Jeremy Corbyn’s real gamble on the Article 50 bill was assuming that the remain voting Labour supporters — which should be the smartest of the lot — would be switched on enough to realise that any concessions on Brexit would not come in the commons where a heavily whipped Tory majority of 18 is bolstered by hard Brexit supporting UKIP, eight DUP MPs, the increasingly bizarre Labour Leave gang, and even the odd Lib Dem.
It was Jeremy’s hope that enough people would understand that the fight for workers’ rights, for free movement, for human rights and fair tax structures, would be a sustained campaign across the county, in and out of the media and parliament for the two years of the negotiations. And that it will continue after that: as it always has. Jeremy has gambled on people being able to see a slightly bigger picture than a vote that could not be won, and could not even be symbolically fought without hurting the wider fight: at the moment it seems he’s to be disappointed on that.
To those disappointed by Labour’s stance, you have to hope that people who oppose Brexit think about why they oppose Brexit: and in coming elections vote on those issues.
The left leaning amongst the angry remainers will need to vote for a party that can safeguard the best of the EU legislation, and they don’t need to vote for a party that is willing to get back into bed with the Tories.
Labour nationally needed to be seen to accept referendum result, which meant a party position. No whip, and the there was the ‘not respecting referendum’ stick for Tories, Kippers and their media pals to beat the party with. There’s scar tissue already all over where the ‘shadow cabinet rebellion stick’ beats Labour, most of that self inflicted for this
Don’t think the leadership will be judging anyone harshly for voting the against the whip, John McDonnell has even suggested that ‘rebels’ could be back in fold within months. This will be forgotten long before the next election. After all, there are bigger, and more winnable, battles to fight.
“There is no final victory, as there is no final defeat. There is just the same battle. To be fought, over and over again. So toughen up, bloody toughen up.” – Tony Benn