Give me the top five reasons why the UK Electorate voted to leave the EU. I'll give you mine.
1. The right wing stirred up resentment of immigrants and blamed the EU.
2. The UK electorate felt that the EU threatened the sovereignty of the UK.
3. UK workers were scared of losing jobs to migrant workers.
4. The Leave campaign managed to convince the UK electorate that Camerons deal was bogus and that Cameron and Osborne were lying to them.
5. UK voters were lead to believe there would be more moeny for the NHS if we left the EU.
Over the course of the campaign, I heard these themes repeated time and time again. It seemed to me that the more Remain politicians campaigned, the less the public trusted them. I suspect that if the Remain campaign had banned all politicians from campaigning and simply got economists, professors and business leaders to spell the case, Remain would have won. I may be wrong, just my hunch, but I truly believe that the input of politicians was massively counter productive.
And what two UK Politicians did more to undermine the trust of the British public than any other in living memory? Well in my opinion Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson. I believe that these two have done more damage to the trust of the British people than the rest of them put together. Blair will forever be remembered for the dodgy dossier. Whilst many politicians tell lies, few in our lifetime have told lies with such disasterous consequences as Blair. I've no idea how many people died as a result of Blairs porkies, but a whole region of the world is in flames as a result. It is my firm belief that without Blair's lies, the US would not have embarked on the second gulf war. If this had been avoided, then we wouldn't be seeing ISIS terrorising hundreds of thoiusands. As for Mandelson, has anyone ever been less trusted by the public? Mandelson was kicked out of the cabinet for dodgy dealing, but Tony brought him back as soon as was possible. What message did this send?
I was a Labour party member from 1980 until 2009. I stood by the party through thick and thin, but in September 2009, I could stand no more. The final straw was the behaviour of Alan Johnson on Sky news, when the Sangatte refugee camp in France was cleared by French riot police. There were many things I had unforgivably excused, but the sight of Alan Johnson praising the French riot police for beating up innocent women and children in the process of clearing the camp was too much for me. Whatever the Labour party was or wasn't , when a senior member praised violenceby a paramilitary force against women and children, it was the end.
Many people (especially on the Leave side), seem to see refugees as in some way inferior to us. I don't. We are all human beings, we all bleed the same red blood. We all hurt when we are hit. As far as I am concerned I am no better than anyone and probably a lot worse than many. I was born and raised and in a rich country, into a stable family life, with well off parents. I've never wanted for anything. I've never had to go hungry, sleep rough or sell my ass for my next meal. I've made my own choices. Anyone who has ever worked with refugees knows that horror stories abound. Refugees deserve our compassion. Given that the actions of our government has created the situations they find themselves in, we really should bear some degree of responsibility, but sadly the last Labour government took none and showed zero compassion.
As far as I am concerned, the last Labour administration was morally bankrupt. That was not what I wanted to say, I spent years in denial. But it was the truth. At the end of 2009, I joined the Lib Dems, for the simple reason that I felt their principled stand against the Iraq war was something I wished to associate myself with. My politics are centre left. I felt comfortable with many of the policies of the Lib Dems. Sadly the 2010 coalition with the Tories ended that relationship, almost before it had really started.The abandonment of the student loans pledge convinced me I'd made a mistake in joining the party.
After the 2015 election, I realised I'd made a mistake. I have spent the last year agonising over where I should hang my political hat. It is 100% clear to everyone who is not a complete basket case, that for all their faults the Lib Dems prevented the Tories from destroying the country. Labour were a different proposition. I have met Jeremy Corbyn on several occasions. He has always supported the people of Barnet. He joined us on marches in the snow. He truned up to screenings of our films in the Commons. He gave me faith that Labour hadn't lost its soul or its integrity. I don't agree with Corbyn on macro economics. I do however think he is decent and honest. I recognised exactly why he was needed in British politics. With his massive mandate from Labour members, I felt that if the party rallied around him and united, then Labour would have a chance. I believed Corbyn had given Labour a chance to re-establish its credentials as a party of honesty and integrity.
The last week has shown just how dishonest and untrustworthy the Labour Party is. As I mentioned at the start of this blog there are numerous reasons that the electorate voted to keave the EU. No one has said it was because Jeremy Corbyn didn't campaign hard enough. Whilst some said that Blair and Mandelson had put them off, none said the same of Corbyn. But the last few days has seen a clearly stage managed procession of disloyal Shadow cabinet minister resigning,. Only a fool would believe this wasn't planned for months. Whilst politicians constantly lecture us on the need to respect democracy, it seems that Labour MP's don't see the need to apply this rule to themselves in respect to the leadership of the their own party.
I can understand that Labour MP's don't like Corbyn. I can understand that they may wish for one of the "in crowd" to be leader. I am no fool and I realise that as soon as a new leader is elected, ambitious MP's start thinking about the next leader. What I can't understand is how they blame Corbyn for all Labours ills, when they have done everything to undermine him. Never has a Labour Leader had less support from his own MP's. Sadly the civil war they are starting, on completely spurious grounds, will rip the Labour Party apart. The members who flocked to Corbyn, in unprecendented numbers will be completely disenchanted with the party and I can only see a civil war, which only the Tories will win.
No wonder David Cameron was keen to knife Corbyn at PMQ's. He knows that a Labour civil war will guarantee the Tories at the ballot box. The sad truth is that Labour lost the trust of its own members and the public through the lies and poor conduct of Blair and Mandelson. Now the Blairites have the audacity to blame Corbyn for the lack of public trust in politicians. The horrible truth is that the biggest losers in all of this are the weak, the vulnerable and the disabled. The thing that terrifies me is that this will give the Tory hard right encouragement. They will see this as a green light to replace Cameron with a true hard right figure. Such a figure would normally be electoral poison, but with a fragmented Labour party, they will see a unique window of opportunity. If such a nighmare scenario emerges, it will be the fault of the disloyal Labour MP's who have put their own personal vanity before the democratic will of the party. I don't think Corbyn was perfect, but how can anyone have expected him to succeed if he spent all his time looking over his shoulder, waiting for the knfe in the back. What shocks me most is that all of the Blairites I've spoken to think what has happened is bloody marvellous. Personally it makes me sick,