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I am a Socialist.I Voted Leave. Here’s Why.

Let’s cut to the chase. I voted Leave. I would not change that vote. My Government asked us a question with two possible answers and I made my choice along with over 17 million others. The fact is that I chose to view the question from a socialist perspective and not through the prism of capitalism.


This means that I am not a ,”Brexiteer”, I am not anti immigration, I am not a racist, I don’t believe for a nano second that this or any Tory Government has the slightest intention of investing that made up amount of money in the NHS, I didn’t vote for money to leave our city and region, I did not vote for cash to leave our already beleaguered Universities, creaking transport system or energy infrastructure. The most disappointing aspect of the outcome of the vote is that I have to say all this in the first place. Many people are in favour of a united Ireland but no one would ever dare accuse the majority of them of being IRA supporters.

I come into contact with the world via three main areas all of which are linked to the public sector in one way or another. People who were otherwise quiet, or viewed my activism with varying degrees of disdain (waste of time, impossible to change anything) or incredulity have suddenly become highly opinionated. Granted they are few in number but their stridency and our British fear of potentially embarrassing confrontation in public places has amplified their ire and drowned out alternative viewpoints.

And as for social media…. The surprise for me is not the nastiness from the right wing commentators, you expect that. The bile directed at the elected Labour Leader is perhaps to be anticipated but there has been some questionable actions and words from some of the people he has surrounded himself with. Witness an aide at a recent press conference calling a Labour MP names because she, having been denied a press release took one off a Telegraph journalist. But at the end of the day this is exactly what the Tories want; to see us at each other’s throats whilst they dismantle the public sector.

Austerity is at the root of much of what ails us here, and across Europe. NHS and other Public Sector cuts are the result of a political project by the Tories. Hence Hull suffers £261 per head cuts, as explained by Deputy Council Leader Darren Hale, whilst Guildford’s cut has been a mere £18 and Dorset which includes Bournemouth has actually seen a small rise in per capita funding.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO ) Institute for Statistics, Research and Development funding, which is a key resource stream for Universities and Higher Education establishments runs well below our competitors and is falling when expressed as a percentage of GDP. The developed world average is 2.2% with Germany and the USA clocking 2.5%. Israel leads the way at 4.8% and Denmark’s rate is 3.3%. The UK, where successive government’s have starved Universities of cash has an abysmal record. Just 1.6% of GDP is allocated to R and D. This is why we are falling behind.

The record of the coalition and then the majority Tory Government on the NHS speaks for itself with the return of the winter crisis. To be fair winter crisis is now a thing of the past as it’s an all round affair now.

Austerity is to blame. Any loss of money from the EU is simply compounding an existing crisis and it should be the aim of an incoming government to pursue progressive taxation policies such as land value raising powers to redistribute wealth in a way that is fair, ensuring that the majority are not made to pay for the Debt Industry crashing the economy in 2008. As explained by that well known Lefty head banger Dr. Danny Blanchflower who sat on the Marxist Leninist Bank of England Monetary Committee the LVT pegged at 20% would deliver £800 billion either right away or in bonds that could be used as low interest collateral on the markets. Deficit gone, VAT abolished, income tax thresholds raised to £50,000 and full funding for all our public services. I would suggest we go a step further and introduce full workers control for the Nationalised sectors to avoid the mistakes of the Wilson/ Callaghan era where all State Capitalism produced was industrial and social strife.

That’s why the time has come to draw a line under the Labour Party, sad as this is. I spent 31 years as an activist and co wrote a book about the Party in which we argued for Labour to take the EU bull by the horns in 2014 by forcing a referendum based on positivity and using that mandate to negotiate with our partners in a fraternal way. Instead Cameron consistently drained the well of goodwill in Europe and went to negotiate by waving an empty gun around. They gave him nothing and we ended up in the exit lounge.

A new Party which reflects the values of Clause Four, promises tax reform and democratisation can reach and galvanise people right across Society. In the words of Jean Paul Satre, “Be practical, dream the impossible!”. 

If you have been reading this, thank you for getting to the end. I fully support why Lefties, and others voted In; the values of solidarity and internationalism will have been over riding factors with Inners voting for the greater good and not self interest. I just hope you will give us LEXIT voters the same hearing.

The great physicist Niels Bohr once said, “How wonderful. We have reached a paradox. At last we have a chance of making some progress!”  Maybe he was onto something.


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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