Posts by BenWilson

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…, in reply to Sam Bradford,

    you don’t win elections by immediately kneecapping your leader

    You might if you thought they were leading you to disaster. But I'm not defending the party dysfunction. It's totally divided. I think that's because what it represents is, too. Its fragmentation is an image of the society under it. It's astonishing that nearly 50% of the people who voted voted to Remain, but neither of the two parties that have almost all the power stands for them. It's the most important decision their country has faced in 70 years, and their political system is unable to present its population with a choice. Seriously, this election ratifies Brexit, that is exactly what it stands for, exactly what May says it stands for. Who on earth are all the Remain people meant to vote for?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10324 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…, in reply to Sam Bradford,

    At that point they’re not even pretending to represent the party anymore. The party IS the members.

    It is, but winning members is a sideshow to winning voters in the whole point of the democratic process, selecting the leadership of the country. You could equally say that the members aren't even pretending to represent a significant constituency. They don't have to, they're not the ones who end up being held accountable for losing elections.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10324 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…, in reply to Moz,

    The evidence so far suggests that not only do they have no real ideas, their opponents in the party don't either. My feeling is that the entire reason Corbyn was elected was that no-one had a better idea. Which tells you an awful lot about the calibre of his opponents in the Labour leadership elections.

    I think the problem is that the electorate is not so interested in the Left-Right dichotomy as espoused by the current Labour Party leadership, and making the party all about that plays only into the hands of the Right. Perhaps what's going on had to happen, if only to show that times have changed and a Left/Right that is defined around what theorists think about it, rather than around what the population thinks about it, is becoming less relevant to political choice of the population.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10324 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    without giving any examples

    You need one? Donald Trump. or Vladimir Putin, admittedly accompanied by ballot rigging.

    There have occasionally been good presidents too, you know, and no shortage of party appointed fuxors. I can't say I'm totally convinced the system of directly electing presidents is broken. It is a check/balance on the power of the legislature.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10324 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, 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 • 10324 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, 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 • 10324 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, 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 • 10324 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, 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 • 10324 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Local journeys on the cusp of…, in reply to Gerrit,

    How many knew that?

    I did, after I read the road code for cyclists, about 10 years ago. It's a good idea to read it, and hook turns are a very handy solution to some intersections. Crossing to the right lane in the middle of traffic is often difficult/dangerous. Also, it can be a good way to turn right at a no-right turn without breaking the law, holding up traffic, or putting yourself at risk.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10324 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Local journeys on the cusp of…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah, walking my bike across a motorway off-ramp... that's something I'll be doing in a hurry to show what a top law abiding bloke I am. When hell freezes over! I'm scared to walk them as a pedestrian.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10324 posts Report Reply

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