We are neither "the people" nor "the nation", we are the working class!

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21 November 2018

So another ten rats have left May's sinking ship - bringing her government's resignation score to over 20 in just 20 months!
    Some resigned because they thought that May's Brexit was too "hard", others because they didn't find it "hard" enough.  But whatever their alleged justifications, their real reasons have little to do with Brexit itself.
    In fact, they just don't want to share the discredit that will come with Brexit, whichever form it takes.  And they're frantically seeking to distance themselves from an increasingly unpopular government, hoping that this will allow them to jump into May's designer shoes at some later point.  But they won't take their chances too early either - as the bid to oust May by top-of-the-toffs Rees-Mogg, has shown.  If this bid has now petered out, it is precisely because few Tories have the stomach to bid for May's position at this point.

May's "people" and "nation" - the bosses!

May's only happy fan club these days is the CBI, the bosses' organisation, whose annual conference gave her a standing ovation last weekend.
    For good reason too.  After all, May's Brexit deal does, more or less, meet all their "red lines": its extensible "transition period" guarantees that they will be able to buy and sell goods across the huge Single Market, for another 2 or 3 years at least, without having to face tariffs or border controls.  And, by the time this extended transition ends, British and EU bosses will have got their politicians to stop messing around, in order to sign the trade deal which is best for their profits.
    Of course, some companies will have to adjust.  Britain's big finance companies won't have the same free access to the Single Market they had before.  But in the internet age, when communications take just a tiny fraction of a second, they can live with that.  In fact, the London Stock Exchange has just transferred much of its very profitable business in euros to Italy, while most big international banks have transferred part of their operations to the Continent.
    So, although the big companies would definitely have preferred to avoid the absurd disruption caused by Brexit to their operations, they're getting all the guarantees they wanted: not much will change for them in the near future and they will have a lot of time to adapt to the next stage of Brexit, using the benefits they will get from the future trade negotiations with the EU.
    In fact, this is what May really means when she keeps repeating ad nauseam that her deal is "good for the People" and "in the national interest".  It is good for her "People" and her "Nation" - that is, for the tiny capitalist minority.

Standing up for our class interests

Where does this leave the rest of us, the working class majority?  Even before any deal is actually agreed, we can see how the big companies have begun to use Brexit as an excuse to attack our wages and conditions.
    Already, over the past three months, most car companies have announced short-time working, extended shut-downs and job cuts - all blamed on the "uncertainty caused by Brexit".  But - surprise, surprise - so far, none of them has cancelled these plans due to "certainty" introduced by May's deal!
    What's more, since this deal, there have been more announcements: the planned closure of Michelin's Dundee tyre plant; the likely closure of one of Vauxhall's three plants; Nissan's refusal to negotiate the new pay deal which was due this Autumn, etc., all of which is blamed, one way or another, on the "Brexit challenge".  And all these attacks are taking place against the backdrop of increasing poverty, with 14 million living below the breadline across the country!
    For us, workers, contrary to what Corbyn and the Labour party says, there was never any possibility of a "good" Brexit, anyway.  Indeed, the main objective of the EU has always been to promote the interests of the richest European capitalist classes.  In fact, this was precisely the reason why Britain joined the EU in the first place.
    And leaving the EU was never a way of freeing ourselves from capitalism.  For the Westminster Brexiteers, Brexit was just a device in the rivalry between British companies and their Continental competitors, aimed at reinforcing British capital.  And, in this rivalry, we workers have no stake - and no-one to side with.
    Or rather, we do have a side - but not that of one set of bosses against another.  It is the side of our fellow EU and non-British workers, who stand to be victimised by May's "hostile environment" against foreigners.  Their side is our side, because we are all part of the same class and because we need them to collectively stand up with us for our class interests against the attacks that the bosses are planning against us!