The traditional northern heartlands helped deliver that crucial Brexit vote on June 23rd, but Labour continues to show nothing but contempt towards their Brexiteers.
In a cynical bid to distance himself from his equally left-wing rival, Smith has said that he would offer the public a second referendum to legitimise any Brexit deal Brussels offers Britain. But by doing so, he has proven that he is just as hateful towards democracy as his EU counterparts.
The leadership hopeful reiterated his argument on BBC Radio 4 by saying if elected Labour leader, MPs would be instructed to vote against invoking Article 50 until the Government commits to a second vote. However, Radio 4 presenter John Humphrys destroyed his argument entirely:
“So what you’re saying to 17million people – 17,410,742 – what you’re saying to them is ‘sorry we didn’t like the way you voted last time, we’ll have another referendum’.”
Calls for another referendum have been received by arch Europhile, Tony Blair, whose ignorance towards the concern of his own voters over European integration undoubtedly helped cause them to reject the EU this year.
What’s worse is that Smith even wants to be present at the negotiating table when Brexit takes place in an attempt to halt leaving the super bloc. There are plenty of reasons why Labour Brexiteers will show him nothing but contempt in return if he tries to do prevent leaving Europe’s failed political experiment from becoming a reality.
Working-class people had, and still have, good reasons to support Vote Leave this year. For decades since 1975, when the British public voted to remain a part of the Common Market, the institution people voted for then has morphed into a gigantic superstate whose end goal is full political and monetary union. Labour supporters are the ones who have suffered the most as a result of politicians’ greed in creating this failed union and, most of all, they have been betrayed by the Labour Party themselves.
In 1983, the Party promised to withdraw from the EEC if elected. But under Kinnock’s direction, Labour gradually adopted a pro-European tone. Under Blair and Brown, left-wing voters have been consistently betrayed by promises of trying to delay European integration via referendums. Did those votes regarding the euro, the EU Constitution and the Lisbon Treaty ever happen? No. The two Euro-lovers sacrificed British sovereignty to the European Parliament and caused Britain’s poorest voters in Britain’s deprived industrial heartlands to feel increasingly distant from politics generally.
Under the last Labour government, the coalition and Cameron’s brief premiership with a majority, no attempt was made to reform aspects of the EU that harmed traditional Labour constituencies the most. Between them, Blair, Brown and Cameron failed to address the Common Fisheries Policy that destroyed Britain’s fishing industries and surrendered our waters to foreign fishermen, causing a significant loss in jobs for these people.
Blair’s greatest mistake in office was expanding freedom of movement after ten Eastern European countries came under Brussels’ rule in 2004. Not many people deny immigration is good for our economy, but leaving the EU will help deliver a quota-based immigration system in the long-term that will help attract immigrants of quality to this country. By allowing masses of Eastern Europeans into this country, Labour voters were worst affected by wages being driven down and companies moving abroad to pay their workers a cheaper wage in European countries. No Labour leader, or potential leader, since has connected with people on this issue. They just don’t get it.
Since the 2008 Recession and the EU Referendum this year, it has become quite apparent that the EU is a club that favours the wealthy bankers that caused the 2008 Recession in many of Labour supporters’ eyes. Considering the mass amount of money the likes of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, the guilty culprits in the last banking crisis, spend on lobbying European politicians and the lack of efficient lobbying laws the European Commission has initiated, it is little wonder British people generally saw through their shallow words and rejected the EU this year.
Labour needs to understand the reasons why swathes of their traditional base of support voted for Brexit this year. Instead, they continue to treat their voters with contempt and until they reflect upon this year’s result, the Party will be condemned to years of electoral oblivion, regardless of who wins the leadership contest.