For many years I used to be a member of the Labour European Safeguards Committee, which at the time I naïvely imagined represented a left-critical perspective on the EU that sought reform of the EU from that perspective. I left when I discovered it was being funded non-transparently and was actually just a vehicle for pulling out. A leading light was Austin Mitchell, then MP for Grimsby. Now, in a Guardian article he is criticising Labour for not focusing on the real agenda, which is standing up for the ‘left behind,’ Labour he claims has ‘no clear proposals to repair a failing economy.’
I wonder if Austin has noticed that the party is now led by Jeremy Corbyn? The ex-MP, who clearly delighted in his role as a maverick has now been out-mavericked. He must feel a little out of sorts, and perhaps hasn’t heard that Labour would end the failed policy of austerity, which is even making Tory-run councils go bust, or that Labour would renationalise natural monopolies (water, energy, rail, etc) that have squeezed the ‘left behind’ with inflation busting price rises.
As an early proponent of Brexit, Mitchell now accuses the party of being distracted by it. He should pay more attention.