Corbyn is not Labour’s real headache, Labour is…

Just putting this here

In general, the paradox is that the political argument for [Scottish] independence is perhaps even stronger than it was a year ago but the economic argument, a weakness even in 2014, is incontrovertibly weaker than it was 12 months ago. No-one is much thinking about that right now but at some point some nationalists are going to have devote some thought to these matters.

At some point the Labour party is going to have to come to terms with its own failures too. Choosing Jeremy Corbyn to succeed Ed Miliband was a way of denying those problems, not confronting them.

Complaining that he doesn’t receive a sufficiently fair hearing in the press is like Donald Trump whining that too few people recognise the seriousness of his inimitable genius. It kinda misses the point.

This is Alex Massie doing what he often does best, ie pointing out the bleedin obvious.

By these lights Corbyn is not their problem. Indeed he may be little more than another round of addictive painkiller the party has been taken only to find that it wakes up with the very thumping headache it’s been trying to avoid since (at least) 2010.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Jake Mac Siacais

    Ba Bheag an difir Corbyn nó An Lucht Oibre Shásana bhealach amháin nó eile dúinn-ne nó d’Albanaigh lucht rachmais atá I mbun cúrsaí fud fad na hEorpa agus níl d’fhaináise a dhíth ach sampla na Gréige agus an Phortaingeal

  • chrisjones2

    The Labour Party’s problem is not just Corbyn – hes just the latest symptom of an underlying malaise. The issue is – “what is Labour for?”

    Jeremy answers that like a Poundshop Marty McFly travelling Back to the Future where the red flag flew over half Europe and the credibility of his policies had not been shredded by market forces and the march of history. He seems to know nothing else and surrounds himself with similar political fossils frozen in the amber of left wing failure

    The difficulty is that most voters dont buy this. They arent interest in a failed history, They want a successful future and Labour dont offer that anymore – but trapped in the amber they are unable to see this – and a future as Museum Exhibits awaits

  • Scots Anorak

    What Mr. Massie fails to mention is that the Conservatives may be about to drive a coach and horses through their economic case for the Union by stumbling into Brexit, which might well nudge a very finely balanced situation in Scotland decisively in the direction of independence.

    As for Labour, as a token measure its smug, out-of-touch parliamentary party allowed a single left-wing candidate onto the ballot for the leadership election, an ageing and not particularly impressive backbencher. At the same time, they voted with the Government on cutting benefits, which for large swathes of UK opinion rendered them unelectable — with the result that Jeremy Corbyn is now leader. Mr. Corbyn will clearly not win the next election, but he could easily do as well as Ed Milliband.

  • Kevin Breslin

    On the debt issue, it is worth noting that some of those councils are either Labour run, or partially Labour run. So pot calling kettle black stuff is being put on the agenda.

  • chrisjones2

    ….and if Scotland leaves the question must be , so what?

    On present form within 20 years they will be bankrupt and begging England to buy out their rapidly accumulating debt – 1707 revsiited

  • mickfealty

    Agus ina theannta sin na Spainnis agus na Iodalai Jake. I bhfocail an fhile… “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world..”

  • mickfealty

    When I was a kid and I lost something I used go back to the room where I last remembered having had it and then worked forward from. To go forwards sometimes you need to go back first.

  • mickfealty

    Damn him with faint praise why don’t you? 🙂 Brexit could happen, it depends how well the Eurosceptics arguments are marshalled, and not just the fearful ones. John Major was pretty good on R4 this morning at punching holes in some of their favourite shibboleths. He also warned about Scotland leaving, so we can probably expect that line to scale up in the next while.

    The parallels with Labour’s flirtation with direct democracy should be sobering though. If the English population do dump the UK out it will be against the settled view of their political representatives. At that point the SNP would be manoeuvring against a dazed and confused rUK government.

    For my money though I don’t think it will come to that. Some Tories have learned the lessons of the IndyRef and they are doing what the SNP did and getting out early and often and using the split between UKIP and others to frame the argument. I also think middle class angst about an uncertain future will have its day just as it did in the IndyRef.

    But who knows, events dear boy…

  • chrisjones2

    The problem is that what Labour lost is the equivalent of a pair of yellow and red tartan bay city roller flares circ 1973

  • Anglo-Irish

    The problem as I see it with Labour is that Tony Blair shifted their USP so far from it’s origins that he split the party irrevocably.

    In no meaningful way was Blair a socialist, he was, and is,an out and out capitalist.

    Problem for the ‘old brigade’ is that he won. Attempting to reverse the process and regain lost ground isn’t going to work in my view, there’s a serious question mark over whether or not that ground is still there.

    Labour are not good at picking leaders, everyone could see that they chose the wrong brother out of the Miliband’s and now they’ve gone for an over the hill old left wing dinosaur who has a record of rebelling against his own party on literally hundreds of occasions.

    Leaders need to understand the concept of being a team player in order to control a team.

    Following on from the disaster that was Gordon Brown Labour are looking like an unelectable shambles at present.

  • 23×7

    “Leaders need to understand the concept of being a team player in order to control a team”

    The counter argument is that many of the PLP are not being team players.

  • mickfealty

    I don’t think we are actually talking about ‘origins’ though are we AI? More like the last time in living memory that Labour activists felt ‘alive’ and ‘active’, which was a long way on from the beginning.

  • mickfealty

    Hardly a surprise though is it? I’m naturally suspicious of strong leaders like Blair and the charisma factor they engender between themselves and their followers.

    Corbyn has little in the way of skill or experience in keeping any project together. The anarchy he’s unleashing may eventually facilitate Labour in finding not just a new voice but a new material purpose in whatever remains of the UK.

    But it looks to me like it is going to be a very long unravelling. This section of Clive James recently published translation of the Divine Comedy vastly over-dramatises the matter, but not by much:

    To enter the lost city, go through me.

    Through me you go to meet a suffering

    unceasing and eternal. You will be

    with people who, through me, lost everything.

    From now on, every day feels like your last

    Forever. Let that be your greatest fear.

    Your future now is to regret the past.

    Forget your hopes. They were what brought you here.

  • 23×7

    “Corbyn has little in the way of skill or experience in keeping any project together.”

    Crikey. He’s been in the job 3-4 months. Even football managers get longer before the knives come out.

    “the anarchy he’s unleashing”
    What anarchy has he unleashed? The people who elected him may have triggered anarchy or confusion within the party but Corbyn can hardly be accused of unleashing it. He was elected with a huge mandate. He was elected precisely because he’s the complete opposite of the calculating, triangulating neoliberal elite. The anarchy is coming from the Blairites within the PLP who can’t seem to deal with it.

  • Scots Anorak

    Absolutely right. One might also mention the fact that the hypocrisy extends to Ukania as a whole, which is itself drowning in debt, a substantial proportion of it a result of Mr. Osborne’s deflationary cuts and ideological refusal to tax those with the ability to pay. The tax base of Scottish councils is in any case soon to be widened to include income tax, something that would have happened long before now had the Scottish Parliament had the power to do so.

  • Robin Keogh

    Corbyns unpopularity within media circles have nothing to do with his views in reality. The media have become champions for their owners and their elite wealthy comrades. It is no longer about the public good or truth and justice. The focus is on making sure that politics represents the guys at the top, selfish interests and power masters over the needs of the majority.

    As for Scotland, it seems far fetched to assume that it cant survive alone considering Ireland manages just fine even without the oil revenues. The Scots are not stupid, they have a healthy economy and can intellectualy manage seperation. The politics of fear which inevitably tries to maintain the status quo is just that, unfounded fear.

    Corbyn has offered up a more sincere and genuine way of doing politics, he wants to represent the people honestly rather than serve the needs of the chosen few. Its sad that we find that so crazy, so radical after following the pack of extreme capitalism for decades.

  • mickfealty

    He had the support of just 16% of the post election disaster PLP. And I see no sign he’s pulled much of that sentiment (or lack of it) on board.

    He had to grant a free vote or lose confidence of key members of his shadow cabinet on the Syria vote.

    If you think the internal disquiet is confined to Blairites (vanishing few in number these days) then I suggest you ask around.

    Even McCluskey’s barking instructions from the sidelines. Are you honestly claiming him for the Blairites?

  • 23×7

    Again, how is having 16% support of the PLP his fault? Many of this cohort of MPs became members under the patronage of Blair and Brown so they are firmly in the discredited new labour camp.

    I note the majority of Labour MPS supported him over the Syria vote. The reason he’s so popular with the members is precisely because unlike the Blairites he’s got principles and is willing to stick to them.

    Whether the electorate buy into True Labour rather than New Labour remains to be seen. However Corbyn has earned the right to have a go and make his case to the British electorate. To deny Corbyn and his supporters this chance is completely undemocratic.

  • mickfealty

    Where did I say it was his fault? It’s a direct corollary of his leadership (and the utterly idiotic Blairite plan to stymy the Unions) and his plan to pit members against representatives.

    Not Corbyn’s fault, but the swamp he’s now happily wading waist deep into is most certainly a low road to no town.

  • Scots Anorak

    Er, no. Scotland in 1707 differed in several fundamental respects:

    a) There was no universal suffrage.
    b) There was large-scale bribery of parliamentarians.
    c) England was threatening invasion.
    d) In the wake of its failed attempt to establish colonies of its own, Scotland needed access to England’s.
    e) Protestantism was perceived as being under threat.

    In my view the first difference alone would be enough to preclude any revival of the Union after dissolution (the “no” camp only won last time because it was the status quo). Assuming for a moment that the above partisan fantasy of unmanageable Scottish debt ever came to pass, the country would simply call in the IMF or default. That’s what happens in the modern world.

  • 23×7

    You said he hadn’t made any inroads towards improving his 16% PLP support. I said it’s not his fault as these are unreformed Blairites.

    Where is this Corbyn plan to pit members against representatives?

    Now you are saying he’s wading down a swamp. We’ve reached a sad point when opposing recreational bombing and opposing huge cuts to national insurance can be described as wading in a swamp and a low road to go down. Where can I read your similar invective about the Tories?

  • Anglo-Irish

    True, and it’s quite away back from the present.

    As someone once said a week can be a long time in politics and we’re talking years here.

    I hold no particular affection for any political party but I do think that a weak Labour party is a negative as far as the country is concerned.

    A strong opposition is essential to try and keep the government ‘ honest ‘, if that word isn’t an oxymoron when it comes to politics.

    Labour is doing too much navel gazing at the moment and whatever the personal merits of Corbyn he isn’t a man to inspire confidence and return the ‘alive’ and ‘active’ feelings.

  • Anglo-Irish

    You need to have confidence in your leader and team mates before making progress as a team.

    Ask a Chelsea fan. : )

  • Jake Mac Siacais

    Nó le haithinsint a dhéanamh ar an fhile Mick: “Merkel anarchy is loosed upon the world.” fhád is nach dtéann an Ghearmáin agus an “blood-dimmed tide” a scaolieadh orainn, arís.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Agree with you about the ‘ strong leader ‘ and ‘ charisma ‘ factor.

    The problem being that when they eventually go they tend to leave a vacuum behind, and depending upon the circumstances that can lead to relatively benign problems such as the Labour party are experiencing or total bloody chaos as occurred when Tito, Saddam and Gaddafi left.

    Consensus leadership is in my opinion the better option.

    It still requires strong leadership and is actually more difficult to achieve, but usually results in better all round performance and far less ‘disturbance’ when the inevitable changeover happens.

  • Reader

    Scots Anorak: The tax base of Scottish councils is in any case soon to be widened to include income tax, something that would have happened long before now had the Scottish Parliament had the power to do so.
    Spending is popular, taxing is not. Prepare to be surprised by how little taxation the Scottish councils and Parliament will be able to get away with.

  • barnshee

    Ireland’s “survival” has been more to do exporting its surplus population and entry to the EC than anything else. Scotland has behaved similarly in “exporting” populations The English should lett the Scots put their money where their mouth is and boot them out

  • barnshee

    Er the chances of revival of the Union after dissolution will be at the behest of er the English and it will be -no thanks

  • chrisjones2

    the main driver was the Darian disaster. Up to 50% of all Scottish money was lost in just a few years. The country was broke and needed a rescue

  • Robin Keogh

    Really barnshee. Is that your barbed response to the fact that ireland is the tenth richest country on the planet per capita. Despite emigration our population is racing ahead unlike unionism which is in mortal permanent decline numerically. There are 26 countries in the union of which iteland is a net contributor. Does it hurt so much to see ur neighbour doing so well. Pretty sad.

  • chrisjones2

    a) There was no universal suffrage – now they have it and dont use it
    b) There was large-scale bribery of parliamentarians – and you think they are more honest?
    c) England was threatening invasion – ISIS is threatening invasion!!! But the biggest threat is Europe
    d) In the wake of its failed attempt to establish colonies of its own, Scotland needed access to England’s – yes but above all they needed money
    e) Protestantism was perceived as being under threat – perhaps translate that now to Christianity? But the reality is that it was only seen as a threat because it wasn’t that long since the religious wars in England and Ireland. Nowadays Money is the new God so perhaps the Financial Threat may take Gods place?

    So is it really THAT different

  • chrisjones2

    We want tax powers. We want tax powers. Nae change then!!

  • chrisjones2

    It may indeed ….but then the rest of the UK buys around 70% of Scotland’s output, So will it say in the UK with its biggest customer or risk the freedom of the EU ?

  • chrisjones2

    I agree. The EU remains wobbly. Belgium is a dysfunctional basketcase. Spain faces a major risk of Catalan succession. Schengen is a mess. The Euro has just avoided one crisis but who knows when the next will come

    If the UK decides to go others may follow

  • kensei

    How to solve the Scottish economic “weakness”: wait. The business cycle will go up, down and up again. Oil prices will do likewise. The fundamentals will likely be broadly similar to know: entirely doable, with some risks. People will just feel better about it. This is Western Europe in a mature democracy and a market economy. The argument will never be clear cut; the argument is about difference at the margins.

    As for Corbyn, the line that he is a throwback to the past is routinely thrown out and routinely wrong. He is very much a politician for the current moment: an outlet for the frustrations of a lot of people at the results of the neoliberal settlement that has shafted them. It has been seen all across Europe, and Bernie Sanders is going great guns in America. Like most of those places, it is unlikely that support won’t be enough to win power, and definitely not enough to win power and follow through. But it is going to change the debate and change it in potential interesting ways. Most of his views aren’t particularly radical outside of the Anglo Saxon world.

    And whatever your view of representative vs direct democracy, Blairites, Brownites and reds under the bed, running a political party with the membership divorced and powerless from the leader is 100% certain to lead to this point. The right of the Labour Party thinks it has some sort of divine right to rule it and has discovere dit does not.

  • barnshee

    Not disputing the position of the ROI just explaining how it got there. IUnionist population/ family size reflects use of birth contro— a process largely unused until recently by other sections of the population

  • gendjinn

    Oh Labour, is there anything they can get right? Are they even worth having as an opposition? If only the voters would vote the right way. We wouldn’t have to deal with such intractable problems.

  • eamoncorbett

    Labour have four years to prevent 15 years of continuous Tory rule , they can’t do it by the non stop division between Left and moderates and will probably need the Scots Nats and others to overtake the Tories next time round .
    The. Conservatives are now to Britain what FF were to the Republic pre meltdown , at this stage Labour will need a monumental event to dislodge the Tories , no such event would appear to be on the horizon.

  • Anglo-Irish

    The problem that I have with the Labour party deciding that appointing Jeremy Corbyn as it’s leader is twofold.

    Firstly, in order to have the opportunity to apply your beliefs and doctrines you need to gain power, without it you are simply whistling in the wind.

    The Conservatives understand this, Labour don’t appear to. Corbyn is not a credible Prime Minister.

    Secondly, Corbyn has been an MP since 1983 and his only claim to fame is his rebelliousness, having voted against his own party on hundreds of occasions.

    In other words he’s been hiding his talents as a leader and reformer for 32 years, in all honesty how many of you had heard of the man twelve months ago?

    This has all the hallmarks of a slow motion car crash, I hope I’m wrong because strong opposition makes for better governance but I am not holding my breath.

  • mickfealty

    I really wish you would stop shifting the goalposts 23×7 and try to deal with what I’ve said and not what I should have said about the Tories? For the purposes of this thread I am not interested in the Tories.

    They are doing just fine and dandy draining the lifeblood of the NHS and codding at public investment. It’s what they’ve done under almost every leader since Macmillan, who actually had a post war clue what to do with the public sector…

    Here’s what I said, ahem, nine years ago before the matter got really serious (…

    Blair’s successor must have an appetite for continuing radical change. Labour has some time to recover its composure and, possibly more importantly, its self-belief. It also has the advantage of incumbency in government: it has tested experience, whereas Cameron’s collegial frontbenchers are either untested or still reek of their time in the Major government. But it should take its advantages lightly. Incumbency can also lead to inflexibility and loss of perspective.

    Not many were listening then, and I suspect you aren’t that keen on listening now…

  • mac tire

    I think most are either Labour run or Lab/Con run.

  • 23×7

    Still waiting on that Corbyn plan to pit members against representatives.

    You aren’t interested in the Tories because you are too busy posting daily anti-corbyn articles.

  • aquifer

    Not being managerial types, they will be crap at downsizing and getting useful work from interns and volunteers, so Osborne has cut their budget. Are they any good at social media?

  • Gopher

    Thats basically the problem. Never have so many people theorisized and euolgized about the utopia of Labour rule in the seventies and how to get back there. The reality was men is donkey jackets and those parkas with the fluffy hoods standing round a makeshift oil drum brazier on strike and Allegro motor cars.

  • chrisjones2

    Oh yeah? what a foolish comment. In my youth many years ago I dated many Catholic girls. I can assure you that birth control was well used!!!

  • chrisjones2

    I agree!!

  • chrisjones2

    The Allegro was a decent design badly made with poor quality British steel. The Marina, Ital and Montego were utter dogs

  • Gopher

    All constructed badly in a socialist workers (sic) paradise that was Britain in the seventies. Interestingly Britain without state funding produce more cars today and ones that work by and large by foriegn companies and little if any state intervention. Another example of the delusional nature of Labour supporters looking back to the seventies

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Perhaps the best way to handle this would be to cancel all votes cast for unsuitable persons in any context. It would perhaps help if income could be consulted (a simple linking of UTR and voting would ensure this) before voting cards were issued, and all prospective voters below a certain income carefully vetted by reliable people. Corbyn should never have put an important and historic party in this really terrible position for if only responsible people such as the parliamentary party members had been consulted about the parties leader we might have had a dull but sound opposition leader. Such practice has ensured a steady hand on the tiller for our own DUP. Perhaps any votes cast for Labour in future by-elections should be entirely discounted until this problem is resolved and someone who has properly checked his opinions out fully with the Murdoch media machine is appointed to lead the party. Certainly those who can be identified as voting for Labour at this dangerous time should at the very least be observed closely by the security services.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    No, Chris, the Conservatives under “that woman” lost us a lll a cohesive community, with an imperfectly working social system, yes, but one that did work reasonably well. If you’d been in hospital much in the 1970s and then today, or needed those you employ to be able to get to work on public transport, you’d possible get this. Bad as the seventies were in certain ways, they were far from the chaotic mess we have all increasingly had to endure from “market forces” that syphon up almost everything to the 1%………..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I never really liked Neil Kinnock much, but he was right about some things gopher. Remember not to get either old or ill………

    And try and ensure that you do not become unemployed.

  • SeaanUiNeill


  • Gopher

    The trouble with socialism is the gap from the ideal and the reality. Ideologies are good on sound bites but poor on delivery. I must admit like all children of ideologies you do like a good sound bite Seann (Had a good laugh at the tank production one btw) unfortunately the reality of the survivabilty and treatment between the seventies and eighties was night and day.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Ah, Gopher, so you’re still going on the statistics you read rather than by any actual experience. I know a lot of people seem to think figures are far more reliable, but very very few actually who are in a position compare both experiences, however…………

    Not actually a socialist myself, far, far too right wing for my tastes…….have you encountered Marcuse at any point, his work might be of some help.

  • Gopher

    Having frequently waited on public transport to actually arrive and then not breakdown on the way to its destination I have plenty of experience of the seventies.

  • murdockp

    But it proves one thing. The mainland UK is not a socialist nation. Offer it on a plate and it will be rejected.

    As for ni ……morning comrade ……

  • murdockp

    In the US the people who protested loudest against Obamacare were the poorer republicans that the system was intended to help.

    My point is policy is irrelevant. It is about whipping up the masses in frenzy as we in NI community well know happens.

    The very people who would do best under a united Ireland are the very loyalists who scream in protest the loudest against it.

    It is like a form of Stockholm syndrome

  • SeaanUiNeill

    As a school boy in the 1960s, I was astonished at the regularity of the old Belfast red double deckers and those green and cream diesel country buses. This very high quality of service rather trailed off in the 1970s with the troubles, as I remember, but not in London where I was then a trainee in film, and found a continued experience of highly efficient public transport. However, both in London and in my frequent trips to Belfast before I came home in the 1990s, I could watch this steady erosion of a most efficient and professional communications system into the tragic fiasco we are blessed with today, where perhaps all that can be said in its favour is that someone is quietly making money somewhere to hive away from our everyday discomfort. Having worked in the private sector all my life, but being in a position to compare its “efficiencies” with my extended families experiences of both the Civil Service and the BBC, I can only say that the quasi religious faith in the market to resolve problems is grossly over-rated.

    I also have family in medicine willing to talk, so I can have no illusions about the “improvements” in the National Health Service either, and can compare what I’ve heard with personal experience of the wards. For any serious culture of enterprise to flourish, a sound infrastructure is required, not one that is being slowly asset stripped by a “private sector” that cannot run that infrastructure profitably without leaching of the state. Me, I’d prefer an efficient state run system to waiting “Cargo Cult” style for the market to fix everything “Deus ex Machina” style……

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “It is like a form of Stockholm syndrome”, a point I’ve made long and hard in earlier postings, but then much of how the media directs opinion could be so characterised by anyone looking at it dispassionately.

  • Anglo-Irish

    It never really has been, Labour may have been voted in a few times but usually as a protest against what the Conservatives had done during the previous administration.

    It always made me smile when right wingers tried to whip up a fear of communism back in the day.

    Britain and in particular England tend to be slight right leaning middle of the road in their political tendencies.

    Whilst there could be a slight chance of going too far right there is no chance of going too far left.

    Too many of the population are subservient with an embarrassing inclination to regard the ‘upper middle class’ and’ upper class’ as their ‘betters’.

    It may not be as blatant these days but it still exists.

  • Anglo-Irish

    The problem is that public services and private enterprise run on differing objectives.

    Margret Thatcher privatised the Sheffield bus service, it’s never been the same since.

    It was efficient clean and well used.

    Today with differing companies used it’s a shambles.

    The NHS is like the parsons egg, good in parts. I have nothing but praise for my dealings with it, having had a triple heart bypass in January 2008 I received excellent treatment.

    But others are not so fortunate, having witnessed the situation endured by a friend of mine who suffered a stroke and was treat in the same hospital the differing conditions and the professionalism of staff were in marked contrast.

    The coronary unit that I was in was like a five star hotel, the ward my friend was in was reminiscent of something out of Bladerunner.

    When private companies get involved with public projects they tend to take the pee and milk it for all it’s worth. when they deal with other private companies they tend to play the game.

    Public money is seen as monopoly money and serious liberties are taken.

    An additional problem Labour have is that they are seen as poor at dealing with this type of excess.

    The truth is that the Conservatives are no better but perception is all.

    Labour have a PR problem and selecting Corbyn as leader has increased that problem.

    If they’d invited the Conservatives to choose their party leader they’d probably have ended up with Corbyn, or perhaps Dennis Skinner.

  • Hugh Davison

    Wasn’t Ted Heath (conservative) prime minister for much of the 70’s? I worked in a white-collar job in London through the 70’s and there wasn’t a socialist about the place. Yet nobody did much work, and pub lunches and afternoon snoozes were the norm. I’m not so sure the nasty socialists were the problem.

  • John Collins

    Well Barnshee there was plenty exporting of surplus population from this island under GB rule. From 1886 to 1900 almost 60,000 people a year emigrated at a time when the country was not going that bad. There was 8 million people in the island in 1841, by 1922 there was 4 million. Suffice to say that during the period of the A o U, a period of 121 years the Irish (whole island) population dropped 20%, despite a surge of growth around Belfast, and the population of the island of Britain grew just over 150% (15 million to 38 million). And by the way if the highland clearances did not involve forced emigration what did.

  • John Collins

    The Cons are much worse than FF. FF only ever got overall majorities in the ROI. The Cons have got that since 1980 in GB.

  • Hugh Davison

    My post-war generation was clothed, fed, educated and our health improved immeasurable under a mainly ‘socialist’ system. Most of us did very well, thank you, but we blew it when we lost that collective ethic in favour of Me fein individualism (some cynics would say it was always there). The result was Thatcher (and Reagan) and all that came afterwards.

  • mickfealty

    Busy day yesterday. Only got on Slugger late last night to do the Arlene piece. I’m coming back to you when I get a chance.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    As someone from the same generation, with perhaps similar experiences, I completely agree with you on this. Have you watched Adam Curtis’ “The Century of the Self”? My own experiences in advertising alerted me early to the same manipulative techniques being used to “persuade” voters:

    While all four episodes are important, the last two are significant as to how poor Jeremy is being attacked. As I’ve said elsewhere, much of what he suggests wuold be unremarkable for any Conservative supporting Macmallan in the early 1960s, and the bitterness with which he is being attacked speaks eloquently of just how utterly our society has sold themselves to “The Hidden Persuaders” since “That Woman”.

  • mickfealty

    It’s a big and important story which deserves proper attention. That doesn’t mean you aren’t massively exaggerating for purely effect of course. Here’s the New Statesman on the members versus MPs schtick:

    Mindful of his weakness among MPs, the leader and his supporters will seek to maximise his strength among members. Proposals to transfer greater policymaking powers to activists – Tony Benn’s old dream – will be tabled.

    Corbyn allies speak of using electronic ballots to canvass opinion on divisive issues such as the renewal of Trident. Outnumbered by multilateralists in his shadow cabinet, the leader will likely offer a free vote on the matter when the government tables a motion for renewal in 2016.

    Yet, as in the case of the vote on air strikes against Isis in Syria, the process by which that decision is reached will be fraught.

    Now, you were saying?

  • 23×7

    That’s a little bit naughty. I note that you failed to quote this from earlier in the same New Statesman article:

    “Ever since Corbyn’s election, his opponents have discussed a possible means of bypassing the membership. Labour’s current rules do not explicitly state whether he would automatically be on the ballot if challenged.”
    So here we have the representatives pitting themselves against the members.
    You have used your anti Corbyn bias to selectively focus on one side of the debate rather than present a true picture of what is going on in the labour party, which is a party engaged in a long overdue debate about what it stands for.
    Now you were saying?

  • mickfealty

    Sorry boys, but isn’t this just another form of the rather self serving false consciousness line? The Obamacare mention is particularly odd given Arlene’s use of the NHS versus HSE dichotomy to put pot that particular black on unification.

  • mickfealty

    You have failed to prove lots of things you’ve wrongly asserted but I’m not holding it against you. You asked me for evidence to back up what I’d said earlier and I gave it to you.

    Now, and not for the first time on this thread you are shifting the goalposts. That could be reasonably be read as a sign that you really haven’t a clue what you talking about.

    I don’t write (as you wrongly asserted) daily posts about Corbyn because GB politics is not the main topic of this blog. I write about what I think is interesting and/or important.

    It’s not a crime to get things wrong here, but you might change some minds if you’d only let the red mist clear and do a little research of your own before you respond.

    Happy to engage, but you really will have to up your game.

  • 23×7

    You accuse me of shifting the goal posts. Well I’m accusing you and other posters on the site of playing with only one set of goals. You seem only interested in anti-Corbyn attacks rather than providing balance.

    The condescension you have shown in your final sentence is not a good look.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’ll not up to attempt one of my 1000 word responses, Mick, but as a not uninformed “insider” who endorses Adam Curtis’ excellent “Century of the Self”, I’d feel that “Stockholm Syndrome” is a quite valid reflection in a broad sense, and rather than it disrespecting voter choice, the quite conscious media manipulation that would take free will hostage might be considered a deeper layer of disrespect that requires targeting. While I’ve been to too many production meetings that ended in a kind of organised chaos to ever really credit the wilder shores of the “Great Bernays Conspiracy”, I think the general outline of a broad intent to produce public opinion by carefully targeted marketing is unquestionable. And although I’ll admit that I tend to use the term “Stockholm Syndrome” myself as something of a verbal cartoon on Slugger, I genuinely think that the directing of voting and purchasing pattern by intimidation and threat as a component of marketing technique is pretty self evident. And that people vote for and support political parties against their proper interest under such manipulative influence.

    And, hey, Jeremy is clearly being targeted for a political stance that is while one lot of it may be delicious “media sexy” 1970s leftist Labour themes yet another thread of attack is over possible policies on national infrastructure security through nationalisation that any post war Conservative government before “That Woman” would have found quite unexceptional, and which any serious person can see are de rigour over the channel as a norm (don’t get me started on a detailed analysis of its possible benefits). While I can see that in a climate created by what Curtis’s forth film “Eight people sipping wine in Kettering” so eloquently describes, Jeremy leading Labour will never in a month of sundays ever become media friendly, I find it interesting to watch what occurs when someone tries to actually discuss such policies. But I’m still out there with Emma Goldman and Kropotkin in my critique, so I’m unlikely to leave the sidelines to ever actually vote.

  • mickfealty

    Nor is your failure to ante up some evidence that you are not talking through your hat. The man playing is a dead giveaway.

  • 23×7

    Good grief. You played the man with your patronising comments about upping my game. What evidence are you looking for me to provide and I’ll provide it?
    It is you that are making the increasingly shrill statements about anarchy and swamps. Rather than your hat it may be a different part of your anatomy you are talking out of.

  • mickfealty

    Better blunt than condescending, eh?

    We have the no ad hominem rule not to avoid any unwanted liberal offence taking place but so that people who fundamentally disagree with each other can have it out bluntly and more importantly to the point.

    So it doesn’t matter whether I have an anti Corbyn bias or not. Nor does it matter whether you have a pro Corbyn bias or not. It would be fundamentally impertinent for either of us to raise such questions under the play the ball not the man rule.

    What really matters is here whether either or both of us can stand up our arguments. When you constantly resort to man playing tactics it is either because you don’t understand the rule (seriously meant and in a non condescending way), or you are genuinely stuck for a real argument to make.

    That enforced civility generally allows for greater directness (bluntness) and an upping of standards. And it’s clear that you are struggling with that.

  • 23×7

    Look squirrel! Nice attempt to divert the discussion. Facts are this, you continue to make shrill accusations about Corbyn which I have called out as being either unsubstantiated or hopelessly one sided. Your New Statesman link was laughable so you’ve responded with increasingly condescending replies and navel gazing nonsense about about site rules.

    And absolutely it does matter whether someone has a bias or not when it comes to a debate. Its called context. To think otherwise is daft.

  • mickfealty

    It’s da rules. And it spares the rest of us from dissemblers like yourself. If you don’t like em, you know where the door is…

  • 23×7

    So you are accusing me of being a phony now? Who’s playing the man?

  • mickfealty

    I’ve no idea if you are a phony or not. I know you want to tell us you think the editor of this website is an idiot, whilst we are talking about that, then we aren’t actually talking about Corbyn and the Labour party.

    That is dissembling. And this is why we have a strong but simple rule designed to discourage exactly this delinquent behaviour.

  • 23×7

    “Delinquent behaviour”? Are you serious? You are just making stuff up now and assuming you know what I’m thinking.

    I wouldn’t dream of calling anyone an idiot, especially when we can see it for ourselves.

  • mickfealty

    I’m very serious, and have been for quite some time. You obviously cannot help yourself, so my apologies for not doing this earlier but I just wanted to take the time to carefully explain why before you got the bum’s rush.

  • Hugh Davison

    Seaan, you are the second person to recommend that program to me. I will definitely make a point of watching it.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    It’s an important window on a not unsucessful attempt to “manage the masses” which everyone should be alterted to. as they say “it’s what you don’t know that hurts you…”

    No matter what one thinks about Jeremy’s style of leadership, it is evident that his actual career is a critique of the entire Bernays/PR machine….

  • Nevin