Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by His Divine Shadow »

"Better things are possible" was corbyns point IMO, and what a toxic message that was to try and give to the rabble, thought the pundit class.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Zaune »

In some ways they might have been right. This wouldn't hurt as much if I hadn't been given false hope.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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Zaune wrote: 2021-05-07 11:54am Good question. At least half of it is probably just my mental health going through a rougher than usual patch, which could be either, but as for the rest... Well, the party seems to have no coherent message anymore. Love him or hate him, but with Jeremy Corbyn we all knew exactly what he believed in and stood for. I can't say the same about Starmer: The only thing his administration are really attacking the Tories for is corruption, which is admittedly something I'd like to see much less of. But "we won't give expensive contracts to our old school chums, people our ministers are committing adultery with and prominent party donors" being the only thing they're claiming they'll do substantially differently to the Tories isn't exactly filling me with confidence.

And that was before Starmer decided to put Peter fucking Mandelson on the payroll as some sort of special policy advisor, which is not what you'd call an encouraging sign that they even plan to bother delivering on that promise.
The Tories bascially stole most of their ideas thanks to the pandemic. When Tories are talking about raising taxes on the rich, Labour don't really have anything to counter that.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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In other news, the Border Force nearly caused a riot in Glasgow by trying to deport several Muslims right in the middle of one of their more important religious holidays, resulting in a lengthy stand-off with about half the population of the housing estate until the police told them to let their detainees out of the van and go back to the office before the shit hit the fan.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by His Divine Shadow »

Fun look at various headlines and opinion pieces from when Keir Starmer was new and fresh. These people are just so upp their own assholes.

https://twitter.com/jrc1921/status/1393115890770751489
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Juubi Karakuchi »

If it's any consolation, Bojo might not be quite the genius politician he is made out to be.
If only Labour would start striking deals on seats, think what it could do

Polly Toynbee

If the party shows an open mind in the Chesham and Amersham byelection, it could help form a progressive alliance

Thu 13 May 2021 18.04 BST

Amid the post-election noise of Tory gloating and Labour skirmishing, the writ for another byelection dropped into news silence on Wednesday. Why should anyone care about Chesham and Amersham, a “safe” seat in the “blue wall”, vacant following the death of the well-liked Tory MP, Dame Cheryl Gillan. Move on, nothing to see here, she won 55.4% at the last general election.

Yet this could prove a far more important test of all the parties than it looks. For the Lib Dems, on just 26.3% here in 2019, it road-tests whether they retain their old ability to snatch astonishing byelection victories from Tory heartlands. For Labour, trailing here on 12.9% last time, it tests its common sense: is it willing to work with other parties against the common foe, and stand right back or not stand at all? For the Greens, on just 5.5% last time, this HS2 route feels fertile ground, but if they fight here they risk taking the blame. Can the other parties reach out to them? “They’d better come to us with a cast iron quid pro quo,” says the Green party spokesperson Molly Scott Cato.

Why would the Tories mind losing one from their 80-seat majority? It would deliver quite a body blow to a lot of MPs in similar seats, a warning that while Boris Johnson is off bribing Labour northern seats, his neglected back door is flapping open. Lib Dem polling and door-knocking in the seat suggests why the Tories deserve to lose: 55% here are remainers, many of them Tories who only stayed loyal for fear of Jeremy Corbyn. Brexit is still the great definer, and remainer Tories were alarmed by the hard Brexit deal.

Voters here know this byelection could force a U-turn on one key policy they hate, the new planning laws in the Queen’s speech. The district council failed to make a local plan, leaving the area extra vulnerable to a developers’ free-for-all in the green belt. Many Tory MPs in similar seats, including Theresa May, made powerful speeches against it in the Commons this week, with widespread condemnation from the likes of the CPRE, the countryside charity, and others warning of a “rural sprawl” and a “dark age of development”, with no affordable housing. HS2 still arouses fierce passions, the Lib Dem local candidate strongly opposed.

Out of 70 sample doors knocked by the Lib Dem head of campaigns, all but one voter claimed they’d never met a Tory canvasser: there are many such taken-for-granted Tory “safe” seats, as neglected as Labour’s proved to be. Many fear “levelling up” means pork-barrelling the north while ignoring southern discomforts. The Lib Dems won control of Amersham town council last week, with no Labour or Green councillors. To win here, they need a 14.6% swing. Remember they snatched Richmond Park from Zac Goldsmith in 2016, a tougher task with a 22% swing: Labour had a candidate but its activists turned out to canvass for the Lib Dems, a similar story in Brecon and Radnor in 2019.

This could mean far more than just another cheeky one-off Lib Dem ambush. How each progressive party approaches this will reveal what hope there is for a remedy to Britain’s broken politics, and that rests mainly on Labour. The party needs to ditch its damaging rule obliging it to stand in every Westminster seat: standing aside would sometimes be the better part of valour. It would show Labour in a good light, displaying cooperation and a lack of hubris, recognising it alone is not the sole vessel for progressive values. Labour’s nastiest aspects are its closed, cultish, faction-ridden tribalisms, unappealing to outsiders – and many insiders too. Just on one occasion Labour did break that stand-everywhere rule, when it put up no candidate in Tatton in 1997 against the cash-for-questions scoundrel, the Tory MP Neil Hamilton, to give white-suited Martin Bell, an independent, a free run. Labour should do that again here. The Batley and Spen byelection coinciding makes it easy for a Lib Dem quid pro quo, standing down in exchange.

Last week, a Tory was the sole rightwing candidate in 85% of council seats, where the progressive vote split two or three way, finds the Electoral Reform Society. But this is not just about weaselly how-to-win electoral mathematics, but understanding the stale old silos have to be broken open to blow in fresh ideas.

Labour has been the elephant lying across the tracks, preventing change, keeping politics fossilised into the two monoliths, a cabal to keep out newcomers. The Lib Dems, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cyrmu wrote to the Speaker of the House “to challenge the prime minister’s persistent failure to give accurate information to the House of Commons”, listing untruths Johnson refused to correct. Labour would not join them, saying haughtily it didn’t follow other parties’ initiatives. That’s what has to stop.

Instead, Labour must show an open mind in the face of the avalanche of motions being sent to its conference this year from local parties calling for adoption of proportional representation (PR). Labour For a New Democracy has organised a massive 214 so far, backed both by Momentum and by Blairites: Blair was for it, until barred by party dinosaurs. This new surge suggests a profound shift in thinking: all too often Labour people hate other left-of-centre parties almost as much as they hate the opposite factions within their own party – and more than the real enemy on the opposite benches.

From the top, messages have been mixed, with Keir Starmer indicating a tentative pro-PR openness. Some fear that backing it now looks like a losers’ charter, but not if Labour embraces it with genuine democratic intent – try some open primaries for all voters to help select candidates, for example. It’s time to strike deals on seats and to seal a bond to create a non-Tory coalition at the next election, pledged to voting reform. How parties behave in Chesham and Amersham matters.

Polly Toynbee is a Guardian columnist
Okay, it's a Polly Toynbee article, but hear me out.

This caught my attention, because it suggests that my own understanding may have been right after all. Britain is divided into an ever-growing number of ever-smaller political tendencies; some of the them mutually hostile, some of them overlapping in different contexts. Under the current system, the key to victory is to attract support from as many tendencies outside one's own party base as possible, while not losing the said base. This tricky, because the tendencies can be very different, even if they aren't mutually hostile. To please one risks alienating or outright enraging another.

In that respect, Bojo is no genius; he just copied Tony Blair's playbook. He has reached out to non-Tory regions, and is gambling that this won't cost him support elsewhere. If the Lib-Dems have it right - and knocking on doors and asking people is probably the least-ineffective way of knowing - then this gamble might not work a second time. Corbyn is gone, and Starmer just isn't sufficiently scary to serve as a replacement bogeyman; a bit like Joe Biden that way.

It's also worth noting the price the Labour Party paid for Blair's strategy. Yes it brought him victory, but it left the party in its current state; divided into mutually hostile left and centre-leaning factions - one hateful of Blair's memory and the other hopelessly captivated by it - haemorrhaging voters and probably better off splitting. The Tories are in much the same situation, except that Bojo seems to have outright purged the party of anyone who disagrees with him; and in the process alienated their voters.

His success thus far has masked that, but there is another factor to bear in mind. In Hartlepool, the Tories won with 15,529 votes, out of a turnout of 29,933; or 42.7% of those eligible to vote. So the outcome sounds like a major Tory victory, but it actually translates into a little over a fifth of Hartlepool's voters. This is the case in a lot of other places too from what I've seen; the Tories getting seats on very small vote shares amid low turnouts.

All in all ,the Tories may be a lot more vulnerable than they look.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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It's the "not losing said base" part that Labour dropped the ball on which cost them the last election since a significant number of former Labour strongholds defected to the Conservatives.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Zaune »

That would definitely be an idea worth looking into, but perhaps we should wait until Labour is able to form a semi-functional coalition with itself before we get more ambitious?
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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Best labour's done since 2001 was in 2017, so maybe go look at that for some tips. If one looks at popular support, labours best years after 2001 where 2017 and 2019.

But I dunno, maybe keep on trying to be forensic or whatever and literally answer this when someone asks what your party stands for, hard to get more centrist vote winning than this:
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Crazedwraith »

So it looks like the Martin Bashir thing is going to be the excuse to put the BBC even more under the government's thumb.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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A development.
Lib Dems’ byelection victory suggests trouble for Tories in ‘blue wall’
Analysis: planning policies, absence of Corbyn and focus on ‘levelling up’ could make it harder to hold on to heartlands


Heather Stewart Political editor
Fri 18 Jun 2021 12.15 BST

Goodbye red wall, hello blue wall. The Liberal Democrats have been arguing for some time now that the outcome of the next general election will be determined not just by what happens in former Labour-held seats in the north of England, but by whether the Conservatives can hold on to their own heartlands farther south.

Friday morning’s shock result in leafy Chesham and Amersham suggests that keeping Boris Johnson’s 2019 election-winning coalition together may be much more of a challenge than Conservative headquarters had thought.

According to a recent analysis by the thinktank UK in a Changing Europe, there are 23 seats – most of them in southern England – which the Lib Dems could take from the Tories on a 10% swing.

They include Dominic Raab’s Esher and Walton seat, Jeremy Hunt’s in South West Surrey and Stephen Hammond’s in Wimbledon.

The Chesham and Amersham result was a much larger 25-point swing. Of course, byelection results are rarely replicated in a general election, when challenger parties cannot pour all their resources into a single seat.

But the outcome appeared to be a clear signal of unease in the shires, and sparked alarm among MPs whose seats could be vulnerable.

There were early warning signs for the Conservatives in the recent local election results, with the Lib Dems making gains across the commuter belt, including in Buckinghamshire.

But on Friday, delighted Lib Dem activists said even they were surprised at the extent of disillusionment they had heard on the doorsteps.

Johnson’s Conservatives occupy a very different ideological position from their Cameroonian predecessors. They are less liberal on social issues, less cautious on the public finances – and less constrained by the traditional Tory values that saw Theresa May stick with the 0.7% foreign aid target Johnson has ditched (temporarily, he says).

The expulsion of a string of well-known liberal Tories – including Dominic Grieve, whose Beaconsfield constituency is next door to Amersham and Chesham – as Johnson bulldozed his way to Brexit underlined publicly just how much the party had changed.

At the 2019 general election, with Brexit still a live issue, and the Tories able to argue that a vote for the Lib Dems could “let Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street”, the Conservative vote held up relatively well in the south – with rare exceptions such as St Albans, which went yellow.

But while they have been focusing their political energy on the red wall – taking Hartlepool from Labour last month, for example – it appears the other end of the Tories’ electoral coalition is now fraying.

Johnson himself was quick to point to “particular circumstances” in Chesham and Amersham – a remark aides suggested referred to the bitter local antipathy to the HS2 rail project, which passes through the Chilterns.

But perhaps, too, the relentless focus on “levelling up” means relatively prosperous areas in the south, which the Tories have held for many years, now feel taken for granted.

The individual policy that best exemplifies the repositioning under way under Johnson is his radical planning reforms, aimed at taking on Nimbies, to boost housebuilding and win over a new generation of voters.

The plans, which would make it harder for local people to object to developments once a top-down zoning has taken place, have infuriated traditional Conservatives, including May.

An alliance of Conservative backbenchers, many but not all representing southern seats, now believe they can defeat the plans when the bill comes to parliament. No 10 is bullish – but planning looks set to become the next flashpoint in the battle for the soul of the Tory party.

For Ed Davey, who has struggled to put his party on the political map since winning the leadership, the timing of this result could not be better.

After a shattering couple of years, in which Jo Swinson went from posting leaflets through thousands of doors introducing herself as the next prime minister, to losing her own seat, the Lib Dems are back in the game.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... -blue-wall

To recap, I suggested a little while ago that Bojo and the Tories might have made the same mistake as Labour did under Tony Blair; alienating their traditional support base in an attempt to win more votes. This seems to be in the early stages of panning out.

In this case, more broadly, the Tories seem to be losing their moderate voters. Their power always lay in their ability and willingness to take their custom elsewhere - usually to the Lib-Dems - and the fact that the Tories could not achieve much without them. But Bojo purged the Remainers - and anyone who would not do his bidding - leaving this particular demographic with little voice in the party, and little reason to be loyal to it.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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Another development.
Labour’s Kim Leadbeater wins narrow victory in Batley and Spen byelection
Sister of murdered MP Jo Cox holds West Yorkshire seat for party, easing pressure on leader Keir Starmer

Fri 2 Jul 2021 07.41 BST

Labour has narrowly won the Batley and Spen byelection, holding on to the West Yorkshire seat after a hotly contested campaign.

Labour won 13,296 votes with the Conservatives recording 12,973, according to official results. Kim Leadbeater defeated Ryan Stephenson, the Tory candidate, by 323 votes. George Galloway, representing the Workers party of Britain, came third with 8,264 votes.

The result, which Labour had feared would not go its way, was declared at about 5.25am on Friday after two “bundle checks” – not a full recount, but where the piles of votes are flicked through for irregularities. The result eases the pressure on Labour’s leader, Keir Starmer, after a humiliating defeat in Hartlepool in May.

On Friday morning, Starmer said he welcomed the “fantastic result for the brilliant and brave” Leadbeater.

The tense campaign had been mired in accusations of dirty tricks and intimidatory tactics. It came five years after the MP Jo Cox, Leadbeater’s older sister, was murdered in the constituency by a far-right terrorist.

Leadbeater, 44, said she was “absolutely delighted that the people of Batley and Spen have rejected division and they’ve voted for hope”. In a short victory speech, she thanked her family and friends, saying “without them I could not have got through the last five years, never mind the last five weeks”.

She singled out the children of her sister, who was killed while doing the job she had just been elected to do. “I want to give a special shout out to my niece and nephew who I cannot wait to hug as soon as I see them,” she said.

She also thanked the police, whom she said “sadly I have needed more than ever” during the campaign, which she said had highlighted how much work there was to do in the constituency.

Speaking later on BBC Breakfast on Friday morning, Leadbeater acknowledged the bitterness of the campaign, during which she needed police protection at times.

“Sadly there has been some nastiness during this byelection, and there are some divisions that need to be healed, but I think if anyone can achieve that, I can,” she said.

Leadbeater said agreeing to stand in the seat once represented by her murdered sister had been an “emotional decision”.

But she said: “If I can be half the MP Jo was, I know I’ll do her proud, and I’ll do my family proud, and fingers crossed that I’ll do a fantastic job, because she did.”

Labour activists said they were pelted with eggs and kicked in the head on the campaign trail at the weekend. West Yorkshire police said an 18-year-old man from Batley was arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with an attack on canvassers.

Labour was defending a slender majority of 3,525 votes in a seat it has held since 1997. The byelection was called after the previous MP Tracy Brabin was elected as the first mayor of West Yorkshire.

Turnout was 47.61%, down from 66.5% at the 2019 general election, although byelections generally record fewer voters. In May’s byelection in Hartlepool, turnout was 42.55%.

The demographic picture in Batley and Spen is more diverse than in Hartlepool. About 20% of the population is of south Asian heritage. A poll released this month by the Labour Muslim Network said that while Muslim voters traditionally backed Labour, support for the party was waning, as were Starmer’s personal ratings.

Analysis from the Muslim Council of Britain estimated that about 8,600 voters in the seat would be Muslim.

Galloway’s campaign focused on winning the support of disillusioned Labour voters, promising that a vote for him would result in Starmer being ousted as leader.

A senior Labour source called it “a fantastic result”, adding: “Everyone’s been calling this a referendum on Keir’s leadership. Well we’ve won – bucked the trend, held on to this marginal seat and advanced in Tory areas.”

Brendan Cox, the widower of Jo Cox, tweeted: “We are all incredibly proud of #kimleadbeater today and Jo would have been too. While the result between the two main parties was close the extremists & haters were left trailing. The people of Batley & Spen have voted for decency and positivity once again.”

In a pointed statement released shortly after polls closed at 10pm on Thursday, Leadbeater said the “acts of intimidation and violence by some who have come with the sole aim of sowing division have been deeply upsetting to witness”.

There were 16 candidates on the ballot, including several far-right candidates.

George Galloway, who came third in the contest, said he would apply to have the result set aside by the courts.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... byelection

This is an embarrassment for the Tories, as the press was bigging up the prospect of a Tory win. But a majority of 323 isn't much to be proud of either. If Starmer is in trouble, then this probably won't have saved him.

The real winner here is probably George Galloway and his SWP; who got 21.9% of the vote, or 2/3 the number of votes as Labour and the Tories individually. Not a win, but proof that he can command a serious presence at least in some seats. He might conceivably have won if Kim Leadbeater - who seems to command a strong personal following - had not been standing. If he's managed to impress the Labour left sufficiently, then he could lure their votes away from Labour; or else they could use the threat of that as a bargaining chip within the party.

The Labour Party conference in September is going to be fraught.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Crazedwraith »

I imagine if it hadn't been the sister of Jo Cox standing it would have be a tory win.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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Crazedwraith wrote: 2021-07-02 05:39am I imagine if it hadn't been the sister of Jo Cox standing it would have be a tory win.
A distinct possibility. I suppose it's a question of how many Labour or SWP voters would have voted for one or the other candidate if one or the other wasn't standing, or wouldn't have bothered to vote at all.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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This feels like something of a pyrrhic victory to me. If we'd lost this one then there would have been an opportunity to replace Starmer with someone with a discernable personality and possibly some coherent policy objectives.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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Zaune wrote: 2021-07-02 06:21am This feels like something of a pyrrhic victory to me. If we'd lost this one then there would have been an opportunity to replace Starmer with someone with a discernable personality and possibly some coherent policy objectives.
I don't see this helping Starmer all that much. It was an extremely narrow win, with a strong local candidate boosted by a sympathy vote (all that violence) and voters likely put off the Tories by the Hancock affair. He can try and spin this as a vindication of his leadership, but I doubt it will convince anyone.

Labour's fundamental problem is that it is two or maybe even three parties trying to occupy the same space, and not getting on at all well. This has left the leadership so terrified of a split that it dares not take a firm position on anything; even if they end up losing votes regardless. Unless that issue gets resolved, a change of leader will achieve little.

The big test will come at the party conference in September. I suspect that the Labour left will hold up Galloway's relatively strong performance as proof that Labour voters want change, and that they are willing and able to take their custom elsewhere; much as moderate Tory voters generally do with the Lib-Dems. If Starmer doesn't make big changes over the next couple of months, he could still be challenged; and the conference would be the logical time and place to do it. And if these changes don't come - whether a new leader or new policies - then the drift may accelerate. There have already been reports of Labour members being suspended for campaigning for Galloway.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Crazedwraith »

I'm probably not following this closely as I should but as far as I can tell Tories are now saying 'staying safe is causing too much impact, everyone just ignore the pings and test instead' and labour is saying 'do that but faster!'

Shouldn't somebody be saying 'those safety precautions were there for a reason, stop fucking with them'
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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Crazedwraith wrote: 2021-07-30 10:05amShouldn't somebody be saying 'those safety precautions were there for a reason, stop fucking with them'
Probably, but after a year and a half of constantly changing, inconsistent rules that everyone with friends in high places could ignore with impunity I suspect most people just don't care anymore.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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Crazedwraith wrote: 2021-07-30 10:05amShouldn't somebody be saying 'those safety precautions were there for a reason, stop fucking with them'
No, they should be saying 'those safety precautions were there for a very good reason before mass vaccination, but now they're doing more harm than good'.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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What's the vaccination rate in the UK?

Because in the United States we're having a lot of problems with places that started removing safety precautions as soon as a vaccine existed, and were basically using "vaccine exists" as a pretext to pretend the whole pandemic never happened...

And now they're up to their eyeballs in Delta variant and their COVID-positive and death rates are climbing to match the peak values from before the vaccines.

The British would have to be doing very well on vaccination rates to avoid that.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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Simon_Jester wrote: 2021-08-03 03:53am What's the vaccination rate in the UK?

Because in the United States we're having a lot of problems with places that started removing safety precautions as soon as a vaccine existed, and were basically using "vaccine exists" as a pretext to pretend the whole pandemic never happened...

And now they're up to their eyeballs in Delta variant and their COVID-positive and death rates are climbing to match the peak values from before the vaccines.

The British would have to be doing very well on vaccination rates to avoid that.
We're looking at about 88% of adults with at least one dose of vaccine and about 67% with both so far. Maybe in another few weeks the single dose will reach the double dose level but realistically the overall number is not going to get above 90ish, some people will just not get it and some can't for various reasons. We're more or less as vaccinated as we're likely to get.

So far it looks like cases peaked about a week ago at about 48,000 a day and have been dropping off down to about 25,000 at the moment and falling. The death and hospitalization rates are lower than they were in previous waves (currently 20-30 deaths a day) as most of those getting infected now are vaccinated and thus generally having less severe symptoms. The vast majority of our cases (90%+) are Delta variant at the moment and have been for a few months.

As sort of mentioned above at present there is what has been dubbed the 'pingdemic' where as the number of cases are still relatively high and restrictions low a large number of people are being contacted isolate as they have been in close contact with someone infected (about 670,000 last week) which is having a know on effect on infustructure particularly food transport, empty shelves in supermarkets (although Britexit isn't helping there). At present some sectors have been allowed to be exempt from isolation if they test negative and the current plan is that in a few weeks isolation will be replaced with a test for all those vaccinated. There has also been some cases to the tracing / contact system to make it less sensitive.
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His Divine Shadow
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by His Divine Shadow »

If I was a tin foil kinda guy I'd start to think Starmer was a plant from the tories. Even fucking stanley jonhson backs the alpaca, starmer is such a fucking good example of just the kind of empty suit stereotype politician everyone loathes.

https://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/20 ... -slaughter

Somebody else said this, but, if anyone has seen the movie Posessor, where asassins upload their minds into innocent people to comitt crimes with their bodies, well Starmer is like that but they accidentially uploaded a screensaver.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Juubi Karakuchi »

This may be of interest

https://thecritic.co.uk/will-the-hard-l ... new-party/
Are the far-left about to split off?
A left-wing split could deprive the Labour Party of thousands of campaigners

ARTILLERY ROW
By
David Scullion
20 August, 2021

Two weeks ago we ran an article by an “Anonymous Mole” who, for the last few years, has been infiltrating far-left meetings online and listening in on thousands of hours worth of discussions between groups like Momentum, including speakers such as Jeremy Corbyn and Dianne Abbott. I decided to speak to the mole to find out more. This is part 2 of my interview — you can read part 1 here.

Since you started infiltrating the far-left, what has most surprised you about their discussions?

Probably the sheer conviction of the bubble views they hold, and their unwillingness to listen to others from outside of that. For them, what they believe is practically a fundamental constant of the universe, which brooks no dissent whatsoever. It’s the same with the “woke” movement, and of course there’s a considerable overlap of people there. Another thing would be the mental gymnastics that many of them, who are very clearly middle-class, are able to effortlessly perform to call themselves working-class.

Notably, the far-left never talks about the middle-classes. They wouldn’t want to be rumbled that easily. To judge by their Zoom calls, though, many of them seem to have some pretty nice houses.

Are they ever optimistic?

Often, yes, though less so since their election defeat. Most of their energy is channelled through the belief that a socialist society would eliminate most if not all of the social issues that they see facing the country. They seem to see it as a silver bullet. Consequently, this is their single driving ambition and they will sacrifice much at an individual level if they believe that would help make it happen. The calls in the run-up to the last election were particularly enthusiastic.

Do they ever argue?

Momentum’s events in particular were always quite polished, with little opportunity for that. Other groups can vary, though, and there can be opinions that are bubbling away underneath. It used to be the case that there was practically no originality of thought, although some of this began to change after the last election result and the rise of Forward Momentum.

Has there been a shift between pre-Corbyn and post-Corbyn?

Yes, definitely. There was a very considerable sense of a “burst bubble” after the 2019 election, followed by another upsurge when they believed Rebecca Long-Bailey might win the leadership. Since then, though, things have been remarkably subdued — although a lot of this will be down to coronavirus. Rest assured, though, that these people haven’t gone away and are still biding their time. They do still make frequent reference to the fact that “the left has never been more organised”, which they’re by no means wrong about.

This is one of the main reasons why I worry about Starmer. The man doesn’t seem to have any ideas, but the far-left still carry a lot of the membership (which can set policy at Conference) and it nowadays has a very thin majority on the NEC. That means there are plenty of things they could do to influence the party’s direction regardless of what the leader wants, and his policy void creates a vacuum that I worry these people and their ideology will inevitably fill.
All that’s really happened in that respect is that the party now has a far more electable leader.

How do they see Covid?

This goes back to their “oppression” narrative again, and the need for people to be protected from oppressors at all costs. Then again, there is a dual oppressor here, as the Government is also to blame in their mindset. It should be noted, though, that there’s no way any Tory Government would be able to get anything right on this, from their point of view. You don’t really see any anti-vaxxers among their ranks, for example. With the trade unions and the Zero Covid crowd in particular, though, there definitely seems to be a sense that vaccines alone will not be enough. They do always love to make use of a good crisis, and I think they’d be rather put out if it were to end all too soon.

How do they see Brexit?

Momentum in particular, and their members, view Brexit as the epitome of everything they despise. That’s not to say there aren’t some on the far-left who are part of the 5 million Labour Leavers (as I myself was at the time), but among the Momentum crowds, definitely not.

What do they think of Boris Johnson? Is he personally evil or is he just a puppet of the rich?

While they never shy away from the view that the Tories are “all in hock to their rich mates”, in principle it’s the politicians themselves they detest. I don’t think I’ve actually heard the word “evil” in relation to the Prime Minister, but certainly all the “-isms” come out, and they’re naturally inclined to hate anyone who’s a Tory anyway. It’s baked in — one cannot be a Tory and be a good person at the same time, because the Tories are seen as just another oppressor.

How do they try to get new recruits?

In any way they can — quite literally. This is why their organisation is so open — they are looking to get as many people as possible. One example of this would be the way they’ve been infiltrating the local Covid Mutual Aid groups. John McDonnell spoke very approvingly on one call of how they could be used to “educate” people on “what socialist practice is all about”.

It’s worth running through what this means. As The Express reported last summer, following a tip-off from me, the former Shadow Education Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey was filmed briefing trade union leaders to “politically educate” their members, particularly new ones. Far be it for me to personally claim a scalp, but she was sacked a week after my leak made it into the press.

It’s a theme that came about (again) mainly in the aftermath of their seating General Election defeat. Momentum decided they would take some time to “reflect” and work out why they lost — though they never really left their own echo chamber. Instead, they’ve been running “political education” classes frequently, in collaboration with Labour Left Alliance and The World Transformed, in which they just promote socialist propaganda.

It’s always typical of an extremist mindset that they consider their own ideology to be “education”. Orwell would have found himself very much at home with it. But when you look at the approaches they actually take to it, the underlying agenda becomes clear. BLM’s approach to “educating” people on race relations is a very good example.

“Education” is a word that these kinds of people (including the “woke” movement, which has a considerable overlap) have appropriated very effectively. Who would try to genuinely “educate” someone on something by telling them there’s no way they could possibly understand it? Or at least that the route to understanding could only ever come via themselves? That’s not education — it’s indoctrination.

It reminds me of the Biblical phrase: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. Well, perhaps you can get away with that kind of thing if you’re the Son of God. But far-left social revolutionaries can jog on.

What is going on with Starmer’s expulsions from the Labour Party at the moment?

The far-left is basically split over this. Some of them want to form a new party, while others are insisting that all of their focus should remain on the Labour Party.

This is because the approach they seem to take is rather similar to the way the IRA viewed Sinn Féin as, essentially, their “political wing”. These people see themselves as “the labour / trade unionist movement” (note the small L) — the true believers in and representatives of the working classes (which is laughable, to say the least). That means they find it outrageous for the Labour Party to be kicking them out, or moving any further to the right than it was under Corbyn’s leadership. Those people, if they’re still members at all, are loathe to leave the Labour Party, or indeed to stop believing that their “movement” can wrest back control of it.

But there are others who believe that this simply won’t work, so a new party would need to be formed. The latest iteration of that approach can be found in the way they’re now setting up “Shadow CLPs”, to mimic the functioning of existing Constituency Labour Parties even though they’re in no way officially affiliated with the party itself. One example of these is Newham Socialist Labour, which is an organisation of thousands of people consisting of the former members of the East and West Ham CLPs. They’re campaigning, leafleting and running food banks, according to one of their members.

The point is that, because of this massive split — and it’s roughly 50:50, as far as I can tell — no-one has yet quite managed to bring themselves to take the plunge and officially form a new, separate political party. But if one of them ever finally did — which I predict someone eventually will — and they did it convincingly enough, then I can foresee a mass exodus of currently despondent Labour members, who really only joined because of Corbyn. That party would then be pretty large with potentially tens of thousands of members. So, not only the major left-wing parties — which could see a significant vote share drawn away — but also the other extant smaller parties would do well to keep a close eye on them at the moment.
I'm not sure about this magazine's political standpoint, and I was irritated by the 'Woke' references, but it nevertheless makes some interesting points.

I've known, or at least believed, for a while now that the Labour Party was deeply split, between its Left and Centre-Left tendencies. What I did not know, and desperately wanted to know, was just how deep this split ran, and just what it involved. If this article is to be believed, then the Labour Party is split pretty much in half, and a formal split is a distinct possibility.

If so, I can't help but feel that it's for the best. The Left-wing faction - the Socialist Labour Party maybe? - could potentially do very well. There are a lot of inactive voters out there, some of whom may find an honest-to-goodness socialist party attractive; especially now that they don't have to worry about those inconvenient Blue Labour types. By the same token, the rump Labour Party might profit as well, by attracting Centre-Left or Centre voters who are okay with Starmer and those like him, but stayed away from Labour for fear of Corbynism.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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If the labour party has a bubble, is the one with Starmer and likely this dude belongs in that bubble. Should turn on his monitor. Sounds like the typical red scaremongering insanity that was normalized in 50s USA.

Always remember that the socalled extremist Corbyn has views analogous to a 1980s swedish social democrat. The extremism isn't from Corbyn....

But sure a splt is coming. It wasn't possible for it to be any other way after 2015 and the utter betrayal which happened then.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Zaune »

Juubi Karakuchi wrote: 2021-09-14 04:52pmIf so, I can't help but feel that it's for the best. The Left-wing faction - the Socialist Labour Party maybe? - could potentially do very well. There are a lot of inactive voters out there, some of whom may find an honest-to-goodness socialist party attractive; especially now that they don't have to worry about those inconvenient Blue Labour types. By the same token, the rump Labour Party might profit as well, by attracting Centre-Left or Centre voters who are okay with Starmer and those like him, but stayed away from Labour for fear of Corbynism.
Same. The Labour leadership have made it pretty clear that they only tolerate the left-wing of the party as long as we sit down, shut up and go along with whatever they decide to do, and are willing to screw themselves out of an election victory rather than compromise on that stance. What good does it do us to stay where we are so clearly not welcome?

But I think we should call it the Provisional Labour Party, because the reactions from the redtops would be good for a laugh.
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