‘What a refreshing change from the slanderous pro-EU campaign since the referendum to paint Leave voters as gullible, undereducated, xenophobic racists.’ So commented the leader of the British Communist Party about a recent speech by the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
And there’s the rub. Voting leave followed sound socialist principles (as well as Communist ones; the CP recommended voting leave as the EU was ‘anti working class’), not nationalistic racist ones. Again the Communist Party was ahead of the curve on this one, describing the EU as ‘anti-democratic, pro-big business and racist.’
Other left wing parties advanced similar analysis – hence the Socialist Workers Party arguing for Brexit because…
‘The single market was set up by the bosses for the bosses. It bans many reforms that would threaten companies’ profits. Renationalising the railways or taking back the NHS from its privatisers would require a break from the single market.’
It is instructive that the accusations of xenophobia and narrow-mindedness aimed at those who voted Brexit tend to emanate from the Blairite rump of middle class Labour voters, mostly professional class types, whose real home is the Liberal Party. The newly animated Anarchist group ‘Class war’ has gone so far to describe the Brexit vote as a step towards revolution – a line of analysis of which Trotsky himself would have approved. In his struggle against the centralising tendencies of the Soviet State, Leon Trotsky argued passionately for the devolution of power into the localities.
So perhaps, once again, beneath the neo-Liberal fog of pointless hand wringing and groundless accusations of racism, there is a real element of class struggle in the vote.
Of course not all Revolutionary preconditions exist – it would take a monumentally stupid situation to arise in the major capitalist country of America to cause that…..