6-7 July 2019 – the weekend’s press release

McDonnell guilty of incredible hypocrisy

Commenting on John McDonnell’s appearance on the Andrew Marr show, Liberal Democrat Treasury and Business spokesperson Chuka Umunna said:

John McDonnell has displayed incredible hypocrisy pretending to be pro-Remain. Not only has he campaigned for decades to leave the EU, as recently as last year he argued that Remain should not be on the ballot in a People’s Vote.

The Labour leadership have let down Remainers again and again and can’t be trusted to campaign unequivocally to stay in the EU. Labour policy is still to facilitate Brexit and prioritise their alternative Brexit deal.

People can have no confidence that the next Labour manifesto will follow through, offer the people the final say and commit to stopping Brexit. Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign for a People’s Vote and to stop Brexit.

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28 Comments

  • John McDonald appears to he the “realistic” politician among Corbyn’s inner circle, he knows that by sitting on their fence for all seasons they are hemorraging support. It matters not though, while Len, Seamus and Co exist nothing will change and Labour will remain embedded on the fence. A party trying to please all people and pleasing none; not a good look.

  • Strange how one Labour politician being realistic is ‘hypocrisy’ whilst another, eventually joining the party he’d vowed to destroy, is not.

  • Richard Underhill 8th Jul '19 - 8:03am

    He also expressed frustration about timescales. He accepts that Corbyn will continue to proceed gradually, but he fears that the next Tory leader will want a general election in September. From which it follows that it would not be possible to put the necessary change of policy to the Labour conference in October 2019. Meanwhile work is continuing on another Labour manifesto. He reminds us that Labour made gains in the 2017 general election and confidently forecasts that Labour will make the same amount of gains in opinion polls in 2019. He made no comments about Theresa May’s 2017 manifesto.

  • jayne mansfield 8th Jul '19 - 9:53am

    Oh dear.

    ‘Remain campaigners must drop calls for a new Brexit vote’.

    Chuka Ummuna today urged remain campaigners to abandon calls for a second referendum or risk being seen as a metropolitan elite who think they know best’.

    Who urged fellow pro- EU campaigners’ to show more respect for the 17 million who voted Brexit’.

    He urged remainers such like Nick Clegg who have threatened to delay Article 50 unless was a second referendum was held on the exit deal to show more the poll verdict more respect.

    ‘Remain didn’t win by a landslide were clearly defeated at the ballot box on June 23rd’
    Evening Standard December 2016

    I think one needs to read the whole of Chuka’s previous views to recognise the absolute U turn he has made over the past 3 years. It is a turbo charged damascene conversion.

    Some of us agreed with him at the time and actually think that although his fear was that UKIP would make inroads into the Labour heartlands, still agree with his initial views.

  • Martin 8th Jul ’19 – 9:11am………….Expats, your loyalty to Corbyn and McDonnell is in its own way quite touching………

    jayne mansfield (8th Jul ’19 – 9:53am) rather puts the ‘Chukadulation’, on this site, into perspective.
    Mr. Umunna’s history should serve as a reminder that the oldage adage about ‘stones and glass houses’ still holds.

  • Mick Taylor 8th Jul '19 - 10:52am

    Our own Mr Cable didn’t cover himself with glory immediately after the 2016 referendum. If he can change his mind, why not Chukka Umunna?
    Harold Wilson once famously said that a week is a long time in politics. Surely Mr Umunna is entitled to hold a different view after 3 years, especially in view of the real facts about Brexit that have now emerged rather than the unicorn fantasy land promised during the referendum.
    Methinks Expats is a very unforgiving chap who wants everything set in aspic.

  • jayne mansfield 8th Jul '19 - 11:07am

    @ Mick Taylor,
    What real facts have changed about Brexit since Mr Umunna and Sir Vince Cable made their initial views public?

    Are you suggesting that when they were ardent remainers and were trying to persuade others to their point of view, they were not in possession of all the facts?

    The argument has moved from trying to secure a deal an EU 2 or some such similar deal that keeps us as close to the EU institutions as possible ,whilst also accepting that the 2016 election result cannot be wished away, to the probability that Boris Johnson will be the Prime Minister of this country and real fear that we may leave with no deal. Is that progress?

  • Nonconformistradical 8th Jul '19 - 11:25am

    @Jayne Mansfield
    “whilst also accepting that the 2016 election result cannot be wished away”

    Mick Taylor says:
    “Surely Mr Umunna is entitled to hold a different view after 3 years, especially in view of the real facts about Brexit that have now emerged rather than the unicorn fantasy land promised during the referendum.”

    Mick is quite right. And likewise – so are the voters of this country entitled to change their views.

  • chris moore 8th Jul '19 - 12:40pm

    There’d be no point bothering campaigning if nobody ever changed their mind.
    Poltics would be pointless.

  • Peter Martin 8th Jul '19 - 1:33pm

    “so are the voters of this country entitled to change their views.”

    But they’re only entitled to change them once more. As soon as they’ve been cajoled into doing what they should have done in Jun ’16 they won’t ever be asked again! That’s far too risky.

    The establishment are well aware of the mistake they made.

  • Alex Macfie 8th Jul '19 - 1:33pm

    Richard Underhill:

    “[McDonnell] reminds us that Labour made gains in the 2017 general election and confidently forecasts that Labour will make the same amount of gains in opinion polls in 2019.

    In 2017 most voters didn’t really know who Corbyn was; the media was not treating him as a serious contender for Prime Minister so he got a lot of abuse, but little scrutiny (as noted by Nick Clegg). Now, voters have a much better idea of who he is, and are not so impressed. In particular, young Remain supporters who flocked to him are now realising that he is in reality a Brexiteer. So he will not be able to repeat his 2017 “better than expected” performance in a future general election.

    Supporters of Boris Johnson are, likewise, deluded that their man’s past electoral success as Mayor of London will see him through to victory. But he was then projecting a small-l liberal image; now he has firmly hitched his wagon to hard Brexit and been endorsed by Trump, this is unlikely to work for him. I think it was Sam Gyimah who noted on the Sophy Ridge show that Johnson is nowadays much more a Marmite politician than a Heineken one.

  • Richard Underhill 8th Jul '19 - 2:23pm

    8th Jul ’19 – 1:33pm Alex Macfie
    Sorry, I did not say that I agreed with him

  • jayne Mansfield: Surely it is the voters who were not in full possession of the facts and have now become better informed.

    It is the unicorn fantasy land which is so attractive to many voters so they stick to it like glue. I hear it every day about how we managed to get through 2 world wars, probably without a scratch or a single building being bombed, and with a Treasury stuffed full of gold given by those nice kind Americans who rushed to help us the minute the war started. And of course the lavish supply of food and fuel we had in the period after 1945.
    I suspect some wealthy people did have a nice time if they were making vast profits out of the wars and their descendants want the good times back. And the ability they had to tell the rest of us what we could (not much) and could not do ( a great deal).

  • Peter Martin 8th Jul '19 - 2:52pm

    @ Alex Macfie,

    ” ……young Remain supporters who flocked to him are now realising that he is in reality a Brexiteer.”

    Jeremy Corbyn’s views on the EU are no secret now and they weren’t a secret at the time of the 2017 election.

    It may come as a surprise to many LibDems but the EU and Brexit are not, as far as most of the electorate are concerned, the be all and end all of politics. They are more interested in Schools, the NHS, and the opportunity for decent employment. These were the issues that Labour focused on then and I would expect that they’d do the same if there were another election soon.

    That’s why they did well and that’s why the Lib Dems did not so well.

    People are fed up to the back teeth with the political impasse around Brexit. They want to talk about other things!

  • Dennis Wake 8th Jul '19 - 2:56pm

    Peter Martin:
    The establishment are at last aware that their misguided policies and patronising attitude caused many people to show their contempt for them by voting against their pet project. It has little or nothing to do with the merits of the case but the ruling elite might be persuaded to try to change their behaviour at least for a while.

    I suppose if you are poor you will not be too concerned if a change of Government policy might increase the level of poverty but that is rather a harsh outlook. Of course comfortably off middle class Conservatives are not going to be too bothered about poverty as it is unlikely that they will be affected and they can look forward to higher share prices and dividends as a result of the poverty wages they can get away with paying when they have repealed Mrs May’s laws protecting working conditions.
    Nice for some.

  • Mick Taylor, Nonconformistradical,… Contrary to your assertions (Methinks Expats is a very unforgiving chap who wants everything set in aspic“) I don’t have any problem with policians changing their views, What I do haver a problem with is Mr. Umunna (Surely Mr Umunna is entitled to hold a different view after 3 years) accusing an ex colleague of ‘incredible hypocrisy’ when they change theirs.

    As an aside… I find this party, for all it’s ‘holier than thou’ stance, at least as ‘Tribal’ as the rest.

  • Dennis Wake 8th Jul '19 - 3:05pm

    Peter Martin: Yes people are fed up with Brexit but it is the Brexiteers who keep the pot boiling by preventing every reasonable attempt to deal with it.

  • Alex Macfie 8th Jul '19 - 3:09pm

    Richard Underhill: I didn’t think you would. Although my comment was in reply to yours, it is directed principally at the Corbyn groupies on this board, of which there are several. Of course, Lib Dems have been equally guilty of the hubris that currently consumed the Corbyn and Johnson camps — remember Cleggmania?

  • jayne mansfield 8th Jul '19 - 3:47pm

    I am sick of the patronising comments made by some on here who believe that they are upholders of the one true faith.

    My grandchildren stopped believing in unicorns when they were still at primary school. And as for the so called fact that ‘leavers’ did not know what they were voting for, my go to academic when it comes to keeping abreast of what the extreme political right are up to has always been Professor Matthew Goodwin. I can’t understand why, despite the new editorship, he wrote an article for the Mail on Sunday online, but he uses evidence to repudiate some of the claims made by ‘remainers’ on here.

    @ Alex Macfie,
    In 2017 the voters did not know who Corbyn was? Media reporters and politicians of other parties clearly did and if we accept their descriptions and analyses, it was clear what he was, the devil incarnate, someone more to be feared than a no deal Brexit.

    I have reservations about him as a politician, he makes naive Liberal Democrats seem worldly, but it seems he is currently under attack for doing what he and others said they would do, respect the result of the Referendum and followed a policy that seeks the softest of Brexits. In doing this, at least so far,and despite pressure from those panicking because of poor polling figures, he has at least have a politician who would reap a reward for the party if he threw his weight behind ‘Remain.

    I have no particular reason to support Corbyn, but the way both sides of the EU issue, twist facts to suit their own political prejudices sticks in the craw of someone who like many others has lost trust in politicians. Unlike others I don’t believe that the answer is to support those selling a more potent brew of snake oil.

    In 2017 voters did not know who Corbyn was. Well no, but given that media reporters and

  • Alex Macfie 8th Jul ’19 – 1:33pm……..In 2017 most voters didn’t really know who Corbyn was; the media was not treating him as a serious contender for Prime Minister so he got a lot of abuse, but little scrutiny………………

    The first bit is true, “most voters didn’t really know who Corbyn was”, mostly because every thing about him had been filtered through a hostile media, When they actually heard his message first hand he came across as someone who actually believed in what he stood for, unlike Theresa May who dodged every question and mouthed meaningless soundbites. His interview with Laura Kuenssberg was notable for his not doing personal attacks even when she ‘fed’ him the attacks on him by by Johnson, etc. As for his encounter with ‘nasty’ Jeremy Paxman it was a triumph of reasonable argument,

    If Johnson calls a GE he won’t be able to resist personal insults but neither will he get away with his tactics in the Leadership election. However, It seems that LibDems would far rather yet another right wing Tory government, and all that will entail, than a Labour government led by Corbyn.

  • Alex Macfie 8th Jul '19 - 7:41pm

    Jayne mansfield: But that’s what I mean, he got abuse but no scrutiny. As Helen Lewis (one of Marr’s paper reviewers yesterday, and no right-winger) writes in the New Statesman
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/06/why-political-journalism-keeps-getting-it-wrong

    “[Trump and Corbyn] were treated as joke candidates at the start of their campaigns. And joke candidates don’t face the same level of scrutiny as front-runners – which is a problem when they turn out to be serious contenders.”

    So, no, he was not subject to serious scrutiny during the 2017 election campaign. Ordinary members of the public do not think deeply about politics, and political commentators do not tend to report seriously on politicians who don’t seem to have a serious chance of winning.
    So most 2017 Corbyn supporters probably were not aware of his positions. Only if you read publications hostile to him were you likely to become aware of his more awkward positions, and it didn’t matter anyway because the hard-core Corbynistas dismissed out of hand any criticism, in a Trumpian fashion as you tend to do, as part of a right-wing conspiracy against him. This despite the fact that his deep-seated Euro-hostility is actually one of the few things on which his critics from the hard right agree with him.
    You say he would “respect the result of the Referendum and followed a policy that seeks the softest of Brexits” but the point is that that is not what the staunch Remainers who flocked to him wanted. And it does seem rather convenient for Corbyn that the result that he seeks to “respect” is one that he has supported all his political life. Again from the New statesman article

    “I have friends who were early Corbyn supporters and now find his position on the EU – his willingness to enact Brexit, as long as it’s a “Labour Brexit” – incomprehensible. Why didn’t anyone warn us he was a Eurosceptic, they complain. We did and you wouldn’t listen, I silently reply.

    @expats: Both Lib Dem leadership candidates have ruled out participating in coalitions led by either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn.

  • jayne Mansfield: I asked a friend who is from an ethnic minority why some of them were voting to leave the EU and his reply was that they were angry that European immigrants were given preference over BAME people. Professor Goodwin seems rather confused. I left a good well paid job to go into business so I understand why people want to run their own affairs but they also need to get together for mutual support and that means rules and courts to interpret and enforce the rules. Western Europe is unlike any other part of the world and it is envied, despised and hated for that reason.

  • jayne mansfield 8th Jul '19 - 11:25pm

    @Acland,
    I am not sure that if I wanted to understand voting behaviour amongst ethnic minority voters I would ask a friend., albeit one from an ethnic minority.

    I am sure that your friend, like you and I, is limited as far as who we know, and I would certainly be loathe to make generalisations from such conversations.

  • jayne mansfield 8th Jul '19 - 11:42pm

    @ Alex Macfie,
    I need to read the article that you kindly provide and will respond.

    Why bother? The simple answer to that is that what you political activists get up to affects my family, my community and my society . As a responsible member of all three, I have a vested interest.

    In the meantime, I really think you should reflect on your comment suggesting that I have a tendency to Trumpian conspiracy theories.

  • Professor Goodwin does not give any references to those studies about the views of Leavers which seem out of date. Both Leavers and Remainers share the general lack of knowledge about the effects of leaving the EU but the divide between left and right which was becoming irrelevant has been replaced by that between pro and anti EU, between the open minded and the fearful. It is not that the fearful did not know what they were voting against but that they did not like it.

    Populism is declining. Recent elections in Finland, Spain, Denmark, Greece, Slovakia and Britain have seen a revival of traditional centrist parties.

    Concern about immigration has weakened because it is hard to recruit workers or get jobs done since people stopped coming from Europe and because people can now charge a great deal more for their services, though non European immigrants seem to be still fearful and the Government is now rightly encouraging immigration from non EU European countries like Ukraine, the Balkans etc to ease the shortage of labour in essential services

  • jayne mansfield 12th Jul '19 - 12:23pm

    @ Acland,
    Professor Goodwin’s article appeared in the Daily Mail, so yes, no references.

    Nineteen months after the referendum a team of experts on public opinion contributed to a paper which surveyed public attitudes. “Brexit and Public attitudes’. The UK and the EU in a changing Europe. Kings College University. which you might find interesting.

    I responded to your previous post on the basis of your suggest that some BAME voters did so for a particular reason. I would atgue that this is not the full story. As one contribution to the papers , authored by Neema Begum found, there was a heterogeneity of attitudes that led to BAME voters voting leave.

    I don’t think it helpful to portray those who are categorised as BAME as though they have common, thoughts, ideas and behaviours. As with those of us who are not so categorised ,there are differences both within and between social categories. That is what racists do , and I am careful never to help them.

    The problem with values and attitudes is that they are resistant, ( although not impossible ), to change, as those who beat their head against a brick wall because people are not listening to ‘Remainer’ evidence when it comes to the possible/probable effect of Brexit on the UK, are all too aware.

  • Alex Macfie 14th Jul '19 - 4:52pm

    jayne mansfield: I wrote specifically that your dismissal of any criticism of Jeremy Corbyn as right-wing propaganda (standard among his supporters) is Trumpian in its character. There are many on the mainstream left who are aware of his politics, such as Helen Lewis, whose article I linked to, and therefore have no truck with him. You can hardly put them into the same bracket as the those from the right-wing press and politicians, who are playing to the gallery rather than trying to change anyone’s minds. But it is convenient for Corbyn’s supporters to lump them together. It is also a myth that voters flocked to him after they “actually heard his message first hand”; no, what they heard was the version of him that the Momentum social media spin machine wanted them to hear. It won’t work next time around.

    Peter Martin:

    “Jeremy Corbyn’s views on the EU are no secret now and they weren’t a secret at the time of the 2017 election.”

    Sarah Olney has an anecdote about young voters, in the Richmond Park constituency she so narrowly lost, emerging from polling stations confused because Jeremy Corbyn’s name wasn’t on the ballot paper. How do you expect them to be fully aware of the political positions of parties and their leaders If they are not aware that they were voting for a local representative, not directly for a Prime Minister? It is simply not credible that young Remain-inclined voters knowingly voted for a party led by a (crypto) Brexiteer, and this also undermines the idea that Corbyn did well because people saw who he really was, rather than what “hostile media” were telling them about him.

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