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Labour should vote against triggering article 50.

On 27 Jan 2017 at 4:50pm True Socialist wrote:
We all know those who voted for Brexit, didn't understand or believe the warnings of the consequences. Canvassing for Ed Miliband, I argued with UKIP supporters and Tory voters alike, citing the NHS as an issue and the likelihood that if re-elected, that the Tories would introduce and American health care system to Britain.
Will they still vote UKIP or Tory, will they just give up on politics, or will they turn Labour or to the Lib-Dems. How many times did I hear them say, it couldn't happen here, or there would be riots, if they tried it. Once the NHS is dismantled and the welfare state eroded to the point that its little better than the poor laws of the 19th century, how easy would it be to recreate.
In 1945, we had had the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression and the Second World War. Two generations of workers who had fought in the wars and experienced and economic depression, a strong sense of class consciousness and a capitalist political and economic elite, conscious of the possibility of socialist revolution in Europe and Britain.
Spurred by the need to engineer economic growth and avert possible social revolution supported by the Soviet Union (imagined or real), they took to the Keynesian economic solution and accepted the social-democratic model of capitalism. Toddy the Soviet Union is gone, the working class has little understanding of class-consciousness and the Keynesian model is discredited within the political and economic elite.
So the capitalist class solution to the crises of capitalism which started in the mid-1970s was to adopt neo-liberal economic policies implemented and enforced by a neo-conservative state (Thatcherism and Reaganomics). Since the financial crash of 2008, the capitalist classes had to resort to a neo-Keynesian model to rescue the financial system, but the general line is more neo-liberalism and authoritarian neo-conservatism.
I don't see any pressure from bellow for a return to Keynesian economics, or social-democratic governance, and with Donald Trump/Theresa May, I see the neo-liberal/neo-con project moving up a gear. So I do worry, that if we get this wrong, and I think supporting Article 50, constitutes getting it badly wrong, we will not just lose another battle, but the war to retain what is left of the material gains of the 20th century.
I had thought that Jeremy Corbyn understood this, but now, either he didn't or his advisers and those around him are focused on narrow electoral 'advantage' for the two by-elections, that they are missing the bigger picture. This worries me a great deal, and I fear all that my grandparents and parents fought for in the wars and the Labour movement will be lost.
On 27 Jan 2017 at 4:59pm Clifford wrote:
An interesting post, True Socialist, though I'd dispute some of the history you set out. But I find it hard to believe you support the EU capitalist project? And do you think the Leninist project in the Soviet Union and its satellites had anything to do with 'true socialism'?
On 27 Jan 2017 at 5:00pm SHS wrote:
28 * 2 = 56
5 squared = 25
10 cubed = 1,000
But 0 * 0 = 0
and 20 - 30 = -10.
Economics. Reality. Common sense.
On 27 Jan 2017 at 5:04pm Splifford wrote:
I used to be a Socialist but then I learned to love the goosestep. Now I am just another right wing nutter. Hail Brexit Hail Trump.
On 27 Jan 2017 at 5:06pm Billy wrote:
Imposing a three line whip is the first thing that Jeremy Corbyn has got right!
On 27 Jan 2017 at 5:14pm doubt it wrote:
Corbyn understands the EU project perfectly well that's why he campaigned against it his entire life along with the other figures in the Labour movement such as Skinner, Benn, Shore, Foot, Scargill, Crow etc.
You cannot be a 'true socialist' if support the EU, that's a fact - either you're ignorant of the project or deluding yourself.
On 27 Jan 2017 at 5:26pm Lewesian wrote:
If anyone who voted out, didn't understand the full implications of their actions, they are obviously too thick to continue living on this planet and should be terminated to reduce the risk of them breeding and spreading their "thick gene"
On 27 Jan 2017 at 5:29pm Clifford wrote:
If anyone who voted remain, didn't understand the full implications of their actions, they are obviously too thick to continue living on this planet and should be terminated to reduce the risk of them breeding and spreading their "thick gene"
On 27 Jan 2017 at 6:06pm Lewesian wrote:
Im not questioning whether you voted in or out or shake it all about even. I'm just saying that those who voted out knew exactly what they were doing. If they didn't, they should be terminated.
On 27 Jan 2017 at 6:18pm Clifford wrote:
Im not questioning whether you voted out or in or shake it all about even. I'm just saying that those who voted in knew exactly what they were doing. If they didn't, they should be terminated.
On 27 Jan 2017 at 6:28pm True Socialist wrote:
Open Letter from Labour Party members to Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of The Labour Party, on opposing Brexit
Dear Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party,
We are all Labour Party members. We are from all corners of the UK, and have a range of backgrounds and ages. Some of us have been members for decades, and some of us have only recently joined. Some of us are frequent activists, and some of us have little time to be actively involved but support wherever we can. In short, we are the grassroots that you have always been keen to represent.
All of us share core Labour values of equality and opportunity for all, and we share a belief in fighting for social justice. And while we may differ in our beliefs and feelings with regards to your leadership, we are nevertheless united in our belief that you and your leadership team have made the wrong call on the party’s policy on Brexit.
The membership of the Labour Party is not, and has never been, pro-Brexit. The party has a long history of supporting membership of the European Union. We had an official policy of supporting and campaigning for Remain during the referendum campaign.
Polling suggests that around 70% of Labour Party members voted Remain, and a similar proportion continue to believe that leaving the EU would be the wrong thing to do. Similarly, Labour voters are not, on the whole, pro-Brexit. Polling here suggests that approximately two-thirds of Labour supporters voted Remain. We are an outward-looking, tolerant, internationalist and forward-thinking party. Supporting Brexit therefore goes against our very soul.
We know now that when Theresa May says ‘Brexit means Brexit’, she means ‘Brexit means Hard Brexit’. It is ‘hard’ as in leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, but also ‘hard’ in that ordinary people will be hit hard by its impact, and the poorest and most vulnerable in our country will be hit the hardest.
The backs of our Labour Party membership cards state that “by the strength of our common endeavour, we achieve more than we achieve alone”. This goes for our membership of the European Union, as well as working together in the UK. A great many of the campaigns that Labour has spent over a century fighting, both in government and in opposition, have been aided by our membership of the EU and are being seriously threatened by Brexit.
These include ensuring that we have a health service that is of a high quality and free for all, full employment with good wages and proper employment rights, and an excellent and well-funded education system that spurs aspiration and drives social mobility. More recent campaigns too are under threat due to Brexit, most significantly the need to protect our planet for future generations.
You identify yourself as a ‘democratic socialist’. As the noun here is ‘socialist’, this means that a socialist is what you are first and foremost. However, supporting Brexit is a betrayal of your socialist values, because you know that the people who will be hurt the most by it are the people you have spent your entire life seeking to represent and support.
Our party elected you as our leader because many of us have admired the way that you have always adhered to your principles, and been willing to fight for them, even when they have proven unpopular with some or they have meant you stood alone. Now is the time to truly make your mark in Labour history by showing yourself as the great leader that the party needs, by standing up and doing what the country needs you to do in opposing Brexit.
We understand that there is a concern about being seen to follow ‘the will of the people’, fulfilling the ‘democratic’ part of your ideology. But neither the Leave campaign nor the ballot paper specified the ‘type’ of Brexit that would be sought, and therefore there is no democratic mandate to pursue a ‘hard’ Brexit. In fact, recent polling suggests that even a majority of Leave voters favoured continuing with membership of the Single Market. While it is true that we will lose some voters by taking a stand, we will equally gain some – perhaps many. And we will be on the right side of history.
So if Brexit were nevertheless to happen, despite our not supporting it, when the economy worsens at least voters will be able to ‘come home’ to Labour because we opposed it. But if we support the government now, in future voters will have no reason to trust us over the Tories. We will simply have strengthened the belief in them that ‘all the parties are the same’.
Additionally, many of us voted for you as our leader because of your desire to make the Labour Party more democratic, with policy being set by members. At Labour Party Conference 2016, it was resolved that “Unless the final settlement proves to be acceptable, then the option of retaining EU membership should be retained. The final settlement should therefore be subject to approval, through Parliament and potentially through a general election or referendum.” We believe that this exemplar of democracy within the party should no longer be ignored. Let us speak with one voice, as democratically-made by our members.
In summary, we the undersigned call on you, as leader of our great party and leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, to vote against the triggering of Article 50 and to encourage all of your MPs and peers to do the same.
For the reasons described above, not to do so would go against the Labour Party’s core aims and values, and our very reason for being.
Thank you.

On 27 Jan 2017 at 6:42pm Lewesian wrote:
Are you being a w@nker for the sake of it Clifford or is a natural thing for you?
On 27 Jan 2017 at 6:52pm Clifford wrote:
As all I'm doing is repeating your posts, with approriate changes, I wonder who the original w@nker is.
On 27 Jan 2017 at 6:55pm Clifford wrote:
True Socialist, I must apologise. I thought you really were a socialist, but now you claim to be a member of the Labour party I realise I was mistaken. I have an awful feeling you are the ubiquitous Paul Newman.
On 27 Jan 2017 at 7:04pm Canary wrote:
Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to support the government on Article 50 is a colossal mistake

Check it out here »
On 27 Jan 2017 at 7:35pm the people wrote:
Have you all forgotten, the majority of those who voted out are not reflected by the MPs who may have a majority who want to stay in. But we live in a democracy so the peoples wishes must be acted on. So Labour and the other parties have a moral responsibility to get the UK out. If not think of the possible consequences.
On 27 Jan 2017 at 7:50pm Billy wrote:
@ the people, thank you. Someone who actually gets it!
On 27 Jan 2017 at 8:09pm Ummm... wrote:
...no actually. The referendum was *explicitly* advisory only and non-binding. "Moral responsibility" is equally served by a renegotiation of terms to stay in the EU that address voter concerns. The bigger question Leavers and Remainers should both be asking is why the Tory party is hell-bent on leaving when they don't have to be. That's more than a bit suspicious. (And I'm a leaver before I'm accused of being a lefty Remainer).
On 28 Jan 2017 at 10:40am Mark wrote:
Your questions has been answered this week I suppose. Our PM seems to be very keen on the idea of trade deal with the US. Doubtless along the lines of TTIP. She refused to rule out excluding the NHS. I think that alot of the leavers are going to be pining for the EU in a few years. A much greater loss of national sovereignty lies along that road.
On 28 Jan 2017 at 1:33pm Always Rivalled, Seldom Equalled wrote:
Jeremy Corbyn is the gravedigger for the labour party.
RIP snowflakes
On 28 Jan 2017 at 10:01pm A Person wrote:
Exactly, Ummm. It's the sworn duty of an MP to work for the best interests of the nation, and that certainly does seem to have been forgotten lately. I'm a remainer, and I'm suspicious of most of them!

There is a POV which says that voting against a measure which will certainly get a majority in favour removes the ability to make amendments as that bill progresses. So perhaps there is method in the madness. I don't know, frankly. But it does seem clear to me that the Leader of the Labour Party has completely failed explain why a three line whip is necessary, and that shows that he's honestly a really dismal leader. It is a proper shambles.
On 28 Jan 2017 at 10:30pm Clifford wrote:
Ummm... wrote: '...no actually. The referendum was *explicitly* advisory only and non-binding.'

Was it really Ummm? did you read the leafler the Government put out at the time? Just to remind you:

'The referendum on Thursday, 23rd June is your chance to decide if we should remain in or leave the European Union... Ths is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.'
Not, you'll not, 'this is only advisory and if we don't like what you decide we'll ignore it'. Tell me, what exactly is it you like so much about the EU capitalist project that you have to lie in support of it?

Check it out here »
On 29 Jan 2017 at 11:20am Ummm... wrote:
Oh dear Clifford. The Referendum Act, which y'know, democracy, Parliamentary sovereignty, law - all the things that actually matter, not a leaflet, states that the referendum was to be advisory only. An absolute denial of the facts is such a common trait amongst Brexiters it can make me ashamed to support it sometimes.

Tell me, what is it about those who do follow facts that makes you so convinced they are against you?
On 29 Jan 2017 at 12:39pm Dave Hansell wrote:
Regardless of what I think as an individual about the general issue, reading through the text of the open letter which has been signed by several thousand members what strikes me is that whoever wrote it seems to  be all over the place, switching from Brexit/triggering of article 50 to Hard Brexit and then back again mixing up two different scenarios into one.  I may well be reading this wrong but at first site my interpretation is firstly that this seems to be  proceeding on the basis of the media narrative of what the actual position, strategy and tactics are/may be (and I'm not making a judgement on whether this is wholly accurate or inaccurate at this stage) and as a result may not fully appreciate how things operate in those terms within the Parliamentary system.

What this text says to me is that those who have constructed it and those signing it seem to see any support for the triggering of article 50 from the Labour Party as support for a Hard Brexit.  Leaving aside the fact that this perception seems to have originated from an implied corporate media interpretation and narrative which must, on the evidence of the output of that source over a considerable period of time, be considered with a large pinch of salt, I have yet to see any solid evidence this is the case.   

The Government are presenting a bill to trigger article 50.  The choices available for opposition parties (Scotland and NI Ireland excepted) is either:

 1. To vote against any triggering of article 50, which then puts that Party at odds with both the result of the referendum (particularly in England and Wales) AND  any move to leave the EU.  That represents a reasonable position to take in that it is laying the cards on the table and saying we are not in favour of leaving the EU per se and wish to totally ignore the result of the refurendum.  

The grounds for taking up such a position, reading the text of this petition, seem to be on the basis that a majority of existing Labour Party voters/supporters voted Remain.  This is reasonable as far as it goes but has consequences in that in large areas of England and Wales containing constituencies with sitting Labour MP's a lot of traditional supporters voted out and are vulnerable to switching to UKIP.  If one is interested in advancing electoral support rather than simply consolidating around your existing support base, which speaking personally should not be the be all and end all of what we are about, this position of signalling total opposition to leaving the EU at this point is not going to achieve that end of gaining more support.  

In short adopting such a position will split the country even further. Widening the gap between positions and entrenching further already entrenched positions and attitudes as well as having a considerable negative impact on electoral support.

Adopting this position would also preclude any effective watering down of a Hard Brexit through amendments to associated legislation in Parliament - which is what this petition spells out is required.  Yes amendments with this purpose can and will no doubt be put if this position is adopted. However, having signalled total opposition to any Brexit whatsoever by opposing the trigerring of article 50 it is unlikely that amendments to a Hard Brexit legislative package will have any chance of success.  With by elections coming up in places like Stoke on Trent, the results of which could well be determined by the stance taken at this point in time, the Parliamentary arithmetic does not look good now and will look even worse in the future should this position be adopted.

2.  To accept that we are where we are and support the triggering of article 50 recognising that the triggering per se at this point means neither a Hard or Soft Brexit.  Pursue through the  Parliamentary process a strategy of putting down amendments in Parliament along the lines suggested in the petition to prevent a Hard Brexit.  This may or may not succeed in part or in whole. However, it is the position most likely to bring more people on board in the coming period which will allow any lost ground now to be reversed.  Article 50 is about negotiating the exit, it is not about negotiating any trade deal. That bit comes after the two year exit process.  By that time we will be entering to immediate pre General Election period.

The question arises do we/those signing  and supporting this petiton as it stands want to go into the next election from a position of valiant opposition to Brexit per se over a two - three year period which has resulted in further electoral losses at both Parliament and Local Authority levels which are a direct consequence of that stance and where the Parliamentary arithmetic has steamrollered a hardened position, despite amendments from that opposition, for the next round of trade negotiations to be conducted by an incoming Government in 2020?  (Question do we or don't we want to be that Government?) Where the entranced positions taken up throughout the country have hardened even further and Scotland may either already no longer be part of the UK or on the road to independence?

Or do we want to go into the next election having played it canny by accepting the referendum result and coalescing wider support against a Hard Brexit position which I would argue is likely to garner more support from people who voted out as the realisation starts to sink in as to what the impact is going to be?  

I am not convinced that those who have constructed this petition and those who have signed it have fully thought through the contradictions and dubious assumptions in the text, or the strategic requirements of where we are now.

As it stands I would not be in support because it is all over the place.
On 29 Jan 2017 at 4:30pm Jo Gretel wrote:
I won't support it neither.
On 30 Jan 2017 at 1:51am This how it works wrote:
Guide to Parliamentary Procedure (relating to stages of a Bill with regard to EU)
In recent days, there have been inaccurate and misleading posts on Labour forums about parliamentary procedure relating to the stages of a bill with regard to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. For example, posts claim that if MPs vote against a bill at Second Reading, they are banned from making amendments at subsequent stages of the bill and from voting on those amendments. This is total nonsense. I have, therefore, put together this guide to procedure, which I hope will be useful in clarifying matters. Please feel free to cut and paste, share, etc. If anyone wants to read more, there is a 318-page Cabinet Office guide available or you can fork out the best part of £400 for a copy of Erskine May.
Title of the bill
European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Main provision of the bill
‘The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50 (2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.’
Article 50 (2) states:
A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
Stages of a bill
First Reading:
Formal introduction. No debate. No votes. The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill was introduced in the Commons and received its first reading on 26 January.
Second Reading:
MPs debate main provisions of the bill. Debate usually timetabled. Time limits on contributions likely if many MPs apply to The Speaker to say they wish to take part in the debate (excludes front bench).
The Second Reading debate will occur on Tuesday 31 January (until midnight) and Wednesday 1 Feb until 10pm. The vote on second reading will be at 7pm on Wednesday.
MPs can vote Aye, No, not vote or make what is called a principle abstention – voting in both the Aye and No lobbies. If a majority vote No, the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) bill falls. May would not be able to trigger Article 50. A new bill would need to be brought forward. It is also possible of opponents of a bill to make a ‘Reasoned Amendment’ as to why they decline give the bill a second reading. Labour MPs are whipped to vote Aye at Second Reading.
Normally, a number of MPs who take part in the Second Reading debate are chosen by respective party whips to go on the bill committee.
Committee stage is where the bill gets line by line scrutiny (not many lines in this bill, though!) and amendments are made. Any MP can table an amendment (regardless of how they voted at second reading), but it has to be moved by a member of the committee. The chair of the committee selects which amendments are considered.
However, the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill committee stage will be a committee of the whole house. This means all MPs are committee members. Debate will take place in the Commons chamber. Any MP can table an amendment at a committee of the whole house and can vote on all amendments, regardless of how any MP voted at Second Reading.
Amendments are tabled in the Public Bill Office. The clerks in the Public Bill Office will assist MPs and advise them whether an amendment is in order. The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill is short which could limit scope for amendment. There are a number of Labour amendments in the name of Jeremy Corbyn. There are also a number of backbench Labour amendments. At this stage, we do not know which amendments will be called.
Amendment selection for a committee of the whole house is made by the Chairman of Ways and Means – one of the three deputy speakers – currently Labour MP Lindsey Hoyle. Amendments can be ruled out for a variety of reasons – frivolity, out of scope, irrelevance, the point is already made, the amendment is not close enough to the subject of the bill, etc.
Amendments are likely to be grouped. For example, both Labour and the SNP have submitted amendments on the rights of EU nationals living in the UK. There are also a number of amendments requiring ministerial report back on Brexit negotiations. These would be taken together as a group, if selected for debate.
Usually, there are no time limits on how long MPs can speak for at committee stage. Long speeches at an early stage could lead to later amendments not being debated.
Labour whipping arrangements for committee have yet to be decided. It is normal for a running three-line whip to be applied at committee stage of such an important bill. Labour MPs will be told by the Labour whips how to vote on each group of amendments once the selection of amendments is known.
Further consideration of the bill. Amendments can be made and voted upon, but the rules are more stringent on what amendments are in order. At report stage, the Speaker decides which amendments are debated. If the bill is not amended at the committee of the whole house, there is no report stage.
Labour whipping arrangements for Report have not been decided.
Third Reading
A general debate on the bill. Further amendments can not be made. After Third Reading the bill goes to the House of Lords.
Labour whipping arrangements for Third Reading have yet to be decided.
Committee, Report and Third Reading are timetabled to take place on Monday 6 February, Tuesday 7 February and Wednesday 8 February.
House of Lords stages
After Third Reading, the bill begins its House of Lords stages.
The rules for bill stages in the Lords are different from the Commons. For example, amendments can be made at committee, report and third reading, there is no timetabling or time limits on speakers and all amendments, if in order, will be called.
There are likely to be Lords amendments to the bill which the Government disagrees with. The Lib Dems, for example, may introduce their Second Referendum clause in the Lords. If the Lords are content with that new clause or any other amendment, there will be a further debate in the House of Commons.
Consideration of Lords Amendments
Commons debate and votes on the amendments made in the Lords. The Government will indicate whether they agree with the amendments or disagree. If the Commons insist on their version of the bill, a Reasons Committee draws up reasons for disagreeing with the Lords. Should the Lords insist on their amendments and no compromise is reached that both houses agree on, the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill would fall and the Government would have to reintroduce the bill in the next session of Parliament. However, it is usual for compromise to be reached.
Royal Assent
Once both houses agree on a bill, it receives Royal Assent and becomes and Act of Parliament. If the Act does not specify when the new provisions take effect, it becomes law at midnight on the day it receives Royal Assent
On 31 Jan 2017 at 6:14pm Bob wrote:
Just a thought, if Labour's members spent last time typing enormous posts that no-one will read and more time campaigning in person then perhaps they might salvage something from the Corbyn disaster.

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