/ Is this the end for Labour?

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Big Ger - on 03 Jan 2017
Some pretty damning evidence out there, with even the Fabian society saying that their only chance of wielding influence is to go into partnership with other parties.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/02/labour-election-jeremy-corbyn-fabian-society

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38490343

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/03/labour-alternative-britain-party-left-crisis-e...
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Hugh Janus - on 03 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

It's not looking good. Personally, I don't have confidence in Corbyn to do an even adequate job as PM. I fear we maybe heading for a one party state for a couple of decades. Unless a new charismatic leader from Labour or the Lib Dems appear, though please not another Blair, I really can't see Tories being challenged for a while.

This (from The Guardian article) says it all about Labour at the moment:

"They are intellectually barren and politically lost, and they would be whether Corbyn was leader or not."

That's going to take a while to sort out and I'm not sure there is anyone with the stomach to do it at the moment. I can't see anyone with the character, charisma and intellect needed to rise to that challenge coming through the ranks either.

Perhaps a Lib-Lab alliance is the best we can hope for to challenge the Tories so they don't have decades to impose their ideology?

Liberal lefties anyone?
1
Pursued by a bear - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> Personally, I don't have confidence in Corbyn to do an even adequate job as PM.

I have still less confidence in his ability to get the job.

> Unless a new charismatic leader from Labour or the Lib Dems appear

There may yet be a Libdem resurgence. Labour might take a little longer, though don't discount a northern Labour revival under a city mayor.

> I really can't see Tories being challenged for a while.

And don't forget their critical EU fault line. They may prove to be their own biggest opposition.

T.

Hugh Janus - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

> And don't forget their critical EU fault line. They may prove to be their own biggest opposition.

I'm not so sure about this to tell you the truth. Firstly, they haven't got their name for no reason. Secondly, Brexit was exactly the result that was best for the Tories, in that I'm not sure how many of them were actually that committed to the EU, it gets the party united behind a common purpose and it also sorts out the UKIP problem, who will disappear faster than this damned cold that I've got. The only way I can the Tories losing a GE anytime soon is if Brexit is an absolute disaster for the UK. And that won't be good for anyone.

Big Ger - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:
> This (from The Guardian article) says it all about Labour at the moment:

> "They are intellectually barren and politically lost, and they would be whether Corbyn was leader or not."

"Politically lost" is too true, no longer the party of the working class, now embroiled in a mish mash of minority issues, student union politics, and middle class concerns.

Wonder why?

From the Guardian again

> The party is doing less well when it comes to attracting rural dwellers, elderly people and those struggling to make ends meet, leaked documents show.
> But the report’s summary warns: “Groups which are over-represented as Labour party members tend to be long-term homeowners from urban areas (particularly inner city area) who have high levels of disposable income. “Those who are under-represented tend to be either young singles/families who rent properties on a short-term basis and require financial assistance or those who live in rural communities.”

> According to the document, Labour has analysed 80% of its party’s membership using Mosaic, a classification system used to categorise people into different social bands. It points out that “high-status city dwellers living in central locations and pursuing careers with high rewards are highly over-represented”. “As a group they make up 4% of the general population in contrast to 11.2% of party membership,” it says. The report says the party has 36,646 members categorised as coming from a category it calls “city prosperity”, and 19,917 of these have joined since the general election - an increase of 119%.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/20/labours-new-members-mostly-wealthy-city-dwellers-le...

I was a miner
I was a docker
I was a railway man
Between the wars
I raised a family
In times of austerity
With sweat at the foundry
Between the wars.

I paid the union and as times got harder
I looked to the government to help the working man
And they brought prosperity down at the armory
We're arming for peace, me boys
Between the wars

I kept the faith and I kept voting
Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand
For theirs is a land with a wall around it
And mine is a faith in my fellow man
Theirs is a land of hope and glory
Mine is the green field and the factory floor
Theirs are the skies all dark with bombers
And mine is the peace we know
Between the wars

Call up the craftsmen
Bring me the draftsmen
Build me a path from cradle to grave
And I'll give my consent
To any government
That does not deny a man a living wage

Go find the young men never to fight again
Bring up the banners from the days gone by
Sweet moderation
Heart of this nation
Desert us not, we are
Between the wars


(PS. Check your email.)
Post edited at 00:51
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BnB - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Labour is in a poor state but it's remarkable how fickle the electorate can be. If Brexit removes UKIP's central policy, Farage wafts to America in search of media dollars and an attractive leader with common sense policies replaces Corbyn, then voters may well return, including me.

At the moment however, Labour thoroughly deserves its trajectory and the sooner Corbyn's leadership has a decisive test the better for the party. Copeland will be a tricky bye-election but I doubt defeat would be enough to shift him, so divided is the party from parliament.
1
Greasy Prusiks on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

I'm a lefty snowflake and even I can see that labour has completely lost the plot.

I think a new electrol system would give us a much healthier democracy.
1
BnB - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> I'm a lefty snowflake and even I can see that labour has completely lost the plot.

> I think a new electrol system would give us a much healthier democracy.

Even though I've voted Labour about the same number of times as Tory, I'm a hard-bitten realist and yet I've come round to the view that PR is the way forward. A system in which everyone has a voice yet all participants can comprehend the weight of all the alternative voices might lead to a more understanding society where compromise trumps extremism.
1
Simon4 - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> I think a new electrol system would give us a much healthier democracy.

That may be, and there are certainly a lot of problems with FPTP, not least its abuse by all parties to parachute in favorite sons (frequently literally!), to constituencies they can barely identify without Google Maps, in a way that makes a complete mockery of local representation. Not to mention the fact that numbers of MPs can become totally at variance with numbers of votes, as well as votes in safe seats becoming meaningless, so that one voter's power can be totally different to another in a different part of the country. It is ironic that this was dramatically NOT the case in the EU referendum, where each vote counted exactly equally, yet there are still some who bitch about that result and proclaim it undemocratic.

But it is a rather separate question to why the principal opposition party has decided to commit slow, horrible, embarrassing suicide, with a succession of ever more absurd and extreme leaders. Which is in fact a problem for all of us, not just "lefty snowflakes", because our democracy depends on a plausible and viable opposition to hold the government to account. We do not currently have a viable alternative government, or anything like it, so the dangers of arrogance and hubris overtaking the government are clear.
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Greasy Prusiks on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to BnB:

I agree.

I think the way to go is regular smaller elections. Say every six months 60 MPs are replaced by a vote of a sample 10th of the population. The vote would be by a form of proportional representation.

That way government would have to remain popular over extended periods of time rather than just in the run up to an election. This would encourage long term management of the country rather than short term popularist policy.
1
neilh - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon4:
All well said, but the Cons still only have a wafer thin majority, so in turn they have to compromise with their own party. This seems to work just as well in keeping silly ideas in check .

I do not belive there is an ideal system. PR has just has many faults when you look round at other systems ( an inability to form a govt seems to me a common feature)

FPTP seems only an issue when there is a huge majority, but then that usually reflects what the country would like ( either a Blair or a Thatcher)
Post edited at 11:58
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Robert Durran - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> I agree.

> I think the way to go is regular smaller elections. Say every six months 60 MPs are replaced by a vote of a sample 10th of the population. The vote would be by a form of proportional representation.

> That way government would have to remain popular over extended periods of time rather than just in the run up to an election. This would encourage long term management of the country rather than short term popularist policy.

Eh? Surely that's the wrong way round! It would just encourage short term populism at the expense of sound long term management which might be unpopular in the short term or in specific areas.

stevieb - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

I think labour made two massive mistakes which have marginalised them and changed the direction of the country.
1) they picked the wrong Milliband. I'm not sure that David would've been more popular than Ed, but he always seemed much much more competent and experienced. I don't think the Cons would've got an outright majority against David.
2) when they were in power they should've moved for PR but they were seduced by being in majority. The party is divided between ideological labour and the traditional working class union labour. In a PR system they would work much better as separate parties.
They are in a lot of trouble, but if they could actually bring themselves to elect a charismatic and competent leader (if they can find one) then they could turn it around very quickly.
Ramblin dave - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> It's not looking good. Personally, I don't have confidence in Corbyn to do an even adequate job as PM.

Out of interest, what do you think he'd do that would be bad?
blurty - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to BnB:

> Even though I've voted Labour about the same number of times as Tory, I'm a hard-bitten realist and yet I've come round to the view that PR is the way forward. A system in which everyone has a voice yet all participants can comprehend the weight of all the alternative voices might lead to a more understanding society where compromise trumps extremism.

I agree too, but don't forget there was a binding referendum on this in 2011, and AV (a sort of PR light) was rejected

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_Alternative_Vote_referendum,_2011

It really grieves me to see the party in such a shit state; personally I think that New Labour was seduced by power and lost it's way - they certainly got some good things done though.

The current 'team' in un-electable - despite the protest vote/ Trump factor.
Hugh Janus - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to stevieb:

> 1) they picked the wrong Milliband. I'm not sure that David would've been more popular than Ed, but he always seemed much much more competent and experienced. I don't think the Cons would've got an outright majority against David.

I said the very same thing to a Labour party member who voted for Ed. As much as it shouldn't be the case, you need charisma to become a realistic alternative to win an election. Thatcher had it, Blair had it, Cameron even had it. Ed was seen as a wet flannel, but David might have been able to persuade the country to back him. Just look at those you stood against Blair, Hague, IDS, Howard! No chance!. It was also the same with Brown, who also didn't win an election. The only time a "wet" won an election was Major and that led to Labour finally sorting their act out.

It's the same with Corbyn. As much as he might be a man of integrity, many in this country simply don't see him as a man to lead it.
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Hugh Janus - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> Out of interest, what do you think he'd do that would be bad?

I don't think he has it in him to lead his party, let alone the country properly. Like Big Ger, I just can't stand all this "equal" opportunities stuff. When it comes to a job as important as a member of parliament, I just want the best. To paraphrase the great Bill Hicks, I don't care if they've got 3 titties and a trunk! As long as they are the best person to do the job. Unfortunately, Labour want the 3 titties and a trunk regardless of their actual talent and have somewhat poluted their gene pool. Who knows if they haven't already passed over or put off a future Clement (or Clementine) Attlee?
3
KevinD - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Eh? Surely that's the wrong way round! It would just encourage short term populism at the expense of sound long term management which might be unpopular in the short term or in specific areas.

Dunno about that. Those MPs not due for election for a couple of years might be able to vote down a short term measure which would hit them.Could go either way I suspect.
1
KevinD - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to BnB:

> Labour is in a poor state but it's remarkable how fickle the electorate can be. If Brexit removes UKIP's central policy, Farage wafts to America in search of media dollars and an attractive leader with common sense policies replaces Corbyn, then voters may well return, including me.

What are these common sense policies?

1
RyanOsborne - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> Who knows if they haven't already passed over or put off a future Clement (or Clementine) Attlee?

What do you mean, an understated public figure, with socialist policies of nationalisation?

Already got one, haven't they?
Hugh Janus - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to RyanOsborne:
I see what you mean, but alas these are very different times.

Perhaps Attlee wasn't the best example to use, but I wasn't gonna say Blair.
Post edited at 15:52
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RyanOsborne - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

They are, but I refuse to embrace the age of celebrity when it comes to choosing politicians.

I'd prefer someone who thinks about the best policies for the country, rather than someone who is willing to lie and lie with the fake charm (and integrity) of a salesman. So I'd vote for Corbyn over Blair, Johnson, Gove or May.
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Hugh Janus - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to RyanOsborne:
Couldn't agree with you more, but unfortunately that's not how it works now, it's all about who delivers the better BS. "The public wants what the public gets". (You can replace "public" with "media" if you like). And JC just isn't it.
Post edited at 15:58
RyanOsborne - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:


> Perhaps Attlee wasn't the best example to use,

Because Corbyn is so similar to him? To the man widely regarded as the best post-war prime minister? And yet you wouldn't vote for him?
1
Hugh Janus - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to RyanOsborne:

I didn't say that. I will be voting for David Drew (former Stroud MP and a great parliamentarian) if he stands again and he's Labour. I just don't think JC is electable as PM at the moment. It's just the way it works now. JC would be ripped apart by the press more than he is now, followed shortly afterwards by his own party. I personally think he might be quite good for the country. But he needs to ditch the SJW traits though and become far stronger to survive with all the rabid dogs around these days. Attlee would not survive nowadays either. It's sad but true.
Big Ger - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> Ed was seen as a wet flannel, but David might have been able to persuade the country to back him.

I have to agree, but I'd go further. Ed M portrayed everything which was wrong with the party at that point. A shiny, happy-clappy, middle- class do gooder, who had no feel for or understanding of the working man and woman, and one who surrounded himself with the same.

The Ed Stone was the pinnacle of Labour stupidity at that point, and he is a major factor responsible for Corbyn's ascendancy and the current shite state of the party.

Dell on 05 Jan 2017
Only a soft Tory would back David Miliband. Blair's little lap dog.

As for the Fabian society, they represent everything that Corbyn's against, this is nothing more than a propaganda job against him.


2
Hugh Janus - on 05 Jan 2017
In reply to Dell:

> As for the Fabian society, they represent everything that Corbyn's against, this is nothing more than a propaganda job against him.

That maybe true, but it doesn't alter the fact that without a viable opposition there's nothing to stop the Tories selling off the rest of the family jewellery, especially the NHS.
Big Ger - on 05 Jan 2017
In reply to Dell:
> As for the Fabian society, they represent everything that Corbyn's against,

Such as sensible economics, 21 st century thinking, and pragmatic politics?
Post edited at 00:40
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Bogwalloper - on 05 Jan 2017
stevieb - on 05 Jan 2017
In reply to Dell:

Or anyone who wants a more left wing government than our current one
1
Hugh Janus - on 05 Jan 2017
In reply to Bogwalloper:

Awesome Wally!

Big Ger's gonna love "Where's Wally?"

1
Big Ger - on 05 Jan 2017
In reply to Bogwalloper:

When will people realise that Corbyn is a Euroskeptic?
Simon4 - on 05 Jan 2017
In reply to neilh:

> All well said, but the Cons still only have a wafer thin majority, so in turn they have to compromise with their own party. This seems to work just as well in keeping silly ideas in check .

A good point. By hook or by crook, we seem to have a situation in which the government has virtually no opposition to speak of, but is still not as secure (and hence arrogant and careless) as one might expect. Which is by and large, a good thing, but no-one could say that this is a reliable or stable outcome, certainly it is not the product of any intention or plan.

> I do not belive there is an ideal system.

Indeed. As Pope puts it :

"for forms of government, let fools contest,
Whats best administered is best"

There are certainly problems with FPTP, but that may not have much to do with current predicament. There may be technical solutions such as multi-member large constituencies (retains the local link while avoiding the "winner takes all" effect of 1 vote giving absolute power), but this solves nothing if the main opposition has decided to commit seppuku, out of a misguided search for ideological purity and a conspicuous display of theoretical high-mindedness, rather than grubby practicality.


1
Simon4 - on 05 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:
> there's nothing to stop the Tories selling off the rest of the family jewellery, especially the NHS.

The sacred NHS is very much cheap paste costume jewellery and brassy fake, not diamonds and rubies encased in 24 carat gold.

A very poor, producer captured, low expectation, low standard and inaddequate outcome health care system, one of the worst in Europe, certainly Western Europe. Hasn't been the "envy of the world" for decades, if it ever was, not because it doesn't have "enough" resources, but because the concept is fundamentally flawed and cannot be reformed. The more money poured into it, the more money will be wasted, it is a black hole.
Post edited at 23:01
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Dell on 05 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon4:

> The more money poured into it, the more money will be wasted....

Wasted on what exactly?
Hugh Janus - on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon4:

Sorry, Simon can't agree with you on this one. The NHS is certainly not what it was, at one stage the envy of the world. But it is no coincidence that those last few decades you speak of have been administered by Tories (including a Tory in red). There are conspirators who believe it has been deliberately run down in order justify selling it off. I'm not close enough to it to confirm that though.
5
oldie - on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon4:

Agree NHS has many problems but throughout my life I, my relatives and friends have overall had very good treatment. I appreciate the programmes for prevention and detection of disease, especially as I get older.
A private health system would possibly be" fundamentally flawed" in that profit has to be its main objective. Many less well off would avoid or put off seeing a doctor.There would be a pressure to charge as much as possible and to carry out some tests or treatments that wouldn't harm the patient but probably wouldn't help them either. Not an efficient way to look after a population and keep it functioning.
1
Big Ger - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Rumours emerging from the Labour party seem to indicate that Jeremy Corbyn is giving serious consideration to actually doing something. If true it would be the first activity from the reclusive Labour leader since October when he gave a speech to several hundred people who agreed with him.

> “Well look, it’s a busy time of the year,” said a Labour spokesman. “You’ve got Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas shopping, then Christmas, and Jeremy got really into X-Factor this year. “It’s really hard to find time to do politics with all that going on.”

http://newsthump.com/2017/01/06/jeremy-corbyn-considering-doing-something/
Duncan Bourne - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon4:

really can not agree with you there. Can't even find where you comments even match with reality enough to produce a worthwhile counter argument. It is as if you had just said "cars are a waste of time because they breakdown and people would be much better off with horses".
2
Duncan Bourne - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

The interesting thing I find with current politics is how it mirrors in a (hopefully) small way world politics was before the second world war with polarised extremes. The success of Corbyn within the Labour party rank and file is systematic of a disalluison with middle ground politics in the same way that UKIP and Trump is at the other end of the spectrum. It is an attempt to break out of the do-as-you-are-told-and-take-your-medicine brand of austerity politics of recent years from politicians that do not appear to practice what they preach. "We are all in this together" was the biggest con ever.
Ramblin dave - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> But he needs to ditch the SJW traits though and become far stronger to survive

Said this before, but you do know that "SJW" is a term coined by unreconstructed racists, sexists and homophobes to smear anyone who disagrees with them, right? If you want to criticize Corbyn's approach then feel free, but please don't do it in a way that tacitly buys into that worldview.
3
alastairmac - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

The end came some time ago for Labour in Scotland. They're now irrelevant and seem to have decided that their only purpose is as a junior partner campaigning to keep the union limping on.
Dr.S at work - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to alastairmac:

So are the Tories now really the second party in Scotland? How much strength is left in the Lib Dems?
Andy Hardy on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon4:
[...]

> because our democracy depends on a plausible and viable opposition to hold the government to account. We do not currently have a viable alternative government, or anything like it, so the dangers of arrogance and hubris overtaking the government are clear.

This. It's not often I agree with your POV, but that absolutely nails it.
keith-ratcliffe on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
For what it is worth I offer my view of my current position in relation to the Labour Party - for whom I have voted all my life.
The starting point for my allegience is the late 1960's when I first got the vote. When choosing between the priviledged Edward Heath & the Northern working class image of Harold Wilson I had no option. Good job really as my Dad was staunch Labour all his life. I was also a solid Trade Union supporter (The union helped me complete my degree with a company in receivership) so that saw me through the 60's & 70's. The Thatcher era hardened my position - these years were an onslaught on the rights of working men & women and I despaired of ever finding a way out. Kinnock was the future and I was gutted when he lost in '92. This was the first time that I felt that the press had influenced the result - until then I firmly believed in the critical voice of the electorate. Afterwards I came to understand the power of the Fourth Estate. Hope sprang eternal with the rise of Tony Blair and New Labour and I was a disciple - I truly believed that this was the start of a new movement in politics - a modern socialism whose values I could support but with a distance to the adversarial politics of the 'us & them'. Sadly that was undermined by the events in Iraq that tainted Tony Blair & thus his principles though I still believe that his vision of the future for a Labour/Socialist party were right. Sadly the years since then have been grim - Cameron spoke effusively about the integration of society to gain the middle ground and conned many but delivered little and the debacle of Brexit will be his life's legacy. As to the current lot - I feel very unsafe in the hands of Mrs May but cannot align with many of the policies of Mr Corbyn - hard as I find it to identify anything he really believes in. I now live in Scotland and many of the policies of the SNP are very attractive however there is one I cannot support - I am a citizen of the United Kingdom and believe whole-heartedly in that union. It is good for Scotland and the UK and while it is an SNP policy I cannot support them.
So it looks like I will be still voting Labour and hoping for the enlightenment that will launch us into the post Victorian political future.
Where will that come from? - well I think that it requires alliances with other parties/ groups that share a wider view of a caring society to form a new powerful opposition to the 'me' culture of the Brexit era. Perhaps this can only happen when we realise that the widely stated 'we' culture is very selective.
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Big Ger - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:


Ouch!

> Jeremy Corbyn has been put in his place by a journalist at The Economist after calling the influential magazine “friends” of the Conservatives. The magazine has published its verdict of May’s first six months in power, calling her “Theresa Maybe, Britain’s indecisive premier”.

> The verdict on the prime minister reverberated through Westminster, with one insider telling HuffPost UK they expected Downing Street to go “ape shit” over it. The Labour leader tweeted The Economist’s article saying it showed “even the Conservatives’ friends admit Theresa May has no plan and no solutions”.

> Tom Wainwright, the magazine’s Britain editor, tweeted a withering put down, denying the magazine had partisan loyalty to any party. He said: “We are hardly ‘the Conservatives’ friends’. We endorsed Labour when it was under more competent management.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jeremy-corbyn-economist-friend-tirues_uk_586fa32fe4b0961f0937c...
Big Ger - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> Said this before, but you do know that "SJW" is a term coined by unreconstructed racists, sexists and homophobes to smear anyone who disagrees with them, right? If you want to criticize Corbyn's approach then feel free, but please don't do it in a way that tacitly buys into that worldview.

LOL!! A perfect SJW response, or am I wrong?

> Dating back to 1824, the term "social justice" refers to justice on a societal level. Abby Ohlheiser wrote in The Washington Post that "social-justice warrior" or variations thereof had been used as a laudatory phrase in the past, and provided an example dating to 1991. She quoted Katherine Martin, the head of U.S. dictionaries at Oxford University Press, who said, "All of the examples I've seen until quite recently are lionizing the person." According to The Washington Post, use of the phrase in a positive manner continued from the 1990s through the 2000s. At the time of the article's publication in October 2015, Martin said "lexicographers there haven't done a full search for its earliest citation" of the term
Post edited at 21:59
Big Ger - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
Oh dear...

> Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, has effectively admitted that the party does not have a clear immigration policy, saying it was “unfair” to expect the party to have one when the government’s own position on the issue was so vague.

> In an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News, he indicated his own personal support for abandoning the commitment to free movement for EU citizens, arguing: “For the Labour party what we can’t support is the status quo.”

> But, despite being asked five times, he refused to confirm that the party as a whole had given up defending EU free movement. When pushed, he told Ridge: “It’s unfair of you to ask what Labour’s notional position is when we don’t even know what Theresa May’s negotiating position is on free movement.

> “The future is very uncertain. Let’s see what Theresa May comes up with.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/08/tom-watson-labour-party-immigration-policy-free-mov...
Post edited at 00:46
Dell on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> [...]

> because our democracy depends on a plausible and viable opposition to hold the government to account. We do not currently have a viable alternative government, or anything like it, so the dangers of arrogance and hubris overtaking the government are clear.

> This. It's not often I agree with your POV, but that absolutely nails it.

Do we actually have a plausible, viable Government?

2
Ramblin dave - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Okay, "popularized as a perjorative" rather than "coined".

The point remains that it's currently mostly used as a convenient way to stigmatize anyone who questions the status quo by calling out racism, sexism or homophobia.
3
RomTheBear on 09 Jan 2017

The traditional left/right split does not make sense at all any longer, hence why Labour and Corbyn are utterly useless.

The split nowadays is not between left and right, it's between openness and internationalism versus isolation and nationalism.
Post edited at 12:38
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Dell on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

But which is which? Are Brexiteers isolationalist? Or are remainers isolationalist?
1
neilh - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

Paradox. You can be both nationalist and internationalist......

I know plenty of italians, French, Germans who are avid nationalists- singing etc- but at the same time international in outlook. Same in the UK.

So a frivilous statement on your part.
blurty - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

But surely there's a good argument that Brexit will mean the UK will turn its face outwards, to the rest of the world?
3
GrahamD - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to blurty:

> But surely there's a good argument that Brexit will mean the UK will turn its face outwards, to the rest of the world?

There is ?
3
RomTheBear on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to blurty:
> But surely there's a good argument that Brexit will mean the UK will turn its face outwards, to the rest of the world?

Well no, that's is a very poor argument given that membership of the EU never really prevented the UK from turning its face outwards to the rest of the world.
Post edited at 17:27
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RomTheBear on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to neilh:

> Paradox. You can be both nationalist and internationalist......

> I know plenty of italians, French, Germans who are avid nationalists- singing etc- but at the same time international in outlook. Same in the UK.

You seem confused between nationalism and patriotism.
But indeed I would definitely make a distinction between civic nationalism which can be quite outward looking in nature, and ethnic nationalism.

1
RomTheBear on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Dell:
> But which is which? Are Brexiteers isolationalist? Or are remainers isolationalist?

There are many internationalist brexiteers. Unfortunately they are a bunch of tw*ts who cyncically used the populist arguments of the isolationists in order to win, so they ended up trapping themselves.
Post edited at 17:56
3
Andy Hardy on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Dell:

> Do we actually have a plausible, viable Government?

We have a government, it doesn't need to be plausible as long as it has a majority, it's viable. And it can do whatever it likes, without fear of losing the next election since the opposition are so poor.
neilh - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

I think it is you who are confused.
RomTheBear on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to neilh:

> I think it is you who are confused.

No, it's very clear to me what the difference between patriotism and nationalism is.
Big Ger - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> The point remains that it's currently mostly used as a convenient way to stigmatize anyone who ruins every minor debate point by calling out racism, sexism or homophobia.

FTFY

1
Big Ger - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

More grim news;

> Labour support in Wales has reached new lows, an opinion poll has suggested. A poll by YouGov for ITV Wales and Cardiff University suggests 31% of people would vote for Labour in assembly constituency elections, down three points from September. That is the lowest rating since YouGov's first Welsh poll in July 2009.
> Both Tory and Plaid Cymru support rose by one point to 25% and 21% respectively, UKIP was down one to 12% and the Liberal Democrats up two to 8%. There was also a dip in support for Labour when respondents were asked how they would vote in a Westminster election, with Labour support falling by two points to 33%. This is the lowest point in any Welsh poll on Westminster voting intention since a YouGov poll in April 2010, according to Prof Roger Scully.
summo on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:
> Well no, that's is a very poor argument given that membership of the EU never really prevented the UK from turning its face outwards to the rest of the world.

if you ignore the fact that in being in the EU the UK lost it's seat on the WTO (an organisation it helped found) and handed over it's WTO representation to the WTO. Hard to face out to the world, when you don't have seat or voice anymore. Neither are they currently allowed to negotiate their own trade deals whilst a member of the EU. How exactly can the UK face out to the world in the EU?
Post edited at 08:00
2
Sir Chasm - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to summo:

Despite being hamstrung by membership of the EU, and not having a seat on the WTO, Germany manages to export quite a lot to the rest of the world, but perhaps that isn't facing out.
summo on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Despite being hamstrung by membership of the EU, and not having a seat on the WTO, Germany manages to export quite a lot to the rest of the world, but perhaps that isn't facing out.

I would agree, it is exporting the right products, produced relatively well and other non EU nations are prepared to pay a modest premium for them. There other reasons to do with cheap labour markets from the east opening up in the past, labour reform, greater union and government cooperation, a very different property and borrowing market etc... too, but generally they produce many products that are seen as westernised and desirable by emerging markets.
neilh - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

Well you seem to have already redefined civic nationalism v nationalism v patriotism.
Sir Chasm - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to summo:

So being a member of the eu hasn't prevented Germany from doing quite well in their non-eu trade but the UK was prevented from trading with the rest of the world because of our EU membership.
Andy Hardy on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Is debate *really* ruined when one side points out racism and / or homophobia in the other?
1
Ramblin dave - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Is debate *really* ruined when one side points out racism and / or homophobia in the other?

It must get pretty annoying for racists and homophobes, tbf.
Ramblin dave - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> The point remains that it's currently mostly used as a convenient way to stigmatize anyone who ruins every minor debate point by calling out racism, sexism or homophobia.

> FTFY

You haven't fixed it, you've just removed any connection with reality.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> When will people realise that Corbyn is a Euroskeptic?

Unfortunately Labour have appointed an unreconstructed old-school Trotskyite moron as leader.

We have a situation where 48% of people voted against leaving the EU. Of the 52% who voted for leave at least 10% and probably 20 or 30% thought, based on stated Conservative party policy in their manifesto, that it would mean something like the EEA with single market membership and freedom of movement. Yet the 'official opposition' under Corbyn isn't doing any opposing at all on this issue. That is a complete failure of all the checks and balances in the system and it demands a new political force willing to take a strong pro EU position.
Andy Hardy on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/10/jeremy-corbyn-calls-for-maximum-wage-law#comment-90...

Just when we need a government in waiting, we get this 6th form debating society sh1te from JC. It's almost like he wants indefinite Tory government so he can carry on whinging without having to actually do anything
blurty - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Labour's main problem is that they have two constituencies: Metropolitan (mainly London) relatively well-heeled left-wingers, and then the traditional labour heartlands that remain in the North (Scotland having now been abandoned to the quasi New Labour SNP)

Corbyn is a creature of Metropolitan Labour, but puts the occasional marker down in an attempt to maintain his 'Old Labour' credentials - E.g this morning's statement on pay caps.

The party is trying to do the splits, perched on two stools; it's not going to end well I fear
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to blurty:

Cracking effort by Jezzer this morning: "Mr.Corbyn you have come here to clarify your views on brexit. What are your views on brexit?"
"Well, I think we should have a maximum salary cap"

Every one a winner
blurty - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

You and I hold different political views, but I have to admit that JC is indeed a plonker. Even Tom Watson doesn't know what he's going to do next.
GrahamD - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to blurty:

And labours loss is UKIPs gain it seems.
RomTheBear on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to neilh:
> Well you seem to have already redefined civic nationalism v nationalism v patriotism.

Why ? I've not attempted to define them at all.
Post edited at 12:46
1
RomTheBear on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to summo:

> if you ignore the fact that in being in the EU the UK lost it's seat on the WTO (an organisation it helped found) and handed over it's WTO representation to the WTO. Hard to face out to the world, when you don't have seat or voice anymore. Neither are they currently allowed to negotiate their own trade deals whilst a member of the EU. How exactly can the UK face out to the world in the EU?

There is no point having a seat at the WTO if you have no leverage. What being part of the EU does is giving us considerable leverage in trade deals that we wouldn't have otherwise.
The EU is by far one of the most open market in the world, has a considerable number of trade deals, and is sactively negotiating in parallel many others.

Not only that, but by being part of the single market, the U.K. became a hub for the rest of the world to access the single market.

Frankly ridiculous to say that brexit will help Britain facing out to the world, when the immediate consequence of a hard brexit is that we'll cease being part of the single market and will exit all existing trade deals we have through the EU, and stop people from coming here.

That's not what I call facing to the world, that's rather what we call taking a huge step back away from it.

Now if the UK decides to adopt unilateral free trade and starts liberalising visas I'll agree with you, but that seem very, very unlikely.




1
Ramblin dave - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to blurty:

> Labour's main problem is that they have two constituencies: Metropolitan (mainly London) relatively well-heeled left-wingers, and then the traditional labour heartlands that remain in the North (Scotland having now been abandoned to the quasi New Labour SNP)

Although to some extent this is a division of style - there are plenty of well-heeled metropolitan Labour supporters who have spent years moaning that the party has drifted too far to the right to chase votes.
cragtaff - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

With Mr Corbyn declaring that the UK does not have too many immigrants he just about seals the fate of Labour under his leadership. One wonders if Theresa May will see it as an ideal time to call a snap election and walk away with a massive majority to get on with Brexit unhindered by the opposition.
RomTheBear on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to cragtaff:
> With Mr Corbyn declaring that the UK does not have too many immigrants he just about seals the fate of Labour under his leadership. One wonders if Theresa May will see it as an ideal time to call a snap election and walk away with a massive majority to get on with Brexit unhindered by the opposition.

What opposition ? Corbyn is just confused, has no coherent policies, and changes his mind at the slightest criticism.
To be fair to him Teresa May is about as bad.
Post edited at 17:54
Hugh Janus - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

Is politics just a question of voting for the least worse of a bad lot?

It seems to me that the standard of politians, regardless of political leaning, has fallen substantially in recent years, but this could just be due to a higher level of scrutiny these days.
FactorXXX - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to cragtaff:

One wonders if Theresa May will see it as an ideal time to call a snap election and walk away with a massive majority to get on with Brexit unhindered by the opposition.

Except that she can't unilaterally call for a snap election.
Hugh Janus - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

I think this is correct. Isn't it now a part of legislation that we have a 5 year, fixed term parliament?
Duncan Bourne - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

I just remember that in the run up to the American elections it was a huge joke that anyone as ridiculous as Donald Trump could ever get elected.

Not quite the same situation I know but stranger things have happened
Ramblin dave - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to cragtaff:

> With Mr Corbyn declaring that the UK does not have too many immigrants he just about seals the fate of Labour under his leadership.

There are two things that are basically doing my head in about British politics at the moment.

The first is that we don't have a clear leftist voice standing up and saying, "look, we've all been told that people have legitimate concerns about immigration, but immigration isn't really the issue. People are legitimately concerned that they can't get a council house, but the problem isn't that they're all being given to immigrants, it's because the Tories sold them all off. People are legitimately concerned that there are no jobs for them to do, but that's not because the jobs are being taken by immigrants, it's because the Tories are starving regional economies of investment and letting them stagnate and fester. People are legitimately concerned about the waiting list for a hip operation, but that's not because there are too many immigrants, it's because despite being one of the richest societies on Earth, we won't pay the taxes to fund the health service that we need. And what we're going to do isn't to pull up the drawbridge and shut ourselves off, but we're going to grasp the nettle and raise taxes and borrow where necessary (gasp!) and build the council houses and invest in the infrastructure and build the health service and the education system that, as a country, we can and should have."

I don't expect everyone to agree with all this, by the way, but it does seem like it's at least a coherent political position which addresses the "legitimate concerns" of the white working class without buying into the idea that immigration is the root of all our problems. And it feels like a really obvious position to take.

The second thing that does my head in is the idea that actually people are saying all that stuff and are getting ignored because when you get down to it, a lot of us are nasty little xenophobes who'd rather blame foreigners for stuff than take responsibility for ourselves.
1
Duncan Bourne - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

I voted for Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party. For the simple reason that he was the only one not engaged in vacuous soundbites and the only one not attacking his fellow MP's. He also gave the impression that he was listening and he spoke from the heart about issues that I felt to be important.
I feel that he is too old to be elected, we like our leaders to be young and attractive these days, and may be not as high profile as he should be. But then I have come to suspect that their is a definite negative to any reporting on Corbyn that goes beyond any particular gaffs he may make. I also believe that he may not be the one to capture the mood of the people and that with all the infighting and lack of focus (which I freely admit Corbyn has not solved yet) Labour may well see itself in the wilderness for some years to come.
But at the end of the day I have always voted with my heart for what I believe to be the best candidate (ie best of the bunch) rather than who I think might win
Hugh Janus - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I'd vote for you Dave! Unfortunately, Murdoch wouldn't.
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> I voted for Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party. For the simple reason that he was the only one not engaged in vacuous soundbites and the only one not attacking his fellow MP's.
>
You mean apart from doing so over most of the past two decades?
4
Duncan Bourne - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

I meant in personal terms. It is perfectly acceptable to attack people for a stance you think is wrong.
The attacks on Corbyn during the leadership debate seemed to be fuelled by the "Vote for me because this guy is crap" school of arguing without seeming to tell me why they were any better.
RomTheBear on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> Is politics just a question of voting for the least worse of a bad lot?

> It seems to me that the standard of politians, regardless of political leaning, has fallen substantially in recent years, but this could just be due to a higher level of scrutiny these days.

The problem is the lack of good charismatic leaders.
It's very easy for poor politicians to get votes with sound bites, oversimplistic ideas, and scapegoating.

But to make sense of a complex world and be able to put forward a comprehensive set of policies that are evidence based and need to be explained, that takes a very good charismatic leaders of elite intellect, and there just isn't any at the moment.
1
Big Ger - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Is debate *really* ruined when one side points out racism and / or homophobia in the other?

Not if racism and homophobia exits in that debate, no.
Big Ger - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> You haven't fixed it, you've just removed any connection with reality.

So, homophobia and racism are never "called out" in a debate unless there is actual racism and homophobia displayed?
Big Ger - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to cragtaff:

> With Mr Corbyn declaring that the UK does not have too many immigrants he just about seals the fate of Labour under his leadership. One wonders if Theresa May will see it as an ideal time to call a snap election and walk away with a massive majority to get on with Brexit unhindered by the opposition.

Shhhhhh..... she'll hear you!
Hugh Janus - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The problem is the lack of good charismatic leaders.

I'm not sure it is a problem with the politians or whether that is a problem in the media / society.

> It's very easy for poor politicians to get votes with sound bites, oversimplistic ideas, and scapegoating.

Perhaps this is an symptom of modern social media. Trump won an election despite his flip-flopping on issues and completely vaccuous statements, largely because of his use of sound bites on Twitter.

> But to make sense of a complex world and be able to put forward a comprehensive set of policies that are evidence based and need to be explained, that takes a very good charismatic leaders of elite intellect, and there just isn't any at the moment.

I would tend to agree, but again I'm not sure whether that's not a societal problem.
Martin Brierley - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Call me dull, but I rather like the politics of the middle ground. So what if labour and the Conservative party are similar in their aims? The problem arises when those aims are bad for the country as a whole and there isn't the checks and balances provided by effective opposition. That situation can occur just as effectively with a lacklustre opposition in widely spaced parties.
The issue with having widely spaced parties is that the country gains no stability. Just watch all the work that Obama put in start to be undone now Trump is in power for instance.

As a Tory voter, the thing that dissuades me from considering labour as a party comes down to a few points : their record with the economy, their main policy under Corbyn seems to be getting rid of Trident (which would undoubtedly change our political leverage), labour currently seem hell bent on punishing people who do well in their career.

I'm sure that Corbyn is a man of principle (one that includes lying to make a worthy point), but frankly I wouldn't trust him running afternoon tea in a brewery.


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