Out of the loop/in the bubble

sufi

lala
My strongest impression about the election result was how come such a majority went for the tories? That was a shock to find that our bubble is in the minority now.

It feels like the tories are a party of pragmatic opportunism, reactive and without an actual mission, compared to Labour, who had a policy vision, but one that would take a bit of effort to accomplish...
or was it that the UKers are just daft?there aren't enough people clever enough to see through the populist right - simple messages and catchy slogans - i don't think that's the case, but it's hard to understand how educated and righteous non-metro-elite have been persuaded, when we weren't Cced

(Reminds me scarily of something i read about how the fascistic rural folk have control over the food supply and will starve out the cities...)

This concept that we are all in bubbles, which are getting stronger due to social media algorithms etc is interesting though (& dissensus must be part of that phenomenon :x:)

Are we desperately reaching out for affinity? Creating groupings in the 6 billion human population in order to find some meaningful social connection? Forming tribes and cults to make up for a general lack of purpose???
Or are we being sold this concept as a way to keep us feeling isolated and disempowered, to divide and conquer us and prevent human species unity?

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I think my question is what did we miss that us urban types should have been aware of in order to avert this collapse into a Tory brexiteer future? How to overcome this bubbleisation?
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Live outside London.

Though I don't think the situation is as extreme as has been painted by the media. People who think like the Tories are still not in a majority by the election results, and under a PR system they would not have been able to form a government. The question is how to prevent rule by a minority for ever, given the gerrymandering etc that is to come.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
To sound like Tony Blair for a moment, failure to connect with voters. I think that Lab should do an extensive programme of meeting with voters in seats they lost, actively listening and then try and reconcile those thoughts and opinions with their policy vision.

People didn't believe in the vision enough and it was pretty incoherent. "Win a microwave" I've heard it described as. I mean, what was Labour's slogan for the campaign? Idk, but I know Borisi's.

A lot of these points of have been focused grouped and that was what people were saying.

Apparently Labour had internal polling showing how unpopular they were but chose to ignore. Every Corbynite idiot saying Yougov is in the pay of the Tories should take some ownership for that.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Another thing is values - have you ever read Jonathon Haidt? His "Righteous Mind" is quite an important book.

He posits that basically left wing voters core values are "care"(i.e looking after those disadvantaged), "liberty" and "fairness" and while right wing voters are driven by these but also "authority", "loyalty" and "sanctity". It's a failure to understand that people have coherent sets of values underpinning things that you have to appeal to - it's not just winning an argument or offering them a microwave. I was thinking about these the other week when watching Ali Wong on Netflix - it's funny but she delights in grossing people out and offends almost every sexula taboo going. If you held "sanctity" as a high value i.e. there's something sacred and special about the body, sexuality, and this needs preserving against degradation via cultural taboos - you'd be genuinely offended by Ali Wong, cut to their existential marrow. Most liberals wouldn't get this and would dismiss these people as simply being uptight but they'd be wrong. I like Haidt's book 'cos he takes you on his own journey through uncovering these values at work in himself and others.

It's pretty easy to understand how Corbyn would be rejected by voters who hold loyalty as a core value. (see the Skirpal incident and his attitude towards the Armed Forces).

Discussion of values and relation to Haidt's work and the election in this thread: https://twitter.com/Samfr/status/1207381124189700096
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Aside from ethnicity - 77% of BAME voters were Labour in 2017 - age and education level seemed to be the two clearest predictors of whether someone will vote Labour or Tory (whereas income band was not).

I agree that a solid process of talking to people in lost seats is needed. It links with the whole move away from just an electoral focus - talking to people on the doorstep is great, but it's usually way too late.

I do also think that working out how to neutralise the right wing media is another huge battle, perhaps the biggest of all. No Labour government will ever happen without some sort of Blair-style accommodation with it (but it's not 1997 any more) or a clear plan of how to fight it and win.
 
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Slothrop

Tight but Polite
Agree. I've been largely avoiding the "everything would be fine if labour would just go along with my personal position" hot-takes after the election, but a couple of lessons that I do think need learning are that however much people say they want politicians who aren't about image, what they actually want is politicians who have an image of not being about image, and also that if you've spent the whole parliament failing to play the image game then no amount of door-knocking and grassroots activism in the run up to the election is going to reverse that.
 

sufi

lala
despite going on about it in the op, i'm less interested in the party politics than the wider social issue of bubbles and divides - the election was a shocker and felt revealing of how closed off and isolating things have become (& i barely give a shit about labour anyhow :( )

the bubbles seem crucial to brexit and probably loads of other contexts too, it's becoming a figure of speech
but how much is it a social construct? and how much a deliberate media strategy?

and, most importantly, what bubble bursting strategies can we come up with??
we need them to be effective in restoring our breadth of vision and understanding, while not allowing us to end up as centrists (ssssss) or worse still crossing over to the dark side

but then i will never read an article about tories unless its negative, so where to even start?
 

muser

Well-known member
I have had visions of dispelling misinformation
by going to the streets with posters and qr codes, people making murals to spread truth, putting information in a physical public space seems to be the only way for equal access.. everyone's got their own Facebook and their own Google, during the election all the social media activity I saw (and contributed) felt completely useless.
 

Dusty

Tone deaf
When it comes to bubble bursting, this is something I've consciously tackled over the past couple of years. (Not in the realm of politics, but instead pro/anti bitcoin camps - but now I'm thinking I need to branch out).

Actively follow people who are clearly smart but opposed to your world view - and not just one or two. If you aren't using Twitter then the act of following is much harder, as it would require constant proactive activity on your part. At least with Twitter, once the following is done and dusted, you can passively sit back and be fed a stream of alternative viewpoints, keeping you grounded and reminding you of what everyone else is thinking. Who knows, they might even win you over (in politics that seems less likely than cryptocurrency).

For me, its proved to be enlightening, and definitely kept me better informed (and made/saved me a lot of money), even if at times it can be frustrating/enraging to read.

Perhaps that's the answer: We need a carefully curated, balanced feed from all political camps that we can encourage people to sign up for. I mean really, that should have been the point of the BBC right?

It bursts the bubble, but would it just be incoherent shouting that becomes too tiresome to process? Are we meant to exist in tribal bubbles, maybe our tiny brains aren't made to constantly consider all viewpoints.

*edit*
Going off-piste slightly, but one thing I learnt from this election is how dumb smart people can be. I work with developers earning over £80k. One morning one of them gave the rest of the office a long painful story of his terrible experience in the NHS that weekend with his son. Ignored, lied to, mis-diagnosed, mis-treated by nurses who didn't seem to give a shit. Terrible, a perfect case study of the NHS at breaking point. 10 minutes later, he shares a news article with everyone concerning Corbyns plans to bring in a higher tax rate for high earners. He was disgusted that they might dare to take a few hundred quid off him a year. I replied straight away; if only there was a way we could fund our failing NHS system... and he still didn't join the dots. He voted Tory.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
despite going on about it in the op, i'm less interested in the party politics than the wider social issue of bubbles and divides - the election was a shocker and felt revealing of how closed off and isolating things have become (& i barely give a shit about labour anyhow :( )

This is kind of how I feel - I do give a shit about Labour, but it's not the party itself but the ideas it represents that is important to me. Party politics are dire, the technicalisation of existential debates. I've been rewatching The Thick of It all week to cheer myself up, and I'd rather sit and debate in a dream yurt than endure the crushing banality of grassroots party politics outside elections (rather than grassroots issue politics, which I think is great).
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
*edit*
Going off-piste slightly, but one thing I learnt from this election is how dumb smart people can be. I work with developers earning over £80k. One morning one of them gave the rest of the office a long painful story of his terrible experience in the NHS that weekend with his son. Ignored, lied to, mis-diagnosed, mis-treated by nurses who didn't seem to give a shit. Terrible, a perfect case study of the NHS at breaking point. 10 minutes later, he shares a news article with everyone concerning Corbyns plans to bring in a higher tax rate for high earners. He was disgusted that they might dare to take a few hundred quid off him a year. I replied straight away; if only there was a way we could fund our failing NHS system... and he still didn't join the dots. He voted Tory.

So that guy earns over £80K and doesn't have private health insurance for his son. That genuinely interests me. Who are the people who have private health insurance in that case, cos there are apparently 4 million of them? Are they all over 60?
 

Dusty

Tone deaf
We have private healthcare for the individual, but not for family members. I suspect that is quite common for many businesses and would explain the large number of users. But yes, he hasn’t extended it himself to his family.

Also, even with private healthcare, your initial touch point in an emergency will still be the NHS. Private healthcare is really for ongoing treatment and operations.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Makes sense, I'm getting confused with the more US-type system. Haven't been in contact with private healthcare at all in the UK, i don't think, an area of mystery
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Makes sense, I'm getting confused with the more US-type system. Haven't been in contact with private healthcare at all in the UK, i don't think, an area of mystery

In the medium term, what's most likely is you guys will end up with something like our poxy system. Increased fees for all public services. Overcrowding in hospitals, increased drug costs and ever extending waiting lists for procedures. Still a decent system once you get in but more expensive and difficult to access. This will be accompanied by a rise in private healthcare provision and facilities and the creation of a two tier system where those that can pay get to skip the queue - often to see the same doctors in the same hospitals. Next step is risk equalisation where the state essentially forces you to take out private insurance at an earlier age or face penalisation later.

Thats all assuming they don't just gut the NHS in one fell swoop using hard Brexit and the US trade deal as cover. Not implausible considering that once Scotland goes there'll be no way to oust them with the electoral system. The question then is just how brutal and repressive they will get in response to the inevitable mass protests.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
As obvious as it is to say it, the press is scary in this country - I'm not sure how much sway they still hold in the era of the internet (which is an even worse source of misinformation), but the frothing hysteria of the tabloids and right wing broadsheets in the run-up to this election was alarming to behold. What made it particularly transparent this time around was that they had to prop up the obviously awful Johnson despite his transparent awfulness. Corbyn certainly has big faults but a big proportion of the electorate ended up thinking he was a terrorist.

The London vs the rest of the country thing - that film Bait gave me an insight (or so I believe) into how distant even London must seek from areas like Cornwall, let alone Brussels. And again, when you're outside of these urban areas your picture of them has to come from the media. I always think it's curious that people who live in rural areas relatively untouched by immigration are so anti immigration but perhaps that's because they are generally only imagining what it's like in places like London. (Which isn't to say of course that people - particularly working class - in London don't resent immigration.)

The Tories have got it easy, really, because they can play to people's worst instincts (with the press to back them up). That's why I think Labour almost have no choice but to at least APPEAR more "centrist". I don't think most people are cunts, which is what many lefties (including myself) were expressing online after the election, but many people are scared, depressed, overwhelmed. Which can bring out good things in people but can also be easily exploited by the morally vacant.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
The London vs the rest of the country thing - that film Bait gave me an insight (or so I believe) into how distant even London must seek from areas like Cornwall, let alone Brussels. And again, when you're outside of these urban areas your picture of them has to come from the media. I always think it's curious that people who live in rural areas relatively untouched by immigration are so anti immigration but perhaps that's because they are generally only imagining what it's like in places like London.

Bear in mind that people move around, and it's not uncommon for people who've lived in cities to move to small towns and villages, especially as retirees. "White flight", and all that.

(Which isn't to say of course that people - particularly working class - in London don't resent immigration.)

Indeed, and people who are themselves immigrants (or the kids of immigrants) can be opposed to further immigration.
 
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