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GORDONSMITH7

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Off the top of my small heid, factually, I have watched day by day over the past 4 years, daily attacks, smears and bastard lies from the billionaire press, Sun, Daily Mail ,Express,Telegraph, free give away Evening Standard, Tory endorsing rag owned by Russian businessmen , ex KGB , billionaire, oligarch, Alexander Yevgenievich Lebedev, and edited by George Osbourne gettting his £700,000 from him and £650,000 for 1, yes 1 days works for Blackrock,the world's largest fund manager.
The media, including the crappy BBC and Sky News, attacked the man and his party unrerelentously. This cannae effect certain folk, dinnae be daft.
IRA supporter, false, used by the gutter press and by the anti working class clowns, supporter of Middle Eastern terrorists,false.
In the bastard Sun I remember decades ago attacking Tony Benn when he was going for Labour Party leadership with a grotesque cartoon of him, with Veggie Benn as headline .Fuck me that was decades ago. History repeats.

The gutter mob obviously would write shite to try to influence workers .

The splendid Ewan MacCall RIP. Kent the score during the biggest State intervention to crush the Miners from Scotland to Kent. I guess many youngsters on here have not a ingling what solidarity means. I thank god till my dying day I will do.


The attacks have started. Blairite fuckallsters out in force enabled by the media, all the shite mentioned above.
Yesterday Blairite , Alan Johnson, BBC paid stooge with Portillio on the crappy pastiche of real politic.
What do these Blairites want. I know what the fuckers want, a return to Blairism.
Yesterday on crappy Morning BBC thang, Labour Blairites Steven Kinnock and Alilison McGovern were given free resign to attack Corbyn. Both were leaders of the Chicken Coup to get rid of him. Both appeared on Channel 4 news 12 hours latter. Kinnock had selective amnesia of his own father losing 2 Elections. Oh well doesnae matter

The right wing Media want a return to a compliant Labour Party a la Blair. No way as long as I breath.
From what I remember myself and Gareth were opposed to another Referendum. Which cost Labour dearly.

I have read both the splendid reads òn the Election threads. My good amigo Alan Woods like myself a Marxist in the Labour Party, though a million times better at analysing the reality of the here and now.
Watch, analyise say fuck off , but say anything which is important to you imo.


BIG G
 

Smurf

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I now want an independent Scotland with progressive policies similar to scandanivia. However, Labour can't win in the UK with a leader like Corbyn. I said so on here and you challenged me on that. You list some (just some as IMO there's many more too) reasons yourself on why the election of a Corbyn type manifesto is hugely difficult.

However, compare and contrast with Farage. He too had all the media against him. The leadership of the Tory party and the government did everything to diss him. However, the absolute prick found a way of resonating with a huge chunk of the electorate. Corbyn couldn't. Why not?

I would have preferred a more radical Labour Government 1997-2010 most definitely but I'd much rather live in a Blairite Labour UK government than a Cameron/May/Johnson Tory government that's for sure.
 

aggie

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@Smurf makes a good point, which put another way is essentially: are Labour purists really interested in government?

It's in my opinion not good enough any more to continually respond to the question by crying "Red Tory" or "Blairite" etc. It's starting to look like a denial of the reality, which is this: the sort of policy positions Corbyn/Momentum are advocating simply will not fly with the UK electorate in the 21st century. There is a lot in the manifesto that will, but the broader policy position – and let's be honest, we are talking about unashamed Marxism – has been comprehensively rejected by every demographic with enough life experience to know that there's more to life/politics than idealism (sorry, young uns, but there it is). Carrying on saying that you "won the argument" and would have won the election if it wasn't for Laura Kuenssberg or whatever makes you as patronising to your beloved "working class" as any Tory has ever been.

The reason for this, in my humble opinion, is that the Corbyn wing of Labour is still thinking about a mythical working class which in reality disappeared as a meaningful constituency many years ago. I mean, folk are still going on about miners etc. Get real. The working class understood as a currently meaningful constituency is made up of dispersed workers in call centres, shops, admin, warehouses, estate agents, etc – point being that alongside the tiny, vanishing industrial constituency, you have thousands of people who are in what would previously have been understood as being white-collar jobs. The 70s rhetoric just doesn't speak to them, and the 70s outcomes you're peddling don't either.

Don't get me wrong – I want neoliberalism done away with too, as I believe it's injurious to human life: job precarity, zero hour contracts, astronomic rents, automated call systems, round the clock emails, feeling you're less attractive or successful than your Facebook friends, Kafka-esque welfare bureaucracy, the way they force you to compete rather than co-operate, bombardment with images of physical perfection, the absence of social bonds, the feeling that you're a commodity treading water to maintain its value in the face of the ageing process, doing endless expensive courses to update your 'skills', Twitter rage, SPAM from organised criminals, the sense that everything is run by wealthy people whose names you don't know and that your politicians are mere puppets, the marketisation of dating, more passwords than you can possibly remember, the sense that your life is going nowhere, anti-depressants, psychotherapy, Viagra, Valium, plastic surgery, liposuction, Instagram narcissism, the fear of growing old and dying alone, the way time seems to have stopped so that your life no longer has a narrative, relieving stress through alcohol, drugs, and junk food and then anxiously following the fad diet to undo the damage done by the alcohol, drugs and junk food, restlessness, boredom, depression, ennui, paranoia, mass surveillance, panic attacks, anorexia, bulimia, revenge porn, self-harm, suicide, mental health services run by the corporations that are making you mentally ill..and on and on. I am with you, the world is a bleak place when you look at it objectively.

But if it is going to get better, we need to look forward, not back. I'm interested in the things, for instance, being written by Andrew Yang, David Graeber, Josh Cohen, who are all trying to envisage a post-work future in which we harness the forces that capitalism has realised – AI, automation, etc – but harness them to progress us all. The fact is that what @egb_hibs used to argue tirelessly was right (if I remember correctly): capitalism is not so much an ideology in itself, but a mechanism, and a necessary one at that. The fact that the "smash capitalism" stuff reaches mainly students should tell you all you need to know. Everyone else understands that a healthy private sector is wholly necessary but needs effectively demarcated, not obliterated, which is why the likes of Momentum-scribes/commentators like Ash Sarkar ("I'm literally a communist") are rightly seen as crackpots.

However, this kind of progress can't happen overnight, and crucially can't happen unless you're in power, FFS. The only change the public at large will buy is incremental.

Crying "realpolitik" as if that's a bad thing puts you firmly in the ideologically-pure-but-shouting-from-the-sidelines position. If you're happy with that, fine, bash on. But if not, you better get real, and fast. Learn the lessons of the past: e.g. only once Kinnock got rid of Militant Tendency did the party begin to morph into a more relevant proposition. Only once Blair/Brown identified that only a proposition that was private-sector friendly could win did they rethink it and win the levers of power. IMPORTANT NOTE: while I disagree with New Labour's essentially bureaucratising solution, the fact is that their offer spoke not only to "big business" but crucially also to vast swathes of the electorate, including the middle class you so despise (even while most of the Momentum types are middle class as fcuk), and, believe it or not, the working classes who just mugged you off in spectacular fashion.

So, all that said, I ask again: what do the Labour zealots want? a) the ability to shape the future, or b) to howl at the moon while the future shapes you?
 

Daddy 'O' Hibee

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Agree with Smurf, that was a very interesting and excellent read @ Aggie.
 

HenryLB

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Stuff that the vile Red tory Blairite scum managed to get done

Lifted 600,000 kids and one million pensioners out of poverty
Employed 85,000 more nurses and cut NHS waiting times by over 80%
Began the largest ever investment in school facilities the country has seen and doubled funidng for every pupil
Added 36,000 new teachers
Opened 2200 Sure Start centres
Introduced minimum wage while halving long-term unemployment
Increased child benefit, introduced child tax credits, and brought in Winter Fuel Payments
Enshrined workers rights to statutory holidays and paternity leave
Brought peace to NI
Doubled GiftAid and overseas aid
Devolved parliaments in Scotland and Wales
Scrapped Section 28 and introduced civil partnerships


Stuff that the kindly Corbyn government of the people will get done

Fuck all.






BTW, excellent post Aggie.
 

Bobby_Combe

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Stuff that the vile Red tory Blairite scum managed to get done

Lifted 600,000 kids and one million pensioners out of poverty
Employed 85,000 more nurses and cut NHS waiting times by over 80%
Began the largest ever investment in school facilities the country has seen and doubled funidng for every pupil
Added 36,000 new teachers
Opened 2200 Sure Start centres
Introduced minimum wage while halving long-term unemployment
Increased child benefit, introduced child tax credits, and brought in Winter Fuel Payments
Enshrined workers rights to statutory holidays and paternity leave
Brought peace to NI
Doubled GiftAid and overseas aid
Devolved parliaments in Scotland and Wales
Scrapped Section 28 and introduced civil partnerships


Stuff that the kindly Corbyn government of the people will get done

Fuck all.






BTW, excellent post Aggie.
Excellent post yourself, HenryLB. :sm023: :sm023: :sm023:
 

GORDONSMITH7

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[
@Smurf makes a good point, which put another way is essentially: are Labour purists really interested in government?

It's in my opinion not good enough any more to continually respond to the question by crying "Red Tory" or "Blairite" etc. It's starting to look like a denial of the reality, which is this: the sort of policy positions Corbyn/Momentum are advocating simply will not fly with the UK electorate in the 21st century. There is a lot in the manifesto that will, but the broader policy position – and let's be honest, we are talking about unashamed Marxism – has been comprehensively rejected by every demographic with enough life experience to know that there's more to life/politics than idealism (sorry, young uns, but there it is). Carrying on saying that you "won the argument" and would have won the election if it wasn't for Laura Kuenssberg or whatever makes you as patronising to your beloved "working class" as any Tory has ever been.

The reason for this, in my humble opinion, is that the Corbyn wing of Labour is still thinking about a mythical working class which in reality disappeared as a meaningful constituency many years ago. I mean, folk are still going on about miners etc. Get real. The working class understood as a currently meaningful constituency is made up of dispersed workers in call centres, shops, admin, warehouses, estate agents, etc – point being that alongside the tiny, vanishing industrial constituency, you have thousands of people who are in what would previously have been understood as being white-collar jobs. The 70s rhetoric just doesn't speak to them, and the 70s outcomes you're peddling don't either.

Don't get me wrong – I want neoliberalism done away with too, as I believe it's injurious to human life: job precarity, zero hour contracts, astronomic rents, automated call systems, round the clock emails, feeling you're less attractive or successful than your Facebook friends, Kafka-esque welfare bureaucracy, the way they force you to compete rather than co-operate, bombardment with images of physical perfection, the absence of social bonds, the feeling that you're a commodity treading water to maintain its value in the face of the ageing process, doing endless expensive courses to update your 'skills', Twitter rage, SPAM from organised criminals, the sense that everything is run by wealthy people whose names you don't know and that your politicians are mere puppets, the marketisation of dating, more passwords than you can possibly remember, the sense that your life is going nowhere, anti-depressants, psychotherapy, Viagra, Valium, plastic surgery, liposuction, Instagram narcissism, the fear of growing old and dying alone, the way time seems to have stopped so that your life no longer has a narrative, relieving stress through alcohol, drugs, and junk food and then anxiously following the fad diet to undo the damage done by the alcohol, drugs and junk food, restlessness, boredom, depression, ennui, paranoia, mass surveillance, panic attacks, anorexia, bulimia, revenge porn, self-harm, suicide, mental health services run by the corporations that are making you mentally ill..and on and on. I am with you, the world is a bleak place when you look at it objectively.

But if it is going to get better, we need to look forward, not back. I'm interested in the things, for instance, being written by Andrew Yang, David Graeber, Josh Cohen, who are all trying to envisage a post-work future in which we harness the forces that capitalism has realised – AI, automation, etc – but harness them to progress us all. The fact is that what @egb_hibs used to argue tirelessly was right (if I remember correctly): capitalism is not so much an ideology in itself, but a mechanism, and a necessary one at that. The fact that the "smash capitalism" stuff reaches mainly students should tell you all you need to know. Everyone else understands that a healthy private sector is wholly necessary but needs effectively demarcated, not obliterated, which is why the likes of Momentum-scribes/commentators like Ash Sarkar ("I'm literally a communist") are rightly seen as crackpots.

However, this kind of progress can't happen overnight, and crucially can't happen unless you're in power, FFS. The only change the public at large will buy is incremental.

Crying "realpolitik" as if that's a bad thing puts you firmly in the ideologically-pure-but-shouting-from-the-sidelines position. If you're happy with that, fine, bash on. But if not, you better get real, and fast. Learn the lessons of the past: e.g. only once Kinnock got rid of Militant Tendency did the party begin to morph into a more relevant proposition. Only once Blair/Brown identified that only a proposition that was private-sector friendly could win did they rethink it and win the levers of power. IMPORTANT NOTE: while I disagree with New Labour's essentially bureaucratising solution, the fact is that their offer spoke not only to "big business" but crucially also to vast swathes of the electorate, including the middle class you so despise (even while most of the Momentum types are middle class as fcuk), and, believe it or not, the working classes who just mugged you off in spectacular fashion.

So, all that said, I ask again: what do the Labour zealots want? a) the ability to shape the future, or b) to howl at the moon while the future shapes you?
let's be honest, we are talking about unashamed Marxism.
Let's be honest indeed crying 'unashamed Marxism' ' they will take us back to the 70's' repeated ad nausium by MSM is a denial of reality. They don't beleive it but know exactly who they are aiming this nonsense at and why.

General election: Labour’s spending plans backed by more than 160 economists and academics

Corbyn’s party has ‘serious programme’ to deal with Britain’s problems, say leading experts
Labour has received the firm backing of 163 prominent economists who say the party understands the nation’s deep-seated problems and has devised a “serious programme” for dealing with them.

In a letter published in the Financial Times, the group said Labour’s plans to invest in homes, schools and infrastructure make “basic economic sense”, partly because borrowing costs are at a historic low.
They called for a Labour government to urgently reform Britain’s economy which has, for too long, prioritised consumption over investment, short-term financial returns over long-term innovation, rising asset values over rising wages, and deficit reduction over the quality of public services.

The group, which includes professor David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, and Victoria Chick, emeritus professor of economics at University College London, savaged the record of the Conservative and coalition governments.

“Corporate investment has stagnated. Average earnings are still lower than in 2008. A gulf has arisen between London and the South East and the rest of the country. And public services are under intolerable strain – which the economic costs of a hard Brexit would only make worse.”


The government must step in to invest where the private sector has failed to, directing capital towards the rapid decarbonisation of energy, transport, housing, industry and farming, they said.

“As the IMF has acknowledged, when interest payments are low and investment raises economic growth, public debt is sustainable.

“At the same time, we need a serious attempt to raise wages and productivity. A higher minimum wage can help to do this, alongside tighter regulation of the worst practices in the gig economy.”

While some sections of the media have portrayed Jeremy Corbyn’s plans as radical, the 163 economists who signed the letter pointed out that a number of Labour’s proposals are considered orthodox in other wealthy social democratic countries.

Germany has a successful national investment bank, for example, and most European countries – unlike the UK – give workers some form of representation on boards and a stake in their employer.

Historically low interest rates mean that Labour’s plans to invest in homes, schools and infrastructure makes “basic economic sense”, say signatories
General election: Labour’s spending plans backed by more than 160 economists and academics
Corbyn’s party has ‘serious programme’ to deal with Britain’s problems, say leading experts

Labour announces £150bn of new investment in schools and hospitals
Germany has a successful national investment bank, for example, and most European countries – unlike the UK – give workers some form of representation on boards and a stake in their employer.

The UK’s low rate of tax on corporate profits, which the Labour party has pledged to raise back to where it was in 2010, is an “outlier”, the economists wrote.

“As economists, and people who work in various fields of economic policy, we have looked closely at the economic prospectuses of the political parties.

“It seems clear to us that the Labour party has not only understood the deep problems we face, but has devised serious proposals for dealing with them.

“We believe it deserves to form the next government.”

Wide eyed eminent Economists howling at the moon too!

BIG G
 
Last edited:

GORDONSMITH7

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I see Blair making his prouncements on National news this morning and tonight, imploring the feeble Blairite MP's to take back the Party from the wide eyed far Left fanatics. Sorry mate you have form. Are he and his Blarite (sic) rump going to do such? I do not thinks so. It is fashionable to call these chancers, Moderate, sensible etc. Blair is a war criminal. I am fucked if I know why he still is allowed to carry a Party card.

BIG G
 

paigntonhibby

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Anybody else but Blair and it might have carried a bit more gravitas, as far as Marxism is concerned forget it, you either moderate your policies and get elected or stay in opposition and howl at the fuckin moon
 

Gareth

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There’s much of interest here Aggie, but lets clear one thing up, this was relatively radical social democracy, nothing close to Marxism. Most of the talking heads claiming it is clearly have no idea what Marxism is, or if they do they are using age old red scare tactics. You know that! The paper by I think Peter Ramsay that you complimented on another thread makes that very point, what is portrayed as left wind radicalism here is pretty mainstream in many other nations.

I also think you’re a bit dismissive re demographic issues. If it’s the yougov poll then for those under 39 most people preferred this to any other offer. I think some deep reflection is necessary but when individual issues are polled the public strongly favour the Labour manifesto, so the question is why that wasn’t enough? And the media certainly did have a role to play, you can’t simply dismiss that. Buts its more than that. The internal machinations of Labour on brexit were a big issue down south, and here the same centrist evangelical remainers that are attacking Corbyn now are the ones that pushed him, forced him towards a remain position which sealed the elections fate. And I accept, regardless of the brutal assassination on Corbyn, he also ‘played badly’ in opinion polling.

So to social class. Here I think you are simply wrong. The whole focus on the gig economy, on for example sport direct warehouse workers suggested Labour were far from wed to a mythical industrial past. The question of low pay and of workers rights had nothing to do with the industrial past, it was very much rooted in the economic present of insecurity and precarity. Incidentally, I see no problem in reminding people of the Tories record in destroying working class industrial communities and then leaving them to rot, especially as I think it likely they’ll be doing a version of this again.

I think you’re description of neoliberalism is bang on Aggie and also that Graeber in particular is quite interesting on the future. This is also something trade unions have been working on, how to more evenly share out the benefits of technology. Its also something implicit in much of the Labour manifesto incidentally. But I think you’re wrong on capitalism more broadly. It is not a simple organisational mechanism, it is an understanding of both the economic system and the social relations that are required to maintain it. If socialism is an ideology then so much capitalism be, given the inter-relationship of social and economic forces in each. To think otherwise is an attempt to naturalise capitalism, to remove it from the power that sustains it. So again, we move to the manifesto. It did not propose the end of the private sector, it simply said that some natural monopolies should be made public. Why is that ‘idealism’ and not a practical perspective based in part on what works in many other countries?

So on to how we get change. You take the incremental approach, based historically on the idea that people are naturally risk averse. Doesn’t brexit question that? Doesn’t the independence movement question that. These are not incremental changes but major ruptures in how the state behaves, indeed what the state is.

I’m a bit surprised at your defence of realpolitik. Realpolitik has long been the excuse used by people who don’t want change, or want minor changes while leaving the main intact. Its used to justify everything and anything. So yes we have to deal with the political world as we find it, and we have to make some accommodations with what we disagree with, but when power becomes the political philosophy, and the politics is simply a means to maintain power then I think you cease to be advocates of change, or fairness, in fact you have become Tories who are much more open that the pursuit of power is the aim rather than the means. You ask at the end what the ‘zealots’ want. As you know I’m not a labour supporter but I think it reasonable to have a series of principles for the society you want to see and to work towards them (your howling at the moon I suppose) rather than make so many compromises with your principles that you become effectively a system manager potting a steady path towards nowhere in particular but a path that means you stay in power
 

paigntonhibby

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There’s much of interest here Aggie, but lets clear one thing up, this was relatively radical social democracy, nothing close to Marxism. Most of the talking heads claiming it is clearly have no idea what Marxism is, or if they do they are using age old red scare tactics. You know that! The paper by I think Peter Ramsay that you complimented on another thread makes that very point, what is portrayed as left wind radicalism here is pretty mainstream in many other nations.

I also think you’re a bit dismissive re demographic issues. If it’s the yougov poll then for those under 39 most people preferred this to any other offer. I think some deep reflection is necessary but when individual issues are polled the public strongly favour the Labour manifesto, so the question is why that wasn’t enough? And the media certainly did have a role to play, you can’t simply dismiss that. Buts its more than that. The internal machinations of Labour on brexit were a big issue down south, and here the same centrist evangelical remainers that are attacking Corbyn now are the ones that pushed him, forced him towards a remain position which sealed the elections fate. And I accept, regardless of the brutal assassination on Corbyn, he also ‘played badly’ in opinion polling.

So to social class. Here I think you are simply wrong. The whole focus on the gig economy, on for example sport direct warehouse workers suggested Labour were far from wed to a mythical industrial past. The question of low pay and of workers rights had nothing to do with the industrial past, it was very much rooted in the economic present of insecurity and precarity. Incidentally, I see no problem in reminding people of the Tories record in destroying working class industrial communities and then leaving them to rot, especially as I think it likely they’ll be doing a version of this again.

I think you’re description of neoliberalism is bang on Aggie and also that Graeber in particular is quite interesting on the future. This is also something trade unions have been working on, how to more evenly share out the benefits of technology. Its also something implicit in much of the Labour manifesto incidentally. But I think you’re wrong on capitalism more broadly. It is not a simple organisational mechanism, it is an understanding of both the economic system and the social relations that are required to maintain it. If socialism is an ideology then so much capitalism be, given the inter-relationship of social and economic forces in each. To think otherwise is an attempt to naturalise capitalism, to remove it from the power that sustains it. So again, we move to the manifesto. It did not propose the end of the private sector, it simply said that some natural monopolies should be made public. Why is that ‘idealism’ and not a practical perspective based in part on what works in many other countries?

So on to how we get change. You take the incremental approach, based historically on the idea that people are naturally risk averse. Doesn’t brexit question that? Doesn’t the independence movement question that. These are not incremental changes but major ruptures in how the state behaves, indeed what the state is.

I’m a bit surprised at your defence of realpolitik. Realpolitik has long been the excuse used by people who don’t want change, or want minor changes while leaving the main intact. Its used to justify everything and anything. So yes we have to deal with the political world as we find it, and we have to make some accommodations with what we disagree with, but when power becomes the political philosophy, and the politics is simply a means to maintain power then I think you cease to be advocates of change, or fairness, in fact you have become Tories who are much more open that the pursuit of power is the aim rather than the means. You ask at the end what the ‘zealots’ want. As you know I’m not a labour supporter but I think it reasonable to have a series of principles for the society you want to see and to work towards them (your howling at the moon I suppose) rather than make so many compromises with your principles that you become effectively a system manager potting a steady path towards nowhere in particular but a path that means you stay in power
Didnae realise I was a talking head used tae like them
 

GORDONSMITH7

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There’s much of interest here Aggie, but lets clear one thing up, this was relatively radical social democracy, nothing close to Marxism. Most of the talking heads claiming it is clearly have no idea what Marxism is, or if they do they are using age old red scare tactics. You know that! The paper by I think Peter Ramsay that you complimented on another thread makes that very point, what is portrayed as left wind radicalism here is pretty mainstream in many other nations.

I also think you’re a bit dismissive re demographic issues. If it’s the yougov poll then for those under 39 most people preferred this to any other offer. I think some deep reflection is necessary but when individual issues are polled the public strongly favour the Labour manifesto, so the question is why that wasn’t enough? And the media certainly did have a role to play, you can’t simply dismiss that. Buts its more than that. The internal machinations of Labour on brexit were a big issue down south, and here the same centrist evangelical remainers that are attacking Corbyn now are the ones that pushed him, forced him towards a remain position which sealed the elections fate. And I accept, regardless of the brutal assassination on Corbyn, he also ‘played badly’ in opinion polling.

So to social class. Here I think you are simply wrong. The whole focus on the gig economy, on for example sport direct warehouse workers suggested Labour were far from wed to a mythical industrial past. The question of low pay and of workers rights had nothing to do with the industrial past, it was very much rooted in the economic present of insecurity and precarity. Incidentally, I see no problem in reminding people of the Tories record in destroying working class industrial communities and then leaving them to rot, especially as I think it likely they’ll be doing a version of this again.

I think you’re description of neoliberalism is bang on Aggie and also that Graeber in particular is quite interesting on the future. This is also something trade unions have been working on, how to more evenly share out the benefits of technology. Its also something implicit in much of the Labour manifesto incidentally. But I think you’re wrong on capitalism more broadly. It is not a simple organisational mechanism, it is an understanding of both the economic system and the social relations that are required to maintain it. If socialism is an ideology then so much capitalism be, given the inter-relationship of social and economic forces in each. To think otherwise is an attempt to naturalise capitalism, to remove it from the power that sustains it. So again, we move to the manifesto. It did not propose the end of the private sector, it simply said that some natural monopolies should be made public. Why is that ‘idealism’ and not a practical perspective based in part on what works in many other countries?

So on to how we get change. You take the incremental approach, based historically on the idea that people are naturally risk averse. Doesn’t brexit question that? Doesn’t the independence movement question that. These are not incremental changes but major ruptures in how the state behaves, indeed what the state is.

I’m a bit surprised at your defence of realpolitik. Realpolitik has long been the excuse used by people who don’t want change, or want minor changes while leaving the main intact. Its used to justify everything and anything. So yes we have to deal with the political world as we find it, and we have to make some accommodations with what we disagree with, but when power becomes the political philosophy, and the politics is simply a means to maintain power then I think you cease to be advocates of change, or fairness, in fact you have become Tories who are much more open that the pursuit of power is the aim rather than the means. You ask at the end what the ‘zealots’ want. As you know I’m not a labour supporter but I think it reasonable to have a series of principles for the society you want to see and to work towards them (your howling at the moon I suppose) rather than make so many compromises with your principles that you become effectively a system manager potting a steady path towards nowhere in particular but a path that means you stay in power
Bloody excellent, thorough analysis my good young amigo. No less than I would expect @Gareth. A pint of Black coming your way outside the Iona (weather permitting) when you venture to the People's Republic from way out West next.

BIG G
 

aggie

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Great response, @Gareth (as ever). Let me try and clarify a few points, as regards my own position/opinion.

There’s much of interest here Aggie, but lets clear one thing up, this was relatively radical social democracy, nothing close to Marxism. Most of the talking heads claiming it is clearly have no idea what Marxism is, or if they do they are using age old red scare tactics. You know that! The paper by I think Peter Ramsay that you complimented on another thread makes that very point, what is portrayed as left wind radicalism here is pretty mainstream in many other nations.
Okay, this is a fair point and you're right – I do know that. But what I'm trying to get at in my post is how the public perceive the agenda. So when I said "there's a lot that will fly", I meant it – I imagine plenty of Conservative voters would support renationalisation of the railways, for instance (as would I). But you have to take into account the broader context within which these policies are put forward: a) Corbyn and McDonnell (whom I like better than Corbyn, actually - he's at least having the conversations surrounding UBI, etc) are Marxists, whether you want to admit it or not. The latter has openly cited Lenin, Trotsky and Marx as his most significant intellectual influences, and is literally quoted as saying "Look, I'm straight, I'm honest with people: I'm a Marxist." So in the same way as one half of the electorate is deeply sceptical about Johnson's motives, at least another half is going to be similarly sceptical of Corbyn and Johnson's. So that b) when you put forward a manifesto that, as you rightly state, contains much straightforward social democracy, but then also inexplicably decide that you'll include (at least a de facto) nationalisation of broadband, then you are going to get people having allergic reactions – this is not something that has previously been in public ownership (ie railways, utilities), so it's only going to intensify the impression of communism-by-stealth, is it not? (For the record, I consider broadband to be a public utility that at some point should be free to all, but I'm in the business here of trying to sketch out what will play, and what won't.) It's at the very least a dumb political move.

I also think you’re a bit dismissive re demographic issues. If it’s the yougov poll then for those under 39 most people preferred this to any other offer. I think some deep reflection is necessary but when individual issues are polled the public strongly favour the Labour manifesto, so the question is why that wasn’t enough? And the media certainly did have a role to play, you can’t simply dismiss that. Buts its more than that. The internal machinations of Labour on brexit were a big issue down south, and here the same centrist evangelical remainers that are attacking Corbyn now are the ones that pushed him, forced him towards a remain position which sealed the elections fate. And I accept, regardless of the brutal assassination on Corbyn, he also ‘played badly’ in opinion polling.
So? You are making a lot in your post of "genuine convictions" etc etc, so why did Corbyn not stick to his "Lexit" guns then? Well, of course, because he knew he'd alienate a large chunk of his electorate. That this played out as making him look like a prevaricator is somewhat by the by – at the end of the day, what was this effort on his part if not an example of the realpolitik you are so implacably against? That it ultimately failed doesn't alter that fact.

So to social class. Here I think you are simply wrong. The whole focus on the gig economy, on for example sport direct warehouse workers suggested Labour were far from wed to a mythical industrial past. The question of low pay and of workers rights had nothing to do with the industrial past, it was very much rooted in the economic present of insecurity and precarity. Incidentally, I see no problem in reminding people of the Tories record in destroying working class industrial communities and then leaving them to rot, especially as I think it likely they’ll be doing a version of this again.
We'll have to disagree here, then, inasmuch as I'll say, okay, that may be so, but IMO they manifestly failed to articulate that rhetorically. Not sure what it looks like through in Glasvegas with you, but through here at Edinburgh Uni I cringe daily at the "activists" giving it "comrade" this and "proletariat" that. As to your incidental point, perhaps I might make a somewhat related but also incidental point on that. As an SNP voter (for the one, obvious reason), I myself sometimes recoil from the "Tories BAD" rhetoric the SNP trots out, a lot more than I do from the usual "SNP BAD" tropes that are trotted out against them. I agree the Tories record from the 70s/80s should not be forgotten, but it was 50 years ago now – shouldn't both parties place more emphasis on what they're offering for the future, as opposed to what the other lot did half a century ago? Or at least I'd like them to, which is I guess the more general point I'm making. Both points of emphasis create a sense of a politics still responding to conditions that are long since obsolete.

I think you’re description of neoliberalism is bang on Aggie and also that Graeber in particular is quite interesting on the future. This is also something trade unions have been working on, how to more evenly share out the benefits of technology. Its also something implicit in much of the Labour manifesto incidentally. But I think you’re wrong on capitalism more broadly. It is not a simple organisational mechanism, it is an understanding of both the economic system and the social relations that are required to maintain it. If socialism is an ideology then so much capitalism be, given the inter-relationship of social and economic forces in each. To think otherwise is an attempt to naturalise capitalism, to remove it from the power that sustains it. So again, we move to the manifesto. It did not propose the end of the private sector, it simply said that some natural monopolies should be made public. Why is that ‘idealism’ and not a practical perspective based in part on what works in many other countries?
Explain China to me, then? Who are currently the world's most successful, dynamic capitalists? The communists in China. Are they operating two ideologies simultaneously?

Or actually, perhaps I can put it another way by altering my argument a little – that capitalism is not so much a mechanism imposed by ideologies, but more a kind of religious practice imposed by ideologies, be those ideologies communism, neoliberalism or anything else (incidentally, doesn't the fact that the word is often qualified support my thesis here? i.e. "capitalism" is often referred to by its breed, as it were: "neoliberal capitalism", "authoritarian capitalism", etc).
Anyway, on the religion thing: Marx accused religion of being "the opium of the masses", distracting them from capitalist exploitation. But capitalism has steadily undermined religion by reliably promising that the future will in fact be materially better, and not because of divine intervention but because of the manmade market.
IMO Marx is at his most interesting when he discusses capitalism as though it itself IS a religion. Commodities, he says, are not just objects with a utilitarian value, furthering self-interest, but a fetish - "a queer thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties." There is something very odd about the commodity: an iPhone is not just something you use to contact your friends, but neither is it a status symbol, like a sceptre to a King. It is as though it is magical.
I'm impatient with people who explain capitalism as greed or self-interest. Yes, there is a lot of that, but so much of what the archetypal capitalist does is contrary to self-interest: he will work and work for more and more wealth, beyond the point of it being of any tangible material advantage to him - even if this means dropping dead of a stress-induced heart attack at 40. If is as though profit has a redemptive qualify for which no sacrifice is too great.
To be a true critic of capitalism you perhaps have to understand it as more like a religious value-system than a means of rich people enjoying a comfortable life. We can't let go of capitalism because we all - even the left - believe in the idea that with money you can achieve a sacred self-actualisation - they just believe the opportunity to do so should be extended to all social groups. In fact, perhaps the postmodern left believe in capitalism more deeply than anyone.
Anyway, I digress: my point is (although I concede it's very woolly and ill-thought-through – in all honesty I'm still trying to think all this out!) that a system of exchange that we might understand as being called "capitalism" is not an inherently bad thing, and could even be relatively benign if the system of values governing it were different. Put simply, if the possessing of currency were not seen as an end in itself by both right and left, because the idea that it solves all problems was discredited, then we might begin to forge our way into the future more coherently.
Sorry, that is an egregious ramble, but I'd appreciate your thoughts on this Gareth.

So on to how we get change. You take the incremental approach, based historically on the idea that people are naturally risk averse. Doesn’t brexit question that? Doesn’t the independence movement question that. These are not incremental changes but major ruptures in how the state behaves, indeed what the state is.
Good point, well made. I concede that.

I’m a bit surprised at your defence of realpolitik. Realpolitik has long been the excuse used by people who don’t want change, or want minor changes while leaving the main intact. Its used to justify everything and anything. So yes we have to deal with the political world as we find it, and we have to make some accommodations with what we disagree with, but when power becomes the political philosophy, and the politics is simply a means to maintain power then I think you cease to be advocates of change, or fairness, in fact you have become Tories who are much more open that the pursuit of power is the aim rather than the means. You ask at the end what the ‘zealots’ want. As you know I’m not a labour supporter but I think it reasonable to have a series of principles for the society you want to see and to work towards them (your howling at the moon I suppose) rather than make so many compromises with your principles that you become effectively a system manager potting a steady path towards nowhere in particular but a path that means you stay in power
I don't disagree. If it's used to conceal that power is the end in itself, then I'm against it. But unless you think the Broitish people can be persuaded to revolution, violent or otherwise, then all I'm saying is that it pays to take a long view, perhaps even alter your manifesto subtly in order to get yourself in the driving seat, and then drip-feed change, but change in a progressive direction. That's all. I appreciate that the issues are complex, but I'm just so frustrated with Labour's rank ineptitude right now, I guess, given that they're my "natural" party. And as @Smurf has pointed out, sometimes you have to deal with the more pressing reality – I'm also no fan of the New Labour bureacratic state, but surely it's preferable to the scary disaster-capitalists (See? Another prefix ;-)). Ideological purity is a luxury...
 

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There’s much of interest here Aggie, but lets clear one thing up, this was relatively radical social democracy, nothing close to Marxism. Most of the talking heads claiming it is clearly have no idea what Marxism is, or if they do they are using age old red scare tactics. You know that! The paper by I think Peter Ramsay that you complimented on another thread makes that very point, what is portrayed as left wind radicalism here is pretty mainstream in many other nations.

I also think you’re a bit dismissive re demographic issues. If it’s the yougov poll then for those under 39 most people preferred this to any other offer. I think some deep reflection is necessary but when individual issues are polled the public strongly favour the Labour manifesto, so the question is why that wasn’t enough? And the media certainly did have a role to play, you can’t simply dismiss that. Buts its more than that. The internal machinations of Labour on brexit were a big issue down south, and here the same centrist evangelical remainers that are attacking Corbyn now are the ones that pushed him, forced him towards a remain position which sealed the elections fate. And I accept, regardless of the brutal assassination on Corbyn, he also ‘played badly’ in opinion polling.

So to social class. Here I think you are simply wrong. The whole focus on the gig economy, on for example sport direct warehouse workers suggested Labour were far from wed to a mythical industrial past. The question of low pay and of workers rights had nothing to do with the industrial past, it was very much rooted in the economic present of insecurity and precarity. Incidentally, I see no problem in reminding people of the Tories record in destroying working class industrial communities and then leaving them to rot, especially as I think it likely they’ll be doing a version of this again.

I think you’re description of neoliberalism is bang on Aggie and also that Graeber in particular is quite interesting on the future. This is also something trade unions have been working on, how to more evenly share out the benefits of technology. Its also something implicit in much of the Labour manifesto incidentally. But I think you’re wrong on capitalism more broadly. It is not a simple organisational mechanism, it is an understanding of both the economic system and the social relations that are required to maintain it. If socialism is an ideology then so much capitalism be, given the inter-relationship of social and economic forces in each. To think otherwise is an attempt to naturalise capitalism, to remove it from the power that sustains it. So again, we move to the manifesto. It did not propose the end of the private sector, it simply said that some natural monopolies should be made public. Why is that ‘idealism’ and not a practical perspective based in part on what works in many other countries?

So on to how we get change. You take the incremental approach, based historically on the idea that people are naturally risk averse. Doesn’t brexit question that? Doesn’t the independence movement question that. These are not incremental changes but major ruptures in how the state behaves, indeed what the state is.

I’m a bit surprised at your defence of realpolitik. Realpolitik has long been the excuse used by people who don’t want change, or want minor changes while leaving the main intact. Its used to justify everything and anything. So yes we have to deal with the political world as we find it, and we have to make some accommodations with what we disagree with, but when power becomes the political philosophy, and the politics is simply a means to maintain power then I think you cease to be advocates of change, or fairness, in fact you have become Tories who are much more open that the pursuit of power is the aim rather than the means. You ask at the end what the ‘zealots’ want. As you know I’m not a labour supporter but I think it reasonable to have a series of principles for the society you want to see and to work towards them (your howling at the moon I suppose) rather than make so many compromises with your principles that you become effectively a system manager potting a steady path towards nowhere in particular but a path that means you stay in power
v good, interesting post, a lot of which I agree with. However, I'd make two small points

The notion of whether Corbyn and McDonnell are definitionally marxists or not is a distraction. Their program as put forward in the manifesto is not extraordinarily radical, true, but around its fringes there is some stuff that is by no means 'mainstream northern European social democracy'. No European state has a wealth tax like they were apparently envisaging, for example. They had discussions with the bank of England about currency controls. This is not 'slightly higher taxes, better public services' kind of stuff.

And it's no exaggeration to say that some of the people surrounding Corbyn are communists who think the wrong side won the cold war. Andrew Murray for example, and Milne. People aren't stupid - a lot of them see guys like that and they don't trust them not to take the party down a dodgy hard-left route.

Second I never understand this thing about centrists 'forcing' Corbyn to have a rubbish Brexit position. He's the leader, surely he can do what he wants? So either he's weak or he thought it a good plan. And now apparently it was obvious all along, to the extent that it lost them the election, but he did it anyway because the mean Labour right remainiacs made him do it? I don't buy any of that.

Fact is about half of people who voted Labour in '17 then didn't this time cited their dislike of Corbyn and his personal politics and weak leadership as the main reason. Only something like one in five said brexit was the biggest issue.
 

aggie

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But I think you’re wrong on capitalism more broadly. It is not a simple organisational mechanism, it is an understanding of both the economic system and the social relations that are required to maintain it. If socialism is an ideology then so much capitalism be, given the inter-relationship of social and economic forces in each. To think otherwise is an attempt to naturalise capitalism, to remove it from the power that sustains it.
Been trying to find a quote pertaining to this all day (AKA procrastinating), and this is it (from Graeber, p.202):

"Capitalism is not a single totalizing system that shapes and embraces every aspect of our existence. It's not even clear it makes sense to speak of “capitalism” at all (Marx, for instance, never really did), implying as it does that “capitalism” is a set of abstract ideas that have somehow come to take material form in factories and offices. The world is more complicated and messy than that."
 

Gareth

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Great response, @Gareth (as ever). Let me try and clarify a few points, as regards my own position/opinion.
Okay, this is a fair point and you're right – I do know that. But what I'm trying to get at in my post is how the public perceive the agenda. So when I said "there's a lot that will fly", I meant it – I imagine plenty of Conservative voters would support renationalisation of the railways, for instance (as would I). But you have to take into account the broader context within which these policies are put forward: a) Corbyn and McDonnell (whom I like better than Corbyn, actually - he's at least having the conversations surrounding UBI, etc) are Marxists, whether you want to admit it or not. The latter has openly cited Lenin, Trotsky and Marx as his most significant intellectual influences, and is literally quoted as saying "Look, I'm straight, I'm honest with people: I'm a Marxist." So in the same way as one half of the electorate is deeply sceptical about Johnson's motives, at least another half is going to be similarly sceptical of Corbyn and Johnson's. So that b) when you put forward a manifesto that, as you rightly state, contains much straightforward social democracy, but then also inexplicably decide that you'll include (at least a de facto) nationalisation of broadband, then you are going to get people having allergic reactions – this is not something that has previously been in public ownership (ie railways, utilities), so it's only going to intensify the impression of communism-by-stealth, is it not? (For the record, I consider broadband to be a public utility that at some point should be free to all, but I'm in the business here of trying to sketch out what will play, and what won't.) It's at the very least a dumb political move.
Ok but there are lots of people who describe themselves as Marxists but are anything but, just as old Karl himself once said "all i know is i'm no Marxist". But the broader issue here is that the manifesto was very far from Marxism, very very far. On the issue of broadband, the criticism had tended to be that Labour is mired in the 70s, but this was a very modern policy. So of course broadband has never been nationalised, but the fact that its viewed as a public good, a public utility seems to me very modern and forward thinking. So the problem you have doesn't seem to be necessarily the policy proposal but the way it might be perceived. I spend a good deal of my working life looking at how policy is made and implemented, or not. And i just can't help think that the public would not generally have recoiled from this were it not for the specific circumstances of this election, be that brexit, corbyn or the media onslaught.

So? You are making a lot in your post of "genuine convictions" etc etc, so why did Corbyn not stick to his "Lexit" guns then? Well, of course, because he knew he'd alienate a large chunk of his electorate. That this played out as making him look like a prevaricator is somewhat by the by – at the end of the day, what was this effort on his part if not an example of the realpolitik you are so implacably against? That it ultimately failed doesn't alter that fact.
I think he didn't stick to his guns because he's not the dictatorial authoritarian type. His view on trident is similar, he is against, his party is for so he goes with the majority in his party, error or not. And I think this is why he chose the obfuscating neutral position, so he could maintain his own view while abiding by the will of his party.

We'll have to disagree here, then, inasmuch as I'll say, okay, that may be so, but IMO they manifestly failed to articulate that rhetorically. Not sure what it looks like through in Glasvegas with you, but through here at Edinburgh Uni I cringe daily at the "activists" giving it "comrade" this and "proletariat" that. As to your incidental point, perhaps I might make a somewhat related but also incidental point on that. As an SNP voter (for the one, obvious reason), I myself sometimes recoil from the "Tories BAD" rhetoric the SNP trots out, a lot more than I do from the usual "SNP BAD" tropes that are trotted out against them. I agree the Tories record from the 70s/80s should not be forgotten, but it was 50 years ago now – shouldn't both parties place more emphasis on what they're offering for the future, as opposed to what the other lot did half a century ago? Or at least I'd like them to, which is I guess the more general point I'm making. Both points of emphasis create a sense of a politics still responding to conditions that are long since obsolete.
I agree they failed to articulate class politics enough, and yet were accused of waging class war by the billionaires winning the longstanding class war.

Explain China to me, then? Who are currently the world's most successful, dynamic capitalists? The communists in China. Are they operating two ideologies simultaneously?
I think China almost perfectly conforms to the the definition state capitalism. What in China resembles any notion of workers control inherent in communism, nothing I'd venture.

Or actually, perhaps I can put it another way by altering my argument a little – that capitalism is not so much a mechanism imposed by ideologies, but more a kind of religious practice imposed by ideologies, be those ideologies communism, neoliberalism or anything else (incidentally, doesn't the fact that the word is often qualified support my thesis here? i.e. "capitalism" is often referred to by its breed, as it were: "neoliberal capitalism", "authoritarian capitalism", etc).
Most interesting writers on neoliberalism talk of it as but a stage of capitalism, and i think thats rights. One of my colleagues writes about vanguard neoliberalism from the 70s that sought to dispose of many of the Keynesian practices for the previous 40-years. But Keynesianism was still capitalism, it just thought some protections were necessary, and were pushed to by social forces. So for me capitalism is about altering the relations of production in any way that maintains capital accumulation. I think we're at an interesting juncture now as the party of the capitalist class is perhaps for the first time (here at least) organising against the interest of big capital.

Anyway, on the religion thing: Marx accused religion of being "the opium of the masses", distracting them from capitalist exploitation. But capitalism has steadily undermined religion by reliably promising that the future will in fact be materially better, and not because of divine intervention but because of the manmade market.
IMO Marx is at his most interesting when he discusses capitalism as though it itself IS a religion. Commodities, he says, are not just objects with a utilitarian value, furthering self-interest, but a fetish - "a queer thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties." There is something very odd about the commodity: an iPhone is not just something you use to contact your friends, but neither is it a status symbol, like a sceptre to a King. It is as though it is magical.
I agree with some of this, though not sure how it supports your broader position that capitalism is not an ideology, unless you are also saying that religion is not an ideology. I think the debate on use value versus exchange value is a really interesting one and points to the need of capital to continue to convince people of their need to own new things.

I'm impatient with people who explain capitalism as greed or self-interest. Yes, there is a lot of that, but so much of what the archetypal capitalist does is contrary to self-interest: he will work and work for more and more wealth, beyond the point of it being of any tangible material advantage to him - even if this means dropping dead of a stress-induced heart attack at 40. If is as though profit has a redemptive qualify for which no sacrifice is too great.
Many modern Marxists i read would agree, that capitalism is also bad for capitalists. Indeed many capitalists are increasingly concerned that the very drive for profit that is inherent to this system, and that leads to automation and wage stagnation is undermining the very system they support, as there may be fewer who can afford to purchase the goods the system needs to maintain itself. This is of course where issues of debt come in.

To be a true critic of capitalism you perhaps have to understand it as more like a religious value-system than a means of rich people enjoying a comfortable life. We can't let go of capitalism because we all - even the left - believe in the idea that with money you can achieve a sacred self-actualisation - they just believe the opportunity to do so should be extended to all social groups. In fact, perhaps the postmodern left believe in capitalism more deeply than anyone.
I think there's something really interesting here Aggie. There have been small pushes against this in the form of bartering and timebanks but broadly I think you're right. You can keep your postmodernism though, gives me the boak.

Anyway, I digress: my point is (although I concede it's very woolly and ill-thought-through – in all honesty I'm still trying to think all this out!) that a system of exchange that we might understand as being called "capitalism" is not an inherently bad thing, and could even be relatively benign if the system of values governing it were different. Put simply, if the possessing of currency were not seen as an end in itself by both right and left, because the idea that it solves all problems was discredited, then we might begin to forge our way into the future more coherently.
I suppose we have different starting points though. I don't see capitalism as merely a system of exchange. I think once the extraction of surplus value is placed at the heart of things it becomes inherently exploitative and i think this is what sets capitalism apart rather than a system of exchange.

Sorry, that is an egregious ramble, but I'd appreciate your thoughts on this Gareth.
I'll try to dig out some stuff I read a while back about questions of currency, but i find it interesting so no need to apologise

I don't disagree. If it's used to conceal that power is the end in itself, then I'm against it. But unless you think the Broitish people can be persuaded to revolution, violent or otherwise, then all I'm saying is that it pays to take a long view, perhaps even alter your manifesto subtly in order to get yourself in the driving seat, and then drip-feed change, but change in a progressive direction. That's all. I appreciate that the issues are complex, but I'm just so frustrated with Labour's rank ineptitude right now, I guess, given that they're my "natural" party. And as @Smurf has pointed out, sometimes you have to deal with the more pressing reality – I'm also no fan of the New Labour bureacratic state, but surely it's preferable to the scary disaster-capitalists (See? Another prefix ;-)). Ideological purity is a luxury...
I guess my problem is that we have always had parties that are only about power for its own sake and power for the sake of the dominant class, so when an alternative is told it has to go slowly, be moderate, don't rock the boat, compromise, my initial reaction is why should 'we' compromise when they have been doing whatever they want without caring about our position for decades. Why is the onus on us. you might simply say that we have to take people with us and there is something to that but the danger is that you then morph into the centrist blob that was new labour and the US Democrats, with no mooring to any idea of the need for never mind how to create a better society
 

aggie

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You can keep your postmodernism though, gives me the boak.
On that we can unequivocally agree! An absolute cancer in the university.
 

Gareth

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The notion of whether Corbyn and McDonnell are definitionally marxists or not is a distraction. Their program as put forward in the manifesto is not extraordinarily radical, true, but around its fringes there is some stuff that is by no means 'mainstream northern European social democracy'. No European state has a wealth tax like they were apparently envisaging, for example. They had discussions with the bank of England about currency controls. This is not 'slightly higher taxes, better public services' kind of stuff.
I'm not sure about that Henry. What taxes on wealth are out of kilter with social democracy?

And it's no exaggeration to say that some of the people surrounding Corbyn are communists who think the wrong side won the cold war. Andrew Murray for example, and Milne. People aren't stupid - a lot of them see guys like that and they don't trust them not to take the party down a dodgy hard-left route.
I'm not sure either Murray or Milne think the wrong side won the cold war, and I don't think most people even know who they are. Look its no shock that a manifesto explicitly not in the interests of the rich was going to be attacked by the rich, be that media barons, owners of utilities etc. The question is, is it possible in this media and power system to have a fair and democratic debate where opposing views can be aired. I fear not.

Second I never understand this thing about centrists 'forcing' Corbyn to have a rubbish Brexit position. He's the leader, surely he can do what he wants? So either he's weak or he thought it a good plan. And now apparently it was obvious all along, to the extent that it lost them the election, but he did it anyway because the mean Labour right remainiacs made him do it? I don't buy any of that.
Fact is about half of people who voted Labour in '17 then didn't this time cited their dislike of Corbyn and his personal politics and weak leadership as the main reason. Only something like one in five said brexit was the biggest issue.
On the latter point, i think the two are inextricably linked. Corbyn's position on Brexit was part of the 'weak leadership' narrative. The former i've tried to answer to Aggie above.
 

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Two pints of Black amigo and the same with, a very large malt for aggie , after aggie is resting his sair legs in the Bottom Shop totally goosed after supporting my boy on Hogmanay. Quality.

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