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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Thoughts on Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader
hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:


We need policies that are promoted with pride, because the Tory ones are wrong and stupid and unjust.

Right to be clear then, the Tories just won because the British people, whilst aching with every bone in their body to vote for an acceptable left wing party, looked at the options and thought "you know what, it's the wrong and stupid and unjust one for me."

The Conservatives spent 1997 to 2005 arguing that the electorate had made a mistake, would see the error of their ways and come home and you know what? Eventually they had to go to where the people were.

I still think this represents a retreat away from the majority and into the comfort zone a la the Tories in 2001 (IDS even won with about the same percentage of the ballot by the way).

Incidentally, I know Labour wouldn't be expecting to win many rural seats, and also that opinions can be just as divided in rural areas as they are in cities, but if you're looking to pick a fight the appointment of a vegan vice president of the League Against Cruel Sports as the Shadow Defra secretary is a stroke of either genius or lunacy.... (I'm making no judgment either way about either veganism or hunting, but this is hardly "hello troubled waters, have some oil" let's be honest).

No, the Tories won because people were scared and liked the big stick party.

Opposition needs to point out that we needn't be so scared, and Tory policies are daft, counterproductive and stink.

Do you really think that being vegan is a confrontational thing?

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My crazy theology in novel form

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:


The Conservatives spent 1997 to 2005 arguing that the electorate had made a mistake, would see the error of their ways and come home and you know what? Eventually they had to go to where the people were.

Did they? In what respect did the Tories move leftwards between Iain Duncan Smith and 2010?
they replaced a borderline caricature of a 1950s hard-liner with firstly a get-a-grip-and-stop-the-rot leader (Howard) and then a much younger Tory leader who not only dropped the party's opposition to Gay marriage, but put in a manifesto commitment to examine how to equalise marriage (and then went further and legislated for it), ringfenced international aid, ringfenced the budgets of departments that people actually cared about, more women and ethnic minority MPs.

If you want to be genuinely terrified, take a wander over to ConservativeHome and read the comments from Tory members who've never accepted Cameron and believe the party has been captured by ringing wet metropolitan socialists who are hobbling the Conservatives' ability to move in any way right of the centre.....! Comments that they didn't get a bigger majority because they weren't right wing enough in either 2010 or 2015 are legion.

This is why (as a palest of pale Blue municipal socialist one-nation extreme left Tory - and let me tell you there aren't many of us left...) I think Labour have got problems. I've seen these idiots over on the right and I've been fighting them all my adult life. The equivalent on the left could be about to do the same thing to Labour.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:


Do you really think that being vegan is a confrontational thing?

Of course I don't, but then I'm not the NFU or big agribusiness. Presentationally, it's like I say, either genius or witless. Like putting a CND member in at Defence, the headmaster of Eton at education, or Ernest Marples at transport (one for the connoisseurs there...).

[ 14. September 2015, 16:17: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Doublethink.
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I think it is partly about accurately identifying the problem. Take UKIP and immigration / EU.

A large part of the problem is that people think that a) immigration shrinks the available resources via shroedinger's immigrant - though economic evidence suggest otherwise and needs to be more widely publicised, b) the wider labour pool drives down wages and employment conditions, c) the foreigners will destroy our way of life because they are somehow so alien.

a) is just not true, and the costs of taking in refugees could be ameliorated by given them limited work permits whilst they wait for their cases to be heard
b) is true to an extent for low skilled work, but can be tackled through effective unionisation (this is the left wing solution to the same problem, and frankly is no more anti-free market than restricting the movement of labour)
c) is based upon false beliefs about others and may be something that can be tackled through public engagement

[ 14. September 2015, 16:25: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
c) the foreigners will destroy our way of life because they are somehow so alien.

c) is complicated by the Syria factor. There are always going to be people who look askance at anyone speaking Arabic or who looks like a Muslim (whatever a Muslim might look like in their conception) because that means they're probably a terrorist. Therefore they're obliged to destroy our way of life, it's in their job description.

It probably wouldn't matter how many nice, hard-working refugees they met, they'd always be waiting for that one exception to prove that there were rotten apples in the barrel.

I completely agree that refugees should be allowed to do some work. The alternative is having groups of bored, restless young men hanging around being intimidating, whether they mean to or not, and a lot of people not being able to keep their skills up to date and be marketable.

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quetzalcoatl
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I had the satisfying thought this afternoon, that Blairism is dead, and these are the funeral rites. I may even pour myself a small libation in honour of this, and mentally empty its stinking corpse into somewhere satisfyingly rotten and stinking.

I suppose it may try to return, vampirically. I shall have cross and garlic ready to hand, plus stake and mallet.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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Touchstone
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I had the satisfying thought this afternoon, that Blairism is dead, and these are the funeral rites. I may even pour myself a small libation in honour of this, and mentally empty its stinking corpse into somewhere satisfyingly rotten and stinking.

I suppose it may try to return, vampirically. I shall have cross and garlic ready to hand, plus stake and mallet.

Enjoy your Marxist discussion group. So much purer and more gratifying to a certain sort of ego than wielding actual power and improving actual lives.

Meanwhile the Tories have a free run for the next 10 years.

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Jez we did hand the next election to the Tories on a plate!

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Touchstone:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I had the satisfying thought this afternoon, that Blairism is dead, and these are the funeral rites. I may even pour myself a small libation in honour of this, and mentally empty its stinking corpse into somewhere satisfyingly rotten and stinking.

I suppose it may try to return, vampirically. I shall have cross and garlic ready to hand, plus stake and mallet.

Enjoy your Marxist discussion group. So much purer and more gratifying to a certain sort of ego than wielding actual power and improving actual lives.

Meanwhile the Tories have a free run for the next 10 years.

Je suis Marxiste, tendance Groucho.*

I'm not a Marxist.

(*I am a Marxist, of the Groucho tendency).

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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quetzalcoatl
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Touchstone

Your phrase 'to a certain sort of ego' is very fucking insulting. Blairite rhetoric, I suppose.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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GCabot
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quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
As an American I don't have much insight. However I do see some interesting parallels with the current American Presidential election marathon.

The Democrats had moved "centrist" and the Republicans further to the right in the past few elections. At some point though, when there are hard time, people start wanting a choice other than pro-wealthy right and pro-wealthy far right.
The Republican process is a debacle because of Trump, but if he's factored out, it does seem like there's not a great choice. The Democrats are watching as Hilary Clinton, heir to the centrist neo-liberal movement is fading in the polls, while an independent socialist is showing her a competitive race in the early pro-liberal states. Neither Trump or Sanders would have been imaginable as serious candidates in the past.

I chalk it down to the hard times making people realize that the major parties are aligned with the wealthy, and that the people aren't just "not-yet-wealthy-". It's taking some fumbling around to try to carve out a party that represents that group.

Does this seem similar to the British situation?

There are certainly parallels between Corbyn and the current political situation in the U.S. Clinton (either of them) is the U.S. Blair-equivalent—a move away from the policies of the Carter-era Democratic Party and general acceptance of free markets and assertive foreign policy. Sanders is certainly our Corbyn-equivalent—an obscure senator from Vermont who has suddenly and unexpectedly been thrust into possible contention. Although I still cannot understand their reasoning, the general sentiment of Trump supporters is also similar—strong antipathy towards “politicians” and a desire for someone who is “authentic.” Maybe Sanders supporters are more motivated by the parties being supposedly beholden to the rich, but the broader impetus for these agitators is simply driven by exasperation with anything they see as tangentially related to Washington or “politics as usual.”

I still have a difficult time believing either are serious candidates, however. If Sanders became the nominee, that would be a disaster of even greater magnitude than Corbyn will be for Labour in the U.K. Just as the Labour voters are not a good proxy for the views of the general electorate in the U.K., Sanders and Trump supporters remain a distinct minority, if vocal. Proceeding to nominate them under the illusion that the broader electorate shares their fervor would be a grave mistake.

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quetzalcoatl
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I think in the UK, it's been partly desperation, by some people on the left. I mean, that their voice has been strangled and distorted by the Blairites, erased really.

So when someone spoke up, who seemed to voice that, there was a response.

No idea if this chimes in the US, as I don't know the political scene well enough.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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Touchstone
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Touchstone

Your phrase 'to a certain sort of ego' is very fucking insulting. Blairite rhetoric, I suppose.

You are very easily insulted - don't go into politics.

I am not a Blairite. But Labour will not win a general election under Corbyn, and anyone who goes along with the current mass hysteria surrounding him is putting their own needs for emotional comfort before the needs of people in this country who will be literally starved to death by the Tories, while armchair lefties arse around trying to be more doctrinally pure than everyone else.

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Jez we did hand the next election to the Tories on a plate!

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Touchstone:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Touchstone

Your phrase 'to a certain sort of ego' is very fucking insulting. Blairite rhetoric, I suppose.

You are very easily insulted - don't go into politics.

I am not a Blairite. But Labour will not win a general election under Corbyn, and anyone who goes along with the current mass hysteria surrounding him is putting their own needs for emotional comfort before the needs of people in this country who will be literally starved to death by the Tories, while armchair lefties arse around trying to be more doctrinally pure than everyone else.

You are very easily insulting. Stay away from other people.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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George Spigot

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quote:
Originally posted by Touchstone:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Touchstone

Your phrase 'to a certain sort of ego' is very fucking insulting. Blairite rhetoric, I suppose.

You are very easily insulted - don't go into politics.

I am not a Blairite. But Labour will not win a general election under Corbyn, and anyone who goes along with the current mass hysteria surrounding him is putting their own needs for emotional comfort before the needs of people in this country who will be literally starved to death by the Tories, while armchair lefties arse around trying to be more doctrinally pure than everyone else.

Is it really so difficult to understand that many people do not want a right wing government. And therefore do not want a right wing Labour party.

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C.S. Lewis's Head is just a tool for the Devil. (And you can quote me on that.) ~
Philip Purser Hallard
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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I've already said on a different thread that Jeremy Corbyn represents things I really detest in politicians.


Sorry if I skipped the context for this. I've read the Socialism thread but may have missed it. Would you mind going into a little more detail about what things he represents that you detest?

George, it was this on 12th September.
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
If that really were the only choice, I'm with Ariel on this. I don't reckon much to Osborne but Corbyn represents everything I detest about politics. He's the photographic negative of John Redwood.

The Labour Party has chosen Scarfolk. It didn't have to, but it has done.

As for this belief that he's a man of true principles, nobody could have spent the 1970s with the sort of people he mixed with and doesn't seem to have repudiated at the North London Polytechnic and elsewhere unless they have a very different concept of integrity to the one the rest of us have.

His vision has nothing to offer the rest of us who are not members of the Labour Party, were not among the 251,417, but do have votes.

I stand by that and what I said this morning. I'm not a convinced Socialist. I'm not a Conservative either. Can you, or anyone else answer the questions I posed this morning? I just don't get it why so many people are so struck by the man. Otherwise, for the indefinite future, this simplifies my decision for whom to vote, by reducing the options by one.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Touchstone
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quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:
quote:
Originally posted by Touchstone:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Touchstone

Your phrase 'to a certain sort of ego' is very fucking insulting. Blairite rhetoric, I suppose.

You are very easily insulted - don't go into politics.

I am not a Blairite. But Labour will not win a general election under Corbyn, and anyone who goes along with the current mass hysteria surrounding him is putting their own needs for emotional comfort before the needs of people in this country who will be literally starved to death by the Tories, while armchair lefties arse around trying to be more doctrinally pure than everyone else.

Is it really so difficult to understand that many people do not want a right wing government. And therefore do not want a right wing Labour party.
I fully understand that people do not want a right wing government. I do not want one myself. (Do I need to make this any clearer FFS?) That is why I think that Corbyn will be a disaster. Labour has effectively said to the Tories "you can do whatever you want, because you'll win next time come what may."

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Jez we did hand the next election to the Tories on a plate!

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quetzalcoatl
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But Labour previously had accepted the neo-liberal set of ideas, that is, economic liberalization, via deregulation, privatization, austerity, cuts to welfare, low wages, and so on. This leads eventually to so-called financialization, which led to the 08 crash, and may well lead to more, since it can easily morph into casino-type dealings.

Is that what Labour should stand for?

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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George Spigot

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@Enoch

I've always liked the Scarfolk website but I really don't understand what it has to do with Corbyn. Hopefully he plans to do things a lot differently than Blair or Cameron would do. In short bring change. Change does not equal going back to the 70's.

@Touchstone

quote:
Labour has effectively said to the Tories "you can do whatever you want, because you'll win next time come what may
And your evidence for this is...?

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C.S. Lewis's Head is just a tool for the Devil. (And you can quote me on that.) ~
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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by Touchstone:
You are very easily insulted - don't go into politics.

You are very easily insulting. Stay away from other people.
The place to be insulting - easily or otherwise - and the place to respond if you feel insulted is Hell, not Purgatory.

Stop the personal comments immediately, or take them to Hell.

Eliab
Purgatory host

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Doublethink.
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I've already said on a different thread that Jeremy Corbyn represents things I really detest in politicians.


Sorry if I skipped the context for this. I've read the Socialism thread but may have missed it. Would you mind going into a little more detail about what things he represents that you detest?

George, it was this on 12th September.
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
If that really were the only choice, I'm with Ariel on this. I don't reckon much to Osborne but Corbyn represents everything I detest about politics. He's the photographic negative of John Redwood.

The Labour Party has chosen Scarfolk. It didn't have to, but it has done.

As for this belief that he's a man of true principles, nobody could have spent the 1970s with the sort of people he mixed with and doesn't seem to have repudiated at the North London Polytechnic and elsewhere unless they have a very different concept of integrity to the one the rest of us have.

His vision has nothing to offer the rest of us who are not members of the Labour Party, were not among the 251,417, but do have votes.

I stand by that and what I said this morning. I'm not a convinced Socialist. I'm not a Conservative either. Can you, or anyone else answer the questions I posed this morning? I just don't get it why so many people are so struck by the man. Otherwise, for the indefinite future, this simplifies my decision for whom to vote, by reducing the options by one.

You mention the people he mixed with in the 1970s, to whom are you referring ?

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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quetzalcoatl
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Enoch wrote:

I stand by that and what I said this morning. I'm not a convinced Socialist. I'm not a Conservative either. Can you, or anyone else answer the questions I posed this morning? I just don't get it why so many people are so struck by the man. Otherwise, for the indefinite future, this simplifies my decision for whom to vote, by reducing the options by one.

I think he has articulated an opposition to neo-liberalism, and people have responded. All main parties have embraced it, and there is massive propaganda in favour of it, in all the media. TINA lives again.

However, some people in Labour and outside it, have been voicing opposition - this was quite clear in the Scottish independence vote. Labour seemed to have blocked its ears to this, but maybe not.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:

Is it really so difficult to understand that many people do not want a right wing government. And therefore do not want a right wing Labour party.

Not at all. It is many, just not enough to win a general election in the foreseeable future.

Humiliating though the analogy may be, there are parallels with the Republican party in the US. It can't win a Presidential election without recovering the centre ground it has lost. But in order to do that, it would have to adopt more moderate, in their eyes more compromised, policies than its WASP grassroots want. So GOP members vote to select candidates who press their preferred (and in their eyes purist) right wing buttons.

It's a paradox. Under certain circumstances, the sort of candidate who has the best chance of winning the smaller election is precisely the sort of candidate who has little chance of winning the bigger one. And in Jeremy Corbyn's case, he's going to have enough problems holding together the disparate views within Labour, without even looking at what he might have to do to win the centre ground.

Without the sort of pragmatism which recognises the need to woo the centre in order to get the necessary majority, you just can't get into power in the first place. However much such a reality may get up folks' noses, that's just the way it is in democracies.

[ 14. September 2015, 20:43: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:
quote:
Originally posted by Touchstone:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Touchstone

Your phrase 'to a certain sort of ego' is very fucking insulting. Blairite rhetoric, I suppose.

You are very easily insulted - don't go into politics.

I am not a Blairite. But Labour will not win a general election under Corbyn, and anyone who goes along with the current mass hysteria surrounding him is putting their own needs for emotional comfort before the needs of people in this country who will be literally starved to death by the Tories, while armchair lefties arse around trying to be more doctrinally pure than everyone else.

Is it really so difficult to understand that many people do not want a right wing government. And therefore do not want a right wing Labour party.
Yeah, kinda is, actually. As a Tory, this is all popcorn for me, but I'm still confused by the logic. Labour tacked to the left and lost. And lost again. And lost again. Now, if you think that tackling stuff like poverty is something the government should spend a lot of time solving, and if you think that your political opponents are the sort of folk who create poverty rather than reduce it, why would you put yourself in a place where you make yourself unelectable and keep your supposedly evil opponents in government, with their hands on the levers of power?

On this logic, might one not say that one has built one's ideological purity on the backs of the poor?

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Touchstone
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quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:

@Touchstone

quote:
Labour has effectively said to the Tories "you can do whatever you want, because you'll win next time come what may
And your evidence for this is...?
The evidence of previous general elections is that the party that has the most convincing candidate for PM, and is most trusted with the economy, wins. This is what did for Milliband - although he was consistently ahead in the headline polls, the Tories always retained a significant lead on these crucial questions.

I'm afraid that JC will be a big negative on both counts in 2020: Who would you trust with the economy: George Osborne (it will likely be him), who has seven years experience as chancellor and 3 as PM on the one hand; on the other a hard left contrarian who's never even held a shadow ministerial portfolio before being catapulted into the leadership of his party and his sidekick who can't even spell "foment"?

For most people who are not particularly committed politically, this will be a no-brainer.

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Jez we did hand the next election to the Tories on a plate!

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Barnabas62
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Anglican't

It's understandable. I think you're arguing that it isn't very sensible.

I suppose both us, arguing from positions of different political persuasion, could be wrong. History doesn't always provide a good guide on these things. But there would need to be some remarkable, unprecendented, switches in popular opinion in this country for that to happen - possibly stimulated by some unprecedented global economic or political events. It just looks very much odds-against.

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Doublethink.
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[crosspost to the assertion about economic credibility]

You are, quite literally, begging the question. Most people have never heard of the new shadow chancellor and he has yet to make a detailed public argument for his policies.

There is a serious economic argument to be made for a different approach.

[ 14. September 2015, 20:54: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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LeRoc

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I guess the basic questions is: do you want a party that represents your views, or one that will win? I realise that the situation is never ideal and that there often will be a trade-off between them. And in the UK this is exacerbated by the electoral system you have.

But I can say that in my case, the balance would be towards the former of these two criteria.

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quetzalcoatl
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Barnabas62 wrote:

Without the sort of pragmatism which recognises the need to woo the centre in order to get the necessary majority, you just can't get into power in the first place. However much such a reality may get up folks' noses, that's just the way it is in democracies.

Yes, but the pragmatism in this context means neo-liberal policies, and cuddling up to big business, and trying not to upset them. Why else did the 3 other candidates abstain on the Tory Benefits Bill?

Labour haven't just wooed the centre, they've gone full tilt into neo-liberal mode, and become Tory-lite.

If you want that, fine. But I think a lot of people had despaired about Labour being Tory-lite. It's quite possible that Corbyn will crash and burn, and Labour will revert to neo-liberalism. Then we will be like the US, with two parties who are both right-wing.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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George Spigot

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:
quote:
Originally posted by Touchstone:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Touchstone

Your phrase 'to a certain sort of ego' is very fucking insulting. Blairite rhetoric, I suppose.

You are very easily insulted - don't go into politics.

I am not a Blairite. But Labour will not win a general election under Corbyn, and anyone who goes along with the current mass hysteria surrounding him is putting their own needs for emotional comfort before the needs of people in this country who will be literally starved to death by the Tories, while armchair lefties arse around trying to be more doctrinally pure than everyone else.

Is it really so difficult to understand that many people do not want a right wing government. And therefore do not want a right wing Labour party.
Yeah, kinda is, actually. As a Tory, this is all popcorn for me, but I'm still confused by the logic. Labour tacked to the left and lost. And lost again. And lost again. Now, if you think that tackling stuff like poverty is something the government should spend a lot of time solving, and if you think that your political opponents are the sort of folk who create poverty rather than reduce it, why would you put yourself in a place where you make yourself unelectable and keep your supposedly evil opponents in government, with their hands on the levers of power?

On this logic, might one not say that one has built one's ideological purity on the backs of the poor?

By embracing policys that create poverty rather than reduce it?

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quetzalcoatl
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Policies that starve the poor - that is the neo-neo-liberal position. Starve the poor and enrich the rich.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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Doublethink.
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Those kind of statements will, of course, not win votes from the middle ground.

Labour will need to explain, how, not just that - they will grow the economy.

Austerity is easy to explain, we have less money so spend less money. Its simplicity hides the underlying problem, about trying to grow whilst cutting. And that neither the economy nor money are fixed resources etc etc.

But we need clear explanations of why we think specific policies will work. Likewise we need to argue with the faulty logic of austerity.

And this applies to all policy areas - slogans are not enough.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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George Spigot

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I honestly don't understand this position at all. Why would I vote for a party whose policys I don't agree with? Why would anybody?

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C.S. Lewis's Head is just a tool for the Devil. (And you can quote me on that.) ~
Philip Purser Hallard
http://www.thoughtplay.com/infinitarian/gbsfatb.html

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
In what respect did the Tories move leftwards between Iain Duncan Smith and 2010?

they replaced a borderline caricature of a 1950s hard-liner with firstly a get-a-grip-and-stop-the-rot leader (Howard) and then a much younger Tory leader who not only dropped the party's opposition to Gay marriage, but put in a manifesto commitment to examine how to equalise marriage (and then went further and legislated for it), ringfenced international aid, ringfenced the budgets of departments that people actually cared about, more women and ethnic minority MPs.
To be honest I'm struggling to recall IDS' policies. Google isn't much help* but does suggest he oscillated between 'we care about social justice and aren't the nasty party any more' and hardline 'tallyho hang and flog the asylum seekers'.

So going from memory**:

Spending - Mr Hague made a vague pledge to cut tax and spending by a number that according to Mr Blair was insignificant enough to fall within the margin of error on Treasury accounts. Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne came into power on an explicit pledge to slash public spending as much as possible and to keep state spending down even once the economy is in good health.

Education - I remember Mr Hague and/or IDS wanted to abolish LEA's - though Mr Gove hasn't quite done that, he has circumvented them as much as possible via academies. Would IDS have raised tuition fees to £9,000 a year, though? Would he have cut EMA for sixth-formers?

Europe - Mr Hague was obsessed with keeping the pound - Mr Cameron doesn't need to bang on about this because the question is basically settled. I vaguely recall either Mr Hague, IDS and/or Mr Howard promising to fly out to Brussels to renegotiate various treaties - very much like Mr Cameron - but did any of them explicitly promise an in-out referendum?

(Granted this isn't necessarily a left/right issue but it is one where public concern has moved to match Tory euro-headbanging rather than the other way round.)

Health - I understand Mr Mitchell's plan was essentially a continuation of one of Mr Major's government's ideas that they never had time to implement. I don't think Mr Hague or IDS produced anything comparable, but if they did I don't think it was on the right of Mr Mitchell. (In fact I don't think they had any coherent ideas on health at all, despite those 'you've paid the tax so where is my whatever' posters.)

I will accept ringfencing of NHS funding but I also think this is a slightly misleading pledge given that related budgets such as social care have not been protected - meaning that in effect NHS cash is being diverted to fix problems that should have been fixed out of other budgets.

Foreign policy - IDS wanted war on Iraq. Mr Cameron wanted war on Libya (and got it) and Syria (which he didn't). I'll give you international development but this is such a tiny fraction of the budget that I would see it mostly as tokenism.

Equality - I'll give you the greater diversity of MPs. I don't think gay marriage was on anyone's agenda in IDS' time but I do recall he supported civil partnerships (in fact I vaguely recall there was briefly a period when the Tories were ahead of Labour in this respect).


* Google seems to think that if I'm searching for information about a current public figure I must want to know what he said yesterday regardless of what search terms I use.

** So this may be full of inaccuracies but if a policy has stuck in my mind that suggests it's where they wanted to position themselves.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
You mention the people he mixed with in the 1970s, to whom are you referring ?

In the early 1970s, the North London Polytechnic was repeatedly and unpredictably being closed down by politically activist student militants, disrupting the education of ordinary students doing sandwich courses, on day release etc. Very often these were young people who would have travelled long distances to get there, only to find when they arrived that their classes had been shut down by others who were using political organisation to bully them. Those responsible claimed that they were acting in the interests of democracy because their caucus was what truly represented the people, and they decided what was democratic and what wasn't.

This is not the same dispute as the one there in the mid eighties.

It's this sort of history that underlies David Blunkett's recent warning about the risk that the new regime, with its backing in the party but not Westminster, might seek to manage its MPs by manipulating moves to get constituency parties to deselect MPs who don't toe the line.

It's a tradition that sees the true democratic mandate as lying in the party, not in the electorate.

[ 14. September 2015, 21:34: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Sarah G
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(From the other thread)

quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
In what way do you think the social and economic structure of the UK is similar to Greece ?

It isn't. That's the point.

The point being that our economy will get to their level of shambolic, if John McDonnell gets his hands on it. I mean John McDonnell? Does the nation really want probably the most important job in the country, that can dramatically affect everyone else's lives, being given to an economic extremist lightweight, an IRA supporter (“bravery of the IRA”) whose interests run to “generally fermenting [sic] the overthrow of capitalism”?

Listening to the actually talented Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn repeatedly refuse to endorse his own Shadow Chancellor on the radio says it all.

I get a sick feeling to think Corbyn and McDonnell could be running the UK economy. I get seriously worried. Because it won't be the rich who'll suffer most when the economy falls off a cliff. It will be the ones who are least well off.

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Doublethink.
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I can find nothing on the web about it, only the Harrington affair in the eighties.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:
I honestly don't understand this position at all. Why would I vote for a party whose policys I don't agree with? Why would anybody?

Since it's very unlikely that there's ever going to be a 100% fit between a party's programme and what you, me or any other elector would actually like to see, that's a compromise we all have to make.

Besides, something you political enthusiasts don't understand is that us ordinary electors assess parties and administrations primarily on how competent we think they will be or have been at the basic job of running the country. If they can get on with that without messing our lives up, then we feel we've a great deal to be thankful for.

We don't want to live in interesting times. Other things are more important to us. In this, I believe that our hearts are in the right place, and the political enthusiasts' hearts are not.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Doublethink.
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Well all I can find in some questions in Hansard about a cleaners strike over asbestos: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1977/jan/17/north-east-london-polytechnic

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by Sarah G:
(From the other thread)

quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
In what way do you think the social and economic structure of the UK is similar to Greece ?

It isn't. That's the point.

The point being that our economy will get to their level of shambolic, if John McDonnell gets his hands on it. I mean John McDonnell? Does the nation really want probably the most important job in the country, that can dramatically affect everyone else's lives, being given to an economic extremist lightweight, an IRA supporter (“bravery of the IRA”) whose interests run to “generally fermenting [sic] the overthrow of capitalism”?

Listening to the actually talented Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn repeatedly refuse to endorse his own Shadow Chancellor on the radio says it all.

I get a sick feeling to think Corbyn and McDonnell could be running the UK economy. I get seriously worried. Because it won't be the rich who'll suffer most when the economy falls off a cliff. It will be the ones who are least well off.

You think the entire public service will start taking bribes and no one will pay taxes ? That the retirement age will be cut to 55 ?

--------------------
All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
I can find nothing on the web about it, only the Harrington affair in the eighties.

There may well not be. There was a lot of student disruption in those days and if reported, it would have only been middle pages stuff.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:
I honestly don't understand this position at all. Why would I vote for a party whose policys I don't agree with? Why would anybody?

Since it's very unlikely that there's ever going to be a 100% fit between a party's programme and what you, me or any other elector would actually like to see, that's a compromise we all have to make.

Besides, something you political enthusiasts don't understand is that us ordinary electors assess parties and administrations primarily on how competent we think they will be or have been at the basic job of running the country. If they can get on with that without messing our lives up, then we feel we've a great deal to be thankful for.

We don't want to live in interesting times. Other things are more important to us. In this, I believe that our hearts are in the right place, and the political enthusiasts' hearts are not.

I don't think the tories are doing a decent basic job of running the country. Neither by my values or theirs. They said the budget would be in balance by here, no here, no here, no another 5 years. They said net migration would come down - it is at a historical peak. I could go on.

Meanwhile, it made the national news the other day when a trust couldn't find an adult mental health bed in the whole of England. Hundreds of thousands of people are using food banks. In the midst of a massive economic shitstorm, we still can't recruit enough nurses because the government failed to plan the training regime properly. I could go on.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Yes, but the pragmatism in this context means neo-liberal policies, and cuddling up to big business, and trying not to upset them. Why else did the 3 other candidates abstain on the Tory Benefits Bill?

According to Tom Watson, because there were two or three policies buried in there that Labour actually supports, and they didn't want Osborne sneering at them that they'd voted against them for the next five years.
So there was some sort of reason there. Whether it was a sound reason is another matter.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
I can find nothing on the web about it, only the Harrington affair in the eighties.

There may well not be. There was a lot of student disruption in those days and if reported, it would have only been middle pages stuff.
Assuming your characterisation of what went on is correct, we know Corbyn was involved because ?

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Touchstone
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# 3560

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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:
I honestly don't understand this position at all. Why would I vote for a party whose policys I don't agree with? Why would anybody?

Since it's very unlikely that there's ever going to be a 100% fit between a party's programme and what you, me or any other elector would actually like to see, that's a compromise we all have to make.

Besides, something you political enthusiasts don't understand is that us ordinary electors assess parties and administrations primarily on how competent we think they will be or have been at the basic job of running the country. If they can get on with that without messing our lives up, then we feel we've a great deal to be thankful for.

We don't want to live in interesting times. Other things are more important to us. In this, I believe that our hearts are in the right place, and the political enthusiasts' hearts are not.

I don't think the tories are doing a decent basic job of running the country. Neither by my values or theirs. They said the budget would be in balance by here, no here, no here, no another 5 years. They said net migration would come down - it is at a historical peak. I could go on.

Meanwhile, it made the national news the other day when a trust couldn't find an adult mental health bed in the whole of England. Hundreds of thousands of people are using food banks. In the midst of a massive economic shitstorm, we still can't recruit enough nurses because the government failed to plan the training regime properly. I could go on.

The Blair/Brown governments don't seem so terrible now, eh?

[ 14. September 2015, 22:14: Message edited by: Touchstone ]

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Jez we did hand the next election to the Tories on a plate!

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
I don't think the tories are doing a decent basic job of running the country. ...

Nor do I, but that isn't what this thread is about.

If you tell me that somebody else's snake oil doesn't work, then even if that's true, it's no reason why I should think your snake oil does work.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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I always rather liked Gordon Brown, Basically I think its a shame we lost John Smith though.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
I don't think the tories are doing a decent basic job of running the country. ...

Nor do I, but that isn't what this thread is about.

If you tell me that somebody else's snake oil doesn't work, then even if that's true, it's no reason why I should think your snake oil does work.

Of course, but you were earlier implying that they were.

I've yet to see a coherent argument on this thread as to why some of the economic policy ideas raised during Corbyn's campaign wouldn't work though.

[ 14. September 2015, 22:21: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by George Spigot:
I honestly don't understand this position at all. Why would I vote for a party whose policys I don't agree with? Why would anybody?

Good luck with finding any party with policies you are completely in agreement with. That's never happened to me. If policies determine your choice (rather than party loyalty) you have to go for "best fit" - which is always a compromise.

I think the evidence is that something like three quarters of the electorate vote for reasons of party loyalty, regardless of policy. It's floating voters who determine outcome (that plus apathy amongst those who lose enthusiasm for their normal party of choice and just stay away).

So if you're serious about voting on policy grounds, George, that makes you sound like a potential floating voter to me. Perhaps there are sizeable numbers of floating voters out there who are open to persuasion that Corbynite Labour policies are the answer? Maybe open to education, as Doublethink suggests? I just haven't seen any evidence that that is the case, or sufficiently the case to reverse the move away from Labour.

My old dad would put it more succinctly. However well principled Corbynite Labour policies are, however much they may galvanise the party faithful, in electoral terms they are much more likely to be "pissing against the wind".

[ 14. September 2015, 22:36: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:

George, that makes you sound like a potential floating voter to me. Perhaps there are sizeable numbers of floating voters out there who are open to persuasion that Corbynite Labour policies are the answer? Maybe open to education, as Doublethink suggests? I just haven't seen any evidence that that is the case, or sufficiently the case to reverse the move away from Labour.

From your own reasoning, the fact that the tories won the election (and the SNP won in scotland), 'proves' that there are sufficient floating voters to shift power one way or the other.

If we consider the current media environment where it pays to sound tough on certain policies (like immigration and europe) and where attempting to explain oneself on economic matters is seen as trying to make excuses.

Then it kind of gives lie to the idea that Labour can win by tacking to the centre - after all if the majority of the electorate have been persuaded that punitive policies are the way to go, they are always going to go for the party that is genuinely punitive, rather than the one that promises to only play at being punitive.

So in the scenario where everything goes well, Labour only ever wins if they manage to reshape the debate - something they can't do if they are aping the current position of the Tories with a slight emphasis to the centre.

If there is a big shake up - say the economic starts to shrink next year, or the Cameron succession is botched, or there's a huge bunfight over Europe. In that kind of situation a lot of things change - and Corbyn's successor would have had the benefit of a few years of genuine debate over ideas which are actually fairly popular in this country (such as re-nationalising some utilities and so on).

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:

Unless you're suggesting that many people voted Tory in May because Labour was insufficiently left wing?

Yes. Isn't that obvious?

People were frightened by the economic problems and by immigration, so they voted for the big stick party.

Labour presented themselves as the slightly smaller stick party. Why on earth would anyone have voted for them?

As an imperfect analogy. People went into a pub and found that all that was available was Bud and Bud-lite. Given that choice, what's the point of Bud-lite? Many people would just turn around and decide they're not thirsty. Some would buy the Bud-lite simply because it has a red rose on the glass.

We saw what happened when another drink was offered. In Scotland we had the SNP saying things very different from the Tories, in England UKIP came in offering something different from the Tories. So, if Corbyn comes in and takes Bud-lite off the options and replaces it with a craft beer (I see from Google that Islington is home to a few micro-breweries producing a range of craft beers) he has given people a new choice. OK, so a lot of people would still want a G&T and the new craft beers are no more to their taste than the Bud-lite, or indeed the Bud.

Give people a choice in the ballot box. That way you'll have a better idea of what people want. It may not help Labour get back into government, but IMO it will help Parliament to better represent the people.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged



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