Filmmaker Ken Loach on Brexit, European Union

This 8 December 2018 video from Portugal says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn: EU support for austerity opens door to far-right

Jeremy Corbyn urged Europe’s Socialists Friday to challenge the political establishment and team up with like-minded leftists to check the rise of “fake” right-wing populists.

It is correct to speak of ‘fake populists’; as racists are not populists.

EU support for austerity and failed neoliberal policies have caused serious hardship for working people across Europe”, Corbyn said in a speech to the annual congress of the Party of European Socialists in Lisbon. It had “damaged the credibility of European social democratic parties and played a significant role in the vote for Brexit.”

He added that Europe must come together to fight against the rise of right-wing and neoliberal policies. Failing to do so “will smooth the path to power of the fake populists“, Corbyn said in a speech to the annual congress of the Party of European Socialists in Lisbon.

By Marcus Barnett:

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Film director Ken Loach urges European socialists to ‘clarify’ their stance on the EU

KEN LOACH has said that the European Union “works in the interests of big business” as he urged socialists to “clarify” their stance on the issue of Europe.

Addressing over 400 delegates in a video played at the Party of the European Left’s Congress on Sunday, the film-maker claimed that the left suffers from a muddled position when it approaches the question of the EU.

Mr Loach said that the June 2016 [British referendum] vote to leave the European Union came “out of austerity, out of alienation, out of inequality, out of despair, out of cynicism.”

Mr Loach said that last week’s general election result, where Labour lost 59 seats in mostly Brexit-voting areas, was an example of this, and claimed that “the desire to leave” Brussels was a “big problem” for the left.

He also warned that the left’s voice on Europe hadn’t been heard by voters, adding that the analysis was “that the union is an economic organisation in the interests of big business.”

Mr Loach then urged socialists in Europe to “clarify” their analysis on Europe, and said that the international left must organise if it decides to not campaign against EU membership.

He said: “If we decide that we should remain and transform the [EU] then we have to have a plan that is clear, that we can all unite behind and which the left in every country can proclaim.

‘Remain and transform’ in itself sounds like an attractive slogan. However, the problem is that often, there is vagueness about how to transform. And about transforming to where.

And too often, remainers and transformers have allied with right-wing remainers who want to transform the European Union into an even more Thatcherite capitalist, xenophobic and warmongering organisation than it is already now: with Thatcherite Conservatives, Thatcherite Liberal Democrats, and Thatcherite right-wing Labourite Blairites like Iraq war criminal spin-doctor Alastair Campbell. That drove voters straight into the arms of Boris Johnson‘s right-wing Brexit.

A bit comparable to the Scottish independence referendum. The then Blairite right-wing leader of the Labour party in Scotland, Jim Murphy, decided to campaign against Scottish independence, jointly with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, instead of waging a clearly separate campaign. That drove many Labour voters into the arms of the Scottish nationalists. That way, Jim Murphy, with a little help from Tony Blair and other Blairites, managed to destroy Scotland as a bulwark of Labour party voters. Labour in Scotland has still not recovered from that Murphy-Blair blow.

LEN McCLUSKEY has said that it is “wilful blindness” to deny that Labour lost the election because of Brexit. The Unite general secretary stated that it is “pretty obvious” that the reason for Labour losing 59 seats — including in traditionally Labour-voting areas — was because of its Remain-leaning stance on Brexit: here.

The dog whistle message from hardcore Remainers was heard loud and clear – Leavers were ‘thick and racist,’ writes RHEIAN DAVIES (herself a Labour member who had voted Remain).

TRADE union figures in the north-east have mocked Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge that he will “repay the trust” placed in him by working-class voters in the region who switched their support from Labour to the Tories in the general election. Alan Mardghum, general secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association, told the Morning Star today: “When he made statements about the lazy unemployed, single mothers and the feckless working class, that is what he believes. That is the contempt he has for working people: here.

“Our Future Our Choice” is seen as a spontaneous “youth” movement against Brexit. But latest figures from the Electoral Commission show that, as the “second-referendum” campaign fell apart, it gave £20k to a group run by former New Labour hatchet man Alastair Campbell (62 years old) and Tory Peer Patience Wheatcroft (68 years old). Wheatcroft is a former Sunday Telegraph editor, one-time Barclays director and lifelong Tory activist: here.

5 thoughts on “Filmmaker Ken Loach on Brexit, European Union

  1. Poor old Boris — he was offered the poisoned chalice by his party, and he drank from it. Unfortunately, he now has to deliver, and deliver completely on Brexit. No more excuses, due to his resounding ‘victory’. Problem is the long knives are out in the Tory camp. Half of them are staunch Brexiteers while the other half are Remainers. If he indeed had the voting population over, it is clear that he won’t have his own MPs over. His ‘deal’ is lacklustre to the Brexiteers and a Northern Ireland too far for Remainers, who are also Unionists. Of course, BoJo could do a Stalin and purge his party, thereby ending up sitting in his cabinet room, alone and unloved, just waiting for the bailiffs to knock and turf his loveliness out onto the street.


  2. Pointing out that 52 of the 54 seats lost by Labour to the Tories had voted in 2016 to leave the EU, he cited a Financial Times analysis showing that in many constituencies across Britain “the bigger the majority for Leave in the EU referendum, the bigger the abstention rate and the swing against Labour in last week’s general election.” …

    Looking to the future, Britain’s Communists said that the scale of Labour’s defeat should be kept in proportion. Despite the loss of seats, the party’s share of the popular vote under Jeremy Corbyn had still exceeded that under Neil Kinnock in 1987, Gordon Brown in 2010 and Ed Miliband in 2015.


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