Jeremy Corbyn is a life long opponent of the EU, who not only voted against it in the 1975 referendum, but who voted against every extension of its powers since then. He heads a parliamentary party that is thoroughly Federast in its outlook, and appears to have made a Faustian pact with them. The full terms are obviously still secret, so we don't know what Corbyn will get in return, but his side of the deal is obvious: he must support the EU in the 2016 referendum.
The problem is that by supporting the EU, Labour has probably made itself permanently unelectable. Polling figures that are now available show that fully three in seven of Labour's 2015 voters who are also Brexiteers will not vote Labour in the future, based solely on the party's attitude to the EU.
When Tory voters claim that they will never vote Tory again they tend to be blustering. When Labour voters say that they are abandoning Labour then they damn well mean it and they carry though with their threat. They then spend a lifetime telling anyone who will listen why they no longer vote Labour just so we all know.
I had friends at school who were a year of so younger than me so got caught out by the raising of the school leaving age in 1972. The Tories were in power then, but it did not matter because those people blamed it all on Labour for not doing anything about that measure after 1974. I never had the heart to tell them that it was a Labour policy that the Wilson government had to put back by a few years owing to financial constraints, so it was purely blind chance that Heath was in power when the measure was passed. Anyway, to the best of my knowledges neither of them have ever voted for anyone, which means in a district like that, it is Labour that suffers.
A friend of mine had a pub in Salford, and half his regulars were Labour voters who stopped voting when the smoking ban came in. Every time they went outside for a tab in the piss poring rain they would have a moan about how Labour was getting them wet. They probably still are for all I know.
In Scotland Labour lost a whole damn country with its stupidity. Firstly by fiddling the 1978 referendum for a Scottish assembly to make sure that even though the measure passed, it did not pass by the required percentage. Then by refusing to oppose the Tories with sufficient vigour in the 1980s, even though Labour had 50 out of the 73 Scottish seats. Finally by siding with those same Tories in the 2014 independence referendum when the bulk of its core vote had decided to take a punt on independence.
Last year Labour activists were being abused in the streets by ordinary people who then went on to hand every single Labour seat but one to the SNP. This year in the Scottish elections, the anger had gone, and people were just indifferent to Labour's plaintive cries. One activist told me that the indifference was even worse than the hostility.
Staying on the Scottish theme for a moment, Corbyn could have adopted the strategy that the SNP is using in this referendum, but he hasn't, and it is probably too late to change, now.
The SNP tried to dragoon its members into supporting Remain, and when they refused, the party began a policy of criticising the Remain campaign, but not Remain itself. It is obvious what they are up to, they are making sure that whatever shit flies up does not fall down on them. The SNP can face the future and say that whatever happens none of it was their fault, which is bollocks, but has the advantage of being plausible bollocks.
Labour could have done that. Ostensibly supporting Remain, but in reality watching the Tories tear themselves to pieces. Maybe even doing as Stanley did at Bosworth Field and changing sides, when the other army looked like becoming a winner.
Instead Labour has decided to sacrifice its future as a serious political party on the altar of the EU. The working class vote in Northern England, which is the last of the old vote left, will abandon Labour after this final betrayal.