Imperfect Elections

This is good (from the New York Times). Be patient. It gets on to Brexit in the end.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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3 Responses to Imperfect Elections

  1. John Gray argues persuasively in the recent edition of New Statesman that the Labour-Corbyn policy on Brexit has been deliberately ambiguous, thereby appealing to both sides of the Labour electorate: the middle-class Remainers as well as the working-class Brexiters. [“In 2017, the party pulled off the trick of standing on a manifesto promising to honour the referendum result that kept its working-class Leave supporters on side while encouraging legions of middle-class graduates to believe that the party endorsed Remain.”]

    This ambiguous approach is certainly “subtle” – and it has been successful, according to Gray. However, it is not a real policy. The real or “realistic” policy has been the demand for a general election. Under the best-case scenario, Corbyn wins and negotiates a Norway-style Brexit; and he can only do it then – that is, after an election – because Labour voters in the Leave seats will realise that this Scandinavian alternative is nothing like what they as Brexiters wanted when they voted Leave. However, they will then have five years to forget what has happened. This is exceptionally subtle politics, and if your “realistic” actually means Machiavellian, then you are certainly on to something.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, very well argued.
    However, the sentence which stood out for me was: “The opposition Labour party gained seats, but did not win a majority and did not have a clear Brexit position.”
    You, Bernard, are convinced that Corbyn’s position has been clear and correct from day one; however, you seem to be in a very small minority on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup. But he’s neither fairly reported, nor understood; and is far more subtle and realistic than those of his critics who want simple yes/no answers on questions like ‘are you pro- or anti-Europe’, or ‘do you back a referendum?’.


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