The 2 tales of Jeremy and Brexit

Not my usual stuff but came out of a conversation following announcements from Corbyn.  Warning: May contain rants.

This is a story with 2 versions.

The start of the 2 versions is exactly the same.   A man called Jeremy is a politician of principle who has believed in Nuclear Disarmament, wide-scale social housing, rail and utilities re-nationalization and a whole set of things his entire political career, even when some of these policies, such as being anti-Trident, were unpopular even in his own party.  As such he is seen as a solid man of honour & principle.  One of these key beliefs however is a dislike of the EU which he has decried, like his hero Tony Benn, for many years.


Then he is elected leader of the Labour party. This is when the 2 versions diverge.


In the first version of the story he keeps all of his old beliefs except that he now realises that he believes, on the whole, in the EU.  Shortly after his election one of his shadow cabinet, Chuka, resigns over what he thinks is a less than 100% commitment from Jeremy however when he says:

It is my view that we should support the UK remaining a member of the EU, notwithstanding the outcome of any renegotiation by the prime minister, and I cannot envisage any circumstances where I would be campaigning alongside those who would argue for us to leave; Jeremy has made it clear to me that he does not wholeheartedly share this view

he is completely mistaken, because Jeremy is in fact now very supportive.

Jeremy gathers in 200K and more new mostly pro-remain supporters.  When the referendum is called he makes 122 about 10 speeches in support of the EU, however as he is only the Leader of Her Majesty’s opposition he finds it difficult to get on TV during the single largest political event of the last 40 years. When he does get on TV he supports the EU by saying things like “7 – 7.5 out of 10” & by referring to the problems in Greece caused (in his view) by the EU.  He also spends some time on the challenges of re-nationalising under EU rules.  However these statements are made because he is a realist and not a blind EU supporter.  Jeremy is in tune with the mood of nation and has no intention of undermining the case for Remain.

Unfortunately for Remainers, the referendum result is for Leave by a very small margin.  Jeremy appears on TV the morning of the result and says “Article 50 should be triggered now” but of course he didn’t mean “now” as in “now” but as in “at the appropriate time”.  Later on his supporters go to great lengths to explain why the context & tone used for the word “now” show he didn’t mean “now” at all, although really this should be obvious because of course  if “now” really had meant “now” that would have been incredibly damaging and stupid.

But 20 Blairite plotters seize their chance, and they persuade 160 others to betray Jeremy, using the flimsy excuse that a project central to their political beliefs has just been thrown away through duplicity and incompetence and that a possible snap election might wipe out the party.  The truth however is that the 20 are incredibly persuasive and the 160 Labour representatives, from all wings, are weak, stupid and malleable.

Yet Jeremy stands tall, his supporters are behind him even though they are crushed by the referendum loss.  They believed in the EU, but they also believe in Jeremy, because he is not like other politicians, who only say what needs to be said to stay in power.  They believe that he appeared 122 times (even though it might have been 10) and they believe that he worked incredibly hard for Remain, almost as hard, in fact, as he worked on his leadership campaigns.  And so when subsequently Jeremy says almost nothing whatsoever about Brexit, other than saying “the people have spoken”, concentrates instead on train seats and housing and other issues and shows absolutely no sign of trying to turn around the result or even question the direction, these pro remainers still plan to support him in the upcoming leadership campaign.

I could go on and detail the 2nd version of the story, but you don’t really need me to, because only one version of the story ends up with Jeremy completely ignoring Brexit in his 5 PMQ questions, trying to ignore it in his G20 review questions and essentially talking about anything other than the fact that the government is in total Brexit disarray.

The 1st version also breaks the bonds of credibility when we see the response from Corbyn’s aid when asked for clarity on Jeremy’s Single Market position.


How exactly do you reconcile a belief in the EU with this pick and mix “single market lite” proposal that can only end with us being out of that single market?  How is it that someone can campaign for something yet simultaneously campaign against some of its fundamental aspects?

How does someone who apparently went up and down the country on the campaign trail now find themselves almost exactly aligned with the Far Right Tory Brexiteer wing, pitching a fairy tale position that can only lead to a hard Brexit?

When do people realise they’ve been sold down the river?


22 thoughts on “The 2 tales of Jeremy and Brexit

  1. Brilliant albeit horrendously, depressingly true! I’ve been thinking that as all Exit plans are impossible (impassable), could the Govt. not in fact say the Ref. was advisory and, sorry chaps, we’re staying in the EU. Would they really be voted out in 2020 given there is No Opposition?!


    1. In my 3 in the morning moments I tell myself May is setting up the 3 brexiteers to fail.

      Been meaning to write this for ages but didn’t because didn’t want to upset remain corbynistas – but to hell with it now


  2. I just feel we cannot do something so catastrophic and there must be a way to stop it. Why do You think May won’t take a parliamentary vote? Surely she’d then have something reasonable to work with. The Ref was like asking people who don’t read literature their yes/no response to the whole of English Victorian fiction. Most people don’t think about politics and shouldn’t have been asked to do so. We expect Govt. to protect us from our worser selves. As for Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters, they should realise he’s in his sixties, not in The Sixties.


    1. I think whatever may wants to do she wants to do it behind closed doors – debate leads to scrutiny. That’s why it’s important to push for a debate of some kind


  3. And don’t forget he also said this, at the end of the “invoke Article 50 now” interview:

    We will try to get ready for a society where there is a greater degree of fairness and equality and obviously effective and efficient trading relationships with the rest of the world.

    He is clearly, clearly saying that post Brexit Britain will be a better place, utterly at odds with all his pre vote statements that leaving would be overall a bad thing.

    PS. When he said “now” in that interview, his intonation indicated “immediately” not “much later”. Listen for yourselves.


  4. I have had misgivings on Corbyn for a while but have tried to put it down to the press so I’ve been watching when I can. Anytime I see him, during PMQ etc. The man is not a leader. Worse than that though, his supporters are awful bullies. Anyone with a different view is told they have fallen into step with the press and to fuck off because you are obviously in the wrong party. I have even had friends pm me to say stop dissing him because he’s quiet doesn’t make him a bad leader and how his policies are not too far left. I say he’s so far left he’s gone right round the circle and joined far right. I tried to back him up against the virgin cctv but was told it was a stunt to which I replied he couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery. Then got told by someone else I was following the press. He’ll, I’d just posted something saying virgin and press had made it up. I can see the press are against him. But they have reason to be. Why are we of an age where people follow politicians like a football team? Bugger the experts because we know better? And woe betide anyone who speaks against him for pestilence and sickness be upon them. This man has his own agenda which will never persuade the floating voters to come over to labour. Without the floating voters and people like me, a lifelong labour supporter who will not vote for him. Labour could find themselves where the lib dems were last GE. Sad days

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is very odd indeed. Is he simply suffering from what overtook Tony Blair, an inability for self-reflection? Is it that people want someone to worship for a change?

    Re a debate, how could we make that happen?


  6. While I am not sure he would win a general election, Corbyn still has more integrity than most politicians. He has always been lukewarm on the EU but so he Teresa May.

    I agree he should have asked at least one Brexit question at PMQS but it likely would have been wasted. May has little to give away even if she chose to and didn’t give anything away when pressed outside PMQS


    1. Jonathan – Given that Corbyn “has always been lukewarm on the EU” why did he pretend otherwise during the campaign? To run a campaign of such monumental importance under a false banner is an extreme breach of integrity. The comparison here with May is irrelevant.


  7. I agree with Alison, whatever May’s views are she was not a leading light in the Remain campaign. In the end of course neither was Corbyn but he should have been – he was in that role

    I’m afraid I don’t buy this “integrity” line anymore. His comments yesterday were meant to prep his supporters by saying “look, we can’t do these nationalisation programs within the EU” – the next step is “we need to leave to carry out our proposals”.

    And if these are his views, then they were always his views, otherwise he disliked the EU, was 50 50 with the EU, lukewarm with the EU then disliiked it again. It’s not credible.

    Corbyn took a decision to “go along” with his shadow cabinet to retain power after his election. Ummuna didn’t fall for it, others did. If this is the case then where is this integrity?

    It was only 2% remain lost by, a different figurehead who shouted the labour case would have won the result for remain. The man is a disgrace.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I re-joined the Labour Party last year to vote for Corbyn. I renewed my membership this year to vote against him. What he has allowed to happen is terrifying. Within two days of “losing our country” (my phrase) in the Vote, the Party sent me an email saying Corbyn was the leader to trust. Not sorry or “bit of a mess but let’s see what we can do about it”. Like Teresa, I have been following Corbyn’s actions rather than words. He failed to support Ruth Smeeth (among others), likened Israel to ISIS, and called Hamas et al his “friends”. It’s no use him (or his followers) then issuing a blanket slogan saying “not anti-semitic”. Either he is anti-semitic or he’s a serious fool for not seeing how his words and actions suggest he is. He seems to have little support for women. I cannot understand the man. I am grieving about the Referendum Vote. I cannot as yet grieve for what Corbyn has done to the Labour Party because I cannot encompass the horror of it. And, yes, Tony Nog is right, if Corbyn had fought for the EU, we’d still be in! What, seriously, does Corbyn actually want?


    1. Alison I had an exchange with a Corbyn supporter this morning. He/She said “essentially yes” when I summarised their argument as to why Corbyn announced he would only support “access to the single market if state aid rules are dropped”

      Corbyn is apparently saying
      well, we don’t like state aid rules, because they stop renationalisation
      but we can’t change those rules from the outside
      so we’ll say those state aid rules are bad and are not acceptable
      and must be removed from any EU deal
      but he knows they won’t be removed from any deal
      so his proposed deal would fail before it starts
      and if/when it does
      the public would then draw the conclusion
      1) “ahh we need to be IN the EU to help drive reform of those rules at some point in the future”

      as opposed to thinking

      2) “See, the EU are bullies and won’t reform, we need to be out”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There is a blindness in play here to be frank which I find mystifying. Pro EU/Pro Corbyn supporters have told themselves he is a man of integrity so they cannot contemplate that he may not have been a supporter of remain, if he said he was. This is despite all evidence. People are jumping through hoops to avoid occam’s razor – at best he wasn’t interested, at worse he was positively against.

    All he is doing now is prepping his supporters – they support nationalisation of railways etc – well, supposedly that can’t be done whilst in the EU (on this I’m not sure) – so when the time comes he can say to them – we had to leave, otherwise we couldn’t carry out these great programs.

    That’s it, it’s really that simple in my opinion

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “Simple” unfortunately is the word! And JC is no different from any other politician. Make a pronouncement (e.g. I have sincere integrity) and then do anything which way anyway. As May’s pronouncement that she wants equality, then goes all out to hammer education. And “I’m on your side” means “I’m sticking a knife in your side, right now”.


  11. Duncan-Smith and Gove had more integrity than Corbyn by resigning from the cabinet. Corbyn’s core young demographic was for Remain so he opportunistically played a duplicitous game.

    Liked by 1 person

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