Yanis Varoufakis on Covid-19, Brexit and the trouble with Keir Starmer

April 29, 2020
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On day 37 of lockdown, former Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis joined Freddie Sayers to discuss his late conversion to Brexit, the collapsing Left-Right distinction, and the politics of Covid 19. Have a watch above (apologies for the patchy quality – stick with it, it gets better and better!)…

On Brexit:

  • While he disagreed with Brexit at the time, the whole second referendum campaign was insulting to Brexit voters and explains Labour’s defeat.
  • Whereas Dominic Cummings deployed racism “like a weapon” during the Brexit campaign, he does not believe that Brexit voters were racist.

On the failures of the global Left:

  • Sanders, Corbyn and Varoufakis himself were defeated because they were undermined by their own political parties.
  • Rejects the idea that the Left should embrace harder line immigration policies like the Danish Social Democrats — he would rather lose every election for the rest of his life than be a Danish Social Democrat.
  • The Left are doomed to failure because they keep fighting with each other.

On Greece’s response to Covid-19:

  • Credits the Greek Conservative government for taking swift measures (faster than the UK Government).
  • The Greek economy is uniquely dependent on tourism and the devastation will be crippling.
  • Number one priority is harm minimisation, but there is already skulduggery going on where American financiers are being protected in bailouts over poor people in Greece. He would like to lead protests across Greece at the Government’s ‘shielding of the oligarchy’.

On Keir Starmer:

  • He was on wrong side of the second referendum argument, which was “highly disrespectful” to half of the population.
  • He is likely to technically win the arguments against Johnson in parliament but no-one will notice in the electorate.


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