No united front with Tories on EU!

Submitted by martin on 30 May, 2016 - 4:45 Author: Rhodri Evans

After the grim result of Labour's tagging-along with the Tories in the Scottish referendum campaign, the Labour Party decided - without much open controversy - to campaign independently for a vote for Britain to remain in the EU.

Yet on 30 May, the newly-elected Labour mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, flouted that policy to join with David Cameron - who only weeks ago was smearing Khan as "terrorist-linked" - to launch a "pledge card" for the cross-party "Britain Stronger in Europe" campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are doing good work, touring the country, making a distinctively labour-movement argument for remaining in the EU as a better starting-point to fight for social equality across national borders.

The leading Labour people who, like Khan, instead chime in with status-quo, "Brexit-bad-for-bosses" platforms are undermining Labour. And undermining the job of mobilising working-class people and youth to vote remain: if they see "remain" motivated only by arguments that the status quo is ok, then some will be tempted by "vote leave" demagogy.

Officially, Labour has its own "Labour in" campaign, led by Alan Johnson. But its budget is tiny (by Westminster standards), a fraction of a single MP's office budget. Its latest intervention is a scraping-the-barrel claim by Johnson that "Britain’s hopes of staging big sporting events like the Olympics or World Cup could be put at risk by Brexit".

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