Posts by Rich Lock

  • Speaker: The silent minority, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    the left get their zero-cost victories and the right get their depleted uranium.

    Yeah, it's a bit hard not to compare and contrast opposition to the Vietnam war with opposition to Gulf Wars I and II, the main difference being that there was a significant risk that nice white middle-class young men might get drafted and have to put their lives on the line.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The silent minority, in reply to BenWilson,

    By the spirit of igniting thought, I didn't mean killing it stone dead. Now I really wish I'd deleted that post.

    Well, I'm glad you didn't anyway.

    What you're saying broadly chimes with some vague thoughts I've been having. Firstly, and without wishing to minimise the considerable problems that still exist and need to be dealt with, there has been a lot of progress in the last few decades, but it's all been on a level of 'benefit to the individual'. So we have civil unions, workplace equality legistation, anti-discimination leigislation, and steps towards drug legalisation (mostly in the US, but still). And on the other hand, in terms of 'benefit to the collective', there has been considerable roll-back of hard-won rights: widespread privatisation, zero-hours contacts, sell-of of social housing, etc.

    Perhaps it's easier for people (young people) to get behind single-issue campaigns that directly affect them, and which have easier-to-grasp consequences, and where there is tangible measurable progress.

    The other thing which your 'old dog' analogy reminded me of was Russell Brand's political capering last year. Whatever you think of him (and the kindest thing I can find to say about him is that he is at best a court jester), he managed to land a few telling blows. He flat-footed Paxman merely by not playing the interview game by the established rules (given that Paxo is supposed to be the people's champion of 'holding truth to power', that was quite telling in itself). He also had a bit (I think in the same interview) where he was talking about the Commons/Lords in the UK - if you've been raised in the certain way as a member of a certain demographic, then when you walk into a place like that, you are 'home'. For anyone outside that demographic, it's either overwhelmingly foreign and intimidating (you don't belong here), or just...weird. Show the opening of the UK Parliament to a young Brit, and I expect the reaction would, 9 times out of 10, be bemusement. Who's that idiot in the stockings? Black Rod? Why's he knocking on the door with a golden club? These people govern us? I'm supposed to be engaged and invested in this? Yeah, nah. Then try explaining to them that while 'yo mama' jokes are unacceptable in the playground, Prime Minister's question time is a bastion of democracy.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle, in reply to linger,

    To me subtweeters just seems to fill a gap in the spectrum between subwoofers , woofers and tweeters … so, not following this at all.
    Is it something used for a dogwhistle?

    You tend to get a lot of screeching, howling feedback, and the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling.

    Does that help?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In defence of the centre, in reply to DeepRed,

    Which is why it often, and unfortunately, takes a Great Depression-grade crisis to push through meaningful change.

    Or a war...

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In defence of the centre, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    (I don't (quite) think the system was designed like this by some sort of shadowy billionaire illuminati cabal).

    As far as I can see the article doesn't specifically say that

    No, but it does say: "It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working."

    and: "The ruling class has figured out that a happy and productive population with free time on their hands is a mortal danger".

    and: "it is the peculiar genius of our society that its rulers have figured out a way ... to ensure that rage is directed precisely against those who actually do get to do meaningful work."

    Which is sailing pretty close to the line.

    I think it probably has more to do with having no motivation (and in fact more or less the exact opposite) to challenge natural human psychology and the existing status quo.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In defence of the centre, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I read somewhere that during the Depression in '29 the unemployment rate was only 25% of the workforce

    Thinking out loud, but the workforce in '29 would have (I assume) mostly been male (with certain industries such as the garment industry in New York/Chicago being exceptions), and family sizes would have been bigger - more children, and potentially more seniors for the family to look after, too (no pensions in those days).

    So 25% unemployment back then would have had a disproportionally greater knock-on effect.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle,

    So. if I understand all this correctly, the absolute only way to be sure of winning an election is to have policies that appeal to The Middle (whatever that ill-defined amorphous all-things-to-all-people blob might be).

    In this scenario, our Labour Leader and his/her shadow cabinet will hide inside a giant horse formed from pure centrist populism and trick the citizens into rolling them through the gates of parliament, only to leap out in the night, open the floodgates, and put all to the sword of their wide-ranging socialist and green agenda.

    It is absolutely unnecessary to have a charismatic leader, a brilliant and ruthless media strategist and a potentially divided and weakly-led opposition that's running out of steam. All completely optional.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In defence of the centre, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    So what do we do with all those unemployable people? this is worth thinking about and is the province of the Labour Party because...
    They shoot horses, don't they?

    This offers one theory. Strays a bit to far over the paranoia line, in my opinon (I don't (quite) think the system was designed like this by some sort of shadowy billionaire illuminati cabal).

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In defence of the centre, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    here's a timely Salon article .... basically our growing income disparity is a symptom of us not handling technological change well - yes the robots are coming to take away our jobs, and if we can figure out how to spread the resulting wealth, rather than creating a 1% and an underclass they we're all going to be better off - don't we all want a 4 day week?

    There's been similar arguments floating around for a good few years now:

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In defence of the centre,

    Well, I've got skin in the game directly, since I'm in the UK, and was enthused enough about Corbyn/Watson (and disgusted enough by the alternatives) to pay my three quid and cast a vote. And it's the first time I've actually felt enthused about 'The Mainstream' for years.

    Anyone thinking this is an ultimately pointless silly season bullshit media confection like Milifandom (a highly embarrasing last-minute pre-election (barely) sideshow that was only given legs by a bored media) is, I think, dead wrong.

    I could easily be misreading the augeries, but this feels different. People who don't normally talk about politics are talking about this, they're going to see him speak in packed out venues (and he's constantly having to upsize to get more available seats).

    The difference is, I think, that what is offered is 'hope', as cheesy as that sounds. People know what he stands FOR, they know what they are voting FOR. For once, there's some fucking positivity, rather than a general discontent and endless voting against 'to keep them out'. No-one voted FOR labour in the last election, because what they offed was about as appealing as last night's overcooked sprouts. He's acted as a lightning rod for a lot of people who wanted something different, but were despairing of the options on offer.

    And, yes, there is an element of 'fuck you' to it as well (a minority element). The opportunity to stick a middle finger up at the Blairites and their toxic legacy is really quite irresistable.

    ETA: if nothing else, it's been wonderful entertainment watching the cosy Westminster/Islington columnist-and-MP-circle-jerk get their legs kicked out from under them.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2466 posts Report Reply

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