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ReekBlefs

Member since Sep 2008 • Last active Oct 2021

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  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    I'm also not sure Chris Williamson and Lowkey are representative of the 'labour left'

    Here is Jeremy Corbyn telling Derbyshire Live that "Chris Williamson is a very good, very effective Labour MP. He’s a very strong anti-racist campaigner. He is not anti-Semitic in any way."

    This is in February 2019. AFTER the M&S 'Jewish blood' comments. AFTER retweeting holocaust deniers. AFTER suggesting it was legitimate to ask 'The Holocaust: yes or no?'. AFTER retweeting Gilead Atzmon. AFTER attacking the Board of Jewish Deputies during the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre - all of which those Corbyn outriders attempted to defend.

    If these people are not representative of the Labour Left, the Labour Left should not spend their time defending them.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    I think @ReekBlefs needs to get over their obsession with these marginal outfits

    With love, these 'marginal outfits' were up until recently the faction who were running the Labour Party. You'll get no argument from me that these people are kooks, but they're also the people who can largely be blamed for Corbyn's failures over the last five years - the only difference between then and now is that now they no longer have the ear of the leadership. Do you think Corbyn would've openly defended Chris Williamson in 2019 (supposedly after Corbyn had sorted the antisemitism issue out) without receiving his advice Jewish Voice For Labour? That's who this is.

    The people in my local CLP spend more time scheming to get my MP deselected than putting in groundwork to get Labour elected - a loophole only recently closed by Starmer's Labour. They remind me of the people in this thread who only post in order to put the boot into Starmer. And Christ, I get that - I've been bitterly disappointed by Starmer's failure to set the narrative. But until he makes a fuckup on the scale of Corbyn's response to antisemitism, or Brexit, or what have you, that kind of talk is utterly unjustified. Starmer is underwhelming. He has not led us to being found guilty of discrimination against our Jewish allies.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Corbyn outrider Canary openly supporting the split of the Labour Party using notorious antisemite Chris Williamson as their poster boy: https://www.thecanary.co/opinion/2021/10­/18/the-labour-party-is-dead-long-live-t­he-resistance/

    9/11 Truther Lowkey sings them out in unintended Ricky Gervais homage: https://twitter.com/cquilty52/status/144­9527114693332995

    Labour left having a totally normal day.

    We can both carry this kind of factional nonsense on ad infinitum but isn't there a better option? I.e. get on with either helping Labour win or find another party to support?

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Great piece from Raphael Behr in the Guardian yesterday: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre­e/2021/oct/15/tony-blair-keir-starmer-tv­-series-new-labour-1997-landslide

    This bit will be especially familiar to those of us actively involved in Labour:

    There’s a less tangible measure too. The Labour party of the mid-1990s was truly sick of losing, and ready to do whatever it took to win. Blair joked at the time that this may have been the only reason so many Labour members voted for him. They had had enough of the internal battles; they were ready to look outward and adapt to the electorate. Across the party, there was a consensus that their earlier detour to the ideological fringes had been a costly mistake... that argument has not been settled in today’s Labour party.

    I've been watching the Blair / Brown documentary. You really get a sense of how much harder it is to set the agenda these days. It even made me begin to understand Johnson's leaping on the Brexit bandwagon despite being more european than I am.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Well this is fun, just got a letter from the freeholder saying they've started a section 5a proposal to sell on the freehold. They've priced the freehold at ~60% the value of the flat meaning 1) it's too expensive to buy and 2) even if it we did buy it the flat may never rise in value enough to match the total cost before the heat death of the universe. So now we've got to worry about a service charge that's gone up 50% in 2 years for no apparent reason, a main boiler that we've been paying for maintenance on but turns out has been defective for 3 years, a whole new heating system being put in the building with roughly 4 more months left of work, and now an unknown buyer may tripple the ground rent and tank the value of the flat just as we want to sell it.

    Get some legal advice on this whether the price is reasonable. I hesitate to offer my understanding as leasehold is a furiously complex business and a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. However I understood that the Right To First Refusal (where the freeholder has to offer you the right to buy the freehold before offering it on the open market) has a bit of technical gubbins in there to stop Freeholders from offering you the freehold at a vast markup, then offering it on the free market at much less. If they've over-priced it, that may help you out.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    The suggestion being that Corbyn did, but there was a lot of comment from mainstream journalists when Corbyn became leader that he was very open and willing to engage with them in a way unlike most other political interviewees.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/o­ct/04/jeremy-corbyn-poiitical-interviewi­ng-labout-candid

    Did the media end up giving Corbyn a fairer crack of the whip because he was nice? No.

    I'm skeptical that if Starmer gets a fairer representation it's purely down to being nice to them. Unless by nice you mean representing their political interests, holidaying with them and becoming godfather their child?

    With love, I'm talking about Labour's media strategy and you're talking about how Corbyn came across in his first few interviews. They're not the same thing. Have a read of these pieces from 2016 to get an understanding of Milne's approach:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jer­emy-corbyn-has-toxic-relationship-media-­he-s-one-blame-a7024186.html
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/20­16/07/jeremy-corbyn-and-the-paranoid-sty­le

    You can say that his approach is justified by the reaction Corbyn got - you might argue that a bunker mentality developed with good cause. I know a lot of Corbyn loyalists who think that. But I don't think you can argue that there wasn't a bunker mentality.

    The press has a fundamental role in a democracy. When Corbyn's team made a decision to see every criticism as being in bad faith, they lost an opportunity to learn and they lost an opportunity to explain. I lost count of the amount of time Channel Four News - hardly a Murdoch stronghold! - said they'd approached Labour for comment but no-one was available. When you are the most unpopular opposition leader in history, you cannot afford to lose those opportunities.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Really?

    What position would you have advised Labour to take that would have balanced urban remainers and small-town leavers just a year and a half after Brexit?

    With the benefit of hindsight the solution is quite obvious (I don't pretend I had it at the time, but Emily Thornberry did). After the vote but before the 2017 election, Labour says we accept the referendum result, but recognise the knife-edge nature of the thing - so our policy is that the UK leaves we don't go far. Our solution is EFTA / Norway / Soft Brexit. We keep FOM/SM/CU and lose our MEPs.

    The ERG would try to spin that as 'BRINO' or Brexit In Name Only. We counter by saying it's what Nigel Farage / Daniel Hannan / et al were suggesting before the vote so how can it be. We position ourselves as being on the side of business, and of the Good Friday Agreement, and British ex pats freedom of movement to retire to Spain. We strenuously resist any and all attempts to rebrand soft Brexit as BRINO and hard brexit as No Deal Brexit. We emphasise how your dream of retiring abroad to a cheap little place in the sun is at stake.

    Don't get me wrong, that would be a bumpy ride coming into the 2017 election and it may have resulted in Labour finishing down on where we finished (instead of being 60 seats down we may have ended up 70 seats down) - I recognise that any time we took a position, we lost votes. But the key point is that it would've been a bit of short term pain which was ABSOLUTELY worth it longer term:

    • it shows May's throwing of red meat to her ERG allies with ending FOM/SM as the unnecessary nonsense it was
    • it shows Labour as the party of pragmatism and has a policy which would unite its urban and rural bases - which stops us having to flip flop in 2019
    • it completely castrates the nascent People's Vote movement before they even get started
    • throughout May's chaos of 2018/9 (which is the period we're talking about here) Labour would be sitting in the corner like the smug cat in that meme like 'hey lads you could always soft Brexit'. that is a real start for a potential government - when the opposition looks in control and the govt is in chaos

    Our agreement to get rid of Freedom of Movement and Single Market Membership in the 2017 manifesto (while winking at Remainers that we didn't really mean it) did make sense in that election, but strategically it stymied us longer term. It meant we could not go back on losing FOM/SM access, which effectively meant we did not have a proper version of Brexit to offer up - at least, not one any less damaging to business and the GFA than whatever the Tories were offering. At least you could say the Tories meant it!

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    I'll also never understand that '20 points ahead' slogan. Saying 'any other leader would be 20 points ahead of Theresa May's mess of a Tory party in 2017' is one thing - not helpful, possibly, but legitimate. But the political landscape has changed since then. Brexit has been done. Covid has hit. Boris Johnson is a cannier political operator than Theresa May. We can pretend not to understand that if you like but I don't think it moves us forward much.

    Incidentally, my politics are soft left. It's just that my position on antisemitism - that we should be zero tolerant of it - unfortunately leads people to think I'm a centrist. Those of us on the hard left should really think about why that is. Why is it that we're so eager to associate the hard left with antisemitism? It only emboldens your enemies.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    l'll never understand that point. Managing the press is a skill any modern political leader must have. I don't think Starmer's great at it, but at the very least he doesn't begin from the point of assuming the media is the enemy and working out from there. He recognises that the press have an important duty in regulating power, and he attempts to engage with them honestly. The result is that the media are prepared to give him a fairer crack of the whip. That's not co-incidence, that's strategy.

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