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Friday, June 05, 2015

Labour split is a real threat to European 'yes' campaign

Today's Times reports that Labour’s shadow cabinet is facing a profound split over how to approach the European referendum campaign.

The paper says that tensions are emerging between those who think that Labour should mount a high-volume, principled drive to keep Britain in Europe and those who advocate keeping a distance from the cross-party “yes” campaign, using every opportunity to expose Tory divisions and remember voters in Labour heartlands who supported UKIP in the election.

Labour's inability to engage with cross-party campaigns is a major problem for them. Their default position seems to be partisan self-interest and that is major weakness in the pluralist democracy that the UK has become.

It should not be forgotten that a similar stand-offishness from Labour and a failure to engage with people of all parties who had a common interest was one of the reasons why the AV referendum was lost.

People do not appreciate tribalism intruding on arguments about the national interest. Until Labour realise this then they will continue to struggle to build a wider majority support in this country.
Certainly interesting times. I know some of my Labour friends are saying 'no participation in joint platforms', no 'joining choirs singing Kumbaya Europe' and even talking about a separate truly socialist campaign for a 'Clause 4 Europe'.

Yes the 'bring back clause 4' tendency is still alive in Labour discussion threads.. I think we can see coded references to this in the fringes of some of the Labour leadership discussions.
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