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Speaker: The Brexlection

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    For all the Fascism of the Daily Mail, the pro-Europe Chardonay socialists of the remainer chattering middle classes

    ...are just nihilists! I mean say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, dude. At least it's an ethos...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    “The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy.”

    That would require the politicians to give a shit about the welfare of voters, especially those at the bottom of the societal heap.

    And the voting population to be informed, and with the ability to look past their own pocket.

    And both appear to be non existent in 2017

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1658 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    As a worker with late-diagnosed autism in a sector that's going a bit "rust-belt", I'm well-informed enough to find myself closest to the Sanders/Corbyn camp.

    While Andrew Little has been making the right noises about the Future of Work and retraining displaced and obsolete workers, I really hope he can actually stay true to his platform instead of selling out and going "Tory-lite". And from what's been happening overseas, it's a formula that's run into diminishing returns.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5328 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I mean say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, dude. At least it’s an ethos…

    Well, at least it is an alternative from more of the same crushing austerity and concentration of wealth in the hands of the 0.1% – which is all “new” Labour, the Conservatives, the French socialists/Gaullists and Hillary Clinton deign to offer the voters.

    Just checking but would these Blairites be the ones that won 3 consecutive general elections as opposed to the Militant/Momentum types who have won… ummm… nothing. At all. Anywhere. Ever.

    The Blairist political formula was pretty simple. Triangulate to the “centre”, court the business elites by adopting neoliberal managerialism as your main economic plank, use a socially liberal agenda to get the chattering classes onboard and as a fig leaf of progressivism and cynically abandon the working class as having no where else to go. No such political alliance has won an election since the GFC (with the possible exception of Canada, where liberal pin-up boy Justin Trudeau is currently introducing Canadians to the hollow vessel that is personality driven Blairism). The alliance has long been demolished, with UKIP providing “somewhere else” and the radical centre becoming the chosen ground for little more than a dwinding band of middle class denialists. The behaviour of the UK PLP nicely shows the decadence of late Blairism, which is nowadays just a liberal culture of narcissism propped up by an onging delusional belief in the failed technocratic techniques of deception, outright falsehood and orthodoxy.

    it seems to me the chief characteristic of the British state at the moment is one of fin de siècle decadence, in it’s machinery, excessive secrecy and surveillance and in it’s dessicated culture. The UK Labour party, discarded as an unnecessary management layer now the elites have returned to golden age capitalism under the Torys, was in steady decline before Corbyn. At least Corbyn offers a break from the past and, more importantly perhaps, just enough reform for UK Labour to survive and credibly rebuild in the post neo-liberal era with policies that actually appeal to the average Joe.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Well, at least it is an alternative from more of the same crushing austerity and concentration of wealth in the hands of the 0.1% – which is all “new” Labour, the Conservatives, the French socialists/Gaullists and Hillary Clinton deign to offer the voters.

    OK, I think I missed a beat. You're not defending National Socialism, right? You're defending Brexit or the Daily Mail, or UKIP, or Corbyn, or something? I have a clearer picture of who you hate than what you actually want.

    Are we seeing the revitalization of the UK Labour Party or its demolition? I don't know. It looks like a demolition. Maybe you're right and the purge will take it back to its roots and a groundswell of workers will raise it to its former position as the driver of progressive change in Britain. Or maybe you're wrong and its time has passed as that, and this course is its death throes. That's what it looks like.

    Certainly you're right that Britain's political class has failed it. No one is disputing that neoliberalism has the upper hand there, any more than they do anywhere else in the world. Even right wing people acknowledge it now. This analysis is true, and not new. What I see a shortage of is solutions. Your belief that Corbyn will save them is being tested.

    My pick is that it will be found wanting. For all the same reasons that it faded out in the first place. It's time to try something new. Could it NOT be bigotry and its guardian angel, Fascism, for a change? Could not social liberalism be at least the one fucking good thing we got out of the 20th century, and something different be tried?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • tony j ricketts, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    The Guardianista remainers come across as a bunch of self pitying whiners who still refuse to accept the outcome of the referendum, whilst using every weapon of intellectual snobbery at their disposal to paint Brexit supports as nostalgic little Englander morons.

    sad but true – remember that The Guardian was a Liberal paper until well into the 60s – and remember too the way they distorted and dissembled about Corbyn from the day he was nominated. It’s the paper that dobbed in a Civil Servant whistle-blower in the 80s, rather than risk prosecution of the editor.

    wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

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    While I don't overlook their mistakes, I respect what Tony Blair and Gordon Brown achieved and make time for what they have to say. I doubt Corbyn can attract enough swing and 'centrist' support to be a threat to the Conservatives, but he's Labour's leader fair and square.

    Don't underestimate the extent to which support for Brexit is a proxy for attitudes toward immigration. The 2013 British Attitudes Survey found that 77% of Britons favour reducing immigration and 56% favour reducing it 'a lot'.

    The Liberal Democrats fell into the junior coalition partner trap in the 2010 term and it will be interesting to see how they perform in the upcoming campaign.

    Since Nov 2006 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    It is going to be an insane election, is basically my view so far. The polling is so badly against Labour in England and Wales that, if applied on a seat by seat basis, results could be as back to the 1930s, let alone the days of Foot. Now it is almost certain that the results won't be evenly applied as Labour is extremely well embedded in many of those seats, with useful local organisations and the like. However it does give the Conservative Party a vast menu of targets with which to play around with and that must extremely exciting yet challenging.

    Personally I think the PM has been very smart, from a party perspective. She's called it early enough that the Lib Dem resurgence probably won't be good enough on the ground, to regain some of the seats lost. She'll be able to squeeze a lot of Labour marginals everywhere, but especially in the latter's heartlands. She'll take a lot of the right leaning Kipper vote and activists. It's basically all win for her. What she does with that however is anyone's guess. All we know for a fact is that it won't help her a jot in negotiating with the EU27

    The Lib Dems are in an awkward place really. They've got a couple of very weakly held seats they need to defend and a long list of very good targets (that they've held till 2015) and other targets which they could, if things go well, take. Which could mean that they'll fail on all fronts as they try to attack on all fronts. What we do know is that they'll have the money to campaign - they raised somewhere between £1.5-£2m since the election was called and today they estimate they'll have reached 100,000 members, which is back to the level they were in the early 1990s. So that's big. It's just whether or not they can do enough with those people and get them out working the campaign.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1011 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Now speaking as someone who spent Saturday canvassing in the very safe Labour seat of Vauxhall for the LDs, it is winnable. But that doesn’t mean to say it is going to be won, as the snap election means that there hasn’t been time to plan a campaign. All I can really say right now is that the local MP, Kate Hoey, is very vulnerable due to her being the Labour face of Leave and a close associate of Farage after the Ref, which plays incredibly badly across the constituency, which was if not the most Remain voting area then in the top 3 across the whole UK.

    Too early to tell what will happen there, but it was quite something meeting angry Labour members who were planning to defect to us. Corbyn/Hoey is a particularly awkward squeeze in a place like Vauxhall. What makes it even worse is that a lot of Corbyn’s strongest supporters were also strong Remainers and they can’t bring themselves to support Hoey either.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1011 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Scotland is going to be very interesting as well, if just for different reasons.

    The SNP is polling well still, as it has for a few years at this point, so it is certainly possible that they take the last 3 seats held by other parties. It is also possible that the three parties actually take seats from the SNP. Some of the former Liberal Democrat seats are, comparatively, lightly held by the SNP and thus at least theoretically vulnerable. The Conservatives are also in with a shout for one or two other seats, then if their Scottish polling actually translated into seats, up to 5.
    Labour still hasn't recovered from their long decline, even while the Scottish leader, Dugdale grows into the role.

    So I think a bad night for the SNP sees them about 50-52. A good night sees them with all 59

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1011 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Ben Austin,

    The remainers need to get over themselves and take a course in democracy 101. Their plan appears to be to punish Labour because Cameron called a vote that UKIP lied to win. The SDP/Liberal Democrats as always are showing what complete political morons the middle class are when they are confronted with complex decisions.

    I have no time for the meally mouthed Liberal Democrats and their decades of bullshit, culminating with a Tory sellout.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ben Austin,

    Pure flight of fancy I know (in that it would raise some fundamental existential questions), but it’d be interesting if the SNP started fielding candidates south of the border.

    “Brassed off with Brexit?
    Hate the smug Tory bastards, but can’t bring yourself to vote for the alternatives?
    Why not join Scotland, for a stronger opposition, and a stronger democracy!”

    I suspect they could probably do quite well out of the London protest vote.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1751 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    With respect, I think you're guilty of the same problems you've identified with the left. Coming out with "get over themselves" and "take a course in democracy 101" is exactly the same kind of sneering that you're accusing the Remain groups.

    Now having lived through the referendum campaign I really don't feel like taking lectures from people who haven't. It was the most divisive campaign I've ever experienced (not that I'm particularly old or experienced) and it's left fissures in English society (let alone the wider UK) that will not easily go away. I literally had friends assaulted by Leave voters, whilst campaigning in the most Remain parts of London. That's not the kind of thing that one gets over very quickly. It poisons everything.

    In many ways, the EU Ref was for England and Wales like the Scottish Indy Ref was for Scotland. I can't think of a recent New Zealand example, even though we are much more well versed with referendum campaigns than most.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1011 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to linger,

    There has been idle chatter here and there of doing that, but think the closest they ever came was in the North East. But that was incredibly unlikely to happen for all sorts of reasons. That being said, the North East is basically more closely linked to Edinburgh than to the SE of England

    There really isn't any point them doing anything as the FPTP system would consign it to stunt politics. Perhaps at best they could run in London in the next Assembly, in 2020, as there is a List component, which they could make a tilt at.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1011 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ben Austin,

    I can’t think of a recent New Zealand example

    So, Springbok-tour-level divisiveness.
    Yeah … not with referenda at least.
    It’s not that NZ hasn’t had referenda hijacked and wildly misrepresented in the media by promoters of extreme ideological positions (e.g. the so-called “anti-smacking” referendum). We just haven’t yet subjected ourselves to a referendum defining the future direction and definition of the nation (the flag ones don’t count, as most voters could tell the difference between an arbitrary symbol and a country, and weren’t all that fussed about the former; and the MMP one was too abstract to engage most people on any highly emotional level).

    Actually, in both of those cases there was some element of "the people" recognising and opposing the government's self-interest (Key seeking a legacy; major parties wanting to hold on to power).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1751 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    The media culture of the country also makes a huge difference too, comparing NZ to the UK. Whilst Tom may rail against the Guardian's Comment Is Free pieces and the like post referendum as being evidence of anti democraticsour grapes, he should also draw his attention to the pieces being put on the front page of newspapers like the Mail, Express or the like. Remainers have literally been called Saboteurs within the last week on the Mail's front page. It should go without saying that the Mail/Express/Telegraph sell a hell of a lot more newspapers than the Guardian.

    It's almost made me pine for the gentle moderation of Mike Hosking

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1011 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to linger,

    The smacking one would be closest in my experience yes, although for different reasons and no one is going to call someone a traitor to NZ for being pro or anti smacking.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1011 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to linger,

    Why not join Scotland, for a stronger opposition, and a stronger democracy!

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4524 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Whilst Tom may rail against the Guardian’s Comment Is Free pieces and the like post referendum as being evidence of anti democratic sour grapes…

    Since the evisceration of Corbyn by the establishment media, I have come to think the polarisation of the British press is more apparent than real. Acceptable politics range all the way from A to B. A good illustration of how right wing the liberal media is in the UK is provided by the near sobbing relief (The Guardian editorial calls it a “victory for hope”) with which it has greeted the probable victory of Emmanuel Macron for the French presidency, almost entirely because he is pro-EU – which is a neat illustration of how prominent the issue of Europe is in a divided UK and how the EU (and with it an implicit support for the corporate globalisation agenda) become an uncritical corner stone of liberal belief in the UK. For any “leftist” celebrating Macron it is worth remembering he is a "radical centrist' - he has neoliberal economic policies, supports “intervening” in Syria, wants to increase military spending, supports the current neoliberal and austerity driven EU, and has fudged on immigration. Emmanuel Macron’s election simply postpones the inevitability of the ascendance of the populist right in France, because he offers no solutions beyond feeble tinkering with the status quo, yet across Europe the elites have hailed his election as a signal for business as usual. We shall see, I guess.

    So yeah, the British media is completely driven by the establishment, even if they are two factions.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Since the evisceration of Corbyn by the establishment media…

    There might be other more significant reasons for him being unpopular -

    Thanks Hugo Chavez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared. He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world

    He and Mélenchon share a hostilty towards NATO and a great reluctance to criticise Putin. It could be Labour might do better with a leader with less authoritarian instincts.

    Since Nov 2016 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Emmanuel Macron’s election simply postpones the inevitability of the ascendance of the populist right in France, because he offers no solutions beyond feeble tinkering with the status quo, yet across Europe the elites have hailed his election as a signal for business as usual. We shall see, I guess.

    Yes, I'm still holding out hope that the rise of the populist right might actually be stemmed, contained, thwarted, slowed, mitigated, etc. Egging it on really doesn't strike me as the kind of thing anyone with an actual stake in the outcome could do. You could do it from abroad, or from the security of a pension and an impending deathbed, but when you're actually there, it's scary as fuck, especially if you don't happen to belong to the master race/class/sex. Anyone who isn't some kind of neofascist wannabe does cast a ray of hope to those who aren't treating it as a spectator sport that would be incomplete without a serious villain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to BenWilson,

    Anyone who isn’t some kind of neofascist wannabe does cast a ray of hope to those who aren’t treating it as a spectator sport that would be incomplete without a serious villain.

    It seems to be a growing trend. Hard to know how much influence it has but it played a part in the rise of Trump and the defeat of Lionel Jospin In 2002.

    The "Hillary is an evil warmonger wall street stooge but I don't suppprt Trump" and "Macron is a elitist blah blah bringing on the victory of the FN but I don't support Le Pen" is a peculiar form of kabuki that has real world consequences.

    I don't know if anyone else has noticed but in the US the alt world has Chelsea(!) Clinton in their sights.

    Since Nov 2016 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Neil,

    a peculiar form of kabuki that has real world consequences.

    Yup. I don't really have a dog in the Brexit fight and can't claim a strong opinion on it based on personal consequence for me, but it looks like a massive fail. The British are going to piss away something of great value in the fallacious belief that Europe was the cause of their problems. In ten years, when the dust settles, all of their problems will still be there. They aren't going to rebuild their lost industrial prowess, it's going to stagflate as it has done for 50 years because the fundamental drivers of that stagflation will be second stage to the long and tedious job of redefining their relationship with the whole world, in a humiliating round of finding themselves well down the line in most negotiations.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I'm not sure you can draw too much from UK media's interpretation of French politics, but I would say that everyone who isn't a member of UKIP has been worried about Le Pen for a long time, even though we in the UK pay less attention to French politics than we should. It's been clear for a long time that she would make the second round and so almost all reasonable, e.g. not Daily Mail or the Express, newsmedia has been desperately talking up anyone who looked like they could beat her.

    I'm also not a fan of inevitability. Far right authoritarianism is a real risk to many places, perhaps France in the near future but it doesn't have to happen. We don't have to accept that France needs its own Trump moment to somehow teach the populace as to why authoritarianism is shit.

    Going back to Macron, I can't say I've met anyone who is super enthused by him in London, but he has campaigned here (what with London being about 5% French he would right?) and he has made some effort to reach out to UK news and affairs. As has Le Pen. Fillon made a bit of an effort too, perhaps due to his domestic familiarity with the country.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1011 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

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    Seems those in actual economic distress aren't necessarily that hot on Le Pen the Younger, if this election issues chart is anything to go by.

    From my basic French knowledge, here are the issues from top to bottom:

    * Purchasing power
    * Immigration
    * Unemployment
    * Terrorism
    * Taxation
    * Social inequality
    * Insecurity (probably crime or culture rather than mental health, given Le Pen rated highest)
    * Retirement/pensions
    * Health system

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5328 posts Report Reply

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