The birth of the Labour responsibility for brexit myth.
In the 2015 general election, the Labour Party were blamed for crashing the British economy. The ‘joke’ letter left by Liam Byrne for his Tory Treasury successor in 2010 came back to haunt Labour and was the prop on which the Tories and Labour’s underminer insiders built the lie of Labour’s fiscal irresponsibility.
The new ‘myth’ being built is that of Labour responsibility for brexit.
Before getting to the myth (or lie, as we would know it), here is, in my opinion, the single biggest factor that affected the vote in the EU Referendum.
In 2014, in coalition with the Lib Dems, the Tories undertook gerrymandering of the electoral registration system that wiped 100,000s of people off of the electoral register for the 2015 general election. In 2016, David Cameron desperately attempted to get those voters back on the register, even extending the deadline for registering because of the numbers that had been affected and had not had the chance to re-register. It is highly probable that this single factor created the deciding swing from Remain to Leave at the polls.
First part of the myth about ‘brexit’.
- Jeremy Corbyn’s lacklustre Remain campaign.
I watched Corbyn’s speeches for Remain, his message was clear and unequivocal; it is in the best interests of Britain to remain in the EU, the faults of the EU that are being discussed during the campaigns are faults of the Tory government and not the EU. Unfortunately, the British media did not take the chance that Leave could win seriously and the campaigns became a proxy Tory leadership battle, which was the second important factor affecting the EU Referndum vote. Coverage of Jeremy Corbyn was minimal. Corbyn wasn’t lacklustre, he was ignored by the media.
The latest part of the myth around ‘brexit’.
- Labour ran up the white flag and voted through triggering Article 50.
Simply mathematically incorrect. The Tories have a majority in Parliament and not one Conservative MP voted for Parliament to have a meaningful vote on Britain’s ‘brexit’ deal, including those Conservative MPs who made such a show of their opposition in the early stages. The Tories voted through triggering Article 50. There is also some nonsense about Corbyn not voting during these final stages of the Bill, voting records clearly show he attended and voted.
The responsibility for ‘brexit’ lies squarely on the shoulders of the Tory party, from ill-considered inception to dishonest campaigns, lack of preparedness for a Leave outcome, rushed through legislation and shambolic ‘deal’ making. From the arrogance, stupidity and cowardice of David Cameron to the cowardice and vandalism of Theresa May, the Tories own ‘brexit’, lock, stock and barrel.
It is convenient to those within Labour, who wish to take control of the party from the current leadership, to foster the myth of Corbyn culpability or Labour responsibility for brexit but, just as Liam Byrne’s ill considered ‘joke’ built the foundation of the fallacy of Labour’s fiscal irresponsibility in 2015, saddling Labour with the myth of ‘brexit’ responsibility today will crush Labour in the future. Labour must learn lessons from the past and nip the lie in the bud now. So serious is the matter that perpetuating the lie should be a disciplinary offence of the highest severity.