What's wrong with the UK?
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frances



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:50 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote
You could look at the current situation and say it was a crisis of hegemony.

Under the two party system people had two offers - take it or leave it. They weren't involved in thinking - they just went tribal.

Since social media gave everyone the option of having opinions and liking or retweeting ideas - every one forms their own ideas. They may not be very original and may follow friends and icons but they come in all pick and mix varieties on all issues. Definitely the old tribal loyalties to the big two are gone.

I don't think politicians have any idea how to respond to this. Trump and Macron are personality cults that swept whole countries.

And I agree - Jeremy Corbyn is having problems maintaining  the sweet geography teacher look as he rides a wave of adulation. Keeping humble may defeat him. A real edge of ruthless ideology might show through.
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Trump is very divisive and more Americans are repulsed by him than are attracted to him which is why he lost the popular vote by about two million. Macron was swept to power but the relatively low turn out points to a large constituency who are at the very least unimpressed with him and his Presidential opponents of course. We had a upsurge in participation in the GE largely because young and long standing disengaged voters were motivated by Labour.

As we wonder whether this will last it is worth considering what separates these examples. In their own very different ways Trump and Corbyn are retreating to the past for certainties while Macron is the radical trying to overturn decades of political consensus in France which is why he might paradoxically face the most resistance. However, it is his plan which appears the most credible of the three as it factors in the limits of the State, the global economy and indeed tribal loyalty.

As Corbyn prepares for a tour of marginal seats in expectation of a imminent GE Labour insiders are hoping that they could win a 10 or 20 seat majority. Ironically this would leave them almost as weak as May had been before June 8th other than Corbyn would have be an elected rather than anointed PM. Getting through any kind of Brexit would be no more guaranteed than it was in the last Parliament and expensive projects would too be difficult. PM Corbyn would face a lot of the problems which have waylaid May. Polly Toynbee sets out how Brexit could affect proceedings:

Quote:
Yesterday a new all-party group on EU relations sprang into life, led by Anna Soubry for the Tories and Chuka Umunna for Labour, putting up an umbrella under which a host of disparate anti-Brexit grouplets can cluster. New Tory faces are coming out of the woodwork to oppose aspects of Brexit, the nervous sending private signals. One leading Tory anti-Brexiteer said the nature of this all-party group was encouraging more colleagues to come forward, as Umunna was plainly independent of Corbyn.

But this creates problems for Labour MPs, virtually all anti-Brexiteers, willing to move heaven and earth to stop a hard Brexit harming their constituents, but with no appetite for joining anything that looks like an anti-Corbyn cabal. Labour’s rising star Angela Rayner has emerged as the peacemaker calling for an “end to fighting each other”, a reproof to hot-tempered old factionalists calling for beheadings. But Labour is still waiting for Corbyn to come round. His MPs listen hard, but yet again their leader, speaking to thousands at the Durham miners gala, said not a word about Brexit, no warning about its threat to livelihoods and living standards. What an opportunity missed.

Labour MPs expect him soon to join the soft Brexiteers and change policy on the single market and the customs union, whatever his own views. Why? Because his route to No 10 will come by joining Brexit rebellions that split the Tories. These bills will unravel time and again. Neither Commons nor Lords will allow some 1,000 statutory instruments to be nodded through using “Henry VIII powers”, without proper scrutiny – or allow ministers to implement the final deal without a vote.

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frances



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Rick Burgess is a very well known - almost a lead disability campaigner. This is the sort of thing that will turn people off Labour.

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/07/11/...nicol-to-judge-ordered-mediation/

Polly Toynbee is such a convinced Remainer that I wouldn't trust her judgement. She left Labour once before.

No coalition of soft Brexiteers will be any more solid than the other coalitions in this fractured situation.

Don't forget that the SNP could be as appalling as the DUP to rely on.

You might think that Macron has good policies. Most women I speak to think he is a Romantic Hero who fought for and married an older woman. She also happens to be a drama teacher and had him parading through Versailles like an Emperor.

She is never more than an inch away and supposed to be the only one he confides in. Realpolitik might burst this bubble.
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Toynbee's past involvement with the SDP and support for Remain are beside the point I making. She has contacts within the Labour Party and her comments above support my view that Brexit will divide Labour as much as it has the Tories.

As for Macron I have never claimed he has the answers. That remains to be seen. But at least he understands the questions.
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frances



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have just spent the evening at the AGM of the local Labour Party Branch here.

Outright war between the establishment clique and Momentum.

I haven't seen anything like it since Militant.

If the warfare has got to this sleepy backwater it must be everywhere.
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It will only get worse. I wonder what the genuine Labour moderates (i.e. not in the pejorative sense of code for Blairite) will do including the many who have recently joined the Party for the first time or not? Labour should be focusing on policy because they are no exception and that will be what ultimately makes or breaks them as a going concern. It is one thing exploiting the many troubles facing the country to win power (and that is not guaranteed) and it is another to do something about them when elected. Rising inflation, declining real pay and more and more global competition are not going to be solved by factional fighting and plotting.
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frances



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Very well argued. I'm sure you won't agree but there are two sides to most arguments.

Quote:
Corbyn was one member of this band. John McDonnell, now the shadow chancellor, was another. Unlike the majority of their parliamentary colleagues and most trade union leaders, they never bought the idea that being a progressive meant being positive about Europe. They saw nothing especially progressive about mass unemployment, the impact of the common agricultural policy on the developing world, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or the bias towards austerity ingrained in the stability and growth pact. Rather, they saw neoliberalism being hardwired into the European project. As indeed it was.


https://www.theguardian.com/comme...talism-fat-cats-brexit-leaving-eu

Quote:
Remainers on the left would argue that there is no need to leave the EU for this to happen, but they are wrong about that for two reasons. The first is that a radical socialist programme that included a different approach to state aid, state ownership, public procurement and managed trade would be deemed illegal under European law.



Quote:
As it is, Labour is now led by somebody who spent years in the political wilderness with a simple message: that there was something inherently rotten about modern capitalism; that there were radical solutions to that malaise; and that Europe was part of the problem, rather than part ofhttps://www.theguardian.com/com...talism-fat-cats-brexit-leaving-eu
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't really understand Larry Elliott's points as they appear so selective to me! The "mass unemployment" in 1980s Britain had nothing to do with the EU but Thatcher's unilateral attempt to break the unions etc through high interest rates and if "neoliberalism" was "hardwired into the European project" what was its connection to the UK where it pre-dated any attempts to reform the EEC/EC/EU along those lines? You would have to go to Pinochet's Chile to find an earlier test case than the UK. Meanwhile if he really thinks:

Quote:
The first is that a radical socialist programme that included a different approach to state aid, state ownership, public procurement and managed trade would be deemed illegal under European law. The second is that without Brexit, the impetus for change would quickly dissipate.


Then he doesn't understand the meaning of socialism. Furthermore:

Quote:
If Labour had won the recent election, Corbyn would have had a mandate for extensive nationalisation, ending austerity and higher taxation on companies and the well-off. Big business would certainly have cut up rough about all that. There would have been warnings from the Confederation of British Industry about its members moving thousands of jobs out of the country. Would those calling for a second EU referendum be calling for another general election so voters could think again about supporting such a dangerously radical policy? Probably not.


Well if the left believed that these policies would be unsustainable and especially so because of the adverse effects of Brexit then if we had any sense we would certainly oppose them. Also for Elliott to assume that "virtually no growth in UK per-capita incomes since the start of the financial crisis in 2007" is down to our membership of the single market, customs union, EU at al is some leap! I thought the Left was pointing the finger at Tory austerity but it turns out they were merely innocent victims of intransigent Brussels policy. Nothing to do with us your honour as for the last thirty years or more we have been occupied by EEC/EC/EU neoliberalism!

So while it is reasonable for Elliott to question Remainer complacency in assuming the benefits of a return to the Status quo he does not address the contention that making Britain poorer (including yes by threatening the City and the 12% of UK tax receipts it provides) appears to be a very bad way to start making the country both more equal and robust. He is also appears a trite confused. If the pledge that capitalism "will make people better off" is broken what is the alternative he is proposing? He seems to have leapt from a critique of 2017 capitalism from within the system to signalling the need to overthrow it. Does he really believe that? I doubt it.
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frances



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I usually trust Larry Elliott. Amazed the Guardian still publish him.

Basically doesn't it come down to what variables are just associated (mainly both with time) and what is cause and effect.

The only real drivers for Remainers that will make us poorer are tariffs and custom problems. In particular passporting.

Doesn't it come down to where these end up. My hunch is we are running up a list of disputed sticking points in other areas and will give in on them all at the end including the exit bill to get those above.
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frances



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Magic Money Tree - could this work?

https://www.theguardian.com/busin...c-money-tree-labour-has-found-one

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