Saturday, 16 November 2019


Prior to the Labour conference Len McCluskey was the only trades union leader to resist a second EU referendum.  A northerner himself he could see how damaging such a policy would be for the party in the Labour Leave heartlands.  McCluskey and his Unite union had to be dragged kicking and screaming into supporting the idea at Labour's party conference.  Now the party is committed to another referendum he is having to make the best out of a bad situation.  It's not an easy position to defend, granted, but this week he desperately implored the working classes not to vote for the Brexit Party and outright lied about Labour's fake 'people's vote'.  "Labour is not a Remain party" he repeatedly told the BBC this week.  However, we now know that Labour's referendum would be a 'choice' between Remain and a newly negotiated deal that keeps us tied to all of the institutions of the EU.  There will be no Leave option.

In many northern seats the presence of a Brexit Party candidate is not going to hinder the Tories, it's going to help them.  Most of those intending to vote Brexit Party are not traditional Tory voters, they are traditional Labour voters and Len knows this.  Hence his desperate plea.  Nigel Farage is also well aware of this situation and has quite rightly pointed out that the Labour 'surge' of 2017 was helped in no small way by the collapse in the UKIP vote.  Hundreds of thousands of pre-referendum UKIP voters switched back to their traditional Labour vote post-referendum.  As we have not left the EU there will be plenty of Labour Leave voters considering a vote for the Brexit Party and thereby tipping the balance in some northern marginals.

We must continue to remind people of the false choice of Labour's second referendum.  Sorry Len, but when you're offering Remain vs Remain the workers are left with no illusion that you're a Remain party.