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I almost felt sorry for Boris ...PMQ

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 Chris H 09 Sep 2020

Saw a bit of the live Prime Minister's Question Time … Sir KS was forensically cross-examining Boris about testing … would have been stopped if it had been  a fight. Unfortunately this will probably lead to Rishi Sunak becoming PM who is a different class and will put up a better fight.

1
In reply to Chris H:

Yeah. Rishi will wait a couple of years, Boris needs to take the blame for everything first. It's a balancing act though because soon Rishi will be the bad guy putting up taxes to try and get some funds back in. 

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In reply to Chris H:

If we *have* to have the Tories I'd rather Sunak than Bozza.

In reply to Chris H:

I can't help thinking Starmer should land a killer punch or two - he's just goading Bunter at the moment.

 mattck 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Chris H:

There are many things one can feel. Feeling sorry for de Pfeffel shouldn't ever be one of them.

1
In reply to Chris H:

I think Rishi will be next but one. The slime that is Gove will replace Johnson, the next election will be lost, leaving the ground clear for Sunak.

If the cons have any nous, they will retain Pob after his election failure for a couple of years thus ensuring that Sunak enjoys an election in his honeymoon period. 

I worry that the current wave that Starmer is riding will have broken well before the next GE. 

 Geoff82 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Chris H:

Sunak no chance for a long time. He is too young and he will have the coming economic implosion, forced tax rises and stagflation blamed on him. Anyone can hand out 100’s of billions of borrowed money; stabilising finances and maintaining growth is a bit more difficult!  

Gove will kill Borris at the appropriate time as he will have the back bench support to do it.

KS will have to bring the Labour party to the centre to win.... that is unlikely so if he does win it will be because the Cons lose it. 

In the end it won’t make much difference who wins as our gov. policy is constrained by global politics and global financial markets anyway. 

8
 Andy Say 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Chris H:

DON'T.  Just don't EVER feel sorry for Johnson at PMQ's.  He has sussed that so long as he can waffle any old crap, avoid answering anything, and have a good old bluster he will get away with it. Though looking like an incompetent tw*t. He has learned to live with that, I'm afraid.

The speaker needs to keep growing some balls and holding him to account.

1
 muppetfilter 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Geoff82:

The problem with Gove and Johnson is they both have the same masters hand up their arses...

2
In reply to Andy Say:

The trouble is that most people don't watch PMQs or indeed any news  and so are unaware of the train crash that is Bunter on the Loose

 Yanis Nayu 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Chris H:

I’m not sure politics is played out at PMQ - it’s on Facebook. 

1
In reply to Chris H:

I didn't watch PMq and I think Bojo is an incompetent ass but is KS the guiding light? 

It's far easier to question and criticise than it is to lead and make the decisions. (not that I am endorsing anything that Bojo has done) 

7
 LastBoyScout 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Chris H:

Putting him on the spot about testing is one thing, and needed to be done.

However, after yesterday, the former Director of Public Prosecutions let him completely off the hook on the intent to deliberately break international law and that's really where he should have been properly exercising his collective legal and moral muscle and metaphorically gone for the jugular!

4
 wintertree 09 Sep 2020
In reply to muppetfilter:

> The problem with Gove and Johnson is they both have the same masters hand up their arses...

Makes you wonder how DC ties his shoe laces unless he’s got a third arm.

 muppetfilter 09 Sep 2020
In reply to wintertree:

As my old Nan used to say "Never trust a Man with Slip On Shoes"

 Mike505 09 Sep 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Na looking at the rest of his wardobe he probably uses velcro.

 Chris H 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Andy Say:

I did say 'almost' 😀 unfortunately 'holdong someone to account' means nothing these days...

 ianstevens 09 Sep 2020
In reply to muppetfilter:

> The problem with Gove and Johnson is they both have the same masters hand up their arses...

As does Sunak, who remember was only appointed to this role because the previous puppet wasn’t prepared to puppet quite to the extent required.

In reply to ianstevens:

Yet has proceeded to keep the staff that number 10 was insisting his predecessor fired, to my knowledge. Correct me if I'm wrong of course.

 Ian W 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Alkis:

I believe he has a mix of his own and Dominic advisers, and tends to ignore Dominics pets. Sunak is about the only cabinet member who knows what he is talking about, and relies on the Treasury and his banking contacts.

He's clearly as much of a threat to Boris as Keir is, so expect him to be moved on soon.....

 SDM 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I don't expect Johnson to contest the next election. But I don't see Gove being his replacement.

Gove is just as tainted by all of this government's policies and failings as Johnson. There is no way of selling him as anything other than more of the same. And rather than having Johnson's celebrity boosting votes, Gove is rather unpopular. He is also even more closely tied to Cummings than Johnson.

I don't think the Conservatives will write off the next election. I expect they will wait for enough of a backlash regarding covid and brexit, then bring in someone relatively untainted as the saviour and the candidate of change in about 2022.

Right now, it looks like Sunak is most likely as he is untainted by brexit and has so far come out relatively well from covid. That could all change though depending on economic policy over the coming months.

It will be interesting to see what happens regarding Cummings. If they really want to distance themselves from this administration, it would make sense to get rid of Johnson, Gove and Cummings all at once. Whether that happens will be a good indicator of where the power really lies at the top of the party.

In reply to Chris H:

The average voter doesn't even know  PMQs happens.

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 Andy Gamisou 09 Sep 2020
In reply to muppetfilter:

> As my old Nan used to say "Never trust a Man with Slip On Shoes"

My nan used to say stuff like that all the time.  Until my grandad glued her teeth together.

 Philip 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Chris H:

Unlike Germany, the contest for "worst ever leader" is a constantly open contest that many Conservative Prime Ministers have strived for in the past few years.

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In reply to Philip:

I wouldn't have believed it possible, but in a few short months Bunter has made even Theresa May - a nasty, ignorant, stupid person - look good. I think Bunter has to be bumping along the bottom though, surely? They won't go for the full set and play Grayling? 

2
 john arran 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Philip:

The contest for "worst ever Prime Minister" is reminiscent of the "world's strongest man" title, and in the analogy David Cameron would be the counterpart of Geoff Capes, i.e. we were all pretty impressed at how inept (/strong) he was at the time, but since then the standards have risen so much as to make his achievements quite pathetic in comparison.

 MonkeyPuzzle 09 Sep 2020
In reply to LastBoyScout:

> Putting him on the spot about testing is one thing, and needed to be done.

> However, after yesterday, the former Director of Public Prosecutions let him completely off the hook on the intent to deliberately break international law and that's really where he should have been properly exercising his collective legal and moral muscle and metaphorically gone for the jugular!

To what effect though? So BoJo can frame him as the arch Remainer yet again trying to thwart the will of the people before going ahead and doing what he was going to do anyway. Johnson was even basically goading him into it as he clearly had prepared for that one thing. Starmer sees the resignations, knows the press inclined to crucify BoJo for it will do that and the client journalists will ignore or applaud it.

Starmer is laser focused and repeatedly kicking their weak leg on competence, competence, competence and they have no answer, only distraction with Brexit, IRA slurs, and played-out jibes about unions.

 MonkeyPuzzle 09 Sep 2020
In reply to bouldery bits:

> The average voter doesn't even know  PMQs happens.

A fair argument but it sets the tone in the Westminster press and unsettles the backbenchers to see their leader getting pummeled week in week out. It does filter through.

In reply to Ian W:

> He's clearly as much of a threat to Boris as Keir is, so expect him to be moved on soon.....

The Tories need Sunak more than they need Boris, bojo just has the same old UK school tie network. Sunak's stretch much further, apart from having worked outside politics, he's married into one of richest families in India. 

In reply to SDM:

You could be right there, Cummings has been preprepared as a bogey man. Chucking him out is a predictable move which will boost public and back bench confidence in tje party. 

 gezebo 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Chris H:

I’d agree Starmer does put on a good display at pmq’s in comparison to Boris but we are where we are right now. 
 

Instead of comparing personalities I’d like to know what Labour would do moving forward from today if they were in charge. 
 

Questioning and trying to hold the government to account on matters is correct but equally is much easier to do than  plan for the future and as things stand today I’d be really interested to hear what Starmer and co would do right now if they were in charge. 

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 Ian W 09 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> The Tories need Sunak more than they need Boris, bojo just has the same old UK school tie network. Sunak's stretch much further, apart from having worked outside politics, he's married into one of richest families in India. 


Oh, absolutely. Boris would move him on to further Brand Boris. When we do need to reach out to others, Sunak has the contacts both politically and in the all important finance world. His problem would then be the lack of a strong team, as the current cabinet are pretty pathetic, and all the decent minister standard tories were cut loose for daring to disagree. Perhaps if / when Boris leaves they could be welcomed back?

Alternatively, Starmer as PM and Sunak as Chancellor sounds good. If unlikely.

 Ian W 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I wouldn't have believed it possible, but in a few short months Bunter has made even Theresa May - a nasty, ignorant, stupid person - look good. I think Bunter has to be bumping along the bottom though, surely? They won't go for the full set and play Grayling? 


On recent form, Grayling would lose even if he was the only candidate........

 kevin stephens 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Chris H:

It’s a massive assumption that Sunak  would want the job of PM, especially as he will know better than anyone the shitstorm that will need addressing after the no deal Brexit 

 Andy Hardy 09 Sep 2020
In reply to gezebo:

> I’d agree Starmer does put on a good display at pmq’s in comparison to Boris but we are where we are right now. 

> Instead of comparing personalities I’d like to know what Labour would do moving forward from today if they were in charge. 

> Questioning and trying to hold the government to account on matters is correct but equally is much easier to do than  plan for the future and as things stand today I’d be really interested to hear what Starmer and co would do right now if they were in charge. 

Given the current trajectory (no deal brexit, major depression) for the next 24 months, all KS basically has to do is be better than Johnson at details, personality, empathy etc. With an 80 seat majority and a cabinet made up of Vote Leave, the blame for the coming meltdown cannot be passed to the opposition. The time for attacking the jugular will be in the run up the next GE. 

 MonkeyPuzzle 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Agreed. Starmer can easily weather the "Captain Hindsight" digs from the position of being the LOTO simply holding the government to account on two current national crises: coronavirus and Brexit. He doesn't need to show his hand at all until after he's made sure they own the outcomes of both.

 Tyler 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Geoff82:

> In the end it won’t make much difference who wins as our gov. policy is constrained by global politics and global financial markets anyway. 

Maybe not to those comfortably off but don't underestimate how much even a small amount of wealth redistribution could make to those in desperate need.

 Tyler 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Chris H:

> Unfortunately this will probably lead to Rishi Sunak becoming PM who is a different class and will put up a better fight.

We know nothing about him! Shows the paucity of competence in the Tory party that someone who has managed to read from an autocue at a couple of press conferences without cocking up is regarded as the second coming.  

1
 Eric9Points 09 Sep 2020
In reply to gezebo:

> I’d agree Starmer does put on a good display at pmq’s in comparison to Boris but we are where we are right now. 

At the moment Starmer is trying to redeem Labour in the eyes of those who have deserted the party in the last decade, mainly working class Leave voters who regarded the party as a bunch of middle class wankers who shared few of their values. More working class people vote Tory now than Labour. He's doing this by showing himself and the party as being patriotic and firmly on the side of the rule of law. He is also gaining the respect of the commentariat, the political editors and pundits. He's been very successful so far at doing both. Labour have regained far more ground in the Red Wall seats they lost in December than in the country as a whole. If there were a GE tomorrow Labour would be neck and neck with the Tories on seats won. He's also gained the respect of people like Andrew Neil, Piers Morgan and the political editor of the Daily Mail believe it or not. Ordinary people don't watch PMQs but they do read and listen to what these people are saying about BJ and Starmer, they're opinion formers.

> Instead of comparing personalities I’d like to know what Labour would do moving forward from today if they were in charge. 

Well on the CH4 news tonight he was talking about how we must get testing and track and trace up and running. Yesterday Labour tabled an ammendment to a housing bill to implement the recommendations of the first stage of the Grenfell enquiry (the Tories voted against and the SNP didn't even turn up even though it was a UK wide bill).

> Questioning and trying to hold the government to account on matters is correct but equally is much easier to do than  plan for the future and as things stand today I’d be really interested to hear what Starmer and co would do right now if they were in charge. 

There won't be a GE until 2024 so he can play a long game. First thing is to rebuild trust in Labour which he's doing at PMQs etc, also I expect there will be changes inside the party after the EHCR report is published and he can act against the anti semites. There's another report due out later in the year on the internal feuding inside Labour HQ, no doubt more tidying up there. After he's got people taking the party seriously again I expect we'll start to see more policy initiatives.

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 gezebo 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

I’m not sure you can argue much with what you said there. Thanks for such a comprehensive reply/viewpoint. 

1
 jkarran 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> I think Rishi will be next but one. The slime that is Gove will replace Johnson, the next election will be lost, leaving the ground clear for Sunak.

Lost by whom? It's hard to see how anyone but the Conservatives could win a UK election at the moment. That said four years is a looooong time right now.

> If the cons have any nous, they will retain Pob after his election failure for a couple of years thus ensuring that Sunak enjoys an election in his honeymoon period.

Johnson will certainly be made to own this mess by the party unless he simply quits or dies. Whether he fights 2024...

> I worry that the current wave that Starmer is riding will have broken well before the next GE.

Hardly matters. If the press owners still in 24 believe they have more leverage with the Conservatives than they do with Labour then brexit and pandemic history will be comprehensively re-written (full public enquiry findings can no doubt be delayed well into the mid 2020s), Starmer's past as DPP will be raked out and misrepresented until we're totally convinced he's a kitten killing paedo war criminal in hock to the Chinese Communist Party. Scottish nationalism locks Labour out of power without a *huge* change in England. The Conservatives control the pace of Scottish independence and the press control enough of the English vote to steady the ship there especially with the threat of a Lab-SNP coalition dissolving the UK being talked up after years of SNP frustration under Johnson and insufficient English seats realistically available to bring Labour alone to power lots will 'play safe to save the UK' with a reluctant blue vote.

jk

Post edited at 22:13
 climbingpixie 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

I agree with all of that. I'd also add that coming up with policies now means that by the next election they'll potentially be irrelevant or stale. Or that the Tories will have nicked them and passed them off as their own.

 jkarran 09 Sep 2020
In reply to gezebo:

> Questioning and trying to hold the government to account on matters is correct but equally is much easier to do than  plan for the future and as things stand today I’d be really interested to hear what Starmer and co would do right now if they were in charge. 

Why? He isn't going to be in charge, there is fractionally less than zero chance of that before 2024 and come 2024 nobody will care one jot what he said he'd do in 2020. His job right now is to hold the government to account and re-unite the Labour party.

jk

Post edited at 22:14
 gezebo 09 Sep 2020
In reply to jkarran:

As mentioned it’s easy to say x,y,z didn’t work or why did you do this?

 I’m not for or against either party/leader but the public voted in the tories by a huge margin. As an either way voter it won’t be long before I think it’s all very well saying why didn’t you do something with the luxury of hindsight and not having your head on the block if it all goes pear shaped. 
 

It wasn’t that long ago when Starmer was saying he supported the government but now the going has got a little tricky it appears that they are quick to criticise or ‘hold to account’ but equally they seem pretty slim on the realistic ideas front too.  

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 seankenny 09 Sep 2020
In reply to gezebo:

They don’t need that many fresh ideas. They need to present the case that they can do the things we know are important, but actually do them effectively. From an electoral point of view, right now that’s the majority of their job. 
 

As for their constitutional role, as official opposition they have to hold the government to account, which means highlighting its failures. 
 

I can see why that is uncomfortable for anyone who voted Conservative last year and is finding their choice so lacking, so soon. 
 

1
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Agreed. Starmer can easily weather the "Captain Hindsight" digs from the position of being the LOTO simply holding the government to account on two current national crises: coronavirus and Brexit. He doesn't need to show his hand at all until after he's made sure they own the outcomes of both.

Brilliant. Instead of showing he is a leader in waiting by setting out a better way to manage these crises and forcing the government to change course for the good of the nation, Mr Forensic can stumble into number 10 by letting the catastrophe unfold unopposed. Hurray for team Labour!

If he's not willing to set out an alternative vision what makes you think he has one?

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In reply to climbingpixie:

> I agree with all of that. I'd also add that coming up with policies now means that by the next election they'll potentially be irrelevant or stale. Or that the Tories will have nicked them and passed them off as their own.

Oh yes, what a disaster it would be if, by setting out a popular vision for a better Britain, the government decided to enact policies that would make our country a better place.

1
 steve taylor 10 Sep 2020
In reply to seankenny:

> I can see why that is uncomfortable for anyone who voted Conservative last year and is finding their choice so lacking, so soon. 

Those people are still saying that Bozo is "doing a good job" and asking what anyone else could have done. Tribalism still rules, sadly.

1
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Oh yes, what a disaster it would be if, by setting out a popular vision for a better Britain, the government decided to enact policies that would make our country a better place.

Right now folk don't care about some dreamy Labour vision. They just want to get past this covid era to something resembling normality, then they'll be in the right place to listen better to future plans. 

 Geoff82 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Tyler:

I don’t doubt that however in general there is not a great void between the parties and regardless the big issues can’t be solved by politicians. 

1
 MonkeyPuzzle 10 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Brilliant. Instead of showing he is a leader in waiting by setting out a better way to manage these crises and forcing the government to change course for the good of the nation, Mr Forensic can stumble into number 10 by letting the catastrophe unfold unopposed. Hurray for team Labour!

That you managed to get "letting the catastrophe unfold unopposed" from what I wrote is quite something. We *know* how to fight coronavirus: test, test, test; track and trace; safe systems of work; and staged lockdowns. Starmer is holding the govt to improving these daily. We *know* how to navigate Brexit: negotiate in good faith; get a comprehensive FTA for goods and services that we were promised. He's holding the govt to deliver their own promises which they're currently failing on.

> If he's not willing to set out an alternative vision what makes you think he has one?

Because he's a competent politician who actually understands strategy who I don't have a massive chip on my shoulder about because I've not swallowed the frankly ludicrous bitter Corbynista Kool-Aid, and therefore spend all of my time criticising him instead of this awful government.

1
 DancingOnRock 10 Sep 2020
In reply to steve taylor:

> Those people are still saying that Bozo is "doing a good job" and asking what anyone else could have done. Tribalism still rules, sadly.

Irony?

2
 DancingOnRock 10 Sep 2020
In reply to jkarran:

The press are losing their teeth. The journalists have seriously lost credibility during this pandemic. 
 

A large proportion of people are getting their scientific advice from anti-vaxers, mask conspiracists and flat-earthers on YouTube and everything else from Karen off Facebook. 
 

Intelligent people are switching off in large numbers. 

1
 Graeme G 10 Sep 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Intelligent people are switching off in large numbers. 

Can you evidence this? Or is it just a sweeping generalisation, which you just believe to be truth? 

 jkarran 10 Sep 2020
In reply to gezebo:

> As mentioned it’s easy to say x,y,z didn’t work or why did you do this?

Only if X, Y and Z didn't work.

>  I’m not for or against either party/leader but the public voted in the tories by a huge margin. As an either way voter it won’t be long before I think it’s all very well saying why didn’t you do something with the luxury of hindsight and not having your head on the block if it all goes pear shaped. 

No. Our dismal FPTP electoral system delivered the Conservatives a huge 80 seat majority, a significant minority of voters (42.4% of those casting ballots, 29.6% of those eligible to vote) actually voted for them. The rest voted for other powerless parties.

If Starmer was proposing policies (to what end?) in real time, in parallel with government you or someone else taking a similar position would still be here moaning he can't know that they'd have worked out any better, they could have been worse, that they are untested, or unrealistic, or uncosted, that he has no skin in the game.

> It wasn’t that long ago when Starmer was saying he supported the government but now the going has got a little tricky it appears that they are quick to criticise or ‘hold to account’ but equally they seem pretty slim on the realistic ideas front too. 

You can be supportive of what the government is trying to achieve (what is that anyway?) while remaining critical, where necessary, of their implementation and conduct.

jk

 climbingpixie 10 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

That's a fair challenge but overall I think the country would be better served by a Labour government than by a Tory one that's cannibalised the most popular bits of a left wing economic platform and served them up with a side order of creeping authoritarianism. Labour should be clear about their long term vision for the country and their values but it's not the right time for detailed policy positions. I do think they've been a bit lacking so far on this aspect but tbf I think it's quite difficult during a global pandemic to do this as it potentially comes across a bit as navel gazing and narcissistic during a crisis.

 DancingOnRock 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Only anecdotal. Most of my friends are no longer watching the news or looking at Facebook. 

 jkarran 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Geoff82:

> I don’t doubt that however in general there is not a great void between the parties and regardless the big issues can’t be solved by politicians. 

I'm curious, which big issues do you believe can't be 'solved' by politicians? I presume by that you mean whatever the politicians do others are in complete control, forcing or opposing change.

Take a problem like climate change, essentially simple but practically it's incredibly complex, multifaceted and international. That said nobody is powerless to make change, the choices individuals, businesses, countries and blocs make matter, they set the goals and guide the general direction of travel. Leadership matters. Take brexit, the seismic decade (probably half century) defining charismatic* leadership can drive.

*personally I think Johnson and Farage have all the charisma of cheesy knob warts but opinions differ

jk

 Graeme G 10 Sep 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Only anecdotal. Most of my friends are no longer watching the news or looking at Facebook. 

Your honesty’s appreciated. Most of my friends don’t have Facebook. So I’m not sure if you could say they were switched on in the first place.

 DancingOnRock 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

I used ‘intelligent’ as it seems it’s more for their mental health than anything else and they’ve recognised it. The usual suspects are still getting themselves in a lather over posts designed to get them in a lather. 

In reply to climbingpixie:

> That's a fair challenge but overall I think the country would be better served by a Labour government than by a Tory one that's cannibalised the most popular bits of a left wing economic platform and served them up with a side order of creeping authoritarianism. Labour should be clear about their long term vision for the country and their values but it's not the right time for detailed policy positions. I do think they've been a bit lacking so far on this aspect but tbf I think it's quite difficult during a global pandemic to do this as it potentially comes across a bit as navel gazing and narcissistic during a crisis.

I agree to an extent, Labour would be slightly better for the country than a fanatical right wing Conservative government. I don't think Starmer has any long term vision and there are certainly no signs of any left wing economic platform, he seems to be the arch defender of the status quo.

This global crisis is exactly the time when speaking up about an alternative is needed. The coronavirus has shown how the key workers are often the least well rewarded working in the poorest conditions, how people can end up on the benefits scrapheap through no fault of their own, how low pay puts workers at the mercy of their employers on matters of life and death. These points are often tricky for Labour to get across but instead of keeping the light shining on the unjust nature of our society, Starmer is keeping quiet and only picking at detail.

It doesn't really matter much to me whether it's Johnson or Starmer as both will continue on the trajectory that this country has been set on since Thatcher, just at a different speed.

12
 Thunderbird7 11 Sep 2020
In reply to muppetfilter:

...and especially with buckles on slip on shoes. Slip ons were banned at my school cos if you played footy in the playground with them on, they could fly off and hit someone - apparently the leather 20KG football didn't matter. But I digress.

In reply to Thunderbird7:

> ...and especially with buckles on slip on shoes. Slip ons were banned at my school cos if you played footy in the playground with them on, they could fly off and hit someone - apparently the leather 20KG football didn't matter. But I digress.

20kg football?
Was it filled with concrete? 

In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> It doesn't really matter much to me whether it's Johnson or Starmer as both will continue on the trajectory that this country has been set on since Thatcher, just at a different speed.

This last paragraph is why folk stop listening or ignore to the first two. The left of Labour always manages to turn a potentially valid point into a hate filled rant. You do remember what direction the UK was heading in prior to 1979? 

3
In reply to summo:

> You do remember what direction the UK was heading in prior to 1979? 

Yes, starting to recover from structural economic issues that were a couple of decades old, but had probably peaked during the Heath government. Lead by a reforming Labour leader.

1
 mondite 11 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> This last paragraph is why folk stop listening or ignore to the first two. The left of Labour always manages to turn a potentially valid point into a hate filled rant.

Exactly what is hate filled here? Beyond daring to disagree with the centrists ideology?

That the UK has been spiralling hard to the right to the extent following the USA pattern is not hate filled. Its just an assessment of history. If you then have a centrist in Labour and an opportunist in the tories then you will end up going even harder right. 

Considering that the centrists all seem to think Starmer is the new messiah then agreeing with them doesnt really seem hatefilled.

1
In reply to The New NickB:

> Yes, starting to recover from structural economic issues that were a couple of decades old, but had probably peaked during the Heath government. Lead by a reforming Labour leader.

Recovering? Yes the whole of the 70s were an economic disaster not just the Labour led years. 

2
In reply to mondite:

No. It was the suggestion everything was going well before 1979 and the last 5 or 6 PMs spoilt the good days we were all enjoying. 

1
 mondite 11 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> No. It was the suggestion everything was going well before 1979 and the last 5 or 6 PMs spoilt the good days we were all enjoying. 

Aside from they didnt suggest that at all. They just pointed out that, since Thatcher, a specific path has been followed.

In reply to mondite:

> Aside from they didnt suggest that at all. They just pointed out that, since Thatcher, a specific path has been followed.

Which has seen quality of life by any metric improve. I'm not sure which element of the 70s they thought were so good. It doesn't mean the future can't be better, but hopefully not in a 70s way!! 

1
 MonkeyPuzzle 11 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

Wait a minute, up thread you were complaining Labour haven't been putting forward their own policy but now you're saying he's a thatcherite? Based on what?

1
In reply to Geoff82:

> Sunak no chance for a long time. He is too young 

And too not white? This version of the tories is just UKIP in disguise remember. 

2
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Wait a minute, up thread you were complaining Labour haven't been putting forward their own policy but now you're saying he's a thatcherite? Based on what?

Sour grapes.

1
 MonkeyPuzzle 11 Sep 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Sour grapes.

Occasionally getting sucked into Corbynista Twitter and it's f*cking pathological. Starmer is somehow responsible for such hits as: Iraq; Thatcher; neo-liberalism in general; everything in the "Labour Leaks" hatchet job despite not being named directly or indirectly once; the Tory government; hard Brexit; the death of Charles de Menezes; Jimmy Savile; and many many more!

All based on being not Corbyn or Corbyn's chosen successor. His actual record of Labour membership, pro bono work for unions, McLibel, successful campaigning for abolition of the death penalty abroad etc., are airbrushed out and nothing but pure projection of unsupported leftist paranoia repeated as mantra until "true".

There's a research paper in it for someone.

2
 Chris H 11 Sep 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Some of these people appear to have no interest in a Labour govt being elected.

2
 Andy Hardy 11 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

There won't be a general election until 2024. For now what Labour have to do is ensure that the Tories carry the can for brexit, and all the problems with that, and for their handling of the pandemic.

And to be frank that will be enough of a challenge. The Tories have a symbiotic relationship with the press and have a limitless supply of dead cats to lob on the table.

 MonkeyPuzzle 11 Sep 2020
In reply to Chris H:

> Some of these people appear to have no interest in a Labour govt being elected.

Many of them openly state they're mainly now interested in taking Labour down. "Avenging Corbyn" one the absolute roasters put it yesterday. A phrase equally sinister and laugh-out-loud pathetic. Hell of a privileged position to be in to have, actively pursue and try and condemn the actually poor and vulnerable to an eternal radical right wing libertarian government just because your favourite guy couldn't politic his way out of a paper bag.

2
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Your last sentence is so scathingly and sadly true. It should have been one of the easiest election victories in history, but they let Boris in. AND now they don't seem to be nearly as bothered about that as having a nasty fight amongst themselves. What a bloody mess we're in! I've been a Lib Dem member for several years but have now cancelled my membership because of Davey's pathetic stance on the EU. Starmer I believe is now our best hope, but g k how long it's going to take.

2
 mondite 11 Sep 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Many of them openly state they're mainly now interested in taking Labour down.

Excellent they have found something in common with the centrists. Just as the centrists spent their time undermining Corbyn and co in order to try and create a disaster to drag the party rightwards now those of a more leftwing persuasion are returning the favour.

7
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> There won't be a general election until 2024. For now what Labour have to do is ensure that the Tories carry the can for brexit, and all the problems with that, and for their handling of the pandemic.

Yeah.... and avoid the traps Corbyn walked into as a matter of routine (getting negatively caricatured, culture war b*llocks, and ongoing antisemitism saga). Starmer is doing a good job of that. Criticism of Corbyn & co was never about their position on the political spectrum, it was about their incompetence and lack of political and PR strategy..... they made it all too easy for the Tories.

Fortunately most former Corbyn supporters are united with the rest of the party and back Starmer..... just a noisy minority who can't move on.

1
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Yes, I've said again and again that I don't think Corbyn's failure had very much at all to do with his policies, and all to do with the sad fact (now historically true) that he was totally inconvincing as a potential Prime Minister.

Post edited at 14:41
1
 MonkeyPuzzle 11 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> Excellent they have found something in common with the centrists. Just as the centrists spent their time undermining Corbyn and co in order to try and create a disaster to drag the party rightwards now those of a more leftwing persuasion are returning the favour.

"The centrists" that wonderfully non-specific group of people that means anyone who doesn't think the sun shines out of Corbyn's arse. 

Corbyn =/= the left.

As for the substance of your argument, there is nothing to support your central claim bar a partisan hatchet job report, commissioned by the very people it seemingly exonerates, which Team Corbyn's own installed lawyer said had been selectively edited to create an impression which in many cases was opposite to reality. *Even if your claim is true* the "returning the favour" aspect marks the Corbynistas as petty, privileged, and not remotely caring about the vulnerable in this country beyond as an abstract concept to be used to advance their precious ideology. Fortunately, we've seen how effective that part of the movement are when they hold the leadership and entire machinery of the party under their control, so, now diminished to the backroom crankery from which they came, I don't think we'll lose too much sleep over the bitter yapping from the back. Maybe in another 40 years time, when enough people have forgotten what a f*cking disaster this was, a 70-something year old Richard Burgon will be held aloft by students who have no memory or idea of what a moron he is and Labour get massacred at GE2064.

3
 mondite 11 Sep 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> As for the substance of your argument, there is nothing to support your central claim bar a partisan hatchet job report,

Ermmm no. We can start with Mandelson "I resent it, and I work every single day in some small way to bring forward the end of his tenure in office." or all the MPs who, in a fine act of ideological purity, threw hissy fits.

However with that I give up. Anyone who tries claiming that a large part of the centrist element of the Labour party didnt do their best to undermine and remove Corbyn is frankly either a liar or someone so ideological blinded its worthless discussing with them.

1
In reply to mondite:

It's funny because Corbyn made a career as a back bencher voting against the leadership on just about everything, for decades. Once Corbyn is leader other MPs do the same and it's deemed unacceptable by Corbyn supporters. What goes around, comes around. 

1
In reply to summo:

> This last paragraph is why folk stop listening or ignore to the first two. The left of Labour always manages to turn a potentially valid point into a hate filled rant. You do remember what direction the UK was heading in prior to 1979? 

This and your follow up posts are actually quite instructive so thanks.

People who don’t get me maybe don’t realise that we are living under the same economic model that was set in place by Thatcher and Regan when they managed to turn the world upside down. Maybe I need to do a bit more explaining of my point instead of using Thatcher as shorthand for what’s wrong with the world today.

Also your admission that I was building to a valid point I’ll take as high praise coming from you. Cheers.

I don’t particularly have any fondness for the 70’s but I’d take issue with your assertion that today's world of permanent austerity with low wages, no job security, and unaffordable housing, provides a significantly better life for most people.

Today’s economic system is a catastrophe for most people and for the whole living world so, forgive me, but I won’t lend my support to a political leader who broadly wants things to carry on as they are. Let’s change direction, learning from the mistakes of the past and the mistakes of today.

3
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Wait a minute, up thread you were complaining Labour haven't been putting forward their own policy but now you're saying he's a thatcherite? Based on what?

Do you accept that we are still living under the Thatcherite economic model of deregulation, privatisation of key national industries, maintaining a flexible labour market, marginalising the trade unions and centralising power from local authorities to central government if I can raid Wikipedia for a definition? To quote New Labour royalty, Peter Mandelson, "we are all Thatcherites now".

The way the establishment narrative we are all subjected to presents these ideas is highly sanitised. For “deregulation” read “ripping up the safeguards that protect people and the environment”. For “privatisation of key national industries” read “corporate capture of government taking over the assets that used to be owned by and for the benefit of everyone”. For “maintaining a flexible labour market, marginalising the trade unions” read “attacks on pay and destruction of workers rights”. And for “centralising power from local authorities to central government” read “taking decision making and the ability to hold the powerful to account further away from the influence of ordinary people”.

When you look at his silence on these issues, his backers, and his decisions that have exclusively favoured right wingers within the Labour party, can you really see Starmer as someone who is interested in changing any of these structural issues?

3
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

>> Some of these people appear to have no interest in a Labour govt being elected.

> Many of them openly state they're mainly now interested in taking Labour down. "Avenging Corbyn" one the absolute roasters put it yesterday. A phrase equally sinister and laugh-out-loud pathetic. Hell of a privileged position to be in to have, actively pursue and try and condemn the actually poor and vulnerable to an eternal radical right wing libertarian government just because your favourite guy couldn't politic his way out of a paper bag.

This post of yours and a couple of follow ups are massively hypocritical though when you are openly excusing the right wingers in Labour who actually did actively prevent a Labour government because their favourites couldn't politic their way out of a paper bag. In 2017 Corbyn was prevented from becoming PM only by corrupt and borderline criminal acts from within the party machine by the Labour right. Their deviousness goes far beyond a few posts on social media.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-leak-report-corbyn-election-whatsapp-antisemitism-tories-yougov-poll-a9462456.html  "Anti-Corbyn Labour officials worked to lose general election to oust leader, leaked dossier finds"

If there is no left wing alternative on offer then that's what condemns the actually poor and vulnerable to an eternal radical right wing libertarian government.

It must be a hell of privileged position to be in to advocate that the Leader of the Opposition stays silent on the issues of our day in order to allow the government to take the blame for the catastrophe that unfolds on millions of fellow citizens.

12
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> If there is no left wing alternative on offer then that's what condemns the actually poor and vulnerable to an eternal radical right wing libertarian government.

Why don't Corbyn fans start their own party? Most countries have centre, left and socialist parties, to expect Labour to be all three means somebody is always going to be unhappy with the party's direction. 

 BnB 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Tyler:

> We know nothing about him! Shows the paucity of competence in the Tory party that someone who has managed to read from an autocue at a couple of press conferences without cocking up is regarded as the second coming.  

Funny but not an accurate characterisation. Sunak’s addressing of the complexities of the furlough scheme and other support measures with his precise and unobfuscated answers to probing questions was a lesson in political communication. The test, as others have observed, will come when he is no longer handing out, but taking away.

 seankenny 12 Sep 2020
In reply to BnB:

> Funny but not an accurate characterisation. Sunak’s addressing of the complexities of the furlough scheme and other support measures with his precise and unobfuscated answers to probing questions was a lesson in political communication. The test, as others have observed, will come when he is no longer handing out, but taking away.

I would tend to view the real test as being when he makes that decision. He will be under pressure to do it much earlier than is wise (because modern Conservatives have a fondness for poor economic polices).

2
 jethro kiernan 12 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

Probably because most Countries in Europe don’t have FPTP, this does mean the the two main parties both consist of quite broad ideological churches..

In reply to seankenny:

> I would tend to view the real test as being when he makes that decision. He will be under pressure to do it much earlier than is wise (because modern Conservatives have a fondness for poor economic polices).

Given the public's enthusiasm for clapping, I'm sure they'll happily give up a couple of percent in tax to sort out public services. I think many middle income people proved to themselves between March and June that perhaps they don't need to spend every weekend of their lives buying yet more stuff. 

1
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> Probably because most Countries in Europe don’t have FPTP, this does mean the the two main parties both consist of quite broad ideological churches..

Of course, but it also means many never get what they want. 

Big Labour wins with a blairite, soft conservative leader, the whole party and country follows that politics.

A small Labour wins, but with the lib dems, greens and socialist party form a coalition, all the parties individual politics will get greater say and the respective parties have a leader in government with a voice. 

The reality is a far left Labour won't win a UK election, so if you want to influence UK politics you need a different route. Granted it's not easy starting from scratch, but if the far left have such great competent leaders and ideas, I'm sure they'll create a party with national support.

1
 seankenny 12 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> Given the public's enthusiasm for clapping, I'm sure they'll happily give up a couple of percent in tax to sort out public services. I think many middle income people proved to themselves between March and June that perhaps they don't need to spend every weekend of their lives buying yet more stuff. 

I am happy to pay more taxes for better public services, but dealing with the debt too soon, whether by tax rises or (far less likely) austerity measures is likely to be very damaging to our post-corona recovery. Far better to wait. 

In reply to seankenny:

> I am happy to pay more taxes for better public services, but dealing with the debt too soon, whether by tax rises or (far less likely) austerity measures is likely to be very damaging to our post-corona recovery. Far better to wait. 

Like everything it's a question of balance. The UK wasn't exactly debt free or running an annual surplus prior to covid. The UK population have to accept paying more for services eventually, most are still in denial. 

1
 Eric9Points 12 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> People who don’t get me maybe don’t realise that we are living under the same economic model that was set in place by Thatcher and Regan when they managed to turn the world upside down. Maybe I need to do a bit more explaining of my point instead of using Thatcher as shorthand for what’s wrong with the world today.

They didn't really and we aren't. We still have a welfare state in the UK. Britain is still a mixed economy although privatisation made it less so but to be honest the appetite for renationalisation of many industries is not great. Globalisation has undoubtedly improved the lives of most people in the world, not all but most.

> I don’t particularly have any fondness for the 70’s but I’d take issue with your assertion that today's world of permanent austerity with low wages, no job security, and unaffordable housing, provides a significantly better life for most people.

In Britain in the 70s few owned cars, took foreign holidays or even dined out that often. Globally, see my point above. All metrics on health, life expectancy, disposable income, likelihood of dying as a result of conflict show most of us on this planet are in a better place than we were 50 years ago.

> Today’s economic system is a catastrophe for most people and for the whole living world so, forgive me, but I won’t lend my support to a political leader who broadly wants things to carry on as they are. Let’s change direction, learning from the mistakes of the past and the mistakes of today.

See above. I'm afraid you're just wrong in your assertions.

1
 seankenny 12 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> Like everything it's a question of balance. The UK wasn't exactly debt free or running an annual surplus prior to covid. The UK population have to accept paying more for services eventually, most are still in denial. 

My original point being that the Conservatives have shown themselves poor at appreciating that balance and bad at timing when and how to deal with debt. 

 seankenny 12 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> > As for the substance of your argument, there is nothing to support your central claim bar a partisan hatchet job report,

> Ermmm no. We can start with Mandelson "I resent it, and I work every single day in some small way to bring forward the end of his tenure in office." or all the MPs who, in a fine act of ideological purity, threw hissy fits.

> However with that I give up. Anyone who tries claiming that a large part of the centrist element of the Labour party didnt do their best to undermine and remove Corbyn is frankly either a liar or someone so ideological blinded its worthless discussing with them.

One under appreciated problem with the Corbynite truth twisters is their love of abusing language. Many of those in Labour who hated Corbyn were NOT “centrists”. They were and are left wing. Just not as left wing as you. But they were not Tories and not Lib Dems. You effectively want to “other” them to justify trying to remove them from the party or reduce their influence. 
 

 Andy Hardy 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

On a phone right now, so must be brief, but in the 70s both my brothers and my parents were able to run cars, and we weren't middle class by any stretch. (I was too young, obvs)

The other metric to consider is the ratio of wealth. We have more wealth (and hence influence) in fewer hands than ever and it is poisoning our politics and quite literally the planet

 Pefa 12 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> Why don't Corbyn fans start their own party? Most countries have centre, left and socialist parties, to expect Labour to be all three means somebody is always going to be unhappy with the party's direction. 

So the Labour Party should be another Tory party and throw away its entire history and roots because the political centre in this country has moved to the far right? That's not democracy that's totalitarianism. 

7
 seankenny 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> So the Labour Party should be another Tory party and throw away its entire history and roots because the political centre in this country has moved to the far right? That's not democracy that's totalitarianism. 

Atlee was pro-nuke and pro-NATO. Labour was always a broad church ideologically. It tried to win power, rather than fight internal battles. 
 

Corbyn is part of Labour tradition, because the party has always had a cranky fringe. But his traditions are not that of the broader Labour Party. 

 Pefa 12 Sep 2020
In reply to seankenny:

> One under appreciated problem with the Corbynite truth twisters is their love of abusing language. Many of those in Labour who hated Corbyn were NOT “centrists”. They were and are left wing. Just not as left wing as you. But they were not Tories and not Lib Dems. You effectively want to “other” them to justify trying to remove them from the party or reduce their influence. 

' Corbynite truth twisters', lol,that's  something you would expect a frustrated teenager to say and if someone points out that Mandelson saying Labour is now Thatcherite shows Mandelson is no different to a Tory how is it not? 

And how is this ' other' ing? 

6
 seankenny 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Pefa:

I’m not going to reply to this. Not because I can’t, but because you are a notable fool and arguing with you is a pointless time sink. 
 

1
 Pefa 12 Sep 2020
In reply to seankenny:

> Atlee was pro-nuke and pro-NATO. Labour was always a broad church ideologically. It tried to win power, rather than fight internal battles. 

> Corbyn is part of Labour tradition, because the party has always had a cranky fringe. But his traditions are not that of the broader Labour Party. 

Yes we can go from the creation of a socialist health service, socialised education, steel, rail, energy utilities, coal, car and post office to attacking a large communist insurgency in Malaya. I'm not saying the LP are the CPGB here I'm saying the Labour Party are the party of the trade unions and British workers so represent the people over the super rich, land owners and capitalist ruling class and that has always been the case until the Thatcherite New Labour invention of the late 90s.

Let us be clear this is the aberration here not Corbyn. Corbyn is in line with 100 years of Labour's history not just the last 20 of Thatcherite new Labour. 

4
 Pefa 12 Sep 2020
In reply to seankenny:

> I’m not going to reply to this. Not because I can’t, but because you are a notable fool and arguing with you is a pointless time sink. 

'notable fool' lol have a like, if wrecking the arguments and sending away the great and good on here to rethink their positions by using facts and truth makes me a fool then what does that make others? 

Post edited at 12:44
4
 Eric9Points 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> On a phone right now, so must be brief, but in the 70s both my brothers and my parents were able to run cars, and we weren't middle class by any stretch. (I was too young, obvs)

> The other metric to consider is the ratio of wealth. We have more wealth (and hence influence) in fewer hands than ever and it is poisoning our politics and quite literally the planet

Well yes but car ownership has doubled since the 70's, see section 7 in the link: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42182497

Yes the richer have got richer than the rest of us but the rest of us have got richer as well. My point is that economic development over the last fifty years, globalisation, has made almost all of us richer and this should be acknowledged when considering what changes need made to better redistribute the wealth we have generated.

1
In reply to Pefa:

> Let us be clear this is the aberration here not Corbyn. Corbyn is in line with 100 years of Labour's history not just the last 20 of Thatcherite new Labour. 

You mean champagne socialism.. ? Enjoying a good life off the back of union membership fees. Scargill had a nice second home in the sun.. or those who enjoyed using Thatcher's right to buy scheme just as much as anyone else. 

Look at mccluskey, as slimy character that you don't trust an inch. 

It's possible that the world has moved on since the 1920s and perhaps most of politics has too. Nothing wrong with folk believing in some dreamy eyed view of the good old Labour days, but they certainly won't be voted into power. 

 MonkeyPuzzle 12 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> When you look at his silence on these issues, his backers, and his decisions that have exclusively favoured right wingers within the Labour party, can you really see Starmer as someone who is interested in changing any of these structural issues?

Interesting that you can interpret silence. Isn't that just called projection?

His backers. Who are you referring to specifically?

What decisions are you referring to again please? I can't respond if you're not specific.

I see a politician who has been of the left and soft left all his adult life, trying to get furlough extended, eviction bans extended, the systems responding to COVID in a fit state because it's a national crisis. He's trying to rehabilitate the public's trust in the Labour party which was decimated under the last leadership. With one national crisis underway with COVID and another unfolding with No Deal, 4 years away from an election and against a government with an 80 seat majority, why start distracting people with anything other than the immediate tasks in hand?

He's worked pro bono for union cases for decades, he's Unison's candidate (they were his biggest backer in the leadership contest) and he had the nomination of 5 of the 12 Labour affiliated trade unions. Thatcherite what, eh, what?

1
 Blunderbuss 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> 'notable fool' lol have a like, if wrecking the arguments and sending away the great and good on here to rethink their positions by using facts and truth makes me a fool then what does that make others? 

You really think your posts do that? hahahahahaha.....

 MonkeyPuzzle 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> ' Corbynite truth twisters', lol,that's  something you would expect a frustrated teenager to say and if someone points out that Mandelson saying Labour is now Thatcherite shows Mandelson is no different to a Tory how is it not? 

So considering Mandelson said that in 2002, did the party stop being thatcherite when Corbyn was in charge and if so why did it start again when he stood down? Alternatively, should we just ignore what Peter Mandelson said to get himself in the papers 18 years ago, or at least stop pretending he was speaking the truth?

Post edited at 13:29
 jkarran 12 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> Why don't Corbyn fans start their own party? Most countries have centre, left and socialist parties, to expect Labour to be all three means somebody is always going to be unhappy with the party's direction. 

FPTP but you know that already.

Jk

In reply to jkarran:

> FPTP but you know that already.

> Jk

2010-15 proved that smaller parties can end up in coalitions. 

I guess it depends on the far left values..  it's easier to ride the coat tails of those you disagree with, than put in the work and live by what they preach. 

But wonder how many would get elected if they weren't wearing a Labour rosette? They didn't do very well in the last GE just following Corbyns manifesto, without the labour badge they'd likely be gone. 

1
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Interesting that you can interpret silence. Isn't that just called projection?

What you stay quiet about is as important as what you speak up about.

> His backers. Who are you referring to specifically?

> What decisions are you referring to again please? I can't respond if you're not specific.

Well apologies in advance for a long list then.

> I see a politician who has been of the left and soft left all his adult life, trying to get furlough extended, eviction bans extended, the systems responding to COVID in a fit state because it's a national crisis. He's trying to rehabilitate the public's trust in the Labour party which was decimated under the last leadership. With one national crisis underway with COVID and another unfolding with No Deal, 4 years away from an election and against a government with an 80 seat majority, why start distracting people with anything other than the immediate tasks in hand?

Well thanks for this because I really still hope to find out that I am in the wrong and that Starmer is actually an honest socialist trying his best to achieve what is politically possible and it looks like you have the same hope and have more faith than me in this regard. I've tried to probe for something from the Labour supporters who idolise Starmer on here for a while now. Surely we are all striving for a fairer society? You're the first that has given me hope that we might actually be on the same side. Admittedly I was always sceptical but I gave up hope on Starmer a while ago now,

> He's worked pro bono for union cases for decades, he's Unison's candidate (they were his biggest backer in the leadership contest) and he had the nomination of 5 of the 12 Labour affiliated trade unions. Thatcherite what, eh, what?

Even though I strongly disagree with Thatcherism, I would not go as far as saying an adherent of Thatcherism could not do good things. It's true that he does appear to have a left wing background but he's been a high ranking person surrounded by the establishment for a long time now and who knows what makes people change?

You asked for specifics of how I see the direction Starmer is taking the Labour party in, I've spent far too long putting a list together tonight and I'm going to post it now a few beers in without much in the way of proof reading. I'll be interested in your thoughts on whether it's still credible that Starmer is going to deliver a left wing policy platform, and on party unity.

5/4/20. Complete clear out of Corbyns shadow cabinet. The only high profile left wing member of Starmers first cabinet is RLB and a couple of token low profile left wing MP's.

12/4/20. Leaked Labour report evidences that high ranking right wing Labour staff actively worked from within the party to sabotage Labour's electoral chances in 2017 and 2019. They diverted campaign funds, misled fellow staff, obstructed disciplinary processes and racistly bullied fellow staff. Starmer decides to bury the report and focus investigations on the whistle blowers rather than the right wing staff who are shown to have abused their positions. Starmer had sat on the report for a over a week since his appointment as LOTO.

15/4/20. Starmer joins right wing ideologues in calling for an exit strategy from lockdown calling for schools to reopen as a priority and for businesses to get back to work. Starmer ignores the concerns of parents, teaching unions, the BMA, and shadow education minister RLB

11/5/20. Lack of support for low paid and key workers who oppose Tory plans to send them back to risk their lives in unsafe workplaces. Boris Johnson has announced that workers must return to work if they can’t work from home.

26/5/20. Promotion and attempted promotion to senior positions in the Labour party of right wing staff who are implicated in the leaked report. These include Emilie Oldknow, then David Evans to general secretary and Paul Ovenden as director of communications.

7/6/20. Labour shadow cabinet trying to out Tory the Tories including saying welfare payments should reflect what you put in (Reynolds) and that it is of primary importance to honour immoral contracts (Debbonaire).

8/6/20. Support for statues including support for a 10 year prison sentence for vandalism - longer than you'd get for rape.

23/6/20. Supports Tory profits before lives rush out of lockdown (though he will look at the detail). He believes Boris is "trying to do the right thing". This despite obvious Tory mismanagement of the C19 crisis having costed at least 60,000 deaths making the UK the worst affected country in the world.

25/6/20. Sacks Rebecca Long Bailey, the only high profile left winger on the Shadow Cabinet, on a pretext of antisemitism. RBL's tweet doesn't meet the IHRA definition of antisemitism but Starmer's pretext for sacking her does. The real reason for the sacking is because shadow education secretary RLB is critical of Starmers lack of opposition to Tory policies of sending low paid and key workers to their deaths. She is replaced by right winger Kate Green and within days Boris Johnson has announced that parents will be fined if they don't send their children back to school in September.

12/7/20. Labour distancing themselves from popular left wing policies like increasing tax for high earners.

22/7/20. Starmer issues grovelling apology and 6 figure settlement to former staff who had smeared Corbyn when party lawyers were confident of winning the case that the former staff had brought against the party. This fatally compromises the Forde inquiry into the leaked report. CLP's subsequently banned from discussing  motions on this.

22/7/20. Tories release the report into Russian interference to bury the news that they voted to allow the NHS to be handed over to US healthcare companies. Starmer doesn't mention the NHS in PMQ's and he also fails to mention that the Tories are awash with Russian money.

2/8/20. Starmer's "zero tolerance" on antisemitism shown to only apply to the left as no action taken about antisemitic tweets by Labour right wing MPs Steve Reed and Barry Sheerman.

8/8/20. Labour right celebrating the return of corporate donors buying influence in the Labour party. Under Corbyn the party had not been reliant on large corporate donors which is healthier for the party's finances and for democracy.

14/8/20. Labour allowing Change UK defectors who had campaigned against Labour to return to the party.

14/8/20. Tories unleash brazen class warfare by using an algorithm that weights grades downwards for the children of working class parents handing them over to the children of the wealthy. Labour's last minute weak response fails to highlight this.

16/8/20. Starmer demands childeren are sent back to schools "no if's, no but's" against the attempts of unions to look after their members and the wider public, and mounting evidence that schools are a major factor in rising infection rates and the failure of the track and trace system to keep the rate of infection under control.

21/8/2020. New purge of left wing members underway.

26/8/20. Labour selling access to front bench MP's at "intimate Policy themed roundtables" for £500 + VAT.

26/8/20. Labour copy the tory U turn of demanding that masks are worn in secondary schools after weeks of rejecting union calls for this policy.

2/9/20. Starmer agrees with Johnson that it is safe to reopen schools (despite the deaths of  148 school staff in the first wave and mounting evidence that infections are on the rise and warnings from public health experts) and admits that he had sent Johnson a secret letter of support for Johnsons herd immunity plan to get children back to schools quickly. The letter was sent on 18/5/20 in the height of the first outbreak, even as unions had been fighting to protect the lives of teachers, children, and their vulnerable families, and RLB would later be sacked for opposing Johnsons herd immunity schools strategy.

12/9/20. Starmers back to school promises looking foolish as at least 643 schools now have been hit by Covid 19 infections fueling a second wave.

3
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

If you are so unhappy but have such great ideas, stick your deposit down and get stuck in. 

Edit. You might not like him, but if the polls are true Starmer has more chance of being PM than Corbyn ever did. 

Post edited at 06:30
3
 MonkeyPuzzle 13 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

Sorry, you didn't mention which of his backers you were concerned about. Unison were his biggest - is it them?

That list is thin gruel with a hell of a slant you've applied. 

- New leader, new shadow cabinet. Corbyn's shadow cabinet delivered the worst election result for Labour since in 1935. 

- Leaked Labour report commissioned only after the 2019 GE leaked unredacted endangering complainants of abuse and anti-Semitism and seemingly exonerating the people who commissioned it. Later turns out their own installed lawyer advised against its release because of the selective editing to create an impression opposite to what actually transpired. Nonetheless the Forde report commissioned by Starmer in response will address the allegations of the report, as well as its instruction and its leaking. Reminder the report will likely cost Labour 100s of 1000s in fines for data breaches.

- Wanting the govt to have a strategy to exit lockdown is what any sensible human wants. Strategies are good. Planning is good. If you don't want the left associated with either then excuse people for not taking "the left" seriously.

- Workplaces need to abide by COVID regs and guidelines (we re-wrote every relevant, live risk assessment at our work to comply) to reopen. Eternal lockdown is not a credible or even left wing position.

- He asked RLB to delete and apologise for her tweet. She didn't and then ignored his calls for four hours. She's not been suspended by the Labour party so the IHRA definition is irrelevant.

- "Smeared "Corbyn". Your assumptions are a) the Leaks is gospel and b) that it's Starmer's duty to stake the party's reputation on the former leader's record on the AS scandal.

- Steve Reed and Barry Sheerman deleted their tweets immediately when asked. RLB take note.

- Celebrating corporate donors? This is about Starmer. Did he get the champagne out? Did he mention it at all?

- People hounded out because of amongst other things anti-Semitism encouraged to come back. Good. Very good.

- Exam results? I remember them hammering the govt from the moment it became apparent what had happened. Have a Google. You're getting away from left wing right wing here unless you reckon Labour supported the govt, which they didn't.

- Children not being in school has already undone at least 10 years in closing the education equality gap. Schools should be back and should be made safe to go back. That is also the union position.

- Purge? You mean AS suspensions? Good.

- The price for attending the "Connected" business forum is £500, yes. What "access" do you think Labour is offering for 500 quid or are we getting ridiculous now.

- So masks are bad? Or good? Is medical advice left or right wing?

- A secret letter supporting herd immunity? Offensive characterisation. Again what is left wing about keeping schools shut and thereby increasing inequality?

You're criticising Starmer for the govt's performance. Other countries are safely opening up, so this is why Starmer is arguing on competence, not the principle of staying locked down forever. He's overturned a double digits Tory lead in doing so. Hooray, right?

 Some pointers:

- What Corbyn would do =/= left wing

- Always doing the opposite of the government =/= left wing

1
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> 14/8/20. Tories unleash brazen class warfare by using an algorithm that weights grades downwards for the children of working class parents handing them over to the children of the wealthy. Labour's last minute weak response fails to highlight this.

The idea that this was in any way a deliberate act of class warfare is utterly ridiculous; it was at the very worst a  cock-up. I conclude that it would be unwise to take anything else in your list seriously without proper scrutiny.

6
 MonkeyPuzzle 13 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

May I say as well, that a huge dump of "evidence" which en masse appears to support an argument but is down to huge levels of inference for each individual point, doesn't convince me more that you have an argument but less. It's a classic tactic to drown people in stuff they barely have a chance to pick through. An excellent example is the "Labour Leaks" report.

2
 Tyler 13 Sep 2020
In reply to BnB:

> Funny but not an accurate characterisation. Sunak’s addressing of the complexities of the furlough scheme and other support measures with his precise and unobfuscated answers to probing questions was a lesson in political communication.

Even if true explaining your own policy that you've been working on solidly for a number of days it still a pathetically low bar, he wasn't explaining nuclear fission but a benefits system. I also don't recall any probing questions during his or anyone else's press conferences. A combination of a supine press, the format that allowed for cutting off reporters and an idea that we all had to get behind the govt saw to that.

Regardless, what prompted my reply was the suggestion that he would "put up a better fight" than Johnson. This just seems wishful thinking rather than anything else. Unlike many MPs RS wasn't even tested fighting various unwinable seats before he come to parliament but was dropped into a very safe seat first time of asking and, like the rest of the cabinet, has gained his position because of his capacity not to fight but to toe the Cummings line. 

> The test, as others have observed, will come when he is no longer handing out, but taking away.

Exactly this, at a similar point in his career Johnson would have been seen as a jovial, moderate battler. There is no knowing what RS will turn out to be but he backed Johnson in the leadership election which shows either staggeringly poor judgement or a willingness to shelve principle for personal advancement. He supported Brexit from the off which went against economic orthodoxy at the time and has not turned out to be a prescient superforecast that few others could see but the cluster f*ck most economists were predicting. All in all his limited political track record does not stand up to scrutiny although I understand he was widely praised for how he managed to make money for his hedge fund during the last economic collapse.

 BnB 13 Sep 2020
In reply to Tyler:

> Even if true explaining your own policy that you've been working on solidly for a number of days it still a pathetically low bar, he wasn't explaining nuclear fission but a benefits system. I also don't recall any probing questions during his or anyone else's press conferences. A combination of a supine press, the format that allowed for cutting off reporters and an idea that we all had to get behind the govt saw to that.

Wrong. Explaining revolutionary changes to employment taxes and benefits in sufficient depth to satisfy expert questions (yes, there were sufficient - I should know, I’m an expert!) while maintaining appropriate clarity and simplicity for the layman to follow, and all without obfuscation or disingenuous platitudes. This challenge was met with astonishing skill In Sunak’s case. My jaw was literally gaping at something I had never seen a politician achieve in my more than 50 years of observing them.

Did you also fail to notice how seamlessly and smoothly his measures successfully kept the economy from total collapse?

Post edited at 13:33
1
 Tyler 13 Sep 2020
In reply to BnB:

> Wrong. Explaining revolutionary changes to employment taxes and benefits in sufficient depth to satisfy expert questions (yes, there were plenty - I should know, I’m an expert!) while maintaining appropriate clarity and simplicity for the layman to follow, and all without obfuscation or disingenuous platitudes. This challenge was met with astonishing skill In Sunak’s case. My jaw was literally gaping at something I had never seen a politician achieve in my more than 50 years of observing them.

Astonishing? Not seen in 50 years? No, I didn't see anything like that I'd (genuinely) like to see, I'll have a Google later to see what shows up.

> Did you also fail to notice how seamlessly and smoothly his measures successfully kept the economy from total collapse?

It was the one thing the govt did where they emerged with any credit, yes, but most other Western European countries had a furlough scheme and I think we had a worse short term economic hit than most other European countries so I'm still unclear what was unique about Sunak? Explaining complex issues to a variety of audiences is what professionals do be they barristers, doctors, accountants etc. and there are plenty of good ones able to do it well. I'm not saying he's crap, I just think (as illustrated by what you have written above) that people are going overboard with him based on scant evidence, two of the three big political decisions he's made (backing Boris and Brexit) seem wrong. Also, loath as I am to give Cummins any credit if we blame him for having his hand in everything else then surely he had his hand here as well, especially as he is the one keen to play Lady Bountiful in contrast to the usual Tory policy.

 Pefa 13 Sep 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> So considering Mandelson said that in 2002, did the party stop being thatcherite when Corbyn was in charge and if so why did it start again when he stood down?

The LP was stuffed full of Blairites who were also running it at every level at that time and since then which is why there was a civil war between them and the new grassroots members who chose JC as leader. This was due to JC advocating old Labour Party foundational policies of nationalisation, support for workers and the welfare state, building of massive amounts of council housing, peaceful foreign policies and higher taxation of the rich among many other traditionally Labour policies. It has yet to seen what Starmer will do and tbh I don't know enough about him to comment so time will tell if he is just another lackey to the market and state terrorism ie another Thatcherite. 

> Alternatively, should we just ignore what Peter Mandelson said to get himself in the papers 18 years ago,

Ah so you wish Mandelson had not given the game away in 2002 so you wouldn't find yourself in the awkward position of making up ridiculous tales of self publicity in order to desperately attempt to paper over that particular chasm. 

> or at least stop pretending he was speaking the truth?

He was the architect not you. 

3
 Pefa 13 Sep 2020
In reply to Pefa:

Although by his stance on the anti-semitic bolloxs invented by the powerful Israeli lobby and those who accepted their money to falsely label JC and left wingers as anti-semitic shows, he will grovel and backstab for power not take it on.

I think there is much truth in Steve Bell's (Guardian) wonderful cartoon caricatures of Starmer as nothing more than a Jeeves type butler to the ruling class. 

4
 lorentz 13 Sep 2020
In reply to Pefa & Cumbria Mammoth

I'm not often drawn into politics especially. I don't consider myself as aligned with either of the Labour or Tory or their principles. But I have to call "bullshit" when I see it, so I will say this...

Corbyn's FAILURE at the last election is the reason the country is f****d for the next 4 + years.

His failure to get off the fence with regards to where he stood on Brexit is why he got hammered in the election. It was clearly a Brexit Election and he was wittering on about fairness like a befuddled Geography teacher. To say nothing of his frankly unforgivable and abject failure to apply any kind of brake to the Leave campaign in labour heartlands during the 2015 EU referendum.

You've got a nerve to talk about Blairite infiltrators in the labour, what of your own  entryists? Miliband opened the door to Momentum and look what happened.

You lot had your chance. You have f****d it right up. For EVERYBODY. Look at where a lack of leadership and a credible opposition has left us all. Look where YOU have left us all.

Stop your bleating. Jog on back to selling your socialist worker and your silly-bollocks, soap-box politics and give the grown-ups a chance to knock those nasty f*cks Johnson and Cummstains off their perch. 

As they sing to the losing team's fans at the football... "Sit down, shut up, Sit down, shut up."

3
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> May I say as well, that a huge dump of "evidence" which en masse appears to support an argument but is down to huge levels of inference for each individual point, doesn't convince me more that you have an argument but less. It's a classic tactic to drown people in stuff they barely have a chance to pick through. An excellent example is the "Labour Leaks" report.

If we could try to avoid baiting each other, I'm interested in the possibility that you may see the same issues with society as I do (because you have previously said you voted for Corbyn in the leadership election) but see Starmer as the answer to them. Another classic bad faith tactic is to evade the question by pretending you need more information in order to understand the question, then derail the conversation into a long discussion by asking for more and more detailed information until the original question is lost.

All I wanted to know is whether you really see Starmer as someone who is interested in changing any of the structural issues of Thatcherism? I had assumed you already had enough familiarity with internal Labour politics to answer that question as you seem to be well informed, but you said you couldn't respond unless I was specific. I decided to take you at your word and stayed up till half 1 providing you with specifics. Now, to be presented with this complaint seems a bit disingenuous.

The items in the list above do indeed have my slant on them. It's the way that I, and many on the left, see the way Starmer is taking the Labour party.

In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> All I wanted to know is whether you really see Starmer as someone who is interested in changing any of the structural issues of Thatcherism? 

Thatcher certainly didn't have all the answers, but those before her from the mid 60s on were get everything wrong, the UK had well and truly gone down the pan, it would likely still be there. 

Rather than think backwards, the UK needs to look forwards to what is right for 2030 and 2040, not navel gazing at the past moaning. What works now likely won't in or be unsuitable for 30 years time. 

1
 MonkeyPuzzle 14 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

I don't think I could have been more specific in replying to your long list and complained only after answering.

You also said "his backers" were evidence of thatcherite tendencies, but never responded to my asking who. Who?

In reply to cumbria mammoth:

To me it's pretty boolean. You either believe that the electorate want and will vote for an alternative radical agenda - by which I mean wholesale nationalisation, massive increases in taxation, significantly  more hostile environment for business, reinstatement of unions as a significant power - or you don't.

I don't think there was much misrepresentation of what Corbynism was all about, nor is there much ambiguity about how well it was received. The Tories - even/despite being  led by Bunter - crushed it.

You may think the electorate are wrong, you may wish to change their minds, but they ARE the electorate and to gain power you have to appeal to the majority. Corbyn didn't; Starmer is.  And so long as the Left don't totally screw up again with pathetic internal student politics squabbles, he could yet win in 2024, if not - whisper it quietly - possibly even before, if this government unravels much more. 

3
 jkarran 14 Sep 2020
In reply to Tyler:

> [Sunak] He supported Brexit from the off which went against economic orthodoxy at the time and has not turned out to be a prescient superforecast that few others could see but the cluster f*ck most economists were predicting.

I fear this is very much a matter of perspective.

> All in all his limited political track record does not stand up to scrutiny although I understand he was widely praised for how he managed to make money for his hedge fund during the last economic collapse.

Yep, you've got it, brexit is (maybe was, the pandemic rather stole its thunder) an opportunity for some.

jk

 jkarran 14 Sep 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> You may think the electorate are wrong, you may wish to change their minds, but they ARE the electorate and to gain power you have to appeal to the majority. Corbyn didn't; Starmer is.  And so long as the Left don't totally screw up again with pathetic internal student politics squabbles, he could yet win in 2024, if not - whisper it quietly - possibly even before, if this government unravels much more. 

Strictly you have to win more seats, it's a rare year that requires majority support.

With the SNP still in play (which is in the Conservatives' gift) Labour will really struggle to win in 2024 and it's near inconceivable there'll be a forced election before then. We'll know for certain soon when the withdrawal treaty rebellion fizzles.

jk

In reply to lorentz:

> Corbyn's FAILURE at the last election is the reason the country is f****d for the next 4 + years.

Corbyn's failure is one of the reasons..... with

-Rightwing media moguls pushing Brexit and the culture war for as long as I remember.

-Unrealism and tactical failure from the 'remain' camp 2017 onward

-Complete capitulation of the Tory party to Cummings brand of populism. That was always going to attract a lot of voters jaded by politics..... with the chickens coming hone to roost now.

-Decisions by Farage to not oppose the Tories, while standing in Labour marginals. 

-ERG volt-face after opposing May's deal. They knew all their objections still applied to Bojo's deal, but put that aside, and lied to their supporters, to get Bojo in number 10.

There may be some comfort in blaming Corbyn alone, but it won't help us going forward.

Post edited at 11:26
2
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> All I wanted to know is whether you really see Starmer as someone who is interested in changing any of the structural issues of Thatcherism?

I do, yes. He also clearly understands that you cannot do that from the opposition benches.

In reply to lorentz:

As a retired geography teacher, I demand that you retract your comments about my fellow geography teachers! We don't have patches on our jacket elbows but are good at colouring in!

In reply to Mike Stretford:

>> All I wanted to know is whether you really see Starmer as someone who is interested in changing any of the structural issues of Thatcherism?

> I do, yes. He also clearly understands that you cannot do that from the opposition benches.

...

> There may be some comfort in blaming Corbyn alone, but it won't help us going forward.

Thankyou, that's what I'm seeking evidence of people, who BOTH seek reforms to the injustices of society AND see Starmer as a step towards achieving this.

All the defences of Starmer that I've had so far have been entirely factional, and given that the faction that they are defending preferred not to win an election than to win with Corbyn as leader, I find it hard to believe that they actually want to see meaningful reforms so their defence of Starmer offers no encouragement that he offers a better future. 

3
 seankenny 14 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

Political extremists and their “stab in the back” myths. Own your own failures. 

2
 jkarran 14 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> All the defences of Starmer that I've had so far have been entirely factional, and given that the faction that they are defending preferred not to win an election than to win with Corbyn as leader, I find it hard to believe that they actually want to see meaningful reforms so their defence of Starmer offers no encouragement that he offers a better future. 

I supported Corbyn in his first election, he obviously wasn't mass appeal PM material but his ideas deserved airing and Labour needed a more distinctive position. I wasn't voting for a leader but a gradual repositioning over the course of a long spell in opposition, I wouldn't have done it had I seen Cameron's car crash coming, Corbyn was worse than useless, he was an obstruction. Brexit was a reversible accident right to the last if he'd have just got out of the way, now the people I genuinely believe he sought to represent will be its victims. Unforgivable. 

I like Starmer, he'll likely lose in 2024 but he isn't hopeless, I don't see much better hopes beside him and I believe he would implement policies moving us some way left of where we are today shifting the Overton window a little, realistically that's all the change we can make without revolution if we want it to stick and we're proving stubournly resistant to revolution despite a series of huge shocks. 

You say our defences are factional and we're all just red tories, it's horseshit. I'd have walked through fire to be rid of this government as would many others you freely insult with this nonsense. 

Jk

Post edited at 19:23
3
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> All the criticisms of Starmer that I've had so far have been entirely factional

There, fixed it for you.

1
 Pefa 14 Sep 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

>> All I wanted to know is whether you really see Starmer as someone who is interested in changing any of the structural issues of Thatcherism?

> I do, yes. He also clearly understands that you cannot do that from the opposition benches.

Go back one place. 

You cannot do it at all in England if you are not a Thatcherite prior to any election, or the people who decide who the voters will vote for will use all their power and that of other countries to make sure no majority vote for someone who stands up to the super greedy. 

3
 Pefa 14 Sep 2020
In reply to seankenny:

> Political extremists and their “stab in the back” myths. Own your own failures. 

Who is a political extremist?

Corbyn? A run of the mill social democrat if he was in any other European country becomes an extremist he stands in this far right dictatorship.

I suppose it is extremist for the UK to have a man of peace at their head. Yeah down with the extremist Corbyn we want state terrorism and wars, oh and the ability to decide who a countries president is even when it's people vote for someone else. 

It would be disgusting to have a leader who was the recipient of the Ghandi Award for international peace as our leader when we can chose another sycophantic imperialist child murderer like we always do. Yea 'Corbyn has destroyed life for millions of British poor, Corbyn threw away the EU' , what absolute garbage. No one in the history of PM candidates in my voting lifetime has set out to help the ordinary person more than Corbyn and the EU was lost already after the EU referendum thanks to the prior collapse of capitalism in 2008 through Thatcherite Reaganomics and the subsequent rise of the far right created by the Tory press and the British and global capitalist ruling class to quell the rising voices of socialism awakened after the enevitable periodic contradiction of capitalism in 2008.

You give capitalists all the power so what do you expect. 

7
 Sir Chasm 14 Sep 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> Corbyn? A run of the mill social democrat if he was in any other European country becomes an extremist he stands in this far right dictatorship.

Lol.

3
In reply to Pefa:

You do know he's thick as pigsh*t, don't you?

In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> I don't think I could have been more specific in replying to your long list and complained only after answering.

You did, and fair play for putting the effort in, but we could both go back and forth for hours refuting each others points and counterpoints. The list is there as evidence of one way traffic in favour of right wingers in the party, you see those points justified but that just puts you on the right wing from my perspective which may or may not be the case. Counter examples of Starmer making a decision that favoured the left of the party or of him making noise about left wing issues are what I would love to hear about. We're on separate sides of the fence over Starmer but what I was interested in is whether we have similar political goals but see the way to get there differently, or whether we are more fundamentally opposed?

> You also said "his backers" were evidence of thatcherite tendencies, but never responded to my asking who. Who?

I said the UK is still moving in the same political direction it has been set on since Thatcher and I asked whether you can see Starmer as being the pilot who will change course? By backers I just mean those same people who support him and that he favours - the Blairite wing of the party. 

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> To me it's pretty boolean. You either believe that the electorate want and will vote for an alternative radical agenda - by which I mean wholesale nationalisation, massive increases in taxation, significantly  more hostile environment for business, reinstatement of unions as a significant power - or you don't.

> I don't think there was much misrepresentation of what Corbynism was all about, nor is there much ambiguity about how well it was received. The Tories - even/despite being  led by Bunter - crushed it.

> You may think the electorate are wrong, you may wish to change their minds, but they ARE the electorate and to gain power you have to appeal to the majority. Corbyn didn't; Starmer is.  And so long as the Left don't totally screw up again with pathetic internal student politics squabbles, he could yet win in 2024, if not - whisper it quietly - possibly even before, if this government unravels much more. 

I think you have misrepresented the policies right there in exactly the same way as the corporate media misrepresented them. It was a change of direction but it wasn't that radical.

I also think, as has been discussed up thread, that the policies were not the reason for 2019 failure as much the same policies were very popular in 2017 when Corbyn received 13,000,000 votes. Yes I think that the electorate will vote for these policies if it has the right package.

If Starmer appeals to the majority, are you pleased because you think that Starmer is the right package that will finally present these policies effectively and deliver them, or are you pleased to be rid of these types of policies and hoping that Starmer comes through in order to kill them off for ever? 

Edit to say that I don't think any misrepresentation was intentional in your post.

Post edited at 23:32
In reply to summo:

> But wonder how many would get elected if they weren't wearing a Labour rosette? They didn't do very well in the last GE just following Corbyns manifesto, without the labour badge they'd likely be gone. 

That was actually what happened to the Centrists who split from the party in 2019, maybe they should have tried ditching the Labour badge but following Corbyns manifesto. The Lib Dems also had a terrible result in 2019. Before that there was Brexit which was also a major factor in 2019, 2015 was a bad result for a centrist Labour party and the Lib Dems.

I don't think that centrism is the winning ticket anymore.

> If you are so unhappy but have such great ideas, stick your deposit down and get stuck in. 

I'm still interested to see whether there is any hope for party unity?

> Edit. You might not like him, but if the polls are true Starmer has more chance of being PM than Corbyn ever did. 

I can't understand why Starmer supporters look at the polls and see them as a glowing endorsement of his opposition? Labour are still 3-5% behind the Conservatives at a time when Conservative ineptitude and corruption has both cost 60,000 lives and killed our economy, and the corporate media is happy to criticise the government at the moment which is an advantage that Corbyn never had. Corbyn had Labour ahead of the Conservatives in the polls until the Boris bounce. I'm not convinced that Starmer is polling better than Corbyn would have been at all.

And people are right, brand Corbyn was a handicap by December 2019 so just changing the leader will account for some of the effect (20 points right wingers were claiming in 2019). Has Starmer's picking at detail but failing to differentiate himself from the opposition even had any effect at all?

Post edited at 00:14
4
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> All the defences of Starmer that I've had so far have been entirely factional,

I don't have to 'defend' Starmer. All I have to say is that I find him a more competent politician than Corbyn, who never once impressed me in any of the media appearances he deigned to make.

Just for the record, I voted Labour in the last two GEs, and have never voted Tory. But I'm sure my opinion of Corbyn will put me in your 'factional' camp. Ironic that you should use that complaint when it's clear that you are firmly in a pro-Corbyn faction...

In reply to cumbria mammoth:

Starmer is having a huge impact (but he has a big ladder to climb). You need to look at this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership_approval_opinion_polling_for_the_next_United_Kingdom_general_election#Keir_Starmer

In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> I can't understand why Starmer supporters look at the polls and see them as a glowing endorsement of his opposition? Labour are still 3-5% behind the Conservatives at a time when Conservative 

It's still closer than Labour have been for a decade! The conservatives have been politically weak for years and Corbyn failed to capitalise in two GEs.

Labour have a choice, remain extreme left and never ever be elected, they'll shrink every year. Or move back towards the centre. Because the far left MPs don't have the go to start their own socialist party they'll still be in Labour, that way Labour has the left and centre vote. That's how Blair got in and it's the only way Labour will win, it's not the 1930s anymore, the world has moved on. 

2
In reply to captain paranoia:

> > All the defences of Starmer that I've had so far have been entirely factional,

> I don't have to 'defend' Starmer. All I have to say is that I find him a more competent politician than Corbyn, who never once impressed me in any of the media appearances he deigned to make.

> Just for the record, I voted Labour in the last two GEs, and have never voted Tory. But I'm sure my opinion of Corbyn will put me in your 'factional' camp. Ironic that you should use that complaint when it's clear that you are firmly in a pro-Corbyn faction...

The issue isn't that their points are necessarily invalid just because they come from a different faction. I'm happy to debate with centrists and hopefully learn something about the way they see the world differently to me and vice versa (or more likely get bogged down in tit for that mud slinging).

However, if centrists tell me they support Starmer that just confirms to me what I already believe - that Starmer is a centrist and therefore a force blocking any meaningful reforms.

What I would really like to find is someone  who had been enthused by Corbyn as I was, who wholeheartedly supported the 2017 and 2019 manifestos because they believed in the reforms detailed and maybe invested time and effort into the cause. If I could find someone with that outlook who still supports Starmer after everything that has gone on then I would like to explore what they see in him that I don't?

Maybe I've missed something? I'd love to feel the hope for a better future that I felt for the last 5 years so I'd love to be persuaded that I'm wrong, but centrists pouring out their biases against Corbyn won't achieve that.

2
 mondite 15 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> Labour have a choice, remain extreme left and never ever be elected, they'll shrink every year. Or move back towards the centre.

And then when where do the tories move and therefore where does the centre move?

That you announce Labour as "extreme left" shows the flaw in your reasoning. That moderate left wing policies are now portrayed as extreme and hard right policies are portrayed as centrist.

Do you really want us to end up like the USA with a choice of right wing or cant even see it from here right wing?

1
 Graeme G 15 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> Do you really want us to end up like the USA with a choice of right wing or cant even see it from here right wing?

I don’t know how Summo would answer but I suspect there’s plenty in the UK who would say ‘yes’.

In reply to mondite:

> And then when where do the tories move and therefore where does the centre move?

Does it matter. If a party wants to be elected in a democratic nation, it's policies must match a sufficient proportion of the population's desire. 

> That you announce Labour as "extreme left" shows the flaw in your reasoning. That moderate left wing policies are now portrayed as extreme and hard right policies are portrayed as centrist.

Didn't say extreme, I said far. Corbyn, mccluskey and McDonnell are hardly just left of centre. 

> Do you really want us to end up like the USA with a choice of right wing or cant even see it from here right wing?

The USA is hardly the best example. Look at Europe, what is the UK Labour party would really be at least 3 different smaller  parties in Europe, socialist, centrist etc etc.. granted first past the post has much to answer for, but the public aren't exactly baying for it. 

If Labour doesn't wish to split, then those ranging in views from corbynistas to blairites need to tolerate each other if they ever expect to get back in office. Tolerance you'd think it would be in abundance given their political position, but it's usually lacking. 

Post edited at 10:19
 mondite 15 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> Does it matter. If a party wants to be elected in a democratic nation, it's policies must match a sufficient proportion of the population's desire. 

Well yes it does matter since do you want to end up as the yanks where there is a choice between hard right

> Didn't say extreme, I said far.

ermm "Labour have a choice, remain extreme left". I know what you wrote was drivel but even so you could at least own it.

> The USA is hardly the best example.

Yes it is since, as you note, its FPTP here and so Europe is a bad match. You can also look at how far to the right the "centre" has shifted in the UK compared to Europe.

> If Labour doesn't wish to split, then those ranging in views from corbynistas to blairites need to tolerate each other if they ever expect to get back in office. Tolerance you'd think it would be in abundance given their political position, but it's usually lacking. 

Really what requires them to be tolerant of other political views in their own party?

1
 john arran 15 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> Really what requires them to be tolerant of other political views in their own party?

The requirement is that, under FPTP, any party needs to have a sufficiently broad support base as to have a good chance of being elected into power. Yes, this requires compromise, which is what happens after elections in other countries with PR or similar. What is needed in the UK is for such compromise to take place prior to an election, so that a genuinely united position can be presented that may be palatable to a sufficient proportion of the electorate. Internal quibbling over political purity of ideas is not the way to achieve that.

 jkarran 15 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> Labour have a choice, remain extreme left and never ever be elected, they'll shrink every year. Or move back towards the centre. Because the far left MPs don't have the go to start their own socialist party they'll still be in Labour, that way Labour has the left and centre vote. That's how Blair got in and it's the only way Labour will win, it's not the 1930s anymore, the world has moved on. 

If you're looking for Labour routes to power then breezily dismissing the early 20th century movement as irrelevant misses the most reliable route to power Labour has, a pact with the LibDems and ideally the Greens that both boosts their suburban vote and heads off the "A LAB-SNP government will wreck Britain" trope the Conservatives will fall back on after four solid years of frustrating and goading the Scots into rebellion.

Sure, I can already hear Corbyn fans spitting feathers and some will for sure refuse to vote or go Green (as I tend to) but the majority will be pragmatic and or loyal to the Labour brand.

Our electoral system works against us, it's basically threadbare pride which prevents Labour addressing that and making it work for them.

jk

Post edited at 14:15
 jkarran 15 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> What I would really like to find is someone  who had been enthused by Corbyn as I was, who wholeheartedly supported the 2017 and 2019 manifestos because they believed in the reforms detailed and maybe invested time and effort into the cause. If I could find someone with that outlook who still supports Starmer after everything that has gone on then I would like to explore what they see in him that I don't?

I've told you already. He's not incompetent, he is the leader and he will shift our politics back leftward given the opportunity.

jk

 MargieB 15 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

Why I support PR in the Westminster system is because of what is happening now. A party { happens to be Conservative} in a crisis turning point {happens to be EU relationship} narrows its base quite deliberately through purges and has a FPTP disproprtionate advantage as well. Any system that allows that sort of narrowing of political diversity isn't in our electorate's best interests. We require constant accountabiltiy vested in diversity of political spectrum being represented. 

I think the Westminster system in in need of reform. I currently think Scottish independence has the problem of the dominance of one particular party { even if you agree with them in many ways!} which independence will exaggerate.

I watched the rise of Nazism on BBC. The ground work for that to take place was chronic economic decline through insensitive reparations. Chronic economic decline and a weak political system that allowed Hitler to narrow down the political base of country within 6 months, so essentially a few were calling the shots. PR counters that, in a modern context.

Post edited at 14:58
1
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Maybe I've missed something?

What you seem to be missing is the political distance between Starmer and practically anyone in the Conservatives.  Viewing them all as one because they are politically a long way from you is a mistake  - much like thinking Singapore is near Australia because they are both a long where from here.

If you really believe that  a Starmer (or Brown or Milliband or Blair) led government is in practical terms the same as a Johnson led one then you are missing a great deal.

1
 mondite 15 Sep 2020
In reply to jkarran:

> Sure, I can already hear Corbyn fans spitting feathers and some will for sure refuse to vote or go Green (as I tend to) but the majority will be pragmatic and or loyal to the Labour brand.

The idea of mindless loyalty of traditional voters was a key cornerstone of new Labour. Didnt work too well towards the end and chances are people once bitten are twice shy.

2
 jkarran 15 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

We'll see, or not since the chance of a pact is very low and a win therefore very low also. The question to ask is if you can't back a far left Labour where will your vote go? Fringe candidates never mop up more than a few hundred votes so it's about turnout which does require work from activists but the reality is most are pragmatists, they have to be.

Jk

Post edited at 18:00
 MonkeyPuzzle 15 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> However, if centrists tell me they support Starmer that just confirms to me what I already believe - that Starmer is a centrist and therefore a force blocking any meaningful reforms.

What about all the centrists and soft left that supported Corbyn? Does that make Corbyn a centrist or soft left, or can we agree that's a silly metric?

 Andy Hardy 15 Sep 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

Are you saying you *wouldn't* vote labour because Starmer is in charge?

 MargieB 15 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

In order to get initial change to PR, a party may have to unite it's diverse differences or two parties coalesce with PR as the main agenda.. After PR  is introduced, parties could afford to split and probably would  because of  strong ideological differences-  knowing they still get proportionate representation .Subsequent governance would involve forming relationships/coalitions when voting on specific bills based on common ground . I think the future for opposition parties is to forward this agenda, since we are now primed and fully aware as to the difficult consequences of an inadequate constitution. It takes difficult experiences like we have had to get a new idea into the general  psyche . I think we have reached that point since the referendum on the Alternative Vote.

Post edited at 21:02
In reply to jkarran:

> I supported Corbyn in his first election, he obviously wasn't mass appeal PM material but his ideas deserved airing and Labour needed a more distinctive position. I wasn't voting for a leader but a gradual repositioning over the course of a long spell in opposition, I wouldn't have done it had I seen Cameron's car crash coming, Corbyn was worse than useless, he was an obstruction. Brexit was a reversible accident right to the last if he'd have just got out of the way, now the people I genuinely believe he sought to represent will be its victims. Unforgivable. 

> I like Starmer, he'll likely lose in 2024 but he isn't hopeless, I don't see much better hopes beside him and I believe he would implement policies moving us some way left of where we are today shifting the Overton window a little, realistically that's all the change we can make without revolution if we want it to stick and we're proving stubournly resistant to revolution despite a series of huge shocks. 

> You say our defences are factional and we're all just red tories, it's horseshit. I'd have walked through fire to be rid of this government as would many others you freely insult with this nonsense. 

No intention to insult (and I never called anyone a red tory), just wanting to hear from someone who believed in what Corbyn stood for and now supports Starmer.

Useless or not, Corbyns 5 years as LOTO have shifted the Overton window leftward whereas 13 years of centrist Labour government shifted it rightward.

Take the example of re-nationalisation for instance. In 1979 most key national industries and government services were actually run by the government and this was the normal and sensible state of affairs as far as most people were concerned.

In 1997 people expected Labour to re-nationalise at least the most inefficient and ideologically driven of the Tory privatisations, re-nationalisation was still well within the range of policies considered sensible by most people.

By 2010 Blair/Brown had not re-nationalised anything, indeed they had overseen their own privatisations, including the PFI scam and the start of NHS privatisation, and a massive step up in outsourcing. The Overton window had moved to the right and re-nationalisation was unthinkable in 2010, public money being siphoned off to the private sector for poorer services was just seen as the natural way of the world by most people now, with no "credible" politician talking about it up until 2015.

Step forward Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Opposition and 5 years of talking about left wing politics and offering left wing policies to vote for have seeped into the national conversation (however much the corporate media have tried to distract from it) and re-nationalisation is not just sensible politics, but popular with most people, so much so that it has actually been implemented by the Conservative government.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-party-election-corbyn-leader-polls-nationalisation-a9248511.html ("Public support for nationalisation increased while Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader, poll finds. Study finds that ‘political consensus’ has emerged on public ownership")

I don't know whether you consider Starmer to be a Blairite centrist or not but he looks like it to me and he's not talking about left wing politics so the Overton window will be quietly drifting back towards the type of small state politics that tears up society already. My fear is that if he makes it in to no.10 broadly maintaining the status quo by delivering slightly softer versions of the right wing economic policies that Conservatives would have done in normal times then I dread to think what the new normal will look like by the end of it.

Post edited at 00:13
3
In reply to MG:

Thanks for your gentle, measured rebuke to one of the biggest loads of political nonsense I've seen on UKC for a very long time. I find it quite mind-boggling that such people would rather keep Johnson and the like of him in power for years or even for ever, destroying our country and constitution, rather than welcome a mildly socialist government run by a demonstrably capable leader. 

In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Useless or not, Corbyns 5 years as LOTO have shifted the Overton window leftward

Big whoop. 

Unfortunately, it has also resulted in Brexit, and a rampant, increasingly authoritarian, right wing, rogue government.

Overton windows are political theory, with little practical value. Governments in power with an unassailable majority have real,  practical power, for good or ill. I fear this one is very much for the ill.

In reply to captain paranoia:

Of course it matters, call it what you want but there can be no doubt that politics has shifted. New Labour conceded the economic argument and implemented policies that would have been at home in the Conservative manifesto. The Conservatives didn't swap places and start arguing for better working conditions, more regulation, and re-nationalisation do they? No, their ambitions from 1979 had been established and they could move on to their next project which turned out to be austerity. Labour didn't argue against austerity until 2015 either by which time the Brexit project was in motion. 

The cycle is Conservatives lurching to the right followed by centrist Labour cementing what had once been radical right wing ideology as the new orthodoxy.

In the 2050's we'll have centrists defending the new normal of child labour, dangerous unregulated industries, and poorly sanitised slums for the masses, and calling a desire for change an extreme radical ideology that will never be seen as credible.

2
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Of course it matters, 

Compared to actually having a parliamentary majority, it matters not one jot.

And how do you actually calculate it? Do you simply take the extremes of political belief in a country, or do scale some measure by the number holding those beliefs? In which case, a large Tory majority might just swing that window back away from the position of your Great Leader.


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