Cameron-May-Corbyn-Eagle
July 11, 2016 7:43 AM   Subscribe

BBC: Theresa May set to be UK PM after Andrea Leadsom quits - "Theresa May is set to become the UK's next prime minister after Andrea Leadsom pulled out of the contest to become Conservative Party leader. The timing of the handover of power from David Cameron is currently being discussed, but could be within days." And over at Labour.... BBC: "Labour leadership: Angela Eagle says she can unite the party" - "Angela Eagle has said she can provide the leadership "in dark times for Labour" that Jeremy Corbyn cannot, as she launched her leadership challenge."

Guardian Live on Theresa May

Guardian on Angela Eagle
posted by marienbad (890 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
I for one, welcome our Digital Overlord May.
posted by Faintdreams at 7:45 AM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


So this is the new thread? Roomy. Can still smell the paint.

I think the UK is still in the process of proving no matter how fucked you are, you can still get more fucked. We have yet to reach peak fucked.
posted by Grangousier at 7:50 AM on July 11, 2016 [44 favorites]


Two months too late.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:50 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Cameron May Corbyn Eagle as a headline is nothing on Foot Heads Arms Body.
posted by winterhill at 7:52 AM on July 11, 2016 [33 favorites]


We have yet to reach peak fucked.

Probably because Cameron, Farrage, Johnson et al. already had so few fucks left to give.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:55 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I feel a bit sorry for Angela Eagle. She sort of reminds me of this sketch from Beyond the Fringe.
posted by Grangousier at 7:55 AM on July 11, 2016


Given what Cameron is alleged to have done to that pig, don't let him near any bloody eagles.
posted by scruss at 7:55 AM on July 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


We have yet to reach peak fucked.

Things have got better lately. Corbyn has seen off the #chickencoup with dignity and added over 100,000 new members to the Labour Party without breaking a sweat. The Tory Party is still fighting viciously with itself but that's nothing new. The stock market goes up and down.
posted by Coda Tronca at 8:09 AM on July 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


Theresa smiled and took the pen from Andrea's trembling hand. She leaned in close. Close enough to smell her fallen enemy's fear. As always, it was exhilarating.

"There." She whispered. "That wasn't so hard, was it?"
posted by garius at 8:14 AM on July 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


Corbyn has seen off the #chickencoup with dignity

He has?
posted by zachlipton at 8:15 AM on July 11, 2016 [7 favorites]




Things have got better lately. Corbyn has seen off the #chickencoup with dignity and added over 100,000 new members to the Labour Party without breaking a sweat. The Tory Party is still fighting viciously with itself but that's nothing new. The stock market goes up and down.

Erm, I think your assessment of "has seen off" might be a bit premature. There's still the machinations about whether he makes it onto the ballot or not without the support of 51 MPs/MEPs, and Labour appear to still be ridiculously fractured between Corbyn's backers on the left and those towards the centre. The broad church seems on the verge of breaking apart.

And May is now confirmed to become PM on Wednesday.
posted by MattWPBS at 8:17 AM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


So: there may well be an early general election. The Tories have responded by clamping down on chaos, swiftly knifing the unelectables and getting their best hope in place quickly. They are pulling the ideological cracks from Brexit closed or papering over them. The stock market is heading into bull market territory and the press will present this as a Brexit boom, the very opposite of what those gloomy lefties were whining about so loudly.

The Labour Party has split into three. The leader has virtually no support in Parliament and unimaginably could not get nominated as a candidate if he has to. The Parliamentary party is launching a campaign against him which will inevitably lead to protracted legal arguments over who even owns the party name. Labour voters last time stayed away in droves and there is a vital need to address their alienation and Labour's crippling losses in Scotland. Not a single person appears to be giving this desperately urgent task even a moment's thought.

At this rate we may find ourselves on election night wondering whether Labour can somehow hang on to third place.
posted by Segundus at 8:17 AM on July 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


The only way this could possibly get better is if Cameron and May fly to Balmoral to let the queen effect the transition, only to find that she's abdicated while they were in the air.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 8:18 AM on July 11, 2016 [14 favorites]


> "That wasn't so hard, was it?"

"I am confident she will fulfill her promise to withdraw from the EU in line with the clear instructions of the referendum" sounds like a thinly veiled shiv in the back, though.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:19 AM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, Mrs May, what's it going to be? Why don't you go ahead and call that election? Let the people pass judgement on a year of broken promises, let people decide who's really making the arguments about the future of our country. Let people decide who can make the changes that we really need in our country. Call that election. We will fight. Britain will win.

(tweaked from a speech from a certain D. Cameron)
posted by MattWPBS at 8:21 AM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Talk about a glass cliff.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:24 AM on July 11, 2016 [14 favorites]


May PM by Wednesday
posted by marienbad at 8:24 AM on July 11, 2016


The Blairites clearly aimed to try and force Corbyn to resign with their timed resignations. He didn't, and either he will face them in a vote he'll win easily, or they'll use legal machinations to get him off the ballot, in which case the party will split. He's clearly defeated them in every battle so far.
posted by Coda Tronca at 8:25 AM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I am not a fan of either of them, Eagle is Brown/Blair Iraq war supporter, and May is May. At least she says she will carry out Brexit as per the referendum.
posted by marienbad at 8:25 AM on July 11, 2016


“Brexit means Brexit” => “Brexit means whatever I want it to mean.”

Expect the Tory machine to negotiate something that they can call Brexit, but isn’t. What, you thought they were going to throw the City under the bus in return for clamping down on immigration? Hah, good luck with that.

Coda Tronca: It’s kind of weird that you keep calling them Blairites, because they’re anything but.
posted by pharm at 8:27 AM on July 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Coda - Yes, seems likely. I wonder what the new party will call itself? Also there was an article in either the Times/Sunday Times about some Tories splitting off and forming a party with Lib Dems and Labour - I think they were going to call themselves the Democrats. Is this still happening now May has won, or was it only going to happen if Leadsom won?
posted by marienbad at 8:27 AM on July 11, 2016


marienbad: I’m fairly sure that part of the reason for the Tory machinations of the past few days has been in order to prevent exactly that kind of party split. With May in charge I think they’ll probably hold together - she’ll negotiate a Brexit that isn’t a Brexit and each wing of the party will hold their noses & vote for it if the alternative is splitting the party & losing power.

See Labour people? *This* is how you do power. Grasp reality with both hands & get on with it.
posted by pharm at 8:30 AM on July 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


The good news: Britain's Sarah Palin era has been a very short one.
The bad news: Britain is now governed by the sadistic ice empress from a young-adult dystopian sci-fi film.
posted by acb at 8:35 AM on July 11, 2016 [31 favorites]


See Labour people? *This* is how you do power.

You're right that is indeed how you do political manoeuvring designed to preserve the status quo, shut down the will of the people, and serve the interests of the same old elites. Corbyn has always said he has no interest in doing that.
posted by Coda Tronca at 8:37 AM on July 11, 2016 [16 favorites]


Britain is now governed by the sadistic ice empress from a young-adult dystopian sci-fi film.

I'm not that familiar with her, but the little I've seen of May in US coverage makes me think more of Dolores Umbridge.
posted by stannate at 8:39 AM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Coda Tronca: It’s kind of weird that you keep calling them Blairites, because they’re anything but.

Yeah, just to echo what Pharm said, I would like to observe that Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Blair are not the only two Labour politicians who have ever lived. It is possible to be unimpressed with the former without being a secret pawn of the latter.
posted by yankeefog at 8:39 AM on July 11, 2016 [13 favorites]




I'm not that familiar with her, but the little I've seen of May in US coverage makes me think more of Dolores Umbridge.

Theresa May is a Roald Dahl baddy rendered flesh.
posted by garius at 8:44 AM on July 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


A Labour split seems likely, when the formal elements of the party are at such odds with what its own membership wants. Maybe a split isn't the worst thing in the long term, to correct that power dynamic of a party trying drag its membership to a place it doesn't want to go. And the short term is kinda fucked anyway, so...
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:45 AM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


How long before May gets cold feet on invoking Article 50? I'd put a couple dollars down that by the weekend she'll be seriously soft-pedaling it.
posted by chimaera at 8:47 AM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Britain is now governed by the sadistic ice empress from a young-adult dystopian sci-fi film.

Servalan?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:48 AM on July 11, 2016 [9 favorites]




doooo..dooo..doooo.....
posted by lalochezia at 8:48 AM on July 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


That’s the £million question isn’t it chimera? Watch the Kippers go apeshit if she doesn’t invoke it immediately, because they’ll know that probably means they’ve lost.
posted by pharm at 8:49 AM on July 11, 2016


The bad news: Britain is now governed by the sadistic ice empress from a young-adult dystopian sci-fi film.

The cold never bothered her anyway.
posted by Kabanos at 8:54 AM on July 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


Coda: Can’t stand Angela Eagle personally, but the idea that all the MPs who signed the motion of no confidence in Corbyn are Blairites is absurd on it’s face.

You're right that is indeed how you do political manoeuvring designed to preserve the status quo, shut down the will of the people, and serve the interests of the same old elites. Corbyn has always said he has no interest in doing that.

If he is unwilling to make the political compromises required to get elected, then he won’t get power. If you don’t get power, then what’s the point? The Tories appear to understand this iron rule but I’m really not sure that the Labour Left does.
posted by pharm at 8:56 AM on July 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


Anything but Blairites?

And their ranks include Gordon Brown (who people have actually managed to call a Blairite, despite being the opposite side of that naming split), Ed Miliband (who Blair and Mandleson criticised for ditching the Blairite side of New Labour), and Neil Kinnock (who said that him and the unions had got their party back after Miliband's first speech).

Not everyone who thinks Corbyn isn't a good leader is a Blairite, just like not everyone who thinks he is a good leader is an entryist. Trying to polarise people like that from either side is going to tear your party in two.
posted by MattWPBS at 8:58 AM on July 11, 2016 [15 favorites]


(Indeed, historical evidence appears to show that they take great delight precisely in not doing so, to the enormous aggravation of everyone else in the party. Jury is still out on the current generation, but signs are not good.)
posted by pharm at 8:59 AM on July 11, 2016


Watch the Kippers go apeshit if she doesn’t invoke it immediately,

I think the Kippers will first go apeshit about Ukip candidates for leadership now have to have been a member for (a) five years and (b) each eligible candidate has stump up a deposit of £5,000.
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:59 AM on July 11, 2016


If he is unwilling to make the political compromises required to get elected,

He was willing, and even his appointment of Eagle in the first place was a sign of exactly that! However they all just queued up to stab him in the back pretty much relentlessly from day one.
posted by Coda Tronca at 9:00 AM on July 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


He got a fair chance to prove himself & in their eyes he flubbed it. What did you expect them to do: sit around waving Corbyn placards hoping that would make a difference?
posted by pharm at 9:03 AM on July 11, 2016 [7 favorites]




He got a fair chance to prove himself & in their eyes he flubbed it.

What did he flub? His crappy suit jacket? Or the tens upon tens of thousands of people who keep joining the party as a direct result of him?
posted by Coda Tronca at 9:07 AM on July 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


Coda Tronca, I know a lot of people joined the Labour party in the wake of the No Confidence vote, and I've seen that frequently sited as a sign of support for Corbyn. But what is the evidence that all those people are joining to vote for him, rather than against him? (Not a rhetorical question -- I'm genuinely interested.)
posted by yankeefog at 9:09 AM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


May takes over on Wednesday, says Cameron.
posted by biffa at 9:11 AM on July 11, 2016


Some of them are definitely joining in order to vote against Corbyn. How do the numbers stack up? I’ve no idea.
posted by pharm at 9:15 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Western afternoon.

Apparently, one of the first things she'll be faced with is the "letter of last resort". Chilling stuff.
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:15 AM on July 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


What did he flub?
I think he messed up the referendum, by not getting the Labour Remain message loud and clear into northern towns that eventually ended up voting Leave in a bigger proportion than almost anywhere else in the country. He was lukewarm at best on the Remain platform and failed to get the message that staying in the EU would be better, in the long run, for working people than leaving.

Once the result was known, Labour had the opportunity to present themselves as a strong, stable government-in-waiting while the Conservatives flailed around rudderless. They didn't do that, and instead descended into their own circus. They don't look like a government, they haven't looked like a government since Corbyn took over and I fail to see the point of a Labour party that doesn't look strong, coherent and like it's ready to take over government at the next election.

The buck for the party's disorganisation has to stop with its leader, in this case Corbyn. I supported him first time round. I went to see him speak in Bradford. He's had a chance, but he has to go. I am joining to vote against him.
posted by winterhill at 9:15 AM on July 11, 2016 [21 favorites]


The reality is that Corbyn seems to have a majority of the party membership (at least that's the current assumption) however it's also very clear that party members are a minute part of the overall electorate.

So do you go with what the party membership wants even though it will get demolished in a general election? Or do you force Corbyn to accept that he's not the best leader at the current time and try to bring up someone who can actually get elected rather than surrender the shadow government to the Scots.
posted by vuron at 9:15 AM on July 11, 2016


I wonder if there's any connection between the way the Tories seem to take it as a given that you can't form a government with the support of only 25% of your MPs, and the way they seem to be quite good at getting and holding on to power in the actually existing political system.
posted by Mocata at 9:17 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Apparently, one of the first things she'll be faced with is the "letter of last resort". Chilling stuff.

I've always thought that we should get to open up the last leader's letters when they quit.

Presumably Cameron's just have one word on them:

"Resign"
posted by garius at 9:19 AM on July 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


If [Corbyn] is unwilling to make the political compromises required to get elected, then he won’t get power. If you don’t get power, then what’s the point?

No responsibilities, and the opportunity to tell other people they're doing it wrong? Sounds way more fun than actually winning. I think Boris came to the same conclusion.
posted by Leon at 9:21 AM on July 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


Apparently, one of the first things she'll be faced with is the "letter of last resort". Chilling stuff.

"The letter would then be opened by the commander of the Trident submarine, who would have to assume that the prime minister was no longer in a position to take “live” command of the situation. The options are said to include the orders: “Put yourself under the command of the US, if it is still there”; “go to Australia”; “retaliate”; “or use your own judgment”."

Chilling, and absurd, and more than a little Dr. Strangelove. "Well, if I'm no longer around, then the country probably consists of just you men on your sub, you few, you happy few, you band of brothers, so do whatever you think is best. Good luck!"
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:23 AM on July 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


Apparently, one of the first things she'll be faced with is the "letter of last resort"

Theresa May
You should have stayed at home yesterday
Ah-ha words can't describe
The feeling and the way you lied
These games you play
They're going to end in more than tears some day
Ah-ha Theresa May
It shouldn't ever have to end this way

(I was going to do a parody,. but the original lyrics can't really be improved upon)
posted by Devonian at 9:23 AM on July 11, 2016 [13 favorites]


Setting aside one's feelings on any of these people or their views, if Clinton wins in November and Merkel wins in 2017, both of which seem likely, and May remains PM of the UK, three major Western powers will have female leaders at the same time.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:40 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Where are all these May policies coming from? It's a random grab bag of "workers on boards!", "NO MORE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES", "Brexit means Brexit".

I thought Brown could argue the toss for not holding an election right away (though I wish he had!) but she has no mandate for anything here, let alone whatever she takes Brexit to mean.

We need an election, but I don't think we want one. Christ, Labour, pull it together. Just hold your nose and unite behind Keir Stamer or someone equally acceptable to the Left but also electable.
posted by bonaldi at 9:48 AM on July 11, 2016


So Theresa May's acceptance speech had some interesting sections in it:

"Order is the barrier that holds back the flood of death. We must all of us on this train of life remain in our allotted station. We must each of us occupy our preordained particular position. Would you wear a shoe on your head? Of course you wouldn't wear a shoe on your head. A shoe doesn't belong on your head. A shoe belongs on your foot. A hat belongs on your head. I am a hat. You are a shoe. I belong on the head. You belong on the foot. Yes? So it is"
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:53 AM on July 11, 2016 [34 favorites]


I thought Brown could argue the toss for not holding an election right away (though I wish he had!) but she has no mandate for anything here, let alone whatever she takes Brexit to mean.
I think she has a mandate to govern. We aren't the USA, we aren't voting for a presidential figurehead, we're voting for a party. For better or worse, the people voted for a Conservative government, not Cameron. May is the leader of the Conservative Party and that means PM. In addition, the people who've selected her as leader are elected MPs - it's representative democracy.

I agree with you, though - her speech this evening was short and fairly poor. It was just a collection of soundbites rather than a coherent vision. I know she's only had the length of a train journey from Birmingham to come up with it, but it was rather disjointed.
posted by winterhill at 9:54 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


"A shoe belongs on your foot. A hat belongs on your head. I am a hat. You are a shoe. I belong on the head. You belong on the foot. Yes? So it is"

WTF????
posted by mumimor at 9:55 AM on July 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Half of the prime-ministerial changes in the last 100 years were done without a general election.
It's not unusual.

Brown, Major, Callaghan, Douglas-Home, Macmillan, Eden, Churchill, Chamberlain, Baldwin (twice!) and Lloyd George.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 10:00 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just wonder who her Chancellor is going to be. It's interesting to consider she was never part of the Old Boy's club. Here's hoping this is a sea change in British politics.
posted by My Dad at 10:01 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think she has a mandate to govern.

I disagree, the Tory manifesto in 2015 was based in a completely different set of circumstances to now. Nothing was included about how they planned to negotiate an exit from the European Union, or what kind of trading agreement they will try to secure. Even apart from that, the referendum result removes all of the foundations it was based on. Financial surplus by 2020 for example. It's completely unusual circumstances.
posted by MattWPBS at 10:02 AM on July 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


a collection of soundbites rather than a coherent vision

Did you read this morning's Birmingham speech?
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:05 AM on July 11, 2016


I think she has a mandate to govern.

Yes — but governing is inevitably going to mean dealing with Brexit. And she can't claim any mandate around Brexit or what it means. The vote was a negative one: "we don't want this thing". Given that the Leave campaign only barely sketched out what the next thing should be, and has all run away now, the country must have a say in what it does want next. I don't think any of the unelected PM changes faced something quite like this.

This is partly what drives me nuts about people saying "why can't Labour get its next leader as efficiently as this?", even though I obviously share the frustration. The Tory party has pretty much no motive higher than "Get power. Keep Power." So of course they move fast when there is power to be grabbed. Hell, some of May's comments this morning about worker's rights are very un-Tory, and would have caused a right row in a party that actually gave a shit about what it stood for. But they don't. They just want the power.

Labour is currently trying to figure out what it wants to be, what it wants to achieve with power. That's naturally going to be a slower and messier process. Probably doesn't need to be quite as messy as it currently is, though.
posted by bonaldi at 10:05 AM on July 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


From across the pond in Canada, I can't really understand why the "I want Labour to have a chance to govern" people aren't mad at those throwing Corbyn under the bus... because this seems to me to have been the worst tactic if you really care about increasing Labour's power.

From what I have read in these threads it was the conservative voters who voted to leave the EU, and I see accounts from Billy Bragg that Corbyn was out talking to crowds with him about why Remain was important, and actually taking questions from people, unlike the Conseratives ... so from here it really looks like the anti-Corbyn MPs just want to take power at an opportune moment.

Now, I like Corbyn's history of supporting the left of the party, and opposing austerity, and I was an opponent of the gulf war and am an opponent of Trident, so I admit to a bias... but even still, if the goal is genuinely to obtain power for Labour, surely one doesn't undermine the leader at the moment you have the big opportunity to take advantage as an opposition party? You suck it up and do your best to increase the clout of the party-- which is what everyone keeps asking Corbyn to do, but no one seems to expect it of his cabinet? He put you in cabinet when he didn't agree with your politics, so why can't you participate in that opportunity?

When Corbyn was a member of Blair's government, did he work to topple Blairs leadership while they were in power? After all, a war was at stake at that time, it seems even more grounds for a stand against a leader not listening to the public -- I know he voted against the war ... but did he actively work to wrest power and undermine cabinet?

Just my two bits from afar.
posted by chapps at 10:12 AM on July 11, 2016 [20 favorites]


"A shoe belongs on your foot. A hat belongs on your head. I am a hat. You are a shoe. I belong on the head. You belong on the foot. Yes? So it is"

WTF????


This is a speech from the movie Snowpiercer, delivered by an evil female lieutenant who works for a murderous dictator.
posted by pocketfullofrye at 10:15 AM on July 11, 2016 [7 favorites]




doooo..dooo..doooo.....

Hoping someone will mash this up with Mah Nà Mah Nà.
posted by Kabanos at 10:29 AM on July 11, 2016


chapps: Corbyn indeed got the Labour vote out for Remain to the same level as the SNP did.

He was also basically honest, as is his habit, when he told people he wasn't all that keen on the EU but it was basically the right thing to vote Remain at the moment. This was well received by many people who were sick of politicians doing nothing but the 'scoring points' stuff all the time, or telling us the entire world was about to collapse if we voted one way or the other. His ambivalence to the EU was perfectly understandable, and still is, despite the hysteria of 'everything is fucked' that has prevailed in most parts of the media since the vote.
posted by Coda Tronca at 10:32 AM on July 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


From across the pond in Canada, I can't really understand why the "I want Labour to have a chance to govern" people aren't mad at those throwing Corbyn under the bus... because this seems to me to have been the worst tactic if you really care about increasing Labour's power.

It's either massive overconfidence or they're just flat out lying about their goals, TBH. Or it's some kind of accelerationist throw-one-election-to-win-the-next bollocks.
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


When you cross-reference Theresa May's speech with her voting record, it's as if she didn't mean anything she said

Why let facts get in the way of a good story?
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:35 AM on July 11, 2016


v. snappy exit stage right from d camz, must be keen to pop a lucky egg and start grinding
posted by Panthalassa at 10:41 AM on July 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Right. Since I just caught myself thinking that perhaps the best thing would be for May to call a snap election, Eagle to give up the challenge and let Corbyn crash Labour into a fucking cliff, and then see what can be salvaged from the wreckage in 2021 rather then 2025, it's probably a good idea for me to try and ignore the world for a bit. Not that it will work.
posted by Grangousier at 10:44 AM on July 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


sources report the following exchange took place between andrea leadsom and her chief of staff: 'nine weeks?? ahh gdi i cbf with it, need to protect my gyms #teamvalor #golbatgirl #brexeggcute'
posted by Panthalassa at 10:50 AM on July 11, 2016


sources report the following exchange took place between andrea leadsom and her chief of staff: 'nine weeks?? ahh gdi i cbf with it, need to protect my gyms #teamvalor #golbatgirl #brexeggcute'

Surely she'd be Team Mystic, the Hufflepuff of Pokémon Go.
posted by Talez at 10:53 AM on July 11, 2016


"A shoe belongs on your foot. A hat belongs on your head. I am a hat. You are a shoe. I belong on the head. You belong on the foot. Yes? So it is"

WTF????


Snowpiercer.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:01 AM on July 11, 2016


This is a speech from the movie Snowpiercer, delivered by an evil female lieutenant

This and all the other misogynistic shit about May - sadistic ice empress? really? - is fucking me off big time. May is a fucking fascist and that she is about to be our PM is another horrifying effect of the shitstorm the Tory Party's pissing contest has wrought but her gender is irrelevant and it would be super great if people could knock it the fuck off.
posted by billiebee at 11:02 AM on July 11, 2016 [58 favorites]


Right. Since I just caught myself thinking that perhaps the best thing would be for May to call a snap election, Eagle to give up the challenge and let Corbyn crash Labour into a fucking cliff, and then see what can be salvaged from the wreckage in 2021 rather then 2025, it's probably a good idea for me to try and ignore the world for a bit. Not that it will work.
Unfortunately the alternative is letting [TBC] drive towards the cliff without realising their car disappeared about 3 miles ago.

Corbyn won the closest thing to a mandate that anyone in Labour is going to get. It's not like electing the proper Milliband is going to peel off terrified Tories or once-bitten LibDems. The centrists can either go off and create SDP 2.0 or try to make sure militant momentum don't fuck things up again.
posted by fullerine at 11:20 AM on July 11, 2016 [4 favorites]




Sample text "I'm going to fuck you like IDS fucked the disabled"
posted by longbaugh at 11:24 AM on July 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Dumb Dumb Brexiters.
posted by Faith Connors at 11:26 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is a speech from the movie Snowpiercer, delivered by an evil female lieutenant who works for a murderous dictator.

Yes. I recognized it but I imagine plenty didn't. Whatever my own politics (which probably lean toward sympathy with Just This Guy Yknow) I am seriously not sure it's cool to attribute something to a major figure, in quotation marks, without any aside or other indication (I guess we don't do hamburgers any more) that it is satire.

We live in an age when popular figures (*sneeze*Trump*sneeze*) say outrageous things that astonish and dismay me almost daily. Misattributions may stroke our own senses of righteous indignant anger (and sense of coolness at being part of an in-joke) but really just add to the noise.
posted by aught at 11:36 AM on July 11, 2016 [12 favorites]


Britain is now governed by the sadistic ice empress from a young-adult dystopian sci-fi film.

What, again?
posted by fedward at 11:37 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does Corbyn actually deserve any of this flak? It seems like everytime I hear about the guy some faction or factions within labor are giving him the bird. And had been since day one.

Like the center of the party was fine losing on the day to day issues as long as the big bad leftist went down.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:44 AM on July 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


They hate being called Blairites but the fact is nobody likes or trusts them and they're doing incredibly dumb things while thinking they're actually doing something super smart, so the label fits.
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM on July 11, 2016 [11 favorites]


Coda Tronca, I know a lot of people joined the Labour party in the wake of the No Confidence vote, and I've seen that frequently sited as a sign of support for Corbyn. But what is the evidence that all those people are joining to vote for him, rather than against him? (Not a rhetorical question -- I'm genuinely interested.)

As far as I know it's mainly because he has a social media-savvy grass roots movement, Momentum, supporting him and there is a correlation between the sign-ups they're getting and the volume of Labour joiners, which was also observed around the initial campaign that elected him.
posted by Coda Tronca at 12:11 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't quite understand the logic of blaming Corbyn for the current chaos in Labour. As I understand it, on one level the two sides within Labour are symmetrical: the party could be robust if (a) the anti-Corbyn faction rallied behind Corbyn, or (b) Corbyn stepped down and let them win. By not choosing to do (a), the anti-Corbynites are causing the disunity and chaos; and by not choosing to do (b), Corbyn is.

But under most circumstances, when assigning causal blame in this sort of a/b situation, the cause is usually whichever side is changing the status quo. For instance, when Republicans shut down the government, the chaos could be resolved by either (a) them giving up their protest, or (b) Democrats conceding to their demands. For better or worse, while both sides have the power to end the shutdown, we generally say that Republicans are causing it. Similarly, if a protest march shuts down a city, we could imagine that the chaos could be ended either by making concessions to their demands, or them giving up those demands. But either way, and whichever side we prefer, we would say that the cause of the chaos is the one changing the status quo.

So by that logic, the chaos in Labour is not Corbyn's "fault" or caused by him, but by those seeking to change the status quo. We may prefer a change in that status quo, but it seems hard to say that the current mess is his fault, inasmuch as he prefers the status quo (remaining in place).
posted by chortly at 12:13 PM on July 11, 2016 [11 favorites]


Britain is now governed by the sadistic ice empress from a young-adult dystopian sci-fi film.

What, again?


Yeah, a bit of a weird way to describe a politician. Still, sounds like an improvement on pig-fucker, right? Or maybe not? Who knows? Time will tell!
posted by bitteschoen at 12:28 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


From what I've read (I don't live in Britain and am just commenting as a foreigner), Corbyn's election as leader of the Labour Party is a sort of takeover of the party, and is the result of Ed Milliband's decision to open up voting to the grassroots. The problem, or so I have read, is that in order for a parliamentary party to work well, the leader must be someone who can work with elected MP's; while 300,000 Labour members voted for Corbyn, 9 million people voted for those Labour MP's. That's the story I read.

The thing is that Corbyn's plan to make Labour a "movement" is similar to what's happening in other liberal democracies where there has been low voter engagement. Bernie Saunders is one analogy, but there's also Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau and his team did a really amazing thing by getting elected with a majority government back in October 2015. The Liberals had spent more than a decade in the wilderness, and it looked like, going into the election, the party might just die altogether. Trudeau winning was no sure thing.

The Liberals, in order to reinvigorate their own dead brand, opened up the membership. It used to cost $3 to join and vote for the party leader; now it's entirely free.

Thanks to his election victory (and his savvy self-promotion) Trudeau has a lot of political capital at the moment, and his parliamentary caucus is lined up behind him. But the populist "movement politics" is a total 180 from the Westminster style of parliamentary democracy, and the Liberal leader's popularity is based on a very shallow but broad pool of support outside of Parliament. It works for Trudeau right now, but how will it work for a future Liberal leader? It's a bit of a political time bomb.

Corbyn and Labour is also a bit like Donald Trump doing a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. Grassroots support, but established party elites who "own" the party totally alienated.
posted by My Dad at 12:46 PM on July 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Still, sounds like an improvement on pig-fucker, right?

Yeah but Theresa May doesn't actually shoot ice from her fingers right? Whereas...
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:55 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]




Liberal leader's popularity is based on a very shallow but broad pool of support outside of Parliament.

Better than the Tories' deep and somewhat less broad pool, or the NDP's deep and very small pool with occasional flash flooding.

I vote Canada invades everyone, it looks to be the only industriali(s/z)ed Anglophone nation that's not falling the fuck apart at the moment. I was reading the Globe and Mail yesterday for the sheer pleasure of seeing articles that were basically "So there was this problem, then our elected leaders sat down and figured out a decent solution, seems like it will work out."
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:05 PM on July 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


I often describe Minnesota as "Canada-lite" so I'm fine with that.
posted by VTX at 1:10 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I’m not British and I’m not especially well-informed, but it seems at least possible that the vote of No Confidence in Corbyn was literally that — they don’t think he’s the right man for the job.

I guess the parallel in my mind is Sanders: while I support him inasmuch as I wish we hadn’t gone to war in Iraq, and think we should have a $15 minimum wage, and free public college and I like all the other things he talks about -- I don’t for a minute believe he has the legislative/negotiating/deal-making skills or relationships to get anything done as president. So to me Sanders is a great protest candidate but not anyone I want to see in the executive office.

Like I say, though, I don’t know anything about Labour politics so maybe that theory is all wrong.
posted by pocketfullofrye at 1:17 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don’t for a minute believe he has the legislative/negotiating/deal-making skills or relationships to get anything done as president. So to me Sanders is a great protest candidate but not anyone I want to see in the executive office.
It's wasn't Sanders versus Hilary it was Sanders versus [To Be Confirmed] though.

If someone like David Milliband was still an MP and was running against Corbyn the centrists would have someone viable to rally around. The Parliamentary Labour Party are hoping to rally around someone who will almost certainly be de-selected by her constituency party by the time of the next election.

The thing about populism is there's more of them. You can't win many elections with a hundred votes. There's a narrative being created that somehow labour support is a few million centrists who didn't join the party versus a few hundred thousand leftists who did. If Hillary Benn and pals want to oust Corbyn then there's a simple mechanism to do so. Get more votes than him. It's only three quid to join so I'm sure if there was a giant untapped source of Pro-War, Pro-Austerity Labour supporters then surely they could get some of them to pony up the cash and vote for Eagle.

Instead they seem to want to sue him for copyright infringement or some shit.
posted by fullerine at 1:59 PM on July 11, 2016 [14 favorites]


I’m not British and I’m not especially well-informed, but it seems at least possible that the vote of No Confidence in Corbyn was literally that — they don’t think he’s the right man for the job.

That's pretty much my take on it. I think a lot of the middle of the PLP decided to give him a shot after he won, but lost confidence in him in the referendum campaign. I don't think it's to do with how many Labour voters voted which way, but about how they saw him in that situation, and how they thought it applied when they thought about a General Election campaign. They're not all Blairites by any measure, and I don't think any of them could seriously think it would be easy or popular to dislodge Corbyn. Unless you assume they're all heartless self promoters, that kind of leads towards the possibility that a lot of them honestly thought something had to be done.

They might have been wrong, they might been right, doesn't really matter now. It's all gone a bit tits up, and the only thing I can see possibly working is Corbyn stepping down and nominating a compromise candidate.

If he runs, it's going to end up with the stripping out of the moderates, and a lot of sitting MPs being deselected by local parties, before sticking an Approved Candidate into the seat who will have to try and appeal to the electorate, who may well have no interest in Labour internal politics but knew their MP. If they manage to involuntarily remove Corbyn, it'll be an exodus of activists and enthusiasts, and a loss of that enthusiasm and engagement when they need it most.

It's a car crash now. Corbyn needs to go, so do the high profile ones on the opposite side like Eagle or Benn.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:11 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


There's a narrative being created that somehow labour support is a few million centrists who didn't join the party versus a few hundred thousand leftists who did.

I think the narrative you're referring to is called "opinion polls", and a recent one says "just over a third of respondents (36%) indicated that they would vote for Labour if Jeremy Corbyn remained at the helm, compared to almost half (48%) that may lend their electoral support to the party under a new leader."

The only category where enough voters would abandon Labour if Corbyn left for it to be a net loss are the ones that describe themselves as "very left wing". That group is about 3% of the overall voter base in that poll.
posted by effbot at 2:16 PM on July 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


That Labour is attempting to decapitate itself without having a viable replacement leader in the wings is the dumbest thing about it but at the same time very them.
posted by Artw at 2:16 PM on July 11, 2016 [9 favorites]




If he runs, it's going to end up with the stripping out of the moderates, and a lot of sitting MPs being deselected by local parties, before sticking an Approved Candidate into the seat who will have to try and appeal to the electorate

This seems absolutely nuts from a parliamentary perspective.
posted by My Dad at 2:39 PM on July 11, 2016


Labour isn't working.
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on July 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


There's a narrative being created that somehow labour support is a few million centrists who didn't join the party versus a few hundred thousand leftists who did.

There are no 'centrists' voting for the Labour Party. There are in fact virtually no 'centrists' in the UK apart from on threads like this. The Labour Party still has support from the working class, which they've systematically shat on for decades and now it's come home to roost.

“I think people vote for [Angela Eagle] simply because they vote Labour and that’s it. If they put up a stuffed monkey, they’d vote for them.”
posted by Coda Tronca at 2:51 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


This seems absolutely nuts from a parliamentary perspective.

Yup. This is exactly what some hardliners on the Corbyn side seem to be advocating - you didn't support the leader, so we're going to deselect you and replace you with someone who represents us. Never mind if they think that's someone who the constituency might want to represent them, the most important thing is that they represent the activists and don't disagree with Jeremy.

Welcome to Britain 2016, please leave your sense of sanity and logic at the border.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:52 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Blair just endorsed Eagle so that's it for her.
posted by Artw at 2:52 PM on July 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Angela Eagle just looks weary to me. She's clearly trying to do the right thing, can't see an alternative and is fully aware she's probably destroying the promising career she's built over twenty years.
posted by brilliantmistake at 2:53 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Blair just endorsed Eagle so that's it for her.

Poor woman. If there's one thing you don't want right now...
posted by MattWPBS at 2:56 PM on July 11, 2016


Angela Eagle just looks weary to me

I would have bet a million dollars that link went to "Don't you think she looks tired?"
posted by gerryblog at 3:00 PM on July 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


There are in fact virtually no 'centrists' in the UK apart from on threads like this.

Clearly not in your bubble, but in the poll I just posted, 52% described themselves a centrist. 77% described themselves as centrist or just slightly left/right. That's about 35 million voters. Could explain why May is moving to the left...
posted by effbot at 3:01 PM on July 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Blair just endorsed Eagle so that's it for her.

Good of him to return the favour. She did after all support his invasion of Iraq, as well as voting against various inquiries into it.
posted by cincinnatus c at 3:01 PM on July 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


I think the narrative you're referring to is called "opinion polls", and a recent one says "just over a third of respondents (36%) indicated that they would vote for Labour if Jeremy Corbyn remained at the helm, compared to almost half (48%) that may lend their electoral support to the party under a new leader."
Cool, now do one with Angela Eagle in the NotCorbyn role.
It's not that Corbyn is electoral gold who is going to call forth a socialist revolution, it's that there is no viable alternative being put forward by the PLP.
Blair just endorsed Eagle
Actually, don't bother.
posted by fullerine at 3:01 PM on July 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Clearly not in your bubble, but in the poll I just posted, 52% described themselves a centrist.

But if they voted Leave are they now beyond the pale?
posted by Coda Tronca at 3:06 PM on July 11, 2016


Definitely Blairites missed out on cutting out Labour and replacing them with candidates a la Angela Eagle, Kate Hoey, Khalid Mohammed and others. I think the change in voting rights made Labour interesting again to Labour voters who had erroneously gone to the Liberal Democrats. Their annihilation in the last election is proof of this.
Although it would be unfair to make a full comparison, the events unfolding around Labour Party HQ remind me of the Night of the Long Knives.
I have been reading about the payments made to individual MPs from donors no longer funding the Labour Party and think Angela Eagle is more grist for the mill as the party contends with the realisation that its MP class is made up of a shirking majority who themselves lack the vision to fundamentally lead the country and are understandably wary of an election.
Everyone should note that David Milliband remains completely out of it. He is possibly the only person who manages to make a clean break thanks to his willingness to go abroad and reinvent himself as a charity director. It shows just how fucked the New Labour group is. Ed did his brother no favours by challenging him for leadership but neither had anything to lose by running. Coming back now he would be compared to Ignatieff and have the same adventure.
I also lament the false start of the Women's Equality Party, which had funds but failed to field candidates for local elections this year. It had a huge opportunity that it totally squandered. Now they send out "we're rebuilding ... Need your ideas" emails once a quarter. It's agonising as an immigrant being unable to vote. Donations are only a small way to make change. Votes matter more.
posted by parmanparman at 3:16 PM on July 11, 2016


Coming back now he would be compared to Ignatieff

That man... so... odious.
posted by My Dad at 3:22 PM on July 11, 2016


Sitting here on the outside, it looks like Labour's splitting, that the circle can't be squared. Baically,

The yuppies voted stay.
The young voted stay.
The working class voted leave
The hard left probably held their noses and voted stay, but they don't really mind leaving.

The yuppies+young+working class "New Labor" of Blair is schismed. The yuppies and the young and everybody else who had some hope in the-future-as-mildy-improved-now want a hardcore Remainer to fight for that hope. The base of the party and the firebrands of the party despair of the now and want a hugely different future and so they don't see much to chose between the Blairites and Tories. Maybe even prefer that the Tories be in power so that when everything is terrible they will take the blame, and the country will be ripe for something really different. In five or ten year's time. But I don't think the yuppies and the young will be content to sit by and watch their dreams get squashed for that, they were the ones winning, in yesterday's now, or at least had hope of such.
posted by Diablevert at 3:33 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the narrative you're referring to is called "opinion polls", and a recent one says "just over a third of respondents (36%) indicated that they would vote for Labour if Jeremy Corbyn remained at the helm, compared to almost half (48%) that may lend their electoral support to the party under a new leader.

That's a pretty useless poll, and no useful conclusion can be drawn. Asking "Corbyn or Someone Else?" lets the respondent fill in their choice of Else, and for anyone even mildly open to Labour they're going to fill in their ideal candidate. And familiarity breeds contempt; politicians naturally lose favorability as they become better known. Any politician will be less appealing than Your Dream Candidate Today, but may not be so bad when compared to Actual Mortal Candidate You're Sick Of on election day.

The other thing is to look at the splits - say by vote intention. Of the net gain to Labour, 1/3 is in the Not Sure camp, ie the people who don't know, don't care and don't vote. So a third of Hypothetical Leader's gain isn't really going to accomplish anything. The next 1/3 is Conservative voters, and maybe tacking to the centre might help here. But the last 1/3 are UKIP and Lib Dem supporters, who would be turned off by that sort of a move but could be appealed to by a Sanders style populist or whatever Lib Dem supporters like.

So by the time you're done, the 12% increase is more like 3% and that's before the right wing media spends a year combing through the new leader's trash.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:21 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]




Five questions for Angela Eagle

With the subtitle "Anti-Corbyn coup begins"... (yes, of course it's Paul "representative democracy is a neocon plot" Mason, who else? :-)
posted by effbot at 5:38 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Angela Eagle's branding is terrible. A pink union jack with her signature on it. Really?

She should have an Eagle with a halo, holding a flaming sword!
Have some fun with it!
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:46 PM on July 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Apparently Angela Eagle faces the prospect of a no confidence vote from her own constituency Labour party

Yeah, if they were pissed off before, Tessa Jowell apparently straight up lying about homophobic abuse at a Wallasey CLP meeting might just tip them over the edge.

It's probably worth noting that Eagle landed in Wallasey in rather iffy circumstances.

It used to be a ridiculously safe Tory seat, which meant left-wing Labour types were allowed to have a crack at it, largely undisturbed by the Party proper. Lol Duffy ran in 1987. He's a Marxist former shipyard worker, known for ending up in jail after leading an occupation at Cammell Lairds, and campaigned on a socialist platform with the backing of the Socialist Organiser. And he almost won the seat, increasing the Labour vote to unprecedented levels.

This was a very well-run, very left-wing, very local party/grassroots/trades unions/Red Wedge type operation, one that totally transformed the constituency party. The Labour establishment were not happy about any of that, of course, so they worked hard to make sure Duffy lost - front benchers cancelled all campaign visits, rumours were spread about Duffy supporters being violent, then Frank Field leaked a private letter he'd written to a (probably made-up) constituent to the Wirral Globe, branding Duffy a loony left danger who must be stopped at all costs.

You might think a sitting Labour MP deliberately sabotaging a Labour candidate's campaign would get into trouble, but nothing happened to Field.

Instead, despite working their arses off for Labour in Wallasey, the Socialist Organiser crew were all suspended by Labour for being massive commie Trots, after an investigation by the NEC. Lol Duffy then cut ties with the proscribed group, and was on course to be the candidate in the 1992 election. He would've won the seat, no probs, but the NEC stepped in and blocked his selection, on the grounds that he'd admitted that he didn't support some Labour policies personally, but would campaign on official policy lines anyway. You know, like pretty much every candidate in every party!

Waiting in the wings: Angela Eagle. And then it all gets really dodgy - selection rules ignored, some weird business with uncounted blank ballot papers which should've triggered a new selection contest. A bit like an episode of The Good Wife, only incredibly boring and everyone is from the Wirral (except Angela Eagle). The local party complained about all the murky goings on and the NEC responded by threatening another investigation of Wirral party members, and more expulsions.

And that was that. Angela Eagle was selected as the candidate against the wishes of the local party, in a way that looked very suspicious indeed. Duffy, in a pretty astonishing display of party loyalty, campaigned for Eagle and she became the first Labour MP in Wallasey's history.

So, when Eagle batted away questions about Wallasey CLP today by saying it's all just few rabble rousers who were 'kicked out in the 90s', this is what she's talking about. The Labour right preferring to lose an election than let a left-winger win, using the NEC to undermine established party rules, and stooping to shady tactics to force out a popular old-fashioned socialist candidate in favour of a right-winger no one really likes all that much.

Odd that Eagle seems to be ending her career the same way she started it.
posted by jack_mo at 5:52 PM on July 11, 2016 [38 favorites]


With the subtitle "Anti-Corbyn coup begins"...

I am hopeless at UK politics. I just post what I find.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:06 PM on July 11, 2016


Coda Tronca: It’s kind of weird that you keep calling them Blairites, because they’re anything but.

"If you stand for nothing, what'll you fall for" - Hamilton

This is the problem Corbyn's opponents have - and the fundamental problem with Milliband's election campaign. Corbyn stands for something and has a vision. That vision hasn't changed in 40 years - but he still stands for something. Milliband appeared to stand for winning the election and nothing else other than being not as bad as the Tories. For that matter so did both Burnham and Kendall at the Labour leadership election (Corbyn won in part because he was the most competent of the four running).

I don't know why the approach that winning general elections is the first, last, and only responsibility of the party is called Blairite other than that Blair actually succeeded. But succeeded at least in part by sharing a vision with the country, something that no one other than Corbyn seems to be trying to do. They only wish they were Blairite - and so do their opponents in the party. Blair without the charisma or vision and I might have to start calling them Millibandites.

Corbyn is basically the anti-Milliband; he's actually doing a really good job of preventing Tory legislation in the commons and of firing up the base - but his approach will play badly in the 50 odd marginals that actually decide who wins the election which is why the Parliamentary Labour Party hates him.

And one of the reasons UKIP are taking ground is that believe it or not most of their local councilors are really good. They tend to be interfering old busybodies with a small amount of establishment clout - and there is no better use for an interfering old busybody who just wants to be helpful than making them a local councilor so they can help everyone and no one gets swamped. So UKIP helps people in the very areas that the Parlimentary Labour Party isn't interested in because they are never going to vote Tory. Corbyn, of course, is trying to lead a counter to this.
posted by Francis at 6:11 PM on July 11, 2016 [11 favorites]


They are good questions, because she sure as hell will never answer any of them in public.
posted by Artw at 6:11 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I get the impression that the Wallasey / Lol Duffy issue happened quite a lot during New Labour years, and goes a long way to explaining why the membership and the PLP are so at odds.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:15 PM on July 11, 2016




I get the impression that the Wallasey / Lol Duffy issue happened quite a lot during New Labour years, and goes a long way to explaining why the membership and the PLP are so at odds.

It happened a lot - but as in this case by the time of New Labour (i.e. the mid 90s) the damage had mostly been done; New Labour's main spin on it was all female shortlists imposed on constituencies that might select a radical. Most of the knifing happened in the mid 80s to early 90s under Neil Kinnock; the PLP took one look at the Longest Suicide Note in History and decided "Never Again".
posted by Francis at 6:29 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


effbot's link led me to this, which I didn't know about either: Musicians protest Brexit tensions with Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' in London
On Friday evening, after the referendum's result was announced, musicians assembled outside St-Martin-in-the-Fields in central London for a spontaneous performance of the Ode to Joy from the finale Beethoven's Choral Symphony.
While it is far from the highest quality performance, it gives me all the feels.
posted by zachlipton at 6:40 PM on July 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


The Transatlantic symmetry is uncanny. "Parliamentary Labour Party" resembles "Democratic Leadership Council" in so many ways, as phrases go.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:48 PM on July 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah. The details, the particular machinations and vocabulary and structures, are all different. But our two sides of the Atlantic are rhyming in ways that wouldn't have been expected in the not-too-distant past.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:10 PM on July 11, 2016


.I guess the parallel in my mind is Sanders: while I support him inasmuch as I wish we hadn’t gone to war in Iraq, and think we should have a $15 minimum wage, and free public college and I like all the other things he talks about -- I don’t for a minute believe he has the legislative/negotiating/deal-making skills or relationships to get anything done as president. So to me Sanders is a great protest candidate but not anyone I want to see in the executive office.

I would totally agree if Corbyn hadn't already won the mandate and taken office as leader...

To me the Sanders' comparison is that Sanders kept challenging Clinton when he was clearly no longer a contender. I would have loved to see Sanders be the candidate, but now I think it really is best for him to fight like hell with the winning Dem candidate to defeat Trump, and then go ahead and vote his conscience in the house, after Trump is defeated.

Although Corbyn 's policies are more like Sanders', the roles are reversed (and of course the situation is different with the parliamentary system and leader able be switched by the party etc....) Corbyn is the leader, the country is in a danger equivalent to Trump, and they should rally behind the labour leader who is in power now just so the much needed opposition is present because they have a job to do and whatever Corbin's weaknesses they have only amplified them.

I recognise the ship has sailed so it may simply be too late, but I just continue to be baffled.

So I revert to the old chestnut:

Q: What do you get if you put three lefties in room?
A: Two parties and a faction.


(I'm here all week)
posted by chapps at 8:34 PM on July 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


"When in the course of human events..."
posted by clavdivs at 8:59 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


But our two sides of the Atlantic are rhyming in ways that wouldn't have been expected in the not-too-distant past.

Blair and Clinton both championed a "third way" twenty years ago... Now the UK has Elizabeth May, who, in some ways (aside from gender) resembles HRC.
posted by My Dad at 9:13 PM on July 11, 2016


Eh? If only. Sigh.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:30 PM on July 11, 2016


Richard Murphy points out that in her speech Theresa May has grabbed the idea of People's Quantitative Easing from Jeremy Corbyn. Along with having employee representatives on company boards, it's interesting that her team are obviously looking at the policies that attracted some people to him. Unlike the Labour Right: Angela Eagle seems policy-free.

This is a pattern. Ed Miliband pledged to raise the minimum wage to £8, Osborne made it £9. The Conservatives plan to let TFL gradually take over privatised rail franchises in the South, another Corbyn policy. George Osborne abandoned the cuts to tax credits after Corbyn opposed them: the Labour right thought the cuts were just fine.

After the initially scaremongering, if the Tories see that a left-wing idea is popular, they steal it. But the Labour right are so terrified of being branded left-wing, they refuse to contemplate any policy that might differentiate them.

Corbyn has lots of weaknesses as a candidate. But he didn't win because of black magic and entryism: he won because the Labour right were utterly hopeless and lacking ideas. Nothing I've seen from Angela Eagle or Hilary Benn or Owen Smith suggests that has changed.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:44 PM on July 11, 2016 [23 favorites]


My Dad you mean Theresa May, of the UK, of course, not Elizabeth May of saanich (and my MP!)
posted by chapps at 10:45 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Say what you want about Theresa May but I am fucking loving this plum, long-sleeved, asymmetrical deep-v neckline skirt.
It's going to be mayhem when everyone in Free England is forced to wear it as well.
posted by 3urypteris at 10:50 PM on July 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Look, now that Archer has been renewed for three seasons I have a good idea for a season long arc where Malory ends up PM of the United Kingdom.

It would be topical.
posted by The Whelk at 11:24 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think we agreed up thread that comparing May to repressive or regressive female characters was misogynistic.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:25 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think we agreed up thread that comparing May to repressive or regressive female characters was misogynistic.
Agreed. Her gender is irrelevant, her clothes and appearance are irrelevant. Her policies and her actions as Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister are relevant. It'd be really nice if we could stick to those topics - quite aside from the fact that as a British person, I have absolutely no idea about the US TV shows (?) people are referring to.
posted by winterhill at 12:32 AM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


On that. Did you see the Sun's front page? I just walked past it on the way to work.
It's just a picture of a pair of high heals and a reference to Thatcher
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:35 AM on July 12, 2016


Yes, knowing nothing about either Game of Thrones or Harry Potter makes a lot of online political chatter at the moment completely opaque.
posted by Grangousier at 12:35 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's that Sun front page - Heel Boys.
posted by MattWPBS at 12:49 AM on July 12, 2016


I don't know why the approach that winning general elections is the first, last, and only responsibility of the party is called Blairite other than that Blair actually succeeded.

Because the way that idea is actually used in practice, when someone says 'we need to focus on winning elections/being electable' what they mean is 'we need some nice, sensible, New Labour policies and candidates'. It's because it's not being used to talk about the business of winning votes or the tactics of political maneuvering, but to beat the CLP with a centrist club every time there's a shift to the left. "Unelectable" sounds like "left-wing" to a lot of us these days.
posted by Dysk at 1:41 AM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Well, additionally it's that winning elections seems to be the be all and end all of what they talk about.
More recently there's been a bit more "Win elections so we can...x"
But the problem I have with that is that they tend to imply to the left wing that they need the centrist policies to get elected, and then you'll get all your socialist jams/marmalades, whilst implying to the right wing that the centrist policies are the true goal.
So you have to be lying to someone at least by implication.

You have to stand and be elected on your actual policies and actual beliefs, but I don't want a government to push academisation or rail privatisation or NHS marketisation or welfare restriction or anything like that.
So it's no good telling me that "you have to be in power to change things" because you're telling me that you don't want the same change that I do.

Also, I've noted quite recently a resurgence in the centre right of the party calling themselves socialists again, whilst not really having the voting record to back that up. So clearly Corbyn's having an influence, even if it's just in the language that politicians choose to pander with.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:55 AM on July 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


One of the things that Corbyn's leadership of the Labour party has done has been to show the seams of the way that the media is stitched up by the establishment. Corbyn upsets them a lot as he is showing how popular someone who is true to the core values of the Labour party can be. The consistent campaign by almost all broadcasting outlets against Corbyn is a timely reminder that they are primarily in the business of manufacturing consent. Corbyn is not one of them, he doesn't have skeletons in the closet that they can use to control him. Can you see Corbyn creating a pact with News UK to ensure his election? They know he is never going to deal with the devil and that makes him very dangerous to them.

As has been highlighted above, Labour policies are adopted by the Tories when they see how effective or popular they are. Most people do support re-nationalising the railways, power and water, funding education and the NHS. Corbyn is nudging the Overton window back toward the centre. If the PLP succeed in ousting Corbyn they will lose any pretense of being a left wing party.

I don't think it would be unhealthy for the Tories to occupy the right wing, Liberal Democrats the centre and Labour the left wing. A Lib Dem/Labour coalition government may well be the result at the next election, if the Lib Dems continue with their pro-Europe stance they will hoover up middle-ground voters who are pro-Europe. The Tories and Ukip can split the anti-Europe (anti-reason) vote and Labour can pick up votes from the majority of people who want the country to be livable, as long as they get their message across to the voters. This last bit is tricky given the hostile main stream media, but there are other means. Social media can drive main stream media reporting.
posted by asok at 2:25 AM on July 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Richard Murphy points out that in her speech Theresa May has grabbed the idea of People's Quantitative Easing from Jeremy Corbyn.

Teresa May used the term "project bond", which is nothing new. If Richard Murphy claims he (or Corbyn) invented that, they're rather confused.
posted by effbot at 2:28 AM on July 12, 2016


Today's UK front pages
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:31 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


The consistent campaign

You do realize that things like "Media Lens" and "The Canary" are fringe sites run by Corbyn zealots, with a huge willingness to publish left-wing conspiracy theories, right? (main headlines on the latter right now: how great it is that Corbynistas are flooding Eagle's social media channels with Corbyn hashtags, and how Corbyn is a JFK for the future). People would laugh you off the site if you linked to Alex Jones for proof, but left-wing crackpots are apparently considered credible.
posted by effbot at 3:04 AM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]




One of the things that Corbyn's leadership of the Labour party has done has been to show the seams of the way that the media is stitched up by the establishment. Corbyn upsets them a lot as he is showing how popular someone who is true to the core values of the Labour party can be.

I think this is straight-up wrong in several ways. First, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the referendum and the chaos afterwards, it’s that ‘the establishment’ in the sense of an all-powerful cabal, or even a hard-to-shift elite consensus, can’t stitch things up so well these days. All three main political parties, big business, a big chunk of the commentariat and pretty much all of legal and economic expert opinion fell on the side of Remain, and look what happened. I’m not even sure there’s been an establishment in that sense for a while now: it’s just different powerful interest groups who’ll align themselves around a functioning political settlement but at other times, like now, run around like headless chickens.

Second, ‘the media’ isn’t just one thing. It runs from the Murdoch empire and the Tory button-pushers at the Telegraph and Mail to the BBC to the Labour button-pushers at the Guardian. For the Murdoch papers and the more traditional Tory papers, Corbyn is just an irresistible target. The BBC is in a tough place because it’s been under heavy pressure from the Tory government for a while now and so tries meekly to reflect a kind of media-consensus position, dragged to the right by the Tory papers, with the result that it he said/she said-ed the referendum debate in too timid a way. So it’s going to reflect a media-consensus position on Corbyn, which is that he’s a bit useless. The Guardian is run by Labour people who have an interest in Labour winning elections. There are a few very notionally left-of-centre commentators who bet the bank on the sacred cause of invading Iraq (people like Nick Cohen and John Rentoul, and David Aaronovich if he’s even notionally left-of-centre these days), and who would be against Corbyn come what may. But if Corbyn looked to be leading Labour anywhere other than off a cliff, the Guardian would fall in line and the BBC would take a more respectful tone.

Third, where’s the evidence that Corbyn is popular, or that Labour is under him? I’m not blaming him alone for the state of the Labour Party, and in lots of ways he’s a symptom rather than a cause of its weakness – for instance that they haven’t found someone more inspiring to challenge him. But this idea that he’s super-popular and that’s why The Man is out to get him is just magical thinking. The main evidence on offer is that Labour didn’t do quite as badly as predicted in the council elections (though it still did very badly); that Labour has taken some city mayoralties (though often with candidates who took their distance from Corbyn, as Sadiq Khan did); that Labour supporters broke for Remain in the same proportions that SNP supporters did (though Labour supporters in the cities and university towns were always going to be Remainers, and heartland voters are another story); and that he’s able to attract sufficient numbers of Greens, left groupuscule members, millennials who formed their political identities in opposition to Blair, and hacked-off old-school Labour activists to clean up in the tiny self-selecting electorate that’s motivated to vote in Labour leadership elections (in which his support adds up, in general election terms, to about one twentieth of the Lib Dem vote that landed them a whole 8 MPs last time round).

Add to that that he can’t even clear the very low bar of getting 51 Labour MPs to nominate him, and that Labour has been consistently behind in the polls under his leadership, and you’ve got a clearer picture of why people sometimes write mean things about him in the papers.
posted by Mocata at 3:18 AM on July 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


The Morning Star went with 'Mayday! Mayday!', which seems apt.

In Labour shitshow news, apparently someone bricked Angela Eagle's office in Wallasey and her staff aren't answering the 'phones because of abusive calls.
posted by jack_mo at 3:27 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Lib Dems have got a new 404 page.
posted by MattWPBS at 3:34 AM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


That fantasy on Cameron's Lament is really rather good. If it's not used as the closing music for a political drama based on recent events, TANJ.
posted by Devonian at 3:37 AM on July 12, 2016


Labour button-pushers at the Guardian

I think the last political party they officially backed was the Lib Dems wasn't it?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:38 AM on July 12, 2016


And if you want anything on why you should take The Canary with a shovel of salt, here's Private Eye on them.

Anyone want to guess what The Canary then called the writer?
posted by MattWPBS at 3:46 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]



I've avoided linking to the canary here a few times, because I'm not convinced by it.
Though it's surely relatively equal in propaganda terms as the Telegraph or the Evening Standard, and it couldn't be ethically worse than the Mail.

Still it's views are pretty out there sometimes, and there is a lot of conspiracy thinking, and confirmation biasing and so on.

I seem to recall a reddit thread on them debating whether they were (charitably) The Sun of the Left or (less charitably) the Breitbart of the Left.

Also I seem to recall they have a paid by the click model for writers, which encourages click baity style.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:47 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the last political party they officially backed was the Lib Dems wasn't it?

No, it was Labour. You're thinking of the 2010 election, when they freakily backed the Lib Dems as Gordon Brown went down (probably on the theory that the Lib Dems were best placed to hurt the Tories). I don't think that does all that much harm to my uncontroversial claim that the Guardian is basically a Labour paper though.
posted by Mocata at 3:48 AM on July 12, 2016


"If you stand for nothing, what'll you fall for" - Hamilton

This is the problem Corbyn's opponents have - and the fundamental problem with Milliband's election campaign. Corbyn stands for something and has a vision. That vision hasn't changed in 40 years - but he still stands for something. Milliband appeared to stand for winning the election and nothing else other than being not as bad as the Tories. For that matter so did both Burnham and Kendall at the Labour leadership election (Corbyn won in part because he was the most competent of the four running).


I agree with much of this. I think a big part of it is that the PLP under Blair & Brown spent a decade or two making damn sure the left had little power in the party in a reaction to the events of the 80s. Unfortunately they did so by concentrating power in the hands of the executive (which they could control) rather than opening up the Labour party to a wider base (which to be fair might have been very difficult — all parties have struggled with over the last couple of decades. Even with the Momentum influx I think today’s Labour membership numbers are much smaller than a couple of decades ago) The problem with eliminating anyone that threatens your power base as a response to an insurgency is that once you yourself have gone, you leave a bunch of follower non-entities behind you instead than people capable of picking up where you left off and carrying on the fight. So the Labour PLP is shorn of people who actually have ideas of their own, because those with ideas were eliminated by the Blairites (the real Blairites, not those that the Corbynites like to call “Blairites”, which appears to be anyone who opposes Corbyn for any reason whatsoever).

It’s not entirely surprising that Corbyn has attracted the following he has — for those that the Blairites ejected from the Labour party he represents a return to their ideals. It’s also not at all surprising that those who went through the 80s look at the people surrounding Corbyn and see a return to those days, when Labour was regarded by a sufficiently large chunk of the population as being beyond the pale that electoral obscurity for 4 general elections was the end result.
posted by pharm at 3:49 AM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Media Lens has been around since 2001 and has nothing to do with 'Corbyn Zealotry'.
posted by Coda Tronca at 3:50 AM on July 12, 2016


Lib Dems have got a new 404 page.

Oh good, they used a good picture of Theresa May and not a snap out of hundred in the middle of a speech that makes her look a bit silly.
Oh wait...
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:52 AM on July 12, 2016


Also I seem to recall [The Canary] have a paid by the click model for writers, which encourages click baity style.

According to that link to Private Eye by MattWPBS, yes.

(For older eyes, Crrl + makes the Eye article readable)
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:59 AM on July 12, 2016


According to that link to Private Eye by MattWPBS, yes.

According to themselves, too: "Each contributor / editor is paid based on the percentage of web traffic their articles generate during a given calendar month. It’s as simple as that."

They call it "disruptive" and "democratic", of course.
posted by effbot at 4:06 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


From not-quite-as-fond-of-Corbyn media: Jeremy Corbyn Responds To Leadership Challenge And Theresa May Becoming PM By Going To Cuban Solidarity Event.

I guess it could have been worse.
posted by effbot at 4:09 AM on July 12, 2016


I'm glad The Canary is around to blow the whistle on such deep-laid conspiracies as a bloke who heckled Corbyn turning out to have connections to an organisation called the Labour Party and not to like Corbyn all that much.
posted by Mocata at 4:10 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


To be fair, wasn't that heckling bloke supposedly from a PR Firm?
(Not that that proves anything, but The Canary are very keen on the idea that Portland has been hired to PR manage the "coup", which wouldn't be that much of a stretch from how the party under Blair did Media management)

wake up sheeple
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:14 AM on July 12, 2016


Still, sounds like an improvement on pig-fucker, right?

Yeah but Theresa May doesn't actually shoot ice from her fingers right? Whereas...


But there is no "whereas" there after all, it was a stupid rumour and a stupid insult, and throwaway sarcasm aside, point is I’m not really sure what’s "better" between that kind of insult that has nothing to do with politics and over the top fictional caricatures that have nothing to do with politics either. Not preaching anything here, I’ve been guilty of that myself but now I’m having a serious attack of nostalgia for the days when politicians commanded at least some institutional respect even by their fiercest opponents... I’m worried we’re all getting far too comfortable with the language of those who thrive on populist resentment.

And that’s not even factoring in what billibie said above...

Just watched the Guardian’s video profile on May and a big resigned "sigh" is all I have. Tough woman, difficult woman, obvious Thatcher reference, predictable but less obvious Merkel reference based on absolutely nothing relevant to their politics which couldn’t be more apart, and then shoes, and Abba, very helpful, not really. (The video profile is a sumup of how she’s been described so it’s not entirely the Guardian’s fault that those are the terms of reference I guess but ah, sigh...)

Setting aside one's feelings on any of these people or their views, if Clinton wins in November and Merkel wins in 2017, both of which seem likely, and May remains PM of the UK, three major Western powers will have female leaders at the same time.

And oh don’t you look forward to all the gendered crap they will get thrown at them and the even more absurd cross-analogies we’ll be subjected to, I can’t wait! (sigh)
posted by bitteschoen at 4:23 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


To be fair, wasn't that heckling bloke supposedly from a PR Firm?

Portland Communications I think, yeah. The Canary is definitely keen on that idea. It doesn't seem to have occurred to them that a company that did media management for Labour might have some Labour people in it. Or that attacking the Labour right and centre for having some kind of media strategy might be not be the most sensible line for them to take.
posted by Mocata at 4:26 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]




Corbyn v Eagle will decide whether LAB continues to be a parliamentary party Joff Wild on the website Political Betting:
For a party whose primary goal is to secure power through Parliament the next step is absolutely clear: Corbyn would stand down, Tom Watson would take over as temporary leader and others would seek the nominations needed to participate in a leadership election. The members would then decide who they want to do the job. This is the concept of the Labour party that Angela Eagle represents, and which at least 171 more of the party’s MPs also believe in

As we know, though, Corbyn has not resigned. This is because for Corbyn, Labour is a party “in the country”. That is, it is a party whose primary aim is to reflect the beliefs of its membership and to campaign for these. According to this view, the role of MPs is not to act as representatives of their constituents – the premise that underpins the notion of parliamentary democracy – but to act according to the instructions of Labour party members. Whether Labour is in power or not is by the by: what matter is that the voice of the membership takes precedence.
posted by pharm at 4:28 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Coda Tronca: I'm sure the heckler knew what he was doing, and there is a bit of an unseemly rush to pile on to Cobyn at times. On the other hand, the heckle did crystalise a legitimate story, namely: why the hell is Corbyn still trying to cling on?
posted by Mocata at 4:34 AM on July 12, 2016


He's not 'clinging on,' because he has a huge mandate from 9 months ago and would easily defeat any other candidate for leader. The media and the PLP want him gone, for reasons too obvious and numerous to bother going into again. It's a sad day when an actual Portland Communications employee takes the front pages posing as the 'voice of the people'.
posted by Coda Tronca at 4:42 AM on July 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


It may be that we're not going to reach a golden agreement in this matter.
posted by Mocata at 4:49 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Joff Wild on the website Political Betting

I'm not sure I buy that, to be honest.
It seems to be suggesting that everyone else in politics is purely there to put forth a kind of viewpoint free managerial competence. Or at least that that is what it means to be a political party.

It seems like people are trying to redefine what a political party is. It's by it's very nature driven by the views of it's members. Yes, they must represent everyone, but they do so through the lens of their beliefs and ideologies. That's formed by the membership.

That's not even to get into the long history of Labour as both a party and a movement.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:50 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


More from the rumour mill (article from yesterday): Owen Smith has decided to run to become Labour leader - and could launch his campaign as early as tomorrow, PoliticsHome can reveal.

Twitter is overflowing with Corbynistas posting about what a horrible person he is (seemingly split between "he's never had a real job" and "he worked for big pharma") so at least some are taking the rumours seriously, even if sources close to him are less convinced.
posted by effbot at 4:54 AM on July 12, 2016


Some good news on consistency at No. 10. Larry the Cat is staying on.
posted by biffa at 4:57 AM on July 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


It seems to be suggesting that everyone else in politics is purely there to put forth a kind of viewpoint free managerial competence. Or at least that that is what it means to be a political party.

!? I don’t understand where this interpretation of the article comes from: A Parliament focused Labour Party can still be an ideological one.
posted by pharm at 4:57 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've heard this "taking down Corbyn is a defence of parliamentary democracy" line a lot lately. I'm partial to it myself. But I think the difficulty is that Labour has been guilty of being a rather bad parliamentary party, and standing up for the ideals of representative democracy at this late stage looks rather hypocritical. The Party has neglected its local offices and habitually parachuted Oxbridge-educated former special advisors into safe seats with which the new MP has not the slightest degree of connection. How is Londoner Ed Miliband "representative" of Doncaster North? How is Chris Bryant, graduate of Oxford and the exclusive Cheltenham College (2016 school fees £8,660–£8,975), "representative" of the deprived Welsh electorate he serves, Rhondda? And let's not forget those stories issuing from Labour about how "surprised" they were to hear how unpopular the EU was in the Labour heartlands. If they were a decent parliamentary party, wouldn't they know what the mood of their electorates was? The truth is that most people vote for parties, not the local MP. From the perspective of the electorate, members of the PLP are essentially highly interchangeable human counters. But like a lot of extremely privileged people, they mistake their positions of privilege for inborn merit, and assume a much larger degree of consent from the populace than they actually possess.

I agree that a loss of faith in representative democracy is a bad and worrying thing. But we can't underestimate the role of the representatives themselves (and those who select them) in creating this atmosphere. Treat the selection of parliamentary candidates like a closed list system, in which local councilors and activists are habitually passed over in favour of posh young special advisors straight out of head office, and it's no wonder that the mood of the local membership might start to simmer and curdle.
posted by Sonny Jim at 5:05 AM on July 12, 2016 [26 favorites]


It's by it's very nature driven by the views of it's members.

Which makes the bit about how they acquire new members rather interesting. Have there been any actual studies of the influx of GBP3 keyboard members and where they came from? Done by people who have some ideas of how to run studies, that is, not just people asking their friends.

(it's not hard to find people on Twitter bragging about how easy it is to register multiple times and how they will use all their electoral register entries/labour memberships to fight for Corbyn, but hopefully that's just a bunch of trolls).
posted by effbot at 5:05 AM on July 12, 2016


That's just how it read to me.
Of course a parliamentary party can be ideological, that ideology is developed through the voice of the membership.

From my interpretation he puts forward two alternatives
"a party whose primary aim is to reflect the beliefs of its membership and to campaign for these"
Or
" the role of MPs is ... to act as representatives of their constituents"*
and I think that's a false dichotomy.

The first suggests only the membership get a say and the second says that pure representation of the constituents is their job. It's not. It's a combination of both.

So after setting up the false dichotomy he then settles on one side of it. The pure representation.
Which I interpreted as saying that an MPs parliamentary job is as a neutral representative, therefore only elected on managerial competence.


*slightly edited because he's saying that Corbyn doesn't believe this, so it's written as a negative in the article, but in full says "According to this view, the role of MPs is not to act as representatives of their constituents – the premise that underpins the notion of parliamentary democracy"
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:10 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


GBP3 keyboard members
These are officially "supporters" allowed to vote in leadership elections, but not full members.

I'm not sure how you;d do any kind of decent analysis on new members or £3 supporters though.

Geo data maybe, like address?
You could do some analysis based on name, but that would be crude and unreliable.
Self reported reasons for joining, I wouldn't even bother downloading the dataset. That's worthless.

And if you're approaching with extreme scepticism (and why wouldn't you) any self reported data is going to be pretty flaky stuff.
If you were analysing for any form of "entryism" or fraud then the first thing I'd do (if I were trying to commit it) is establish an idea of what income or educational or racial background to report to support whatever side of the debate you're on.

I'd quite like a crack at the data though, I reckon I could produce all sorts of lovely graphs.
(But then that's true of practically any dataset. Graphs are nice.)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:20 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Party has neglected its local offices and habitually parachuted Oxbridge-educated former special advisors into safe seats with which the new MP has not the slightest degree of connection.

That was one of the heartbreaking things about Jo Cox's murder. She could also have been described as an "Oxbridge-educated former special advisor", but she was born in Batley, and raised in another town in the Batley and Spen constituency, and ended up representing them. That's the kind of parachuting that makes sense.
posted by rory at 5:22 AM on July 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


You’ll also find the Tories bragging that they joined the Labour party multiple times in order to vote for Corbyn. How many of these people are out there? It’s impossible to know for sure. Hopefully not very many :(

I think Sonny Jim’s critique of the way the party treated it’s local offices is spot on btw. Give people the mushroom treatment & eventually they tire of the pile of shit being heaped on top of them. This was the major effect of the Blair / Brown conflict & their joint project to oust “the left” from the party. At the beginning it might have made sense, but by the 2000s it was manifestly obvious (to me) that this approach was creating a dangerous disconnect between the parliamentary party and the grass roots that was hollowing out the party.

Just this guy: I think the distinction is slightly different. It’s not that the parliamentary side suggests that Labour MPs should be purely representing their constituents views as managerial automatons, but rather that meeting their constituents where they are politically is a prerequisite to obtaining & keeping power - to be as socialist as the country will permit and have to power to implement that vision in other words. This is contrasted with the purported Corbynite view where the Party membership viewpoint is sacrosanct & if that means the electorate are unwilling to vote for your policies then so be it.
posted by pharm at 5:22 AM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's maybe a bit long, but looks like May might have a good GIF loop for her 404 page.
posted by effbot at 5:28 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Party has neglected its local offices and habitually parachuted Oxbridge-educated former special advisors into safe seats with which the new MP has not the slightest degree of connection.

I for one have always wondered how Tristram Hunt's MP's surgeries go in Stoke-on-Trent
posted by brilliantmistake at 5:46 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just find the whole situation in the Labour party depressing as hell. As I imagine do most of the people involved in it.

I feel that the centre ground of British politics has been being pulled right for decades, and we’re overdue a course correction: which presumably means a more left-wing Labour party. But Jeremy Corbyn never seemed like the right man to do it. He’s a walking caricature of a beardy old Trot who has spent most of his career rebelling against the parliamentary party, so he came with a lot of baggage in the first place. And he doesn’t seem very good at the presentational side of politics: giving speeches and interviews and all the other PR-type stuff.

You can try to present those as positives: he is committed to his political ideals, and he’s not just another polished spin-merchant. But I just don’t find him impressive or inspiring. What we need is a candidate who can make left-wing politics seem forward-looking, expansive and exciting; someone with the presentational skills of a Trudeau, an Obama, a Bill Clinton. Or even a Farage or a Ken Livingstone. Electing Corbyn just felt like the Labour party disappearing up its own arse.

I guess I feel that, the more significant the change you want to achieve, the more impressive the candidate you need to do it. If you’re going to shift the whole political balance of the Labour party, in the face of inevitable opposition from within the party, as well the right-wing press and the Tories, you need someone who is seriously good at politics. Which I don’t think is Jeremy Corbyn. If anything he may have set back the left wing cause because he will be used as a cautionary tale for years to come.

And I understand why his supporters are hanging on like grim death: they may have to wait years to get another chance to have one of their own in the leadership. But it’s not going to end well.

[obviously what we really need is electoral reform to a voting system that can accommodate more than one left of centre party, but that’s a whole different subject]
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 5:56 AM on July 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


Mocata - I’m not even sure there’s been an establishment in that sense for a while now: it’s just different powerful interest groups

During the referendum the papers reported in agreement with the wishes of their owners. The BBC did a poor job of fact checking and pulling up Leave lies on air, relying on the website to post corrections. The Guardian was doing most of the leg work for the establishment. This is different to the Corbyn issue.

Taking the example of the Guardian, the coverage of Corbyn has been negative from the moment he was elected leader. They also amplify the media noise onslaught against him. The result of all that is that the leadership spend their time putting out media created fires as shown in the Vice documentary. The BBC are worse, there is no critique of the source of the fire, and sometimes they are also responsible for starting the fires! The statistics on the media coverage of Corbyn are clear, negative stories outnumber positive ones by six to one. There really isn't anyone who has brought down the opprobrium of the main stream press like this in my lifetime and chosen to stay in the limelight. Maybe he learned from Tony Benn's experiences that the media are never to be trusted. Maybe they are upset that he doesn't like them and chose to celebrate his leadership with his supporters at the pub rather than holding a press conference.

There is clearly a media campaign against him, that is pretty obvious. The propaganda is as blatant as any I have seen. This enrages the angry wing of the Momentum squad and plays into their fears and paranoia, which keeps them busy blowing out hot air rather than doing anything useful. Which is a fortuitous by product as far as those opposed to Corbyn are concerned.

People who I didn't know had any particularly strong views on the tawdry spectacle of British politics are surprising me by being very vocal in their support of Corbyn. There appear to be a large number of people who relish the chance to support a leader that represents more to them than being 'not as bad as the Tories'. They have been holding their noses to vote Labour since 1992, but now they can finally see someone who they want to vote for. On top of those people are the first or second time voters who seem to be well represented.

I agree that Corbyn leadership is partly a result of a lack of a coherent vision in the Labour party, but that is what the middle-ground chasing of the past twenty years has resulted in. They are the victim of their own fight to stay as bland as possible. If there were anyone inspiring who would stand against Corbyn they might win, but I haven't heard any suggestions as to who that might be. There is no rush to oust Corbyn, if these PLP people started working with the membership to heal the divisions instead of pushing a top down coup on them then we might see some progress.
posted by asok at 6:01 AM on July 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


From the Jacobin article I linked to above:
'Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to the leadership of the Labour Party was an earthquake in politics which reflected a deep disillusionment in the political and economic system. His tenure in that position has been shaped by a media environment which is no less in need of such an earthquake.'

One of the problems is that the media environment is such that the message is that it is OK for disillusioned people to gravitate toward the far right and UKIP, but if a left wing figure emerges who offers them some hope then a storm of negativity is unleashed.
posted by asok at 6:06 AM on July 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


During the referendum the papers reported in agreement with the wishes of their owners.

Rupert Murdoch's recent marriage must have really distracted him: The Sun was gung-ho for "Leave", whilst his The Times backed "Remain".
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:15 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Times is under an obligation to provide some kind of semblance to a connection with the real world that The Sun lacks.
posted by Artw at 6:20 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


From the Jacobin article I linked to above

I didn't recognize the author so looked him up on the Internet. He's really really really excited right now over how Corbynchan trolls are attacking Eagle on the Internet, flooding all her social media with Corbyn hashtags and forcing her team to take down posts. That's winning, apparently. I think I can skip the rest of the article; I'm pretty sure I've seen all the arguments already during my occasional romps through the weirder corners of the UK left wing.
posted by effbot at 6:28 AM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Just to note that "Corbynista" is pretty much up there with "SJW" and "virtue signalling" in terms of phrases which drastically lessen how worthwhile one's opinions sound with every use...
posted by ominous_paws at 6:58 AM on July 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


Some good news on consistency at No. 10. Larry the Cat is staying on.

Like most cats, Larry was in favor of both Leave and Remain, and so fits in with the new leadership entirely.
posted by briank at 7:00 AM on July 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


asok – I can see where you’re coming from but I still think you’re shooting the messenger a bit. The Tory papers always go after Labour leaders (even back when the Sun backed Blair, it mostly liked to back him on things where he was at odds with his own MPs); it’s just they haven’t, since Michael Foot, had someone so easy for them to kick around. The Guardian, which I used to work for, is filled with people who share Bloxworth Snout’s analysis above, namely that Corbyn’s heart is in the right place but that he damages his own cause by not being very good at politics. You mention the Vice documentary: that’s a fire in itself right there, and it was Seamus Milne who started it. You can’t expect the media not to report it when Corbyn’s team keeps shooting itself in the foot.
posted by Mocata at 7:04 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Just to note that "Corbynista" is pretty much up there with "SJW" and "virtue signalling" in terms of phrases which drastically lessen how worthwhile one's opinions sound with every use...

Aye, add Blairite to that list.

Corbyn has had death threats too, calling for calm and respect from all sides.

Question - what do people think about the NEC vote being secret or not?
posted by MattWPBS at 7:06 AM on July 12, 2016


I'm in the antipodes with our own political issues, but it seems revealing to me that the anti-corbyn crew will explode the party rather than allow his left agenda to get to a general election. I appreciate you could be a centrist MP fearing losing your seat with an election ahead, but Trump, Brexit, Greece etc. have shown the general public's appetite for tossing aside the establishment.
Why the terror at a Corbyn lead party? The polls have proved poor predictors lately. If you destroy him you will clearly destroy the party with his rank & file support, leading to your own demise anyway.
Why not punt on an anti-establishment line as an election strategy and see what happens, as opposed to destroying yourself and your party anyway?
And deep down, the only chance to make real left change is via a solidly left leader. Do you now look back and rue the day the NHS was formed? Do you wish there was higher inequality? Corbyn is a discomforting leader to those who are Labour MPs from previous centrist governments, who knew how to win under the old rules.
The rules have changed and the old style Blairite labour is a losing model. Maybe Corbyn isn't the new winning model, we haven't tested it yet, but to depose the leader before he faces an election is the party's suicide, just when the Tories were looking their most fragmented and defeatable.
I'm sure there is micro-polling and what-not supporting the traitors, but I can't imagine the public will view it as other than disgraceful.
It just looks so shambolic from afar. For the hope of the average Britain who I believe will do better under a left government, I hope it plays better to the electorate.
posted by bystander at 7:07 AM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


as a British person, I have absolutely no idea about the US TV shows (?) people are referring to

Archer airs on Channel 5 and to all appearances has done so since its inception, so if you're unfamiliar with it it's not because you are British. It is worth checking out; it is (or starts out as) a spoof of spy movies/shows of the James Bond / Man From UNCLE variety and runs with it to weird places, such as becoming cocaine dealers.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:08 AM on July 12, 2016


Can we add 'the elites' to the list as well?

Question - what do people think about the NEC vote being secret or not?

The speculation I'm hearing - from those hoping that the NEC will exclude Corbyn from the ballot - is a hope that i) the brick through Angela Eagle's window and so on will persuade them of a need for a secret ballot because of intimidation etc (NEC votes are usually done by a show of hands); and ii) that a secret ballot will let one or two union representatives vote to exclude him while continuing to make Corbyn-friendly noises in public (union leaderships being vulnerable to challenges from the left).
posted by Mocata at 7:13 AM on July 12, 2016


yankeefog: "I would like to observe that Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Blair are not the only two Labour politicians who have ever lived."

[Camera pans over Yeovil, Somerset, and then tracks north to open fields. Move in to a metal shaft poking out of the ground, and then zoom down it, for over a minute. Camera emerges into a vast chamber, buzzing with technicians all maintaining inscrutable machinery. At the center of it all is massive throne, laden with life support equipment. On the throne sprawls a man of perhaps 70, seemingly half-conscious.

A figure approaches and falls to one knee. "Sir. It is time."

The man stirs and opens his eyes. For the Age of Ernest Bevin had at last returned.]
posted by Chrysostom at 7:14 AM on July 12, 2016 [6 favorites]




Just to note that "Corbynista" is pretty much up there with "SJW" and "virtue signalling" in terms of phrases which drastically lessen how worthwhile one's opinions sound with every use...

But Blairite is fine? Or traitors? (ok, that was a few posts down from yours, but...)

I've used Corbynista twice in this thread -- in both cases for the folks that are currently aggressively flooding any opponent's social media presence with corbyn hashtags and other spam, to force the opponents and whatever supporters they have off the Internet. But ok, I'll call that crowd corbynchanners from now on, because the chan world is clearly where they've picked up their tactics. Also #notallcorbynistas etc.
posted by effbot at 7:39 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


> I'll call that crowd corbynchanners from now on

Corbyngaters?
posted by Leon at 7:46 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I used Blairite to as shorthand for centrist Labour MPs wedded to a neo-conservative strategy to win elections at the margins rather than by a strongly defined left agenda. I called them centrists too, if that doesn't offend. Blair was a highly successful candidate, and I supported his charismatic populist agenda, it was easy when the alternative was Major.
If Blairite has become slur, it is more to do with the reluctance of some Labour MPs to move with the times, than about tarring them unfairly.
I also called the non-Corbyn camp traitors, as they are behaving in a traitorous way to the party's elected leadership, regardless of your opinions of that leadership. Should they prevail and become the elected leadership they would cease to be traitorous. "ruling group nomenclature" I guess. *shrug*
posted by bystander at 7:48 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was no fan of Cameron to begin with, but this is the last straw.
posted by doop at 7:52 AM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


She might be a Tory, but turns out Ruth Davidson has one hell of a good sense of humour from her press gallery speech:

Davidson mocked Andrea Leadsom.
  • Before politics not only was a BBC journalist but I singlehandedly saved the British banking system during the Barings collapse ... A little known fact was that I was the original Misha the bear at the 1980 Moscow olympics, and that was the same year I won Eurovision. Which speaking as a mother ...

    She explained why she did not take part in the EU referendum debate alongside Angela Eagle.
  • I’d had a phone call from Craig Oliver saying we want you to do the Wembley debate, Labour are putting up Angela Eagle. That is great Craig but are you absolutely sure you want two short-haired, flat shoes, shovel-faced lesbians with a northern accent? I think he’d never been spoken to like that before as he turned into Hugh Grant and (grunts) ... Then we got Sadiq.

    She mocked Labour.
  • Everyone else in UK politics is either resigning, getting knifed, bottling it, withdrawing, failing, declaring, or falling on their sword. I think the mad thing in all of the last few weeks is that the last man standing is Jeremy Corbyn. Although I am pleased that the PLP is about to show how united they are by putting forward a second unity candidate against the first. That’s the difference between our two parties - Labour is still fumbling with its flies while the Tories are enjoying their post-coital cigarette. After withdrawing our massive Johnson.

    And then she mocked Leadsom again.
  • I didn’t say that, you can’t report that, and it would be gutter journalism of the highest order if you wrote down exactly what I’ve just said.

  • posted by MattWPBS at 7:59 AM on July 12, 2016 [18 favorites]




    Uh..
    Pretty sure Larry was an official civil servant
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:01 AM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Labour NEC vote on if Corbyn needs 51 MPs/MEPs or not is going through as a secret ballot.
    posted by MattWPBS at 8:02 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Michael Crick on Twitter: 'Labour NEC chair tells Corbyn to leave the room but Corbyn refuses to go'
    posted by Mocata at 8:20 AM on July 12, 2016


    Ruth Davidson is a women who knows exactly who she is. Also, she either has a good speech writer or a second career in comedy waiting for her.
    posted by pharm at 8:21 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    I wouldn't have imagined tories could be that funny and self (ish)-effacing. I need to go home and rethink my life.
    posted by greenish at 8:30 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Re that spamming thing I mentioned earlier; the corbynspammers have found a new target.
    posted by effbot at 8:35 AM on July 12, 2016


    Latest Private Eye front cover
    posted by Mister Bijou at 8:40 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Stephen Bush on Twitter: '"Watson has stitched it up", texts senior loyalist.'
    posted by Mocata at 8:54 AM on July 12, 2016


    Stephen Bush on Twitter: “‘Watson has stitched it up,’ texts senior loyalist.”

    I am impressed that the UK is willing to give control of their country to IBM, but given the circumstances I’m not surprised.
    posted by Going To Maine at 9:23 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Mefi's own watson FYI!
    posted by lalochezia at 9:36 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Mefi's own watson FYI!

    baggymp
    posted by Mister Bijou at 9:41 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Michael Chessum in The Independent: You can't call Jeremy Corbyn unpopular and unelectable while fighting to keep him off a ballot because he's too popular
    At root, what many MPs are displaying, along with any member of Labour’s national executive who votes in line with this attempt to exclude Corbyn, is abject contempt for the movement they are supposed to represent. If they succeed, and if MPs then fail to nominate him, they will create a crisis in the Labour Party that will take decades to heal – if it does not destroy it entirely.

    This contempt could not be more at odds with the hope and enthusiasm that exists at Labour’s grassroots. When Angela Eagle launched her campaign she made much of the fact that these are “dark days for Labour”. What she failed to mention was that the party’s membership is now at its highest point in decades, and is rising. The movement built around Jeremy Corbyn has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to become politically active. An honest, principled anti-austerity politics has forced retreats from the government and is connecting with people and areas which Labour had lost. It hasn’t been easy, but when many of your own MPs are desperate for you to fail, it never is.
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:13 AM on July 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


    You can't call Jeremy Corbyn unpopular and unelectable while fighting to keep him off a ballot because he's too popular

    Of course you can, if you're talking about two different groups of voters. See the rules matter link posted earlier for what groups there are, and where they are on the political scale.
    posted by effbot at 10:20 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    But no one's trying to keep him off the ballot paper. It's a two-part mechanism. First you have to get the support of significant number of MPs, because there's no point putting someone out to party members as a candidate if they can't run the parliamentary party. Then party members, affiliates and registered supporters vote for the candidate they like. It's just that Corbyn has created an absurd situation by announcing that it doesn't matter if he can't run the parliamentary party and trying to cling on after the Shadow Cabinet resigned en masse.
    posted by Mocata at 10:22 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    The movement built around Jeremy Corbyn has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to become politically active.

    Ye-ees but I'm a bit tired of the idea that a shower of fucking people who tweet really passionately about things spunking out £3 for a Corbyn kickstarter gives them ownership of a movement built on actual activism and serious organising.

    Yes, the PLP is full of no-hopers, but I'm beyond tired of the "Corbyn or bust" nonsense here. The party should be bigger than one flawed man.
    posted by bonaldi at 10:29 AM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


    But no one's trying to keep him off the ballot paper.

    Pff. Come off it.
    posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on July 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


    You know what I mean though. There's a difference between not being automatically on the ballot, and being banned from it. If he can talk round 51 MPs he'll still be on it.
    posted by Mocata at 10:32 AM on July 12, 2016


    Also, it's all moot since the NEC are taking forever and who knows which way they'll go.
    posted by Mocata at 10:33 AM on July 12, 2016


    a shower of fucking people who tweet really passionately about things spunking out £3 for a Corbyn kickstarter gives them ownership of a movement built on actual activism and serious organising.

    The idea that Corbyn inspires a following that is less partial to activism than, say, Watson, is laughable.

    And anyway, when they do 'serious organising' the Blairites call them thugs.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 10:34 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Apparently meeting could go on till 10pm.

    And anyway, when they do 'serious organising' the Blairites call them thugs.

    Go on, which bit of serious organising got them called thugs?
    posted by MattWPBS at 10:38 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Incidentally Eagle herself may need to run a £3 kickstarter for her campaign, if her funding from Unite (£50,000 last time she stood) is withdrawn. Perhaps she could rely on hedge fund managers like Dan Jarvis does?

    Go on, which bit of serious organising got them called thugs?


    I don't know but it must be something, since they haven't done any thuggery.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 10:41 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    This is all so very desperate and transparent. It's pretty cear Labour is unelectable now either way this struggle goes.
    posted by Artw at 10:55 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Also, it's all moot since the NEC are taking forever and who knows which way they'll go.

    Rumors on the Internet say May will call a snap election shortly, to be held before they come out. Other rumors say that they may not finish before 2020.
    posted by effbot at 10:56 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I don't know about thugs, but if you need another example of the weird de-glorifying lens the media reports Corbyn through, and Momentum's activities relating to him especially, you can look at the rally held in Parliament Square the Monday after the referendum.

    I read articles the day after which talked about how it was "mainly young momentum supporters" when I saw people of all ages and colour, and know people who went for all reasons not just because they're momentum folk. I read about how there were hordes of SWP people, ffs they just MAKE GOOD PLACARDS ok. I read about how his speech was weak/didn't address the issues/whatever. Well, ok, so it didn't sound like Pop Idol Politics, it wasn't FUCK THE TORIES LETS SMASH THE SYSTEM, but it was a beautiful, down-to-earth reminder to everyone to be kind, stand up against racism and xenophobia and all the other ugliness that the referendum had stirred up, and keep on trucking basically. It was a lovely moment after a bleak time. Just about none of that came across in the reporting of it that I read.
    posted by greenish at 10:56 AM on July 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


    a shower of fucking people who tweet really passionately about things spunking out £3 for a Corbyn kickstarter

    I find it hard to deride people for not being interested in politics when the moment they start to show an inkling of interest they're derided so viciously for not previously having shown sufficient interest. Entry level position, six years experience required please.
    posted by lucidium at 10:59 AM on July 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


    I'm not sure that 'they make good placards' is the best justification for having loads of SWP placards at a rally for someone who's meant to be a Labour politician.
    posted by Mocata at 11:01 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Ok well that wasn't the point I was making, but not sure why it needs a justification?
    posted by greenish at 11:09 AM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    It doesn't need a justification. The SWP are just trying to build their party by participating in left-wing protests and struggles, like they always do. I think the average Momentum rally-goer is quite safe from their placards.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 11:11 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    '4 crates of sandwiches just went into lab[our] hq' - Twitter.

    (I like the response that someone thought they heard 'House of Carbs')
    posted by Major Clanger at 11:19 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I find it hard to deride people for not being interested in politics when the moment they start to show an inkling of interest they're derided so viciously for not previously having shown sufficient interest. Entry level position, six years experience required please.


    I'm not deriding them for that. I'm deriding them for acting like total arseholes.

    "I have just joined Labour, and I say it's either Corbyn or we'll take the party down with us! Watson is a Blairite!" is not the approach to be welcomed as a new kind of politics.
    posted by bonaldi at 11:20 AM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Ok well that wasn't the point I was making, but not sure why it needs a justification?

    Because it makes the guy who's nominally the leader of the Labour Party look like a bit of a joke? I mean, he'd just come out of a PLP meeting at which his own party had told him to go, and there he was addressing what looked like an SWP rally on the news. It doesn't exactly transmit the message that he's a serious parliamentarian who's able to do more than the politics of protest. And this while everything's in meltdown after the referendum, and the main message the party needed to beam out was 'We are capable grown-ups.'
    posted by Mocata at 11:27 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    All I keep coming back to is "If not Corbyn, then who?"

    The answer seems to be rather difficult. Few share his politics within Labour and few seem to have any personality.

    Much like Labour itself I'm kind of in limbo. They've probably lost my vote at this point and I volunteered at the last GE. Not sure what magic trick they're going to be able to pull to get me enthused after all this.
    posted by longbaugh at 11:29 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    See how you feel when the Tories have been calling the shots for a few more years.
    posted by Mocata at 11:32 AM on July 12, 2016


    If not Corbyn, then who?

    Kier Starmer ftw
    posted by bonaldi at 11:33 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Stephen Kinnock on Channel 4 News just now furiously complaining that Jezza has had an easy political career.

    Hmmm.
    posted by brilliantmistake at 11:39 AM on July 12, 2016


    I'm not sure the new joiners can really be accused of taking the party down with them, but plenty of actual MPs seem to be of the stance that they refuse to discontinue the beatings as long as he remains. It would be nice if they could attempt to talk to each other instead of MAD'ing into oblivion.
    posted by lucidium at 11:40 AM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    See how you feel when the Tories have been calling the shots for a few more years.

    Well, it's not like anyone asked the Labour Party to commit suicide, they just upped and did it by themselves.
    posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Yet here we are 9 months later with the ker-chung machine and the electrodes.
    posted by Mocata at 11:45 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Twitter says Corbyn is on the ballot. Result close enough that he might have voted in himself.
    posted by effbot at 11:49 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Corbyn is on the ballot - Labour rebels lose by four.— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) July 12, 2016

    posted by kyp at 11:49 AM on July 12, 2016


    Labour rebels lose by four.

    Ok, so he was apparently not the swing vote (the tweets I saw thought it was closer, but he seems to have voted, at least).

    So, when does Labour split, and who gets to keep the name?
    posted by effbot at 11:55 AM on July 12, 2016


    Few share his politics within Labour and few seem to have any personality. [...] Much like Labour itself I'm kind of in limbo.

    So is this one of those situations in modern liberal democracy where the ideal honest thing would be the center-right party that retains the mantle of the historical center-left party merges with the moderate elements of the further-right party to create a neoliberal party, while the rest becomes an old-school leftist party?

    This is like a legitimacy crisis for the '90s Third Way we're seeing right now. They promised us prosperity. But... history refused to end.
    posted by Apocryphon at 11:58 AM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Bloody hell that was draining. And now there's going to be even more of it.

    I thought that break was a bad sign.
    posted by Mocata at 12:01 PM on July 12, 2016




    Not clear, but the pro-Corbyn wing of the Labour party have been convinced that Laura has it in for Corbyn for months & it’s entirely possible that this has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    posted by pharm at 12:25 PM on July 12, 2016


    Artw: "Well, it's not like anyone asked the Labour Party to commit suicide, they just upped and did it by themselves."

    They do have a history of writing suicide notes, of course.
    posted by Chrysostom at 12:32 PM on July 12, 2016


    See how you feel when the Tories have been calling the shots for a few more years.

    There's only so many times can Labour rely on "Least Worst!" as their rallying cry surely?
    posted by longbaugh at 12:45 PM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Isn't "least worst" the basis of representative democracy? I'm not sure I've approached a vote on any other basis.
    posted by vbfg at 12:48 PM on July 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


    The failure of "least worst" and the bleeding out of votes to fucking UKIP of all places is what got them here in the first place.
    posted by Artw at 12:52 PM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Yes, but the alternative is? Perfection?

    I'm sure we all agree on what that is.
    posted by vbfg at 12:56 PM on July 12, 2016


    Actually appear to give a shit about people and their problems.
    posted by Artw at 12:58 PM on July 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


    The Times is under an obligation to provide some kind of semblance to a connection with the real world that The Sun lacks.

    In the real world, more people voted leave than voted remain.
    posted by marienbad at 12:59 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    That doesn't really have any bearing on it being a tremendously bad idea.
    posted by Artw at 1:01 PM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    In your opinion. Not in the opinion of those who voted for it. (Sorry for delay in replying, have been reading the thread and checking a few links...)
    posted by marienbad at 1:13 PM on July 12, 2016


    > Actually appear to give a shit about people and their problems.

    Come on, be serious. We all have different views on what the most important of those problems are and why, and the tactics on getting to a point where those changes can be brought about.

    My interest in Corby was entirely motivated by dragging that Overton window to the left in a five year long parliamentary session. At that time that was least worst for me. I knew full well when I made that vote that Labour would be losing the next election.

    Least worst for me now is effective opposition, and my personal understanding of that involves a closer alignment between a general electorate and their representatives in parliament.

    We just pick and choose on our best appraisal and the background experiences and knowledge that informs that appraisal.

    There are many flavours of giving a shit. I can't say that any of the actors in this (Labour leader) process don't have it on display in some way.
    posted by vbfg at 1:16 PM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    In your opinion. Not in the opinion of those who voted for it.

    So, what's gone well about it so far?
    posted by threetwentytwo at 1:17 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    vbfg - I was thinking more of the careerists types who were stuffing things up so badly before his election and who are presently busy setting everything on fire, TBH.
    posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on July 12, 2016


    So am I, really. I was really just using myself as an example. I don't see any bad faith actors, and I include Eagle in that. She's not getting my vote because she's not the person. She's not my leader. But I completely agree with her intent.
    posted by vbfg at 1:27 PM on July 12, 2016


    If there wasn't a disconnect they'd be winning elections and not losing to bottom feeders like Farage. They haven't connected with the electorate in any meaningful way for close to a decade.
    posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]




    The problem with Labour as I see it is this: Back in the day Blair won... At the time the country was sick and tired of Tory government that was running on empty and mired in sleaze and economic fuck ups. Basically a dead dog could have won at that point. But hurrah, a Labour government at last! But this was a New Labour government with triangulation and third way and all that. People were expecting something a bit more left wing than that. But never mind they looked around and it was Cool Brittania and they started to feel better about themselves. Then the economy started to do better... but, instead of may be doing something kinda socialist like trying to rebuild the Labour heartlands with investment in new industries to replace the old ones gutted by Thatcher and Major. Blair and especially Brown after him encouraged the City on and did put the profits taken off in tax back into the trad Labour / poor areas but mainly by a lot of new government jobs, arts grants etc there. Then we had the crash... not helped / made worse by an economy that had become overheated on the housing market and personal debt. Brown, although a deft financial operator was stuffed by having the personal charisma of a bruise - being able to work the small room but not the big one. And 'that bigoted woman' gaffs did not help. Still Tories were disliked enough (and UKIP nibbling at their right flank) that they did not get an overal majority and had to share with the yellow lib dems. The Lib Dems having the political skills of a potato got totally stitched up by the Tories and didn't even get the PR they wanted. As often happens with the smaller party in a coellition they got crushed in the next election. Labour had Millibrand who was also a bit of charisma problem - had a few interesting ideas, like a freeze on fuel bills but not enough for an manifesto that was pretty much the Tory one only not quite as bad. The Tories just won helped by winning a lot of seats of the dead parrot Lib Dems and the rise of the SNP (Labour in scotland being very hollow at that point - taking votes far too much for granted.)

    Anyway time for a new Labour leader - now the rules had been changed to one member one vote plus one 'pay 3 quid' one vote... to ensure that union members who were not party members could still have an influence - this was ironically to favour the right. The left of the party managed to get Corbyn on the ballot and lo and behold a few mildy leftish policy ideas (re-nationalizing the railways! Practically Stalin!) was enough to enthuse a shed-load of people to sign up and see off the other boring / wonkish / right wing candidates.

    However a lot of MPs were not happy with that... during the Blair years a lot of wonkish, Oxbridge Labour Club - work for MP - become candidates - no experience of real wold had been dropped into safe labour seats. Many are still there. Plus the fact the right of the party still see Blair as some sort of saint - but in fact he lost votes almost from his first day of office.

    To be fair it's probably obvious that Corbyn is a bit of prickly character, is a natural rebel and really doesn't have the experience for managing the office of leader of the opposition. But on the other hand he's doubled the party membership, made good inroads into raising the opinion polls and has defeated the Tories on many issues.

    I don't know this for certain but I get the impression that his plan was to drag the party back over to the left a bit, bringing the overton window with it, then make a dignified stepping down in place of someone more obviously PM material. But the plotters and careerists on the right were going to have none of that.

    God knows if this could still happen. The party could split... the country could split! Interesting times.
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:56 PM on July 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


    That's not unwrong, Artw. :)

    My true fear about Corbyn is his ability to control the narrative. I suppose my hope, now, for this situation is that unless there's another candidate he romps it. In this climate I can't deny that will play well.

    Here's what I'm most curious about right now though, and we're not going to get an answer to this for a while I don't think. Especially if there's an election now / soon.

    The consensus on how to win, a truism for generations, was to go for the middle. We're about to fuck the middle.

    What the tactics are then, who knows. Hell hath no fury like an angry middle class.
    posted by vbfg at 2:03 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    My interest in Corby was entirely motivated by dragging that Overton window to the left in a five year long parliamentary session.

    Too fucking right. I thought he'd make a fantastic opposition leader, and would have the sense to quit 8 months before the election.

    Well I won't be winning any lotteries any time soon.
    posted by Leon at 2:04 PM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


    So the NEC have decided that only people who have been Labour members for 6 months will get a vote in the leadership election (thus excluding 100 000 new members who were promised to be able to vote in all elections when they joined) or pay 25 quid to be a registered voter, up from 3... so pretty much excluding students, unemployed, low payed etc. And event that option is closing in 48 hours. Marvelous.
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:18 PM on July 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


    Robert Peston on his Facebook page -

    Even by Labour's recent history of giving shambles a good name, today's meeting of the ruling NEC takes the biscuit.

    Because at the end of the meeting, after a couple of pro-Corbyn members had left, and Corbyn himself had gone, a vote was taken on a motion not on the agenda, to exclude from the leadership vote anyone who joined the party in the past six months - including the 130,000 who signed up since Brexit.

    Now whatever you think of Corbyn, this looks and smells like gerrymandering by his opponents.

    The new members will definitely be revolting.

    posted by brilliantmistake at 2:38 PM on July 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


    Re: nobody trying to rig this, my god are they blatantly trying to rig this.
    posted by Artw at 2:52 PM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    The question of a waiting period for new members should have been sorted long before this in-fighting started, and I'd choose three rather than six months, but I can't say that I find it that exclusionary. It's not like Labour are the only UK party to have such a policy. Similarly, I don't personally understand the need for the "supporter" thing at all - I'd rather see energy put into engaging with new members in the longer term, especially as the main demographic of it seems to be students (current rate of £1/year) and the low-waged (under £2/month).

    But this... this is so blatant as to be absurd, and as a party member I'm disgusted. Bait'n'switch at its worst.
    posted by A Robot Ninja at 2:56 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    at the end of the meeting, after a couple of pro-Corbyn members had left, and Corbyn himself had gone, a vote was taken on a motion not on the agenda


    Surely that's legal action ready to happen there. There's also the voting promises made to recent new members who've already paid. Mike Mansfield QC has been advising Corbyn already.

    I think the registered supporter option opens for 48 hours next week. You can join an affiliated union for a lot less than £25, and that also includes the Unite supporters thing for the unemployed.

    With social media support spreading word of the many options like crazy already, these Blairites will probably just end up putting on another 300,000 activists who despise them, only this time it'll be unions they're joining.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 2:59 PM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    It's also going to exclude many new members, like me, who joined post Brexit out of a sense that they must start to take some responsibility for enacting political and social change but are by no means convinced that a Labour party led by Corbyn is in a position even just to put a brake on the current government. Mind you, I'm not convinced that Angela Eagle is the solution either. So maybe I'm grateful to those involved in this shameless gerrymandering for saving me from having to choose between two candidates I have no faith in.
    posted by melisande at 3:11 PM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    The party should be bigger than one flawed man.

    I know an awful lot of Labour supporters who'd be perfectly happy with another candidates, just not one with a politics and voting record as awful as Angela Eagle's.
    posted by Dysk at 3:17 PM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


    this time it'll be unions they're joining.

    These unions?
    posted by effbot at 3:19 PM on July 12, 2016


    This is truly amazing:
    Let me get this right - Corbyn's NEC puts him on the ballot and then disenfranchises 100k new members. Just joined? Corbyn doesn't trust you

    -- @PhilWilsonMP
    posted by catchingsignals at 3:21 PM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Well, except that it may not have been 'Corbyn's NEC' - the account suggests that Corbyn and a couple of his supporters left, at which point what had been a narrowly-split NEC meeting presumably became narrowly-split the other way.
    posted by Major Clanger at 3:26 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Because at the end of the meeting, after a couple of pro-Corbyn members had left, and Corbyn himself had gone, a vote was taken on a motion not on the agenda, to exclude from the leadership vote anyone who joined the party in the past six months - including the 130,000 who signed up since Brexit.
    That's insane.

    The PLP is done. The only question now is whether they take the rest of the Labour party with them.

    A snap election and massive wave of de-selections or the mother of all internal battles.

    Insanity.
    posted by fullerine at 3:27 PM on July 12, 2016 [8 favorites]




    It gets worse the longer you think about it.
    A motion brought in through the backdoor to disenfranchise tens of thousands of your own supporters.

    What the fuck is wrong with these people?
    posted by fullerine at 3:29 PM on July 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


    Let me get this right - Corbyn's NEC puts him on the ballot and then disenfranchises 100k new members. Just joined? Corbyn doesn't trust you

    Wow, that's some shady shit right there.
    posted by Artw at 3:30 PM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Major Clanger: yeah I know. That's why it's amazing. (Sorry, probably should've made that clear.)
    posted by catchingsignals at 3:33 PM on July 12, 2016


    Wow, that's some shady shit right there.
    The vote or the FUD calling it Corbyn's NEC?
    posted by fullerine at 3:36 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Its going to take something more than holding your nose to block out the stench of corruption when Labour next ask for people's votes.
    posted by biffa at 3:39 PM on July 12, 2016


    I think "both" is the appropriate response.
    posted by longbaugh at 3:40 PM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Calling it "Corbyn's NEC" Is almost so blatant it might be a mistake and he's not heard what's gone on, but let's face it, given the overall sketchiness of the plotters probably not.

    These people realize we can see all of this, right? It's really quite incredible.
    posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on July 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


    So, they have limited to the vote to the people who voted for Corbyn last time and anyone who joined in the three months after Corbyn was elected leader. Have they really thought this through?
    posted by asok at 3:43 PM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I'm actually baffled. What could they actually do worse at this point? A surprise reveal of Nigel Farage as their candidate?
    posted by longbaugh at 3:46 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    The vote or the FUD calling it Corbyn's NEC?

    There seem to be one very partisan guy saying one thing on Facebook, and another very partisan guy saying another thing on Twitter. Is Facebook automatically more reliable, or why are you so sure that the conspiracy theory is 100% correct and any other account wrong? Based on how things usually are, they're probably both wrong.

    Calling it "Corbyn's NEC" Is almost so blatant it might be a mistake

    Well, they'd just voted for Corbyn, right? 18-14. "The shortest suicide note in history" according to a very unhappy McTernan :-)

    (but he's right, this kills the labour)
    posted by effbot at 3:48 PM on July 12, 2016


    As an aside, this whole thing has dragged me away from US Election fever. Trump could have eaten a baby on live TV at this point and I'd not have noticed. How pleasant to have our own political insanity to focus on for a change.
    posted by longbaugh at 3:50 PM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I think the PLP may have just won the award for stupidest most self destructive bastards in UK politics, which really takes some doing these days.
    posted by Artw at 3:52 PM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Umm, Robert Peston's not just some dude on Facebook.
    posted by fullerine at 3:53 PM on July 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


    So if I'm understanding correctly, to vote in the Labour leadership election without the 6 months/£25, we can join one of the Labour Party-affiliated trade unions.

    Unite's Community Membership scheme welcomes people who are not in work, only costs 50p a week.
    posted by catchingsignals at 3:59 PM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]




    Again: "Corbyn's NEC"?
    posted by Artw at 4:07 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Because at the end of the meeting, after a couple of pro-Corbyn members had left, and Corbyn himself had gone, a vote was taken on a motion not on the agenda ....
    This is exactly the shady shit that got Pluto deselected!
    posted by Quagkapi at 4:09 PM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    They'd all fucked off to play Pokemon Go at that point. Good luck wheeling them back in when there's a wild Snorlax that's just appeared.
    posted by longbaugh at 4:09 PM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    I'm actually baffled. What could they actually do worse at this point? A surprise reveal of Nigel Farage as their candidate?
    Too sane, Brendan Rodgers is currently the front runner.
    posted by fullerine at 4:10 PM on July 12, 2016


    Oh and, can also get a vote by joining one of the Labour-affiliated organisations.
    posted by catchingsignals at 4:12 PM on July 12, 2016


    (note btw how Corbyn's June 24 cut-off date was specifically targeting remainers, especially the savingLabour campaign -- they rolled out a few days later. I guess bad faith suggestions are only bad when your opponents make them :-)
    posted by effbot at 4:14 PM on July 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


    effbot - getting pretty sad and desperate with the blame shifting there, mate.
    posted by Artw at 4:20 PM on July 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


    I'm confused effbot - are you saying that the folks joining after the Brexit vote aren't Corbyn supporters? My anecdotal experience is that isn't the case. I know several people who joined in protest of the PLP's attempted coup. Barring two or three people on MeFi, every Labour voter I personally know was for Remain.
    posted by longbaugh at 4:20 PM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    There's not a lot of logic to the coup, mostly it's just opportunistic.
    posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Corbyn's June 24 cut-off date

    To state the obvious, according to your own link Corbyn wasn't even in the room.
    posted by catchingsignals at 4:31 PM on July 12, 2016


    There's not a lot of logic to the coup, mostly it's just opportunistic.

    In the last few weeks I've been following more of the PLP. I get the impression that rather fewer of them are Oxbridge nonsenses than we like to think, and that on the whole they're hardworking constituency MPs that we don't hear about because they're probably not that interesting. I expect it's why I did the thing about representative democracy up there. I'm much more into the ideal, at least, of representative democracy than I was before. And as all real manifestations of political ideals turn to clusterfuck at some point, the ideal is where I'd rather concentrate my efforts at the moment.

    Anyway, my suspicion is that while knocking on doors and talking to their constituents, they found out that no one really wanted to vote for Jeremy Corbyn outside the party membership.

    They're not really that good at plotting, are they? It's almost endearing, but being a bit shit at politics is quickly going out of style.

    Just think: If we'd voted for Andy Coulson, this wouldn't have happened. And if people had voted for Ed Milliband none of the chaos of the last two weeks would have been necessary at all.

    It looks like the Tories are going to win in any case.
    posted by Grangousier at 4:38 PM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    There's been plenty of reports from inside labour saying that large amounts of both pro- and anti-Corbyn folks have been joining after the referendum, and that the distribution is closer than people might think -- so more Corbyn than not, but far from only Corbyn (not even McDonell claims that). But it's fairly safe to assume that the bulk of the people who joined to get rid of Corbyn due to his middling performance in the Brexit campaign joined after the referendum (if only because that's when new signups spiked).

    effbot - getting pretty sad and desperate with the blame shifting there, mate

    I'm not shifting any blame, just trying to point out that the conspiracy theory and the HuffPo account don't match; the latter says there were still Corbyn folks around for the second vote, enough of them to put forward a counter proposal with revised dates and go along with a vote, making it a lot less likely that this was stunt pulled after everyone on one side had left. Of course you can still go with the conspiracy theory and assume that HuffPo's sources are lying, or you can decide that HuffPo's more detailed account is probably more well-researched and closer to reality, and that someone else's source might have been exaggerating a bit.
    posted by effbot at 4:50 PM on July 12, 2016


    Seems like a pretty decently sized and animated crowd for Corbyn a couple of hours ago, given that it's quite late
    posted by talos at 5:15 PM on July 12, 2016


    Peston on the ITV site: Corbyn opponents try to fix vote. It doesn't differ much from Paul Waugh's account.

    making it a lot less likely that this was stunt pulled after everyone on one side had left.

    From brilliantmistake's quote earlier:
    Because at the end of the meeting, after a couple of pro-Corbyn members had left, and Corbyn himself had gone,
    posted by catchingsignals at 5:19 PM on July 12, 2016


    "After the uprising of the 17th of June
    The Secretary of the Writers' Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?"

    Bertolt Brecht, The Solution, 1953
    posted by Devonian at 5:51 PM on July 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


    Because at the end of the meeting, after a couple of pro-Corbyn members had left, and Corbyn himself had gone,

    I don't know if we can really be confident about the accuracy of that report, but even so: Corbyn won the significant vote by four votes, and that was reportedly without Corbyn voting for himself. So the meeting was still more-or-less dominated by pro-Corbyn forces.

    It looks to me as if everyone agreed that a line had to be written under the £3 supporters. The pro-Corbyn side wanted the cutoff date to be immediately after Brexit, when Corbyn's support was presumably at its highest; the other side wanted to push it back further. The outcome probably reflects the committee's unease with the £3 supporters more than a "win" for the anti-Corbyn side, because the anti-Corbynists clearly didn't have the numbers.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 5:58 PM on July 12, 2016


    I don't know if we can really be confident about the accuracy of that report

    What good reason do you have to doubt Robert Peston and ITV and trust Paul Waugh and HuffPo? (They read to me as agreeing with each other, so I don't even know why you are casting doubt on Peston's version of events.)


    Corbyn won the significant vote by four votes, and that was reportedly without Corbyn voting for himself. So the meeting was still more-or-less dominated by pro-Corbyn forces.

    "dominated":
    18 votes in favour, 14 votes against... [including Corbyn's own vote]
    Unite delegates said that Corbyn should be allowed into the room to vote, but the NEC said it would first have to stage a secret ballot on whether he was eligible to vote for himself. By the narrowest margin of the evening, 16 votes to 15, the NEC decided Corbyn could indeed vote.
    The plan to extend the sign-up period to a week was defeated by a show of hands with 16 votes to 10. The plan to change the freeze date to June 24 was tied, with 14 votes for and against, and as a result fell.

    A final vote to charge £25 for registered supporter status to take part in the election was held. It was won by 15 votes to 12.
    If you think that's "more-or-less dominated by pro-Corbyn forces", we live in very different realities.
    posted by catchingsignals at 6:34 PM on July 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


    I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the room wasn't made up of robots who were all BEEP BOOP I MUST FOLLOW THE PARTY LINE. About half the room would generally support Corbyn, about half would generally oppose him, and there were some in the middle. Corbyn won the only vote that actually mattered: whether he would automatically appear on the ballot paper. By four votes.

    The other votes were strategic rather than substantial and they didn't make any difference to the outcome. If anything, the fact that there was a secret ballot makes the result more substantial. The ones after the main vote were not even strategic, because Corbyn had won. You can bet that if the votes had been important then Corbyn would have been called back in and he would have come running. He's not an idiot, he knows how politics works, and so did everybody else at the meeting.

    That's why Corbyn was confident enough to leave the meeting before its end, and that's why not all the remaining members bothered voting - the remaining motions had 26, 28, and 27 votes respectively. In contrast, all the members present voted for the earlier ones.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 8:06 PM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    He's not an idiot, he knows how politics works, and so did everybody else at the meeting.

    I think the last year is proof otherwise. But I get what you mean, getting on the ballot was the main thing as I don't think there's a membership cut-off point where Corbyn won't be confident of winning a leadership vote.
    posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:26 PM on July 12, 2016


    Hmm. As a policy wonk type (in a small non profit, not a political party) I found the NEC meeting very interesting in terms of rules and member rights as these things often come up in my work (with less at stake of course, but always trying to look at principles and fairness and its interesting how often good people disagree at what fair process would be).

    As of this moment, the Labour party website FAQ on membership says joining means you get a vote in a leadership contest.

    "As a member, you’ll be a key part of the team. You’ll be eligible to vote in leadership elections, you can help shape party policy, you can attend local meetings and you can even stand as a candidate."

    It does specify elsewhere on the site you can only stand as a candidate after 1 year of membership.

    And from the party Rule Book (for which I could find no link on the party site, and had to go to Wikipedia):

    "B. To participate in the selection of candidates at any level, a member must be fully paid up by the notified relevant date. A member shall be deemed to be ‘fully paid up’ if they are not in arrears, either in whole or in part, with their membership payments." (Chapter 2, Clause III Section 4.B)

    It makes sense to have a cut off date as it takes work to generate the voting list and process, and of course there is a risk of hostile takeover ... (and I feel for any grunt staff madly processing 100,000 memberships who now have to sort them back out for a voting list) But given the membership drive language on the website... Will they refund those who are now unable to vote?

    Also, re some accounts that Corbyn was asked to step out for a vote on whether to use secret ballots, the Party Rules state the leader must be allowed to attend any meeting:

    "iv. The Leader shall have the right to attend any Party meeting (or to appoint representatives to attend on his or her behalf) in order to promote understanding and co-operation between all sections of the Party."(Chapter 1, Clause VII Section 1.a.iv).

    (to promote unity, which in this case may not feel accurate to many, but still the right to attend is clear)

    ... Stepping out due to conflict of interest would also of course be clearly in order in any governance meeting, but I wouldn't personally consider a secret ballot where you could vote in your own favour to stand as a candidate to be a conflict of interest that requires removal from the vote. (Notably, Angela Eagle is also a member of the committee ... does anyone know if she recused herself?)

    In any case, the bylaws don't illuminate on when a voting member can be asked to leave a meeting of the committee, although it does list many other instances of recruiting members that are unacceptable, or reasons why someone could be removed as a member.
    posted by chapps at 9:23 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Notably, Angela Eagle is also a member of the committee ... does anyone know if she recused herself?

    No need - Eagle was on the NEC as one of three front-benchers nominated by the Shadow Cabinet, so the moment she resigned she lost her place. Jon Tricket is the new Angela Eagle, so to speak.
    posted by jack_mo at 9:50 PM on July 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Ah! Thanks, Jack_mo!
    posted by chapps at 9:57 PM on July 12, 2016


    There are rumours the NEC has also suspended all CLP & branch meetings until the new leader is elected on grounds of harassment and bullying.

    The result won't be announced until the 24th of September
    posted by brilliantmistake at 10:42 PM on July 12, 2016


    Well brick throwing and threats are truly out of hand, so I have a lot of sympathy for that.

    Also interesting in the bylaws is the ability to strip membership for harassing and other inappropriate behaviour ... so if someone is caught in any bullying there is also that option if they turn out to be labour members, although that involves a lot of work to manage as well.
    posted by chapps at 10:54 PM on July 12, 2016


    Oh for goodness' sake. Do they not realise that the Conservatives are probably planning ways of calling an election right now?
    posted by Joe in Australia at 11:01 PM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


    I know it sounds crazy but I think if they did they might come a cropper. They have a known quantity in Corbyn and whilst the mood in many places seems to be that he won't win, it would be a far more devastating loss to the Conservatives if they called a snap election and lost to a possible Labour-LibDem-Green-SNP coalition rather than hold out to see which nonentity gets put in his place and run against that person. At this point though we're in a political singularity where all common sense appears to have broken down.
    posted by longbaugh at 11:18 PM on July 12, 2016


    Oh for goodness' sake. Do they not realise that the Conservatives are probably planning ways of calling an election right now?
    To do that, under the Fixed Terms Parliament Act, they would have to obtain a 2/3 majority, no confidence vote in their own government - not so practically or politically easy. Calling an election would also open the way for a canny set of politicians (probably not from Labour then) to set themselves up under a "vote for us and we take the UK back into Europe" banner - which, could sweep up a good portion of the vote and cause major issues for the Conservatives. All just to buy one more year in government.
    posted by rongorongo at 11:20 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Ah! Thanks, Jack_mo!

    No probs! The NEC is a confusing mix of automatic appointments, elected positions and a sort of mixture of the two. I mean, if Labour's own sodding website can't keep up...

    My favourite bit of oddness is the chair. The Chair of the NEC, elected by NEC members, is also the Chair of the Labour Party. They are not, however, the Labour Party Chair - that's a post appointed by the Leader, who traditionally selects the Deputy Leader.

    So, if Tom Watson was elected Chair of the NEC today, he'd also be Chair of the Labour Party and the Labour Party Chair, all at the same time.

    Fascinatingly, Harriet Harman is unique in serving as Labour Party Chair under three different Leaders (including herself, twice).

    This particular lot of nonsense is, of course, Tony Blair's fault.

    The result won't be announced until the 24th of September

    *weeps softly*
    posted by jack_mo at 11:38 PM on July 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


    They're not going to call an election until after recess right? No one wants to be campaigning when they should be relaxing in the Italian lakes.

    Right?

    The world hasn't gone that crazy, has it?

    I think the Tories will be concerned about loosing seats to UKIP , so they need to get their Brexit pitch right before they finagle a way to have an election.
    posted by Helga-woo at 12:27 AM on July 13, 2016


    I've worked it out!!!

    The PLP are being so brazenly corrupt as to force even the most committed Anti-Corbyn voter to choose him in disgust. The resultant 90% winning margin Corbyn achieves will look like the most blatant vote-rigging and he'll have no choice but to step down.

    No? *sigh* Someone spiked the sandwiches with acid is still the most plausible explanation then.
    posted by fullerine at 12:35 AM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    > There are rumours the NEC has also suspended all CLP & branch meetings until the new leader is elected on grounds of harassment and bullying.

    I haven't been notified of this by my CLP yet, and our branch AGM is on scheduled for Saturday morning. We'll see what happens, I guess.
    posted by A Robot Ninja at 12:39 AM on July 13, 2016


    The Tories just have to hold their nerve and bat away any suggestion that they have no mandate to negotiate Brexit, which on the evidence of this morning's Today programme chatter they're already doing; it sounds as if they'll be quite happy with not calling a snap election.

    Yes, they risk some defections to UKIP in the short term, but four years gives them a long time to turn that around. And if the UK/KEW is a total basket-case by then, no worries, let somebody else run it for a while and take the pain.
    posted by rory at 12:51 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Interesting piece from George Eaton: Will Labour's new leadership rules really help the rebels?

    To recap, the anti-Corbyn faction engineered a coup that relied on the cooperation of the man they were trying to depose, they changed the rules in a way that might well harm their chances to get rid of the leader while being sure to enrage tens of thousands of new members, and now they're standing two different unity candidates.

    They actually make Corbyn & co. look competent. Amazing.
    posted by jack_mo at 1:11 AM on July 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


    As McDonnell openly described them this morning, 'fucking useless'.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 1:20 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I've had a look through Owen Smith's voting record this morning. He's not awful but there are some areas I'm not happy about. Perfect being the enemy of the good I think he'd do okay but I'll need to sit down and listen/watch some of his appearances to better gauge his chances as a possible future leader. How will he manage being stood opposite May at PMQs? Will he drag Labour back to the centre/right again? More research is needed and I have so little time...
    posted by longbaugh at 1:29 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    haven't been notified of this by my CLP yet

    From the Huffington Post recap of the evening -

    “All normal party meetings at CLPs [Constituency Labour Parties] and branch level shall be suspended until the completion of the leadership election,” it ruled.

    Only meetings for supporting leadership nominations, campaign planning meetings for by-elections or elected mayors, plus others agreed by the general secretary, will be allowed.

    posted by brilliantmistake at 1:33 AM on July 13, 2016


    Most people have never heard of Owen Smith. What does it say about the 'useless ones' that they simply cannot get any big name to dare challenge Corbyn, not even a middle-ranking one. No Cooper, Burnham, Hodge, Kinnock Jr, Benn Jr - where are they all hiding?

    It's hard to see what they've got left in the tank. Perhaps interviews where they say 'I fear for the party I love' and start attempting fake tears, then say they got abused on Twitter, which the BBC and Guardian will devote the lead items to while Corbyn is out doing his job and never looks at Twitter.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 1:40 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Paul Mason: Labour can become the new counter-power.
    posted by rongorongo at 1:53 AM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Game on indeed Paul.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 2:13 AM on July 13, 2016


    Cameron's last PMQ is going to start shortly, here's a link to Parliament Live Commons stream.
    posted by PenDevil at 2:14 AM on July 13, 2016


    I'm baffled by the rule change/new members' voting cutoff. It doesn't seem to serve anyone's interests at all.

    It's bad for the Corbyn fans because everyone assumes that lots of the new members will be Momentum-y types and former three-quidders cementing their support for the Corbster.

    It's bad for everyone else in the party because their best hope is that lots of the new members are strong Remainers who joined in the hope of getting a functioning opposition back, and that there are enough of those people - plus Corbyn-disillusioned existing members - to swing the leadership election.

    It looks almost like a compromise where both sides agreed to do something really stupid just for the hell of it, which seems about right for the Labour Party at the moment.
    posted by Mocata at 2:17 AM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Today's UK front pages

    (For reasons best know to itself, the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Sun reverts back to exposing the treacherous BBC. This time it's to do with film clip of British trains. Also, does anyone know when The Sun began running "FOR A GREATER BRITAIN" in its mast head?)
    posted by Mister Bijou at 2:40 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    > "And this while everything's in meltdown after the referendum, and the main message the party needed to beam out was 'We are capable grown-ups.'"

    So ... what's Plan B, then?
    posted by kyrademon at 2:40 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Good question! At the moment it seems to be (as someone said on my social media feed) waiting for 'whatever happens after all the clusters have been fucked.'
    posted by Mocata at 2:51 AM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    That Sun front page is the bizarrest thing I've seen in a while.

    If you're interested in the OUTRAGE! it mainly stems from here and seems mainly limited to some slight tutting, before getting back to the real issues of the difference between a train and a locomotive (which peter snow messed up a couple of times).

    I note that the sun does not appear to address the outrage and also claims that class 66s are 'Duff' which is frankly an outrage.

    (Someone go and fetch Garius so we can get to the bottom of this)
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:39 AM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    rongorongo: To do that, under the Fixed Terms Parliament Act, they would have to obtain a 2/3 majority, no confidence vote in their own government - not so practically or politically easy. Calling an election would also open the way for a canny set of politicians (probably not from Labour then) to set themselves up under a "vote for us and we take the UK back into Europe" banner - which, could sweep up a good portion of the vote and cause major issues for the Conservatives. All just to buy one more year in government.

    Vote for us and we won't leave the EU - that's the Lib Dems! Come, join us, help elect Douglas Third!

    You're a bit wrong on the Fixed Terms Parliament Act, the two things are seperate ways to call an election before the five year mark. A no confidence vote in the government on a simple majority with no repealing vote of confidence in a two week time period will call one. Seperate to that, a two thirds majority in the house can call an election.

    Entire thing with the voting changes and stuff makes some sense, but the way it's been handled is just a ridiculous fudge.

    "It's too difficult for the party apparatus to process last minute applications, so we need to have a cut off a few months before a leadership elections is announced."
    "Good point. Let's make that apply now, rather than for future elections. Can't see any problem with that."
    "Correct, this is a vital democratic principle to make sure it's actually committed members and supporters who vote."
    "Except if they're a member of a union."
    "Absolutely! Nobody would join a union within the deadline just to vote, and union members having a vote is a vital democratic principle."
    "Or if they can pay us £25."
    "Of course, that goes without saying. £25 obviously makes it not an important principle."
    posted by MattWPBS at 3:46 AM on July 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


    Side question - can anyone locate an actual copy of the agenda for the NEC meeting? That Huff Post article has the discussions about freeze dates and the like not being on the agenda, but this LabourList article mentions them before the meeting.
    posted by MattWPBS at 3:49 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I found out today that Adam Curtis is working on a new documentary scheduled for release before the USA goes to vote in November covering Brexit and the post-rational disconnect between pols and proles. Apparently based around the song "Common People" by Pulp. So at least there's something entertaining (if not entirely factual) to enjoy as the world burns down at the end of 2016.
    posted by longbaugh at 3:57 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Will he drag Labour back to the centre/right again?

    He seems to be running as a sort of Kinnock-ish 'soft left' option, while simultaneously attempting to position himself much further to the left than Eagle. Which doesn't really make much sense to me, but hey ho what the fuck does nowadays?

    No Cooper, Burnham, Hodge, Kinnock Jr, Benn Jr - where are they all hiding?

    Most of them are biding their time for the next leadership election to oust Corbyn, I should think.

    Plus, it's not over yet - unless Eagle can be persuaded to drop out and back Smith, I think we'll see a more candidates joining the race. But I really can't think of anyone sufficiently left-wing and untainted by Iraq for the membership to opt for them over Corbyn, who also wants the job and/or has the experience.
    posted by jack_mo at 4:04 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Vote for us and we won't leave the EU - that's the Lib Dems! Come, join us, help elect Douglas Third!

    Which in practice means elect the Lib Dems, get them to prop up the Tories against the wishes of the people that voted for them, enabling all sorts of terrible terrible policy purely in return for the ability to say "it'd be worse without us!" (which, while perhaps true, is not a good reason to join the bully in the fight on the basis that you'll just break the fella's arm and then be done whereas if you let the other guy do it alone he'd break BOTH his arms) and a bodged referendum on something related to, but not actually important to the party in a policy sense.

    We've all seen this one before. Quite recently.
    posted by Dysk at 4:08 AM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Interesting from the Mason article linked above:

    "Thus Labour’s mass membership now stands, in England and Wales at least, as the most interesting and dynamic political phenomenon of the era. You would not know this from the press coverage, which treats them as a rabble of entryists — but if the Corbyn movement (and that’s what it is) were in a foreign country, the BBC would despatch multiple teams to fathom what was going on."
    posted by Coda Tronca at 4:10 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    David Cameron’s affable, personable blandness was probably his strongest weapon, even more so than his faux sincerity. As there was little personally dislikable about him, it’s hard not to wish him well, but it’s also almost impossible to be completely sincere about that. Sadly, for us all and the times we live in, that is perhaps the man’s mark on our culture, the ultimate tribute to him. He was a liar, but he was a bloody good one. - Irvine Welsh's Valediction to Cameron.
    posted by rongorongo at 4:37 AM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    And while the Labour fuck around in front of an open goal an unelected and fundamentally incapable leader with virtually no record of success is probably already hatching plans to take us out of Europe as rapidly as possible, and most likely banish us from the world stage: Sunderland boss in talks over England manager's job
    posted by biffa at 4:48 AM on July 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


    devonian, I found this brechtian variant on my FB t/l today:

    After the election of Mr. Corbyn
    The Parliamentary Labour Party
    Had appearances on the BBC
    Stating that the membership
    Had forfeited the confidence of the party
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the party
    To dissolve the membership
    And elect another?
    posted by talos at 4:55 AM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Hmm - seems that the Labour LGBT Membership and the BAME Membership application forms currently de-activated.
    posted by melisande at 5:03 AM on July 13, 2016


    And while the Labour fuck around in front of an open goal

    They're on the pitch? I thought they were still fighting each other in the dressing room?
    posted by effbot at 5:05 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    They're worried about a midfield collapse and are opting to defend on the wings instead.
    posted by vbfg at 5:08 AM on July 13, 2016


    And while the Labour fuck around in front of an open goal an unelected and fundamentally incapable leader with virtually no record of success is probably already hatching plans to take us out of Europe as rapidly as possible, and most likely banish us from the world stage: Sunderland boss in talks over England manager's job

    So... Same as English football for the past fifty years, but now you're acknowledging it rather than pretend you're the best in the damn world? That sounds like an improvement.
    posted by Dysk at 5:29 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    David Cameron’s affable, personable blandness was probably his strongest weapon, even more so than his faux sincerity. As there was little personally dislikable about him, it’s hard not to wish him well, but it’s also almost impossible to be completely sincere about that. Sadly, for us all and the times we live in, that is perhaps the man’s mark on our culture, the ultimate tribute to him. He was a liar, but he was a bloody good one. - Irvine Welsh's Valediction to Cameron.

    I wrote this piece of crap satire about the absolute horror of David Cameron and his glib and easy upper-class charm last year.
    posted by dng at 5:37 AM on July 13, 2016




    At the other end of the same piece: "If the future of left politics lies partly in becoming a social movement, that means actually doing stuff." Exactly.

    It appears last night I commended the potential leadership of Andy Coulson, as I'd just got home from the pub. I think we can all agree that Andy Coulson would make a terrible leader of the Labour party.

    It wasn't even the most embarassing mistake I made last night. Beer. Tch.
    posted by Grangousier at 5:49 AM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    That's fine, I just assumed you meant Andy Gray.
    posted by MattWPBS at 5:52 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I assumed he'd thrown his hat into the ring per the general craziness of everything right now.
    posted by Mocata at 6:01 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    How about Andy Partridge? XTC hasn't done much lately.
    posted by Chrysostom at 6:02 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    How about Alan Partridge? Labour could do with "bouncing back".
    posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:14 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    How about Alan Partridge? It would help Labour rebuild support and take back votes from UKIP out in the Fens.
    posted by biffa at 6:16 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Wow, that's the closest to a consensus the Labour leadership debate has got yet.
    posted by biffa at 6:16 AM on July 13, 2016 [14 favorites]


    Unity candidate!
    posted by Coda Tronca at 6:31 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I was musing just now that it was almost nostalgic following the NEC negotiations yesterday - especially when the sandwiches appeared. Just like the 1970s. Traditional Labour party, it's like a steam engine, all shining brass and hissing. Delights the eye and stirs the heart.

    Problem is, like a steam engine, I don't know that I'd want to have to rely on it for anything important. Which is fine, as it looks like the Labour party is purely decorative for the foreseeable future and beyond.

    In other news:

    MeFi's own Flashboy explains the Tory leadership contest for Americans on Buzzfeed.
    posted by Grangousier at 6:36 AM on July 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


    I don't know how persistent a link it might be, or how widely it can be accessed, but here's Johanna Baxter talking on The World At One earlier today, about her experience of the NEC meeting yesterday.
    posted by Grangousier at 7:24 AM on July 13, 2016


    Given that Corbyn in fact got more votes in the secret ballot than he was anticipated to get in an open vote, it is logical to conclude that any bullying and intimidation going on was coming from the Watson side.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 7:38 AM on July 13, 2016


    I guess. I don't really care any more. It's more the way that a meeting left one of its participants sounding terrified.

    And yes, the fact that however much JC says he condemns bullying he refused to take the one practical action that was asked of him to oppose it.
    posted by Grangousier at 7:41 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Framing a secret ballot purely on terms of bullying when it is being discussed in the context of an absolute crisis of accountability and democracy in the Labour Party is quite something. There is a lot more than that going on here.
    posted by Dysk at 8:08 AM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


    So a committee is convened to subvert the democratic will of the Labour Party membership through backroom machinations, and one of its members tearfully condemns Corbyn for favoring greater transparency. The depths to which the Labour Party elite will stoop to attack Corbyn is staggering.
    posted by Abelian Grape at 8:12 AM on July 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


    Yeah, that’s right Coda. It’s *totally* the non-Corbynites who are busily throwing bricks through the constituency office windows of MPs they don’t like.

    Abelian Grape: Secret ballots are the foundation of western democracy. It’s hardly a great conspiracy to request them - the whole point is that the people who vote can do so without fear of intimidation or reprisals.
    posted by pharm at 8:15 AM on July 13, 2016


    Brace yourselves for more 'I fear for the party I love' soft-focus interviews. It's a post-factual politics thing.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:17 AM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Secret ballots are the foundation of western democracy. It’s hardly a great conspiracy to request them - the whole point is that the people who vote can do so without fear of intimidation or reprisals.

    In a representative democracy - which as we keep hearing is a proud British tradition - the voting records of our representatives are very much not secret, to facilitate accountability. The principles you mention only apply to people representing themselves - as soon as you are acting as a representative, your actions need to be known.
    posted by Dysk at 8:22 AM on July 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


    If you're interested in the OUTRAGE! it mainly stems from here and seems mainly limited to some slight tutting, before getting back to the real issues of the difference between a train and a locomotive (which peter snow messed up a couple of times).

    Yeah, was nothing more than the standard grumble that a bit of stock footage was used without making it explicit that it was such but that happens all the time. Frankly it's just as likely it was a legitimate fuck up. Train footage is easy to misinterpret / get confused over if you're not a full-on loco wonk, which most Beeb producers aren't going to be.

    So far the opinion within the enthusiast community has been a mix of slight bemusement and begrudging enjoyment with the odd moment of cringeing horror. i.e. that it's a bit "new Top Gear" - trying to be all things to all men which makes it a bit too trainspottery for normal people but not transpottery enough for the hardcore enthusiasts who just want Dick Strawbridge to shut the fuck up so they can listen to the sweet, sweet growl of a '37. I mean seriously? Why talk over or cut away from that?! It's the visceral howl of a sex panther.

    To quote someone from rail forums:

    All it needs now is for Kris Akibusi to appear and shout awooga at Class 66's"

    Indeed presenters seems to be thing that most people feel are letting it down a bit. Hannah Fry and Tim Dunn are good (and I'm not just saying that because otherwise Tim won't buy me pints anymore) but both Dick and Peter Snow seem out of their depth on the topic and it really shows.

    Dick's enthusiastic but has a habit of talking over everything whilst I suspect Snow got the main presenting nod because he's a model train nerd (he's got a massive set in his loft), but there's a world of difference between talking coherently off-the-bat about full size chuffers and zero gauge, and I think he's only just realised that he's out of his depth. To quote Carlito Brigante, "You a gaaaaangster now, Dave..."

    So yeah, not so much outrage as pleasure with the odd wince of frustration, and a faint worry that it's not exactly doing a a lot to disabuse the public of the image they have of 'trainspotters.' But most of us train nerds are pretty used to that. I mean to be fair, Tim excepted, we do all look like a bunch of child murderers.

    Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled clusterfuck. What have I missed? How many more shots have the Labour Party fired into their own feet whilst I've been writing this?

    I'm not joking. I'm scared to look.
    posted by garius at 8:24 AM on July 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


    No feet left. Just bloody stumps. Still shooting.
    posted by Grangousier at 8:26 AM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


    In a representative democracy - which as we keep hearing is a proud British tradition - the voting records of our representatives are very much not secret, to facilitate accountability. The principles you mention only apply to people representing themselves - as soon as you are acting as a representative, your actions need to be known.

    As a matter of fact, I do wonder if a Parliament that operated by secret ballot would be more, not less representative. No longer would the whips be able to threaten hell & damnation to any MP that dared to oppose the party line on any particular vote.

    Downside is that you’d never know how your MP actually voted...
    posted by pharm at 8:36 AM on July 13, 2016




    Fleet Street Fox says farewell to David Cameron

    Has someone checked to make sure he's got all his children with him this time?

    Never thought I'd say this but I almost wish he'd pull a Farage and change his mind. Rather him than anyone who stepped forward to replace him.
    posted by A Robot Ninja at 8:45 AM on July 13, 2016


    Given that Corbyn in fact got more votes in the secret ballot than he was anticipated to get in an open vote, it is logical to conclude that any bullying and intimidation going on was coming from the Watson side.

    Or alternatively, there was bullying and intimidation in the meeting from the Corbyn side that gained them votes. Unless everyone comes forward with how they voted, we don't know. Like Grangousier said, the one thing we do know is that sounds like a bloody shit show from the Johanna Baxter interview. It shouldn't be like that from anyone.
    posted by MattWPBS at 8:47 AM on July 13, 2016


    Or alternatively, there was bullying and intimidation in the meeting from the Corbyn side that gained them votes.

    If it's a secret ballot it is impossible for anyone to intimidate you into voting one way or the other. That's the whole point. Corbyn's unexpectedly higher support suggests that some may have been afraid to vote for him openly due to veiled threats to their career advancement being made by the Blairites that still control much party machinery, and are hoping to finish him off - can you imagine the vengeance they will take against Corbynites if they succeed?
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:56 AM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Joanna Baxter of the NEC speaking here (sounding quite upset) about there not being a secret ballot.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:58 AM on July 13, 2016


    If it's a secret ballot it is impossible for anyone to intimidate you into voting one way or the other. That's the whole point. Corbyn's unexpectedly higher support suggests that some may have been afraid to vote for him openly due to veiled threats to their career advancement being made by the Blairites that still control much party machinery, and are hoping to finish him off - can you imagine the vengeance they will take against Corbynites if they succeed?

    What I meant was we don't know who voted which way or who switched - your 'it is logical to conclude...' just isn't actually logical. Bullying and intimidation don't rely purely on knowing how you voted, they can work by undermining someone's self confidence and self belief beforehand or other ways.

    The main point I was making is that nobody should be stoking an atmosphere like the one Johanna Baxter described. It's just not acceptable from anyone.
    posted by MattWPBS at 9:16 AM on July 13, 2016


    Just this guy: that's what people have been discussing for the last 2 hours...
    posted by biffa at 9:26 AM on July 13, 2016


    oops! totally missed the earlier link!
    I thought I was adding additional relevant info. Guess that's why it seemed so relevant :)
    Sorry!
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:31 AM on July 13, 2016


    How about I make it up to you with this thing about the CWU withdrawing funding for their local MPs
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:32 AM on July 13, 2016


    Just watching the pagentry of the changeover on the BBC. Call Me Dave (with the complete set of kids and SamCam) popped into Buck House, twenty minutes later Brenda issued a press release and Thazza jumped into the limo and pootled along while CMD was being shown out the back entrance. Now waiting for the second Brendagram, and it's done.
    posted by Devonian at 9:40 AM on July 13, 2016


    It's done. In between we revert to direct royal rule, apparently. I wondered whether she's ever tempted to slip an edict in the back way while no one's looking.
    posted by Grangousier at 9:45 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    this thing about the CWU withdrawing funding for their local MPs

    It difficult to know whether we are entering one of the most exciting periods of modern British politics or just a bunch of children playing with a can of petrol and a box of matches while Mum and Dad are down the pub out destroying the NHS. But not that difficult.
    posted by biffa at 9:53 AM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Apparently, hanging for arson in the royal dockyards is back. She liked that one.
    posted by Devonian at 9:55 AM on July 13, 2016


    Mostly just swan-related legislation.
    posted by Chrysostom at 9:59 AM on July 13, 2016


    The main point I was making is that nobody should be stoking an atmosphere like the one Johanna Baxter described. It's just not acceptable from anyone.

    Absolutely.

    When I read quotes from that interview earlier I must admit I thought Baxter was laying it on a bit thick - e.g. terrifying 'threats' that turn out to be 'we'll take legal action' - and pretty much took the view expressed by Coda Tronca, Abelian Grape and others above. Listening to the audio, not so much. I think she was genuinely upset and genuinely felt threatened, which is appalling, and I can see how the trivial-sounding stuff would seem much more serious in that context.

    I mean, sure, the interview functioned as an attack on Corbyn, but there's no way Baxter was faking the way she felt, and dismissing it as pure 'Blairite' dirty tricks isn't really on.

    …the CWU withdrawing funding for their local MPs

    Blimey. It seems to be very bitter down in Bristol - the Bristol West AGM last week lead to some back-and-forth between attendees about exactly how awful the meeting was:

    - No longer welcome in my own home
    - So I went to a CLP meeting
    - I’m angry. You should be too.

    On a jollier note, Owen Smith really does look like Siadwel, doesn't he? It's nice to be reminded of Siadwel.
    posted by jack_mo at 10:15 AM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    May certainly is positioning herself towards the centre, which is smart from her perspective because it grinds Labour while also potentially weakening her own right wing.
    posted by Rumple at 10:26 AM on July 13, 2016


    Quiz time! Who said it, Theresa May or Ed Miliband?
    posted by Mister Bijou at 10:31 AM on July 13, 2016


    May kicked off her first speech as PM (after an encomium aux Cameron) emphasising that the Tory party's full official name is the Conservative and Unionist Party, and that they're totes about the Union. Fair trowelled it on, she did.

    Which probably put a couple more points on the SNP's numbers.
    posted by Devonian at 10:38 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Apparently the whole CLP in Gorton have been suspended.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 10:44 AM on July 13, 2016




    Theresa may's speech is being described as "a lurch to the centre"
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 10:53 AM on July 13, 2016


    the Tory party's full official name is the Conservative and Unionist Party

    I'm sure I'd hear the crowing from Stormont as we speak if they weren't all off drinking WKD in Spain on my taxes. I did laugh at BBC Newsline NI who were interviewing people on the street about Dave's departure and one man, following quite a thoughtful comment on the recent political turmoil, finished up with "but sure one Tory's the same as another."

    (Also since DC is finally gone I feel this is the best place to quote for the last time the best ever descriptions of him, courtesy of Charlie Brooker - he looks like a handsome man reflected in the the back of a spoon, and C3PO made out of ham.)
    posted by billiebee at 11:14 AM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    (Also since DC is finally gone I feel this is the best place to quote for the last time the best ever descriptions of him, courtesy of Charlie Brooker - he looks like a handsome man reflected in the the back of a spoon, and C3PO made out of ham.)

    Screenwipe this year is going to have to be about 12 hours long.
    posted by threetwentytwo at 11:21 AM on July 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


    On that subject, Frankie Boyle nailed Corbyn's appearance with the unforgettable 'head like a haunted tennis ball' and Watson's with 'a chest of drawers with a telly on top'. Both in the same article.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 11:27 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Good news, everyone! Boris Johnson's back!
    posted by Catseye at 11:33 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    If that was true, Twitter would have exploded. Please be lying, and please don't do it again as I'm an old man and my heart can't take it.
    posted by Grangousier at 11:37 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Though perhaps she can make him Minister For Cleaning Up After Larry With His Tongue.
    posted by Grangousier at 11:40 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Beeb reporting Boris and Amber Rudd in No 10 now. Just seen Fallon go in too. Hammond is new Chancellor and Osbourne relegated to the backbenches.
    posted by comealongpole at 11:40 AM on July 13, 2016


    Arse. Maybe she just summoned him so she could tell him to fuck off in person.
    posted by Grangousier at 11:41 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Frankie Boyle nailed Corbyn's appearance with the unforgettable 'head like a haunted tennis ball'

    Even better: "...head like a haunted tennis ball, and the general air of a pigeon that had inherited a suit."
    posted by klausness at 11:41 AM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    I know, that whole Boyle article is funny to beyond the pain threshold.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 11:46 AM on July 13, 2016


    What does it mean when "Osborne has left the government"? Does it simply mean he no longer sits in Cabinet and now sits in the backbench, or has he also resigned his seat?
    posted by My Dad at 11:47 AM on July 13, 2016


    It just means he's not in the cabinet. He'll still be an mp.
    posted by dng at 11:48 AM on July 13, 2016


    Back benches.

    Boris is Foreign Secretary. I'm having difficulty processing that, despite the insane shit I've got used to processing.
    posted by Grangousier at 11:49 AM on July 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


    "Boris Johnson has been made foreign secretary, the BBC reports."

    Does he have any relevant experience?
    posted by paduasoy at 11:50 AM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Hammond Chancellor
    Johnson Foreign Secretary
    posted by MattWPBS at 11:50 AM on July 13, 2016


    I wonder if Johnson's file will include Brexit.
    posted by My Dad at 11:50 AM on July 13, 2016


    Boris Johnson as foreign secretary? What the fuck?
    posted by klausness at 11:51 AM on July 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


    That would be simultaneously apropos and terrifying.
    posted by longbaugh at 11:51 AM on July 13, 2016


    Boris Johnson as foreign secretary is presumably Theresa May's attempt to have us sacked by the EU before she has to have us quit.
    posted by dng at 11:52 AM on July 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


    Does he have any relevant experience?

    Well, there was that time he compared the EU to Hitler and Napoleon, so I bet that'll serve us all well in the years to come.
    posted by Catseye at 11:52 AM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Does he have any relevant experience?

    What, for Minister for Foreign Affairs? I expect so. I'm sure he's had plenty of them.
    posted by Grangousier at 11:53 AM on July 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


    Amber Rudd - Home Secretary
    posted by MattWPBS at 11:53 AM on July 13, 2016


    Oh lord, how many airplane steps is Johnson going to trip and fall over during his travels to the colonies?
    posted by PenDevil at 11:53 AM on July 13, 2016


    I suppose she's punishing him by giving a job that means he has to turn up for work every day. He'd hate that.
    posted by Grangousier at 11:54 AM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Right. I'm going to start drinking then. 2016 you have been a singularly disappointing year thus far. You can rouse me from my stupor when 2017 rolls around, I'm done now.
    posted by longbaugh at 11:55 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Maybe this is "You broke it, you fix it" for Johnson...?
    posted by MattWPBS at 11:55 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Amber Rudd - Home Secretary

    Is that good? Bad? I'm afraid all I know about her is that her name sounds like a euphemism for something.
    posted by Grangousier at 11:55 AM on July 13, 2016


    I think the plan is all the other national governments will die laughing, and then we can quietly nip in and restore the Empire.
    posted by Devonian at 11:55 AM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Wiki doesn't sound too bad for Rudd. Trustee for charity helping disabled people with education, vice chair of parliamentary committee on fgm, sex equality campaign, report calling for compulsory sex ed in schools.
    posted by MattWPBS at 12:01 PM on July 13, 2016


    Oh god, the Disgraced Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox is in Number 10 apparently.
    posted by MattWPBS at 12:02 PM on July 13, 2016


    I still can't quite over how openly and artlessly they fucked their own party members out of having any choice in who the leader of their own party would be, nor how no one seems to care.

    Whereas labour can't even manage to disenfranchise their own supporters properly and have sort of stumbled onto some sort of half and half solution that infuriates absolutely everyone at once.
    posted by dng at 12:04 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I don't think 'disgraced' is a concept politicians do any more. They just wait 12-18 months.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 12:06 PM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Well, good luck to Rudd. Home Secretary is a role that normally involves throwing red meat to the electorate and being the nasty cop in the government, which is why people in it tend to get a bad rep - often deservedly. I can't think of a really good liberal one since Roy Jenkins.

    DFDS Fox was tipped as Minister for Brexit. That would be fun (see red meat, above)
    posted by Devonian at 12:06 PM on July 13, 2016


    Tories do power. That's what they are. I half-believed May would go all social-democrat if that was necessary because doing power is so much more important to them than ideology.

    That was before the Cabinet looked like turning into a parade of arse-weasels, of course.

    But it was a nice five minutes.
    posted by Grangousier at 12:06 PM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Theresa may's speech is being described as "a lurch to the centre"

    How can anyone be this gullible? She's a Tory. If she gave the slightest sliver of a shit about anyone other than the wealthiest members of society, she wouldn't be a fucking Tory, would she?

    Cameron made exactly the same kindly noises when he got in, then proceeded to viciously punish the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country for no good reason.

    This is the key line, I think: We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives.

    Translation: We'll privatise absolutely everything that's left of the welfare state. Then you'll have more 'control' over which hospital to visit, even though you can't afford to pay to get through the door. And we'll give you 'control' over which schools your kids go to, after turning them over to companies whose only interest is extracting the maximum amount they can from public coffers while standards plummet. And you'll have 'control' over which specific job centre takes away your benefits for months at a time because you couldn't afford to travel on the benefits we let you 'control' with a pre-paid debit card that charges commission, &c., &c.

    Kindly One Nation Tories don't exist. Compassionate conservatism isn't a thing. And Theresa May isn't Ed Miliband, for crying out loud.

    Boris is Foreign Secretary.

    And we're off! Our new safe, sensible centrist PM with the country's best interests at heart has installed a notoriously lazy racist in the Foreign Office. Up next: Stephen Crabb appointed Minister for Equalities.
    posted by jack_mo at 12:08 PM on July 13, 2016 [32 favorites]


    Well, she's invented the new post of Minister for International Trade specially for Disgraced Former Defence Minister Liam Fox. So it looks like she punishing the leavers by forcing them to be nice to foreigners.
    posted by Grangousier at 12:10 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Apparently Osborne didn't turn down another post, but was actively sacked.
    posted by MattWPBS at 12:18 PM on July 13, 2016


    Well I'd just like to remind everyone of my astoundingly prescient rant about how we we wouldn't be seeing any more of Boris Johnson.
    posted by Mocata at 12:22 PM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    David Davis - Secretary of State for Brexit.
    posted by MattWPBS at 12:23 PM on July 13, 2016


    Apparently David Davis is a champion of civil liberties in the UK?
    posted by My Dad at 12:24 PM on July 13, 2016


    David Davis as Captain Brexit - and he's for delaying Article 50 and maintaining the open market (vide).

    And yes, he's been consistently for privacy and restricting state surveillance, and in that respect a good egg. I don't know much about his other sides; he's an ex Minister for Europe.
    posted by Devonian at 12:25 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    He thinks it's possible to leave the EU with an awesome trade deal, no immigrants and ponies and pancakes for all. I suppose this is her way of saying 'Go on, then. Do it if you think you're all that."
    posted by Grangousier at 12:25 PM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    I suspect I'm attributing more passive aggression to Theresa May than strictly necessary.
    posted by Grangousier at 12:26 PM on July 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


    If her speech criticizing Osborne earlier today is anything to go by, perhaps there will be some let-up in austerity in the UK.
    posted by My Dad at 12:27 PM on July 13, 2016


    David Davis article on Brexit.

    I'm reading a lot of "go on then" into appointments to.
    posted by MattWPBS at 12:30 PM on July 13, 2016


    Wouldn't put too much money on it - Brexit is going to be expensive, no matter how you cut it.
    posted by Devonian at 12:31 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Is this where we're commiserating over Boris being in charge of talking to us furriners?
    posted by infini at 12:34 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Dear lord. I am so sorry for you guys. I pray I will not be in a similar situation Nov 9th, having to cope with Secretary of State Ron Jeremy.
    posted by lattiboy at 12:34 PM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Just before it was announced a British friend tweeted whether she'd put him in charge of Brexit...
    posted by infini at 12:35 PM on July 13, 2016


    I'm reading a lot of "go on then" into appointments to.

    In a tactical sense (in contrast to the disastrous result of the Leave campaign's "successful" strategy), these are not stupid people, and would obviously resent (as well as the Eurosceptic rump) to being boxed in and being set up to fail.

    Presumably they'll be working hard to succeed...?
    posted by My Dad at 12:38 PM on July 13, 2016


    How can anyone be this gullible? She's a Tory.

    Of course, but the Overton Window does seem to have gone leftwards at least temporarily. Labour MPs are openly calling themselves socialists to try to get some Corbyn sprinkles.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 12:47 PM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    It's certainly going to take the wind out of UKIP's sails - if things go well for Team Brexit, then there'll be nothing for UKIP to bite into, and if it goes badly, they'll have nothing sensible to say. (OK, perhaps that's a poor choice of idiom for anything to do with UKIP...)
    posted by Devonian at 12:53 PM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I happened to be in Howden, in David Davis' constituency, the other day. The place is on its arse and every other house is for sale or to let. I don't know what's happened to the place - it used to be quite well-to-do (if a little like going back to the 1950s). Perhaps the Press Association's betting department has made a few more "savings."

    Anyway, Theresa May has talked a lot of sense today. I like the sounds she is making, particularly in her speech outside Number 10 this evening - I listened to the whole thing on the radio. You can call me gullible if you like, but I'm hopeful that we'll see at least a partial easing-off on austerity for the time being, especially with George out of the Treasury. She reminds me of Angela Merkel, and I think we need someone stable and non-flashy in Downing Street right now - and I'm relieved that we didn't have to endure months of paralysing Conservative leadership bollocks and the inanities of Leadsom before May was appointed.

    I'm no Tory, but with Labour out of commission for the foreseeable future, I think a social justice-minded one-nation Conservative is the best we can hope for - it's certainly better than some of the alternatives (eg Boris). I agree with her about increasing social mobility and letting everyone realise their potential rather than just handing out yet more cash in benefits, but it has to be real change in terms of increasing educational and professional opportunities and not just a disguise for more cuts.

    I'm not convinced by some of her appointments - I hope Boris' first assignment as Foreign Sec is one-way to Pitcairn Island - but I really hope she walks the walk on social justice rather than just making pleasant noises on the radio during her honeymoon period.
    posted by winterhill at 1:00 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Boris is now in charge of MI6! Yay!

    *cries*
    posted by garius at 1:07 PM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I can't see Boris lasting. You can't delegate a lot of the Foreign Secretary work, and he's going to have a very full diary having to put up with being lectured by people he doesn't much like and won't be susceptible to the buffoonery field. There'll be a lot of technical stuff and grown-up decisions. He won't have the patronage to build up a power base, he won't be spending much time in the HoC plotting, and gaffes won't go unpunished. If you had to engineer a job to defang him, you couldn't really do better.
    posted by Devonian at 1:09 PM on July 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


    So, that's the half-full view. For a counterpoint: Oh god, Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary.
    posted by tobascodagama at 1:14 PM on July 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


    If you had to engineer a job to defang him, you couldn't really do better.

    Not least because it'll have been one of the few jobs his ego would force him to take. Home Office being the other one and probably Lord of the Admiralty, given his Churchill fetish.
    posted by garius at 1:15 PM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I can't see Boris lasting.

    Hopefully he lasts long enough to go to a conference where he has to meet Turkey's President Erdogan and explain his prize winning Spectator poem
    posted by brilliantmistake at 1:17 PM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    So basically, Devonian, she's sent him to hell?

    Ha.
    posted by Grangousier at 1:18 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    What people really want to know is - will there be any change in the Lord Privy Seal?
    posted by Chrysostom at 1:20 PM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    You probably think that's a small walrus sitting on a toilet that claps when you enter the bathroom, don't you?

    You may well be right, I have no idea.
    posted by Grangousier at 1:22 PM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Hopefully he lasts long enough to go to a conference where he has to meet Turkey's President Erdogan and explain his prize winning Spectator poem

    Oh don't worry. Him and Erdogan will get on famously. They can swap tips on how to have journalists beaten up.
    posted by garius at 1:23 PM on July 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


    Reaction from an Angela Eagle speech tonight :

    The Labour leadership candidate brought up her referendum debate performance, where she told Johnson to stop using the £350m figure. “Oh Boris, isn’t he great for just bouncing around,” she joked.

    A cry went up from the audience: “He’s the foreign secretary!” Eagle laughed initially, but then looked thunderstruck. “Boris?!” she exclaimed, then temporarily lost for words.

    There was uproar in the room, Labour MPs turned to each other, “are you serious?!” one shouted. Eagle finally regained her composure: “All I can say is never ever say that having a Labour government elected isn’t important.”

    posted by MattWPBS at 1:33 PM on July 13, 2016 [9 favorites]




    And now I am laughing like an idiot at my daughter's swim lesson and people are staring. Thanks, kyrademon.
    posted by Etrigan at 1:43 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Kind of Woody Allen without the hardcore machismo.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 1:44 PM on July 13, 2016




    Bojo Jojo as Foreign Secretary? Shoot me the fuck now.
    posted by Talez at 2:09 PM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    And the BBC just happily reminded me that not so long ago, Boris referred to Hillary Clinton as being like an evil nurse in a mental hospital.

    So that meeting will go well, too.
    posted by Devonian at 2:10 PM on July 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Apparently David Davis is a champion of civil liberties in the UK?

    Well, he did resign and force a by-election to somehow prompt a nationwide debate on civil liberties and because he desperately wanted to impress the lovely Sh[REDACTED ON THE ADVICE OF ANDY BURNHAM]

    Sorry, that's not fair - he genuinely has campaigned on civil liberties. For one thing, him and Tom Watson took the govt. to court over a certain Theresa May's godawful Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act, overturning a few bits due to - oh dear - their incompatibility with EU law. I suspect May has given him a plum job to keep his gob shut about that sort of thing in future.

    perhaps there will be some let-up in austerity in the UK.

    Where would the money come from to do that, though? If the Tories do what they say they're going to do and refuse any deal involving freedom of movement, the UK economy is just fucked - the financial services industry provides more than 10% of the tax take and employs 4% of the workforce, and I really can't imagine the EU rolling over on passporting.

    Of course, but the Overton Window does seem to have gone leftwards at least temporarily.

    I'm really not sure about that. The left has obviously moved leftwards, but it's not like Leave won because of all the Lexit heads convinced everyone Tony Benn was right all along; it won because Johnson and Farage ran an extremely right wing, unashamedly racist campaign and half the country lapped it up.

    I really hope she walks the walk on social justice rather than just making pleasant noises on the radio during her honeymoon period.

    This seems wildly optimistic. I could maybe believe May's chat if she was some fresh-faced outsider with a short record of not being an absolute pisswizard, but she's been at the heart of the Tory party for decades and her record is mostly terrible. (Not entirely terrible, obviously - points for getting rid of ID cards, belatedly realising that being a raging homophobe is wrong, not shipping off Gary McKinnon to the US - but mostly.)

    All I can say is never ever say that having a Labour government elected isn’t important.

    Hah!
    posted by jack_mo at 2:15 PM on July 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


    Speaking of the BBC, I was listening to Five Live's coverage of the handover this afternoon and thought it was piss poor. They managed quite remarkably to cover a political event while skirting the issue of politics.

    After Cameron's speech, every time anyone tried to bring up the subject of politics, the presenter started talking about it being a deeply personal event, a family suddenly leaving their home, look at Samantha's dress, weren't the kids just adorable, look at little such-and-such clinging onto her sister's hand and looking up adoringly at daddy and so on.

    Thousands of families across the country have to suddenly leave their homes every week because of this country's shit housing situation - so excuse me if I don't shed a tear for millionaire David Cameron and his offspring when they're leaving their state-provided home.

    I suspect it's some BBC edict to make the station more "human interest" and "family friendly" but it was as dull as dishwater and the kind of drivel you expect to hear on BBC Radio Stoke or some such. Give us some hard politics and spare us the sub-local radio dross, please.
    posted by winterhill at 2:17 PM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


    >>perhaps there will be some let-up in austerity in the UK.

    Where would the money come from to do that, though?


    Here in Canada the Trudeau government was voted in on the promise of deficit spending. While Canada technically does not actually need deficit spending, our government has been downsized over the past twenty years — little to no money spent on housing, 20% childhood poverty, deep rural poverty, deep regional decline in the east, no innovation strategy and therefore no productivity gains — and could really use a top up. I should say that the previous Conservative government in Canada was essentially moderate (compared to the UK Tories) and did throw money at very expensive and inefficient "stimulus" projects designed to win votes, if not increase capacity, so maybe May will borrow from that playbook?
    posted by My Dad at 2:26 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I'm feeling sort of okay about David Davis as Brexit minister because he isn't Boris Johnson or Michael Gove or Chris Grayling or the disgraced former Defence Secretary - and now Secretary of State for International Trade! - Liam Fox. He has some very odd ideas but comes across as a bit saner than the rest of them, which is quite an achievement for someone who believes in the death penalty.
    posted by Mocata at 2:35 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Millions of families across the country have to suddenly leave their homes every week because of this country's shit housing situation

    It's not quite that bad! But yes, social housing is a mess.

    Five Live is no good at rolling news; it doesn't really know what it's supposed to be. Phone-ins and sport and chat and magazine stuff is theoretically OK, but it doesn't fit well when there's a big news story developing.(They do plan ahead when they can; magazine slots are dropped well ahead of time if they think they'l need the space, but that's rare). Radio 4 has a bit of wiggle room in changing its schedule - an extra quarter of an hour at the end of WATO and TWT, and (as today) PM can steal a chunk of the Six - but there are big gaps where you can't really drop in anything substantial. World Service can't go domestic.

    BBC News TV channel has been reprieved in the last couple of days. There's enough flexibility in the DAB/Internet distribution system to carry a domestic radio equivalent, and probably enough resource inside News to run it with sustains from 4 and World, but I can't see 4 wanting to see its flagships used to keep a potential rival through its embryonic stage.

    Anyway, that's enough BBC derail.
    posted by Devonian at 2:39 PM on July 13, 2016


    Bring back "Scud FM."
    posted by winterhill at 2:53 PM on July 13, 2016


    Or Radio 10.
    posted by Devonian at 3:00 PM on July 13, 2016


    Oh, God, what's she going to do with Grayling? Is there anywhere she can put him where he can't break anything? Minister for Standing in the Hallway Cupboard and Not Moving Very Much Not Even Breathing?
    posted by Grangousier at 3:03 PM on July 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


    He's going to become the MP for Gruinard Island where he will represent several seabirds and some sheep. Then they're going to cover the place in anthrax again.
    posted by longbaugh at 3:06 PM on July 13, 2016


    BBC on May's Cabinet - who's in, who's out

    Well, well, Osbourne is gone!! Awesome, Brexit got rid of Osbourne and Cameron!!

    BBC - May's to-do list

    Ex-European Commission head Barroso under fire over Goldman Sachs job
    posted by marienbad at 3:06 PM on July 13, 2016


    Radio 10 9
    posted by marienbad at 3:09 PM on July 13, 2016


    Awesome, Brexit got rid of Osbourne and Cameron!!

    Yay! The fire that burned down the village got rid of that barn that was an eyesore! Maybe we can build an even more hideous one in its place wheee
    posted by billiebee at 3:28 PM on July 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


    No more barn building. All the Polish builders have been deported. :(
    posted by garius at 3:32 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Awesome, Brexit got rid of Osbourne and Cameron!!


    Well, yes, but now what?
    posted by threetwentytwo at 3:41 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    We sit among the fires that were our home and wish we had marshmallows.
    posted by Grangousier at 3:47 PM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


    US State Department:

    “We’re always going to be able to work with the British no matter who is occupying the role of foreign sec because of our deep abiding special relationship with the United Kingdom.”


    Heh. "no matter"
    posted by vacapinta at 4:26 PM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]



    Wiki doesn't sound too bad for Rudd. Trustee for charity helping disabled people with education, vice chair of parliamentary committee on fgm, sex equality campaign, report calling for compulsory sex ed in schools.


    Bollocks. She has been dismantling the UK renewable energy programme since the 2015 GE. She is the Jeremy Hunt of cutting back on the environment, less noticed then Hunt since we care less about the environment than the NHS.
    posted by biffa at 4:42 PM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Well, well, Osbourne is gone!! Awesome, Brexit got rid of Osbourne and Cameron!!

    Maybe it would have been simpler if we had tried to achieve this at the last general election.
    posted by dng at 4:52 PM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Random comment on facebook: "My god, he looks like Gary Busey fucked one of the kids from "Village of the Damned.""
    posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:08 PM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Awesome, Brexit got rid of Osbourne and Cameron!!

    Yay! The fire that burned down the village got rid of that barn that was an eyesore! Maybe we can build an even more hideous one in its place wheee

    Well, yes, but now what?

    We sit among the fires that were our home and wish we had marshmallows.


    Turns out The World's End accurately predicted Brexit. Who would have known?
    posted by tobascodagama at 5:22 PM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


    “We’re always going to be able to work with the British no matter who is occupying the role of foreign sec because of our deep abiding special relationship with the United Kingdom.”

    This notable lack of enthusiasm is indeed one step above openly stating he's an idiot (compare and contrast to "we welcome the choice"). Johnson, for the record, has recently compared the EU to Hitler and Napoleon, stated that Obama might have an ancestral dislike of the UK, and has also previously stated that HRC is like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital. He lied repeatedly during the referendum campaign about officials and foreign ministers he now has to have frequent meetings with. He previously did so as a Brussels correspondent until actually sacked from the Times for fabricating quotes.

    That is merely regarding our allies.

    Outside of that, there's the history of various directly racist comments such as calling black people “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”, referring to "Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing", and choosing to employ and okay each column of the openly racist Taki in Johnson's time as editor of the Spectator. Here's a sample of Johnson approved Taki columns: "The rivers of blood speech by Enoch was prophetic as well as true and look what the bullshitters of the time did to the great man."; "Orientals ... have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the other pole." He also approved a column where Taki described black American bastketball players as having "arms hanging below their knees and tongues sticking out". I cannot see that as, at the least, someone who is comfortable enough with racists and racist imagery that it makes no difference if he believes he's racist or not, and demonstrates either an indifference to that or a staggering lack of judgment.

    He is now Foreign Secretary. I'm unsurprised that the State Department are quite so unenthusiastic, it's almost impossible to think of a worse choice.
    posted by jaduncan at 8:39 PM on July 13, 2016 [22 favorites]


    But he's so funny! Is there no room for comedy in diplomacy any more? I mean, look at that face and that mop of hair. And he careers round the place on a bicycle. How could anyone possibly resent him? So yes, he's gaffe-prone, inept, and at least tacitly racist, but does that mean he shouldn't get to be Foreign Secretary? How can you be so heartless.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 9:23 PM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]




    Joe in Australia, wait till Trump and BoJo rule the Anglo world.
    posted by infini at 10:01 PM on July 13, 2016


    Full context for pickaninnies:

    What a relief it must be for Blair to get out of England. It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies; and one can imagine that Blair, twice victor abroad but enmired at home, is similarly seduced by foreign politeness.

    They say he is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.


    Picture of one of the pickaninnies that used to be used for advertising...

    Not much need to editorialize that.
    posted by jaduncan at 10:20 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Too many village idiots spoil the village.
    posted by um at 10:24 PM on July 13, 2016


    In case it wasn't obvious, insert quotation marks around my use of the term. I think it's a vile thing to say.
    posted by jaduncan at 10:38 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Bollocks. She has been dismantling the UK renewable energy programme since the 2015 GE. She is the Jeremy Hunt of cutting back on the environment, less noticed then Hunt since we care less about the environment than the NHS.

    Well, there goes my effort trying to find a positive.
    posted by MattWPBS at 11:35 PM on July 13, 2016


    And he careers round the place on a bicycle.

    Here's hoping he cycles to all his foreign meetings, all the way from London each time.
    posted by rory at 11:39 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


    "Boris Johnson has been made foreign secretary, the BBC reports."

    Does he have any relevant experience?


    You mean apart from writing poetry on foreign heads of state?
    posted by sour cream at 12:14 AM on July 14, 2016


    perhaps there will be some let-up in austerity in the UK.
    Where would the money come from to do that, though?
    It'd come from where it's always come from. This is a country - one of the biggest economies in the world, no less - not a household or a private business. The country can't go broke, and Osborne's approach to running the public finances like they're an individual's current account is one of the major reasons we've had so much miserable austerity over the years.

    The country's not broke, it has the money to invest - otherwise, where's the HS2 money and the Trident money coming from? - and it should be invested in housing, infrastructure, education and training, social mobility, healthcare and other things that have been neglected during the Osborne years. We're a strong and successful economy and we've recovered quite well from the 2008 problems - we just need a little more investment while the sun is shining, rather than a laser focus on running a surplus. Most countries run a deficit and as long as it's managed, it's fine.

    If we're to survive the next few years of uncertainty, austerity has to go and I think it will.
    posted by winterhill at 12:16 AM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


    Boris Johnson's appointment as Foreign Secretary has not gone down well in the United States

    One veteran Obama official put it this way: Brexit has diminished Britain in this town. Germany is now going to be more central to US policy in Europe. That is doubly true with the Boris appointment.

    posted by PenDevil at 1:07 AM on July 14, 2016


    So Boris's foray into foreign diplomacy is basically going to be The Germans isn't it?
    posted by PenDevil at 1:11 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]




    I was really hoping that we wouldn't hear any more about Borisconi. Really, really, really hoping. I appreciate that he has been given a poisoned chalice, but couldn't he just have been given the poison?

    As regards the bricking of a window in Wallasey, while this is obviously a bad thing, I think jack_mo's comment goes a long way to explaining why it might not be entirely surprising.

    Also, still waiting for some media coverage of the Labour party or Crobyn that is neutral, rather than clearly biased against Corbyn. I get that he is not the people's messiah, he is far from performing at the top of the political game and I would like to see him give back some of the shite he is dealt daily, but there are plenty of other targets for vilification who seem to get a free pass.
    posted by asok at 2:09 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Michael Gove has been sacked, Nicky Morgan expected to go too.

    (Small cheer goes up in the staffroom at my school)
    posted by brilliantmistake at 2:33 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


    John "Whippindale" Whittingdale also out

    (Sighs of relief at BBC?)
    posted by Mister Bijou at 2:51 AM on July 14, 2016


    I was really hoping that we wouldn't hear any more about Borisconi. Really, really, really hoping. I appreciate that he has been given a poisoned chalice, but couldn't he just have been given the poison?

    I think it's brilliant and absolutely necessary. This way he cannot go back to bickering from the sidelines.

    The failure of the Brexit will be the failure of Boris Johnson.
    The tragedy of the British people is that they allowed it to happen.
    posted by sour cream at 2:56 AM on July 14, 2016


    Gove/Morgan/Whippingdale all gone (Gove was expected though, after they clashed recently over the schools issue.)
    posted by marienbad at 3:04 AM on July 14, 2016


    The tragedy of the British people is that they allowed it to happen.

    Here is the situation in the UK in the week before Brexit: over 1 million unemployed, hundreds of thousands, if not millions on temp contracts, millions on min wage, millions in fuel poverty and having to choose whether to heat or eat, thousands of food banks distributing free food to the poor, millions of kids living in poverty, homelessness rising every year, suicide rates high and rising, primary and secondary education being privatised (and diminished), HE being taken further and further out of the reach of poorer people via loans and tuition fees, NHS privatised via internal market (services outsourced), NHS PFI putting money in hands of rich and allowing for dismantling, virtually no-one responsible for banking and financial crash/mis-selling etc jailed, fat cat pay skyrocketing, corporate dividend payouts at unbelievable levels, pensions screwed up via misselling and the recent changes, petrol costs shooting up despite oil at lowest levels in long time, roads in a mess due to pot-holes, everything sold off to the rich (even stuff like probation and forensics is now outsourced), politicians leaving office and taking corporate jobs despite conflicts of interest but waved through by ACOBA (this is why I think all the Labour people are turning against Corbyn - they see him as anti-business and think it will affect their ability to get a cushdy job when they leave office, they are saying to their rich, corporate paymasters "I am on your side, you can trust me to do what you want.")

    But don't worry everyone, we were in the EU and that meant everything was all right.
    posted by marienbad at 3:20 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Which of these things are going to improve due to us leaving?
    posted by Catseye at 3:23 AM on July 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


    How is leaving the EU and diminishing the economy going to fix any of that stuff, marienbad? If tax receipts are down because business has either left or decided not to invest in Britain, then how are the roads magically going to be free of potholes and the NHS free of cuts and privatisation? Is university suddenly going to be free now that universities are losing their EU funding? I suppose housing costs might come down as the economy falls on its arse and interest rates drop, but without jobs how are we going to afford cheaper houses?

    I am no EU fan, I think it's a big business focused club and I think some of the top bods (Juncker etc) make our politicians look like pleasant, balanced people. But I can't for the life of me see how leaving the EU is going to fix our domestic problems in a way that staying in couldn't. We made the problems, we have to fix them.

    Some of it isn't even true - petrol hasn't shot up in months, it's been 107.7p/l at the garage I use since about April. My electricity and gas bill is lower, too.
    posted by winterhill at 3:30 AM on July 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


    But don't worry everyone, we were in the EU and that meant everything was all right.

    No one here (or anywhere that I'm aware of) is saying that everything was all right because we were in the EU.
    posted by jonnyploy at 3:30 AM on July 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


    Interesting study from LSE: Journalistic Representations of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Press:
    Our analysis shows that Corbyn was thoroughly delegitimised as a political actor from the moment he became a prominent candidate and even more so after he was elected as party leader, with a strong mandate. This process of delegitimisation occurred in several ways: 1) through lack of or distortion of voice; 2) through ridicule, scorn and personal attacks; and 3) through association, mainly with terrorism.

    All this raises, in our view, a number of pressing ethical questions regarding the role of the media in a democracy. Certainly, democracies need their media to challenge power and offer robust debate, but when this transgresses into an antagonism that undermines legitimate political voices that dare to contest the current status quo, then it is not democracy that is served.
    posted by talos at 3:30 AM on July 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


    I appreciate that he has been given a poisoned chalice, but couldn't he just have been given the poison?

    I know he's a jerk, and it was a riff on the idiom, but I think we should all be quite careful about implying harm to politicians.*

    A lot of people are pretty casual about suggesting harm to their political enemies, in fairly flippant ways, and most of the time it's all fine and fun and games because obviously they don't want to really feed gove into a woodchipper**. Except of course that somewhere is someone who might.
    I think the more we dislike a certain politician the more scrupulous we need to be in our use of language to denounce them.

    From a purely political perspective it's something that Corbyn's supporters (and Sanders supporters) have recently had to become extra extra careful about recently, because it's easy to point to a large mass of people and paint them as angry thugs and militant rabble.




    *also, not meaning to call you out personally, because you are a top denouncer of violence and all round excellent human
    **Real quote from a guy at work that I sit next to. He frequently wishes various cartoon style comeuppances to his political enemies, and I find every day I have to ask him not to. {also it's partly my job to encourage positive ethical standards at work}
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:37 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


    But don't worry everyone, we were in the EU and that meant everything was all right.


    The Guardian's Larry Elliott summed up why some people in the UK feel as if there is a drumbeat message out there from the media that 'the EU is the only viable way for the UK to navigate the global economy for the long term good of its people', and take issue with whether that is actually true:

    Europe has failed to fulfil the historic role allocated to it. Jobs, living standards and welfare states were all better protected in the heyday of nation states in the 1950s and 1960s than they have been in the age of globalisation... it is time to rethink the assumption that a “flexible globalised economy can generate prosperity that is widely shared”.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 3:41 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Which of those was not the result of Tory policy? Are you after a list of positive things that the EU did for us that we're going to lose? There were plenty of them before the referendum. I found quite a few.
    posted by longbaugh at 3:42 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


    marienbad, I'm sure there are lots of people who have it really tough in the UK and who were failed by politics and the country at large. But to take just the first point in your list:

    over 1 million unemployed

    Actually, the broad trend is that it's been falling consistently since 1984. The microtrend is that it's falling since 2011. It's been lower in the 1970's and before, but the standard of living was also way lower then.

    I don't think it would have been much better if the UK had stayed outside of the EU. And I don't see how it can get better with the UK leaving the EU.
    But maybe you (and the Brexiteers) see something that I don't...
    posted by sour cream at 3:43 AM on July 14, 2016


    Jobs, living standards and welfare states were all better protected in the heyday of nation states in the 1950s and 1960s than they have been in the age of globalisation

    Seriously? Living standards were better in the 1950s and 1960s?
    No computers, no internet, less and poorer infrastructure overall, etc. etc.

    Here's a simple question: What percentage of the UK population could afford a trip to, say, Spain or the US back in the 1950s? What percentage of the UK population can afford it now?
    Or: What percentage of the average monthly income did a TV (pizza, trip to NY, car...) cost in the 50s and what does it cost now?

    The notion that living standards are worse now than they were 50 years ago is ridiculous.
    posted by sour cream at 3:49 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    It's not ridiculous at all. My grandfather was an electronics assembly worker in a factory. He had the same job for 30 years and was able to buy a house in the suburbs and grow roses in the garden. My grandmother didn't work, she brought up my dad and he was the first in the family to go to university - paid for entirely by the state in those days. A very common story.

    Now my grandfather's job would be in a dormitory factory in China.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 3:53 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


    This is a country - one of the biggest economies in the world, no less - not a household or a private business.

    You're absolutely right - I put that very badly. I meant something more like 'Where is the money supposed to come from under a Tory government during a severe economic downturn, given what we know about Tory governments?'

    The country's not broke, it has the money to invest - otherwise, where's the HS2 money and the Trident money coming from? - and it should be invested in housing, infrastructure, education and training, social mobility, healthcare and other things that have been neglected during the Osborne years.

    Yes, but I don't think May is going to do any of that stuff. I think she's going to use economic turmoil as an excuse for ideologically-motivated cuts to public services, like Cameron and Osborne.

    Not to mention the fact that, to actually pass legislation to match her rhetoric, May would have to persuade the rest of the Tories in Parliament to embrace a progressive socialist agenda and abandon pretty much everything they believe in terms of economic and social policy. This seems a bit of a stretch.

    Perhaps I'm being pessimistic, and May really meant what she said in her speech. Perhaps she's a sort of reverse Blair figure who will radically realign her party to the left. But May's track record suggests otherwise - did she rail against Cameron & Osbourne for imposing measures so spectacularly fucked up that the UN says the UK is breaching its international human rights obligations? No, she supported them, while adding more cruel and unnecessary policies of her own.

    And look at her appointments and sackings so far - this is the most influence the Tory right have had in government since Thatcher. Everyone's celebrating the horrible Gove getting sacked but he was a bulwark against May's worst authoritarian tendencies! She's getting rid of awful people and replacing them with absolute fuckers who are even worse.

    If we're to survive the next few years of uncertainty, austerity has to go and I think it will

    I really, really hope you're right, and that the stuff I've said in this thread will make me look like a paranoid numpty in five years time, but everything I've seen Tory governments do in my lifetime, and what May is doing as we type, makes that impossible for me to believe.
    posted by jack_mo at 3:56 AM on July 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


    It's not ridiculous at all. My grandfather was an electronics assembly worker in a factory. He had the same job for 30 years and was able to buy a house in the suburbs and grow roses in the garden. My grandmother didn't work, she brought up my dad and he was the first in the family to go to university - paid for by entirely the state in those days. A very common story.
    Perhaps the real story is that giving this kind of lifestyle (cheap housing, free university etc) to every factory worker was unsustainable. That single generation reaped the rewards of post-war political consensus and spending, and the rest of us are still paying for it now - both directly in terms of their generous pensions and benefits, and indirectly in the government debt they incurred with their generous social programmes.
    posted by winterhill at 3:58 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    giving this kind of lifestyle (cheap housing, free university etc) to every factory worker was unsustainable.

    Productivity is far higher than in the 60s and there are literally trillions of dollars washing around in tax havens or even legitimate investments that only benefit the rich, and it could easily pay for 60s-level education and living standards.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 4:02 AM on July 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


    It's not ridiculous at all. My grandfather was an electronics assembly worker in a factory. He had the same job for 30 years and was able to buy a house in the suburbs and grow roses in the garden. My grandmother didn't work, she brought up my dad and he was the first in the family to go to university - paid for by entirely the state in those days. A very common story.

    That's nice.

    My grandad was an Irish exile forced over here after WW2 (joined the British Army to fight fascism which didn't go down well in his very Republican village). He was forced to move round the country searching for work and somewhere to live because of anti-Irish racism.

    Eventually he found a job for very low pay at the Vincent motorcycle factory in Stevenage. He worked there until the failing economy killed the factory. Then scraped a poverty-line living at a variety of mechanical jobs until he died young, in part from sickness caused by the variety of industrial chemicals he had worked with before safety regulations.

    Meanwhile my Grandmother, who had been a Major in the Army nursing corps during the war, struggled to find senior nursing work in peacetime thanks in part to sexism in the NHS. Not that it mattered, because the lack of a social support network (and pressure from society and her employers) meant she had to give up working when she had kids anyway, something she'd often cry about towards the end of her long, lonely life after my Grandad's death.

    QED the past was shit.

    This is fun isn't it? Look how we can generalise our particular family experiences to apply to everyone!
    posted by garius at 4:03 AM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


    It's not ridiculous at all. My grandfather was an electronics assembly worker in a factory. He had the same job for 30 years and was able to buy a house in the suburbs and grow roses in the garden. My grandmother didn't work, she brought up my dad and he was the first in the family to go to university - paid for entirely by the state in those days. A very common story.

    Your grandfather was also part of a cohort that had large numbers wiped out by war, and had to invest capital to rebuild an economy from total war. Your grandmother couldn't go out and work in a lot of jobs due to the way society viewed women. Your father may have gone to university, but that was still only an option for a subsegment of society.
    posted by MattWPBS at 4:07 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Marienbad: there's now less money/economic surplus to fix those things. Good work.
    posted by jaduncan at 4:07 AM on July 14, 2016


    Just to add, by the way, that I'm not in any way suggesting that many of the things you talk about aren't 100% what we should be striving for.

    Just that too often striving to find those things is used as a stalking horse for efforts to roll back an awful lot of the progress we have made as a society on a whole raft of issues - from workplace safety to equality, tolerance and just plain old leveling of the playing field of privilege.

    We should never be asking "how do we bring back that standard?" We should always be asking "how do we set a new one?"
    posted by garius at 4:08 AM on July 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


    Look how we can generalise our particular family experiences to apply to everyone!

    I said it was a common story, and that is true. State-funded education was not just part of my family experience, and job security was also a thing in the 60s in a way it isn't now, for anyone.

    Anyway, fair enough, it's not everyone's experience - this is why I usually don't do 'personal' on here, and I regret the post.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 4:09 AM on July 14, 2016


    Productivity is far higher than in the 60s and there are literally trillions of dollars washing around in tax havens or even legitimate investments that only benefit the rich, and it could easily pay for 60s-level education and living standards.

    I totally agree with this! But how are we any closer to getting there than we were this time last month? If anyone can join the dots between May's current cabinet selection and the great socialist future, I am genuinely all ears, because I am not seeing it from here.
    posted by Catseye at 4:10 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


    More and more it looks like Theresa May has played the best possible "screw Boris Johnson" hand that she could.

    "following Johnson’s shock appointment as foreign secretary by Theresa May, he becomes subject to the UK’s strict ministerial code, which is likely to require him to give up his outside work."
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:12 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Anyway, fair enough, it's not everyone's experience - this is why I usually don't do 'personal' on here, and I regret the post.

    Nah, sorry. My post was a bit snarky.

    To be honest it's just because I have a bit of a hair trigger for personal experience = general experience stuff at the moment post-Brexit, as there's an awful lot of it about.

    As I said in my follow up, it's not that I disagree - the only reason I got to University was because I got a small grant and the Student loans in those first few years were manageable. It's just that as other posters here are saying, there's a false equivalence between the way the economy and infrastructure of this country were then and now.

    Thus it's finding new solutions that's critical, not assuming that it's simply a case of moving money around in a different way.
    posted by garius at 4:15 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


    From the country who gave you The Thick Of It and Monty Python - Boris' Travels.
    posted by Devonian at 4:15 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


    The French foreign minister may well not like Johnson:

    The Europe 1 radio interviewer told Ayrault: “I’ve got the impression you’re scared of being faced with the fanciful Boris Johnson,” to which the French foreign minister replied: “No, I’ve got no worries at all about Boris Johnson. But you know very well what his style and method are. During the campaign, you know he told a lot of lies to the British people and now it is him who has his back against the wall. He is up against it to defend his country and also so that the relationship with Europe is clear.”


    Having the foreign minister of a neighbouring state and major negotiating partner just call you a repeated liar is quite the first day.
    posted by jaduncan at 4:15 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


    maybe BoJo can say no to that job too
    posted by lalochezia at 4:16 AM on July 14, 2016




    Jeremy *unt... Health secretary (no change)
    posted by Mister Bijou at 5:03 AM on July 14, 2016




    I am very much in agreement, just this guy, y'know. I am not advocating literal poisoning, but metaphorical poisoning. Obviously I did not make that clear.

    I also understand that the role that Johnson now finds himself in will cause him all kinds of exquisite discomfort, but the feeling that he has been stitched up will not be lost on him. He is a vicious sociopathic monomaniac who is better kept as far away from the levers of power as possible.

    That the Tory establishment generally dislike him and distrust him is fairly well known, but actual non-politicians could have their lives messed with by Borisconi as a backdrop to the political machinations within the Tory party. As I remember it this has only just happened to the country as a whole, so it's more likely to be a when than an if.
    posted by asok at 5:33 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


    I'm having a hard time following May's decision. On the one hand I can kind of see her appointment of Boris as sabotaging his career. And there's something about "keep your enemies closer" about it and as my husband put it "at least he's pissing out the tent" but my response is "yes but with this role isn't he also pissing into the wind?"

    And Hunt is the one guy remaining? I don't get it. I don't like May at all, but she seemed smart and I just can't figure out the logic in her cabinet appointments. I am also open to the possibility that these are all evidence of very poor judgement on her part. Because she's awful.
    posted by like_neon at 5:48 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Everything you need to know about Theresa May’s Brexit nightmare

    A glorious parade of all the things the grown-ups said would be very bad indeed, which are proving to be very bad indeed indeed, but not quite everything - doesn't mention Scotland or Northern Ireland.
    posted by Devonian at 5:52 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


    I think that Johnson would do whatever he could to get back in with a shot of being PM.
    This way he can't write his Telegraph column or appear on comedy panel show or whatever and he's bound by cabinet responsibility rules.

    It's a high enough post that he can't turn it down, and yet the major responsibility of dealing with the EU has been deftly removed from the job.

    An influential media personality who has been done over by the establishment is a more dangerous position for an opportunistic guy like Johnson than "rewarded" with senior cabinet post inside the tent job.

    This is the best way to keep him away from power.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:54 AM on July 14, 2016


    It's not ridiculous at all. My grandfather was an electronics assembly worker in a factory. He had the same job for 30 years and was able to buy a house in the suburbs and grow roses in the garden. My grandmother didn't work, she brought up my dad and he was the first in the family to go to university - paid for by entirely the state in those days. A very common story.

    OK, here's the home ownership rate in England (UK probably does not look much different) for the last 100 years.

    It's significantly higher (almost twice as high) today than it was in the 50's.

    I can't be bothered to look it up, but I'm sure the same is true for level of education. So to sum up:

    If you live in the UK, then compared to the 50's, you are now more likely to own a home, more likely to own a car, more likely to own a TV (and a computer and have access to the internet), likely to have better health care, likely to have a better education, a longer life expectancy, access to a much greater variety of food, access to a much larger volume of information at your fingertips, etc. etc.

    So in what frigging way were "living standards" better in the 50s?
    posted by sour cream at 5:56 AM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


    From the FB feed -
    A civil servant seems to have interpreted May's note 'Boris J F. Off ' incorrectly
    posted by asok at 5:57 AM on July 14, 2016 [12 favorites]


    Labour NEC procedures committee has ruled 6-month freeze date applies to affiliates in leadership contest.
    So that stops the Unite loophole to get around the £25 supporters fee.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:00 AM on July 14, 2016


    Labour's Kevin Brennan MP, in parliament: "The appointment of the new Foreign Secretary must be the most remarkable since the Emperor Caligula appointed his horse as Senator."
    posted by talos at 6:01 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


    So in what frigging way were "living standards" better in the 50s?

    You need rose-tinted glasses, and ideally bring along your own hazy memories of the era where the job market was dominated by real men with real jobs, and real people who voted like they did in 1945 :-)

    (snark based on actual quotes from that miner's party they held the other day)
    posted by effbot at 6:12 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    So in what frigging way were "living standards" better in the 50s?

    And we've got a higher availability of rose-tinted glasses now.
    posted by MattWPBS at 6:14 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Theresa May’s husband steals the show in sexy navy suit as he starts new life as First Man

    I shared that link with four women and three men. Every woman who responded got it instantly (and loved it). Two of the men thought it was a real item and one wasn't quite sure. Metafilter has spoiled me.
    posted by Busy Old Fool at 6:21 AM on July 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


    Shout out to Joey!

    Some guy on a megaphone causing trouble behind Sky News interviews in parliament square.
    (shame about telling Burley to smile more though...)
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:28 AM on July 14, 2016


    From the country who gave you The Thick Of It and Monty Python - Boris' Travels.

    How about pitching it as "Yes, Minister" meets "An Idiot Abroad"?
    posted by Doktor Zed at 6:38 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


    So we are concluding that it is more dangerous for Borisconi to be a journalist than Foreign Secretary. Not just for May, but for everyone.

    This is in concord with the conclusion that the LSE makes about the media reporting on JCo, along with the various previous links posted in this thread:
    All this raises, in our view, a number of pressing ethical questions regarding the role of the media in a democracy. Certainly, democracies need their media to challenge power and offer robust debate, but when this transgresses into an antagonism that undermines legitimate political voices that dare to contest the current status quo, then it is not democracy that is served.
    posted by asok at 6:53 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


    talos: "Labour's Kevin Brennan MP, in parliament: "The appointment of the new Foreign Secretary must be the most remarkable since the Emperor Caligula appointed his horse as Senator.""

    This is actually unfair to Caligula, who probably didn't really do this.
    posted by Chrysostom at 6:55 AM on July 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


    ... undermines legitimate political voices that dare to contest the current status quo, then it is not democracy that is served.
    Freedom of the press in Britain means freedom to print such of the proprietor's prejudices as the advertisers don't object to.
    Hannen Swaffer, "Swaff": The Life and Times of Hannen Swaffer (1974), p. 28.
    posted by Mister Bijou at 7:10 AM on July 14, 2016


    There was a similar situation in New Zealand about 10 years ago. The ruling Labour Party narrowly avoided defeat in the 2005 election and needed a confidence and supply arrangement with the, uh, renegade New Zealand First Party. (Think UKIP, only a good deal less right-wing.) To secure that, they offered NZ First leader Winston Peters the position of Foreign Minister in the new government. This created utter horror in journalistic circles, as Peters is a total gadfly with a history of alarming statements, hilariously evasive press interviews, and a general air of complete unreliability.

    However, it kind of worked. Importantly, unlike Boris, Winston is on some basic level actually competent (he's a former corporate lawyer), the position appealed to his considerable vanity, and he worked hard and made a success of the position. He actually improved NZ's reputation with certain small Pacific nations as he brought an indigenous perspective that might otherwise have been lacking.

    So, all of that is to say that this is nothing like the Boris situation at all.

    I tried to explain NZ politics to a British person recently, but the only way I could think of illustrating it was doing a Google image search for "Winston Peters" on my phone and scrolling through the results while repeating the phrase, "Look! It's Winston Peters!" I don't think she really understood.
    posted by Sonny Jim at 7:42 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


    So in what frigging way were "living standards" better in the 50s?

    Elliott actually makes the point that 'Jobs, living standards and welfare states were all better protected in the heyday of nation states in the 1950s and 1960s than they have been in the age of globalisation' due to attacks on the welfare state and organised labour. He doesn't mean everyone had more cars and internets in the 50s.

    The precarious nature of employment (zero hours etc.) has made things worse for workers. It's hardly a radical left-wing point to make.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


    And in more sparkling opti-joy, our new Culture Minister, who'll be doing the BBC's charter renewal, is a failed financial advisor -

    "In 1991 she joined Deloitte & Touche as a tax manager, and after seven years she became a senior tax manager with KPMG. In 2004 she set up business as a fiscal and economic consultant before rejoining KPMG in 2007, where she remained until her election to the House of Commons."
    posted by Devonian at 8:08 AM on July 14, 2016


    living standards and welfare states were all better protected in the heyday of nation states in the 1950s and 1960s

    On average, globally? Or even among neighbouring countries, with half the current EU locked in behind the iron wall? You cannot get much more "I've got mine" than that.
    posted by effbot at 8:12 AM on July 14, 2016


    Elliott actually makes the point that 'Jobs, living standards and welfare states were all better protected in the heyday of nation states in the 1950s and 1960s than they have been in the age of globalisation' due to attacks on the welfare state and organised labour. He doesn't mean everyone had more cars and internets in the 50s.

    I see.
    Do you really think that people regarded their living standards in the 50's as "well protected", a mere 10 years after the most devastating war that ever hit the continent?

    I think the opposite is true - in the 50's, the memories of WWII destruction were still fresh and the rubble had just been cleared. There may have been an atmosphere of a new beginning with lots of exciting technical advances and economic growth, but I think that everyone was painfully aware how quickly this all can go to the shitters.

    In fact, for that very reason, i.e. to protect living standards, a bunch of countries in Europe came up with the very idea of the EU.

    Maybe there is a general feeling of nostalgia that everything was better way back when, but there is not a shred of evidence to back that up. It is also entirely untrue that living standards were "better protected" (whatever that means) in the 50's. And if anything, then the EU and its predecessor organizations played a big role in protecting our living standard.

    But be that as it may, I suppose we will soon find out whether the living standard in the UK is better protected within or outside of the EU. You really think that there will be greater job security in the UK after the Brexit?
    posted by sour cream at 8:18 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


    And in more sparkling opti-joy, our new Culture Minister is a failed financial advisor

    Our new Environment secretary doesn't believe in climate change.
    posted by jack_mo at 8:20 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


    She says she does now, but had to ask...
    posted by Devonian at 8:27 AM on July 14, 2016


    If you live in the UK, then compared to the 50's, you are now more likely to own a home, more likely to own a car, more likely to own a TV (and a computer and have access to the internet), likely to have better health care, likely to have a better education, a longer life expectancy, access to a much greater variety of food, access to a much larger volume of information at your fingertips, etc. etc.

    So in what frigging way were "living standards" better in the 50s?
    posted by sour cream

    Some of that is just down to technological progress and is an unfair comparison. People in the 1930s in the UK had access to hoovers, radios, washing machines, better cookers, etc, but there was massive poverty on a scale not seen since 20-40 years earlier.

    Further, most of that is paid for via debt, which wasn't the case back then (apart from housing) - and people are now struggling to service those debts.

    A better education? Are you kidding? After 30 years of dumbing down, most 16 year olds now would struggle with the maths O level from the 1950s.

    Further in the 50s and 60s it was easy to get a job, unemployment was very low, Higher Education was free, there were no zero-hours contracts, not millions on temp contracts, plenty of social housing so you could live in one, save up, and buy a house, house and property prices were within range of ordinary people. What was the homelessness levels and suicide rates in the 1950s and 1960s? How do they compare to now? How about happiness? For all that we have gained, are people happier now than they were then?

    Marienbad: there's now less money/economic surplus to fix those things. Good work.
    posted by jaduncan

    Money? Surplus? We are living in an age of austerity, I know you probably haven't noticed as it affects the poor most, and I doubt you are one of us. Here, BBC article about Leeds:

    "Back in 1999, Leeds applied for EU funding to address this "two-speed economy".

    "If you look at the deprivation indices between 2001 and 2011, many of the most deprived areas in Leeds have remained at the same level, so there's a sense that the gap is still there," says Greenfield."


    So the idea that EU money has alliviated poverty and deprivation is wrong. See also Wales

    How is leaving the EU and diminishing the economy going to fix any of that stuff, marienbad?
    I am no EU fan, I think it's a big business focused club and I think some of the top bods (Juncker etc) make our politicians look like pleasant, balanced people. But I can't for the life of me see how leaving the EU is going to fix our domestic problems in a way that staying in couldn't. We made the problems, we have to fix them.

    Some of it isn't even true - petrol hasn't shot up in months, it's been 107.7p/l at the garage I use since about April. My electricity and gas bill is lower, too.
    posted by winterhill

    Which of these things are going to improve due to us leaving?
    posted by Catseye

    Which are going to improve with us staying? And how exactly would it work? See above article about Leeds to see how it didn't help there. Also the petrol prices around here were 99p per litre until a couple of months back - I am acutely aware of petrol prices as I work as a delivery driver so it directly impacts my earnings. They seem to have gone up just before and after the min wage went up.

    Although I totally agree about Juncker - Tax haven running prick. He has conned millions of Europeans out of corporate tax with Luxumbourg's tax schemes, he has cost the poor tens if not hundreds of billions in lost tax, and he calls Brexiters Traitors? If he truly believed in the EU, and in particular the welfare of the poor of Europe, he wouldn't have done this. Utter traitor.

    Awesome, Brexit got rid of Osbourne and Cameron!!

    Well, yes, but now what?
    posted by threetwentytwo

    Sorry, are you asking me to come up with social and economic policy for the UK? I am a working class guy who works as a delivery driver, so it isn't exactly my job or responsibility. I'm pretty sure that is the job of the government and civil service, isn't that what they are paid to do? If you can show that it is my job to do this, please get back to me as I could do with a high paid job in government right now, I have various debts to service due to economic hardship.
    posted by marienbad at 8:28 AM on July 14, 2016


    Interest rates held at 0.5%. Is Carney determined to see his predictions come true, no matter who it hurts?
    posted by marienbad at 8:31 AM on July 14, 2016


    No, I think he believes that with interest rates so close to 0 a further cut would have negatives that outweighed any positive effects, especially given that the new Conservative government appears to be planning to do some fiscal expansion via government spending which will be far more effective that any piddly 0.25% rate cut.
    posted by pharm at 8:54 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Sorry, are you asking me to come up with social and economic policy for the UK? I am a working class guy who works as a delivery driver, so it isn't exactly my job or responsibility. I'm pretty sure that is the job of the government and civil service, isn't that what they are paid to do?


    But the Civil Service and Tory government haven't fixed these whilst we were in the EU and the EU has nothing do do with these problems either. If your argument is that the EU should have forced these changes upon the UK you're arguing for a greater Federal EU surely?
    posted by longbaugh at 8:54 AM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


    most 16 year olds now would struggle with the maths O level from the 1950s.

    Many 16 year olds didn’t take the maths O-level in the 1950s in the first place & would have struggled with it if they had - the school leaving age was 15 & lots of kids left school to go into some kind of vocational work (assuming it was available) instead of taking O-levels. The school leaving ago wasn’t raised to 16 until 1964.
    posted by pharm at 9:02 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


    to protect living standards, a bunch of countries in Europe came up with the very idea of the EU.

    Come on.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 9:13 AM on July 14, 2016


    That article of marienbad's about Leeds is a right load of old nonsense:
    It's a different picture in nearby Harehills. Dawn bought a house there 11 years ago for £74,000. She says it has since dropped to £56,000. She blames the high number of immigrants. "There's 44 houses on my side of the street - eight English people, the rest are Romanian," she says. "I live next door to a lovely couple but there's just too many now."
    Show me a £56,000 house in inner-city Leeds, even "rough" Harehills, and I'll show you a unicorn shitting rainbows. Leeds is boom town - I'm eight miles outside and even my house has risen in value because of the halo effect from Leeds and its booming financial services economy. People are moving to Leeds from outside the UK and other parts of the UK - they want to live round here because Leeds has the jobs. Those who are whinging about "immigrants pushing house prices down" are racist and need calling out on it.
    posted by winterhill at 9:14 AM on July 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


    I said it was a common story, and that is true. State-funded education was not just part of my family experience, and job security was also a thing in the 60s in a way it isn't now, for anyone.

    It was a common story if you were in the magic circle of people that received those privileges. For those outside that charmed group, the 50s and 60s were pretty shit compared with today.
    posted by pharm at 9:20 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


    My back-to-back house in Bradford: 1 room downstairs, one up. Bathroom carved out of the corner of the bedroom, similar story with the kitchen downstairs. Very poor area, one of the poorest in the country. No garden of any kind, the front door opens directly on to the street. My wheelie bin is attached to my house with a bike lock.

    £50k

    There is zero chance of getting a house in Leeds for anything close to that price. It's extremely rare in Bradford, which has a much different national and international profile and far, far, far fewer opportunities.
    posted by vbfg at 9:20 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    It was a common story if you were in the magic circle of people that received those privileges.

    Social mobility has decreased since the 60s. Children born to poor families are now less likely to break free of their background than they were in the past.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 9:26 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    A very low rate of unemployment, high availability of housing, and higher social mobility in the 50s and 60s you say? Is there any chance that have had something to do with nearly half a million war dead in the 40s?
    posted by figurant at 9:40 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Further in the 50s and 60s it was easy to get a job, unemployment was very low, Higher Education was free, there were no zero-hours contracts, not millions on temp contracts, plenty of social housing so you could live in one, save up, and buy a house, house and property prices were within range of ordinary people. What was the homelessness levels and suicide rates in the 1950s and 1960s? How do they compare to now? How about happiness? For all that we have gained, are people happier now than they were then?

    Yes it must have been lovely to be a straight white man in the 50s and 60s. Halcyon days indeed. Access to education and any job you wanted, wife in the kitchen dinner on the table and none of those pesky immigrants (apart from, you know, the Anglo Saxon ones). When people knew their place and rah rah fucking hell are you having an actual laugh? As a woman I'm much happier in the future thanks all the same because I got to get an education and I'm allowed to work even if I get married and I don't have to get pregnant and if I do I can keep my job and I'm allowed to use the wages to buy a house and none of that was true in the 50s. Its just devastating for some people that Others now get to ask for what they once took for granted. It's not the 1950s, it won't be again thank God, and if trying to drag us back there is a reason for voting to Leave then I hope you get to be bitterly, bitterly disappointed.
    posted by billiebee at 9:42 AM on July 14, 2016 [22 favorites]


    We're actually contemplating a move to Leeds, and we've been looking at house prices, and yeah, it's utter bullshit. Which has already been said, but it's kind of fresh in my mind at the moment.
    posted by skybluepink at 9:44 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Further in the 50s and 60s it was easy to get a job
    If you were a woman? Wanting to do something other than housekeeping or nursing work?
    My grandmother would have loved to be able to go to school after age 12 and get a good job, but that was not an option. Even my mother, in the seventies had to quit her job when she got married.
    [on preview, exactly what billiebee said, but I'm posting anyway because I cannot stand this myth of how wonderful the 50's were.]
    posted by blub at 9:46 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


    It's OK - wait for the post-Brexit capital flight, and you'll be able to buy a 50s-style house at 50s-style prices in a 50s-style culture in Leeds at your leisure.
    posted by Devonian at 9:48 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Social mobility has decreased since the 60s. Children born to poor families are now less likely to break free of their background than they were in the past.

    Only if you limit your view to the UK.
    If you look at all of Europe, then this is utterly, utterly wrong.

    Children born to poor families in, say, Poland or Romania are more likely to break free from their background. They do so by moving to, say, the UK. If that door is closed, they'll move to France, Germany or Italy.
    posted by sour cream at 9:57 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Has everyone seen the Labour press release? I was so worried, but it's all going to be fine now:
    Labour will continue to hold this failing Tory Government to account.
    posted by jack_mo at 9:57 AM on July 14, 2016


    Only if you limit your view to the UK.

    Well there you have your explanation for the Brexit vote.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 9:58 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    holy fuck leadsom as environment secretary and merging "department for energy and climate change" into "business, innovation and skills"

    i mean

    when we said the leavers would break up europe in the next few years I didn't think the plan to do so was "release the glaciers"
    posted by lalochezia at 10:30 AM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


    Sorry marienbad, you're flat out wrong on some of these, or the implications of them.

    Most big goods were on credit in the post war era, it was just that you had the debt with the store rather than with a finance company. Put things "on tick" as it was. It's not a modern thing - what's changed is that we are able to use it on different things, and not have to get approval from each individual store. People struggled then as now.

    On education, you're right, most 16 year olds would struggle with the maths O-Level from the 1950s. Same way that many 1950s 16 year olds would have struggled with some requirements of education in the 1880s. Reason being that in 70 years what is considered relevant and beneficial to education changes - I had to learn how to do long division, quadratics and other stuff when I did my GCSEs. I don't use any of that nowadays (and I work as a business analyst). What I do use is the structures and techniques that I learnt. If you dropped someone with a 1950s education into my role, they'd be useless. That's assuming they were someone who actually stayed in school through to O-Levels, rather than leaving beforehand.

    On unemployment, correct again. The unemployment rate was at it's lowest ever in 1951. That's the number of people of working age who are unemployed divided by the number of people of working age. Two things will reduce that number - an increase in the number of jobs people need to do, and a decrease in the total number of people of working age. There was a big event that increased the amount of work that needed doing in the UK (especially in terms of rebuilding things), and reduced the number of people of working age able to do that work. Happened about 5 to 10 years before 1951.

    You're right too, there weren't zero hour contracts or millions on temp contracts. That's because they didn't even have the rights that those contracts give them. You don't need to have someone on a zero hour contract when you can just give them as many hours as you like, or fire them for whatever reason you like. It was easy to get a job too. Providing you weren't black, a woman, Irish, disabled, etc, etc.

    What was the homelessness rate like in the 1950s and 1960s? I don't know, because we didn't provide for homeless people until . I do know that there were large slums then. That's the housing that was available and in range of a lot of ordinary people. Housing run by people who gave their name to bullying tennants.

    Sucide? Approaching 20 per 100,000 for men in the 1950s, compared to a historical low of 11.6 per 100,000 in 2007.

    Happiness? I don't know, there's some studies that say people might have been happier or at least no unhappier then, but I wonder on the causes. If you 'know your place', are you happier than if you know you should have more?

    Money, surplus and the age of austerity. Yeah, there's not enough being taxed and spent at the moment. The point is that there is likely to be even less to be used in the coming years thanks to Brexit. The pull quote you've used from that BBC link cuts Greenfield off halfway through her point. The second part is ""Leeds is a city of mobility, and people are supported to make economic progression. But the people who benefit from this mobility often move out of deprived areas and into more affluent ones." So what are you tring to say? That people in deprived areas should be forced to stay there if they get a better job? Or something more ridiculous? As to Wales, you'll forgive me if I trust the Welsh Audit Office more than a soundbite when they say "It is too early to assess the overall impact of the programmes, which may not be fully evident for some time after the programmes have closed, but there are positive signs from ongoing evaluations."

    Petrol prices have gone up since January, and that's been since the oil price started to rebound. What's going to hit us twice in the UK though is that oil is priced in dollars, and the pound has taken a hit against the dollar. Change nothing else, and £1.07 a litre becomes £1.12 a litre with the fx rate going from 1.5 to 1.3 once the future purchases run through.

    What would have improved with us staying? The maintenance of where we are, stability in the situation. That's not the question though. You don't ask "what would improve with staying on the road?" when someone suggests driving through a field, you ask what the impact of the sudden drastic change will be.

    You're right again, it's not your job to come up with social and economic policy for the UK. If you don't want to discuss it, why have you posted a comment about social and economic policy for the UK? If you don't want to impact it, did you vote either way, or did you abstain? If you post stuff about this, you can't expect people not to challenge your statements. Otherwise, stick to your 1950s, and know your place.
    posted by MattWPBS at 10:35 AM on July 14, 2016 [26 favorites]


    Most big goods were on credit in the post war era, it was just that you had the debt with the store rather than with a finance company. Put things "on tick" as it was.

    People owe far, far more than they used to though. A year ago the average credit card debt per household was £2,293. What's changed is unlike 'on tick', the TV or whatever that got purchased are no longer the property of the lender, probably have no value left, and so can't be simply taken back if you can no longer pay. (In any case, it's likely the borrower used the credit not for goods but to service other debts).

    I'm sure the next comment will be 'but people used to get beaten up by moneylenders in the 50s', so I may as well add that I'm not here to say that the 1950s were uniformly great or awful. Just the average household debt is higher and cannot be cancelled as easily as in the past.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 10:48 AM on July 14, 2016


    I may have posted this in an earlier Brexit thread, and my apologies if this is old news, but there was a fantastic series on BBC called Back in Time for Dinner. A family had to live, work and eat as a normal family would in the past. Every day, the family advanced on year, through rationing, appliances on store credit, frozen foods, feminism, the rise of the City, and the effect of EU membership on diet, among other things.

    Normally I take media's depictions of the past and present with a grain of salt—British society in the 50s wasn't all Ealing comedies or Carrington V.C., but it wasn't all Kitchen Sink Realism either—but I think this series is worth a watch to see how things actually were in the 50s and 60s for the middle classes, based on national economic and nutritional surveys.
    posted by infinitewindow at 10:59 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I think it's also worth trying to take the heat out of the purported '50s great, 2016 shit' dichotomy by adding that it's a fair case to make that workers' living standards in the UK rose consistently in the post-war years due in large part to their own organisation and struggles, and then started declining in the late 70s or so, Thatcher-Reagan blah etc, none of which is very controversial, and that's all people like Elliott are referencing when they say 'globalisation is failing large groups of people who remember what it was like to afford a house and the EU is part of its implementation.'
    posted by Coda Tronca at 11:01 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


    People owe far, far more than they used to though. A year ago the average credit card debt per household was £2,293. What's changed is unlike 'on tick', the TV or whatever that got purchased are no longer the property of the lender, probably have no value left, and so can't be simply taken back if you can no longer pay. (In any case, it's likely the borrower used the credit not for goods but to service other debts).

    I'm sure the next comment will be 'but people used to get beaten up by moneylenders in the 50s', so I may as well add that I'm not here to say that the 1950s were uniformly great or awful. Just the average household debt is higher and cannot be cancelled as easily as in the past.


    I might be reading this wrong, but it sounds like your argument is that it was better because it was easier to repossess the things people had on hire purchase, than if it's something that was brought on a credit card?

    I'm having trouble finding sources for household debt figures in the 1950s. What are you using?
    posted by MattWPBS at 11:04 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    They didn't keep records until recently I don't think. Perhaps people owed more in the 50s, I concede I don't know. It doesn't feel like it when you read stuff like "people aged between 35 and 44 are increasingly depending on credit to be able to afford essential items, with close to one in five people in this age group saying they borrow simply to make ends meet" and that students leaving UK universities owe more on average than any other country in the world - £44,000.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 11:13 AM on July 14, 2016


    SNP has issued a statement about May's ministerial changes. Any word from Labour?
    posted by Mister Bijou at 11:31 AM on July 14, 2016




    I don't know about the 50s, but availability of education and social mobility are way down since the 80s. Someone from my family going to university like I did would be a huge challenge now, carrying a huge baggage of debt.

    Which I guess would make the age of Thatcher the golden age. *shrug*
    posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Aye, definitely doesn't feel like it. It also doesn't feel like it can be better to leave university with £44k of debts in the UK compared to £25k of debts in the USA, but then you start looking at actual amounts repaid/income dependencies and the like and it gets a lot more complicated. I just like to see data.
    posted by MattWPBS at 11:42 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    In 5-10 years when the NHS is gone NOW will look like a golden age.
    posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Sorry, are you asking me to come up with social and economic policy for the UK? I am a working class guy who works as a delivery driver, so it isn't exactly my job or responsibility.

    Yeah, I'm working class too, so this isn't really going to wash with me, sorry. I'm asking you what you see actually improving right now, and if the best you can manage is two Tory fuckheads getting exchanged for two other Tory fuckheads, then that's not good enough. I'm not asking you to formulate policy, I'm asking you to come up with some, any fucking improvement that's going to happen as a result of Brexit.
    posted by threetwentytwo at 12:30 PM on July 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


    Five Live, by the way, was even worse today than yesterday. Instead of the latest political news and discussion of the reshuffle, we got nine - count 'em - hours of live golf. It isn't even a particularly radio-friendly sport, and nine hours of national radio airtime seems excessive.
    posted by winterhill at 1:11 PM on July 14, 2016


    Which of these things are going to improve due to us leaving?
    posted by Catseye

    Which are going to improve with us staying?


    The person arguing for the change in the status quo has the burden of proof, come on. Leaving the EU will almost certainly have negative effects on most British folks' day-to-day lives.

    Voting to leave the EU to "shake things up" or "send a message" is a poor decision-making, frankly. Protest voting, as a rule, rarely works, especially with a referendum in which people are projecting all of their (often diametrically-opposed) political desires onto what is a fairly specific policy decision, rather than voting for a politican running on a party platform:

    Right-wing Brexiters: "Brexit means no more Muslim immigrants!" (no, it does not)
    Left-wing Brexiters: "Brexit means the UK can open its borders to more deserving economic migrants from the global south than from relatively rich European countries" (I have seen this among lefty Facebook friends) (not necessarily)

    Right-wing Brexiters: "Brexit means we can break free from the regulatory shackles from Brussels and race to the bottom to become more competitive on a global market." (maybe, but not guaranteed)
    Left-wing Brexiters: "Brexit means less neoliberalism and privatisation." (no, not necessarily, and in fact not likely)

    The referendum question asked: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" If disappointed Brexiters complain when their magical unicorn policies don't get implemented, or the Tories don't implode, etc., politicians can (rightly) point to the wording of the referendum and say "you didn't vote on any of that." So: no "message" received.
    posted by dhens at 1:51 PM on July 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


    In fact, looking at this comment, and then at the wording of the referendum:

    "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"

    I note that the terms "unemployment" "food bank" "zero-hour contract" "NHS" "suicide" "banking" "privatisation" and "higher education" do not appear in the wording of the referendum. By voting in the European Union referendum, you have not sent any message about any of these things whatsoever. This is opposed to voting in a general election for a politician running on a party (or in the case of an independent, a personal) platform, or for a party list in an EU parliamentary election.
    posted by dhens at 1:58 PM on July 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


    I'm asking you to come up with some, any fucking improvement that's going to happen as a result of Brexit.

    The end of the austerity narrative in UK politics might be a palpable benefit of the referendum. There seems to be a general consensus that only massive financial stimulus packages can stop the country falling into a severe recession which might lead to the massive infrastructure spending that folks on the left have been calling for since the financial crash.

    I mean I'm clutching at straws here but going gung ho for building stuff and investing in our society might see the UK through until the next global economic upturn and if we have any service industries left at that point then we might be in a good position, maybe?

    Of course you have to judge that against the creation of an extreme right wing government shorn of any of Cameron's Notting Hill set liberal aspirations and made up of people who for whom the word society is a dirty word and investment is something you do offshore.
    posted by brilliantmistake at 2:07 PM on July 14, 2016


    I note that the terms "unemployment" "food bank" "zero-hour contract" "NHS" "suicide" "banking" "privatisation" and "higher education" do not appear in the wording of the referendum.

    They're all part of the economy, the EU is all about the economies of its members.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 2:16 PM on July 14, 2016


    posted by brilliantmistake at 2:07 PM on July 14 [+] [!]


    semi-eponysterical
    posted by lalochezia at 2:17 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


    So wait, I thought immigrants were overheating the housing market by putting pressure on a far too limited housing stock because the country was full. Now we're decreasing property prices too? It's the same people making both these arguments. Which is it?
    posted by Dysk at 2:30 PM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


    I note that the terms "unemployment" "food bank" "zero-hour contract" "NHS" "suicide" "banking" "privatisation" and "higher education" do not appear in the wording of the referendum.

    They're all part of the economy, the EU is all about the economies of its members.


    This is rather hand-wavey. Do you really think that these things are the EU's fault? I am sure the Tories are glad to know that people are blaming the EU instead of them for all of these problems. If you wanted to fix these, voting in people other than the Conservatives (and perhaps New Labour) would have much more tangible impact than voting in a referendum.

    When the Tories tear apart the social fabric of the UK even further and people call them out on it, referring to the referendum (I guess? how does "sending a message" work?), the Conservatives can -- legitimately -- point to the wording of the referendum and say that no one voted on any of that. Long story short: even if you meant for your Brexit vote to be some kind of economic wake-up call, the powers that be will fastidiously make sure not to read it as such.
    posted by dhens at 2:46 PM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]




    Climate change department killed off by Theresa May in 'plain stupid' and 'deeply worrying' move

    The comments. The fucking comments.

    How does the world keep spinning when so many people are determined to let it stop?
    posted by Talez at 3:23 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Ah, Thazza's popping up to Edinburgh tomorrow for a nice wee chat with Nicola. As the general reaction up here to La May's first moves is 'Oh fuck, Thatcher's back', that should prove an interesting chinwag.

    What are we going to call Theresa, anyway? She's shaping up to be a bad 'un.
    posted by Devonian at 4:17 PM on July 14, 2016


    Were past the omnishambles now, and into the Mayhem.
    posted by Dysk at 4:49 PM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


    Which are going to improve with us staying? And how exactly would it work?

    Most obviously immediately affected: Fuel prices, because our currency was worth more than 10% more against the dollar. Wait until the hedging contracts run out and you'll see it.

    Why? Because the country is now poorer with differing growth prospects and that's been priced into our currency. Don't complain when it happens; you voted for it against almost all competent advice.
    posted by jaduncan at 10:01 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Don't complain when it happens; you voted for it against almost all competent advice.
    No we didn't. I certainly didn't. I voted Remain. I wish people from elsewhere would stop seeing Britain as a homogeneous mass of Brexiteers, racists and swivel-eyed loons. We are as diverse and multifaceted as any country anywhere.

    So stop telling us not to complain - a lot of us didn't want this, we are citizens of this country, and we have every fucking right to debate and discuss and criticise the actions of our fellow Brits and our government. I am getting fed up of reading this stuff.
    posted by winterhill at 12:18 AM on July 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


    What are we going to call Theresa, anyway?
    "Maggie May" seems to have some currency in Scotland.
    posted by rongorongo at 12:33 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Yes, but no one will accept Scottish currency south of the border. They think it's board game money.
    posted by Grangousier at 12:39 AM on July 15, 2016


    #GrowingUpScottish first phrase you learn travelling to England is, "I think you'll find that's legal tender!" - Tariq Ali.
    posted by rongorongo at 12:48 AM on July 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


    This is way off topic, but I've always thought it strange that Scotland has three different banks printing banknotes (Clydesdale, RBS and BOS). It's got to make it harder to check for counterfeits than if you just have the one familiar design, like in England.

    I've still got an Ulster Bank fiver from a visit to Belfast years ago - I never did find anyone in England who'd take it as cash.
    posted by winterhill at 12:52 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Sorry, it was just supposed to be a joke.

    Anyway, how fucked are we today? What are we scoring on the Fuckedometer this morning?
    posted by Grangousier at 12:57 AM on July 15, 2016


    .No we didn't. I certainly didn't. I voted Remain

    Pretty sure that comment was part of a conversation and the "you" in question was the poster being quoted who most definitely did vote for it.
    posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:12 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Anyway, how fucked are we today? What are we scoring on the Fuckedometer this morning?

    I have a really bad cold for what that's worth. It's almost certainly due to a suppressed immune system caused by stress over Brexit. Does that count any way towards the total? Oh yeah, and my job, as well as those of around 2-300 other folks has been sent to Manila. There's that too. That would be due to globalisation. I'm going to vote that we secede from Earth now because that's how I deal with complex issues: knee jerk reactionism.
    posted by longbaugh at 1:30 AM on July 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


    the agents of KAOS - Pretty sure that comment was part of a conversation and the "you" in question was the poster being quoted who most definitely did vote for it.

    That would seem to be the case, and I thank marienbad for representing the Leave camp here, it must be a tough job. I must say that he has a fairly coherent argument for the UK leaving the EU in comparison to any of the leave voters I have encountered. I don't think it would be too unfair to summarise it thus:

    1. Leave EU
    2. ?
    3. Profit
    posted by asok at 1:35 AM on July 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


    I'm really sorry to hear that, longbaugh. What sort of sector do you work in?
    posted by winterhill at 1:35 AM on July 15, 2016


    Anyway, how fucked are we today? What are we scoring on the Fuckedometer this morning?

    Less than France, thankfully.
    posted by MattWPBS at 1:38 AM on July 15, 2016


    What are we scoring on the Fuckedometer this morning?

    Well this is pretty high on the fuckedometer:

    Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party suspended by NEC


    The Blairite Labour Party is now in full Stalinist mode, simply closing down constituency parties that vote to back Corbyn. While posing as the victims of intimidation themselves.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 1:40 AM on July 15, 2016


    That seems to be because they suspect Mark Sandell, the newly elected chairperson has a case of the Trots.
    posted by asok at 1:52 AM on July 15, 2016


    Theresa May is visiting Scotland today to talk to Nicola Sturgeon, so I'm sure that'll sort everything out and we'll all march forwards into a bright new United future. Or... perhaps not.

    Meanwhile, between the hell in Nice last night and Jo Cox's funeral today, it's all feeling bleak beyond bleak. Let's hold a referendum to decide whether to start 2016 over again from scratch, shall we?
    posted by Catseye at 2:00 AM on July 15, 2016


    The Blairite Labour Party is now in full Stalinist mode, simply closing down constituency parties that vote to back Corbyn. While posing as the victims of intimidation themselves.

    Alternatively, it's not 'the Blairite Labour Party' NEC that's suspended the local party (just after voting to automatically put Corbyn on the ballot), but that the NEC has suspended them because of actual irregulaties or issues. Like your link says, "Mr Hadfield said he did not yet know the reason for the local party’s suspension".

    I mean, they've suspended Gorton as well. You can't go with just calling people Blairites and assuming the worst because they've done something you don't like the look of on face value.
    posted by MattWPBS at 2:21 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    A correction from your Wirral correspondent: Eagle's 'kicked out in the '90s' reference wasn't about the friends of Lol Duffy after all, it was a reference to the group in Birkenhead CLP who deselected Frank Field in '89. I won't bang on about how profoundly fascinating that distinction is, because it probably isn't to anyone but me!

    Also in that piece: Corbyn gave a speech via 'phone to folk who went to the pub after their 'definitely not a Wallasey CLP meeting' in New Brighton. Because that's a reasonable thing for the leader of the party to do now, apparently.

    Anyway, how fucked are we today? What are we scoring on the Fuckedometer this morning?

    Well, May's 2013 'Three Pillars of Conservatism' speech, which was deleted from the Conservative Home site yesterday, is, er, interesting reading:
    You don’t help people by handing out welfare, but by helping them to help themselves. You don’t make a better society by building a bigger state, but by supporting families and communities. You don’t get economic growth by spending more and more money, but by getting behind the country’s wealth creators.

    ...

    A future Conservative government should therefore go further in increasing the number of charities, companies and co-operatives that deliver frontline services. And if allowing those organisations to make a profit means we have a more diverse supply side and better outcomes, then that is something we should consider with an open mind.

    …we should pursue a relentless campaign to support entrepreneurs and wealth creators. This might mean traditional solutions, like granting generous tax exemptions for start-up businesses. But imagine if, as our public service reforms develop, we broke down the artificial divide between private and public sectors and allowed hundreds or even thousands of organisations to provide public services.
    We're at FUCKCON 1 at this point, I think.
    posted by jack_mo at 2:26 AM on July 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


    Well, May's 2013 'Three Pillars of Conservatism' speech, which was deleted from the Conservative Home site yesterday, is, er, interesting reading:


    Hopefully it's been deleted because they're not going to do anything like that.
    posted by MattWPBS at 2:31 AM on July 15, 2016


    May's 2013 'Three Pillars of Conservatism' speech
    .
    Damn. I'm getting a 404 on that googleusercontent webcache.
    posted by Mister Bijou at 2:32 AM on July 15, 2016


    I mean, they've suspended Gorton as well.

    Well we do know the sequence of events is that Brighton was suspended after voting pro-Corbyn, whereas the Gorton article you link to says "It is understood the in-fighting is not the result of hard-left ‘entryism’ blamed for CLP rows in other areas, but rather long-term manoeuvering ahead of the seat becoming vacant" (second last paragraph of course).

    But I agree these are individual flare-ups - the main point is that the party has actually closed down all constituency meetings. It's a fight to the death and both sides are ready.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 2:34 AM on July 15, 2016


    Ah, elsewhere, here we are...
    posted by Mister Bijou at 2:35 AM on July 15, 2016


    What are we going to call Theresa, anyway? She's shaping up to be a bad 'un.
    Were past the omnishambles now, and into the Mayhem.


    So Theresa Mayhem it is then.
    posted by klausness at 2:57 AM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Alternate reading Coda Tronca - we know the sequence of events is that Brighton was suspended after electing a member who maybe wasn't eligible. The reason I mentioned Gorton is exactly the part you've quoted, a suspension can be nothing to do with the leadership strugles at the moment, and I think it makes sense to wait until there's at least some details about why the NEC have suspended Brighton.

    It could be something where there's some invented 'punishment' for voting for a Corbyn supporting slate (although I would find it surprising smething like that made it past the NEC given the splits there), it could be that they're concerned that the people standing in the election weren't eligible, it could be something else entirely (financial misconduct, voting fraud, etc).

    My point is we don't even have rumours about what the reasons were, and calling it a 'Blairite plot' without that just comes across as a little bit paranoid.
    posted by MattWPBS at 2:57 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Labour just officially announced details of the leadership election and released procedural documents.

    MetaFilter meetup at the Special Conference in Liverpool?

    Hopefully it's been deleted because they're not going to do anything like that.

    Heh, that didn't even occur to me. I seem to be running low on hope at the moment for some reason.
    posted by jack_mo at 3:20 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Hope is the foundation on which we build the cathedral of crushing disappointment.
    posted by Grangousier at 3:23 AM on July 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


    May is calling for the UK to do more to crack down on terrorism following Nice. Coming from her, that is especially worrying.
    posted by Dysk at 3:23 AM on July 15, 2016


    Theresa May is visiting Scotland today to talk to Nicola Sturgeon, so I'm sure that'll sort everything out and we'll all march forwards into a bright new United future. Or... perhaps not.

    I am not sure what she has to offer Scotland this time (last time we got road signs).
    Interesting Bloomberg article on how Sturgeon has navigated Brexit so far.
    posted by rongorongo at 3:25 AM on July 15, 2016


    Oh ho. Liverpool, is it? This is not terribly friendly territory for the PLP right now.
    posted by skybluepink at 3:27 AM on July 15, 2016


    I'm trying to wean my friend away from The Canary at the moment. He's constantly saying the MSM doesn't report the truth and that we should "question everything" but then he swallows every "chirp" without thought. It's been quite a hard journey but he's coming around to "question everything, not just the stuff you don't like". It does leave you in a terrible position where you literally cannot believe anything that anyone says (I love Adam Curtis docs but I don't trust him either, the manipulative bastard) but without that you'll fall into the trap of the echo chamber, unable to listen to or countenance information that doesn't match your preconceptions. Trying to be rational is hard, yo.

    winterhill - I'm a button monkey in a call centre. Anyone around the globe with a basic command of English could do my job (and lots already do). I've an option to switch to working for the business doing something dire and morally reprehensible for less money so I've grabbed that with both hands, like some desperate survivor grabbing the nearest flotsam after an accident at sea but I'm looking for a major change. 15 years doing this crap has stripped my dignity and catastrophically destroyed my soul so I'm looking to go into a role that gives me some measure of happiness and spiritual wellbeing.
    posted by longbaugh at 3:31 AM on July 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


    mister bijou - The Wayback Machine from 01 AUG 15 has you covered.
    posted by longbaugh at 3:45 AM on July 15, 2016


    I'm looking to go into a role that gives me some measure of happiness and spiritual wellbeing.

    Become an MP?

    (Just kidding.)

    Longbaugh
    ... May the Force be with you.
    posted by Mister Bijou at 3:52 AM on July 15, 2016


    I would do that but my closet : skeleton ratio is far too high. A local community organiser is the closest I'd be allowed to get to the levers of power.
    posted by longbaugh at 3:57 AM on July 15, 2016


    Longbaugh, I'm sorry to hear your job situation sucks. I hope you find an option that will be happy and meaningful for you.

    And, by the way, I want to say "thanks" to everybody in this thread. I'm a relative newcomer to UK politics -- I've lived in the UK most of my adult life, and I've been a UK citizen for three years now, but I didn't grow up here, and I have a huge amount to learn about the various parties, the individual politicians, and the system as a whole. I'm learning a lot from all of you.
    posted by yankeefog at 3:57 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


    I've been living here all my life, and I am learning a lot! The Byzantine palimpsest that is British politics has many twists and turns.
    posted by asok at 4:41 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I thought I'd fact check Marienbad. It didn't go well.
    A better education? Are you kidding? After 30 years of dumbing down, most 16 year olds now would struggle with the maths O level from the 1950s.

    Not even slightly kidding. The part of O levels that never get brought up in the rose-tinted versions of the past is that they were deliberately aimed at the top 20% of the ability range. In 1977, of 751,070 candidates, only 217,650 actually sat O level mathematics. Damn right most 16 year olds would struggle with a maths O level. In the 1970s (I don't have numbers for the 1950s), two thirds of students were not trusted to take the maths O level. And about 20% weren't even trusted to take the CSE.

    So your objection is that the average 16 year old in 2015 would struggle with an exam that two thirds of 16 year olds were not even trusted to take in the 1970s, never mind the 1950s? I suspect you might be right - but the reason is not educational standards falling. Quite the reverse.

    Further in the 50s and 60s it was easy to get a job, unemployment was very low,

    These two are true (for men at least). Of course a vote for Brexit is a vote for even fewer jobs.

    Higher Education was free

    And restricted to the elites. "In the late 1950s, only about a tenth of school leavers achieved five O-levels. Now more than four times that proportion will achieve a university degree." Higher education in the 1950s being free was a subsidy for the aristocracy and upper middle classes.

    there were no zero-hours contracts, not millions on temp contracts,

    That's because there was no unfair dismissal law at all in the UK until the 1970s. Workers on zero hours contracts and on temp contracts have more rights than ones in the 1950s.

    plenty of social housing so you could live in one, save up, and buy a house, house and property prices were within range of ordinary people.

    The home ownership rate in the 1950s and 1960s was lower than it is today.The proportion of those socially renting was about 25% rather than about 18%

    What was the homelessness levels and suicide rates in the 1950s and 1960s? How do they compare to now? How about happiness? For all that we have gained, are people happier now than they were then?

    You can post rhetorical questions - or you can google to try and find the answers. Suicide rates have gone down since the 1950s. I can't find actual numbers for homelessness for the 1950s alas.

    "Back in 1999, Leeds applied for EU funding to address this "two-speed economy".

    "If you look at the deprivation indices between 2001 and 2011, many of the most deprived areas in Leeds have remained at the same level, so there's a sense that the gap is still there," says Greenfield."

    So the idea that EU money has alliviated poverty and deprivation is wrong. See also Wales


    The word "alleviated" only means "made less severe than it would otherwise be" - and Leeds is a boom town. The idea that the billions spent by the EU in development in the UK has alleviated poverty in the UK is cold hard fact. It just hasn't completely fixed it. A vote for Brexit was a vote to take £1.35 billion/year away from the poorer areas of Britain and a vote to take £3 billion/year away from farming and fishing subsidies. And Leave was pretty explicit that these would not be replaced ("We spend £350 million/week on the EU. Why not give it to the NHS?" - where do you think EU funding comes from? (Quite apart from the fact that that £350 million figure was a blatant lie)).
    posted by Francis at 4:42 AM on July 15, 2016 [25 favorites]




    Francis, I think one of the problems is that EU development has an impossible task to surmount in order to be acceptable to some people. Having had industry destroyed and the country remade into a 'service economy' many areas are still in very poor shape because the 'wealth creators' didn't need to invest or build new facilities in those areas. EU money is used to attempt to improve life in the area but not to directly employ people, which wouldn't solve the problem of people disliking the EU anyway if the PERC link above is anything to go by.

    For instance, in Wales all sorts of life enhancing projects have been completed, but the lack of employment still persists and people resent seeing money spent that doesn't create jobs in their area. The EU cannot win their favour because it cannot do the job that should be getting done by the regional and national government such as stimulating the local economy and creating incentives for business. The EU has funded many infrastructure projects in Wales to help the workforce move about, but if the jobs aren't their then these same projects end up causing resentment.
    posted by asok at 5:23 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Wales would still be worse off without EU funded projects and will be worse off if we leave the EU. That much is obvious.
    posted by asok at 5:24 AM on July 15, 2016


    What happens now when the EU is deciding where to spend regional development funding? There is no timetable for Brexit, and at present the UK is a member state of the EU like any other, paying its dues etc.

    The EU shouldn't currently be discriminating against UK projects when deciding what to fund - but I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's what happens.

    But then, if Brexit doesn't actually take place for whatever reason, we're then a second-class EU member state receiving less funding than we should be.
    posted by winterhill at 5:29 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Haven't read any official announcements yet, but R4 reports that May has ruled out Indyref2 but said that Article 50 would only be triggered when all parts of the UK agreed.

    Which sounds suspiciously like the arrangement Nicola suggested to Call Me Dave before the Brexit referendum was set in place - that there should be a veto if any of the nations said Remain.

    Which is... interesting. Let's see what the line is from both sides.
    posted by Devonian at 5:58 AM on July 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


    Interesting development indeed. Are there similar plans to involve the Welsh and Northern Irish governments?
    posted by vbfg at 6:00 AM on July 15, 2016


    But then, if Brexit doesn't actually take place for whatever reason, we're then a second-class EU member state receiving less funding than we should be.

    To be fair, given all the UK's rebates and exemptions, that doesn't actually seem entirely unjust.
    posted by Dysk at 6:11 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I'm sure, although their legal status within the Union is different from Scotland and each other and Scotland is far closer to being able to go independent than NI or Wales.
    posted by Devonian at 6:14 AM on July 15, 2016


    That is very interesting, Devonian! Thanks for posting that for those of us stuck in offices with no Radio 4.

    Since there is not going to be an agreement for Article 50 from Scotland or Northern Ireland (and possibly not even Wales, which voted Leave) does this kick Brexit into some very long grass, possibly on a Shetland moor surrounded by bonxies?
    posted by winterhill at 6:19 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    #DouglasThird - Lib Dems gained four council seats this week. Tories gained one.
    posted by MattWPBS at 6:19 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    ITV repeating what Devonian heard on Radio 4.

    Yeah, this sounds like a great excuse to let May drag things out for a while and then throw up her hands and go, "Well, I tried, but if we can't get the Scots on board we can't do Brexit."
    posted by tobascodagama at 6:24 AM on July 15, 2016


    Yeah, those words are ambiguous - a "UK-wide approach" means what, exactly.

    Let's wait and see what Sturgeon says and compare notes.
    posted by Devonian at 6:31 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    "A UK-wide approach" means about as much as "Brexit Means Brexit."
    posted by winterhill at 6:33 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


    There must be a reverse “It’s Happening!” gif out there I could be using round about now. Suggestions?
    posted by pharm at 6:39 AM on July 15, 2016


    Article 50 would only be triggered when all parts of the UK agreed.

    Brexit is Brexit, and never the twain shall meet?
    posted by effbot at 6:39 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    That Written British Constitution - In Full:

    "Fudge it."

    God Save The Queen!
    posted by Devonian at 6:45 AM on July 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


    I have to say, my opinion on the outcome has changed quite a bit since the vote. I was a passionate Remainer. I am still a passionate Remainer. I am not sure how I will feel if this vote is not made good on now.

    I do not at this point care that much that it was based on lies. Of course I do, but it's not on us to judge the motives of those who voted to leave. The majority did and the truly expressed will needs to be acted on. The narrative in the public imagination is that it must be acted on, and that it will be acted on.

    So, if by constitutional arrangement that is not going to happen, there *must* be huge changes to how this country is run. We're in New Deal territory.

    I fear for us otherwise.
    posted by vbfg at 6:46 AM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


    A mischievous thought - now might be a good time to start the fight for a referendum to join the EU.
    posted by Devonian at 6:51 AM on July 15, 2016


    So, if by constitutional arrangement that is not going to happen, there must be huge changes to how this country is run. We're in New Deal territory.
    A federal UK, within the EU. Assemblies for London, Scotland and also the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and so on. People in those regions given the chance to decide what projects and investments matter to them, rather than some half-baked idea of city-region powerhouses emanating from London. Collaboration where it's pragmatic, on global issues like refugees and climate change, local activity on things like transport and education. It works for Germany, why not for us?
    posted by winterhill at 6:55 AM on July 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


    It works for Germany, why not for us?

    Because we have the Daily Mail and The Sun?
    posted by Mister Bijou at 7:01 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


    And they have Bild.
    posted by winterhill at 7:02 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Because we have a two-party system bolstered by FPTP.

    Whatever Sturgeon and May talked about re Brexit, they're not saying yet. Here's the only report I can find on Sturgeon's response after the meeting, from Reuters

    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday it would be inconceivable for the United Kingdom to block a second independence referendum if the devolved parliament in Edinburgh voted for it.

    "I think it would be inconceivable for any Prime Minister to seek to stand in the way of a referendum if that's what the Scottish parliament voted for," Sturgeon told broadcasters after meeting new British Prime Minister Theresa May.


    posted by Devonian at 7:04 AM on July 15, 2016


    winterhill, you have my sword!
    posted by vbfg at 7:24 AM on July 15, 2016


    An interesting little exchange on Twitter just now, between Pat 'Hashtags' Kane from out of Hue & Cry and the First Minister:

    Kane: May: No #Article50 "until there is a UK approach". Calling of ScotGov bluff on threat of #indyref2. 3D chess moment.

    Sturgeon: that would assume anything we are saying is a bluff. It's not.
    posted by jack_mo at 7:25 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]




    winterhill, you have my sword!
    Eh?
    posted by winterhill at 7:27 AM on July 15, 2016


    I think this whole living standards issue is not a relevant discussion. Living standards across different decades are difficult to compare and we should agree on a reasonable time-related definition of them before we even attempt it.
    A more relevant, but equally unanswerable, question is: would, say, Norway, have been better off if it had joined the EU? Has it fared that bad outside it? Note that living standards in Norway are not exactly bad and that have improved over time under the given definition at least as spectacularly. Why wouldn't the UK have been better off if it never joined in the first place? Why should this improvement,if indeed it is one, stop if it left the EU?

    About the EU funding issue. If I'm not mistaken, "Leave" hype aside, the UK was a net contributor to the EU budget. Τhe only thing preventing the socially productive utilization of these funds is the Tory party and its merry band of Thatcherites, who were however elected by the people of the UK. And can be voted out ASAP if such is their sovereign will.
    As for the EU as protector of labor standards. I'm Greek, thus I find it hilarious when anyone suggests that the EU is a protector of labor rights. The EU (as part of the troika) has overseen the effective dissolution of collective bargaining between Unions and Employers and demanded a reduction by decree in private sector minimum wage, among other crimes. After all these led to a 25% - 30% unemployment rate, the destruction of labor protections of all sorts in workplaces, and the emergence of a labor force hostage to the whims of their employers (not to mention a huge wave of migration of young, qualified professionals to all over the world in order to find decent work), is still now pushing for yet more "flexibility" and even more permissive mass layoff rules. In my experience the EU is the enemy of working people across the continent and its bureaucrats work to disempower them as fast as it is politically feasible. That the UK now has a government that is even more gung-ho in disempowering labor, does not mean that the EU can provide meaningful support for labor, and as I said, there is nothing preventing the UK now to vastly improve working standards and wages other than the proper election result.
    posted by talos at 7:37 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    winterhill, you have my sword!
    Eh?


    Fellowship of the Ring I would guess.
    posted by longbaugh at 7:41 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    A more relevant, but equally unanswerable, question is: would, say, Norway, have been better off if it had joined the EU?

    This is SPECTACULARLY DISENGENUOUS.

    When the UK has state ownership of something like Statoil (specifically for improving the welfare of its citizens) and brings in 80 billion pounds per year to a country of ~7 million people, THEN WE CAN TALK.
    posted by lalochezia at 7:44 AM on July 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Note that living standards in Norway are not exactly bad and that have improved over time under the given definition at least as spectacularly. Why wouldn't the UK have been better off if it never joined in the first place?

    Norway also didn't piss it's oil wealth away like we did. They also seem to have a better sense of civic and social responsibility to us too. There might be some cultural reason, their relative ethnic homogeneity (hard to other people within your society where they share physical characteristics) or some other justification behind that but essentially, they're less of a bunch of twats than us.
    posted by longbaugh at 7:46 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Some good Labour news:

    Good news! There's meetings "working on strategy to pack wards and pick off MPs who were not sufficiently supportive of the leader".

    Good news! The Brighton suspension is apparently due to investigations into "entryism by people who had stood as candidates for the TUSC/Socialist party against Labour".

    Good news! The Labour vote will be split if a sitting MP stands as an Independent after losing "the right to stand for Labour at the next general election if they are not in tune with their local membership."

    You and I have different ideas of good news.
    posted by MattWPBS at 7:53 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Well that was a choice they made. Statoil I mean. Britain also had North Sea Oil and decided to a less socially beneficial arrangement. But "British are twats" if true means that in or out of the EU, all sorts of problems would emerge anyway. And I don't think that it is an issue of twatness but rather of the political system and the relative balance of power
    posted by talos at 7:58 AM on July 15, 2016


    Good news! The Labour vote will be split if a sitting MP stands as an Independent after losing "the right to stand for Labour at the next general election if they are not in tune with their local membership."

    I respect your views Matt, but the average Blairite standing as an independent against a Corbynite Labour candidate would probably lose their deposit, not split the vote. In any case, they'd have run off to some centre/Tory lite party long before that happened.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:05 AM on July 15, 2016


    PS The party is already now split - that genie is out of the bottle and it's now just a matter of picking your side. If getting Labour elected just means another Blair (easily top five among the most hated people in Britain), then there's really no point any more, it's dead forever.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:08 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    talos: I think this whole living standards issue is not a relevant discussion. Living standards across different decades are difficult to compare and we should agree on a reasonable time-related definition of them before we even attempt it.

    Actually, not so difficult to compare: They constantly improved since the 50's.

    Also, you may have missed how living standards became part of the discussion. It started when an EU doubter argued that living standards were better in the 50's than today, so the EU has failed.

    Here's a short version of the discussion:

    EU doubters: Europe has failed to fulfil its historic role, because life was better in the 50's.

    MeFi: Uuh, that is not quite true. Life was not better in the 50's. Here's proof... and here ... and here ... and some more statistics here on how horrible life actually was in the 50's compared to today.

    EU doubters: OK then. I guess living standards are not relevant to the discussion, then.

    MeFi: (sigh) (Didn't you bring them up in the first place?)
    posted by sour cream at 8:17 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    NOT AGREEING WITH CORBYN DOES NOT EQUAL BLAIRITE.

    Sorry, just had to get that off my chest first.

    My point isn't to do with the current leadership struggle, it's to do with mandatory re-selection as a process. It doesn't need to be this that they decide they don't agree with their sitting MP with, it could be anything. All it takes is a local party to over-estimate the balance between "stick a rose and a pig and it would get in" and a popular local MP, and that's the seat lost.

    Your earlier post said that the 'Blairite Labour Party is now in full Stalinist mode' and shutting down parties for just voting to support Corbyn. It looks like one of the elected Brighton and Hove executive committee candidates backed by Momentum is Phil Clarke, who stood against Labour for TUSC in 2013 and 2015. That's not so much Blairite, as 'implementing the Labour Party rules'.
    posted by MattWPBS at 8:25 AM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


    MeFi: (sigh) (Didn't you bring them up in the first place?)

    Hang on, is it official that something called 'MeFi' speaks with a united voice on the purported benefits of the EU? I thought this was a discussion forum. Fuck this if it's just 'we've decided.'

    Anyway, alternate version based on the original Larry Elliott article posted: during the postwar period up till perhaps the end of the 60s/mid 70s, living standards rose in the west and workers' struggles ensure them a growing share of the surplus plus increasing employment rights. Late 70s onwards under Thatcher/Reagan (and on the EU's watch) globalisation eroded many of these things and the share of the surplus for the working class in these countries decreased. They didn't like it, unsurprisingly. Telling them 'yeah it was the war that got you jobs in the 50s' unlikely to make much difference.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:26 AM on July 15, 2016


    MattWPBS, I've already mentioned that the main issue is the suspension of all CLP meetings. Deselection is going to happen now, and we've both made it clear which side we're each on.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:28 AM on July 15, 2016


    Hang on, is it official that something called 'MeFi' speaks with a united voice on the purported benefits of the EU? I thought this was a discussion forum. Fuck this if it's just 'we've decided.'

    It seems to be the overwhelming majority opinion here on MeFi, but I do see your point.
    So I apologize. It was not correct to paint that as "official MeFi dogma".
    posted by sour cream at 8:42 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Thank you sour cream, I think we are all trying to argue in good faith even when we get a bit snarky on this thread so thanks everyone else too.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:45 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I'm Greek, thus I find it hilarious when anyone suggests that the EU is a protector of labor rights.

    I live in Britain and have witnessed the Tory party continually talk about and attempt to limit workers' rights here, with the EU being the only thing standing in their way. This was even part of the campaigning for Brexit - vote out so we can make business more flexible by scrapping workers' rights. From A Greek perspective, I understand that the EU looks rather different, but from where I'm sitting, they literally are guaranteeing us rights that the current (and likely future, given the state of Labour) government wish they could get rid of.
    posted by Dysk at 8:50 AM on July 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


    I've taken to calling the Labour Aristocracy Millibandites. They aren't Blairites - Blair (a) had a vision and (b) listened to his radical activists and worked out which of their ideas (like the minimum wage and the fox hunting ban) were good ones. Milibandites do things like basing their spending pledges on Tory policies, have no vision to share, and just want the radical activists to STFU and go away. (Blair on the other hand lost the activists over the Iraq War but had many on side before that).
    posted by Francis at 8:51 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


    But why Milibandites when you could call them Milibandits?
    posted by Dysk at 8:52 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Because Millibandits sounds cool.

    Millibandians?
    posted by Grangousier at 8:57 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    What I mean is that it has no bearing on the discussion of relative merits of being in the EU.
    Your initial claim is quite probably true, but irrelevant for the purposes of the argument here (as was the initial post on the 1950s) because most of these things are quite, quite independent of EU membership. Try this:
    If you live in Norway, then compared to the 50's, you are now more likely to own a home, more likely to own a car, more likely to own a TV (and a computer and have access to the internet), likely to have better health care, likely to have a better education, a longer life expectancy, access to a much greater variety of food, access to a much larger volume of information at your fingertips, etc. etc.
    Or this
    If you live in Myanmar, then compared to the 50's, you are now more likely to own a home, more likely to own a car, more likely to own a TV (and a computer and have access to the internet), likely to have better health care, likely to have a better education, a longer life expectancy, access to a much greater variety of food, access to a much larger volume of information at your fingertips, etc. etc.
    Or even this:
    If you lived in the UK in the 50's, then compared to the 20's, you were more likely to own a home, more likely to own a car, more likely to own a TV (or radio), likely to have better health care, likely to have a better education, a longer life expectancy, access to a much greater variety of food, access to a much larger volume of information, etc. etc.
    So these facts, by themselves, tell us precious little about the relative merits of participating in the EU. These are secular trends depending on technological progress and the functioning of capitalism and apply to all of the globe more or less except sub-saharan africa perhaps, war-torn failed states and the EU-induced austerity disaster-states of the South.
    But anyway, in principle, IMHO to answer if "Jobs, living standards and welfare states were all better protected in the heyday of nation states in the 1950s and 1960s than they have been in the age of globalisation" we have to measure somehow the effectiveness of this protection and thus the rate of progress in these matters. I would argue that the rate was impressively higher until the late 70s - early 80s. Since then it seems to me that job and welfare state protections have been declining, pretty much across the West, at varying rates and with some possible exceptions, along with the labor share of national income. Again this is not an argument against the EU, since this is a general trend, so that's why I say that all this is not relevant to the Remain - Leave discussion
    posted by talos at 9:10 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Because Millibandits sounds cool.

    The word sounds cool, but even half a moment's reflection will make it clear that it absolutely does not imply that about the people it describes. It's like "small time criminal" but even more dismissive.
    posted by Dysk at 9:22 AM on July 15, 2016


    But it would be a Beano strip about tiny thieves. A lot more entertaining than Ed and chums.
    posted by Grangousier at 9:27 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]




    Grangousier: "Because Millibandits sounds cool.

    Millibandians?
    "

    Millibanders, surely.
    posted by Chrysostom at 9:54 AM on July 15, 2016


    The word is 'Milibandian'. Has been since before Ed was born.

    Corbyn is a sort of muddled Milibandian, isn't he? He's been a posthumous-Milibandian for decades, but after this leadership election or the next one he could easily go full-on late 70's Milibandian.

    Right this moment, I bet the inside of his head looks like random phrases he read in a Miliband book from the mid '60s, early '70s. Certainly bits of The State in Capitalist Society must be swirling around in there, or the stuff added in the 2nd edition of Parliamentary Socialism.

    If you need a name for what Francis is talking about, how about Edstonians? Or just plain Mugs?
    posted by jack_mo at 10:02 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Sorry, Ed is older than I thought! Since he was little, at least
    posted by jack_mo at 10:04 AM on July 15, 2016


    Right this moment, I bet the inside of his head looks like random phrases he read in a Miliband book from the mid '60s

    I'm just going to do the thing where I point out that Corbyn is, above all else, an activist. He was on the streets supporting causes like LGBT rights and anti-apartheid that constantly got you laughed at or locked up, before most of us commenting here were actually born. This could not be less like the modern route to becoming a politician.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 10:09 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Corbyn is, above all else, an activist

    All the "activists" I've ever known read politico pamphlets, magazines and [gasp] books. Perhaps I've been hanging out with the wrong crowd?
    posted by Mister Bijou at 10:21 AM on July 15, 2016


    Here's what Jeremy Corbyn has to say about Theresa May's new Tory cabinet

    If they were struggling for a quote you'd think maybe they'd have contacted him? This monstering bollocks is getting old.
    posted by longbaugh at 10:22 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


    All the "activists" I've ever known read politico pamphlets

    I agree Corbyn is never ever going to be an intellectual giant of political philosophy. He and his supporters know that. That's different from implying that his thinking is full of confused random unfashionable phrases, rather than based on rock-solid socialist beliefs he's held for 50 years while the media pissed its pants laughing at him for saying things we now take for granted.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 10:31 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    This monstering bollocks is getting old.

    But isn't it time we heard from him? All we have, as far as I know, is this less than stellar response on behalf of the Labour Party by Jon Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister without Portfolio
    posted by Mister Bijou at 10:47 AM on July 15, 2016


    I don't need to hear him say "this bunch of Tory MPs are very much like the last lot Tory MPs. Possibly worse?" to be honest. I think if they contacted his PR folks they'd get a response. Corbyn doesn't seem to operate in "The Thick Of It" style with carefully weighted and focus grouped soundbites, behind the scenes machinations and press intimidation. It's actually rather pleasant not hearing him warble on.

    Instead, I've watched a couple of interviews with him today and I like his no nonsense, no bullshit manner, I like his dedication to the causes I also support and I like his ideas (including his being open to new ones). I don't like Momentum and I don't think he's the second coming but since there's nobody else, I think he'll do. I will support him in the leadership race and I'll rep locally if the GE is called whilst he's party leader.
    posted by longbaugh at 10:58 AM on July 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


    (Unless there's a 45 year old Corbyn-lite wearing natty clothes who can entrance the press obviously. Ideally a woman).
    posted by longbaugh at 11:00 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Shadow Minister Without Portfolio sounds like "Him? Oh, that's Bob. Just showed up one day and never left. I think he sleeps in the copy room."
    posted by Chrysostom at 11:25 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Good news! The Brighton suspension is apparently due to investigations into "entryism by people who had stood as candidates for the TUSC/Socialist party against Labour".

    So TIL that in the UK once you have stood for election in one political party you cannot subsequently switch parties and try again in a later election? Is this specifically a Labour party rule? As a USAian just seems odd and undemocratic in principle. Over here there was some stink about Sanders not being a "real" Democrat since he joined the party officially only just before the election process started, but having in fact jumped through the appropriate hoops he was in perfectly good standing to be a candidate.

    Not that I'm arbiter of what's appropriately democratic from living in the fucking USA, it's just a jarringly different way of doing things.
    posted by 3urypteris at 11:34 AM on July 15, 2016


    I can't find actual numbers for homelessness for the 1950s alas.

    Me neither, I think because there are all sorts of issues about definitions. I did find this article though which is really interesting: Revisiting the 1977 Housing (Homeless Persons) Act: Westminster, Whitehall, and the Homelessness Lobby (Nicholas Crowson, 2012, PDF).

    Got the email from the Labour Party today saying that all constituency meetings are now suspended (with some exceptions such as by-elections) until the end of the leadership campaign. These are uncheery times.
    posted by paduasoy at 12:08 PM on July 15, 2016


    all constituency meetings are now suspended

    The 'illegal' meetings are now spreading like wildfire, so if you've chosen that side, it's on like donkey kong. A once-in-a-generation opportunity.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 12:20 PM on July 15, 2016


    [A few comments removed; please reconsider tossing overtly shitty racist/misogynistic language into the thread via quotation, if it's something worth talking about then just talk about it and give folks fair warning if you're linking.]
    posted by cortex at 12:34 PM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]




    I'm just going to do the thing where I point out that Corbyn is, above all else, an activist.

    Sure, but he's also been a Labour Party MP since 1983! He decided the best way to further his socialist goals was to seek to influence the Labour Party (Miliband in Socialism for a Sceptical Age) and now might well break away to form a new socialist party (Miliband for most of his career).

    I don't really understand how his activism/route to parliament is relevant in this context?

    So TIL that in the UK once you have stood for election in one political party you cannot subsequently switch parties and try again in a later election?

    No, it's fine to switch from one party to another. Lots of MPs have done this over the centuries. Most recently, UKIP's only MP did it while he was sitting in Parliament as a Conservative MP.

    But, yes, Labour (and other parties) have rules in place concerning members of other parties, groups, factions, &c., and whether they can join, or stand for posts. In Labour's case, there is a long and storied history of entryism by groups to the left of the party - Militant Tendency are the most famous example. If you think UK political party rules are a bit odd, I suspect that Wikipedia page will absolutely blow your socks off!

    The rise of Corbyn has complicated this a lot, as it's a bit hard to tell the difference between an entryist and someone who didn't like Labour before, but does now that Corbyn is leader.

    Are you sure US parties don't have similar rules? I find it hard to believe that, say, a paid-up member of the CPUSA could tear up their membership card and stand for election as a Republican the next day.
    posted by jack_mo at 1:01 PM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Bernie Sanders only joined the Democrats last year, after literally decades as an Independent senator, and Trump settled down to being a Republican not much longer ago. I suspect when the dust settles, the U.S. parties might consider such rules, or at least envy them.

    Can you clarify the deselection thing - that's replacing for the next General Election, isn't it? Because there are people who think the Labour Party can fire TRAITORS and replace them with properly-aligned MPs. And I'm not sure that's the case.
    posted by Grangousier at 1:08 PM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Can you clarify the deselection thing - that's replacing for the next General Election, isn't it? Because there are people who think the Labour Party can fire TRAITORS and replace them with properly-aligned MPs. And I'm not sure that's the case.

    The idea is simply that MPs represent the views of their constituents and that it is regularly verified before each election. Even the glorious sainted beloved EU-loving SNP has mandatory reselection for every MP at every election.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 1:20 PM on July 15, 2016


    Yeah, but if the MPs were to be evicted from the Labour Party, they'd still be MPs until the next election? It's a yes or no question.
    posted by Grangousier at 1:26 PM on July 15, 2016


    They are still MPs till the next election yes.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 1:32 PM on July 15, 2016


    That's what I thought.
    posted by Grangousier at 1:36 PM on July 15, 2016


    The term generally is that "the whip is withdrawn"
    which means that they remain MPs but are now operating as an independent. The MP in question might still be a member of the party. Being expelled from the party is a slightly different thing again.

    Choosing to leave a party and join another is called "crossing the floor"
    Here is a list of UK politicans who have done that.
    I believe this is called Waka jumping in new zealand, which isn't relevant but it's a cool term.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:40 PM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


    that's replacing for the next General Election, isn't it?

    Yep. Or a by-election. (A by-election is roughly the same as a 'special election' in the US, I think?)

    Because there are people who think the Labour Party can fire TRAITORS and replace them with properly-aligned MPs. And I'm not sure that's the case.

    It isn't the case. A terrifying number of stupid children in red t-shirts people seem to think that's how it works, but no.

    The idea is simply that MPs represent the views of their constituents and that it is regularly verified before each election.

    I suppose that's one way to describe it.
    posted by jack_mo at 2:42 PM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


    A terrifying number of people ... seem to think that's how it works, but no

    It seems people could have a legitimate rationale for recalling support for the candidate: making a vote of non-confidence visible and formal as a statement. I can see how that might be good in certain circumstances...

    The question that arises for me in this particular case is whether the party constituencies voting against their own candidates is an approach that hypocritically mirrors the tactics that got people angry against these MPs in the first place.

    I figure if you are OK with MPs publicly and formally recalling their support of Corbyn, you should be ok with constituency groups publicly and formally recalling their party-affiliated support for their MP.

    If you, like me, don't like how these MPs are pulling support for Corbyn at this point in a major national crisis, then perhaps the same principle should apply to your local MP? Even if you totally think they are wrong, a recall is just adding to the upheaval in a country that has enough upheaval right now.

    Even though I am personally hoping Corbyn will win the leadership contest, and wish it wasn't happening--not that it matters as I'm Canadian--going after MPs who are attacking Corbyn seems spiteful and also, frankly, a losing strategy.

    A lot of people dislike party infighting, especially when it seems unrelated to anything that serves the people you are supposedly serving ... And the left (usually unfairly) gets painted as less willing to dialogue and disagree and still work together, so making it really clear you absolutely can't get on isn't building much confidence in your ability to lead... and it just sends a message that your first priority is not the country and its current crisis.

    So if I were in charge of the "Corbyn Yes" team, I'd make 'the job of MPs is to serve the community and I'm happy to accept the will of the party members and get on with it' is the key to my message and adamantly oppose any campaign against the MPs who are fighting against me, no matter how nasty they may get -- let the public judge whether they are nasty or not.

    (or as our PM in Canada says "Sunnny Ways" ... a philosophy which won him a landslide victory over my preferred NDP party and I have to grudgingly give him credit for his wisdom).
    posted by chapps at 3:54 PM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Are you sure US parties don't have similar rules? I find it hard to believe that, say, a paid-up member of the CPUSA could tear up their membership card and stand for election as a Republican the next day.

    To a first approximation, in the US anyone can contest the primary election for any party, and whoever wins the primary election becomes that party's nominee for the relevant office. In the US, your CPUSA member would not have to tear up their membership card to stand for election as a Democrat or Republican.
    posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:29 PM on July 15, 2016


    Note also that rules for party membership in the US are handled on a state-by-state basis. Here in Washington, there's no party membership process. People standing for state or local office declare which party they "prefer", which is what gets printed in the voter's guide and I don't think there's any checks on that. (Otherwise someone might have had some words with Goodspaceguy by now.)

    For things like the presidential caucus, you're required to make a statement that basically amounts to saying you're here in good faith, but that's about the most they can do. Primary ballot contains both parties and gets invalidated if you vote in more than one primary. It's a goofy system all around.
    posted by vibratory manner of working at 4:56 PM on July 15, 2016


    US person question - there seem to be rather a lot of by-elections, relative to the number of US special elections. Is that just my imagination, or if not, why are there more in the UK Parliament?
    posted by Chrysostom at 5:52 PM on July 15, 2016


    I think it's more a function of the fact that US House districts are much larger than most countries' legislative districts. So US Representatives are, for better and for worse, more professionalized and more career-minded than most legislators elsewhere (with the notable caveat that I assume most senior-ish politicians anywhere are mostly career-minded...).
    posted by tivalasvegas at 8:13 PM on July 15, 2016


    About the EU funding issue. If I'm not mistaken, "Leave" hype aside, the UK was a net contributor to the EU budget.

    We aren't a household, and we don't have to pretend economics is like household budgeting. We do indeed pay from money that we tax. If the EU allows us to create more value than we contribute (free trade, single market, immigrants working, time not remaking regulation at a local level, not dealing with different regulations before export, financial passporting - which, you know, seems fairly massive for a service economy) it effectively more than pays for itself because the value created may differ.

    This, if we really must do household economic comparisons, is potentially like saying that we shouldn't take public transport to our good job because we are net contributors to the bus company. Yes, you can walk to the minimum wage job as a security guard, saving the fare. Some would point out that it's possible that the difference in income exceeds the value of the fare.

    See, again, the reaction of the currency and stock markets to our future prospects...and the change in projected growth that means that tax receipts are lower to the tune of maybe 4% of GDP by 2020. But yay, now there's actually less economic activity rather than spending less than 1% of GDP on helping our neighbours (who we also sell to) I guess? Or not. We could perfectly well have spent that 3% of GDP on the NHS and whatever else we wanted. Except now we can't, because it isn't arriving. Again (and, to be clear, I'm from the UK) good work, Leave voters.
    posted by jaduncan at 11:51 PM on July 15, 2016 [17 favorites]


    PS: based on 2013 GDP figures in USD (it's a lot more stable right now), 2.67800 trillion U.S. dollars * 0.03 = 80.34 billion U.S. dollars. So that's 80.34 billion USD, or (currently) £60,891,349,841.40.

    Per week that's £1,170m. For those keeping score, if we remove the nominal (not actually correct, as admitted the day after the referendum) £350m a week figure, we are left with £820m that we don't have to play with. This is also based on the 2013 figure, so it's actually generous assumptions as to the cost of leaving. Hmm, if only I could work out where the value lay.

    That, for the record, is opportunity cost that won't benefit anyone, and is £963.74 per person, per year. You know what? I can think of a lot of things we could do with that but won't, and we have the bonus of potentially being denied the right to move across 28 member states and turning our back on the rest of the EU.

    Again, leave voters: *you* voted for this.
    posted by jaduncan at 12:05 AM on July 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


    I apologise, I just noted I accidentally put 0.03 rather than 0.04 before deducting the nominal cost. Multiply the income numbers by 1.333. It's actually £1,556 million minus the (generous) £350m leaving £1,206m a week.

    You can pick the EIU number of 6% difference if you like. I'm just being generous here.

    For those keeping score, for 2015/16, the overall NHS budget was around £116.4 billion, or to use Leave's metric, £2,238m a week. So, you know, could have bumped up the NHS budget by more than 40% and had quite the sum left over (whilst generating jobs in said NHS and outside it due to increasing economic performance by having a healthier workforce). But, you know, not my business. I'm busy researching how I can ensure I have a second, EU passport.
    posted by jaduncan at 12:24 AM on July 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


    > The Terrifying Hubris of Corbynism

    It's somewhat late now that the car is off the cliff, but I still can't understand this attitude that the Corbyn camp is simultaneously too small, childish and incapable of realpolitik to achieve anything, but also so large and unstoppable as to be singlehandedly responsible for the trajectory. Even a whisper of an attempt to communicate would be so nice, but this whole thing has felt like a parent yelling "If you kids don't shut up, I'm driving turning this thing right off the edge".
    posted by lucidium at 1:14 AM on July 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Is that just my imagination, or if not, why are there more in the UK Parliament?

    I wonder whether the predictability of elections has something to do with it. You're more likely to just "hang in there" when you know where the endpoint is to the day.
    posted by Etrigan at 4:22 AM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


    It's somewhat late now that the car is off the cliff, but I still can't understand this attitude that the Corbyn camp is simultaneously too small, childish and incapable of realpolitik to achieve anything, but also so large and unstoppable as to be singlehandedly responsible for the trajectory.

    It's worth reading the article Grangousier linked to, because that's what it addresses.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 5:00 AM on July 16, 2016


    I wanted to add something when I posted that, but everything I tried came out sarky, so I dropped it - it's not so much an article (that is to say, commissioned by a magazine/newspaper) as an extended comment on Medium. I'm finding that's where a lot of stuff that's helping me sort my mind out is at the moment, and I'm finding it very valuable. But it's not journalism in the accepted sense.

    It's also worth noting that many of these commentators don't disagree with Corbyn's or Momentum's politics per se. It's not about policies, it's about organisation. For my part, I'm increasingly of the opinion that the entire edifice of the The Left - as a culture, not as a political position - is not fit for purpose. This includes the unions and the intellectual left as much as whatever the Left is in the Labour party. However the ideas they represent are important, and valuable and even necessary. But that culture is an obstruction to the political ideas much more than it can be a vehicle for them. This is largely because the culture is one of opposition rather than government.

    I didn't go into the process thinking I would want to wash my hands of the entire Labour movement, but at this point I think it should be broken up for scrap, and let's see what we can salvage for a useful social-democratic parliamentary grouping.

    It's not so much that Corbyn is "unelectable", but that not being elected is a specific aim of whatever the movement is. I'm angry with Corbyn and Corbynism because they are hanging the people they purport to represent out to dry, and will ultimately sell out the interests of their grassroots as much as the PLP in the name of what increasingly appears to be little more than political posturing.

    However, since straying beyond 140 characters is very risky for me, I want much cleverer people to say it for me.
    posted by Grangousier at 5:24 AM on July 16, 2016 [8 favorites]



    I didn't go into the process thinking I would want to wash my hands of the entire Labour movement, but at this point I think it should be broken up for scrap, and let's see what we can salvage for a useful social-democratic parliamentary grouping.


    How long would that take? What new depths would we plumb in the meanwhile?

    I'm all for strategic work, but if the country actually sinks into a Randian nightmare then all the strategy in the world won't save you. People will be too busy avoiding the e-pinkertons or buying mulch with e-company-scrip.
    posted by lalochezia at 6:27 AM on July 16, 2016


    What new depths would we plumb in the meanwhile?

    It doesn't matter. At this point the depths are unavoidable. The Labour Party is in the hands of Jeremy's Protest Club; the supposed grown-ups are running around like the Keystone Kops of parliamentary democracy. The Tories have shadowy grandees who are able to say enough's enough and sort things out (and if you haven't noticed that happening over the last three weeks have another look), but the Labour Party just have shenanigans.

    It's not a question of the Labour/Trade Union/Left machine falling to bits. That's happened/is happening/is inevitable. It's how the social democratic constituency/coalition is served afterwards.
    posted by Grangousier at 6:39 AM on July 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Just fucking split already.
    posted by Artw at 6:46 AM on July 16, 2016


    So since my previous comment about the misogyny in Corbyn's Labour was deleted due to MeFites not being able to handle the kind of abuse female Labour politicians are receiving, here's an article on a similar theme: Wanted: a bloody difficult woman for Labour (contains at least one of the offensive quotes, so be careful).
    The Labour Party now emits not just the stench of decay but the sour reek of misogyny. If, like me, you were in left student politics you've known messianic men such as Corbyn, Livingstone and McDonnell. They never sought equals, only acolytes. Compare David Cameron's manifest pride in Samantha's talents with Mrs Corbyn III scuttling six paces behind into the NEC ignored or giggling to Vice News "he's not very good at housework" like a surrendered wife. When Ken Clarke spoke of "bloody difficult women" it was with amused admiration. When one of Labour's own BDW stood to speak recently John McDonnell was seen making a "yak-yak-yak" hand gesture. Just a joke, he said slyly, as he always does.
    Corbyn and McDonnell's generation reluctantly grafted sexual politics on to their crude class critique. It didn't take well. Corbyn was puzzled by the outrage after he filled the top four shadow offices of state with men. His 100 per cent ideological purity made him a better feminist than any actual woman. [...]
    posted by effbot at 6:48 AM on July 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Odd that such a massive misogynist put together the only majority female shadow cabinet that the UK's every had though.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:10 AM on July 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


    Corbyn appointed 16 women and 15 men to his first cabinet, the first time a majority had been female, at a time when Cameron had only a third female cabinet (and even that was after he came under criticism). It was Eagle who he chose to deputise for him at PMQs.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:11 AM on July 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


    It's paywalled, so I can't read the rest, but I defo think the misogynist nature of a lot of the abuse has been glossed over - you only have to peep at the Twitter mentions of women 'Blairites' compared to men.

    Mrs Corbyn III scuttling six paces behind into the NEC ignored or giggling to Vice News "he's not very good at housework" like a surrendered wife.

    This seems an odd tone to take in a piece condemning misogyny.
    posted by jack_mo at 10:24 AM on July 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


    giggling to Vice News "he's not very good at housework"

    I seriously doubt anyone in David or Samantha Cameron's family even knows what housework is.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 11:08 AM on July 16, 2016


    Coda Tronca that's a properly stupid thing to say. Such an easy baseless sneer, come on. "David and Sam don't even do housework the poshos!1!!" is not the insightful pro-Corbyn political zinger you think it is.

    So since my previous comment about the misogyny in Corbyn's Labour was deleted due to MeFites not being able to handle the kind of abuse female Labour politicians are receiving

    Do you give a shit about misogyny effbot or are you only interested in anti-Corbyn points? If you do, allow me to point out that as a woman, reading misogynistic bullshit can be wounding and tiring and I refuse to be forced to read it out of supposed solidarity for women Labour MPs just because you've decided that's appropriate. No one should have to read that - not them, not us - and don't think for a minute you have the right to decide otherwise.
    posted by billiebee at 12:02 PM on July 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


    Coda Tronca that's a properly stupid thing to say. Such an easy baseless sneer, come on. "David and Sam don't even do housework the poshos!1!!" is not the insightful pro-Corbyn political zinger you think it is.

    It's not meant to be insightful pro-Corbyn, it's just meant to highlight how the Murdoch journalist is casting around for any dirt on Corbyn and so includes a random silly comment about housework - something Samantha Cameron's ultra-aristocratic family do not do (and she's mentioned in the same sentence). The article is not worthy of any serious discussion.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 12:13 PM on July 16, 2016


    something Samantha Cameron's ultra-aristocratic family do not do

    "Do not" or "I presume them not to"? You must know them better than me.
    posted by billiebee at 12:18 PM on July 16, 2016


    Also in general the fact that "housework" is being used as some kind of shorthand for women's lack of feminism or upper classness or surrendered wifeness or privileged daughterness is making me want to set fire to things. If you want to be better than Murdoch then be better.
    posted by billiebee at 12:22 PM on July 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


    [One deleted; maybe let's drop the back-and-forth over that one quote?]
    posted by LobsterMitten at 12:53 PM on July 16, 2016


    Not in fact The Onion: Jeremy Corbyn's supporters are like Lenin style bully boys who'd send women to the gulag

    The only facts in the article appear to concern tweets that random people have sent to MPs.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 1:49 PM on July 16, 2016


    IT's okay, central office is dealing with this rash of Lenin style tutting and eye rolling.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:10 PM on July 16, 2016




    Very confused by all the headlines on informal trade talks the UK's been having with such like India, Canada et al when other headlines inform us that this isn't legal for the UK as a long as its still a part of the EU? Help?
    posted by infini at 10:40 PM on July 16, 2016


    Very confused by all the headlines on informal trade talks the UK's been having with such like India, Canada et al when other headlines inform us that this isn't legal for the UK as a long as its still a part of the EU? Help?

    a) these aren't yet formal talks.
    b) realistically, if they are, what are the EU going to do. Bring a ECJ case against the UK and then threaten to expel it? Realpolitik wise, there's not that much leverage given that we are tragically looking likely to leave in any case.
    posted by jaduncan at 11:49 PM on July 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


    hm... thank you jaduncan. looking it up, I realize it was informal talks with the EU that were banned, and formal with non EU countries
    posted by infini at 5:10 AM on July 17, 2016


    Formal talks are banned under EU law with non-EU states for us too. It's just that the usual remedies are a court case and threats, all of which are a bit limited as we are leaving anyway. I don't think there's the political will to prosecute anything in any case.
    posted by jaduncan at 5:38 AM on July 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


    One of the many joys of Brexit is that as the UK has outsourced its trade negotiations to the EU for forty years, we have no negotiation experience at all, and not a single negotiator. Not one. We'll have to recruit them from the EU and elsewhere, but as you might imagine they'll be much in demand by their current bosses. It'll be a very good time to be an experienced negotiator, and a very bad - and eye-wateringly expensive - time to be hiring.

    Working from May's announcements about how many directors will be involved, the Ministry for Brexit will have a core staff of 500-600, who'll also have to come from somewhere. They'll have to live somewhere too, and that's before you factor in the negotiating teams needed simultaneously to cut trade deals with the hundred-odd countries and major trading blocs out there.

    But at least we'll be able to throw all those Lithuanian farm workers out, right? I'm sure the pensioners who voted Brexit are itching to work ten-hour days pulling carrots.
    posted by Devonian at 8:33 AM on July 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Yes, I find myself heavily immersed (social media & otherwise) in global trade negotiators, writers, academics, facilitation organizations, INGOs et al due a bunch of reasons, and one of the most amusing things to ponder these days is whether the UK will allow expatriate trade negotiators in the door to work for them and how? ;p
    posted by infini at 8:43 AM on July 17, 2016


    But at least we'll be able to throw all those Lithuanian farm workers out, right? I'm sure the pensioners who voted Brexit are itching to work ten-hour days pulling carrots.

    There's not going to be any farms left once the EU's subsidy of agriculture vanishes.
    posted by Talez at 8:48 AM on July 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


    Working from May's announcements about how many directors will be involved, the Ministry for Brexit will have a core staff of 500-600, who'll also have to come from somewhere. They'll have to live somewhere too, and that's before you factor in the negotiating teams needed simultaneously to cut trade deals with the hundred-odd countries and major trading blocs out there.

    Hacker: TWENTY-THREE THOUSAND! In the department of administrative affairs, twenty-three thousand administrators just to administer the other administrators! We need to do a time-and-motion study, see who we can get rid of.

    Sir Humphrey: Ah, well, we did one of those last year.

    Hacker: And what were the results?

    Sir Humphrey: It turned out that we needed another five hundred people.
    --Yes Minister, "The Economy Drive"

    Nothing ever changes does it?
    posted by zachlipton at 9:05 AM on July 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Infini - if you know the landscape, would you care to hazard a guess at some numbers? How many deals will need to be done, by how many people? I don't really know where to start.
    posted by Devonian at 9:08 AM on July 17, 2016


    1. If you want to try this at home, two good places to start imho are @sdonnan World Trade Editor for The Financial Times, and @TonysAngle Chief Economist UNUWider - this timeline kept me updated on brexit for most of this year, while Donnan's keeps you uptodate on the madness of trade.

    2. Here's my very rough attempt at answering your question, Devonian, based only on third hand info streams. The person/s whose opinions I would seek is currently up to their necks with this. I last met them on the 23rd itself for lunch, almost weeping into their caesar salad and contemplating grandma's belgian passport
    ---------------------------

    Here's a chart comparing the number of individual Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) each region has in place. The EU has the second highest number of FTA partner countries in the world - 58. For comparison, the USA has 20 - These numbers are not validated however, and we see that Peter Sutherland has said:

    Staggering ignorance of British debate ignores that bilateral negotiations will replace already existing 53 EU agreements that will be lost.


    The PIIE has a starter article on trade agreements and their implications viz., Starting Over on Tariffs: Post-Brexit Trade Agreement Partners for the United Kingdom wherein it says:

    This post examines the data to answer three specific questions facing UK trade negotiators:

    *Given the trading partner’s other international obligations, for how many products is it possible for the partner to even offer the UK a preferential tariff under an FTA?

    *How high are the existing tariffs facing UK exporters of those “preference possible” products?

    *What are the odds of a deal? Historically, have these trading partners granted preferential tariffs to exporting countries like the UK?

    [.....snipped to conclusion....]

    Finally, these data point to the first-order need for the UK to negotiate a comprehensive trade agreement with the European Union. Without such a deal, 72.8 percent of UK products exported to the EU would face a new import tariff that would increase from zero to an average of 7.3 percent. Also needed is clarity on new terms with earlier FTA partners, including Turkey, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, and Canada.


    The numbers of experienced trade negotiators being bandied about ranges from ~ 3000 (Donnan) to 10,000 (raving lunatics). Lets go deeper into this. Some snippets from the sadly paywalled FT for which I'm using up my 3/5th article this month ;p

    The UK has no trade negotiators, says former Brexit minister

    The British civil service has no trade negotiators, the former head of the government’s EU unit has confirmed.

    The admission makes clear the scale of the challenge facing Whitehall as it prepares to negotiate its exit from the EU, along with a new economic arrangement with the bloc and agreements with non-EU countries.


    Canada, which recently agreed a trade deal with the EU, had “300 trade negotiators”, the country’s trade minister Chrystia Freeland told the BBC. The European Commission, which handles trade negotiations on behalf of member states, has about 600 specialists.

    Negotiations with EU countries will be handled by David Davis, the secretary of state for the newly created Brexit department. Another new department — international trade, headed by former defence minister Liam Fox — has been charged with negotiations with non-EU countries.

    It is legally ambiguous whether the UK can begin negotiations on its future trade relationship with EU countries until it has negotiated its exit from the bloc under Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty.


    Farage in the meantime says:

    "Let's head-hunt them. Let's get them in from Singapore or South Korea or Chile or Switzerland, or any of these countries who've managed to achieve far more in terms of global trade deals than we have," he said last week, deviating from his usual line of reducing immigration.


    Can the UK manage with the same number as teh EU or Canada? ~ 300 to 600 negotiators?

    An Australian academic refutes this "lack" but I suspect the most experienced work for the EU as already stated, and the training workshop provided for civil servants is not quite the same as a well networked, experienced globally travelled negotiator is it? Going by what I've seen of the people I know, these guys are Princes in the art of keeping both hands happy while nobody has a clue what's going on at all times until the end.

    tl;dr - These things take years, are very complicated to pull off, will need to be done with a strategy in place (not the current hanging out with Canada, India, Australia friendlies on the pitch) and you can just hire a random person without a national trade policy framework and strategy in place can you?
    posted by infini at 9:53 AM on July 17, 2016 [21 favorites]


    The UK's most experienced trade negotiators all work for the EU. Juncker has offered to keep them on, but the FT article hoped some would return after Brexit.
    posted by infini at 9:57 AM on July 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


    That "Terrifying Hubris of Corbyn" seems to be a savage attack on a straw man: the idea that Corbyn's supporters believe along with the author that Labour is unelectable because of Corbyn and just want a 15 year plan to transform the party. It doesn't seem to address any of the actual issues that Corbyn's supporters think about.
    1. Is Corbyn actually unelectable? If you look at the EU referendum, Trump's primary victory, Syriza's two wins, the close result in Austria, etc etc, it's clear that a lot of "impossible" election results are resulting these days. Some polls already had Corbyn's Labour ahead of Cameron's Tories, until the PLP decided to hit the self-destruct button. Moreover among Labour voters Corbyn is believed to be more electable than Smith or Eagle, so it's strange to argue that his supporters are deliberately voting for a candidate they think is unelectable.
    2. How much of Labour’s problems are down to Corbyn? Before he won the leadership the Fabians were full of stern warnings about Labour’s Mountain To Climb. It's only since then they've decided there was never a mountain and it's all Corbyn's fault. In matchup polls Eagle and Smith don't do any better. What does "unelectable" mean? A couple of percent down, a half dozen seats?
    3. What are the actual policies the anti-Corbynites are putting forward? It was astonishing to see Eagle launch her campaign without even the vaguest policy platform.
    4. How does deselection fit in? There are rumours that Corbyn has decided on mandatory reselection, but regardless of that, given the boundary changes and Corbyn's desire for more local control, it's clear that bright politics grads parachuted into seats they have nothing in common with are going to struggle. With that in mind, how much of the PLP rebellion is careerists who never cared that much for the party except as a vehicle for their ambition, deciding that if their cushy job is disappearing they might as well take the party down with them?
    posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:52 AM on July 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Infini. If this was AskMefi, I'd award you the Order of Lenin with oakleaf clusters. Invaluable.
    posted by Devonian at 11:44 AM on July 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


    Sometimes, when I'm very lucky, sdonnan RTs me.
    posted by infini at 12:07 PM on July 17, 2016


    A brutal account of Corbyn’s leadership qualities by his (obviously now resigned) shadow minister for culture, Thangam Debbonaire.
    posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:17 PM on July 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


    Ow, the Debbonaire piece is simple, factual, and absolutely brutal.

    Mr Corbyn appointed me and press released this without my knowledge or consent whilst I was in the middle of cancer treatment. He then sacked me the next day when he realized he had given away part of someone else's role. But didn't bother to tell me that either.
    posted by tavella at 12:37 PM on July 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


    It'll be a very good time to be an experienced negotiator, and a very bad - and eye-wateringly expensive - time to be hiring.

    We would be able to save a few quid if we didn't renew Trident - as much as £205 billion. But of course Owen Smith will be backing the Tories and voting in favour of it, Corbyn against.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 1:25 PM on July 17, 2016




    The first fruits of Brexit are in - ARM, whose processor designs are overwhelmingly dominant in mobile devices and elsewhere, is being sold to Sofftbank, the Japanese financial/publishing/whatevs consortium. As ARM's revenues are mostly in dollars and its market cap is in sterling, the crash in the pound has made it too tempting.

    Softbank has promised to double the size of the company in the UK.

    A few years back, a company I knew well was bought by Softbank, It was profitable, diversified and had a very good track record. Softbank promised to more than double its size.

    What actually happened? Softbank raised the cash for the acquisition through a highly leveraged deal and moved the enormous debt it accrued to the company itself, and all the profits went on debt servicing. The company ran out of resources for development and growth, instead contracting and losing market share, until it was split up and sold off to various competitors. It went from being a market leader to a bunch of mismanaged brands.

    And this is just the start.

    But at least we'll be free of the Lithuanian carrot-pullers, right?
    posted by Devonian at 5:34 AM on July 18, 2016 [14 favorites]


    There goes the chip in every USB stick.
    posted by infini at 5:36 AM on July 18, 2016


    If you want proof that the Foreign Secretary job has been downgraded with BoJo taking it, just look at possibly the worst sitcom pitch ever - he has to share the grace and favour mansion with David Davies and DFDS Ian Fox.
    posted by MattWPBS at 6:14 AM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


    The Immorality of Corbynism is a silly article that does little more than set up a straw man. It starts the process with a nonsense argument about the Iraq invasion which includes the ridiculous canard that 'To not go to war was to acquiesce in leaving Iraq in the hands of a monstrous tyrant'. Any subsequent points that may be close to the mark are lost due to the frothing scattershot approach.

    I wonder how different the internal communication with the PLP that the Corbyn team perform is in comparison to that of any other leader's. This is the kind of stuff that used to come out in memoirs printed decades after the events, rather than blog posts that appear within days.

    Either way, it doesn't sound great and Debbonaire comes across well, but Corbyn is still the best candidate on offer at the moment. If he could deal with the apparent issues that have been highlighted with his leadership and team then the PLP would have less to complain about. Not that it would necessarily stop them.
    posted by asok at 6:30 AM on July 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Lillian Greenwood's speech to her constituency explaining her decision to quit the Corbyn cabinet has been published.
    posted by PenDevil at 6:39 AM on July 18, 2016


    None of the attack pieces on Corbyn have yet addressed my issues with why I left the party in the first place.
    that being a significant democratic deficit in the party.

    In the New Labour era and the Milliband era there were big problems with candidates parachuted into constituencies against the wishes of the CLP. Also the grass roots of the organisations were more and more removed from policymaking.
    Most articles talk about Labour losing members over Iraq and that being the only issue. It's an issue for sure, but not why I left, and not why most people I know left. They left because more and more it felt like the membership was there to do what campaign for MPs and policies they had no hand in choosing.
    That's not been addressed by Eagle, nor by Smith. In fact it seems like they are fully on the side of the people who took that power away. Until that's honestly addressed I can't trust anything they say.
    If that issue is fixed I will happily (very very happily) vote for a non-Corbyn option.

    I want a candidate that thinks that Iraq was wrong (even if they voted for it at the time, people are allowed to change their minds) and one that will support a diminished role for the private sector in stuff that should be public sector (much less outsourcing of government functions, both local and central to people like Serco for example), fixing the train franchise nonsense, demarketising the NHS and all that. But most of all, the proper democratic workings of the party need to be restored.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:52 AM on July 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


    Christ, you can complain about calling them "Blairites" all you like but the Labour Party really needs to clear itself of people who feel the need to defend the Iraq invasion at every turn.
    posted by Artw at 6:57 AM on July 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


    It looks as though the #BrexitJustice campaign, which aims to raise £100,000 to prosecute some of the most prominent Leavers for "fraud, misconduct in public office, undue influence and , possibly, inciting racial hatred", is about to reach its target. You can still pledge money.

    Currently at £88,500 of £100,000, with 10 days to go.

    Since we likely won't get a second referendum, a (slim) chance to take a few of the fuckers down and perhaps encourage more honesty in political campaigns.
    posted by Quagkapi at 3:56 AM on July 19, 2016 [2 favorites]




    Guardian: Corbyn even more popular with members after no confidence vote

    “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

    He even looks a bit like Obi-Wan.
    posted by acb at 7:55 AM on July 19, 2016


    POLITICS!
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:07 AM on July 19, 2016




    Any pro-Corbyn lurkers can check this website to see if/how you can vote in the Labour leadership election:
    http://votecheck.jeremyforlabour.com/
    If you’re not a member of the party who joined before early January 2016, or of an affiliated trade union, or socialist society, you need to register as a supporter before 5pm on Wednesday 20th July.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:17 AM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


    From the NS link TheophileEscargot posted above:

    "The thing with splits is it almost gives the impression that there is a 50-50 divide," Stephen Kinnock MP told me. "But there so clearly isn’t. I think it would be better to call it a spin-off. About 10 per cent of our PLP [Parliamentary Labour Party] would be very welcome to go and form the Socialist Workers Party. That’s what they’ve always wanted to do, they’re entryists. What an entryist does is come in through the back door, squats inside the house for a while until he’s wrecked it and then leaves through the front. And that is exactly what they’re wanting to do here."

    Although, I'd point out Corbyn has been an MP since Kinnock was 12.
    So the entryism claim is a little bit stretched there.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:20 AM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Meanwhile - no Article 50 this year, as at least seven challenges to the idea that the PM can activate it without Parliamentary approval go through the courts.
    posted by Devonian at 8:21 AM on July 19, 2016





    About 10 per cent of our PLP [Parliamentary Labour Party] would be very welcome to go and form the Socialist Workers Party. That’s what they’ve always wanted to do, they’re entryists.


    The British SWP were never entryists apart from a period in the early 60s. They were all about 'building a fighting socialist alternative.' It was their slogan in the 80s when Militant was inside the Labour Party.

    The Militant Tendency in the 80s - the actually once-existing entryists of media fame - never numbered more than 8,000 members, and Corbyn was never remotely close to joining them.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:59 AM on July 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


    (and several hundred of those 8,000 were policemen as well)
    posted by Coda Tronca at 9:07 AM on July 19, 2016


    R4 reporting rumour that Angela Eagle is about to drop out - statement expected soon...
    posted by Devonian at 9:23 AM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Guardian:
    In his classic, recently republished history of Militant, the veteran political reporter Michael Crick points out that in 1981 the group had at most 2,500 members. Labour had a hundred times that; Militant's influence over the party was smaller than defectors to the SDP often claimed.
    Far left entryists can mobilize the dozens you see handing out placards at demos, maybe hundreds nationwide, in their heyday maybe thousands. But the idea that the hundreds of thousands who've signed up for Labour since Corbyn are entryists is kind of insane. The far left are a tiny, shrunken rump. The whole point of entryism is that small organisations can take over the leadership of larger ones. If you outnumbered the organisation you were taking over, you wouldn't need to practice entryism.
    posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:29 AM on July 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Now confirmed - she'd agreed with Owen Smith that whoever was ahead by 5pm tomorrow would concede, but by this evening it was 90-72 to him so she threw in the towel "in the best interests of the Labour party".
    posted by Devonian at 9:32 AM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


    oh good a parachuted-in ex-pfizer lobbyist as the standard bearer for labour

    from 2006
    "We've had PFI in Wales, we've had a hospital built down in Baglan through PFI. If PFI works, then let's do it. What people want to see are more hospitals, better services.

    "City academies in certain parts of inner city Britain, where schools were failing, where children were not being well served, have made great inroads.

    "I'm not someone, frankly, who gets terribly wound up about some of the ideological nuances that get read into some of these things, and I think sometimes they are totally overblown."


    posted by lalochezia at 9:37 AM on July 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


    "I'm not someone, frankly, who gets terribly wound up about some of the ideological nuances that get read into some of these things, and I think sometimes they are totally overblown."

    When I read that it came out in Blair's actual voice.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 9:56 AM on July 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Owen Smith, christ. The PLP really need to realise that the membership will not be happy with a right winger. Find a decent candidate on the left of the party, and they might actually be able to unseat Corbyn. Going in like this, they're only going to prolong the mire.
    posted by Dysk at 10:03 AM on July 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


    PFI doesn't work!
    It's terrible!
    It's crazy dumb. Why would a government ever EVER take on a private finance loan?!

    You're a government you control the currency, you can borrow effectively unlimited amounts with barely any impact. Why would you saddle a hospital with debt unless you were trying to privatise it?
    and academies, oh my!

    These are not ideological nuances! These are heart and soul of what labour should be caring about.
    Services owned and operated by the people who use them.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 10:10 AM on July 19, 2016 [12 favorites]


    {sorry for the barely coherent ideological rant...I can do better later, but suffice to say I am not impressed by that quote}
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 10:11 AM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


    The PLP really need to realise that the membership will not be happy with a right winger. Find a decent candidate on the left of the party, and they might actually be able to unseat Corbyn. Going in like this, they're only going to prolong the mire.
    The PLP doesn't want members. Members are irrelevant. What the PLP wants are donors. Nice, rich, corporate donors who can bankroll the party while it goes about its core business: appealing to moderate tories in marginal electorates once every five years. This is the Labour Vision, 2016 PLP edition, and Corbyn's attitude is getting in the way of that.
    posted by Sonny Jim at 10:14 AM on July 19, 2016 [7 favorites]


    How long is this going to take?
    posted by Grangousier at 10:17 AM on July 19, 2016


    this is a fun interview so far.

    BBC interviewing Owen Smith

    A lot of anti-corbyn types are using the words "comradely" a lot these days. Like they're playing at socialist caricatures. Not sure when I last heard people calling each other Comrade in a non-ironic way since... ever?

    Anyway, he wants to build a team of ALL the talents of the labour party. And he's just as radical as Corbyn. (He said comrade, so he must be).

    Anyway, the important breaking news is right here:
    PORRIDGE!
    (yeah, it's low, it's obviously a sound check, but it's fun silliness)

    I'm disappointed that it's not a contest between Corbyn and Eagle. She seemed far more likeable than smith to me.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 10:28 AM on July 19, 2016


    Damn. An actual Pfizer lobbyist is the guy they're putting up. You know, to save the NHS.
    posted by skybluepink at 12:14 PM on July 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


    Not sure when I last heard people calling each other Comrade in a non-ironic way since... ever?

    I remember seeing Ed Milliband do a Q&A as leader at the Labour Party Conference a few years ago, and he addressed all the questioners as ‘Comrade’. I assume it’s traditional and thought it was rather endearing. So it may not be quite as artificial as you think.
    posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:41 PM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Huh, I just went and googled for a video and apparently I misremembered: he was addressing everyone as ‘colleagues’. I preferred my previous reality, tbh. I liked the idea that the modern, professional, stage-managed Labour Party still all called each other ‘comrade’ for the sake of tradition. Oh well.
    posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:58 PM on July 19, 2016


    The Guardian is getting the really bad stuff out there and soon out of the way for Smith very early, a common news management tactic:

    Owen Smith worked as PR chief for biotech firm hit by $762m fine
    posted by Coda Tronca at 2:23 PM on July 19, 2016


    Guido Fawkes says that Eagle is dropping out. Not that it's likely to make a difference.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 6:25 PM on July 19, 2016


    So the big question is, what are the PLP going to do when Jeremy wins again? Will they finally STFU and get behind him? I mean, this is literally their last chance to unseat him because there's only so much kvetching they can do before it sinks in that Labour voters actually want him. He's been staggeringly tolerant of it all so far from what I've seen. If this were the Conservatives there'd have been a Night of the Long Knives many months ago but he's still there, reminding them that he's won every battle and could they please just sit down and work with him. Can they actually learn or will they end up crossing the party lines (which would be a death knell for each and every one of their careers I suspect).
    posted by longbaugh at 11:12 PM on July 19, 2016


    He's been staggeringly tolerant of it all so far from what I've seen.

    Hasn't he been somewhat behind the deselection drive?
    posted by PenDevil at 11:15 PM on July 19, 2016


    That mostly seems to come from Momentum and the Unions. You could of course say that he's behind it all but every interview I've watched with him he just doesn't appear to be that sort of person. He seems to genuinely want to work across the internal boundaries. The other kids don't want to play because he smells of allotments or something.
    posted by longbaugh at 11:45 PM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


    He's Schroedinger's Corbyn: a bumbling incompetent and a ruthless hardliner; an unelectable leader with popular support; an ideological Puritan who allows his MPs to take free votes.
    posted by Sonny Jim at 1:11 AM on July 20, 2016 [9 favorites]


    Corbyn's first cabinet was almost aggressively inclusive. He had the whole broad church of Labour in there, and even then they kicked off because he had McDonnell in as Chancellor.
    That was obviously always going to happen, because he needed a strong counterpoint to Labours abysmal economics platform.
    But because of that there were only Home office and Foreign office in the four great offices (which no one had seriously considered a thing for like... ever) and a couple of top Labour women refused those roles, so they ended up being all men.
    Which is why he got called out for being a massive sexist after appointing a majority female Shadow Cabinet.

    The whole Corbyn is a massive sexist thing was after trying to work to include all branches of the party, they weren't willing to work with him even then. So to be honest, what good does it do him to appease the more right wing sides of the party, except that as he has repeatedly said, he genuinely believes that those elected to their positions should have a say in how the party is run.

    He's get a lot of cheers from the more enthusiastic momentum types (and make his life a lot easier) by shutting them out completely and working to get rid of them, but he does seem to sincerely value diversity of opinion.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:59 AM on July 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


    @longbaugh: So the big question is, what are the PLP going to do when Jeremy wins again? Will they finally STFU and get behind him? I mean, this is literally their last chance to unseat him because there's only so much kvetching they can do before it sinks in that Labour voters actually want him.

    That's when it gets interesting. They don't have confidence him as a leader of the PLP, and there seems to be enough stories coming out that that might not be entirely unreasonable when it comes to management style. So, what then? Do they put those concerns aside, or do they stick to what they believe?

    Being charitable as to their motivations, they don't believe that Labour voters (as opposed to Labour Party members) want Corbyn as PM. So we've then theoretically got the long term acid test of who's right about what voters want - the PLP or the Labour membership. Problem is that it's actually an acid test of whether people think Labour in its whole and the local candidate are the right choice for them. So it'll carry on until at least the next General Election with arguments about who's to blame for any losses/issues, the entire deselection threats, etc.
    posted by MattWPBS at 3:51 AM on July 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


    If the claims that they don't object to his politics, just his competence are true (If!)
    Then once it's clear that they can't replace him they should rally round and work with him to fix these problems.

    But I think a lot of problems in terms of communication are down to the party machinery being operated mainly by Progress. It's down to the whips and the internal machinery to deal with communication. If they are being obstructive then it's only going to make things worse. These are solvable problems if they choose them to be solvable.
    If it comes to it hire a management consultant to take a look at the internal structures. Maybe a management consultant and a relationship counsellor?

    But... if they are whipping up a furore and causing obstructions and problems, briefing against the leadership, not working together because they fundamentally don't share his politics, for whatever reason, then there's not much to do except probably to split. Members and MPs alike.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:27 AM on July 20, 2016


    That's an idea. Split in to two parties: Progress! and Momentum!* Progress! can have most of the MPs; Momentum! can keep the Unions, the buildings and the debt. The membership can choose between them.

    I think the names really need the exclamation marks.

    I'm assuming that May doesn't want to call an election until there's something vaguely resembling an opposition that might keep UKIP from getting much more of a foothold.

    (Fuck. The leadership nonsense goes on for another two months. Will any of us have any will to live left by then?)
    posted by Grangousier at 5:43 AM on July 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


    If the claims that they don't object to his politics, just his competence are true (If!)
    Then once it's clear that they can't replace him they should rally round and work with him to fix these problems.
    Subtracting the number of MPs who supported Corbyn in the no confidence vote from the total number of MPs who opposed Trident renewal should (in theory at least) give you something like the figure for: the set of MPs who share Corbyn's politics, but don't support his actual leadership. It's well under half of the caucus. My impression is that the majority of the PLP is well to the right of the membership, and well to the right of the Lib Dems, come to that.
    posted by Sonny Jim at 5:46 AM on July 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


    My preferred choice would be to push through PR and then have all the parties split up into their actual ideologies. I suspect you'd see a strong Progress/Momentum/Green/Lib Dem Alliance walk it.

    But it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see a Lib Dem / Progress / Compassionate Tory alliance either.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:48 AM on July 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


    As an ex-pat New Zealander who really, really misses his party vote in MMP (the German system), I'd love to see that too. However, had the 2015 election been held under MMP, a Tory/UKIP coalition would've picked up 49% of the vote, and with it, a huge parliamentary majority. But at least the vote share would've been proportional.

    But I think your larger point still stands. The refusal to abandon the antiquated First Past the Post System (along with five-year, fixed-term parliaments) is killing UK democracy (such as it is). Clegg and co. really missed an open goal in the last parliament with the AV referendum screw up.
    posted by Sonny Jim at 5:57 AM on July 20, 2016


    You can't really say what would have happened if an FPP election had taken place under PR, of course, because people would vote differently and parties would compose themselves differently. Scotland is an interesting experiment in that, having both systems - a d'Hondt list system for Holyrood and FPP for Westminster. d'Hondt makes it very difficult to get an overall majority (the SNP managed it once, and came without a couple of thousand votes last time), and you still get a good proportion of numpties elected, but the quality of democracy up here is much higher than in England, with better representation of minorities, much less extremism and greater engagement. I've been lectured to by a plumber on the importance of multiculturalism while he was fixing my toilet,.. The SNP governs as a minority government and it works rather well.

    Whareas in Westminster, the SNP has just about a clean sweep of parliamentary Scottish seats, thus an enormous regional majority, but as the third party in a parliament with a twelve-seat Tory majority has practically no influence on events.

    In any sort of sane world, fixing FPP would be an absolute priority for any party that pretended to healthy democracy. But it has proved intractable - I think it needs a strong campaign across the members of all parties to make it happen, and there are practically no cross-party political organisations who could do it.
    posted by Devonian at 6:24 AM on July 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


    I'm never gonna argue against a voting system on the basis that a majority of the electorate might vote for dicks though.

    If 49% voted Tory/UKIP then our parliament should be 49% Tory/UKIP. No matter how terrible their policies might be.
    To argue otherwise gets you Lishenets and enemies of the people and all sorts of unpleasantness.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:27 AM on July 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Polls

    UKIP collapsing, Labour pretty much doing the same, big Tory gains.

    I'd say Labour is over at this point. Congrats, guys!
    posted by Artw at 6:34 AM on July 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I'm never gonna argue against a voting system on the basis that a majority of the electorate might vote for dicks though.
    Oh yeah, I totally agree. Also, my experience with watching PR bed down in NZ in the late '90s was that the experience of being part of a governing coalition acts as a real disinfectant for small, protest parties. Actual responsibility tends to have a grueling effect on chancers, charlatans, and incompetents. There wouldn't be much left of UKIP after a term spent as coalition partners, I wouldn't think.
    posted by Sonny Jim at 6:39 AM on July 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


    I think the extent to which they've "won" with Brexit may have killed them, TBH.
    posted by Artw at 6:51 AM on July 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


    According to the Mail the codename of the breakaway party is "Continuity Labour". But they couldn't possibly be that stupid... could they?
    posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:33 AM on July 20, 2016


    Is that the one with the members or the one with the MPs?
    posted by Artw at 7:34 AM on July 20, 2016


    Is that the one with the members or the one with the MPs?

    Deselection, or at least mandatory reselection as per the SNP, is a democratic principle.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:03 AM on July 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Got about 50 minutes left I think till the vote shop closes.
    Not sure if I should buy a vote or not.

    I am wondering what kind of audit is in place for this stuff.
    Also, what the spending rules are. There are paid ads for "Save Labour" all over twitter and google.
    If you search for Labour membership you get a paid "Save Labour" ad.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:07 AM on July 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Save Labour being the anti-Corbyn faction incidentally.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:08 AM on July 20, 2016


    According to the Mail the codename of the breakaway party is "Continuity Labour". But they couldn't possibly be that stupid... could they?


    I was thinking “Aspire!”; a party for people who believe that it's no crime to want the best for oneself and one's children, that sharp elbows are a British virtue, and There Is No Alternative/Other People's Money, but also believe in niceness and not nastiness, not to mention the value of having strong values.
    posted by acb at 8:10 AM on July 20, 2016



    If the claims that they don't object to his politics, just his competence are true (If!)
    Then once it's clear that they can't replace him they should rally round and work with him to fix these problems.

    But I think a lot of problems in terms of communication are down to the party machinery being operated mainly by Progress. It's down to the whips and the internal machinery to deal with communication. If they are being obstructive then it's only going to make things worse. These are solvable problems if they choose them to be solvable.
    If it comes to it hire a management consultant to take a look at the internal structures. Maybe a management consultant and a relationship counsellor?


    I don't think you can really put down this down to 'the party machinery being operated mainly by Progress'. If the stories from Thangam Debbonaire, Heidi Alexander and Lilian Greenwood‎ are half true, it's not really a communication issue. This is just my impression, but it sounds like Corbyn, McDonnell and all aren't really dealing well with going from backbench life to leading a party. They seem to be making changes to/announcing new policies without going through the collective agreement process first, or even discussing it with the relevant shadow cabinet members.

    So how do you fix that?
    posted by MattWPBS at 8:12 AM on July 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I am wondering what kind of audit is in place for this stuff.


    When you buy your vote, the site asks for your address and you must pay with a card registered to that address. Not sure what else.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 8:13 AM on July 20, 2016


    I think you fix the problems by getting MPs who have held senior roles before all getting round the table and saying, there is a problem, and helping Corbyn learn the job.
    The stories coming out are suggesting that he's unwilling to go along, but then "they would wouldn't they"

    I think you're right, that he doesn't know what he's doing.
    I hope this is because no one who does has helped, but I am very possibly wrong about that.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:29 AM on July 20, 2016


    I fear that's right - he really can't do the job. Because if he could, he'd be doing the job. And he's not doing the job.

    Uniting a fractured party, presenting an electable face, displaying the artistry of the possible - all these are part of doing the job. He's done none of that. It doesn't matter why, or what external factors are making the job difficult, because politics is a dirty business and it is a hard business and the job is hard. And he's not doing it.

    Why then would he be capable of doing the job of running the country?
    posted by Devonian at 8:48 AM on July 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


    And the MPs can't do their job either, since that's why Corbyn ended up elected in the first place and why they've been refusing to work with him since then. Frankly they should go first, since they've been failing longer.
    posted by Artw at 9:11 AM on July 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


    172 MPs - who've worked with him - say they can't work with him any longer. They give many examples of why not, and it really does look as if it's not his politics, it's his executive abilities.

    Part of his job is to work with people. He's not doing it. Either 172 MPs are incapable of accepting leadership, or one man is incapable of leading. I don't think that if every Labour MP was 100 percent in sync with Corbyn's politics, an effective party would result.

    People get promoted to jobs they can't do all the time. I was, once, and when I realised that I couldn't do what was asked of me, I got myself moved away. Everybody wanted me to succeed, everyone thought I could, but I couldn't. I didn't enjoy that at all, and it was a hard decision to make, and it caused problems, but it was the right thing to do.

    (Perfhaps luckily for my deflated ego, it subsequently turned out that the job was undoable, at least as it was configured, but whether that's the case for Labour at this point I can't say.)
    posted by Devonian at 9:45 AM on July 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I don't think that if every Labour MP was 100 percent in sync with Corbyn's politics, an effective party would result.

    They can all say they are in sync with his politics, and in fact Owen Smith is basically out there claiming to be a lefty, but they just serve the same old corporate interests when it comes down to it. Theresa May just made a speech burning with passion for social justice. The difference with Corbyn is that he won't change the beliefs around when they come up against corporate interests. This is too dangerous to be allowed. He is not playing the game as it is supposed to be played.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 9:54 AM on July 20, 2016


    I don't believe Corbyn has the executive ability to lead a party.

    This is entirely independent of my views on his politics, or those of Labour as a whole, or the behaviour of the MPs, or the scandalous monstering of the man by the media.
    posted by Devonian at 11:26 AM on July 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Maybe not, but neither do those MPs. It's a giant clusterfuck of fail, not one guy.
    posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on July 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I agree that Corbyn doesn't do well in the houses of parliament, but he comes across well on the sofa interviews on TV.

    But perhaps more important is that Momentum and the way he wants to lead the party is opening up some different ideas about what it actually means to be a leader. It's not all about Corbyn himself, he just represents a movement - and that's why so many of those that join it simply don't care if he doesn't deliver killer 'gotchas' in PMQs or whether he gets on well with career politicians. Some similarities with Bernie Sanders in this. From April:

    "He grounds his campaign in the time-honored tradition of America’s progress towards social justice – whether on race, women’s equality, labor rights and LGBT equality – being driven not by elected politicians, but by the willingness of ordinary women and men to take action that eventually compels political elites to respond... “You have to develop grassroots organizations,” he told an interviewer questioning how he’d deliver with so little support for his positions on Capitol Hill. “You have to bring the grassroots in much closer to what’s happening in Congress.” Elsewhere, he noted: “We can elect the best person in the world to be president, but that person will get swallowed up unless there is an unprecedented level of activism at the grassroots level.”"

    posted by Coda Tronca at 11:46 AM on July 20, 2016


    So essentially we need to move the venue of governance away from the debating chamber and more towards items of televised furniture?
    posted by Grangousier at 1:27 PM on July 20, 2016


    So you missed the whole grassroots organisations point and all the other points.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 1:44 PM on July 20, 2016


    I agree that Corbyn doesn't do well in the houses of parliament, but he comes across well on the sofa interviews on TV.

    But perhaps more important is that Momentum and the way he wants to lead the party is opening up some different ideas about what it actually means to be a leader. It's not all about Corbyn himself, he just represents a movement - and that's why so many of those that join it simply don't care if he doesn't deliver killer 'gotchas' in PMQs or whether he gets on well with career politicians.


    Mass movements are good at some things. What they're not good at is decisions within things like the NHS, roads maintenance, the police, foreign policy or other large scale policy matters.

    It's great that he's good at representing a movement. It doesn't help if he can't co-ordinate with people he works with on topics he's told them they're responsible for looking after.
    posted by MattWPBS at 2:36 PM on July 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


    What they're not good at is decisions within things like the NHS, roads maintenance, the police, foreign policy or other large scale policy matters.

    PFI in the NHS is exactly the kind of 'large scale policy matter' we have to thank the 172 Blairites for. Don't know about road maintenance, the police are just a heavily armed part of the state; foreign policy is perhaps not the Blairites' strongest suit.

    Anyway this patronising bullshit about 'mass movements are not good at x' is exactly why Momentum continues to grow. Enjoy your overlords.
    posted by Coda Tronca at 2:48 PM on July 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


    183k Registered Supporters signed up in 48 hrs to vote in Labour leadership. I hope they all become full members & help us beat the Tories— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) July 20, 2016

    posted by kyp at 7:18 PM on July 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Labour MPs have been hoping to get rid of Corbyn ever since he won the leadership.

    Since that poll showed that neither Owen Smith nor Angela Eagle do any better than Corbyn, the attack has shifted somewhat from "Corbyn is not electable" to "Corbyn is a a bad organiser and manager".

    The book Ruling the Void by Peter Mair is really worth reading. It documents how as mass membership of the political parties has declined, a "political class" has emerged that's more detached from the general public, and more connected to other elites in media and business. Corbyn is an existential threat to that political class, since he wants to reverse the trend and have more local and more party control over the elite.

    The rebel MPs were hoping that Corbyn would have a humiliating defeat in by-elections and local elections so that they would have an excuse to get rid of him. The convenient defeats didn't happen, so now they're throwing everything up to and including the kitchen sink at him.
    posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:18 PM on July 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


    Coda Tronca: PFI in the NHS is exactly the kind of 'large scale policy matter' we have to thank the 172 Blairites for. Don't know about road maintenance, the police are just a heavily armed part of the state; foreign policy is perhaps not the Blairites' strongest suit.

    Anyway this patronising bullshit about 'mass movements are not good at x' is exactly why Momentum continues to grow. Enjoy your overlords.


    a) There are not 172 Blairites, there are 172 MPs who don't think Corbyn is a good leader (some of whom may be Blairites).
    b) I was thinking more along the lines of decisions like closing two of three specialist heart surgery centres to centralise the cases and skills. Something which is proven to be a clinical benefit.
    c) Bypass around a town or something like that for larger scale, how large a fleet of snowplows we should maintain, or even just prioritising which routes get potholes addressed first.
    d) Cool story bro. I woke up last Monday morning to find a guy in my flat. I'll be sure to let the PC who's dealing with that that he's "just a heavily armed part of the state". Maybe I can find out where he's hiding his weaponry at the same time? Because he didn't look particularly heavily armed to me.
    e) Blairites, Blairites, Blairites - you seem to be seeing these everywhere and in everything at the moment. Putting aside the straw man of "Blarites aren't good at that", my point is that a populist movement isn't the best way to deal with foreign policy relations. We've just seen how a mass movement can be fed on lies and half truths to make a certain decision.
    f) The crowd is not actually that wise at times - there's been a majority in favour of the reintroduction of the death penalty for the majority of the time since it was abolished. Should our executive bow to that opinion?
    g) This isn't patronising, it's reality. Look at what has happened with situations like the specialist centres in b. You have local groups at each of the three campaigning and complaining about their hospital department being shut down, no matter the fact that closing it will improve care. That's the sort of thing where a professional executive is actually needed to assess the benefits and risks of all the courses of action.
    h) Seeing as seem to have a problem with selectively replying to entire posts, I've labelled each of these points for you. That way you can say "I don't have an answer for x, y and z"/"I don't like the answer for x, y and z", rather than just omitting them from your reply in favour of some witty line like "enjoy your overlords".
    posted by MattWPBS at 2:22 AM on July 21, 2016 [6 favorites]


    A lot of people feel we've seen this story before, the one where a charming old lefty disarmer is unexpectedly swept into the Labour Party leadership by the activists' optimism. You know where that goes; the party splits and the Tories' new female leader is left in unchecked power for a generation. And Corbyn hasn't a fraction of Foot's stature, let alone his brains; he hasn't got the double-digit poll lead in the country that Foot started with, and he hasn't got Scotland (an appalling problem that not a single person in the party currently seems to give even the tiniest of shits about - how did Labour become such a London party?)
    posted by Segundus at 3:16 AM on July 21, 2016 [6 favorites]


    The other thing the party hasn't got this time, of course, is a rising generation that includes credible socialists with the promise and charisma of the young Neil Kinnock, people who can haul it back from disaster and provide a heritage for the Blairs of the future to squander.
    posted by Segundus at 3:28 AM on July 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Looks like mandatory reselection is on. Oh boy.
    posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:41 AM on July 21, 2016


    Mandatory reselection after boundary changes, which is a little different from the SNP's reselection every election thing. But still, I guess Corbyn et all feel they have nothing to lose now and it's all knives out from both sides (instead of, some might say, just one side so far)

    That boundary change thing is just crappy politics in my eyes. I think it's indefensible.
    It was pushed through under an absurd fig leaf of reducing the cost of parliament, but cutting from 650 to 600 MPs is going to functionally 0% of any budget anywhere, and is going to seriously harm actual representative democracy.
    Not to say that you shouldn't do boundary adjustments. Labour have had something of an advantage for a while because the boundaries were in their favour. But I don't really believe that they're going about it in a neutral enough manner.

    Boundary redrawing is about the most difficult and contentious or the purely administrative political activities as there is. You'd have to be some kind of magical wizard to do it without someone calling shenanigans (and political conspiracy theorists are very much on the rise these days on all sides of every debate).
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:30 AM on July 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Oh also, surely the accepted wisdom (not saying it's true) on Scotland is that Labour lost it through a decade of being a centrist party and Scotland is politically much further left than England.

    A party focusing on the Scots strong national identity and pretending to be as socialist as Labour Classic (y'know nice red label and they still used real sugar instead of hfcs) was always going to do well.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:33 AM on July 21, 2016


    Aye, boundary change reselection is a completely different kettle of fish. Could be an argument that if a constituency isn't substantially altered then the sitting MP shouldn't be facing reselection, but if it's a large change, it makes sense (eg: three constituencies becoming two or something).
    posted by MattWPBS at 5:37 AM on July 21, 2016


    Why Britain’s Path to Free Trade Won’t Be Smooth
    Setting relations with the EU is likely to come first, and broader talks would come at a tough time for world trade

    posted by infini at 5:27 AM on July 22, 2016


    Labour’s rebels, unable to get their act together, are part of the problem:
    The senior Labour MP, Margaret Hodge, sought a vote of no confidence in Corbyn after the referendum. The shadow cabinet did not know of her plans. Separately Hilary Benn had spoken to shadow cabinet colleagues about how they might remove Corbyn but did not know that his tentative moves would be front page news in that weekend’s Observer...

    The Labour rebels plotted separately and without a big candidate to take on Corbyn. In doing so they have inevitably become part of the current problem.
    posted by TheophileEscargot at 4:35 AM on July 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


    TheophileEscargot I'm not sure if you meant to include a link there?
    posted by billiebee at 4:42 AM on July 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Dunno what went wrong there, should have linked to this.
    posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:07 AM on July 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


    • Labour sued by members barred from leadership vote:
      Kate Harrison, of Harrison Grant, said: "The basis of the claim is that [the members" ] entitlement to vote in the leadership election is part of their contract with the Labour party. They all joined when the Labour party website said in terms "you will be eligible to vote in leadership elections" . The claimants have applied for the legal action to be expedited so that it is heard in the high court before 4 August.
    • Julian BagginiJeremy Corbyn is a great populist. But that's no good for our democracy :
      Our tradition of representative democracy rests on a rejection of all three pillars of populism. It accepts that a well-run society needs specialists and full-time politicians whose judgments often carry more weight than those of voters who put them into power... Making the case for representative democracy therefore means telling the electorate it doesn't always know best, a truism that populism has turned into an elitist heresy.
      posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:19 AM on July 25, 2016


      That Baggini article is terrible.

      Helpfully, he does break down his thesis a bit, let's have a play and see how it goes.
      "First, it has a disdain for elites and experts of all kinds, especially political ones. "
      I'd say that a leader chosen to "win at all costs"* fits this bill more than one elected by a political class with distinct ideological views.
      Disdain for experts? One of his first acts was to hire a bunch of famous economists and implement their suggestions. I have trouble with the word "elites" here though. I think it's too nebulous and needs to be defined better. Who are these elites, and why should they be respected? (I'm not saying they shouldn't be, but there's no reasons given.)

      "Second, it supposes that the purpose of politics is simply to put into action the will of the people, who are seen as homogenous and united in their goals."
      I think Baggini is trying to defend this point by saying
      "Rejection of Corbyn is taken as proof that they are traitors, to be replaced by people who will do what their electorate tells them without daring to question its judgment. The party members and supporters are always right, so any of its MPs who disagree must be wrong."...
      and, yeah, there's no shortage of stupid "Red Tory" nonsense going around, so maybe.
      Although when Corbyn started up his shadow cabinet was incredibly diverse, including MPs from across the ideological spectrum on it, which doesn't actually address the point does it.
      It's a pretty silly point though, this homogenous hoi poloi business, so it's hard to really deal with.
      But I would say that when you're talking about members of a party wanting to be able to elect candidate representatives who will then be put forth to a wider electorate (which is what they want) then you're still talking about representative democracy, not "the pure will of the people"

      " Third, it proposes straightforward, simple solutions to what are in fact complex problems."
      I'm not sure that I've seen a description of populism which defines it thus, but sure, if you like.
      So, Smith suggests that Corbyn deals in "Slogans, not Solutions", and maybe that's true. He certainly has form as a protester. Does that equal arguing for simple solutions? Corbyn policies are often accused of this, but I can't really find good examples. What comes to mind for me is the Syria bombing vote. Corbyn was at the time suggesting examining the supply chain of arms from western companies, and looking at how how ISIS and other rebels was funded. That seems to be a fairly complex solution compared to a bombing campaign.*

      So, yeah, that was a fun thing to do late at night when I should be sleeping.
      I'm not really impressed with it as a philosophical argument. (I am not a philosopher though)

      *I might be massively misrepresenting this of course.
      posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:47 PM on July 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


      What got to me about it that as a philosopher he must know he's being fundamentally deceptive. He talks about "democracy" without ever defining the term, which surely as a philosopher must make him itchy. He then implicitly defines it as a system with some degree of putting "into action the will of the people", counterbalanced by the wisdom of "specialists and full-time politicians" whose judgments "carry more weight".

      It's not an unreasonable position that too much democracy is a bad thing and it needs to be balanced out by other forces. But what we're talking about is limiting the degree of democracy. It's deceptive to redefine democracy as something that ceases to be democracy if you have too much of it. Moreover, the other forces that balance out democracy can be things like written constitutions, bills of rights, common law, traditions and courts. They don't have be "specialists and full-time politicians", in other words elite individuals. Defining democracy to mean a system that combines the will of the people with the will of elite individuals is making a pretty radical redefinition of it.

      Moving beyond pure philosophy, we should really look at history. As documented in the book "Ruling the Void", the size and power of mass political parties has fallen to a tiny fraction of its previous level. Accompanying this change, MPs are now much less likely to be community members with lifetime links with their constituences and previous careers; and much more likely to be members of a "political class" who moved from politics degrees, to junior positions in peripheral politics as researchers or lobbyists, to being parachuted in to safe seats around the country. "Specialists and full-time politicians" thus now have a much greater and unprecedented degree of power than a couple of decades ago. Political party members have much less power. The balance of power between "will of the people" and "specialists and full-time politicians" has shifted radically towards the latter. Baggini talks in vague terms about that balance, but he doesn't explain why it was necessary to shift power that way, and why it's so terrible to shift it back.
      posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:48 AM on July 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


      I dunno, people are pretty willing to make terrible leaps in judgement if it supports their preconceived ideas.
      I know I'm pretty for at it, despite trying.
      You'd hope philosophers would be better at not doing that. But maybe not.
      I'm not ready to suggest he's being willfully deceptive, but I don't think he's done good work there.

      Corbyn's supporters are not "The People" as the PLP seem quite keen to tell them at every turn.
      posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:20 AM on July 26, 2016


      Brexit Blues, John Lanchester
      To be born in many places in Britain is to suffer an irreversible lifelong defeat – a truncation of opportunity, of education, of access to power, of life expectancy. The people who grow up in these places come from a cultural background which equipped them for reasonably well-paid manual labour, un- and semi- and skilled. Children left school as soon as they could and went to work in the same industries that had employed their parents. The academically able kids used to go to grammar school and be educated into the middle class. All that has now gone, the jobs and the grammar schools, and the vista instead is a landscape where there is often work – there are pockets of unemployment, but in general there’s no shortage of jobs and the labour force participation rate is the highest it has ever been, a full 15 points higher than in the US – but it’s unsatisfying, insecure and low-paid. This new work doesn’t do what the old work did: it doesn’t offer a sense of identity or community or self-worth. The word ‘precarious’ has as its underlying sense ‘depending on the favour of another person’. Somebody can take away the things you have whenever they feel like it. The precariat, as the new class is called, might not know the etymology, but it doesn’t need to: the reality is all too familiar.
      posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:22 PM on July 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


      Full text of Owen Smiths speech yesterday. His 20 pledges are:
      1. A pledge to focus on equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity
      2. Scrapping the DWP and replacing it with a Ministry for Labour and a Department for Social Security
      3. Introducing modern wages councils for hotel, shop and care workers to strengthen terms and conditions
      4. Banning zero hour contracts
      5. Ending the public sector pay freeze
      6. Extending the right to information and consultation to cover all workplaces with more than 50 employees
      7. Ensuring workers’ representation on remuneration committees
      8. Repealing the Trade Union Act
      9. Increase spending on the NHS by 4 per cent in real-terms in every year of the next parliament
      10. Commit to bringing NHS funding up to the European average within the first term of a Labour Government.
      11. Greater spending on schools and libraries.
      12. Re-instate the 50p top rate of income tax.
      13. Reverse the reductions in Corporation Tax due to take place over the next four years.
      14. Reverse cuts to Inheritance Tax announced in the Summer Budget.
      15. Reverse cuts to Capital Gains Tax announced in the Summer Budget.
      16. Introduce a new wealth Tax on the top one per cent earners.
      17. A British New Deal unveiling £200 billion of investment over five years.
      18. A commitment to invest tens of billions in the North of England, and to bring forward High Speed 3.
      19. A pledge to build 300,000 homes in every year of the next parliament – 1.5 million over five years.
      20. Ending the scandal of fuel poverty by investing in efficient energy.
      posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:17 AM on July 28, 2016


      21. To ignore Brexit during campaigning, offer no indication of how his Labour would handle it, making him a frustratingly unpalatable choice for both Remainers and Leavers, none of whom can trust him to have the right stance on article 50.
      posted by Dysk at 1:21 AM on July 28, 2016


      The old Brexit thread is closed but it looks like the tanking pound might be scuttling the AB InBev/SABMiller merger:

      SABMiller halts AB InBev integration, tossing deal into disarray
      AB InBev’s $103.6 billion takeover bid for SABMiller Plc was thrown into disarray after the target company suspended integration of the two brewers following a rebellion from shareholders who say they haven’t been compensated enough for the pound’s recent plunge.
      posted by PenDevil at 2:14 AM on July 28, 2016


      Yeah, it's odd that that Brexit is missing from the list since he was calling for a second referendum a couple of weeks ago. I wish he's say clearly whether he wants or doesn't want a second referendum. Since he's apparently gone through some kind of Damascene conversion from refusing to vote against cuts to wanting massive tax and spending rises, it's hard to know what he thinks on anything at a particular moment if he doesn't tell us explicitly.
      posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:23 AM on July 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


      The Daily Mash seems apropos here.
      posted by tavegyl at 2:55 AM on July 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


      1. A pledge to focus on equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity.

      What does this imply in terms of actual policies?

      US person here, apologies if this is obvious to a UK person.
      posted by Chrysostom at 8:07 AM on July 28, 2016


      It's that it represents a rejection of one of the core tenets of New Labour - the classic Labour Party was - at least in paper -dedicated to equality, which New Labour rejected in favour of equality of opportunity (now widely regarded as an opportunistic abandonment of any dedication to equality at all, hidden behind neoconservative trickle down lies).
      posted by Dysk at 8:36 AM on July 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


      Whether anyone actually believes a statement designed as a rejection of Labour's move to the right under Blair and Brown when it's coming from the mouth of Owen Smith is another matter. But that is what it's intended to signal.
      posted by Dysk at 8:44 AM on July 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


      Owen Jones has worries. Lots of worries.
      posted by pharm at 2:58 PM on July 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


      Owen Jones seems concerned that Corbyn isn't good enough at playing The Game of Politics and The Media, utterly failing to recognise that his refusal to do so is a large factor in his support.
      posted by Dysk at 12:49 AM on August 1, 2016


      Yes, and? Stirring up a million+ committed supporters counts for zilch in a UK parliamentary election if you can’t motivate the rest of the population to vote for you. That pretty much is *the* major problem the PLP & the non-Corbynite Labour membership has with the Corbynites: Politics is a game you take deadly seriously & Corbyn et al can’t be bothered to play because it goes against their precious principles or something. It’s not that he has a different style that bothers people - if that style was actually effective in taking the fight to the opposition & setting up Labour as a valid alternative in the minds of the people then fantastic! - it’s that his style doesn’t seem to be getting through outside of his committed followers.

      Maybe the polls are wrong. Maybe the PLP / non-left Labour is wrong. Maybe Corbyn can reach out to the electorate and take power in 2020 (or whenever May decides it would be most convenient to engineer a general election). But as things are at the moment, none of these things looks to be the case & unsurprisingly the rest of the Labour party is terrified of a re-run of the 80s, only this time with lots of social media noise full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.
      posted by pharm at 2:49 AM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


      if that style was actually effective in taking the fight to the opposition & setting up Labour as a valid alternative in the minds of the people then fantastic!

      It'd be fantastic if we could try and determine whether this is the case, absent the sabotage of the right wing of the Labour party.
      posted by Dysk at 3:02 AM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


      Jeremy Corbyn and the paranoid style.
      posted by pharm at 3:11 AM on August 1, 2016


      Yes, paranoid to say that mass resignations and a leadership challenge with the stated aim of making the current leader's position untenable might be a contributing factor in the polls here. Absolutely.
      posted by Dysk at 3:33 AM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


      Opinion polling for the next United Kingdom general election.

      Clearly the recent mass resignations are the only thing preventing the inevitable victory of the Corbynites from showing up in the opinion polls. *cough*.

      More realistically, Corbyn has a mountain to climb in order to overcome this deficit, but the Corbyn leadership just doesn’t appear to be very interested in doing the ground work to make that happen. Appeals to the converted aren’t enough but it’s all that they appear to be interested in.
      posted by pharm at 3:59 AM on August 1, 2016


      Dysk, even if everything you say were true, would it make a difference? The Labour party as it stands is unelectable. It either needs a new PP or a new leader. There's no way to change the PP without an election, but changing the leader is relatively easy - Corbyn could probably ask his own terms and get them. So why isn't he doing it?
      posted by Joe in Australia at 4:06 AM on August 1, 2016


      I stumbled across this blog post from January by an academic which suggests one possible reason: Is Corbyn turning Labour into a ‘Democratic Centralist’ Party?
      And what, exactly, is “democratic centralism” I hear you ask?

      It is the form of organization pioneered by Lenin and the Bolsheviks and adopted by all communist and Trotskyist organizations ever since.

      In this model the political party is not about elections or representation in parliament, although they do that, but about creating a vanguard elite ready to seize power on behalf of the “the masses” when “the time comes”.
      Interesting to those of us whose relationships with far left organisations has been blissfully tangential. His answer to the question in the title is "not yet". Though it can be inferred that when the Momentum types say they're less interested in winning parliamentary power than "building a movement", this might be what they're referring to.
      posted by Grangousier at 4:48 AM on August 1, 2016


      Tom Whyman, Twitter's @HealthUntoDeath: On our duty as members of the Labour party in the era of the present crisis
      This piece was originally posted on medium by the left-leaning journalist Gawain Sprout (The Guardian, The Telegraph, Blood and Soil); following a twitterstorm, it has been deleted. Having screengrabbed it in order to mock certain central passages on twitter, I here reproduce it in its entirety.

      We are all of us, reading this, members of the Labour party. The Labour party cannot be escaped: it is everywhere, an as it were sacred duty that forces itself upon us at all times, in each and every one of our actions. I don’t just mean everyone ‘on the left’ here, or even everyone in Britain. I mean every single member of humanity. If you are a human being at all, it is necessary to posit that you are a member of the Labour party. Thus Labour’s fate, is our fate – it is something that, as a species, we all share.

      Why does the Labour party exist? Well, technically, the Labour party was founded in 1900 out of the Trade Union movement – this is what you will read in party histories. But this is not the real reason why the Labour party exists. The Labour party in fact exists to save creation from itself, to redeem the whole created, material world. What existed before the Labour party – and, what exists outside of the Labour party today – tends by itself inevitably to one thing: Tory-ness. Creation is destructive, selfish; it is posh, and elitist. Every objective tendency in creation seeks to brutalise immigrants, to lock up the homeless; the natural order of things wants a less favourable deal for working families; a better one for bankers. Creation wants to privatise schools, and healthcare; it wants to sell off every single one of the state’s assets. Creation hates women, and queers, and all members of ethnic and religious minorities. Creation wants to pursue short-sighted energy policies that will surely, in the long-term, spell environmental disaster; creation is enthusiastic about leaving the EU. Creation is war, it is death, it is plague – and it is constantly coming up with new evils to inflict upon itself.
      posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:09 AM on August 1, 2016


      Stirring up a million+ committed supporters counts for zilch in a UK parliamentary election if you can’t motivate the rest of the population to vote for you.

      We already know the PLPs version of the Labour Party can't.
      posted by Artw at 5:40 AM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


      > The Labour party in fact exists to save creation from itself, to redeem the whole created, material world.

      Um. The Labour Party is The One?

      Nah. It can't dodge bullets.
      posted by Leon at 5:43 AM on August 1, 2016


      We already know the PLPs version of the Labour Party can't.

      The PLP already have. That's what makes them the PLP.
      posted by Grangousier at 5:48 AM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


      Their version of Labour had been a failure electorally for over a decade and will most likely be wiped ou next election thanks to the coup. They are no kind of popular success.
      posted by Artw at 5:52 AM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


      Yep, the Labour party is doomed to irrelevance one way or the other. But the coup wasn't plucking failure from the jaws of electoral success (although a lot of people seem to want to believe that it was), it was a stunningly incompetent attempt to avert a failure that was already inevitable.

      At the very least, though, a leader who was prepared to engage with parliament might be able to put up some kind of opposition to the government.

      But whatever. It's actual Tories all the way down from here on in, and we have to learn how to live in that world.
      posted by Grangousier at 5:58 AM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


      At the very least, though, a leader who was prepared to engage with parliament might be able to put up some kind of opposition to the government.

      If they actually had a leader of that kind waiting in the wings I might have the slightest shred of sympathy for their bullshit, but they didn't, so they killed the party for nothing.
      posted by Artw at 6:56 AM on August 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


      If they actually had a leader of that kind waiting in the wings I might have the slightest shred of sympathy for their bullshit, but they didn't, so they killed the party for nothing.

      The corpse was already rotting from the head down, but otherwise yeah, I have to give you this one.

      This is something that genuinely is the Blairites fault: by eliminating any and all credible opposition to the Blair / Brown leadership within the party they also purged their possible successors.
      posted by pharm at 8:58 AM on August 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


      ps. is it time for a new Brexit thread? I can come up with some links...
      posted by pharm at 8:59 AM on August 1, 2016


      (Ah, someone’s posted the John Lanchester article.)
      posted by pharm at 9:04 AM on August 1, 2016


      It's worth remembering that the interest of the PLP aren't precisely aligned with the interests of the party. The primary interest of a sitting MP is winning re-election in his or her seat. That's far more important to them personally than whether the party wins a national election.

      Accordingly, losing no worse than Ed Miliband in 2005 is an acceptable outcome to the existing PLP. To them that wasn't a failed strategy, it was a successful strategy that secured them their seat. They're very wary of changing the strategy in a "risky" way that might win a national election, but might also worsen the loss.

      That's also why they constantly harp on about the menace of UKIP and the need to appeal to the English/Welsh middle classes, but are indifferent to the near-total loss in Scotland. Their seats aren't in Scotland, so there's no need to have a strategy to win it back.

      It's a mistake to think of the PLP as being a laser-focussed election-winning machine. Trundling along the same path, losing each time no worse each time than last time, is pretty much OK by them.
      posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:33 PM on August 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


      That actually makes the huge act of self-sabotage post-Brexit pretty explicable - nothing could be worse for them than Labour successfully ceasing the moment with their enemy in charge.
      posted by Artw at 10:59 PM on August 1, 2016




      YouGov on a potential Labour party split: The side that splits will lose:
      The levels of support for Labour and a splinter party seem to be roughly the same regardless of which side of the party leaves. In both cases we would see around 20% of the vote going to Labour, about 13-14% going to the splinter group.

      This underlines the advantage of being the faction that keeps control of Labour. There is something more than ideology or leadership appeal here – if the pro-Corbyn faction are left in control of the Labour party they get 21% compared to the rebels on 13%; if Corbyn’s opponents win control of the Labour party they get 19% compared to the Corbyn faction’s 14%...

      The two sides of Labour standing as separate parties win a little more support in total than Labour would standing as a single party. In a proportional electoral system this would be better for them... but in our current First Past the Post electoral system splitting the Labour vote this way would be disastrous for them unless their votes were strongly geographically concentrated.
      posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:39 AM on August 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


      This is sad, really. I really think there's something wrong with Corbyn; he doesn't just make bad decisions, but self-destructive ones. To recap:

      In response to accusations of antisemitism in Oxford University's Labour students' society a report was commissioned ... which was suppressed, because there would be one commissioned by the Labour Party itself. Which was suppressed in its turn, because the party was about to commission a bigger and better report by an independent human rights figure, Sami Chakrabarti, on antisemitism in the Labour Party generally. But that report was transformed into a report on "antisemitism and other forms of racism", and it turned out that its "independent" author had just joined the Labour Party. Lots of people think the Chakrabarti report was soft and mealy-mouthed and (for a report that was originally supposed to be about antisemitism) it hardly mentions the word. Odd.

      Now, in an apparent quid pro quo, Chakrabarti nominated for a peerage. I mean, really? Even if Corbyn had some valid reason for spending the Labour Party's rare nomination opportunities on someone who only joined the party a few months ago, surely he should be able to see how bad it looks. He is just an awful leader in so many ways.
      posted by Joe in Australia at 5:57 PM on August 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


      Although I suspect the Corbyn-Yay!/Corbyn-Grr! dynamic might be going round in circles, the blogger Alex Andreou, who was equally outspoken for and against Corbyn at different times has set out an account of the whole affair which I'm broadly in agreement with. I certainly share his feelings of hurt and betrayal, which led to getting a bit too het up, I suspect. I'm sure there will be those who are very much in disagreement with him, but there we are.
      posted by Grangousier at 10:14 AM on August 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


      I broadly agree with the article, except that I think Owen Smith is worse. I do not for a moment believe he would lead an effective opposition on the policies that actually matter to me. I cannot believe there is nobody in the Labour party with more competence and pragmatism than Corbyn and more personality and progressiveness than Owen "I'm normal, I have a wife and kids" Smith.
      posted by Dysk at 6:10 PM on August 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


      I'm sure there are such people, but nobody with any sense is going to stick their hand up at present. And thanks to Labour's presidential leadership, any potential leader needs to win two battles: the PLP and the general members. The one that should really count is the PLP, but the general members have an effective veto. So you need someone who will inspire the grassroots more than Corbyn (despite the leader's inbuilt advantage of being able to reach the membership) and who is also a current member of the PLP with a lot of friends. That leaves ... basically nobody.

      Look at the Conservatives' method of picking a leader. They have a committee meeting, and that's it. Boom, leader, Our Beloved Daughter in Whom You Will be Pleased. Is she necessarily the best choice? No, but she actually commands the loyalty of their Parliamentary party and can get things done. And if she can't, she can be replaced just as quickly.

      I think Corbyn is a despicable, hateful coward, but that's just me. He might be Jesus with a clipboard, but that doesn't make any difference. Unless Corbyn goes, Labour has only two options: remain a dispirited joke in Parliament, or have an almost clean sweep of sitting MPs. Either of those are electoral suicide; either of those will doom the UK to at least a decade of Conservative rule.
      posted by Joe in Australia at 6:32 PM on August 6, 2016


      The question isn't "Is Corbyn flawed?".The question is "Is Owen Smith less flawed than Corbyn?"
      • Owen Smith does no better in polling than Jeremy Corbyn
      • Owen Smith has the same allegedly unelectable left-wing platform as Corbyn
      • Owen Smith's second referendum policy is massively unpopular with the general public (opposed 2 to 1 by a public that voted for Brexit in 421 out of 574 English and Welsh constituencies).
      • Owen Smith has shown no ability to build a mass movement
      Ironically I think the Labour Right have become what they always accused the Labour Left of being: trapped in the past and devoted to an ideology that the voters are opposed to. Only this time they're trapped in the pre-Brexit world, dreaming of a white knight to lift them onto his mighty steed with powerful arms and carry them off to the EU...
      posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:36 PM on August 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


      Are you trying to be shallow and insulting? Whether the UK is in the EU is a literal matter of life or death for at least one person in this very discussion, and a question of their future or career for others.
      posted by tavella at 11:25 PM on August 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


      Look at the Conservatives' method of picking a leader. They have a committee meeting, and that's it. Boom, leader, Our Beloved Daughter in Whom You Will be Pleased. Is she necessarily the best choice? No, but she actually commands the loyalty of their Parliamentary party and can get things done.

      I don't want a a Labour leader who gets the same things done as Theresa fucking May. "Getting things done" isn't useful in and of itself. Musolini got things done. Very effective. No silly leadership contests.

      Owen Smith is both an idiot and evil. Even if there were nothing else, the fact that he tried to weaponise homophobia as an electoral crutch demonstrates both of these very effectively.
      posted by Dysk at 2:01 AM on August 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


      Yes Minister Brexit special – Sir Humphrey explains all in a new sketch by series creators Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay
      posted by Doktor Zed at 3:41 PM on August 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


      Labour members barred from leadership ballot win right to vote:
      Labour's governing body was not entitled to bar 130,000 people who recently became party members from voting in the upcoming leadership election, a high court judge has ruled.
      posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:02 AM on August 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


      Well, that's going to put the cat amongst the pigeons.

      Actually it will probably make no real difference to the outcome, I think Corbyn will win regardless, but it will mean that those opposed to Corbyn will have yet another reason to feel aggrieved.

      It honestly might have been better for the Pro-Corbyn side if they had remained barred.

      On the downside it means I may have to actually have a bit more of a think about the leadership contest since I may now be eligible to vote.
      posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:17 AM on August 8, 2016


      Owen Smith is both an idiot and evil.

      That's going a bit far isn't it?
      Not that I disagree about his dogwhistle "normal" business when he was opposing Eagle, that was gross and a bigger fuss should have been made.
      I also don't particularly trust him on women's rights / feminism in general.

      I wish Jess Phillips was impartial enough to actually take each candidates feminism cred into balance and write something about it. (Not that's she's in charge of feminism, just that she's written a lot on it)
      But she's so resolutely anti-Corbyn that there'd be no point.

      Anyway, wandered from my point a bit....
      posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:24 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


      Not that I disagree about his dogwhistle "normal" business when he was opposing Eagle, that was gross and a bigger fuss should have been made.

      You can be damn sure May and her media team would crucify him for it had it happened during a GE context rather than a party leadership one. Undermining any claims to electability and competence merely to have a pop at queer people firmly qualifies him for both evil and idiocy in my books.
      posted by Dysk at 4:51 AM on August 8, 2016


      Being to the socially conservative side of Cameron is a pretty poor look for a potential Labour leader as far as I'm concerned, that's for sure. I feel like my choice is between a homophobe with a extremely small chance of a second referendum and someone who has really completely and utterly lost the PLP and inexplicably doesn't feel media outreach is part of his job.
      posted by jaduncan at 10:29 AM on August 8, 2016


      ...and I'm from Brighton. I wasn't, to put it mildly, brought up in a place that loves homophobes. In fact, I think my decision is pretty much made.
      posted by jaduncan at 10:32 AM on August 8, 2016


      MeFi's own Tom Watson has weighed in suggesting that whilst all the new members are maybe not trotsykite entryists they 'are being manipulated by seasoned hard-left operators' and that 'Hard-left “Trotsky entryists” have been “twisting the arms” of young Labour members to shore up Jeremy Corbyn’s control of the party'

      So... there's that.
      I thought we'd moved on from the "all pro-corbyn supporters are trotskists" but it seems not very far.
      posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:57 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


      We’ve been over this: no-one is saying that Corbynites are Trots. What people (including myself) *are* saying is that the Trotskyites are taking full advantage of the pro-Corbyn movement to take power within the Labour party using classic entryist techniques.
      posted by pharm at 7:16 AM on August 9, 2016


      I like the way anyone who describes it as a "coup" rather than a spontaneous series of heartfelt independent resignations is always called "paranoid" or a "conspiracy theorist" (even though the coup plan was in the frigging Daily Telegraph a week before the referendum).

      But a shadowy conspiracy of Trotskyite infiltrators who can control hundreds of thousands of people, hundreds of times more than Militant in its heyday? Nope, nothing paranoid there, entirely reasonable set of beliefs.
      posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:55 AM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


      Ok, I'm more than happy to concede that no one has ever said "all Corbyn supporters are trotskyist"

      But come on, this is all a bit silly isn't it?
      "seasoned hard-left operators"? Where did they get so seasoned? Why didn't they do anything before now?
      I don't think I've ever met a trotskyist. I'd have no idea what their political philosophy is apart from a reasonable aversion to Stalin and ice picks.

      Now admittedly I am not well informed on what the various isms are, politically speaking, nor who the old hands would be.
      But it seems to me that the side accused of entryism is the one taking the party to court to let more people vote. I've never done an entryism, but I think if I did the first thing I'd do would be to try and seize control of the levers of power and then restrict the vote as far as possible?
      Aren't the trotsykite entryist ones the people arguing for candidates to be selected directly by the CLPs, and the other side are the ones who are accused of trying to control candidate selection centrally?
      It just seems like they're not doing entryism right.
      I don't really get it.
      posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:05 AM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]




      Jess Phillips is a bit cross about mayoral selection in the Guardian today.

      Which is.. frustrating, because she mentions Trudeau's 50/50 cabinet, but not Corbyn's majority female Shadow cabinet. Nor does she mention the majority female NEC intake recently.
      Nor that the Labour party has the biggest proportion of female MPs (aside from the green's obviously)

      Instead, her proof of Corbyn's misogyny is that he ignored two texts from her, resulting in few women up for selection (which he doesn't control) and no women chosen to be candidates (which again, he doesn't control).
      posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:24 AM on August 11, 2016


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