British Politics


#446

Are you saying the SNP are rightist just on the basis of this policy?


#447

I’m saying they are unable to see through a fig-leaf of a progressive label on top of the very core of the machinery of Rightist regressive policy (borders to people combined with carceral systems, all sold on top of a racist myth) and their explicit nationalism meant I was always going to be wary of them on borders to start with.

They are far from alone in being duped, but they also need to at least fracture to show there are some Leftists inside who understand what a canary this issue is to so many wider topics. The party needs to get back more Jean Urquharts rather than being happy to back the call to try and wipe out sex workers.

The trouble with calling it “this policy” is how much it touches on. This policy reveals so much about how you see the world and how you wish it to work. This policy is, explicitly, an anti-worker policy that goes against all labour unions in the industry it is about.


#448

Sorry if I’m not understanding but what do you mean by borders?


#449

I am politically against borders; as in the restriction of human migration. Deportation is a crime. Migrant detention centres are a crime. No person is illegal.

Borders as in carceral systems of denying free movement and association from people in order to lock in stolen colonial wealth and ensure supplies of cheap labour for the global capitalist market; they cannot be justified. Citizenship is not a resource to be protected but a badge of membership anyone has a right to. My socialism requires free migration.


#451

Ok. But the SNP are pro-free movment and deportation laws arn’t a devolved power.


#452

Only… they’re not. As I linked to above, “Nordic model” is a carceral policy around denial of free movement as the mechanism of sex worker criminalisation (and is used to both deport people inside the EU via the “immoral” or “gainfully employed” sort of clauses that don’t actually give EU citizens free movement and, far more violently, to deport people out of the EU). You can’t sign up to that without signing on with the violent policies it uses.

This is also not what I’m talk about. Borders are wrong. Making a special club for some restricted movement rights inside the EU and supporting that is not being for the free migration I talked about. It is in fact joining with other ex-colonial powers to help build bigger walls and really hold on tightly to that stolen wealth (while profiteering via globalisation and warmongering). Fortress Europe does not have open borders.


#453

Yes, but the Nordic model can’t work like that in Scotland because those powers are not devolved.


#454

Sorry, I don’t get what you’re trying to say. They already have those carceral pieces in place due to Westminster powers (deportation is already operating). It doesn’t matter that they don’t have devolved powers to change them because the model they voted for requires they stay the same. That doesn’t excuse their policy choice. They have not only voted for implementing the rest of this carceral mess (via the policy choice we’re talking about) but also will be directing local policing etc and so will be working with Westminster to focus on this carceral abuse that makes up the “Scottish model” as they’re so happy to call it.

[Edit to make clear: A policy of criminalisation under an existing regime of deportation is a policy choice that deports people.]

It’s all policy choices that speak volumes to intent. I’m not sure where you’re going with this “the SNP don’t have enough power to be evil” or something (???) but I hope I’ve made my position clear on why this is extremely bad.


#455

I know it’s bad, I said it was at the beginning. Also, as I said before I don’t even vote SNP. I was pretty sure the Scottish government doesn’t have the power to deport people.


#456

Kezia Dugdale quitting could turn out to be the best thing for Labour or the worst thing ever. If it marks the beginning of a restructuring so that it becomes an actual socialist party and not just a bunch of Lib Dems cosplaying as ones then it will be good. and if that’s the case there best bet is to give the top job to Alex Rowley. A pro-Corbyn lefty that isn’t a capital u Unionist (as in the United Kingdom not small u workers union). But if it doesn’t and Jackie “I love the Nuke” Baillie or Anas “I should have been a Tory” Sarwar get the job then they are fucked.


#457

It felt like they could only go up from Jim Murphy, which I assume Dugdale was? Just not exactly much of an improvement from there.


#458

Welp looks like they are fucked. Should be good for the Greens at least.


#459

So, how about that Labour Leadership election?


#461

I was trying to avoid social media, news (and even forums) over the Christmas break to spend more time with family. However, two announcements occurred on Boxing Day which could be the toxic actions of the UK Government to erase the past and control discourse in Britain. I found it especially alarming how these two stories were dropped on Boxing Day when the public would be busy enjoying their time together. I had to write about them and hope to spread awareness.

Please read my Christmas card I wrote where I contextualised how I fear for 2018because of stories like these. Warning though, I reflect on my personal experience with a terror attack earlier this year:

Edit: Updated it with the text as a thread for sharing and to make it easier to read. Please give it a chance and share if you wish. I have never posted something so important to me online before now. Personally, this is the tweet which means the most to me:

It is a response to the news that:

  1. The National Archives, after loaning records between Government Departments, admitted to having ‘lost’ hundreds of files from the 20th Century including the UK’s involvement in Northern Ireland, Russia, The Falklands and Palestine. They also don’t have any copies, so these records (including the entire Zinoviev Letter file) are missing and thus taken away from historians.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/26/government-admits-losing-thousands-of-papers-from-national-archives

  2. Jo Johnson announced new powers from April 2018 for the new “Office for Students” to be able to fine Universities for barring speakers because it “stifles debate”. This has been framed as a “free speech” measure to combat “no-platforming”, however the reality is Universities and student unions have been using this power to turn away those with no credibility, those fueled by hate, those only aiming for a publicity stunt (not discussion) and those so controversial that the safety of the event could not be guaranteed. This goes in stark contrast to the government rules on tackling radicalisation which punishes institutions for not throwing out radicalising voices. Suddenly, as soon as Universities use these tools to also turn away racists, homophobes, transphobes, etc…, the Government wants to discourage them.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-42481329

Don’t let them get away with hiding this information behind the distraction of Christmas cheer: make sure you and others stay informed.


#462

Isn’t it weird how the Prevent Duty (which requires the police be informed about any child who says anything subversive) is not mentioned in this so called “free speech” discussion? It’s almost like the Freeze Peachers aren’t even pretending to play the game and are purely pushing to platform fascists, reactionaries, and other discredited bigots who are currently not invited into academic settings.

Weird that even after buying the mainstream, the Right are still so delicate that their ideas have to be forced upon a captive audience who have not choice but to attend indoctrination. So much for a “free market” where private clubs can invite (and, by extension, not invite as there are only so many slot to fill) whoever they wish.


#463

So some Rightists set up a Corbyn hate account on Twitter to list every single EDM he has signed. Unfortunately, they don’t really have much of a plan beyond being sarcastic and dismissive of basically everything he’s ever attached his name to.

So far we’ve already had the account backed into these corners:

Supporting The Contras (and US backing) as beyond reproach.

How dare MPs seek to ensure anti-abortion extremists don’t divert a bill on human embryo research.

Well when you spread propaganda in another nation, that’s obviously a good thing (I guess “Russian bots” meant something quite different in 1990 :smile:)

Local MPs taking the issues of their constituents seriously? Absurd!

Perhaps they haven’t quite thought all of this through, what with how often the current leader of the opposition was actually on the right side of history.

Edit: Wow, whoever was running the account must have realised the repeated own goals was possibly not what they were going for. RIP in peace! Maybe this was another case of Brandon Lewis deciding to pull the plug on the use of Tory cash to try and astroturf the internet.


#464

It seems like the Conservatives aren’t as capable as the alt-right in America were in conquering social media and spreading their message. I guess the one positive about our antiquated class system is that the upper echelons of the Tory party is still dominated by demented aristocrats who can barely make it through a public appearance without their lizard tongues devouring a reporter.


#465

I don’t think the conservatives are your parallel to the “alt-right” (who are really Neo-Nazis - we should avoid assisting them in their rebranding endeavors). That would be more the EDL or the BNP. Their parallel would be more like the “moderate” wing of the Republican Party, and it’s only natural that they’d completely fail in dealing with the left. Centrists in these times are really not capable of doing anything.

(Of course @Shivoa is more than welcome to correct me if I’m wrong about all of this. I haven’t been following British politics that closely recently.)


#466

It’s definitely a complicated question, particularly when one of the key firms discussed in the context of the Trump campaign is also a big player in the Brexit story – namely, Cambridge Analytica (recently the target of a Guardian exposé). The locus of rightist power in the UK is currently split between a traditional Conservative Party and, theoretically, UKIP (which has numerous personnel links with the UK branch of Breitbart), which likely makes the alliance of convenience seen in the U.S. harder to achieve.

Whether or not we’ll be saying the same thing in 5-10 years is hard to say, though. The current (relative) weakness of the Conservatives politically would have been hard to call 1-2 years ago.


#467

I would compare the Tories to Trump but saying the quiet parts less loudly (which is the radical differentiation of Trump’s current platform - the lack of facade). In much the same way that the GOP have leveraged dog whistles to the far-Right/neo-Nazis (and now have to deal with a major part of their most active base being made up of those people, especially when it comes to anyone under about 50), the Tories have a major problem with trying to manage their own extremists (having only just reintegrated many of the xenophobes who split off to back UKIP - BNP in suits - and cost the UK access to the EU and an open border with Ireland to win back).

Much as the GOP isn’t the Tea Party but is very much now lead by people who are beholden to them (and the more overt fascists of the far-Right), the Tories are not all fascists but the leadership is now controlled by that wing. The UK’s hostile environment for migrants has been building up for years under the directions of May. The UN have been blocked from investigating the human rights abuses going on. Activists are threatened with life in prison for protesting (being charged under counter-terrorism laws).