Just a few snippets for Wednesday. The post British General Election wash-up continues and the urban Remainers who support Labour are now coming out of their holes to speak forth on why it all went wrong. There is lots of regret but little real reflection and responsibility is being exhibited. And, it is now a fair proposition to argue, that given it was this group that so distorted Labour Party policy and drove the ‘optics’, that they they should now just shut up and do some serious review of their own positions and why they lacked understanding and foresight. Some are proclaiming it was the toxity of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) for the Left that was somehow involved. One cannot get more desperate than that. But mostly it was their disdain for those less educated and less privileged that sealed the deal. You cannot continually label people fools and racists and claim they were so ill-informed that within a few days of the Referendum result that they were clearly experiencing ‘Bregret’ and expect them to play ball with the cosmopolitan dream. Especially when that dream had created such havoc in areas where the majority of Labour MP represented and had voted Leave. We found out how much Bregret there was last Thursday.
Another brief comment on the British election
Remember the type of articles that the progressive media were pumping out in the aftermath of the June 2016 Referendum?
This one – published in the Independent (June 25, 2016) – Anger over ‘Bregret’ as Leave voters say they thought UK would stay in EU – carried an image “Some Brexit voters are now regretting their choice”.
This was published just two days after the Referendum.
The claim was that:
Remain voters are voicing their outrage amid claims by some people who voted for a Brexit that they regret their decision.
Several pro-EU politicians voiced their suspicions that some Leave voters would have regrets on Friday, with Labour MP Diane Abbott …
Yes, Dianne Abbott.
Tony Blair weighed in claiming that the Referendum was not about Leave but a “protest vote”.
And the Remainers, not able to get their own way the first time, despite pumping out a mass of ridiculous economic catastrophy forecasts, written by the economic elites, started, as soon as the results were out calling for a “second referendum”.
A few days later, the Independent was at it again (June 27, 2019) – Kelvin Mackenzie admits ‘buyer’s remorse’ after voting for Brexit – claiming that leave voters would soon regret their choice to Leave.
And so it went for the next three years.
British people were told relentlessly that they should have a ‘Peoples’ vote’ to decided one way or another – as if June 2016 had never happened.
And it was the Labour Party that led the charge.
I was reminded of all that when I read the article in The Age this morning (December 18, 2019) – The people who lost the election for British Labour hate the working class – by journalist Chris Uhlmann.
I normally do not agree with much he writes or says but in this article I think he has captured the problem for Labour well.
He argues that the urban Labour elites pushed the Labour Party into an untenable position going into the 2019 General Election because, not only did they fail to understand the needs and positions of the more precarious, less educated working class who had previously been Labour supporters and who had helped push the Leave vote through, but, to put a finer point on it, they held their less educated colleagues in contempt.
The response after the Referendum vote that the Leave voters were stupid, racist and so unsure that they would change their vote if only they had the comprehension of the issues that urban educated Remainers had – the depth of appreciation of complexity etc.
The article notes that:
It is evident across the Western world that there is now a chasm dividing inner-city internationalists and the working-class nationalists who sustain their lifestyles. Many in wealthy city sanctums are now so disconnected from their sources of food, wealth and energy that they are voting against them or seeking to ban them …
Most of the “creative destruction” that followed the international opening of markets was in the jobs lost by blue-collar men. That also helped destroy the lives of their wives and children. Manual workers across the West now face fewer jobs and falling real wages, so is it any wonder their anger is rising.
These are not privileged white men. They were the ones that emptied your garbage, dealt with your sewerage, built your machines, dug in dangerous mines, grew your food, lived hard but proud lives and had the privilege of fighting and dying on the frontline whenever we called a war.
On the other side of the divide are the city-based knowledge industry workers who are enjoying all the benefits of free-trade and the free movement of immigrants without having to bother with any of the downsides.
The latter group have voice. The former group do not.
And this is why the British Labour Party was unable to see the train wreck they were creating by reneging on the guarantee to support the Referendum result wholeheartedly.
The self-interested voice of their elite interests in London, Oxford, Cambridge, in the media (Novara, UK Guardian, etc) drowned out any of the angst that was coming from the Midlands and further North.
After all, there was Bregret wasn’t there. These stupid illiterates would still vote Labour and they would fall into the Remain camp if given another try.
The urban, educated elites were wrong.
The Labour Party was warned that their urban supporters were wrong on this.
What the top end of the Party didn’t understand is, in Chris Uhlmann’s rather evocative words, is that:
This crowd came with all the verities of the new age and all their many prejudices. At base they really hate the working class. They hate their jobs, their cars, their sports, their music and their lifestyles.
The British election saw an abject rejection of the party of the workers by the workers. It turned out they weren’t suffering regret. They were enraged.
The workers’ party rejected by the workers.
That should be the organising framework for what the British Labour Party does next.
In the UK Guardian article (December 17, 2019) – Keir Starmer lays out case for ‘radical Labour government’ – one potential leader, the shadow Brexit spokesperson, rehearsed his Remain bias and the antisemitism smears as he laid out his case to contest the leadership.
Please Labour members – do not install this man as your leader.
Not only will his Remain blindness continue to define Labour’s approach to the future (as negotiations on the exit become more concrete) but his claim that the Labour Party must retain the “Blairites” will continue the deep divisions that have led to the rejection by the workers.
Jonathan Pie is heading to Australia.
Here he is telling us about the real world and the British election.
February 2020 – European and UK Speaking and Lecture Tour
Here is my current schedule for February in Europe and the UK.
The ‘tba’ listings mean either I haven’t agreed yet to current proposals to speak or that the day is free of events so far.
If anyone wants to organise and event or set up a meeting, then please contact me and we will see what is possible.
- Monday, February 03, 2020 – Speaking on ‘What is the meaning of political economy today?’ at Think Corner, Helsinki – 17:00 to 19:00
- Tuesday, February 04, 2020 – Teaching, University of Helsinki – 16.15-17.45, Porthania P674 – all lectures are public.
- Wednesday, February 05, 2020 – Teaching, University of Helsinki – 10.15-11.45, Language Centre in Fabianinkatu room 207
- Thursday, February 06, 2020 – Teaching, University of Helsinki – 10.15-11.45, Main building, Hall 16
- Friday, February 07, 2020 – tba
- Saturday, February 08, 2020 – tba
- Sunday, February 09, 2020 – tba
- Monday, February 10, 2020 – tba
- Tuesday, February 11, 2020 – Teaching, University of Helsinki – 16.15-17.45, Porthania room 723
- Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – Teaching, University of Helsinki – 10.15-11.45, Language Centre in Fabianinkatu room 207
- Thursday, February 13, 2020 – Teaching, University of Helsinki – 10.15-11.45, Main building, Hall 16
- Friday, February 14, 2020 – tba
- Saturday, February 15, 2020 – tba
- Sunday, February 16, 2020 – tba
- Monday, February 17, 2020 – tba
- Tuesday, February 18, 2020 – Paris, Reception, French Senat, Palace of Luxembourg – 18:00
- Wednesday, February 19, 2020 – Paris, events and interviews – details to follow
- Thursday, February 20, 2020 – Paris, Presentation to French Senate Commission, Palace of Luxembourg – 8:30-10:30
- Thursday, February 20, 2020 – London, GIMMS presentation, MMT education – afternoon – details to follow
- Friday, February 21, 2020 – Manchester, GIMMS presentation, The Harwood Room in the Barnes Wallis Building, University of Manchester, details to follow).
- Saturday, February 22, 2020 – tba
- Sunday, February 23, 2020 – Amsterdam – tba
Call for financial assistance to make the MMT University project a reality
If I am to get the – MMTed Project (aka MMT University) – up and going to provide formal courses to students in all nations to advance their understanding of Modern Monetary Theory then I need financial assistance.
We have established the – Foundation for Monetary Studies Inc. – aka The MMT Foundation to serves as a legal vehicle to raise funds and provide financial resources for the MMTed Project.
The Foundation is a non-profit corporation registered in the State of Delaware as a Section 501(c)(3) company. Its legal structure allows people can make donations without their identity being revealed publicly.
Some sponsors have already offered their generous assistance.
We need significantly more funds to get the operations off the ground.
Please help if you can.
We cannot make the MMTed project viable without funding support.
I am on a bit of a Leonard Cohen kick at the moment – again!
The switch from minor key (A) in the verse, to the major key (C) in the chorus is very nifty.
I always wondered what it was about and often imposed situations on the lyrics as they arose in life.
That is enough for today!
(c) Copyright 2019 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.