Corbyn stands no chance without a second referendum

Two lines of cars approaching a border post with three lanes visible. Signs say "keep right / garder la droite", a Canadian flag hangs from a pole to the left and there is an orange, diamond-shaped sign with an up arrow and the word "Construction" on it.With every week that passes, new disadvantages to this country from Brexit become clear: yesterday it was revealed that Theresa May had confirmed that the UK would not be part of the EU’s Digital Single Market, which means that roaming charges — abolished last year — would start to apply to British travellers again, while she also claimed to have been looking into the US/Canada border as a model for the border on the island of Ireland, a border which is very much a hard border with full passport controls (passports have been a requirement for US and Canadian citizens since 2005) and it is looking increasingly likely that the border will require a much greater physical presence and, probably, far fewer crossing points than there are now. Meanwhile, Labour have also caved in to the noise from the tabloids and some Labour MPs whose constituents voted for Brexit and increasingly advocates a hard Brexit, the end to free movement and so on. It talks of a “jobs-first Brexit” but cannot answer for how ‘jobs’ will be delivered in a Britain cut off from its neighbours, other than that fewer eastern Europeans will be able to take them.

I have seen some people mock Corbyn’s appeal to the youth vote, particularly in regard to the party’s decision to allow trans women to be nominated to all-female shortlists. One feminist opponent accused Corbyn of banking on a “pretend youthquake” while ignoring those that count — people like herself. A similar sentiment was expressed by Claire Jones, displaying the disdain for young people that is typical of radical feminists:

With the country inexorably heading towards the Brexit cliff-edge, any election without a major party advocating caution on or reconsideration of Brexit will be an apathy election in every district where there is a red-blue contest unless one contestant is vocally anti- or pro-Brexit (in my area it’s a Tory/Lib Dem contest, although even here, despondency about Brexit could easily cost the Lib Dem candidate votes). His best hope of getting young voters out is to make a second referendum on Brexit part of his party’s manifesto. This would have the advantage of offering a bone to Brexiteers who would at least have the chance to vote to leave again, while attracting both those who voted Remain last time and those who voted Leave, perhaps on the understanding that Brexit would take the form of the “Norway option” rather than vague talk of some sort of bespoke trade deal the details of which we still do not know a year before we are due to leave. The second referendum should take place on a public holiday (possibly a special one) so that retired people have no advantage over those who have to rush off to work, and not on a day that coincides with a major sporting event or music festival such as Glastonbury.

(On the subject of rad fems, I saw some tweets earlier from the so-called Socialist Feminist Network complaining that Labour’s policy on transgender women on all-female shortlists had been made without consulting “women or the trade union movement”. I asked them what they would say to women thinking of changing their vote for this reason, particularly if they had previously voted Labour. I’ve had no reply as yet. I think that if they are willing to squander the best chance we will have for perhaps another five years to end the Tory austerity regime because of discomfort over or animus towards trans women, they have no right to call themselves socialists — I’ll leave it to others to decide whether they merit the name ‘feminist’ but the hardship that this government has caused women who are disabled, who are carers, who live in poverty or in insecure rented housing, etc should be taken into consideration.)

Image source: A. Belani, cropped from an original image by David Herrera. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) licence.

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