That Starmer fella...

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  • At first I was all like:

    I appreciate you dislike Starmer but could you please try to limit your criticism to a factual basis? This isn't helpful. Labour aren't the party of corporate tax cuts. They're still committed to raising corporation tax. Just not during a pandemic.

    I couldn't stand Corbyn but I never lied about the guy. My criticism was based on what he did. All criticism should be built on that basis

    But then I was all like:

    all that being ashamed of the flag stuff Labour have been doing for the last five years

  • Sorry what? Do you want to explain further or shall we just assume you mean, because you keep bringing him up, that Corbyn was ashamed of the flag, not proud of, and indeed wanted ill for his country. Because that is pretty crazy.

  • I agree with all of that, except I'd argue that centrism doesn't mean things staying the same, it just means ending up somewhere that the largest number of people should be happy with (assuming people spread over left to right) - so centrist to me means moving to the left where policies have become fairly right over time.

    We've had over a decade of austerity now, that needs a fairly large course correction. It's given rise to Brexit, Trump and right wing populism.
    You can't fix that by things staying the same, or by being slightly progressive. You need radical change, otherwise things are going to be shifting ever rightwards.

    I think Biden at least knows this to some extent, he's essentially got four years before he has to face another populist Republican. Starmer's Labour on the other hand with it's flags!flags!flags! and courting of Daily Mail readers is chasing the populist death spiral down the drain.

  • It just feels to me like such a defensive way of doing politics and by constantly trying to avoid these really obvious stupid traps we end up falling into the biggest one of all.

  • Under the leadership of the current Shadow Business Secretary rather than Corbyn though.

  • Jesus I must be getting old, I remember that as being a couple of years ago.

  • ....and while everyone talks about the non issue of flags, the real issues:

    • the new proposed legislation on refugees
    • policing bill
    • government ballsup/corruption on covid procurement and strategy
    • continued schools/exams fuck up
    • brexit related problems

    are ignored.

    Whenever the Tories need to bury their bad news they just bring up some incendiary culture war nonsense that they can fully rely on the left/centre to fight each other to the death about. They keep doing it and will continue to keep doing it and I read it as 100% cynical 'dead cat' stuff. Starmer's version of LOTO is probably right to just adopt flags etc as nbd, mainly cause they are nbd compared to the other stuff. If people stop fighting about it, it outflanks the culture war stuff and hopefully makes it the non issue that it really is. He needs to be more active on opposing the other issues though

  • Agreed, otherwise it just makes you look like you are becoming a shitter version of the tories.

  • He needs to be more active on opposing the other issues though.

    The reason people keep brining up flags with Starmer is that’s all he’s got. He’s either abstaining or actually waving through all the issues you’re talking about.

    I’ll give him a clap for finally voting against something with the Police Bill, when he didn’t with Spycops

  • You're totally right about the BS going on while flags are given inches in newspapers and in the BBC. To be fair, though, I think most people in here have agreed for once and have said fuck the flag talk (even if it was supposed to be one of Starmer's key electoral strategies). And to be fairer, everytime someone calls out Starmer for not taking a position on an important issue, someone else calls it political nous.

  • But the last 2 pages are still about everyone talking about how they don't care about flags. Bloody flags. Also slightly unfair to say flags was one of his key electoral strategies, wasn't it just a leaked paper from some pr advisors who said he should use it? I haven't seen a peep from him about it. It's all from the Tories and some labour advisors. I'm sure not all advice in pr advisory papers is necessarily followed

  • I'm enjoying the meta talking about talking about flag chat much more than the original pointless talking about flags chat.

  • Maybe we can all like flags ironically.

  • Flag chat is back! Thanks, Ben!

    Also slightly unfair to say flags was one of his key electoral strategies, wasn't it just a leaked paper from some pr advisors who said he should use it?

    Yeah, you're right (I didn't remember so looked it up). But the leadership came out backing it.­1/feb/03/labour-defends-new-strategy-to-­focus-on-patriotism-and-union-flag

    And this was in the original guardian piece about the leaked presentation:

    In WhatsApp messages, sent within hours of one briefing, senior officials ordered: “Please prioritise the union jack header images, not the plain red ones.”

    I've not been paying attention to see if Starmer's been positioning himself in view of flags on camera whenever he can, though. He doesn't seem to be rocking the flag pin, thank Christ.

  • I remember a couple of months ago Lisa Nandy being on the Today programme to talk about something which had very little to do with patriotism, but nevertheless kept on coming back to a pre-prepared line about not being ashamed to love Britain. It was embarrassing, because she's a good MP who managed to get re-elected in a heavily Leave northern town, and so she can obvious campaign well without the stuff that just sounds completely hollow.


    I think that Keir Starmer has not actually had a fair shot yet, and while he has probably had more misses than hits so far, it's not a time that you can fairly judge a leader of the Opposition. It's very risky heavily criticising government policy during a prolonged emergency, and politicising Covid while it's still going on would have been dodgy.

    Now we seem to be emerging it's the time to offer a convincing alternative and to keep a very close eye on the Tories' plan for recovery. I'm still relatively optimistic that the last year or so has damaged and shaken Johnson, and that he can't really be arsed with the hassle of being a Prime Minister.

  • Sorry what? Do you want to explain further or shall we just assume you mean, because you keep bringing him up, that Corbyn was ashamed of the flag, not proud of, and indeed wanted ill for his country. Because that is pretty crazy.

    Is it? Because when I read Lord Ashcroft's analysis of Labour's defeat in 2019, I see a perceived lack of patriotism as being a real problem for voters. All that stuff about not singing the national anthem fed into a public perception that the guy was not patriotic.

    And you might say well, that's just the media, isn't it, it's just fluff. Well, maybe, but there's a serious point to it as well. The Stop The War coalition, which he was heavily involved in, only ever focussed on expansionist moves by western countries - it was schtum when Russia annexed Crimea. It was worse than schtum when Assad was using chemical weapons on his own people - it justified it.

    Again and again, Corbyn's 'peace making' only ever involved meeting the anti-west side of things. He's met with every dodgy terrorist group going in Palestine - don't recall him ever sitting down with the Israeli contingent, do you? He met up with the IRA guys an awful lot - don't remember seeing him brokering any meetings with any loyalists, though, do you? His meeting with bad people only ever extends to one side of the debate, and it's always the side which fights against our interests.

    I don't think Corbyn wanted ill for the UK. I think he'd say that meeting with alternative voices was in fact a form of patriotism - he wanted the UK to be less hypocritical, less expansionist, more aware of its weaknesses. But the people he met up with, hosted and invited to the HOC? Many of them ABSOLUTELY wanted ill for the UK. I think you would struggle to argue that the IRA, for example, did not.

    And I think it's completely reasonable to point out how much of a problem that is for many voters. I think, actually, they have a point.

  • I would like to point out that senior figures in the Thatcher government had VERY QUIET meetings with senior IRA representatives. The point is that it is necessary to speak to people with views you loathe, it is politically illiterate to do so openly.

    I went out on a celebratory piss-up when Thatcher shuffled off this mortal coil, but the old bitch was no fool, Corbyn is.

  • Corbyn was never the right candidate for leader into a competitive general election, but I really hoped he would be able to take the party in the right direction and then hand over to someone slightly more professional to continue in the same kind of policy direction.

    I wish this had happened between 2017 and 2019.

  • You lost me when you referenced lord Ashcroft.

  • Lol Anneliese Dodds apparently facing the chop as shadow chancellor for “failing to effectively communicate the party’s vision”, which seems harsh. How do you effectively communicate the sound of a hollow wind whispering through the void?

    Rachel “we’ll be tougher on benefits than the Tories” Reeve apparently in the lead to be the replacement. Inspiring stuff if so.

  • Yeah I agree, the policies are still very popular which is why it’s so frustrating that the diet-Tory section of the party have so much influence at the moment.

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That Starmer fella...

Posted by Avatar for aggi @aggi