The Center Blows Itself Up: Care and Spite in the ‘Brexit Election’

john eden

male pale and stale
So that's quite depressing, obviously.

Where this leaves us is that people need to believe that change is possible. I think the only way to do that is to start on a small scale and build up from there. In communities and workplaces. Small victories that mean things to people.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I started reading the article but I have insomnia atm so have low tolerance for the score settling over everything else which to me takes up half the article (Corbyn being unfairly maligned, oh give me a fucking break, the anti-semitism stuff oh again GMAFB). I can accept that the "centre" as such isn't attractive and doesn't embody the zeitgeist right now, if it ever did, but this discussion only takes up two paragraphs at the end of article. Might try and discuss these points a bit when I'ml ess tired and tectchy.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Even the analogy about assessments says that some of them are changed. I just don't think you can wave (or waive if you prefer) away massive documented systematic grand-scale cheating in several different ways that MAY have altered the course of tens of millions of lives for a generation cos of your gut feeling. Especially when you build in the future implications of allowing "a bit" of cheating in democracy for now on as long as it doesn't cross the Eden-feels-in-his-water-It's-important-threshold (which will be defined at the required time).
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Where this leaves us is that people need to believe that change is possible. I think the only way to do that is to start on a small scale and build up from there. In communities and workplaces. Small victories that mean things to people.
But change becomes less possible the more we accept that rules don't apply to those pushing the status quo (and worse).
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
The people I'm talking about hated school and left as soon as they were able to.
Where does this argument end, though? Some people in North Wales hated school, so by the same principle it "wouldn't matter" if there was no free state education?

Some people never see a doctor, so it "wouldn't matter" if there was no NHS. Some people die at 50, so it "wouldn't matter" if there was no state pension. And so on and so on.
 
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john eden

male pale and stale
All I'm asking for is honesty from people, Rich.

I've been very open about the fact that my conclusions about Russia are based on sticking a thumb in the air and that they have been affected by my own political perspective.

This needs to be contrasted with the cast iron certainty from remainers who seem to know every detail of the Russian operation from start to finish and can pinpoint exactly what effect it had, which of course completely vindicates their view that the result should be overturned. And that leave voters are easily duped.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
Where does this argument end, though? Some people in North Wales hated school, so by the same principle it "wouldn't matter" if there was no free state education?

Some people never see a doctor, so it "wouldn't matter" if there was no NHS. Some people die at 50 so it "wouldn't matter" if there was no state pension. And so on and so on.
I've not said that it doesn't matter.

All these things - free education, solving the climate crisis, reducing health inequalities - they are all fundamental to living in a civilised society.

And I believe that is achievable.

The issue is how do we get there? Are we getting closer to this objective or are we getting further away?
 

john eden

male pale and stale
But change becomes less possible the more we accept that rules don't apply to those pushing the status quo (and worse).
Perhaps but I'd rather concern myself over things that I can actually do something about.

One thing missing from the Russia discourse is - what is our leverage here?

Impotently moaning about Russian interference on the internet has just made things worse.

The state will publish its report when it is convienient to it to do so. When it does, it might be a whitewash.

It is precisely because we lack power in our communities and workplaces that they get away with this kind of corruption.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Please Mr Fox, can you stop eating my chickens?
But you don't even seem to be particularly interested in the opposition - an entity which, unlike you or me as individuals, might be able to actually do something - holding the government to account.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
All I'm asking for is honesty from people, Rich.
I've been very open about the fact that my conclusions about Russia are based on sticking a thumb in the air and that they have been affected by my own political perspective.
This needs to be contrasted with the cast iron certainty from remainers who seem to know every detail of the Russian operation from start to finish and can pinpoint exactly what effect it had, which of course completely vindicates their view that the result should be overturned. And that leave voters are easily duped.
OK I take the point that you realise that what you are saying is a guess and influenced by your stance and that is a good thing to be aware of no doubt.
But you're completely misrepresenting what I'm saying. I'm not at all saying that I know what effect the cheating had, I'm more saying that we don't know the effect it had because there was a lack of willingness from the police and the government to investigate properly, and while there is any chance at all that it had an effect that's just not acceptable. With decision theory you calculate the value of a decision by multiplying the probability of an event and the weight of its effect, the effect of the referendum is so massive in the way it will change the lives of 60 million UK people as well as many in Europe and for a long time too, we only need there to be the tiniest possibility that cheating was part of this to make a proper investigation worthwhile. I think it's a kind of subconscious understanding of this which gives everyone such a feeling of injustice. If your business is being destroyed or you're losing your job or having to move countries or lose contact with relatives or friends or whatever it's simply not enough for people to say "It's probably what most people wanted". There were many reasons to question the result and plenty of mechanisms to check it (why not have another referendum now that people new more about what was going to happen?) but this was all ignored. It can't help but be divisive and no amount of "let's all come together" or "You look like a bad loser, stop moaning" or (the moronic as I hope I've explained) "It's a conspiracy theory" is gonna heal that.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
But you don't even seem to be particularly interested in the opposition - an entity which, unlike you or me as individuals, might be able to actually do something - holding the government to account.
Parliamentary politics just isn't my thing.

And right now, the question about leverage is what I wil keep coming back to. The Tories have a huge majority and a supine media.

What is the Labour Party going to do? Even with a new leader who might be more confrontational.

I guess you're a member so you can go to your CLP and persuade it to put a motion to conference demanding that whichever committee it is tables a motion that the party demands that Johson releases the report into Russian interference. Which he won't unless it suits him. Or whatever - you tell me how this is going to work?

Same question for Rich? What's the plan? You're clear about what you want, how are you going to get it?
 

john eden

male pale and stale
Some people. By your own admission. That's what I find very strange.
I think it's reasonable for us to expect each other to be honest.

It would be nice if politicians were honest. It would be nice if Mr Fox stopped eating my chickens.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
OK I hear you about leverage. And obviously I'm complaining after the fact. We have no leverage on almost everything. But I do think it's an important mindset for whatever we do to understand that we have been robbed and cheated on this particular issue and many others. I guess that's all I'm saying. Anger is an energy and all that.
At the moment I don't feel very connected to the UK, I've seen a lot of people saying that they won't be coming back and at the moment that's my thought although I am at least self-aware enough to recognise I'll probably change my mind tomorrow. Certainly when I am better at Portuguese (we are having lessons) I will seriously consider citizenship (or if Scotland leaves the UK I could apply there as my grandmother was from Orkney).
 

john eden

male pale and stale
OK I hear you about leverage. And obviously I'm complaining after the fact. We have no leverage on almost everything. But I do think it's an important mindset for whatever we do to understand that we have been robbed and cheated on this particular issue and many others. I guess that's all I'm saying. Anger is an energy and all that.
At the moment I don't feel very connected to the UK, I've seen a lot of people saying that they won't be coming back and at the moment that's my thought although I am at least self-aware enough to recognise I'll probably change my mind tomorrow. Certainly when I am better at Portuguese (we are having lessons) I will seriously consider citizenship (or if Scotland leaves the UK I could apply there as my grandmother was from Orkney).
OK. I do get that.

I am very apprehensive about that mindset. I think to achieve the large scale social change we both want, we are going to need to get quite a lot of people who voted Brexit on board.

I'm going to do that by ignoring Russia (and Brexit where possible) and focussing on the kind of stuff I mentioned upthread. (I appreciate that this is both irritating and problematic)

How are you going to get people who voted Brexit on board?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Well this is a tricky thing.
I suspect that Brexit is gonna be a fucking disaster. People will lose their jobs, services will get worse, medicines will not be available etc Some people will, I hope, realise at this point that they have been conned. You know I can see this kind of scenario where someone is saying let's do x and they're told they can't cos of Brexit and they're ok then how about y and the reply is yeah we used to do that... and eventually the penny will drop. Of course there are entrenched people who will neve ever be persuaded by this or by anything. But that's the case with any issue - ignoring Brexit there are True-Blue-Tories who will never be swayed. I mean we saw that in the election with those people saying "Public services have got worse and worse, this has been fucked and that and so on" "and who do you think will fix it?" "Definitely the Tories" - it just doesn't make sense. But the point is you can't win round the unchangeable so you have to concentrate on those that can.
But there is another issue here. I can't hope that Brexit is the failure that I predict. I (weirdly, for my sins) actually like Britain (and hate it too of course) and I don't want it to go backwards, I don't want my friends and relatives and so on to suffer, so I have to hope Brexit is not as bad as predicted. In which case maybe it didn't matter so much.... I just don't think that is going to happen.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
What is the Labour Party going to do?
Now? Fuck it all can do, as you've pointed out. Might've been an idea to try and do something before stupidly voting for an early election that it was guaranteed to lose badly.

Might've been an idea to oppose the whole stupid project five years ago, in fact.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Two narratives which are going to be important in this I think.
There is a statistic doing the rounds at the moment saying that Brexit has ALREADY cost more than the entire sum of money paid into the EU by the UK in its forty plus year membership. The standard Brexiter reply is to blame Remoaners for delaying Brexit and saying that the cost is down to uncertainty. Obviously this is bollocks cos the uncertainty was inherent in the Brexit vote, and the main delay was caused by the ERG voting down May's deal (which we basically ended up with anyway) and even after the end of Jan there will be more uncertainty and cost. And when it's done there will be even more cost. Of course like all the best lies there is a tiny grain of truth in it in that parliament did slightly delay and probably add a tiny bit of cost. But whatever, you're gonna read this a lot in the near future. As people predicted, it's the argument that Brexit would have been a success except for Remainers... hopefully no-one is dumb enough to credit that....
The other thing is when people start noticing what they've lost cos of Brexit. Like that guy having to join a non-EU queue and blaming it on vindictive Europeans - we're gonna hear a lot of how the EU are attacking us and being nasty to punish us. Again there is a grain of truth. But basically people are gonna moan about not being allowed to do what EU members can do and blame the EU for it despite it being LITERALLY exactly what they voted for.
 
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