None of us will shed a tear at the departure of the eight or so MPs who left the Labour Party this week to form a new parliamentary faction that they’ve unimaginatively chosen to call the ‘Independent Group’. They were already on their way out. Most of them had lost the support of their local constituency parties and some were already facing reselection demands. Now they’ve saved the members the bother by “deselecting” themselves. Whether they will stand again in the next election is another matter.
Few in Labour’s ranks will miss these people apart from the remaining Blairites and Zionists on the back-benches who have decided, at least for the time being, not to join them.
Historically, our national first-past-the-post electoral system inevitably favours two major blocs. Attempts to create a third or even fourth mainstream parliamentary bloc have always ended in failure. The Liberal Democrats are now back down to the handful of MPs they had in the 1950s and UKIP and Respect never really got off the ground. Though a handful of hard-line Tory Remainers have also broken ranks to join the so-called “Independents” it is difficult to see much a future for an electoral platform that rests, it would seem, almost entirely on rabid support for the European Union and the State of Israel.
But they can still hope to play a major role, as a maverick faction, in the current parliament – at least as far as Brexit is concerned.
The Remainer section of the ruling class are as determined as ever to sabotage the 2016 decision of the British people to leave the European Union. The Europhiles don’t want us to leave in any shape or form. That’s why they continue to bleat on about another referendum – a “people’s vote” which they think could reverse the vote to leave while their own “back-stop” is Mrs May’s Brexit plan, which essentially keeps Britain within the EU in all but name.
Last week’s votes in the House of Commons showed that there’s no majority for any of the Brexit options currently on the table. Getting another referendum through this parliament is well-nigh impossible but mobilising the Europhiles to stop a “no-deal” Brexit isn’t.
The Remainers clearly hope that the “Independents” will strengthen Mrs May’s hand within her own party, when and if, she moves to postpone Britain’s departure on 29th March on the grounds that parliament needs more time to resolve the outstanding issues with Brussels. But this is an entirely bogus argument. Postponement isn’t just “stopping the clock”. It’s stopping the withdrawal process. It essentially would rule out any “no-deal” British exit and limit our choices to variations on the Government’s existing proposals – which leave Britain still bound by reactionary EU regulations and still within the EU’s customs union and its tariff walls.
Brexit would mark a significant shift in the balance of power between capital and labour in Britain. It would leave a Labour government free to trade with any country around the world and free to invest in British manufacturing industry. It would enable Labour to restore trade union rights and in so doing reverse the yawning wealth gap between rich and poor in Britain. It would be a government that could cap rents and burst the housing bubble that has led to urban forests of towering luxury homes owned by investment companies and parasites whilst workers are forced to live in hostels, hovels or sleep on the streets.
The alternative is to stay in the EU with its austerity regime, the highest food prices in the world, ham-strung unions and mass unemployment. Two years ago millions of people voted decisively to leave the EU. Leave means Leave!