British Politics


#613

I’ve been listening to a great podcast called About Race from Renni Eddo-Lodge (https://www.aboutracepodcast.com/), which attempts to unpack racial politics in the UK and analyses a number of different landmark political moments in the UK such as the rise of New Labour or the BNP’s council wins in Barking & Dagenham in 2006. It’s super interesting and very well produced, highly recommended to anyone interested in British politics.

Also, this article on Nigel Farage is amazing https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/nov/25/why-wont-nigel-farage-answer-my-brexit-questions

Also yay Brexit https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/nov/28/uk-significantly-worse-off-under-all-brexit-scenarios-official-forecast-gdp


#614

I absolutely adore Carole Cadwalladr she is an astonishingly good journalist. Her reply to Andrew Neil’s shite through The Mash Report was a thing of beauty.

The article you posted is amazing also.

Renni Eddo-Lodge write why I’m not talking about race with white people? It’s on my Xmas list so I might have to jump into the podcast


#615

There’s been a lot of buzz on Twitter casting doubt on this story – here’s Glenn Greenwald summarising a bunch of them for The Intercept (not my best go-to source, but worth reading the criticism).

I personally have some reservations about Cadwalladr’s work, although I concede that it is mainly from her style rather than the content, which is generally on-the-money. Both on Twitter and in her articles, it’s hard to escape the sense that she is writing about the most important story that there is – almost regardless of the topic.

I suspect that this is just me catching on style over substance, though – Andrew Neil’s comments (which are not the only ones floating out there about her) were appalling.

(P.S. It’s ‘Reni’ with one n!)


#616

I seen someone saying that it’s possible The Guardian could have had this information for a while and have been asked to hold it to coincide with the Mueller investigation to try to catch Manafort out.


#617

You wouldn’t believe it to look at the news, but one of Labour’s heartlands has a new leader and there will be a new First Minister of Wales – Mark Drakeford.

I try not to get too salty about the hand that Wales is dealt in the UK national discourse (i.e. it doesn’t have one and is generally assumed to be the north of England with a worse accent), but I have found the total dereliction of duty in coverage of the leadership campaign around this to be a fairly strong indictment of Wales’ place in the broader UK discourse.

Wales’ local media is weak to the point of feebleness, which means that Wales does not talk about itself except when English media covers it. While Scotland’s Labour leadership elections get some attention, Wales (likely because it is so stolidly Labour) does not get the time of day.

This leads to, frankly, embarassing statements like this (via the BBC):

Mark Drakeford was one of the two candidates to have produced a manifesto.

It’s a total joke.


#618

I’ve just given up on the BBC, and as I don’t have any live TV services and don’t use iPlayer, I’ve stopped paying the license fee. Feels good.

A weird thing that happened a couple of months ago in local politics: I became a council candidate.


#619

Honk if your government is falling apart.

Honk.

But it isn’t all bad news for Theresa May’s government, because the Conservative Party still knows which side their bread is buttered on and many rebels to the Withdrawal Agreement ratification will back the government in Labour’s no-confidence motion tomorrow:


#620

This makes a second referendum look much more likely doesn’t it? Labour probably won’t have the numbers to win the vote of no confidence, and in the event of them losing the vote they will have much less to lose by calling for a second vote.

The Labour left has been dancing around the topic for what seems like political expediency more than anything. They’ve been able to hit the Tories hard on social issues for two years while not coming out for or against a second vote and while that has worked for them, they’re going to have to commit to a stance soon.


#621

It does, but I think there is a real concern of People’s Vote people trying to push their argument too far. I think their approach to bringing Corbyn on-side has reflected a misunderstanding about he conducts himself in the party and, if anything, has decreased the chance of the Labour frontbench being brought around to their side.

There’s something to be said for public pressure, there’s something else for the ardent Remainers doing everything they can to frustrate the push for a General Election that is likely to blow back on them if it is Corbyn’s decision.

Something I find frustrating with some of the media portrayal (and not yourself – I’d agree that I think the time is coming to make a commitment) is that the Labour Party’s position on this has been pretty clear – it is based on the decision made in the September 2018 party conference. Much has been made of Corbyn’s influence on it (and one can argue that he should have taken a more decisive position – but that’s a different argument than one of clarity), but he has stuck to it to an almost dogmatic extent.

I think People’s Vote campaigners have focused on the Westminster bubble (and, thereby, on Corbyn and his team) rather than trying to win the argument among ordinary Labour voters. Polling indicates that party opinion is starting to shift towards Remain more decisively, but I find it deeply frustrating that People’s Vote, no less than Theresa May, are leaving it until the last minute to resolve something that should have been two years in the making.

It does not fill me with confidence about how well they’ll do campaigning for Remain II.


#622

People’s Vote does come across as a New Labour revolt at times. I suspect that the swing towards Remain within both the party and the population has little to do any sort of change in people’s opinions on immigration or the EU, and more to do with the fear that neither party is capable of delivering a deal that leaves the country better off, even in the long term.

People’s Vote is very much the equivalent of the PM’s approval ratings dropping immediately once they take office. It’s an anti-change movement, and as we’ve seen countless times now, positioning yourself as not being the other thing doesn’t engage people. They needed to make the positive case for Remain starting two years ago and no one has.


#623

You both really nicely set out what worries me about the prospect of a second referendum. People’s Vote have done a good job messaging themselves to the already on-board and to wonky politics types (both amateur, enthusiast and professional), but we still haven’t seen convincing messaging about the positives of remain.

Corbyn actually did touch upon the kind of energy they need in his pre-vote statement last night; he did a great job of highlighting how absolutely zero of the current brexit debate has anything to say about tackling the UK’s system problems (which, IMO, directly led to the vote).

Gotta say though, with the confidence motion basically looking like a formality rn, I am kind of angry that labour’s hold out for an election strategy has brewed for this long only to be flushed down the drain (like so much of Patrick’s wife’s coffee…)


#624

Dickhead Boris barefaced lying (again) about not stirring up immigration worries (racism and xenophobia) during the leave campaign.
How is it these politicians can get away with such behaviour, the media is absolutely compromised and with a Tory Government nothing will ever be done.

Is anybody else getting really down with the way the UK is heading, it all feels so futile


#625

i gave up on it a long time ago.

anyway apparently local Tory parties have been prepping candidates for an early election so maybe we can all see the electorate’s contempt for immigrants, disabled people and the poor made manifest one more time before we crash out of the EU and the Tories rig everything in the cleanup in a way that means they’ll never lose power

Edit: that said I still have no idea what the Tories hope to gain with a GE


#626


#627

Good tweet, good tweet


#628

You should see some of the FBPE people on Twitter in how they respond to even PCPEU folks, if the complete disdain they have for people supposedly on their side is anything to go by, they’re not winning over former leave voters in a second referendum.


#629

The People’s Vote lot have no chance while they persist with having the most objectionable voices from New Labour dominate the airwaves pushing their campaign.


#630

who are the objectionable voices in your opinion?


#631

I won’t look to speak for @NotThePars, but I think most folks would point to people like Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell. They are New Labour incarnate and, even if you do read them charitably (and few would do so these days), they presided over a Labour Party that took power and failed to hold it while bartering away the party’s principles.

I’d also, personally, point to folks like Chuka Ummuna (who has a significant role in People’s Vote), who I personally find frustrating as someone who has flip-flopped repeatedly on Brexit and immigration depending on what position is convenient for him at that moment. It makes his current claims of acting from principle hard to swallow.

There’s a great Buzzfeed News article about People’s Vote going around now, discussing the internal schisms within it. There’s a certain amount of hearsay & counter-briefing at play here, but it is interesting.


#632

Add to that you now have folk like Jack Straw and then you’ve got John Major, Anna Soubry, Michael Heseltine and numerous other Conservatives. It’s a who’s who of “which wankers are responsible for making your life worse in the last 30+ years” all telling you the first opportunity many of you have had to give those same people a bloody nose have made the wrong choice and you should rethink it. Good strategy, lads.