I’m Not Sure that I Agree, But This Merits Serious Consideration

There will be a number of theories about what happened with the UK Parliamentary elections, but the thesis of Dr. Lee Jones, that, “Corbyn failed to see that Brexit wasn’t a distraction from anti-neoliberal revolt but the form it has taken in Britain,” is an idea that deserves to a thoughtful and deliberate examination.

It is posted on the website of an aggressively pro-Brexit organization, but it differs from most of these groups by coming from the left-wing, and anti-Neoliberal perspective:


This exposes Corbyn’s principal failure: he could not see that Brexit was not a distraction from a revolt against neoliberalism but the form that this revolt has taken in the British context.

From the beginning, most of the British left have only been able to understand the Leave vote as a reactionary, right-wing phenomenon, and its supporters as either wicked supporters of, or dupes of, the right or even far right. For left liberals to make this error is one thing, but for a lifelong left Eurosceptic to do so is inexcusable.

Brexit was not “sold as a blow to the system”; it was a blow to the system – evidenced by the hysterical response of that system to the vote, its desperate attempts to prevent the enactment of the referendum result ever since, and the challenges to every aspect of Britain’s political and constitutional order. Every political party, barring UKIP and fringe communist groups, campaigned to Remain, as did all the institutions of the business, cultural and educational establishment, backed by the International Monetary Fund and the US president. People rejected the European Union and opted to “take back control” because they could see that the political elite had retreated from them into the state and the interstate networks of the EU. They wanted an end to this post-political era, in which nothing ever changed and political parties had converged on the neoliberal “centre-ground”. They wanted politicians to start representing them again, to listen to and act upon their grievances. They wanted popular sovereignty (see Analysis #6 – Why Did Britain Vote to Leave the EU?).

Read the rest.

I’m still trying to digest this, but it deserves a read.

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