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Thread: Quo Vadis Labour?

  1. #61
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    That is the failing of the system that the UK, along with other countries, have.

    The next chance to vote on the ruling party is a couple of years, and is guarantee. The looser will leave power. That too is close to a guarantee.
    The next chance to vote on the EU might well be whenever, if ever, the government allows it in whatever way they choose to do.

    If the two issues were delinked - which almost any form of proportional representation would allow - that would be great.

    What would also be great would to be less obtuse.

    There won't be any more votes on the EU. None of the parties are campaigning to rejoin. The only question is whether or not people are allowed to question how Brexit is being implemented, but as Furunculus shows, the Tories have it sewn up in terms of identifying with "getting Brexit done" (although we're not allowed to ask questions about how it's being done).

    Eg. the government is talking about invoking article 16 suspending the Northern Ireland protocol, and no doubt their supporters will blame it on the Europeans. The EU blames the UK, of course, and the US has stated that it will be the UK's fault. And there will be Leavers accusing the protocol of being unfair to the Northern Irish. Despite the organisation representing most of NI's manufacturers saying that this is not so, and that they see it as an opportunity (hence good for them), rather than something to go into a trade war over.

    Will it ever be ok to ask why the government is doing this or that? Or will the government be forever be given carte blanche because they are trusted to "get Brexit done"?

  2. #62
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    There won't be any more votes on the EU. None of the parties are campaigning to rejoin. The only question is whether or not people are allowed to question how Brexit is being implemented, but as Furunculus shows, the Tories have it sewn up in terms of identifying with "getting Brexit done" (although we're not allowed to ask questions about how it's being done).

    Eg. the government is talking about invoking article 16 suspending the Northern Ireland protocol, and no doubt their supporters will blame it on the Europeans. The EU blames the UK, of course, and the US has stated that it will be the UK's fault. And there will be Leavers accusing the protocol of being unfair to the Northern Irish. Despite the organisation representing most of NI's manufacturers saying that this is not so, and that they see it as an opportunity (hence good for them), rather than something to go into a trade war over.

    Will it ever be ok to ask why the government is doing this or that? Or will the government be forever be given carte blanche because they are trusted to "get Brexit done"?
    Never is a long time - as I say, the time since the last one was c. 50 years. Having repeated votes until one gets the right answer is itself a technique that the EU has repeatedly used and I hope we don't follow them (although the SNP appears to view things differently).

    "Getting Brexit done" might well be the strapline Boris et al are going on about but as you've said - it is done. If that's all he can bring to the next election he'll go the way of the Brexit party who had nothing else - unless Brexit isn't done.

    Regards to Northern Ireland I would be delighted for them to be reunified with their compatriots - and indeed for Scotland to be given the freedom to leave as well. For most remainers that means I can't be called a nostalgic Nationalist dreaming of Empire, but instead of Xenophobe - as what else could I be?

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  3. #63
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Never is a long time - as I say, the time since the last one was c. 50 years. Having repeated votes until one gets the right answer is itself a technique that the EU has repeatedly used and I hope we don't follow them (although the SNP appears to view things differently).

    "Getting Brexit done" might well be the strapline Boris et al are going on about but as you've said - it is done. If that's all he can bring to the next election he'll go the way of the Brexit party who had nothing else - unless Brexit isn't done.

    Regards to Northern Ireland I would be delighted for them to be reunified with their compatriots - and indeed for Scotland to be given the freedom to leave as well. For most remainers that means I can't be called a nostalgic Nationalist dreaming of Empire, but instead of Xenophobe - as what else could I be?

    You've seen with Furunculus that the Tories still retain their appeal on the basis of getting Brexit done, with the other parties holding no appeal on this sole basis. The Tory government is still periodically stirring up a fight with the EU to keep this issue current, such as complaining about an unfair Northern Ireland protocol that they signed up to and that the Northern Irish themselves don't think is bad. Note how their line of attack has nothing to do with whether or not the people they are claiming for actually support them, but is aimed to keep the EU as a current scapegoat despite us being divorced from them. Note also how this position alienates everyone outside the UK. And note also how this position keeps the supporters of Brexit onside and voting Tory (eg. Furunculus's posts, the polls, etc.).

    Brexit is no longer about economic opportunity, ideological differences, or anything of that sort (if they ever were). It's now an identity for the Tories to play on to retain a rump support amongst the UK electorate. And thus no metrics, no arguments, are relevant any more, other than the poll numbers. And all other issues are subordinate to this, since it so effectively wins votes.

  4. #64
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Yes, perhaps it is me. I am projecting myself on others.

    I quite like Kier. I like his long, considered essays on subjects as opposed to the moron we have in charge who apparently neither read the Northern Ireland agreement nor even managed to get someone more competent than he is to give him a "Jane and John" precis. Kier is even trying to make his party electable by trying to jettison the wacky left ideologues (and if they could take the incompetent, hypocrite who is Ms Abbot with them that'd be great). I doubt I agree with everything he would wish to do - but at least he would have a cogent, and probably logical approach to why he is doing it.

    The Northern Ireland agreement was always going to be impossible to sort out given there needs to both be and not be a border in two different places with Northern Ireland wanting to trade and free access to the South and also trade and free access to the rest of the UK - a classic childish demand for "both" when given two different, diametrically opposite, options...

    Brexit could only be an economic opportunity if one looks back decades - and if some pretty lucky things happen - if the UK is able to more agile with trade deals or manage to keep out the way of trade disputes the EU has with other power blocks. If these two things happen.

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  5. #65
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    And the deputy PM's mate was given £164m in PPE contracts after being referred by said minister to the preferential list. £60k in donations to the Tory party produces £164m in contracts. Funding the Tory party must be the most profitable investment around.

    All this corruption still won't make any difference of course. Tory voters will still vote based on that one issue.

  6. #66
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    The minutes for a meeting between the minister in charge of handing out covid-related contracts, a firm which received a contract, and an MP who consulted for said firm and who recently resigned after being censured by the Commons for corruption, have been "lost". The contract was worth £600m.

    Is there any accountability for all of this? There's no literal accountability of course, as the government have been careful to cover their tracks, but voters are supposed to care about what happens to our tax money. Or is the odd billion here and there handed out to Tory MPs' friends ok, as long as they are pro-Brexit?

  7. #67
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    My name is getting slung about quite a lot here.

    It is worth pointing out for the edification of all, should that be necessary:
    1. I was never a 'kipper' - my position has been consistently skeptic, not leaver, right up until the end of the renegotiation in Jan 2016.
    2. I am not a 'tory' - my position is economically right wing and classically liberal, which makes it v.hard for any left-wing/identitarian party to appeal to me.
    3. I am not a 'single-issue' voter - quite aside from economic and social policy, i hope it would be evident after all these years that defence and FP is a key interest too.
    Last edited by Furunculus; 11-22-2021 at 16:31.
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  8. #68
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    HMRC to relocate to Newcastle office owned by Tory donors via tax haven

    HM Revenue and Customs has struck a deal to relocate tax officials into a new office complex in Newcastle owned by major Conservative party donors through an offshore company based in a tax haven, the Guardian can reveal.

    The department’s planned new home in the north-east of England is part of a regeneration scheme developed by a British Virgin Islands (BVI) entity controlled by the billionaire property tycoons David and Simon Reuben.

    The deal will see officials at the government department responsible for preventing tax avoidance working from a site owned by a subsidiary of a company based in a secretive offshore tax jurisdiction.

    The Reuben brothers, their family members and businesses have donated a combined £1.9m to the Tories. Earlier this week, the brothers are reported to have shared a table with Boris Johnson at an exclusive Tory party fundraising dinner.

    On Tuesday, officials including the Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay announced HMRC had agreed the 25-year lease with one of the Reuben brothers’ companies.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...-via-tax-haven

    Corruption doesn't get much more blatant than this. But it's all ok. They won an election under the aegis of "Get Brexit done", so everything is justified by that mandate.

  9. #69
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    HMRC to relocate to Newcastle office owned by Tory donors via tax haven



    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...-via-tax-haven

    Corruption doesn't get much more blatant than this. But it's all ok. They won an election under the aegis of "Get Brexit done", so everything is justified by that mandate.
    Has this been rented above market rates? Has the building been vacant for years with no one wanting to rent it? Was this hidden? How was the decision made? Did ministers overrule Civil Servants?

    I'm struggling to see exactly what bit is the corruption here. Apparently there's nothing illegal either. And one has to be pretty confident to rent to HMRC if one is playing fast and loose with the details.

    The article itself is a whine about the nasty rich people whilst reluctantly stating there's nothing that is illegal here.

    Boris and his chums are neck deep in dubious deals - from borderline illegal lobbying by ex-PMs, to giving one's chums paid for access to contracts to mates who clearly can't do them. But this isn't one of them.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
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  10. #70
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Has this been rented above market rates? Has the building been vacant for years with no one wanting to rent it? Was this hidden? How was the decision made? Did ministers overrule Civil Servants?

    I'm struggling to see exactly what bit is the corruption here. Apparently there's nothing illegal either. And one has to be pretty confident to rent to HMRC if one is playing fast and loose with the details.

    The article itself is a whine about the nasty rich people whilst reluctantly stating there's nothing that is illegal here.

    Boris and his chums are neck deep in dubious deals - from borderline illegal lobbying by ex-PMs, to giving one's chums paid for access to contracts to mates who clearly can't do them. But this isn't one of them.

    I accept correction. But I frequently wonder just how much the evidence of other corruption and incompetence will factor into any election. Johnson refused to be interviewed during the 2019 election. Unlike the Yes PM episode where an accidental untruth has Hacker worrying about his job, Johnson routinely lies in every interview and PMQ. There is little cloaking of money for friends and associates. Yet he won a landslide on nothing more than a single slogan, and the Tories continue to lead in polls.

    I used to believe in process, where there was an underlying sense of propriety across the spectrum, and any wrongdoing was self-regulated to within a limited range. But Trump across the river, and the Brexit-Tory politics on this side, have made me lose confidence in democracy. As long as the media back one side, and Johnson's former masters never fail to back him and his mates, the politicians can do anything they like, and the voters continue to support them. At least in the US there seems to be some kind of entente against Trump's extremism. There is nothing of the sort here.

  11. #71

    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    You keep addressing "democracy" - and without registering rory's points about electoral process - yet the Tories won less than 44% of the vote in 2019 (less than Trump in the US), and their approval rating has generally been in the low 40s or high 30s since. It would help your mood to consider your complaint more precisely.
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    I frequently wonder just how much the evidence of other corruption and incompetence will factor into any election. Johnson refused to be interviewed during the 2019 election. Unlike the Yes PM episode where an accidental untruth has Hacker worrying about his job, Johnson routinely lies in every interview and PMQ. There is little cloaking of money for friends and associates. Yet he won a landslide on nothing more than a single slogan, and the Tories continue to lead in polls.
    you appear to fixate on the flaws of the electorate in refusing to acknowledge the inadequacy of the tory party (read: cronyism and/or corruption), so I would instead invite you to consider another alternative:

    the electorate does not perceive itself as having one! an "alternative", that is.
    e.g. these 'anomalous' electoral outcomes might be more to do with the shear Olympian edifice of labour's un-electability, than it has to do with the peoples' Nelson'ian indifference to tory flaws.

    labour may have fronted Captain Hindsight as a deliberately grey and dull 'manager' but way too many people are intensely aware of the frothing lunacy of the activist base roiling beneath the surface of the (new) Labour offer...
    Last edited by Furunculus; 11-28-2021 at 11:08.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    You keep addressing "democracy" - and without registering rory's points about electoral process - yet the Tories won less than 44% of the vote in 2019 (less than Trump in the US), and their approval rating has generally been in the low 40s or high 30s since. It would help your mood to consider your complaint more precisely.
    The Tories have a majority approaching 100 in the Commons. That's what matters, not a vote share of 44% (which is still far more than anyone else). That means they can have 40 MPs voting with the opposition and still pass absolutely any legislation they like. Unlike your constitution, there are few legal limits to what the Commons can pass, only customary ones. And as past (Tory) PMs and ministers have noted, this government has little regard for customary limits, and are inclined to pass Laws to restrict traditional freedoms that have been part of the foundations of our democracy.

    You've been fuming about 2 Democratic senators who have been regularly voting with the Republicans. The Tories can have 40 of these rebels, and it still won't make any difference to their Law-passing capability. A majority of 1 (they have over 80) gives them the power to do anything they like. Including passing a Law to retroactively exonerate a mate of theirs (who was voting for this Law) from condemnation for corruption.

  14. #74

    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    The Tories have a majority approaching 100 in the Commons. That's what matters, not a vote share of 44% (which is still far more than anyone else). That means they can have 40 MPs voting with the opposition and still pass absolutely any legislation they like. Unlike your constitution, there are few legal limits to what the Commons can pass, only customary ones. And as past (Tory) PMs and ministers have noted, this government has little regard for customary limits, and are inclined to pass Laws to restrict traditional freedoms that have been part of the foundations of our democracy.

    You've been fuming about 2 Democratic senators who have been regularly voting with the Republicans. The Tories can have 40 of these rebels, and it still won't make any difference to their Law-passing capability. A majority of 1 (they have over 80) gives them the power to do anything they like. Including passing a Law to retroactively exonerate a mate of theirs (who was voting for this Law) from condemnation for corruption.
    All of this is true, but what needs to be expressed is that your consternation centers the character of your opposition, or even the inadequate reaction of the broader society towards them, not democracy per se. Admittedly, I was being imprecise myself, in that your mood might well worsen when you look at it that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    you appear to fixate on the flaws of the electorate in refusing to acknowledge the inadequacy of the tory party (read: cronyism and/or corruption), so I would instead invite you to consider another alternative:

    the electorate does not perceive itself as having one! an "alternative", that is.
    e.g. these 'anomalous' electoral outcomes might be more to do with the shear Olympian edifice of labour's un-electability, than it has to do with the peoples' Nelson'ian indifference to tory flaws.

    labour may have fronted Captain Hindsight as a deliberately grey and dull 'manager' but way too many people are intensely aware of the frothing lunacy of the activist base roiling beneath the surface of the (new) Labour offer...
    Leaving aside the electoral math is more complicated than you let on, that is still a choice you describe, and one that reflects on its proponents.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 11-28-2021 at 23:01.
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    A lot parsed into that sentence, so without trying to reductio-ad-absurdum it I will break it down to explore:

    "Leaving aside the electoral math is more complicated than you let on,"

    More complicated, as in they have more choices that simply voting tory or labour?
    I agree, but the UK electorate is rather conditioned to seek a 'common-ground' party appealing across the geographic and political divide. Party's with niche interests can appeal to only a small niche of the electorate.

    "[but] that is still a choice you describe, and one that reflects on its proponents."

    Who is the proponent here?
    I do not speak for Labour voters.

    And how does it reflect upon them [badly]?
    They seem unable to choose labour in any positive way.
    They appear unable to choose labour even in a negative way - holding their noses.
    Is the lack of popular appeal for Labour a reflection on the electorate or the party...
    Last edited by Furunculus; 11-29-2021 at 18:54.
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    A lot parsed into that sentence, so without trying to reductio-ad-absurdum it I will break it down to explore:

    "Leaving aside the electoral math is more complicated than you let on,"

    More complicated, as in they have more choices that simply voting tory or labour?
    I agree, but the UK electorate is rather conditioned to seek a 'common-ground' party appealing across the geographic and political divide. Party's with niche interests can appeal to only a small niche of the electorate.

    "[but] that is still a choice you describe, and one that reflects on its proponents."

    Who is the proponent here?
    I do not speak for Labour voters.

    And how does it reflect upon them [badly]?
    They seem unable to choose labour in any positive way.
    They appear unable to choose labour even in a negative way - holding their noses.
    Is the lack of popular appeal for Labour a reflection on the electorate or the party...
    I'm not sure how you were reading my pretty sparse post.

    The primary hindrance to Labour's electoral prospects is evidently not that it has suddenly become widely unappealing. It is because of a long-term geographic and demographic realignment that has been visible since at least the Great Recession; Labour could win as much of the vote as it did in 1997 - roughly the Tory share in 2019 - and potentially win fewer seats than the Tories won now (though of course the latter themselves won far fewer than Labour in 1997 despite the similar vote share -- that's FPTP for you). I'm pretty sure we discussed this two years ago, even if I haven't really updated myself on UK political geography since.

    The choice to tolerate Conservative failures of government by reference to "frothing lunacy" of non-Conservative activists (and ignoring the frothing lunacy of Conservative activists themselves) is not obviously something that needs no defense, or doesn't impute something about the proponent of that choice.

    It's a common story in the world today that, increasingly, small-government conservatives find themselves more aligned with center-left parties than with traditional/traditionally Right parties in terms of governance and policy. I think you find a lot of revealing things when you cut the surface of the dichotomy between those who make the logical switch, and those who prioritize other urges.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 12-02-2021 at 05:01.
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  17. #77
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    My view from across two ponds was that the Tories are really only holding onto power due to the anti-immigrant sentiment that fueled Brexit. Their being viewed as the party 'saving' Britain from the 'unwashed masses' fearing the demographic change of so much african and asian migration.

    Labor having a few extremely uncharismatic leaders doesn't help either when Boris with his common man demeanor despite being an upper class twit his whole life gets the 'blue collar vote' much as Trump gets in the US.

    Just like in Dems v Reps in the US, I see the issue as cultural rather than policies or leadership. The traditional 'left' parties on both sides of the Atlantic need to find a way to address the reactionary fear of foreign migration in a time of shrinking birth rates that's a bit more than just an attitude of 'you're a bunch of xenophobe racists/nationalists/facists/nazis so sit down and shut up.'

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Brexit was caused by a lack of legitimacy - immigration was simply one element that elevated (fueled?) that public perception of illegitimacy.

    Once brexit was voted on the salience of immigration as 'a problem' in the popular public consciousness diminished very significantly. It ceased to be a first order issue, and Pew Global polls on social attitudes continue to show the UK as one of the most tolerant countries in europe (and significantly more tolerant than most EU neighbours!).

    During this time our 'anti-immigrant' government has basically given a free-pass to hundreds of thousands British National (Overseas) status holders arriving from Hong Kong, so I wouldn't put too much weight in that argument:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hong-kon...al-authorities

    Even the current hullabalo over illegal immigration via the channel from France is seen as an extension of the power struggle over Brexit.

    Labour's problem is also one of illegitimacy - in that the values the public see do not appear to have strong appeal to the sections of the electorate that would in previous times have been considered its core voter base:

    https://twitter.com/paulmasonnews/st...66280811778053
    Last edited by Furunculus; 12-03-2021 at 13:02.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Tory peer Lady Mone (she who's also in the headlines for calling an Asian person "a waste of a white man's skin"), has been investigated, by journalists (a rare occurence these days). for her links to a 200m covid-era contract for Medpro. She's been revealed to have been the referer for the company, who was given covid contracts worth 200m. Her husband is one of its directors, which of course has no bearing on said company being given said contract. Civil servants were lary of the track record of the company, which was apparently none, and delayed giving said contract until Lady Mone expressed her rage at the delay. The 200m included 100m of PPE, which wasn't used. Lady Mone said she had no links whatsoever with Medpro. The investigating journalists got letters from Lady Mone's lawyers stating that they were under observation.

    The former health secretary Matt Hancock demanded apologies from people (an MP IIRC) who alleged that a 40m contract had been awarded to his former pub landlord for a covid contract. The contract was actually awarded to a third company. The contract, did, however, stipulate that it must be subcontracted to...Matt Hancock's former pub landlord.

    This government, and all its doings, is all about handing out taxpayers' money to its friends and family. The EU has various checks and controls, so that barrier has to go. The civil service has checks and controls, so they have to be overridden. Parliament is supposed to have checks and balances, so opposing MPs have to be coerced into apologising for telling the truth. Responsible journalists are another check and balance, so they have to be threatened. Still, it has the mandate of the people, and with such a whopping mandate, you don't need scrutiny or accountability. Democracy cleans corruption.

  20. #80
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I'm not sure how you were reading my pretty sparse post.

    The primary hindrance to Labour's electoral prospects is evidently not that it has suddenly become widely unappealing. It is because of a long-term geographic and demographic realignment that has been visible since at least the Great Recession; Labour could win as much of the vote as it did in 1997 - roughly the Tory share in 2019 - and potentially win fewer seats than the Tories won now (though of course the latter themselves won far fewer than Labour in 1997 despite the similar vote share -- that's FPTP for you). I'm pretty sure we discussed this two years ago, even if I haven't really updated myself on UK political geography since.

    The choice to tolerate Conservative failures of government by reference to "frothing lunacy" of non-Conservative activists (and ignoring the frothing lunacy of Conservative activists themselves) is not obviously something that needs no defense, or doesn't impute something about the proponent of that choice.

    It's a common story in the world today that, increasingly, small-government conservatives find themselves more aligned with center-left parties than with traditional/traditionally Right parties in terms of governance and policy. I think you find a lot of revealing things when you cut the surface of the dichotomy between those who make the logical switch, and those who prioritize other urges.
    Most of the ministers of the last pre-Blair Tory government absolutely despise the current Tory government. Both in what they do as a government, and how they conduct their politics. It's like the Republicans pre-Trump and post-Trump. The current Tories are Trumpian in nature.

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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...-chaos/619010/

    "And I wanted to see up close if he truly was—as his enemies charge—the British equivalent of Donald Trump."
    ....
    This is the central argument against Johnson: For all his positivity and good cheer, the verses of Latin and ancient Greek he drops into conversation, he is much closer to Trump than he lets on. Johnson spearheaded the “Leave” campaign the same year the U.S. voted for Trump, and the two campaigns looked similar on the surface—populist, nationalist, anti-establishment. What, after all, is Brexit but a rebellion against an ostensibly unfair system, fueled by the twin angers of trade and immigration, that aims to restore to Britain a sense of something lost: control.

    Read: Why Britain’s Brexit mayhem was worth it

    The prime minister certainly understands that this perception has taken hold. “A lot of people in America, a lot of respectable liberal opinion in America—The Washington Post and The New York Times, etc.—thinks that Brexit is the most appalling, terrible aberration and a retreat into nationalism,” he told me. “It’s not at all.”

    As for Johnson himself, his past language about members of minority groups is, to some, evidence of a kinship with Trump. Johnson has compared Muslim women in burkas to mailboxes, written of “flag-waving piccaninnies,” and recited a nostalgic colonial-era poem while in Myanmar. His partisans note, defensively, that his first finance minister was the son of a Pakistani bus driver; his second is a British Indian. The business secretary is a fellow Eton alum whose parents came to Britain from Ghana, and Britain’s president of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is being held in Glasgow, Scotland, this year, was born in India. The man Johnson charged with overseeing Britain’s vaccine rollout is an Iraqi-born British Kurd, and the home secretary, responsible for policing, is the daughter of Ugandan Indians.
    ...
    There is also the issue of immigration. During the Brexit campaign, Johnson did call for—and has since delivered—stronger controls on migration from Europe. But in contrast to Trump, he has supported amnesty for undocumented immigrants; offered a path to British citizenship to millions of Hong Kongers; and refashioned Britain’s immigration system to treat European and non-European migrants equally. As mayor of London, he said that Trump’s claim that the British capital had “no-go areas” because of Islamic extremists betrayed “stupefying ignorance” and that Trump was “out of his mind” for seeking to ban Muslim immigration.

    Even so, the Trump question is the first thing many Americans will want to know, I told him.

    “Well, how ignorant can they be?” he said. I ventured that the curse of international politics is that each country looks at others through its own national prism.

    “They do, they do,” he admitted, before continuing: “I’m laboriously trying to convey to an American audience that this is a category error that has been repeatedly made.”

    “The point I’m trying to get over to you and your readers is that you mustn’t mistake this government for being some sort of bunch of xenophobes,” he added, “or autarkic economic nationalists.” (Here even Johnson’s critics would have to concede one difference: Donald Trump is unlikely to have ever used the word autarkic in conversation.)"
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Do you have any personal observation on this?

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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Yes, i think than any substantive claim of political/philosophical similarity between trump and bozza is facile.
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    Yes, i think than any substantive claim of political/philosophical similarity between trump and bozza is facile.
    I was talking about their take on democracy. How evidence is disregarded by words. As long as the words convince enough people, then factual evidence matters not.

    Such as the civil servants dealing with the matter being extremely wary of a company with no substantive track record, but are overridden because Lady Mone says so. Such as Lady Mone's husband being a director of said company, but Lady Mone says she has no links and thus she has no links. Such as the former health secretary farming a contract to his mate, but this isn't so because Hancock says it isn't so.

    Your highlighting Johnson being popular further proves this point. He's popular, and thus everything he says is so. Despite him being a serial liar who's been sacked for lying whenever he's had higher ups who've valued truth-telling. The votes prove he's telling the truth.

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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...ohnson/620269/

    IS BORIS JOHNSON A LIAR? And if he is, why don’t his supporters seem to care?

    To his critics, Johnson is a liar and a fraud, and stories such as this one are taken as further evidence for their case. According to his onetime rival for the Conservative leadership, Rory Stewart, Johnson is “the most accomplished liar in public life—perhaps the best liar ever to serve as prime minister.” Johnson, Stewart wrote last year, has “mastered the use of error, omission, exaggeration, diminution, equivocation and flat denial. He has perfected casuistry, circumlocution, false equivalence and false analogy. He is equally adept at the ironic jest, the fib and the grand lie; the weasel word and the half-truth; the hyperbolic lie, the obvious lie, and the bullshit lie—which may inadvertently be true.”
    ...
    Despite this—and despite other Brexit-related issues, from product shortages at supermarkets to a brewing crisis in Northern Ireland, to say nothing of a disastrous early response to the pandemic—Johnson has lost little ground in the polls, and the Conservative Party appears on course for another decade in power. Johnson could well become Britain’s most consequential prime minister since Margaret Thatcher.

    All of this raises a question: If Johnson really is such a liar, why don’t voters seem to care?

    The political scientists Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes have developed a distinction between “accuracy” and “sincerity” to explain why voters seem to care little about the lies told by politicians they support. People can be “truthful” about two things, they write in their book, The Light That Failed—facts and feelings. Of the two, only the former is falsifiable.

    In the case of Donald Trump, a populist leader to whom Johnson is often likened, the former American president’s most zealous fans seemed wholly indifferent to revelations that many of his comments were factually untrue. Why? “Because they believe that these statements are sincere, and thus ‘true’ in a deeper sense,” Krastev and Holmes write. Trump’s sincerity is based on what he represents and his commitment, by means fair or foul, to realize his goals. To his supporters, Krastev and Holmes write, Trump’s lies are sincere, because he has already said that the only thing that matters to him is winning, and they believe he is trying to win on their behalf.

    In Trump’s worldview, winning is the be-all and end-all—for people and for nations—and anyone who says otherwise is either a dupe or a fraud. This applies to elections and the rule of law, as well as international relations and trade. All of this makes Trump a revolutionary figure, because he is the first U.S. president to reject the American-made world as bad for America. Unlike Biden and every other U.S. leader, Trump believes the free-trading, democratic world living peacefully under the American nuclear umbrella is a bad thing, because it allows free-riding competitors to undercut the U.S. Thus, America in this view is not exceptional; it is naive.

    In contrast, Johnson is boringly conservative. He doesn’t believe Britain has been a victim of the postwar American order or even, really, of European Union membership; nor does he want a new world order. He just thinks Britain—and his own leadership aspirations—would, on balance, be better off outside the EU. Unlike Trump, Johnson sees a world of natural alliances of like-minded countries, historic civilizations, shared democratic norms and threats, and, of course, Western exceptionalism. Johnson is prepared to say many things to convince voters to support him, but even his fiercest (rational) critics do not think he would attempt a Trump-style insurrection to retain power if he lost an election.

    Yet he does have similarities with Trump. While Trump shares few of Johnson’s romantic visions of history—partly because he doesn’t know any—both have a deep cynicism that helps explain their appeal. Johnson, like Trump, believes many of his opponents are insincere. “He doesn’t trust anyone,” a former aide once told me. “He thinks everyone thinks like him.” To the voters who believe all politicians are essentially liars and cheats out for themselves, Johnson’s obvious mockery and refusal to abide by the usual rules of political decorum—by, for example, telling what his opponents allege are lies—have an obvious appeal.
    ...
    Johnson’s skill, it seems to me, resides almost as much in inviting the public into the game as it does in hiding his goals. In a sense, Johnson’s popularity is based on mocking everyone else’s bullshit, rather than duping people about his own ambition.

    Take one telling moment in Johnson’s rise. In 2019, Theresa May was finally forced to resign as prime minister, paving the way for Johnson to realize his lifelong dream. Amid whirling expectation that he would soon announce his candidacy, he was asked whether he wanted the job. “I think … ahm … look … erm … ahm …” he mumbled, before adding: “I’m going to go for it. Of course I’m going to go for it.”

    It was the of course that won the audience over. Johnson didn’t offer a declaration about a higher calling or feeling a duty to serve. He just said “of course.”
    ...
    Here we glimpse the paradox at the heart of Johnson: the slipperiness and the consistency, the embellishment and the truth, the factual error and the sincerity of the act.

    The more time you spend with Johnson, the more you understand that this projection of chaos is both real and performative. It is the combination that is interesting."
    Last edited by Furunculus; 12-04-2021 at 12:40.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Another instance of reality being overridden by the people's mandate. The justice secretary concurs, in his guise as a lawyer, that a formal party last Christmas, as alleged to have happened at 10 Downing Street (by several newspapers), would have been against the rules. But the PM assured him that no rules were broken. So that's that. If Boris Johnson says something is so, then it is so.

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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    During this time our 'anti-immigrant' government has basically given a free-pass to hundreds of thousands British National (Overseas) status holders arriving from Hong Kong, so I wouldn't put too much weight in that argument:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hong-kon...al-authorities
    A free pass like in Monopoly? Hardly counts if it isn't redeemed; the UK can hardly give anything up by accepting a few thousand mostly-affluent, educated Hong Kongers in excess of what it normally would, who are among the least-disliked people even among anti-immigrant extremists ("China flu" doggerel notwithstanding). If the Conservative government extended such a free pass to an equivalent population of Muslim refugees, I would genuinely be impressed.

    Once brexit was voted on the salience of immigration as 'a problem' in the popular public consciousness diminished very significantly. It ceased to be a first order issue, and Pew Global polls on social attitudes continue to show the UK as one of the most tolerant countries in europe (and significantly more tolerant than most EU neighbours!).
    *ahem*

    There's little reason that attitudes preexisting Brexit and intensified by the Brexit era would be mollified moving beyond Brexit. A clearer phrasing of Brexit being about legitimacy exchanges "legitimacy" for "identity," the sensation of its loss or loss of control over it. And remember, the better or worse internal attitudes toward immigration in any other country are a different subject than what concerns English traditionalists particularly.

    Labour's problem is also one of illegitimacy - in that the values the public see do not appear to have strong appeal to the sections of the electorate that would in previous times have been considered its core voter base:

    https://twitter.com/paulmasonnews/st...66280811778053
    At first I thought this was the economist JW Mason, but they're different people. Anyway: "Core Tory voters will accept any level of corruption/malfeasance" sounds like a tough row to hoe. Do you have any more recent and detailed analysis of English political geography to share than that?



    Regarding the Atlantic article, this insight has been attached to Trump for a long time. Moreover - though this analogy, for all I know, would seem alien in the UK - Trumpism has been characterized as a mastery of a certain professional wrestling aesthetic in political form. That is to say, in professional wrestling, all the action is directed and scripted, something the audience is conscious of, yet the action is also treated on some level as being real; the rivalries, the defeats, the characters, all attain some sort of higher veridicality within the audience's (self-aware!) doublethink. Thus for redcaps and MAGAts (and here, arguably Ultras), the political arena is a field of contestation against hated effigies roamed by the heroic character of the Leader. Just a matter of selecting one's preferred protagonist?

    But that bare description of course doesn't attempt an external explanation or ordering. That is, the fact that Johnson or Trump supporters have a certain worldview doesn't tell us whether that worldview is good or right in any capacity (it isn't), or - more importantly - why the majority of people consistently reject it.

    Every notorious dictator and tyrant was beloved by millions you realize, perhaps according to the same underlying psychological principles of, I dunno, egoistic entanglement, cult of personality, newthink, whatever. And as Hannah Arendt wrote:

    A mixture of gullibility and cynicism had been an outstanding characteristic
    of mob mentality before it became an everyday phenomenon of masses.
    In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the
    point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing,
    think that everything was possible and that nothing was true.
    The mixture
    in itself was remarkable enough, because it spelled the end of the illusion
    that gullibility was a weakness of unsuspecting primitive souls and cynicism
    the vice of superior and refined minds. Mass propaganda discovered that
    its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd,
    and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held
    every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based
    their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such
    conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one
    day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their
    falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders
    who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along
    that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior
    tactical cleverness.


    What had been a demonstrable reaction of mass audiences became an important
    hierarchical principle for mass organizations. A mixture of gullibility
    and cynicism is prevalent in all ranks of totalitarian movements, and
    the higher the rank the more cynicism weighs down gullibility. The essential
    conviction shared by all ranks, from fellow-traveler to leader, is that
    politics is a game of cheating and that the "first commandment" of the
    movement: "The Fuehrer is always right," is as necessary for the purposes
    of world politics, i.e., world-wide cheating, as the rules of military discipline
    are for the purposes of war'"·
    Whether or not you would be willing to interpret this as an enduring psychosocial pathology, it is clearly aberrant and deviant psychology in the bigger picture, one that almost always contributes to great harm.


    Here's another relevant article, to be read in its entirety. Though it isn't about UK politics, it gets at a core issue. There are enough weakly-aligned, politically-passive/unengaged, and cross-pressured voters that in FPTP a major party simply cannot lose the majority of its support in any given election (unlike the fate of some traditional parties in European proportional systems). To reiterate, the UK Conservatives, despite being scum, are not fascist lunatics trying to bring down the whole country, but this exactly gives them a certain optical advantage over US Republicans, which in combination with structural biases and trends n their favor (not all the same as exist in the US) strengthens their grip on power. For 30 years Republicans have only once carried the presidential vote, half the time in House elections (almost all under Clinton and Bush), a third of the time in Senate elections, but if they were only debased to the level of that immigration-cuck Reagan, or more publicly diffident on the value of the government's role in social and economic support as the Tories are, they probably could reach a similar level of performance to what Johnson's Conservatives have enjoyed so far.

    Yet the ratchet only goes one way: one level of corruption, malice, and entitlement always abets the next, becoming a mere transitory stage. It's hard to imagine the UK Conservatives will either improve or remain stable in 10 years' time IF they start losing in this global climate; ironically, they might already be there had Brexit stalled in 2016.



    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Most of the ministers of the last pre-Blair Tory government absolutely despise the current Tory government. Both in what they do as a government, and how they conduct their politics. It's like the Republicans pre-Trump and post-Trump. The current Tories are Trumpian in nature.
    You greatly underestimate the corruption and complicity of pre-Trump Republicans (who, after all, didn't suddenly die, disappear, or get replaced by body snatchers when Trump ran for President): Bob Dole (GOP VP candidate '76, presidential 1996), who died today, was a firm Trump supporter from the beginning, one of Nixon's staunchest defenders during the Watergate controversy, and one of the many proponents of proto-Trumpist tactics in the Republican Party from the 1970s on.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 12-06-2021 at 03:50.
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    the UK can hardly give anything up by accepting a few thousand mostly-affluent, educated Hong Kongers
    A few [hundred] thousand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    And remember, the better or worse internal attitudes toward immigration in any other country are a different subject than what concerns English traditionalists particularly.
    Why?
    Why can we revel in the iniquity of British (yes: British), voters views on immigration without any reference to the comparably worse views of our peer (and: neighbouring), nations? p.s. you graph does show immigration as the lowest named issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Do you have any more recent and detailed analysis of English political geography to share than that?
    Yes, but only in the general sense that we're looking at a fourth term gov't (when sitting gov't bleed popular appeal), of the tory's (you know: scum), and still the labour party seems unable to get any traction (coincidentally: while having an absurd and doctrinaire internecine civil war)...

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    That is, the fact that Johnson or Trump supporters have a certain worldview doesn't tell us whether that worldview is good or right in any capacity (it isn't)...

    To reiterate, the UK Conservatives, despite being scum...
    I think this is saying more about you than it is about the Tories (and the people who vote for them). :)
    Last edited by Furunculus; 12-06-2021 at 16:01.
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    A few [hundred] thousand.
    In the fullness of time, but not all of a sudden, if this factual question is your concern.

    Edit: Actually, Id bet I'm partially wrong, since immigration won't be evenly distributed over time. We would expect to see core waves of migration (visas being availed plus asylum claims) accompanying specific destabilizing events in the medium-term, such as war/war-worries or the de facto termination of the Hong Kong political system. In that respect Hong Kong immigration may, for all I know, constitute the largest sudden influx to the UK and Australia (contrasted with the US) since WW2.

    Why can we revel in the iniquity of British (yes: British), voters views on immigration without any reference to the comparably worse views of our peer (and: neighbouring), nations?
    Don't conflate British voters with Brexit voters. And if you want to say something about Denmark or Hungary, say it separately. Inglistan zindabad and all that, but comparative politics should never be used in self-excusing capacity.

    p.s. you graph does show immigration as the lowest named issue.
    Among the general population, but as above, we are speaking of the Brexit cohort - who are quite heavily concentrated among Conservative supporters by now - not all the people/squirrels who exist.

    I think this is saying more about you than it is about the Tories (and the people who vote for them). :)
    Were you posting the Atlantic article to disagree with it?


    To get some feedback on a less butthurting subject: Would the Liberal Democrats have any reason, based on internal politics, not to form another coalition with Cons in 2024 if asked?
    Last edited by Montmorency; 12-08-2021 at 02:23.
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    Default Re: Quo Vadis Labour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    To get some feedback on a less butthurting subject: Would the Liberal Democrats have any reason, based on internal politics, not to form another coalition with Cons in 2024 if asked?
    Given how much traction the Labour left's accusation of the Lib Dems as Tory enablers has had, I doubt the Lib Dems would touch any proposed Tory coalition with a bargepole.

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