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It’s not perfect, but Norway plus may be Labour’s least worst option | Owen Jones10 Jan 1:00am

It’s not perfect, but Norway plus may be Labour’s least worst option | Owen Jones

The Guardian
The party must push for an election. But a Norway-type deal could be the only one that commands a parliamentary majority There are no good options for Labour on Brexit. Accepting this fact is both depressing and liberating. Being on the left is supposed to be about unbounded optimism, a belief that what is deemed politically impossible by the “sensible grownups” of politics can be realised, with sufficient imagination and determination. But recognising that there is no magic button that will end the Brexit debate is to be freed of the stress of searching for the impossible. Supporters of every position on Brexit should be honest about the downsides of their chosen strategies. Labour’s priority is, rightly, a general election. When Theresa May declared from a Downing Street podium that she was seeking to dissolve parliament in April 2017, she wanted to make the election entirely about Brexit. Labour did not allow her to do so, shifting the conversation on to domestic issues, where it was strong, from hiking taxes on the rich to investing in public services to public ownership: issues that unite remainers and leavers. Even though voters have priorities other than Brexit, such as stagnating wages, housing and the NHS, repeating the 2017 strategy this time would be far more challenging, to put it mildly. Labour’s electoral coalition, which encompasses both pro-remain Kensington and pro-leave Ashfield – will be placed under severe strain. The fact that Brexit dominates political debate is bad for Labour because it suppresses its anti-establishment politics; its leading figures are left looking like triangulating politicians, the same as the all the rest.
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