Friday, 11 September 2015

EU Referendum: Corbyn's Not Our Friend

It's depressingly familiar that the British media and Westminster cannot debate the EU without communicating it through the prism of a domestic London bubble.

A clear example was neatly illustrated recently by European Commission President Juncker's State of the Union speech earlier this week, a speech which was reduced down to reporting it as an announcement on migrants. The term State of the Union, if it was used at all, was done so in UK media with inverted commas. That the real point of the speech was to fire the starting gun for a new EU treaty which has been signalled well in advance was largely overlooked.

Westminster media though has more 'pressing concerns', mainly that of the ongoing contest over the summer within Labour of candidates jostling for leadership of the party. All indications suggest that it will be Jeremy Corbyn who wins, against his Parliamentary party's wishes and indeed, by his admission, his own.

Within such tittle tattle, we see the question being asked of Corbyn, with an impending EU referendum, how he voted in the EEC referendum in 1975:
The man expected to win control of Britain's opposition Labour Party said on Thursday that he voted 'No' to Britain's membership of the forerunner to the European Union in a 1975 referendum.
And with that admission he's being seen as a eurosceptic. Yet by his own recent interviews that's not what he is at all (my emphasis):
Labour should set out its own clear position to influence negotiations, working with our European allies to set out a reform agenda to benefit ordinary Europeans across the continent. We cannot be content with the state of the EU as it stands. But that does not mean walking away, but staying to fight together for a better Europe.”
Veterans of trying to remove ourselves from a uniquely supranational organisation will not be fooled by Corbyn's comments; they are straight out of the Tory handbook on how to use "reform" as a means to remain in the EU. Cameron would be proud.

Whereas Margaret Thatcher campaigned and voted yes in 1975 and then changed her mind, albeit too late, Corbyn has changed his mind for opposite intentions.

Thus it's worth noting Corbyn has based his vote on being an anti-establishment candidate, but in reality part of the establishment he will become. His supporters will be let down as were Lib Dem ones were in 2010. Probably with no surprise we suspect he will support Associate Membership, or the renamed equivalent, but complain the Tories haven't done enough about reform  - about insignificant detail.

With this in mind it's disappointing then to see Farage endorsing Corbyn:
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has backed Jeremy Corbyn to be the next leader of the Labour party.
An interesting comment from 1975, in the first Parliamentary debate after the referendum, Harold Wilson (Labour leader) noted this:
"Never out on principle; never in on principle [regarding EEC membership]. It depends on the terms and whether it is best for Britain. The country has now decided that it is best for Britain, the Commonwealth, Europe and the wider world."
An illustration on how the establishment never does anything on principle, including Corbyn. We, as a people, have to force them to listen to us.

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