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Who loves ya, baby?
I'm not convinced of that at all. Most of Corbyn's policies are actually pretty popular among the general public.
Yeah, and he's still polling terribly despite that because the general public are being bombarded with propaganda on a daily basis. Anyone to the left of Blair will get the same treatment and it will work. They did it to Miliband, they're doing it to Corbyn and they'll do it to the next one.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Yeah, and he's still polling terribly despite that because the general public are being bombarded with propaganda on a daily basis. Anyone to the left of Blair will get the same treatment and it will work. They did it to Miliband, they're doing it to Corbyn and they'll do it to the next one.
I'm not sure about that at all. There would be far less ammo to chuck at him about, say, anti-Semitism if he'd significantly changed his behaviour in this regard and made some serious effort towards stamping it out in the party. That's got fuck all to do with being "left wing", as such.

And even ignoring that and other issues connected with his natural territory being in protest politics rather than Westminster, the elephant in the room - his lifelong Euroscepticism and pro-Brexit stance - alienates the vast majority of people who either usually, or might conceivably, vote Labour. Again, none of this is an unavoidable corollary to wanting to tax corporations properly, increase funding for schools or stop the sell-off the NHS.

I'm getting really tired of Corbynites (and Corbyn himself, who sounds a lot like Trump when he does it) blaming the media for all their woes. Yes, much of it is biased against him, but actually not everyone in the country reads the Mail, the Sun or the Telegraph. And what's the proposed solution? Wait for these papers to spontaneously go into liquidation?
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
I'm not sure about that at all. There would be far less ammo to chuck at him about, say, anti-Semitism if he'd significantly changed his behaviour in this regard and made some serious effort towards stamping it out in the party. That's got fuck all to do with being "left wing", as such.
The severity of the response is down to him being left wing though. I very much doubt Boris or any other Tory would receive the same treatment. And that goes for more or less anything. They could do and say the exact same things and Corbyn would always get the much harsher response because of his economic policies.

And even ignoring that and other issues connected with his natural territory being in protest politics rather than Westminster, the elephant in the room - his lifelong Euroscepticism and pro-Brexit stance - alienates the vast majority of people who either usually, or might conceivably, vote Labour. Again, none of this is an unavoidable corollary to wanting to tax corporations properly, increase funding for schools or stop the sell-off the NHS.
Yeah, that I get.

I'm getting really tired of Corbynites (and Corbyn himself, who sounds a lot like Trump when he does it) blaming the media for all their woes. Yes, much of it is biased against him, but actually not everyone in the country reads the Mail, the Sun or the Telegraph.
It's not just Corbyn though, is it? Do you not remember "Red Ed"? It's also not just those papers.

And what's the proposed solution? Wait for these papers to spontaneously go into liquidation?
There isn't one. Money always wins.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
The irony with "Red Ed" being that he wasn't very red at all, of course. I wonder if he could have won that election if he hadn't tried to out-manoevre the Tories by offering "austerity-lite", which obviously didn't appeal to a lot of people who might have otherwise voted for him, many of whom voted SNP in Scotland and Green in England, and would hardly have pulled over large numbers of voters who actually thought austerity was a good thing, because why would they vote for the "lite" Labour version when they could vote for the full-fat Tory original version?

That said, it's noteworthy that Labour actually increased its share of the vote compared to 2010 (as did the Tories, but by a smaller amount) but got hammered on Commons seats due to the wipeout of Labour in Scotland at the hands of the SNP and the fact that nearly all the many seats lost by the Lib Dems went to the Tories (or perhaps, back to the Tories). But if hostility from the Tory press towards Labour and its leaders is a given, may they could have done a lot better with a leader prepared to actually stand against austerity rather than just ameliorate it a little bit.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Not quite sure whether this should go here or in the Societal Paralysis thread, but I've been meaning to quote this here since I read it a few weeks ago. It's the fictional Swedish philosopher Huvelius, from Arthur Machen's 1917 novella The Terror:

"[C]ontrary to the common opinion, it is the wealthy who are greedy of wealth; while the populace are to be gained by talking to them about liberty, their unknown god. And so much are they enchanted by the words liberty, freedom, and such like, that the wise can go to the poor, rob them of what little they have, dismiss them with a hearty kick, and win their hearts and their votes for ever, if only they will assure them that the treatment which they have received is called liberty."
If we can substitute "media-savvy" for "wise", it seems a pretty good prediction of Brexit from a century ago, wouldn't you say?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
And Tesla has announced that their new factory and 10,000 jobs will be in Berlin, not UK as previously thought cos of "Brexit uncertainty".
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Watching the news on BBC Worldwide and the reporter was speaking to camera from somewhere or other and a guy stuck his head in front and shouted "bollocks to brexit" which made me smile. Never seen that happen before while actually watching live.
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
Labour to change strategy with two weeks to go

The Labour Party is to re-shape its general election campaign strategy - particularly in Leave-voting areas - to try to turn around a stubborn Conservative opinion poll lead.

Insiders told the BBC that in the first half of the election campaign, a key error was that the Liberal Democrat threat had been overestimated, while the willingness of Leave voters to switch from Labour to the Conservatives had been underestimated.

In the last two weeks of the campaign, this will change.
Labour will give a higher profile to shadow cabinet members who back a Leave deal rather than Remain. There will also be a tour of Leave areas by the party chairman Ian Lavery, who ideally would rather leave the EU with a deal than remain. The "honest broker" himself - Jeremy Corbyn - will be touring some Leave seats very soon too. And more activists are set to be moved to Leave areas.

The message will be that Labour's Leave deal would offer voters a genuine choice - and that a new referendum will not be an attempt to remain in the EU by the back door.

There will be an attempt to explain the deal Labour is seeking to negotiate - and that it would protect workers' rights.

In other words, the party leadership is not opposing Brexit by opposing Boris Johnson's deal - it simply wants to find what it regards as a better one. That may be a tricky argument, compared with the simplicity of the Conservative message of getting Brexit "done". But it is felt that reassurance for Leave voters is necessary. There will also be an attempt to challenge the Conservative narrative that a trade deal with the EU can be done in a year.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50580699
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
This could go one of two ways. On one hand it could help win over working-class Leavers, and in theory shouldn't deter progressive Remainers as long as a remain option is still on the cards. On the other, positioning the party further towards Leave, even if only rhetorically, while taking the Remain vote for granted, is exactly the behaviour that will boost support for the Lib Dems.
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
This makes for grim reading. We all knew it was coming.

UK-US trade deal - what do the leaked documents show?

1. Drug pricing and patents

US trade negotiators had already set out that they wanted "full market access" for US drugs as part of a future UK/US trade deal after Brexit. The leaked document does reiterate concern in the US over drug prices. One of the trade representatives is quoted as saying: "there is a lot of conversation on drug prices and looking at what other countries pay and this is causing angst". A big part of the document, however, focuses on patents.

2. Regulation

The document reveals that the US trade representatives were left "deflated" at the UK's plan to stick close to EU rules on food safety and animal health. They saw this as a "worst-case scenario" for a UK-US trade deal.

3. Food safety

One US official suggested that the UK should not stick with the EU's food regulatory standards after Brexit. Instead, the US "recommended that the UK maintains regulatory autonomy". The same official suggested that the UK had used chemical washes to treat food in the past "and wondered if there would be an interest in bringing them back post-EU Exit".

The document says the US would "share their public lines on chlorine-washed chicken to help inform the media narrative around the issue".

4. Food labelling

In the document from the November 2017 meeting, the US talked about its concerns over some food labelling. The US side said it was "concerned that labelling food with high sugar content (as has been done with tobacco) is not particularly useful in changing consumer behaviour".

5. Climate change

A UK representative "inquired about the possibility of including reference to climate change in a future UK-US trade agreement". A US representative "responded emphatically that climate change is the most political (sensitive) question for the US, stating it is a 'lightning rod issue'".

They went on to explain that they were bound by Congress not to include mention of greenhouse gas emission reductions in trade agreements. They stated this ban would not be lifted anytime soon.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-50572502#
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Frightening isn't it? But I see loads of people are saying it's just Labour scare stories... amazing the extent to which people will ignore what they don't want to hear and when it happens it will be too late.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I agree with this... which is no surprise cos it's exactly what I've been saying for ages. Both points.

He (Bercow) claimed that a People's Vote was possible back in October when Boris Johnson had hit a paralysis in parliament.
"A short-term coalition government to administer and deliver a People's Vote might have been formed," he is quoted by the Spectator as saying.
But he claimed that the failure was politicians - particularly the Lib Dems and Labour - not working together.
He said: "Jo Swinson wasn't prepared to allow Jeremy Corbyn to be temporary prime minister. But the fear that this would lead to years and years of Corbyn and John McDonnell is for the birds."
Bercow said that this failure stretched to the strategy of backing an election too.
https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/john-bercow-on-stopping-brexit-1-6475462
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
Brexit ‘liberation day’ is self-serving fantasy

In Cambodia it is January 7. In Kuwait, February 26. In the United States it is March 3, it is May 8 in the Czech Republic and July 4 in Rwanda. In Turkey it is celebrated on August 30 and the following day by the Lithuanians. In Bangladesh it is December 16. National liberation day in these nations commemorates, respectively, the defeat of the murderous Khmer Rouge, the expulsion of Iraq, the emancipation of slaves in Charlottesville, Virginia, liberation from Nazi Germany, the deposing of a genocidal tyrant, the end of the Turkish War of Independence, the withdrawal of the Russian army after half a century of occupation and the creation of a brand new nation out of Pakistan. None of these days of national liberation describe the voluntary departure of a sovereign democracy from a voluntary alignment of its rules regarding trade in goods and services.

Much the worst thing about the politicians and pundits who led the charge for Brexit is how susceptible they are to rank stupidity. I am not saying there are no reasons at all to wish to the leave the European Union; I am merely saying that the desire to be free is not one of them. The implication, that Britain has been in servitude since 1973, would be offensive to those who have endured genuine suffering if it were not so manifestly absurd. Brexit is a petty local dispute by comparison. It does not warrant this pathetic borrowed grandeur. Yet, as the prominent Brexit cheerleaders unfurl their flags and banners for their ode to joy at our departure, this is the rhetorical idiocy of the time.

The ascent into melodramatic rhetoric is always a tip-off that the speaker has nothing to say. The reason that Brexit has to be described as freedom from oppression is that it is hard to know what else it is, if it is not that. A notable feature of the sorry Brexit saga has been the vastly diminished expectations of even those pressing for departure. Whereas, in a lost and more innocent age in late 2016, Daniel Hannan could write his comic masterpiece, What Next, in which he looked forward to the day that Britain would emerge blinking into the light of a new dawn, to the sound of a nearby gurgling brook. After Mrs May’s downbeat tenure and Mr Johnson’s bluster the tone had changed completely. For a long while now the argument has been no more elevated than we have started so we had better finish. For all Mr Johnson’s fabled optimism it is hard, from what he says, to glean why we are doing this at all.

The reason for the silence where the good, persuasive reasons should be is that Brexit is not a rational project. I do not mean it is therefore irrational. I mean that before it is rational and mathematical it is psychological and emotional. By what measure will Brexit be judged a success or a failure, in the course of time, by its advocates? A higher trend rate of growth? A better performance than the average of the European economies? Regional growth led by inventive regulation that would have been stifled by the EU? It will be none of these things because Brexit was never an economic project for the Goves and Johnsons and Farages. It was, at the risk of emptying the term of meaning, a philosophical project. It was a liberation movement and there lies the secret of its success. Brexit is proof of what Aristotle pointed out in The Art of Rhetoric, that an appeal to the emotions trumps an appeal to the mind.

The description of Brexit as a liberation from the European yoke is also a proof against failure. If Brexit is defined by detaching British law from Europe then success is guaranteed merely by enacting departure. At 11pm this evening success will arrive. Yesterday we were in bondage; today we are free and freedom is its own reward. Brexit, conceived in this way, cannot fail which makes it obvious the argument is rigged. This is obvious self-serving rubbish which Messrs Gove and Johnson are bright enough to understand. The honest thing for them to do would to be set themselves some targets for what Brexit will achieve. How do they think they will be proved right, in the fullness of time? Brexit allows us to diverge from Europe but to what end and to what beneficial consequence we still, remarkably, have no idea.

A calm disposition has been wanting throughout the whole process of Brexit and this applies in equal measure to the Remain side. Sir Ivan Rogers wisely advised that Brexit was a process rather than an event, yet the Remain side has throughout argued as if Brexit were not only an event but an obviously and instantly catastrophic one. Every day that the catastrophe failed to arrive the credibility of the witnesses was eroded a little further. The metaphor of the “cliff-edge” of Brexit was hopelessly ill-conceived. Brexit is not a rapid descent to an almost inevitably fatal collision. It is not, in diplomatic terms, Suez, which was seen as a humiliation by almost everyone at once. And it is not, in material terms, Black Wednesday or the 2008 financial crash. Brexit will be more like Hemingway’s description from The Sun Also Rises of how you go bust: “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly”. The Remain arguments all implied that Brexit was singular and exciting. In fact Brexit contains dreary multitudes. It is plural and boring.

And it is set to go on being both. After a day of liberation everything changes. People notice the absence of an unwelcome force. In the course of their everyday lives most people are not going to notice Brexit either way. They will have a blue passport and a coin and Brexit will retreat back to the list of questions to which the British public pay little attention even though, as the trade talks unfold, there is a lot more Brexit to come.

Meanwhile, in public there will be a verdict to be settled on whether the decision was the correct one and this too is destined never to happen. There are no agreed terms on which this verdict can be reached. The reasons of the material Remainers and the emotional Brexiteers are incommensurate. Even if Britain suffers a recession there will be a slowdown in Chinese and Indian economic activity to blame it on, or protectionism from Donald Trump, or some other exogenous factor. This is not an argument that anyone is going to win, except by the sheer force of having more numbers in a referendum and more people in parliament.

Brexit has been a pathetic spectacle which has encouraged and stoked the worst in British politics. It will be a pleasure to see the back of it. That much, at least, is a trivial kind of liberation.
 
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