and then clarify or finesse the result afterwards. Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott was rowing back on this barmy motion yesterday, implying in a BBC interview that she would pretty much ignore it … Jeremy always says he will do what conference tells him, and then doesn’t.

Asked about McCluskey’s comments while campaigning in Scotland, Corbyn himself said opaquely:

We’re going to have our clause V meeting at the weekend and no doubt that issue is going to be discussed there.

He later told the BBC that the manifesto would not include “necessarily every last dot and comma of every resolution passed at conference.” Labour’s anti-immigration stance will be unveiled less than a month after the horrific discovery of 39 dead Vietnamese workers suffocated to death in the back of a refrigerated container truck in Essex. This gruesome event highlighted the enormous obstacles facing the working class, particularly its most oppressed sections in the most impoverished countries, who flee their homes in search of a better life in the major imperialist centres. After the crocodile tears shed over the deaths, Labour is formulating policies on “managed migration” that will drive thousands more to risk their lives seeking shelter from imperialist wars or a lifetime of grinding poverty. It will only aid the Tories and the far-right in their constant efforts to scapegoat migrants for the lack of decent jobs, the destruction of essential services and the worsening social crisis created by capitalism.

The Stalinist scum get hypocritically self-righteous on hearing the perfectly accurate statement of Plaid Cymru about intermnal colonialism:

Labour criticises Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price for saying Wales victim of ‘internal colonialism’
Steven Morris, Groon, Nov 15 2019

Welsh Labour has accused the leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price, of using offensive, populist and attention-grabbing language by comparing the oppression of people of colour over the centuries to being Welsh. When he addressed the Plaid conference last month, Price called for the Westminster government to pay its “debts” to Wales. He said:

We don’t want anyone’s charity, but reparation for a century of neglect that has left a country, rich in its resources, a bitter legacy of poverty, sickness, blighted lives and broken dreams.

And in an interview published on Thursday by the Welsh think-tank IWA, Price said:

We had an extractive economy with a political power centre outside of our nation. For most people that is analogous if not identical to the experience of colonialism. The context, of course, is going to be different in every case. The term internal colonialism was invented to describe the experience of African Americans in Pindostan. In fact, there is a quote from the 19th century where they were referencing our experience, the Welsh inside the British Isles, in order to explain their own experience of internal colonialism. I don’t think you can understand the predicament we’ve been left in without those two salient facts and the interrelationship between the two.

Price said there was a gasp from the press when he made his remarks at the conference, and he added:

Sometimes, let’s be honest, you have to say very bold things in order to get a response.

On Friday, Welsh Labour’s health minister, Vaughan Gething, called for Price to apologise. He said:

Plaid seek to present themselves as a party of tolerance and inclusion. Adam Price’s choice yet again to use the provocative and racially loaded language of reparations is far from tolerant and inclusive. It is deliberately offensive attention-seeking. This isn’t hidden, he brazenly admits it in the interview. He deliberately conflates the oppression of people of colour over the centuries with being Welsh, despite Wales’s own role in that oppression being widespread and well documented. This is shameful. His faux-intellectual posturing is nothing more than Trumpian populism. We cannot allow this poison to take hold in our politics.

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