Another Open Thread on the UK Election.

by Harry on June 8, 2017

Nobody believes exit polls, obviously. But go ahead, say whatever comes to mind, as long as it keeps to our comments policy.

{ 330 comments }

1

Layman 06.08.17 at 9:49 pm

Holy cow. Tory disaster in the making?

2

Steve 06.08.17 at 10:14 pm

In the previous thread I suggested that the certainty that the Tories would get an increased majority was unfounded given the recent failures of opinion polls and columnists… It seems odd to boast about one’s own epistemic modesty, but…

3

js. 06.08.17 at 10:19 pm

I want to wait until the official results come in, but… WOW.

4

Philip 06.08.17 at 10:26 pm

@Layman, possibly but the margin for Newcastle and Sunderland is less than predicted in the exit polls. If they are anywhere near true though May is in trouble. If there is no left coalition that would leave a minority Tory government to deal with Brexit. There might be another election again soon.

5

Harry 06.08.17 at 10:29 pm

Amber Rudd’s agent says her seat is too close to call. Her agent!

6

Sandwichman 06.08.17 at 10:33 pm

Labour smiles in Hastings.

7

Ted Lemon 06.08.17 at 10:44 pm

Fingers crossed.

8

Dave 06.08.17 at 10:52 pm

Top trending question on Google in UK since polls closed:
“Why did Theresa May call an election?”

9

Moz of Yarramulla 06.08.17 at 10:55 pm

I am mostly looking forward to “Have I got news for you” take on Teresa May’s excuses for stuffing it up so amazingly. And hoping she does. In many ways I think an actual loss of Conservative majority would be better than a narrow win, because it would leave her in her current position, unable to do much for fear of offending even one of her MPs… and with the example of Corbyn to show her what happens when the MPs oppose their leader.

From the far side of the planet, I’m just hoping the Corbyn side of Labour come out ok. And the SNP likewise. A firm kicking to the extremists on the reicht of the Conservative party wouldn’t make me unhappy, either.

10

Frank Wilhoit 06.08.17 at 10:59 pm

Dave @ 8:

Q. How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Two: one to hold the giraffe, the other to fill the bathtub with brightly-coloured machine tools.

11

basil 06.08.17 at 11:10 pm

Tories to win.

Wonder typing these questions into s search engine returns……

Will Cooper, Khan, Umunna, Reeves, Benn, Woodcock’s votes grant the Tories a majority?

What happens if the next step of an emboldened Corbyn Project is to grant complete power to the CLPs to nominate delegates?

What are Renzi, Macron!, Blair, Obama, the Clintons thinking?

What shape does the media of the future take given the biases of the Guardian, the BBC, C4 and the rest of them?

How many jobs would be created if all the punditry and the expert class resigned with May?

**
The Labour conservatives are hard at work, trying to take credit for this shift away from Momentum/Corbyn and attribute it to May.

12

Val 06.08.17 at 11:16 pm

So at present the swing looks ok for conservatives because they’re taking votes from UKIP right? Labour has a bigger swing (presumably could be from Cons and UKIP?) but alsoappears to be taking votes from Greens?

I know, only six seats, regional patterns etc but that looks reasonable. Corbyn could take votes back to Labour from the Greens I imagine.

13

Layman 06.08.17 at 11:25 pm

@Philip, yes I saw that just after I posted. Still, it can’t be what May was gambling on. Happy I can get BBC here in Ecuador. Between James Comey and this election, it’s been some day!

14

Faustusnotes 06.08.17 at 11:25 pm

Remember exit polls are always wrong!

15

Tabasco 06.08.17 at 11:27 pm

Labour looks set to win Kensington & Chelsea. Yes, you read that correctly. This was unthinkable even at the height of the Blair landslides. It’s the revenge of the Remainers.

16

John Quiggin 06.08.17 at 11:31 pm

Very slow. They don’t give progress results it seems. Just call the seats when all the votes are counted?

17

Harry 06.08.17 at 11:31 pm

They think they might get Warwick and Leamington.

18

John Quiggin 06.08.17 at 11:33 pm

Even if she scrapes back in, May must be finished as PM. Who would be likely to replace her?

19

Tom Slee 06.08.17 at 11:37 pm

@JQ: Yes: it was a shock when I moved to Canada and results were called from every poll separately. In the UK (at least back when) the boxes are all taken to one central location and counted together. I blame geography.

20

engels 06.08.17 at 11:37 pm

Even if she scrapes back in, May must be finished as PM. Who would be likely to replace her?

BoJo

21

basil 06.08.17 at 11:41 pm

@15,
Labour in Canterbury too?!

22

Harry 06.08.17 at 11:42 pm

JQ — There’s usually one national exit poll (the current poll suggests the Tories losing their majority, and would have to be very far out in order for them to increase it significantly). Then they call each seat only as it is announced (the seats are too small for exit polls to be reliable for individual seats, so they don’t bother to do it). So they compare each seat with what the exit poll predicts.

23

Stephen Johnson 06.08.17 at 11:45 pm

Exit polls project 18 “Other” – who are they? Some would perhaps be Sinn Fein – who else?

24

Faustusnotes 06.08.17 at 11:58 pm

I just read rumour labour might unseat clegg. Mwahahaha!

25

John Quiggin 06.08.17 at 11:58 pm

Frustrating! We get the results from each polling station as they complete the count. That’s compared to the same station last time to calculate the swing in real time.

26

Joseph Brenner 06.09.17 at 12:01 am

Faustusnotes @11:”Remember exit polls are always wrong!”

My understanding is that exit polls are actually typically pretty reliable, though whenever an odd official result shows up, many people pop up Very Seriously explaining how bad they always are.

27

J-D 06.09.17 at 12:26 am

Tabasco
The constituency of Kensington and Chelsea was abolished in 2010. You could mean ‘Labour looks set to win Kensington’ or ‘Labour looks set to win Chelsea & Fulham’ or ‘Labour looks set to win both Kensington and Chelsea & Fulham’.

Or your comment is somehow reaching us through a barrier between dimensions, I suppose …

28

J-D 06.09.17 at 12:29 am

The BBC is reporting that Nick Clegg is set to lose his seat to Labour. I can’t feel sorry for him. Can anybody? (His personal friends, I suppose.)

29

Tabasco 06.09.17 at 12:36 am

@18: Replacements for May:

There are arguments against all plausible options. They could double down on the ridiculous (Bojo) or revert to the grey man’s grey man, Phillip Hammond.

30

Markos Valaris 06.09.17 at 1:13 am

So, what happens if it’s a hung parliament? Will Lib Dems/SNP agree to support either of the major parties without reversing course of Brexit?

31

faustusnotes 06.09.17 at 1:15 am

Nooooooo! Farage is threatening a comeback!

32

Layman 06.09.17 at 1:15 am

BBC now reporting that the Conservative leadership do not expect to outperform the exit poll.

33

Peter K. 06.09.17 at 1:18 am

Inspiring campaign and effort by Corbyn and his supporters.

Bernie would have won.

34

J-D 06.09.17 at 1:22 am

Stephen Johnson
Northern Ireland has 18 seats in the UK House of Commons, which the British political parties don’t even contest.

35

J-D 06.09.17 at 1:25 am

36

John Quiggin 06.09.17 at 1:26 am

Does this mean that Hard Brexit (with the no deal option as a threat) is dead? It’s hard to see how May or a Tory successor could push it through with a minority government, or even a bare majority.

And if not Hard Brexit, is there any feasible solution other than a Clayton’s Brexit, where Britain gives up its vote, but everything else stays the same (budget contributions, ECJ, free movement).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claytons

37

Tabasco 06.09.17 at 1:33 am

J-D, I saw a tweet to that effect and assumed it was authoritative. What a shame.

Anyways, what is likelihood of a Labour + Lib Dems + SNP coalition with a bare majority?

38

Tabasco 06.09.17 at 1:34 am

@33

Come back Seamus Milne. All is forgiven.

39

basil 06.09.17 at 1:39 am

Will the warmongers and neo-Powellites back Corbyn for PM if it comes to that? Just counting party seats obscures the hatred many of the Labour ‘moderates’ have for the Corbyn project. While it is true that some of them are careerists, several others ran on staunch anti-Corbyn-but-Labour platforms and may find it difficult to beat a retreat. What would they do should the Tories offer a more charismatic/less sullied PM candidate than May/BoJo?

40

Philip 06.09.17 at 1:46 am

Nick Clegg’s gone. It looks like Scotland might be helping to give a Conservative minority government.

41

Layman 06.09.17 at 1:47 am

“What would they do should the Tories offer a more charismatic/less sullied PM candidate than May/BoJo?”

Outside of the Tolkien Bestiary, is there such a creature?

42

basil 06.09.17 at 2:04 am

@41,
Ha! Literally, Ken Clarke?

43

roger gathmann 06.09.17 at 2:24 am

It looks like labour outpreformed exit poll in Wales. I have this mean desire to collect every Guardian opinionista column about the unelectability of Corbyn and make a blog of it. Sort of like Henry’s Krauthammer 6 months anniversary.
The case for saying that the british press and the pundits are absolutely out of touch with reality just grew stronger. Here’s a link to my favorite concern troll, Jason Cowley, and his New Statesman editorial about how, really, Jeremy has to go, too ultra don’t you know, doesn’t see that the smart thing is to bring in a more, shall we say, decent austerity. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/06/labour-reckoning

What I like about Corbyn is how much better he is than me. I imagine he could care less about the wankers who got it wrong. Myself, I am too petty.

44

J-D 06.09.17 at 3:45 am

Tabasco

J-D, I saw a tweet to that effect and assumed it was authoritative. What a shame.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/labour-plays-down-hopes-stealing-13159350

Anyways, what is likelihood of a Labour + Lib Dems + SNP coalition with a bare majority?

Nil.

I just saw a prediction on the BBC website (with actual declared results for 576 out of 650 seats) of a final result with Conservative 316, Labour 265, SNP 34, LD 13.

45

kidneystones 06.09.17 at 3:52 am

This is a remarkably fine result for Corbyn and for his supporters. The rest probably feel like chewing glass. What comes next? Given that Corbyn can’t manage the PLP, I find it highly unlikely that he’ll accomplish much as PM, if the jobs falls to him. I’m not sure that would be such a bad thing. What is clear is that his message resonates with voters, he stands for something even if that something isn’t necessarily exactly what voters want. He’s an atypical politician at a time when many voters are clearly sick to death with more of the same. Those who predicted the demise of Labour under Corbyn have been proven wrong. Labour has been through some wrenching times, but clearly the struggles have been worth it, at least as far as I can tell.

Consider the counter-factual in the US. Would Sanders have won? That’s looking more and more likely. Imagine that Hillary had carried the day with a big margin in the popular vote and a narrower victory in the electoral college. Would the Democratic party be considering change? How difficult would it be to dislodge Clinton Inc. had Hillary won? We’d be reading serious suggestions regarding Chelsea’s future run. Expelling the sclerotic geriatrics running Democrats Inc. is proving a challenge even with a massive collapse of power at the state and local level over the previous eight years and the final humiliation of losing to the rodeo clown. Those arguing that Democrats can recover their footing by running on identity politics rather than fairness and economic equality for all (even the WWC) may with to take a glimpse at this piece in the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/opinion/the-democratic-party-is-in-worse-shape-than-you-thought.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

“Priorities also studied Obama-to-Trump voters. Estimates of the number of such voters range from 6.7 to 9.2 million, far more than enough to provide Trump his Electoral College victory. The counties that switched from Obama to Trump were heavily concentrated in the Midwest and other Rust Belt states. To say that this constituency does not look favorably on the Democratic Party fails to capture the scope of their disenchantment. The accompanying chart illustrates this discontent. A solid majority, 77 percent, of Obama-to-Trump voters think Trump’s economic policies will either favor “all groups equally” (44) or the middle class (33). 21 percent said Trump would favor the wealthy.
In contrast, a plurality of these voters, 42 percent, said that Congressional Democrats would favor the wealthy, slightly ahead of Congressional Republicans at 40 percent.”

Corbyn and Sanders command respect from voters who prioritize integrity. Both have an inner moral core that comes from a lifetime of taking difficult, often unpopular stands. They’re reliable. The first time I was on strike the head of our union was a card-carrying communist who’d been jailed rather than submit to the bosses and the courts. He enjoyed enormous respect and loyalty from the folks who HRC and her minions would be keen to call deplorable and irredeemable. Labour got a great many votes from UKIP supporters, more it seems than went to Conservative. Best of all, Corbyn and Sanders prove to young folks ready to enter politics that idealists can win.

What a night!

46

Pavel A 06.09.17 at 3:53 am

Can we now bury the Blairites in the same shallow graves that they buried thousands of Iraqi civilians?

47

Tabasco 06.09.17 at 4:33 am

J-D @44

The BBC’s prediction therefore is Conservative 316, Labour + SNP + SD 312

Since this is just a prediction, with 74 more results to declare, the likelihood of a Labour + SNP +SD majority might not be high, but it is surely more than nil.

48

basil 06.09.17 at 4:56 am

We oughtn’t ignore the central role that movements for justice – what numpties call SJW, have played in bringing about this repudiation of centrism: StWC, UK Uncut, anti-racism movements like BLM, environmental action groups, animal rights campaigners, civil rights campaigners, the NHS support movement, Occupy, CND, the unions, Momentum, random ardent publishers, educators and mobilisers on social media …….

Corbyn the anti-leader is an expression of these efforts. Corbyn’s moral clarity and history count but their victories also demonstrate the recruiting power of these movements’ moral arguments. Serious people everywhere deride them, but these groups do the slow thankless work of persuasion that makes nights like these possible.

49

js. 06.09.17 at 5:03 am

Surely it’s a Con + DUP government vs. a Lab + SNP + etc. govt., no?

50

js. 06.09.17 at 5:05 am

Anyway, I can’t remember the last time losing felt so good. Maybe it shouldn’t.

51

Tabasco 06.09.17 at 5:06 am

@45
And yet just a few weeks ago Macron won the French presidency campaigning from the center and looks like he will win big again in the parliamentary election.

52

J-D 06.09.17 at 5:08 am

Tabasco
On the figures then, the chance that the total for Labour plus LD plus SNP would exceed the Conservative total was slim but not nil; but even on the figures then, the chance of a Labour-LD-SNP coalition with a majority was nil.

The BBC website is now showing actual declared results of Conservative 310, Labour 258, SNP 34, LD 12, with only 14 out of 650 seats yet to be declared.

53

john mcgowan 06.09.17 at 5:30 am

Am I crazy to think that the spectacle of Trump in office has had some influence on the French and British elections? Particularly on turnout, which has been high in the UK.

54

Val 06.09.17 at 6:38 am

It beggars belief that already on here we have kidneystones trying to use Corbyn’s success as an opportunity to argue that economic and social fairness are opposing goals – and to tell women and people of colour once again that we should just stop with our so-called ‘identity politics’ and shut up.

Just appalling.

55

tenzinger 06.09.17 at 6:52 am

In the spirit of Roger Gathmann’s comment at 43, specifically the last paragraph, I’d like to invite all the tories, lib-dems, and other naysayers to respectfully put on diapers, fill them with their shit, and tell us all that they’re goody-goods who deserve a lolly. Well done and godspeed.

56

Val 06.09.17 at 7:18 am

Seems as if the Conservatives might be able to form a coalition with the DUP, which sounds scary!

57

Akshay 06.09.17 at 8:56 am

Looks like CON+DUP then? Given that the NI Protestants/Unionists first solemnly signed the good friday agreement, establishing an open border, and then campaigned for Brexit, during a campaign based on closing borders, I have to wonder about the consequences for peace in Northern Ireland, with them becoming kingmakers in the UK.

So will the DUP insist on an EEA solution? Will the Tories or even Labour agree to that? (The EU has said they want a “creative and imaginative solution” to the NI issue, and ISTM that the DUP has a heavy responsibility to provide the creativity and imagination, having contributed to the Brexit problem)

58

Manta 06.09.17 at 9:16 am

I suppose that the conclusion is that Corbyn has to go.

59

Layman 06.09.17 at 10:36 am

Shorter kidneystones: “What if Spartacus had had a Piper Cub?”

60

Cranky Observer 06.09.17 at 11:32 am

Could one of our UK CT’ers write a summary of what happened and what the known and probably outcomes are? I’m having a hard time getting a picture from here in Square State USofA. Thanks.

61

Pro Bono 06.09.17 at 11:41 am

Now: Conservatives 318 (out of 650), DUP 10, Labour 261, SNP 35, LibDem 12, Plaid Cymru 4, Green 1, Independent (a Northern Irish Unionist) 1, Sinn Fein (who won’t take their seats) 7.

That’s with Kensington, which will go to either Conservatives or Labour, still to declare after several recounts.

One of the Conservative MPs is the speaker, who votes only to break ties, and then (by convention) in favour of the status quo. If all the other Conservatives vote for a motion, the DUP abstains, and the other parties all vote against, the motion will pass by 317 to 314, plus Kensington on one side or the other.

62

Layman 06.09.17 at 12:41 pm

I’m reading that the DUP will support May and the Tories for the purposes of ensuring that Brexit comes with no soft / open border accommodation for Northern Ireland. It’s my impression that the peace works to a great extent because of the open borders that come with EU membership. Is that right? So Cameron’s gamble jeopardized the peace, and May’s has made the situation even worse?

63

Marc 06.09.17 at 12:51 pm

What I’ve been reading this AM is that this result makes no agreement with the EU more likely, and that the DUP wants a hard line on Brexit. Any one with more knowledge able to comment on that? The logic that I saw was that, to the extent that the EU pursues a hard line, a weak government is not going to be in a position to make concessions.

Pleased with the strong Labor showing here. It is a bit concerning that they couldn’t pull a majority even in the face of a catastrophically poor Tory campaign. It also looks as if the SNP got hit quite hard – have they crested as well?

64

Katsue 06.09.17 at 1:15 pm

It really says something about the operations of First Past the Post that with 42.5% of the popular vote, as compared to 40% for the Labour Party, the Conservatives got over 50 more seats. If there was a semblance of proportional representation, the Lib Dems would presumably hold the balance of power.

Anyway, congratulations to the Corbyn crew.

65

basil 06.09.17 at 1:21 pm

Is it hyperbolic to claim this as the most significant moment in global politics since the big left wave in Latin America? You really can sheep/goats the world of left politics on the basis of Corbyn love (not reluctant support) and that I imagine, is a very big deal. Crowds bigger than anywhere in the UK since World War II the telly said.

This is also the first time in my life that a girls’* platform has been vindicated in this way.

*I hope it is clear I mean this as a queer compliment, not a slur.

66

kidneystones 06.09.17 at 1:38 pm

Evidently a few people here believe that people without jobs are more concerned with identity politics than putting food on the table. Bernie Sanders is making precisely this argument. I’m not sure how many others here have been directly involved in union organizing, but perhaps some confuse the word coalition with ‘choir.’

Setting and enforcing thought and speech codes is an extremely poor way of creating a climate of inclusion. I’ve belonged to half a dozen unions over my working career. Many members can’t stand each other and wouldn’t sit down to share a beer. And in the cases where we took action, we stood together and won.

That’s what collective action is: making common cause with those we might ordinarily disagree with, and that very often means forgoing demands for ideological and other forms of conformity. Sneering at your moral inferiors is bad enough. Demanding ‘they’ get with the program as a condition of collective action is a sure path to division and failure. You end up with Trump as president, not Sanders. And Sanders seems to understand that much, even if others (here) do not.

Had UKIP voters gone the Tories en masse, (as defecting SNP voters seem to have), May would be much closer to a majority. Is that the desired outcome? The lower orders have their uses, on occasion, it seems. Please try to learn to learn to live with those you clearly detest, if you possibly can. The unwashed played their part in this election, too. Thank goodness.

Few people would have predicted a victory of this scale for Corbyn and Labour of this scale. The linked NYT piece above confirms that significant sections of working class America view Democrats less favorably than Republicans. Bad them, huh?

67

Philip 06.09.17 at 2:10 pm

@Marc, Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, has said ‘no one wants a hard brexit’ and they don’t want a hard border with Republic of Ireland. Whatever stance May takes, especially on the single market, will piss of factions in the party who will want to press her when she is weak. There will be lots of deals being done to try and stop a leadership challenge against May, I’m really not sure what the outcome will be.

68

F. Foundling 06.09.17 at 3:03 pm

basil @48

Umm no, ‘SJW’, in spite of the literal meaning of the acronym, certainly does *not* normally refer to StWC, UK Uncut, the NHS support movement, CND and the unions – all of these are movements that do meaningful work pertaining to issues about which typical ‘SJWs’ usually don’t care all that much.

kidneystones @45
>Best of all, Corbyn and Sanders prove to young folks ready to enter politics that idealists can win.

Alternatively, a somewhat less optimistic takeaway might be that even someone like Corbyn can be temporarily allowed to ‘win’ (strictly speaking, to lose with less than expected) if the centrist and centre-‘left’ part of the Establishment is even more keen to make life difficult for someone else at the moment (in this case, for the Brexit gang). My (admittedly vague) impression is that they didn’t seem to be sabotaging him in the usual way this time. That is not to say that he can’t also defeat them in a direct conflict at some point in the future, of course.

kidneystones @45
>What a night!
basil @48
>these groups do the … work … that makes nights like these possible
js @50
>Anyway, I can’t remember the last time losing felt so good. Maybe it shouldn’t.

Well, I did find the euphoria a bit exaggerated – you’d think Corbyn had won in a landslide or something, and the reaction was symptomatic of how low the expectations were – but it’s definitely good for the people and the movement to be motivated by emphasising what they have achieved rather than what they haven’t. A ‘glass half-full’ mental tendency is a prerequisite for maintaining and growing a movement and achieving greater successes in the future. And it’s undeniably pleasing that the ‘Corbyn must go’ line probably won’t be topical for some time.

basil @65
>This is also the first time in my life that a girls’* platform has been vindicated in this way.
>*I hope it is clear I mean this as a queer compliment, not a slur.

Oh God. I despair. :) Cut the essentialism already!

69

Pro Bono 06.09.17 at 3:04 pm

As a political phenomenon, Corbyn has a lot in common with Trump. Both are utterly unsuited to running a country, unpopular with senior figures in their own party, not very bright, but very good at getting their party’s supporters to come out and vote for them. Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, despite having very little support from the party’s MPs, because it changed its system for selecting the leader to a vote of the mass membership, not entirely unlike a US primary. It’s not surprising that he’s been similarly successful in a general election campaign.

I see the same sort of bafflement in my rightist friends’ faces at Corbyn’s relative success as I feel myself at the fact that 46% of the US electorate voted for Trump (and 38% still approve of him).

70

bob mcmanus 06.09.17 at 3:29 pm

“Also, Bernie would have won.”

Bhaskar Sunkara at Jacobin

At first I thought this might be too America-centric, and if there is a global movement it should be called Corbynism or perhaps the Corbynite Disruption, but then Paul Mason repeated it in Britain (also at Jacobin). BWHW not only includes the refutation and repudiation of the neoliberal (Blair-Clinton-Obama, they lost too badly, too much…to hell with them) regimes but shows the class struggle redistribution Left is back…globally. The only way.

Sunkara:

“Corbyn salvaged this election by bucking Labour’s conservative slide over the past several decades and sticking to his left-wing guns. His success provides a blueprint for what democratic socialists need to do in the years to come.

Labour’s surge confirms what the Left has long argued: people like a straightforward, honest defense of public goods. Labour’s manifesto was sweeping — its most socialist in decades. It was a straight-forward document, calling for nationalization of key utilities, access to education, housing, and health services for all, and measures to redistribute income from corporations and the rich to ordinary people.”

71

Continental 06.09.17 at 3:36 pm

The size of the swing compared to 2015 is impressive, and the change in mood compared to just three weeks ago truly mind-boggling. In England, the swing is in part explained by the collapse of Ukip, but how do you interpret what’s going on in Scotland?

72

Continental 06.09.17 at 3:47 pm

Re free college: The distributional effect is one question but another one is, how popular is that proposal really? In the UK it may be different but I’m convinced that the support in the US is slim, and in particular among the Trump-leaning segment of the so-called working class. The suggestion that Sanders would have won over these people in particular, with their anti-intellectualism and disdain for liberal institutions, with that kind of platform, I think is absurd. That’s not saying that the policy is bad of course but those who claim that such “radical” proposals speak to the mood in Trump country seem to live in a different universe.

73

Harry 06.09.17 at 3:56 pm

It’s popular among young people. The idea is that it would have brought out not-usually-voting youngsters in enough numbers to offset the (tiny) number of Trump voters that formed the margin. Its plausible that the free college proposal in the UK (where it is, anyway, much more popular throughout the class structure) made a big difference in bringing out the youth vote (one reason we should be wary of thinking this can be repeated in 5 years). It wouldn’t have needed to have anything like as much effect to eviscerate the wafer-thin margin in the US.

I say that as someone who opposes the policy, btw.

74

Ragweed 06.09.17 at 4:02 pm

@pro bono – why would DUP abstain from a vote? I know Sinn Fein abstained from sitting – is there a DUP tradition of not voting?

75

Layman 06.09.17 at 4:07 pm

Pro Bono: “As a political phenomenon, Corbyn has a lot in common with Trump. Both are utterly unsuited to running a country…”

What is the basis for this judgment of Corbyn? It was patently obvious about Trump because he demonstrated it constantly with his words and actions. Is there a similar track record for Corbyn?

76

Martin Bento 06.09.17 at 4:22 pm

No, free college was not an element of Sanders’ platform likely to appeal to the white working class – but livable wage and Medicare-for-all were. Sanders was aiming to unite the middle and lower classes. You can’t do it with just the lower classes.

77

Dipper 06.09.17 at 4:53 pm

@ Philip – 67

Most Tories I know are furious with May for screwing up this election and leaving the door open to a Corbyn government which would simply, in their opinion, take everything they own before trying to put them all in prison (he did promise a “reckoning”).

Ordinarily someone who failed in this way would be expected to resign, but May’s particular punishment is to have to carry on. I would love to be a fly on the wall for the first cabinet meeting and the moment when the cabinet make it clear to May exactly where the power now lies.

78

Dipper 06.09.17 at 4:58 pm

one argument trotted for the Corbyn vote out is how young people have been done over by the older generation, and I would completely agree. The astronomical cost of housing (a byproduct of QE), tuition fees, falling wages and poor employment conditions are clear examples, as well as the triple lock meaning pensioners constantly improve their living standards without trying.

I had wondered when the backlash would happen, but it does appear to have happened now. The Tories need to get a fair settlement for young people pretty soon or a Corbyn government’s Land Value Tax will simply take the entire value of their houses over a period and hand it out to whoever has voted for them.

79

Continental 06.09.17 at 5:03 pm

73: Ok some voters would have liked it but others would have opposed it. The effect on balance would be speculation. What I’m taking issue with is the argument that “more radical” policies are a winning strategy for the left. There’s little evidence for this and I say that as somebody who would prefer more radical left policies. But they have been defeated at the polls over and over.

I’m delighted that Corbyn did so much better than predicted. Still given what an utter mess the Tories have made, it’s disappointing they still bested him.

80

Pro Bono 06.09.17 at 5:19 pm

Ragweed: I’m not saying that the DUP is particularly likely to abstain, just setting out the minimum the Conservatives need to win a commons vote.

Layman: Corbyn spent 9 years as a local councillor and 33 years as an MP without ever being given any sort of ministerial responsibility. 9 months after he was elected leader, Labour MPs passed an unprecedented vote of no confidence in him by 172 to 40. Several of them went public with complaints about the hopeless disorganization of the parliamentary party under his leadership. And then there’s the sad story of the party’s Economic Advisory Committee, which could have given much-needed credibility to the party’s economic policies.

ps. No one in the know is supposed to say anything until the result is confirmed, but the rumours are that the counts so far have shown Labour a few votes ahead in Kensington.

81

Cranky Observer 06.09.17 at 6:15 pm

= = = vidently a few people here believe that people without jobs are more concerned with identity politics than putting food on the table = = =

In the United States at least the evidence from Kansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, and now Missouri seems to indicate that, yes. People have been voting for policies and politicians that cost them their jobs as long as “thugs” and “welfare queens” are punished thereby. Pretty intense identity politics.

I have no idea if that applies in the U.K.

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steven t johnson 06.09.17 at 7:18 pm

Speaking as a foreigner, whose impression of the Tories is they are jingo English, it is quite funny that their continued rule will apparently depend on foreigners.

Corbyn lost the popular vote, against May, who appears to have combined the sexiness of Angela Merkel and the charisma of Hilary Clinton while avoiding the seeming forthrightness of Golda Meir or the menace of Indira Gandhi. This is the high water mark most likely. The rulers in Britain will look to the monstrous Macron for a guide.

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Layman 06.09.17 at 7:37 pm

@Pro Bono, there’s good reason to believe the No Confidence vote was a consequence of Corbin’s traditional labour views rather than his abilities, so I wouldn’t necessarily count that as evidence of his unsuitedness. Do you think he’d get the same result now? As to the rest, you could say much the same about (say) Harry Truman, and he certainly didn’t play out as unsuited to high office. Trump, on the other hand, is a known fraudster. Comparing Corbyn to him strikes me as trolling.

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engels 06.09.17 at 7:51 pm

Speaking as a foreigner… Corbyn lost the popular vote, against May… This is the high water mark most likely. The rulers in Britain will look to the monstrous Macron

Thanks for vindicating my decision not to read this thread.

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novakant 06.09.17 at 9:10 pm

I’m happy enough consdiering the circumstances, but the circumstances are dire no matter who is in power – there is no good solution to the Brexit problem and it will cost us all an arm and a leg.

I just wish Corbyn had used his considerable talent as a campaigner a year ago insted of hiding out in Islington North and we might not be in this mess now – but it was clear that his heart wasn’t in it at all and I’m actually pretty certain that he was quite pleased with Brexit – that makes it very hard for me to forgive him, as much as I admire what he has pulled of just now.

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Dipper 06.09.17 at 9:16 pm

@ steven t johnson that is unfair on the Tories. They have people from all walks of life, races, religions, introduced gay marriage etc.

Which brings us on to the DUP. They are not foreigners, they are Brits living in Northern Ireland who want to remain part of the UK. However, they do also have strong religious opinions (I saw – possibly on CT? their manifesto described as the bible plus fortnightly bin collections). Given the Tories need Scottish Tories, currently run by a women in a same-sex relationship, and the anti-gay DUP, this could be interesting

As people are point outing, the UK government has to remain neutral in the various issues that are currently going on with the Northern Ireland Assembly, but is now in an agreement with one part of that Assembly. Personally I think if other MPs or parties find that a problem they are free to support the Tories in power themselves in the place of the DUP.

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gastro george 06.09.17 at 9:17 pm

How ironic that so much effort went into portraying Corbyn as a terrorist sympathiser after he’s had a few cups of tea with Gerry Adams and now the Tories are being kept in power by the DUP, who have direct relations with Loyalist terrorists.

88

Val 06.09.17 at 9:18 pm

@ 82
Could you just possibly have avoided making fun of a female politician based on her lack of “sexiness”? Seems a pretty basic standard to have failed.

Kidneystones and f foundling

Unfortunately the CT bloggers seem to accept that racism and sexism can pass as long as you disguise them with words like ‘identity politics’ and ‘SJWs’ but I don’t!

Just for the record, hopefully so you stop these false claims once and for all, women and people of colour are more likely to be poor than white men.

There is no disjunction between wanting equality for women and people of colour and wanting more economically equal societies. Please stop trying to pretend there is.

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gastro george 06.09.17 at 9:25 pm

@Dipper 78 – “The Tories need to get a fair settlement for young people pretty soon”

The Tories’ idea of a fair settlement for young people is to try to prevent them from voting. They’ve changed the electoral law several times to do exactly that. Their plans to introduce ID checks on voters are designed to do the same – voter suppression as pioneered by the Reps in the US. Also changing the criteria for constituency boundaries based on the recent voting record rather than actual population after the initial voter suppression would give them an additional advantage.

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bruce wilder 06.09.17 at 9:33 pm

I share the impression that Corbyn was let up on by the media. Part of this is almost certainly the self-preservation instincts of vulnerable MPs of the PLP, for whom the election was a threatened extinction level event, and who turned down the gas on their own over-heated attempts to discredit him, feeding the tabloid’s never satiated demand for slanders. I find it hard to believe that Corbyn and his team had much control over this, though they may have been reasonably skillful about focusing on television, controlling venues and timing for events and so on. Despite all the talk today of Corbyn as a populist barnburner, during the actual campaign, it seemed like he was placed very cautiously with considerable risk aversion.

Before the campaign began, Corbyn was misquoted in the British media at a regular and scandalous rate, and the stories of his alleged incompetence as an organizer were repeated regularly with very little evidence. Suddenly, Corbyn the Hamas and IRA terrorist was forgotten and he was this nice man who wanted to hire more police and reduce waiting times at the NHS or improve service at British Rail. And, it was May with a dementia tax. Corbyn’s staff tried to protect him I am sure, but I wonder about attributing too much to the efforts to protect him, and too little to decisions from on high to stop torturing him for the duration.

It is amazing how fast things turned around for Labour, though it was third parties that mostly took the drubbing — not many Tories converted as far as I can tell. Britain is back to being a two-party system, with the Tories on notice that they can be rotated out of office. Keir Starmer as Shadow Brexit Secretary may be the swiftest move Corbyn made, since it is an advertisement of Labour Brexit competence on offer for TPTB that may soon feel they need it.

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bruce wilder 06.09.17 at 9:34 pm

I think I share the impression that Corbyn was let up on by the media.

Part of this is almost certainly the self-preservation instincts of vulnerable MPs of the PLP, for whom the election was a threatened extinction level event, and who turned down the gas on their own over-heated attempts to discredit him, feeding the tabloid’s never satiated demand for slanders. I find it hard to believe that Corbyn and his team had much control over this, though they may have been reasonably skillful about focusing on television, controlling venues and timing for events and so on. Despite all the talk today of Corbyn as a populist barnburner, during the actual campaign, it seemed like he was placed very cautiously with considerable risk aversion.

Before the campaign began, Corbyn was misquoted in the British media at a regular and scandalous rate, and the stories of his alleged incompetence as an organizer were repeated regularly with very little evidence. Suddenly, Corbyn the Hamas and IRA terrorist was forgotten and he was this nice man who wanted to hire more police and reduce waiting times at the NHS or improve service at British Rail. And, it was May with a dementia tax. Corbyn’s staff tried to protect him I am sure, but I wonder about attributing too much to the efforts to protect him, and too little to decisions from on high to stop torturing him for the duration.

It is amazing how fast things turned around for Labour, though it was third parties that mostly took the drubbing — not many Tories converted as far as I can tell. Britain is back to being a two-party system, with the Tories on notice that they can be rotated out of office. Keir Starmer as Shadow Brexit Secretary may be the swiftest move Corbyn made, since it is an advertisement of Labour Brexit competence on offer for TPTB that may soon feel they need it.

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kidneystones 06.09.17 at 10:03 pm

@76 “No, free college was not an element of Sanders’ platform likely to appeal to the white working class – but livable wage and Medicare-for-all were. Sanders was aiming to unite the middle and lower classes. You can’t do it with just the lower classes”

This really sums up the challenge facing Corybyn and Sanders. Both won large sections of the old and young, The upwardly mobile do want the ability (income) to do so, if not for themselves then for their offspring. Which leads us to the motivations of many Brexit voters and Trump supporters.

Free university need not just mean a free doctoral program in feminist environmentalism, for example, (with no obligation to actually produce a dissertation) but also fully-funded skills training as a plumber at an excellent technical college.

What (some) good people fail to understand about many Brexit and Trump supporters from the middle and lower orders is their concern for their own present and for their children’s future. People who haven’t had a real raise in 20 years are highly likely to be deeply unhappy ( ya think?) with their circumstances, and irate when bubble-heads in the media and academia chirp about the endless series of economic booms which are lifting all boats. So, contra, Martin, people of all income groups can see merit in universal free education, although not all do or will.

The public good policies effectively sell themselves when championed by those like Corbyn and Sanders, and fail when ‘championed’ by Blairites or Clinton. The challenge is convincing status conscious liberals that elevating the poor won’t interfere with the good liberals passage further up the food chain. Which is where the Gordon Gekko-Tony Robbins types enter the frame, if they ever left that is.

F. Foundling. Point taken, but I fear you’re mistaking euphoria ( I say delight) over ideological triumphs for evidence of material progress. Corbyn was doomed to failure we were told by everyone, especially the PLP and their media mouthpieces. Cheers!

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Val 06.09.17 at 10:18 pm

The point that I think Kidneystones is making is a bit different so I’ll address that specifically.

Kidneystones appears to be saying that a significant section of the white working class is sexist and/or racist, and Labour/the left can’t win without those people, so we should either condone sexism and racism or at least not talk about them. I don’t know if he is claiming that’s what Corbyn did, and I don’t know enough about British politics to say whether that’s true.

However for a long time it was a liability to run female candidates, and even now, some recent research (https://blaircenter.uark.edu/the-impact-of-modern-sexism/) suggests that it was still a factor in Hillary Clinton’s loss.

So I think Kidneystones’ take on this is an ‘I’m not sexist but’ (I won’t speculate on whether he is or not) – ‘I’m not sexist but if left candidates are women or overtly pro- women or pro-feminism, it will lose votes, and keep left wing parties out of power, so they should not be’.

That I think is possibly a charitable reading, but taking it as fair, my response would be that we can’t do that – the left has to show that we support equality for women, even if we potentially lose votes. We have to go on with the long process of educating people (and yep, some women are sexist too) and winning hearts and minds.

Having had a female PM here (who in the past, before I left the Labor party and joined the Greens, was also a friend), and having seen the awful way she was treated, I of course feel these things very deeply. But still I think anyone on the left should say we cannot sacrifice our belief in the equality of women and men to political expediency.

I’m not sure how true these things are true for race – Barack Obama showed that maybe it’s not such a factor for men. But conversely, as I think basil pointed out on the previous thread, the awful treatment of Dianne Abbott shows just how bad things can be for a person who is both female and black. We can’t condone this stuff by remaining silent about it.

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djr 06.09.17 at 10:25 pm

Rule 1 of the Con/DUP understanding: Don’t call the DUP “foreigners”.

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Faustusnotes 06.09.17 at 11:35 pm

Bruce wilder that is some delusional slurry you are spouting at 90. The daily mail didba 13 page hate screed on Corbyn just days before the election, and the sun were calling him an apologist for terrorists immediately after the borough market attacks. You really are uniquely well qualified at spouting nonsense on topics you know nothing about, aren’t you?

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kidneystones 06.10.17 at 12:27 am

On the topic of free university for all and the conjecture that girls usually need more assistance than boys, especially if these folks are people of color: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/06/05/75-of-black-california-boys-dont-meet-state-reading-standards/

For those unfamiliar with the Mercury news it’s about as far from Orange County as one might imagine. The report has been cited across the globe so it seems like a good idea to bring it into this discussion (not at all cloistered).

Free state-funded K-12 in the largest, largely Democratic run state in America has left pretty much an entire generation of African-American males without the skills necessary to meet minimal high school reading standards, much less the skills required to enter and excel in university. I’m pretty sure that somehow this failure is going to be end up being the fault of white folks in West Virginia, Donald Trump, the Koch brothers, and Trig Palin, or some combination thereof.

As Bruce W. pointed out elsewhere, the UK is home to a number of the poorest cities in Northern Europe. The self-appointed guardians and defenders of the lower orders, women, and people of color fail to understand the family stability and support are the single most important factors in determining success. Culture matters and trying to shift the responsibility elsewhere isn’t doing 3/4 African-American males leaving the ‘free education paradise’ of the California school system any good at all.

So, don’t be surprised if these males don’t press forward to thank you for your preening and posturing. The 2016 graduating class in California (and elsewhere) face a future without much prospect of a good job. Ever. Facing that ugly truth might be a good place to start.

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steven t johnson 06.10.17 at 12:33 am

engels@84 “‘Speaking as a foreigner… Corbyn lost the popular vote, against May… This is the high water mark most likely. The rulers in Britain will look to the monstrous Macron’

Thanks for vindicating my decision not to read this thread.”

Good to know that for once I have not posted in vain. I am faintly curious as to what was too much. Corbyn did lose the popular vote against the woman personally responsible for letting Islamic terrorists train, fight and flit about freely to Libya, Syria and Manchester. And Macron is monstrous. It’s only my guess that this will be Labor’s high water mark (“most likely” is not a dogmatic assertion of fact.)

Ah, I just realized…since I write English of a sort, I must be a Briton, not a foreigner pace Dipper. After all, if Irish can be Britons…Perhaps I should just think of those islands as “uk,” pronounced of course the way it’s spelled. The Con/DUP understanding can focus on how they’re all ukians together? By the way, djr, I’m all in favor of Con/DUP misunderstanding. But with the new law on calling elections I’m not sure the Conservatives can be forced to call new elections even if they are in a minority. I never did quite follow that discussion.

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Belle Waring 06.10.17 at 12:40 am

Thank you, Val.

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Lynne 06.10.17 at 1:11 am

Val: hear, hear.

100

Joe Perry 06.10.17 at 1:12 am

Bruce, I can see how you might get that impression from looking at e.g. the Guardian. Really not true of the virulently right-wing press that forms a majority of our print media though. Google some Sun/Mail/Telegraph front pages for an impression of what those guys were doing…

101

kidneystones 06.10.17 at 1:42 am

What kidneystones is saying is that ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’ are considerably more complex issues than pseudo-social scientists assert. How minorities respond to the hostility of majorities varies according to culture. Yes, that word. The UK, for example, is home to a form of xenophobia born perhaps from history and geography that allows people to demonize those living twenty miles up the road.

Suffragettes such as Emmeline Pankhurst were about power, not posturing. Indeed, her evolution as a ‘radical’ was one by which she moved away from the endless talk of the left (and of patronizing left-wing males) to action (illegal) and compromise with Conservatives. Yes, those demons. She died a Conservative and a defender of the Empire with all its racist excesses.

In Japan our current debate revolves around changes to Article 9, the article of the MacArthur constitution of 1945-6 which prevents war. Japan is a deeply sexist and racist country that is nonetheless among the most egalitarian in the world with less income inequality than almost any other.

Public education is generally excellent with national standards and a national curriculum. Private tutors are normal and provide excellent part-time employment for university students keen to supplement their incomes. Competition for elite public universities (cheaper than private) is severe.

Minorities in Japan are subject to discrimination, as minorities are everywhere from what I can tell. The response of Korean-Japanese, a group with a long history of legitimate grievance get even by protecting and boosting Korean culture, which is in many ways even more xenophobic and racist than that of Japan.

Work is closely tied to identity and a positive self-image. Love and a good job is pretty much what everyone needs, although many want much more. What constitutes a good job? That varies by culture. In Japan all work has honor. That bothers some folks but not me. Our daughter elected to go to a technical high school rather than follow her mother into an elite university. Our son attends a good private school and also receives regular instruction after school at a cram school. Success comes from family stability and support in most cases. I see no reason not to try similar solutions elsewhere.

My female and male students understand their debt to the Douglas MacArthur that crazed Christian crank, who ushered in the modern Japanese Constitution. Would a more liberal general listened to a 22 year-old woman? https://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/01/the-american-woman-who-wrote-equal-rights-into-japans-constitution/266856/

Mary Wollstonecraft got it largely right: men cannot civilize themselves in a society where differences exist under the law. Policing ideas, attitudes, and prejudices is much different matter. I leave that to the mullahs of various persuasions. Our daughter has good job in a safe society that confers honor on all members of society for their contributions with full healthcare protections and no mention of the word God anywhere. Western feminists (mostly white) appear to believe they have a monopoly on the use of the term feminism. Japanese women normally prefer Thatcher to Greer. Bad them.

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F. Foundling 06.10.17 at 2:29 am

Val @ 88
>Just for the record, hopefully so you stop these false claims once and for all, women and people of colour are more likely to be poor than white men.

And that’s why they stand to benefit especially from the material social-democratic and socialist policies that would benefit everyone else as well – as opposed to the frequently symbolic, petty and divisive issues that dominate contemporary Western identity politics.

>There is no disjunction between wanting equality for women and people of colour and wanting more economically equal societies. Please stop trying to pretend there is.

Equality for everyone irrespective of gender and race is a must. Unfortunately, much of modern Western identity politics is firmly opposed to that, since it involves demanding ‘compensatory’ inequalities (i.e. privileges), as exemplified most recently by your position in the ‘Hypothesis’ thread, and highlighting very debatable or entirely imaginary wrongs, while ignoring much more indisputable, real and pressing ones of economic nature.

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F. Foundling 06.10.17 at 3:02 am

I suppose I should add that, of course, the various movements for social justice (without scare quotes) have numerous extremely meaningful and worthwhile causes and achievements – with respect to feminism, the right to abortion and the recognition of marital rape spring immediately to mind. Of course such things shouldn’t be abandoned, and of course there is no *disjunction* between such issues and economic populism; what can be debated is what portion of the time, the effort and the resources should be allotted to each of these. The pseudo-disjunction is created to a great extent by the mainstream left itself, which has tended to shift its focus *primarily* to the identity-related issues, while largely scrapping its former economic populism and filling the resulting void either with far less urgent problems or with entirely fake controversies and absurd positions that are calculated to maximise inter-identity strife, allowing it to rely on an ethnic and quasi-ethnic/tribal vote, while actually serving the plutocracy.

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engels 06.10.17 at 3:25 am

Kidneystones appears to be saying that a significant section of the white working class is sexist and/or racist, and Labour/the left can’t win without those people, so we should either condone sexism and racism or at least not talk about them. I don’t know if he is claiming that’s what Corbyn did, and I don’t know enough about British politics to say whether that’s true..

I do; it’s not.

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basil 06.10.17 at 3:34 am

I’m proposing that we step away from these essentialist approaches and try to think of race, gender, sexual orientation, as critical lenses available for illuminating the obscured working of systems that produce injustice. They are useful for guidance in making amends, and in undoing the mechanisms that produce these taxonomies in the first place. I cannot see how a left analysis offers solidarity to murderous monsters like Obama/HRC/Indira Gandhi while holding responsible a West Virginian AM slowly dying in a toxic colliery.

For me, white, straight, male are just a set of adjectives and social assignations defining an apex predator, a destroyer of worlds. If this descriptor is to be useful for more than rude jousting or silly banter, it cannot privilege the overseer at the expense of the overseen. Thus Obama, HRC, Gillard, Jacob Zuma, and Modi are straight white men. You might refuse to see it, but that’s the role they play, the script and the genealogy that produces their performance. The groups bearing the appellation WWC are not. If whiteness is a system of privileges, WWC is defined explicitly by the denied access to those privileges.

Corbyn refuses to celebrate or participate in the rituals, hierarchies and macho displays of colonialist, genocidal white supremacy. They refuse the logic that justifies racism and racial hierarchies, nationalism, war, immiseration, police violence, the destruction of the planet, the sequestration of wealth and social advantage for the privileged few, etc. This is what the whole debate about Corbyn’s pacifism, patriotism, hesitation to order extrajudicial murder, resistance to neocolonial war-making, and capacity to nuke is about. It is the backstory in discussions about their associations with the crown, with former colonials, and with Dianne Abbott. It is what people are discussing when they point out Corbyn’s sartorial and dietary choices, their allotment and their jam-making. People may shout terrorist sympathiser, but you understand why consorting with the House of Saud or the DUP does not attract similar condemnation.


I was reading Paul Gilroy talking about a time when ‘blackness’, far from being a phenotypical descriptor, was used to declare a political orientation and positionality against the logics of colonial domination, and their long term consequences. If race/gender discussions are to do useful work for social justice, they must be framed and deployed against violence, not in defense of privilege and individual advancement into the overseer or master class. Any other use and we continue to reproduce the very divisions and hierarchies that these categories were first created for.

Again, I’ll point out this week’s shocking revelations that WJC/HRC benefited from unpaid forced labour at the Governor’s Mansion in Arkansas. It was performed by the descendants of people who once did the same work under an institution we called slavery. By their telling, they were strict, but generous and friendly, in their participation in the old Southern institution. I’m sure we’ll have time to discuss Jefferson’s legacy, but this finding makes for very uncomfortable reading. Corbyn is a reminder that we, most of us, make choices.

—-
SJW is always a slur. If you imagine someone’s posturing, why not just say so.

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Val 06.10.17 at 3:34 am

And thank you Belle! I always love the work you do here, though I’m not up to speed on music these days :)

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engels 06.10.17 at 3:39 am

For the benefit of the embarrassingly ignorant, Abbott is one of Corbyn’s allies and his pick for Home Secretary (also my ex-MP and all-round great person and politician…)

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engels 06.10.17 at 3:47 am

(But agree about the unacceptability of commenting on a female politicians ‘sexiness’. Probably can’t respond again anytime soon, especially if further comments have equally little relevance to Labour’s historic turnaround as the foregoing. Cheers.)

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Dipper 06.10.17 at 6:28 am

@gastro george. Can you provide evidence for DUP-terrorist links please? And evidence of senior Tory politicians either condoning loyalist terrorism or any photos of Tory politicians appearing in public with supporters of loyalist terrorism?

This is a ridiculous attempt to create some kind of parity with Corbyn’s clear historic association with terrorists and support for an armed struggle against the UK. It is clearly nonsense and frankly does not bode well for the kind of open discussions we can expect from a Corbynite party and state.

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Ben 06.10.17 at 6:28 am

While completely agreeing with Val’s last three paras, I think the nugget worth drawing out of kidneystones is that the politics of civil rights isn’t *enough*. There have to be policies that tilt the economic playing field back toward the middle and lower classes at a fundamental level.

That Thomas Edsall link he posted is a good one.

The viable strategy for the future is to enact policies that clearly and cleanly give the middle and lower classes a larger role in the structure of the economy. That gives people hope that their lives will be better a decade from now. That’s what people responded to in Corbyn, and that’s what people who dropped out from the Obama to Clinton coalitions want.

Nu-Labour’s off-brand economic Toryism (or Clinton’s BlackRock economic team) won’t cut it, no matter how good they are on civil rights.

(As a bonus: restructuring the economy to benefit the lower and middle classes will also decrease incidents of racial / gendered violence and lead to more economic growth anyway.)

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derrida derider 06.10.17 at 7:35 am

It’s great Labour did better than expected, but let’s not get carried away here. They only managed to get a third of the vote. It is only the vagaries of FPTP – a voting system prone to give pretty arbitrary results – that got them so close in seats this time.

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Raven Onthill 06.10.17 at 8:08 am

Val@92: I think trying to get the white working class men who have turned fascist back is a mug’s game; they have crossed a line into a place where they find it difficult to forgive themselves and so find it difficult to return. On the other hand (I am repeating myself from my own blog), we could try mobilizing women and young people for liberal causes. There’s a lot of women who have discovered what feminists knew all along: that, in the clinch, Republicans will oppress them. Young people, who grew up during the depression that followed on the crash of 2008, knew that all along. If liberals can assemble a coalition of women and young people, there would be little it could not do.

This potential coalition is split, with older US Democratic feminists routinely calling their reliable long-time ally Sanders sexist and younger people regarding the centrist faction of the Democratic Party with disgust. I think it would take charismatic leftist woman to bring them back together again, and I do not see her on the scene.

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gastro george 06.10.17 at 8:33 am

@bruce wilder “Suddenly, Corbyn the Hamas and IRA terrorist was forgotten”

The first 13 pages of the Daily Mail on election day covered this in some detail.

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J-D 06.10.17 at 8:40 am

The strength-showing move for Theresa May (the strategy she didn’t choose) would have been to make a statement that the proper constitutional procedure in this situation is for the government to meet Parliament and abide by the decision of the House of Commons. She didn’t need to seek an audience with the Queen; she didn’t need to communicate with the DUP (or any other party) or to make any reference to relations with the DUP (or any other party). Those moves are presumably attempts to provide reassuring signals (I’m not sure whom to, exactly: her Conservative colleagues? voters generally? the ‘markets’? EU negotiators? herself?), but it is precisely the need to provide reassurance that is an indicator of weakness.

Tabasco
That tweet you saw is now (mostly) retrospectively justified by Labour taking Kensington from the Conservatives on a third recount (the very last result to be declared, with a margin of only twenty votes), being in error only in using the wrong constituency name.

basil wrote

We oughtn’t ignore the central role that movements for justice – what numpties call SJW, have played in bringing about this repudiation of centrism: StWC, UK Uncut, anti-racism movements like BLM, environmental action groups, animal rights campaigners, civil rights campaigners, the NHS support movement, Occupy, CND, the unions, Momentum, random ardent publishers, educators and mobilisers on social media

and then F. Foundling wrote

Umm no, ‘SJW’, in spite of the literal meaning of the acronym, certainly does *not* normally refer to StWC, UK Uncut, the NHS support movement, CND and the unions – all of these are movements that do meaningful work pertaining to issues about which typical ‘SJWs’ usually don’t care all that much.

There would be no internal contradiction in agreeing with F. Foundling that these organisations are not SJWs but also in agreeing with basil that numpties call them SJWs, so long as F. Foundling is not one of the numpties that basil was referring to.

Val

The point that I think Kidneystones is making …

Do you have any reason to suppose that kidneystones’s purpose was to make a point rather than (as more usually) to assert superiority by derision?

steven t johnson

Speaking as a foreigner, whose impression of the Tories is they are jingo English, it is quite funny that their continued rule will apparently depend on foreigners.

From a historical point of view, it could hardly be more natural. The Unionism referred to in the name of the Democratic Unionist Party descends directly from the Unionism referred to in the name of the Conservative Party when it used to be ‘Conservative and Unionist’ or just ‘Unionist’.

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Continental 06.10.17 at 8:47 am

From me too thank you Val for calling out stj for his blatantly sexist remark. re 92 To me it’s the biggest failure of that fraction of the US left to have denied Hillary Clinton at least the solidarity she was due as a woman who was being relentlessly attacked on sexist grounds. It was clearly different with Obama who policy-wise was never to the left of Clinton but still the left supported him and it would have been unthinkable otherwise, to deny a black candidate solidarity in the face of widespread racism, but this is exactly what still happens to female candidates in the face of widespread mysogyny.

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Ben Philliskirk 06.10.17 at 9:36 am

‘“Corbyn salvaged this election by bucking Labour’s conservative slide over the past several decades and sticking to his left-wing guns. His success provides a blueprint for what democratic socialists need to do in the years to come.
Labour’s surge confirms what the Left has long argued: people like a straightforward, honest defense of public goods. Labour’s manifesto was sweeping — its most socialist in decades. It was a straight-forward document, calling for nationalization of key utilities, access to education, housing, and health services for all, and measures to redistribute income from corporations and the rich to ordinary people.”’

Corbyn’s Labour is actually quite conservative, though I don’t mean that in a completely pejorative fashion. They want to protect workers’ rights and public services, ameliorate the suffering of the poor, pursue a less-damaging Brexit, and reduce the security threat by stopping foreign adventures that cause global instability. Their nationalisation ‘programme’ was very moderate, and there were few plans to actually redistribute any wealth. All-in-all, not especially radical, and it should hardly have been controversial. I expect Labour would have won in a more sane context that wasn’t dominated by nationalism and the ravings of sections of the media.

117

Layman 06.10.17 at 11:55 am

@Val, I am entirely in agreement with 92. Well said!

118

Pro Bono 06.10.17 at 1:03 pm

there’s good reason to believe the No Confidence vote was a consequence of Corbin’s traditional labour views rather than his abilities

The only reason to think that is that Corbyn’s supporters say so. For the other side of the story, check Lilian Greenwood, Thangam Debbonaire, Chi Onwurah, and Heidi Alexander.

Do you think he’d get the same result now?
He’d do better now, having demonstrated his effectiveness in a general election. But you should understand how powerful the opposition party leader is in British politics, and how extraordinary it therefore is for most of his shadow cabinet to turn against him. There has to be something wrong for that to happen.

Comparing Corbyn to Trump strikes me as trolling.
I had better say that I despise Trump and everything he stands for. I’d happily buy Corbyn a drink.

119

harry b 06.10.17 at 1:27 pm

fwiw women now make up almost 1/3 of MPs. I can’t remember who, because I have watched/heard so much coverage, but one journalist directly addressed the question of whether being female was a disadvantage for a candidate in this election and said that the figures don’t bear it out. The SNP, Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour, Plaid, the Greens, the DUP, Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, The Conservative and Unionist Party, all have female leaders; Lib Dems and Labour and UKIP all have male leaders (and so do a bunch of other parties…). The only characters other than May who the Tories put in the public eye were Amber Rudd (who almost certainly limited damage some) and Ruth Davidson (thanks to whom they have 13 Scottish MPs, and the ability to form a government — I hope she uses that fact to extract every concession she can — did anyone see her face when asked if she had an ambition to be leader of the national Party?). Jeremy Corbyn seemed to be sharing leadership with the quite remarkable Emily Thornberry for most of the campaign (I wonder whether the commentators have underestimated Thornberry’s effectiveness – but I think the Labour leadership hasn’t).

No question there was a lot of sexism and misogyny, not only from the usual suspects but from people you might have expected better off, especially toward May and Dianne Abbott. But I’m curious whether in this case it affected to the outcomes much.

bruce wilder — the broadcast media are bound by very strict neutrality guidelines during the election, hence the very different behaviour. They were required to give Corbyn direct coverage and, as you’d expect people quite like him when they see him perform.

I’ll boldly state that I suspect what saved May from complete defeat was her decision to not participate in the debate and let Amber Rudd do it instead. It made her look weak and cowardly, but that’s better than looking imperious and out of touch, which is what she’d have done.

120

pseudo-gorgias 06.10.17 at 1:32 pm

I don’t know. Why do we think this is a good thing again? I don’t begrudge anyone their choice of vote, but it is disturbing to see so many commentators here, and people more broadly, celebrate this election result as if it were anything other than a disaster for the country. I get that it might be good for labour, but for the country this is awful. We’re heading into a tough Brexit negotiation that will require national unity and solidarity, and an empowered leader to strike the best deal for all of us. We won’t be getting that now. And it also shows that a campaign that elevates division–between the young and the old, the rich and the poor–can achieve success here (though, thank god, not enough to actually win).

All in all, we should all of us be disturbed by this result.

121

Suzanne 06.10.17 at 2:02 pm

–Comparing Corbyn to Trump strikes me as trolling.
–I had better say that I despise Trump and everything he stands for. I’d happily buy Corbyn a drink.

I’d say that the two do have something in common: Disregard the political norms and longtime custom and see what happens. After all, you won. You’re the leader. The members don’t like it? They can suck on it.

Theresa May seems to be taking these lessons to heart. Hang on to power, no matter what. You won the election. They lost. Cling to that. Just as Corbyn would.

I say the foregoing with some reluctance, since Trump is a vile man and I trust that Corbyn is not. …..

122

steven t johnson 06.10.17 at 2:23 pm

Missed Val’s rhetorical question @92 because I don’t read Val’s posts. Well, no, posting is something of a hobby and I’m not a professional writer nor editor. The amazing dumbfuckery about Corbyn’s non-existent victory requires something sharp to try to try to cut through the miasma. I was looking for the superficial aspects that May couldn’t achieve, but Corbyn still lost to. Sexiness sure counts as superficial. But I note your solidarity with Angela Merkel. That speaks for itself. By the way, “charismatic” is a synonym for sexy, just one that forecloses an admission of personal engorgement, er, engagement with the charismatic figure. So, I slammed Clinton for not being sexy too.

As to Continental…well, I don’t recall him criticizing the fan favorites for attacking Hilary Clinton indiscriminately, solidarizing with decades of right-wing demonization. Nor do I remember him objecting to the amazing charge that Hilary Clinton ran the country when Cameron and Sarkozy attacked Libya. But maybe that’s just because I’m not keeping a scorecard? But if Continental is, the score keeping is at best incomplete.

DUP is still Irish. And the silliness of the joke about Ukians notwithstanding, “Britain” is an island, not a country.

123

Continental 06.10.17 at 2:23 pm

117: It seems that female politicians tend to fare better in the parliamentary system. Or maybe the US is simply an outlier (in many respects) but France would be another data point.

124

Dipper 06.10.17 at 2:30 pm

@ Val the awful treatment of Dianne Abbott shows just how bad things can be for a person who is both female and black

No it doesn’t. Being female and black is no justification for being useless. There are lots of black women politicians in the UK today who don’t need to hide behind stereotypes to survive. If/when Theresa May goes one possible name in the frame is Priti Patel so please don’t be drawn into creating double standards for women or black politicians as the vast majority of them don’t need it.

just check out James Cleverly’s twitter feed from 30 May

from https://twitter.com/JamesCleverly/status/869653969383165953 onwards

125

novakant 06.10.17 at 2:38 pm

Sexism didn’t really play a role in this election, the rightwing press will jump on anyone they hate using anything they can find, but they are pretty much equal opportunity haters. And they loved Thatcher, as well as May (until Friday morning). As Harry pointed out there are many prominent female politicians in the UK, it’s certainly not a liability to be a woman and I am unwilling to cut them any slack because of their gender.

126

engels 06.10.17 at 2:49 pm

Being female and black is no justification for being useless.

Diane Abbott’s majority is nearly as big as Theresa May’s entire vote

127

engels 06.10.17 at 3:18 pm

128

F. Foundling 06.10.17 at 3:32 pm

In the last few days, I have got the impression that moderators here (first John Holbo in the other thread and now Harry Brighouse) have developed a rather trigger-happier approach than before when it comes to rejecting my comments. Since there is nothing special or unusual about the form of the comments, I assume that the reason is that they disagree with the opinions expressed in them and, perhaps, consider them to be blatantly racist and sexist, as Val, too, has alleged (even though I don’t find the opinions all that unprecedented for CT either). Be that as it may, I find it impossible to conduct a meaningful discussion, to present my position clearly and to avoid misunderstandings and misrepresentations when every second comment disappears in a fashion that is, to me at least, unpredictable as well as disruptive. Therefore I’ll beg to be excused, but if anyone has any objections, questions or other reactions w.r.t. what I’ve posted so far, they should not expect a response or clarification from me; and for the same reason, I think that I will have to refrain from commenting on posts of these bloggers in the future (which I assume that they won’t particularly miss :) ).

129

Yarrow 06.10.17 at 3:52 pm

derrida derider wrote: It’s great Labour did better than expected, but let’s not get carried away here. They only managed to get a third of the vote. It is only the vagaries of FPTP … that got them so close in seats this time.

This is false: Labour got 40.0% of the vote, and the Tories 42.3%. Labour got 40.3% of seats, about as close to their vote percentage as any system could be expected to deliver, and the Tories got 48.8% of seats, considerably higher than their percentage of votes. So “the vagaries of FPTP” benefitted the Tories (this time!)

130

Ben Philliskirk 06.10.17 at 3:53 pm

@ 118

‘We’re heading into a tough Brexit negotiation that will require national unity and solidarity, and an empowered leader to strike the best deal for all of us. ‘

It’s amazing how many people still seem to think we need ‘strong leadership’, no matter who the leader is, to get a ‘good deal’, without ever telling us what ‘a good deal’ is. Basically there is no ‘deal’ that will suit everyone in the UK, let alone Europe as well. The UK is very divided politically, as the election has proved. If the Prime Minister really did want national unity then she would have sought to be more consensual during the election campaign and busy now trying to strike up a compromise with at least some of her opponents. Instead she heads for the most right-wing party represented in the UK parliament, whose very involvement could upset years of relative stability in Northern Ireland.

The Tories are hellbent on destroying the country in order to save their party.

131

engels 06.10.17 at 4:50 pm

132

Orange Watch 06.10.17 at 4:55 pm

basil@103:

If race/gender discussions are to do useful work for social justice, they must be framed and deployed against violence, not in defense of privilege and individual advancement into the overseer or master class. Any other use and we continue to reproduce the very divisions and hierarchies that these categories were first created for.

Postmodern theories have a problematic fondness for inverting hierarchies rather than eliminating them.

133

gastro george 06.10.17 at 5:23 pm

@Dipper – “Can you provide evidence for DUP-terrorist links please? And evidence of senior Tory politicians either condoning loyalist terrorism or any photos of Tory politicians appearing in public with supporters of loyalist terrorism?”

If you’ve no idea about the connections of the DUP to loyalist terrorism, then you’ve not really been paying much attention to Ireland, specifically Northern Ireland. But that would not be uncommon because the English in general are staggeringly uninformed.

So we’ll start with deputy leader Nigel Dodds, who’s a member or former member of the UVF.

Here’s the leader, Arlene Foster, meeting the head of the UDA: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2017/dup-chief-arlene-foster-met-uda-boss-days-after-loyalist-murder-in-bangor-35776873.html

Here’s former leader, Peter Robinson, in paramilitary uniform: https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/adam-ramsay/so-who-are-dup

Wikipedia will do for Ulster Resistance, and it’s connection to senior DUP members: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Resistance

How about a nice mural: https://skwalker1964.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/uda-dup.jpg?w=470

All of this is well known in Ireland, and there’s no excuse for any English politician not to know. By sitting down with the DUP, the current Tory party leadership are exactly “appearing in public with supporters of loyalist terrorism”.

The DUP also voted against the GFA. Now while I’m in no way a friend of former DUP leader Ian Paisley, I do recognise that he was also part of power sharing as a result of the GFA and. as such, has made a contribution towards peace in NI – in many ways the loyalist equivalent of Gerry Adams. But that is not to deny his history, there is no excuse for loyalist terrorists because they were “our” terrorists.

134

roger gathmann 06.10.17 at 5:28 pm

For a nice compressed piece on DUP’s ties to arms running in Northern Ireland, see this piece on Open Democracy. Hey, and as a bonus, turns out that certain DUP characters are involved in a Saudi scheme involving arms too! How sweet. In the meantime, May is sitting on the report of the funding of Islamicist paramilitaries in the Middle East. Wonder why? https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/adam-ramsay/so-who-are-dup

One of the reasons that Corbyn was able to turn around Labour doesn’t seem to have been discussed. Corbyn was the only leader who could credibly bridge the divide between the Remain and the Leave electoriat. He was much criticized for what turns out to be a very clever way of boxing that issue. I actually think Corbyn is turning out to be a politician like Lloyd George, who also succeeded against almost universal hatred in the establishment.

135

Layman 06.10.17 at 8:41 pm

“Basically there is no ‘deal’ that will suit everyone in the UK, let alone Europe as well.”

Yes, this seems as good a time as any to repost this link:

https://www.vox.com/2016/7/5/12098156/brexit-eu-britain-venn-diagram

Even if you don’t like Vox, it’s hard to argue with the diagram.

136

gastro george 06.10.17 at 9:01 pm

More on the current situation in Northern Ireland.

Peace in NI currently relies on balancing power between all parties. Until recently there was a power-sharing executive. This, however, collapsed because of a financial disaster costing hundreds of millions of pounds with an energy scheme under the watch of the current DUP leader, Arlene Foster, and there are allegations of corrupt practices.

Sinn Fein insisted that she stepped down, but she refused. As a result, there was a recent election, but since then the DUP have not changed their stance, so the executive has not been reestablished. In theory that means, under the GFA, that power should return to the UK government, but they extended the time for an agreement to be reached.

So politics in NI is already very sensitive because of all of this. Then May calls a General Election, more voting, and a moderate vote wipeout in NI, all seats now belong to the DUP or Sinn Fein.

Under the GFA, the UK government must remain neutral between the two sides. How can they do that when the DUP is propping up the government.

If power returns to the UK government, then how can that government be seen to be neutral if the DUP is propping it up.

And that is before you start talking about how NI was effectively ignored in the megaphone diplomacy employed by May over Brexit. If there is no customs union, then the reintroduction of a hard border in Ireland has profound consequences.

This is a complete disaster, and all down to the Tories playing politics for party advantage, while ignoring the potential for mayhem going on around them.

137

Val 06.10.17 at 10:14 pm

Thanks for the kind words everyone. It is interesting that British politics has so many female leaders and it’s good that female representation in parliament has increased to about 30%. Just noting it’s not a cause for complacency though – it’s about the same here and has been for quite some time, seems to be a bit stuck.

Going back to my original concern, i would like people on CT to stop using the terms ‘SJWs’ and ‘identity politics’ altogether because I think they are mainly being used as empty terms of abuse and as a cover up for racism and sexism. But if people think they are important and valid terms, maybe they could at least define what they mean by them. And they need to do so without eliding the history and continuing existence of racism and patriarchy/sexism.

I don’t think it can be done, so I think it’s a waste if time, but I don’t want to be labelled as an enemy of free speech!

138

Val 06.10.17 at 10:33 pm

gastro george @ 135

Thanks for that analysis, very helpful for people like me who haven’t been following the situation in NI closely (though I knew enough to think it a scary move).

139

J-D 06.10.17 at 10:33 pm

harry b

I don’t understand how the fact that there are more than twice as many male MPs as female MPs can be considered evidence that there is no disadvantage to female candidates.

140

engels 06.10.17 at 11:00 pm

And another poll today by pollster that got the election almost exactly right:

Westminster voting intention:

LAB: 45% (+5)
CON: 39% (-3)
LDEM: 7% (-)
UKIP: 3% (+1)

(via @Survation / 10 Jun)
Chgs. w/ GE2017

141

Harry 06.11.17 at 12:14 am

“I don’t understand how the fact that there are more than twice as many male MPs as female MPs can be considered evidence that there is no disadvantage to female candidates.”

I don’t know if this is a serious comment. The question is “Does being female disadvantage a candidate (in terms of votes cast”? The answer is (apparently, though I can’t cite the source) “no”.

It’s not even clear any more that being female disadvantages someone seeking to become a candidate very much (at least in the major parties). Regardless, Val’s right — no cause for complacency.

142

engels 06.11.17 at 12:20 am

i would like people on CT to stop using the terms ‘SJWs’ and ‘identity politics’ altogether because I think they are mainly being used as empty terms of abuse and as a cover up for racism and sexism. But if people think they are important and valid terms, maybe they could at least define what they mean by them

I think I linked to this before:
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-politics/#Bib

143

engels 06.11.17 at 12:37 am

Or for a brief definition I’d endorse this.

https://mobile.twitter.com/search?q=Identity+politics+from%3A%40leninology

But I’d much rather talk about the British election and the possibility of UK getting a real Left-wing govt in the near future (in the unlikely event anyone here is interested in that)

144

engels 06.11.17 at 12:38 am

145

J-D 06.11.17 at 12:44 am

Harry

I don’t know whether being female disadvantages a candidate in terms of votes cast. I haven’t seen direct evidence that it does and I haven’t seen direct evidence that it doesn’t. I have seen somebody refer to the fact that women are now nearly one-third of MPs as if the observation were relevant to this issue. If you didn’t know whether being female disadvantaged a candidate, and you were looking for evidence that bore on the question one way or the other, and you found that male MPs outnumbered female MPs by more than two to one, would you think that was evidence that bore on the question? and, if you did, in which direction would you think that evidence pointed?

146

Val 06.11.17 at 12:58 am

Just a random thought about this female candidate issue – I think there may be a class/gender nexus thing. Women on the right, like Theresa May and Maggie Thatcher, can adopt a traditional feminine ‘lady-like’ queenly mode of deportment (habitus?). I think it’s more difficult for women on the left.

Julia Gillard went to state schools and had a broad Australian ‘working class’ accent (even though her parents were Welsh!). I know women – middle of the road or even leftish politically – who joined in the chorus of disapproval of her and particularly singled out her voice. I pointed out to some that former conservative Australian PM John Howard had the most annoying voice ever, and they didn’t oppose him for that reason, but it cut no ice.

Anyway May’s queenly deportment doesn’t seem to have worked like Thatcher’s did, so maybe that’s a ray of hope. Also the other female leaders in Britain don’t seem like that all, so maybe the era of ‘a woman can be accepted in politics as long as she is a perfect lady’ is over (I hope).

More generally I hope everyone on the left in Britain is still enjoying the almost victory. I know in our last federal election people felt a bit flat afterwards because Labor came so close to getting rid of the conservatives after one term, but didn’t quite make it. This close! But not quite enough.

I think your situation is better because Corbyn is much more left than Shorten-led Labor here, and the Tories have been forced into probably unstable coalition. Just hope it doesn’t do too much harm before the next election.

Here Labor is well ahead in the polls at the moment and people on the left are just waiting hopefully for the next election. But it’s boring – time passes slowly and it’s hard to maintain the rage, at least I find.

147

Val 06.11.17 at 1:20 am

Fantastic article by Caroline Lucas! https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/10/progressive-alliances-future-of-british-politics

I guess most of you have read it, but if not I hope you will. Inspiring.

148

J-D 06.11.17 at 2:59 am

Val

I wonder how Caroline Lucas and the Greens would feel if the Green Party helped to put Liberal Democrat members into Parliament and they then joined a coalition government with the Conservatives, the way they did in 2010? To build the progressive alliance Caroline Lucas wants, is it important that the Liberal Democrats renounce their conduct between 2010 and 2015?

149

engels 06.11.17 at 3:46 am

Btw here’s Val’s fave Graun columnist. Polly Toynbee, on Corbyn 12 months ago:
Dismal, lifeless, spineless – Jeremy Corbyn let us down again
Would you like that crow fried or roasted?

150

F. Foundling 06.11.17 at 4:04 am

@136
>i would like people on CT to stop using the terms ‘SJWs’ and ‘identity politics’ … But if people think they are important and valid terms, maybe they could at least define what they mean by them.

As for what I meant when I referred to ‘SJWs’ and distinguished them from decent rights activists: to me, it’s essentially a subjective distinction like the one between a patriot and a jingo – a difference determined by the (perceived) reasonability of the positions espoused and of the demands being made. The dealbreaker for me, as in the case of patriots vs chauvinists, is often the rejection of Enlightenment values, liberal principles and egalitarianism through the establishment of ‘compensatory’ inequalities and hierarchies. That said, in the current polarised online discourse, ‘SJW’ is used all too often by pop rightists to criticise everyone who doesn’t share their conservative/reactionary views on cultural issues, so I do have mixed feeilings about using the term.

As for identity politics, it tends to be used as a shorthand (not necessarily a deprecatory one) for political issues connected to non-economically defined groups (notably race and gender). Of course, such usage of the term doesn’t make a lot of literal sense, given that class and economic status can also be an identity, but it is useful as a shorthand.

151

kidneystones 06.11.17 at 5:55 am

What black academics think of their noble liberal allies::http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/386c25518f464186bf7a2ac026580ce7/Article_2017-06-09-US-Black-Minds-Matter/id-c442a2e8bbc64f44a1c3d5ed5c33534a

“A leading journal of political philosophy took up the Black Lives Matter movement in its June issue without a single contribution from a black academic…”

Every now and then white liberals let the mask slip to confirm what people of color have known for a long time. Black voices don’t matter in white world: period, whether the area is feminism, education, political science, or plain politics. Here’s another name familiar to practically nobody:Leslie Wimes.

Leslie Wimes….president of the Democratic African-American Women Caucus. Here’s one of my favorite pre-election Leslie Wimes clips: featuring a young, liberal bubble-head questioning Wimes’ ability to gauge (you know) black voter turnout.
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-news/watch/clinton-struggling-with-fl-minority-voters-798347843751

The caption from MSNBC is perfect “Clinton struggling to connect with minority voters?”
Question mark?!!! It’s a must watch. Wimes:”…I warned in September…Now, it’s too late…Over. (Nov 1st, 2016) Now, we know that Wimes had it right and because I watched Wimes and I watched Van Jones and I listened to both. And because I watched folks here ignore the links to Wimes and Jones that I provided it was pretty easy to believe Wimes (a nobody to pretty much everyone here as far as I can tell – not cause she’s black and a woman fur sure!!!!!) that Trump was going to edge it thanks to low turnout from former Obama voters.

So, why bring this up now? Because of the lead link. Liberal academics couldn’t care less about African-American academics on the subject BLM. Black academics, especially women are as faceless and nameless now as Wimes was in 2016. And because nobody seems particularly upset to learn that 75 percent of African-American high school males in America’s largest state can’t read or write in 2016. What’s the consequence? Who cares? It seems.

“Two percent of faculty members at the nation’s top institutions are black, according to Ivory A. Toldson, editor of the Journal of Negro Education.

The problem isn’t conservatives and racists. We know what these folks are about. The lies liberals tell themselves about caring about people of color are going to come back to bite them on the ass, as they did in 2016.

Black lives and black minds matter in real terms to some of us. Just not many of us.

152

kidneystones 06.11.17 at 6:48 am

How progressives today appear to Van Jones from the people’s summit:

The self-satisfied aren’t likely to enjoy this much:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlt0tEstOMo

There are other clips from Van from the same summit that are sure to illuminate!

Enjoy!

153

J-D 06.11.17 at 7:51 am

F. Foundling

That said, in the current polarised online discourse, ‘SJW’ is used all too often by pop rightists to criticise everyone who doesn’t share their conservative/reactionary views on cultural issues, so I do have mixed feeilings about using the term.

If you had written, in your earlier comment, that you agreed with basil about the positive and important role played by some of the movements he listed, but were more dubious about some of the others, would that have made the point you were trying to make, without setting off alarms in some people’s minds by using the term ‘SJW’?

154

Val 06.11.17 at 8:06 am

engels – how dare a mere colonial be interested in English politics, eh? For a true lefty, you’re rather imperialist.

155

Val 06.11.17 at 8:10 am

kidneystones – who is your actual enemy here? I’m sure it would make life easier for everyone if you could just specify who your actual target is. You were right about Trump, we’ve all given you that, but it doesn’t mean you can just patronise everybody.

156

engels 06.11.17 at 9:17 am

such usage of the term doesn’t make a lot of literal sense, given that class and economic status can also be an identity, but it is useful as a shorthand.

In Britain we sometimes get a kind of politics of pure representation based around class qua subjective identity (the sense in which rich Brexiteers are ‘working class’ because of their accent or Alan Sugar is a ‘working class boy done good’…) I think you could call this identity politics in the pejorative sense.

157

kidneystones 06.11.17 at 10:12 am

One final fact on the California literacy levels. To date this report has yet to make a voice at the NYT. I find links to the root.com (a black matters site), but so far the lily-white liberal newsrooms who doubtlessly are staffed with (some) people who can read have elected to ignore the report.

Everything one needs to understand about modern liberalism is evident these episodes. Black voters fail to support a white ‘liberal’ Democrat who ignored calls from black leaders to engage the community in person early and often. Trump is elected. The media fixates on a narrative that conveniently makes Russian interference the cause of the loss rather than de facto liberal racism. Black scholars are forgotten when white scholars decide to examine BLM (more de facto liberal racism?). 75 percent of African-American high schools males in America’s largest liberal state fail to meet minimal literacy levels and practically nobody in the liberal press can be bothered to even print the story, much less put it on the front page.

So, if these four examples do not strongly suggest a clear pattern of liberal racism, what do you think the NYT would writing right now if 75 percent of white high school males in New York state were tested and found to be illiterate. In what counter-factual reality would a prominent academic journal elect to focus on the women’s movement in 2017 and somehow ‘forgot’ to consult any female scholars?

Nuff said, no?

158

John Quiggin 06.11.17 at 10:50 am

FF @150 Using the terminology of the racist/sexist right is unlikely to help discussion, particularly if you want to argue that the left should focus less on racism and sexism and more on class. There’s a discussion here to be had, but you are derailing your own side of it.

159

novakant 06.11.17 at 11:19 am

Engels, if you really want to talk about UK politics, you need to talk about Brexit in a substantial way that goes beyond soundbites and explain how it is supposed to work. That’s what Labour campaigned on (when pressed, they would have preferred to not talk about it at all): soft Brexit – so since your the new Labour spokesperson here, please explain what this actually entails and how exactly it is going to work.

160

Daragh 06.11.17 at 11:57 am

So – obviously folks such as myself who seriously underestimated Corbyn’s campaigning potential have some crow to eat. I’ll do so happily – if the final numbers bear out the theory that Labour’s surge was due to young voters engaging and turning out in record numbers, that’s an objectively good thing. I’m glad that May and the Tories haven’t been handed the untrammeled power I thought was coming their way, and that the boundaries of political possibility have shifted to the left.

That being said, I don’t think it’s quite fair to pillory the pundits who didn’t see this coming. After all, prior to Thursday Corbyn had led Labour in three major national votes (the 2016 and 2017 locals, plus Brexit). Whether Labour performed poorly in the referendum is debatable, but the local results were atrocious. Ditto Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent. The results were apparently a surprise even to Corbyn’s own team.

That leaves us with three potential explanations for the results a) over the month of May Labour’s campaign operation became several orders of magnitude more effective b) Corbyn is only an effective campaigner when his job is contingent on the results and/or he himself is the main motivating factor for supporters rather than policy or building Labour generally c) the electorate were eager to punish Theresa May for her manifest inadequacies but wouldn’t risk Corbyn in power. I personally think C is correct, but then I would. A I discount entirely, but B should be hugely worrying for everyone hoping for a longer-term shift to the left – it indicates that Corbynism isn’t much more than a personality cult, and whatever gains have been made here won’t be transferrable to say, Clive Lewis.

If so, then 2017 wasn’t so much a transformational moment as a missed opportunity. I’d still be happier with Cooper going to Buckingham palace than Corbyn pretending its a possibility. Equally we should look at the governments that have actually ruled Britain for the past 7 years – Centrist (from a Tory perspective) Conservative PM with Lib Dem training wheels to Centrist Conservative PM with slim majority more beholden to his party’s right wing, to Right Wing Conservative PM beholden to the party’s right wing to Right Wing Conservative PM beholden to ultra-right wing minority party for confidence and supply. In terms of policy outcomes, I find little to celebrate here.

161

SusanC 06.11.17 at 12:02 pm

It was clear that Corbyn was trying to build a compromise between the Bexit and Remain factions of his party – the surprise is, it seems to have worked. (At least, worked well enough to leave the conservatives without a majority, even if it wasn’t an outright win for Labour).

Cambridge, for example, was a key labour/lib dem marginal that was strongly pro-remain (university town, lots of people whose jobs depend on the EU, etc.) If the LibDem strategy of being strongly pro-remain (even at this rather late stage in the brexit process) had worked at all, you’ld have expected them to win Cambridge from Labour, at the expense of Labour gains in more pro-brexit constituencies. But Labour won even in pro-remain marginals.

It’s interesting to see that papers such as the Guardian that have been publishing attack pieces against Corbyn for months are now coming round to support him.

162

F. Foundling 06.11.17 at 12:56 pm

JQ @150

>Using the terminology of the racist/sexist right is unlikely to help discussion

I’m aware of this problem. However, one does often feel the need for a short term to refer to the morbid tendencies in question; and a lot of legitimate criticism of these tendencies has, in fact, been voiced using this term, because: 1. not everyone who uses it is a racist or sexist rightist; and: 2. even the actual rightists are sometimes right in some particular objections they make. The problem arises not only in connection with using the same term, but also with expressing the same substance: ‘You say Stalin was a tyrant – you know who else said that? Hitler!’ Expressing non-polar opinions in a polarised environment is always a tricky balancing act, and it can be difficult to determine what the optimal solution is in each case.

163

Faustusnotes 06.11.17 at 1:20 pm

Daragh, I think you need to keep eating the crow. The local election results don’t tell us anything about the party’s performance nationally because of low turnout and lack of broadcast media interest. In contrast, at the national level: a) the labour campaign excluded national print media in favor of local print media when they went to local events; b) they had a social media strategy that worked (I bet Theresa May hates selfie sticks and thinks snapchat is a kind of turtle); c) in national campaigns broadcast media come into play and it’s possible for someone hated by print media to address the public directly through broadcast media; d) on election night the bbc reported the welsh Labour Party were crediting Corbyn himself as an asset to their campaign. The reality is that although he comes across as bumbling and a bit incompetent in peace time he is a very good campaigner (he won two leadership elections and he obviously enjoys campaigning) and his manifesto was something that leftists everywhere can get behind, and (as I said on a previous thread) corbyns labour is very traditional, so there’s no reason he should lose heartland seats. As far as I can tell labour didn’t lose any heartland seats, instead regaining a few they lost under milliband and ncreasing their majority in others (I read somewhere that abbots majority is bigger than mays total vote count).

The reality is that labour is back, in its full flight, and blairism and all that other bullshit is dead. I’m happy to see Corbyn put a stake in that vampire. And now maybe some of the other party members will remember that it’s okay to be ambitious but you must never ever ever bring the party down for your personal whims, the working class win when they stand together, not when they fight each other for scraps.

Also corbyns achievement in getting young people out to vote must be terrifying the infanticidal maniacs in the Tory back rooms. I like to imagine that they laughed at him for doing an interview with nme – “what’s he doing wasting precious campaign time on young people?” Well they aren’t laughing now!

Now the media have to take Corbyn seriously he will start to rise above the print medias prejudices and get his voice heard, and like sanders i suspect the more people see him the more they will like him. And he won’t have any more new labour treachery to undermine him. Plus he won’t be responsible for brexit when it goes wrong. This is a very good position for labour!

164

F. Foundling 06.11.17 at 1:21 pm

As an aside, my comment at around 128 is to be ignored (and I wouldn’t object to its being deleted outright). Whatever Harry’s reasons for delaying my earlier comment, the fact is that he hadn’t rejected it as I thought he had, and I am still commenting here, so several parts of 128 are inaccurate; I apologise for that.

165

steven t johnson 06.11.17 at 1:36 pm

The Labor Party did not win a majority of the popular vote. The Conservative Party won the plurality. Politically all that happened was the liquidation of UKIP and a decline for SNP. Since this single-issue party won its issue, it cannot be clear UKIP’s demise is really important. And, since the referendum endorsed imperialism rather than Scottish independence, was there really anywhere else for SNP to go? It can’t deliver.

Most of all, Labor Party is no more able to deliver on its promises than SYRIZA could. Corbyn will not be an effective reform leader in opposition, because too many senior politicians, especially in the parliament, do not support a left program. That’s why this election is probably going to be the high water mark for apolitical leftism.

166

steven t johnson 06.11.17 at 1:41 pm

PS to kidneystones: You weren’t the only one who thought Trump could win. I even thought Trump might win the Electoral College while Clinton won the election. If I remember correctly I said it here too, while arguing against some of the loonier predictions of a Republican Party disintegration in lieu of a massive defeat. You should ask yourself, if someone else could make an even more precise prediction that came true, but doesn’t share any of my ideas about how things work, maybe I was just a stopped clock that’s right…twice a day.

167

Pro Bono 06.11.17 at 1:42 pm

In Cambridge (where I live), university tuition fees are a big factor.

In 2010, the LibDems campaigned on abolishing tuition fees, and their guy was duly elected. They then joined a coalition with the Conservatives which trebled the fees. The MP personally voted against the increase, but voters were unimpressed, and in 2015 Labour won narrowly. This time, Labour promised to abolish tuition fees, and won easily.

(University tuition fees in England were abolished by a Conservative government in 1962, and reintroduced by a Labour government in 1998.)

168

Pavel A 06.11.17 at 1:52 pm

@kidneystones

It’s really fascinating to watch your logic at work. You (rightly) blame the centre-left for ignoring their own privilege and implicit racism in refusing to pay attention to actual PoC scholars, issues and outcomes. Then you turn right around and shit on the SJW-left (like me) for trying to address those very specific issue of representation and outcomes of PoCs in existing power structures via idpol while supposedly ignoring classpol and economics. SJWs routinely criticize the centre-left for exactly this brand of do-nothing feel-good activism.

Also, weren’t you castigating me just a few short threads ago about how it’s terrible for me to paint an entire group of people (WWC) as racist, yet here you are positing “a clear pattern of liberal racism”. For someone so determined to break preconceptions around the WWC, you sure like to engage in that same level of strawmanning against other groups.

OTOH, here are two great articles dispelling some of the myths about the homogeneity of the WWC:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/6/3/1668643/-Most-Discussions-On-The-White-Working-Class-Are-Based-On-An-Awful-Caricature-Part-I-Demographics
http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/9/1670514/-Most-Discussions-On-The-White-Working-Class-Are-Based-On-An-Awful-Caricature-Part-II-People

169

Ben Philliskirk 06.11.17 at 2:39 pm

Daragh @ 160

“After all, prior to Thursday Corbyn had led Labour in three major national votes (the 2016 and 2017 locals, plus Brexit). Whether Labour performed poorly in the referendum is debatable, but the local results were atrocious. Ditto Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent”

Yes, but you, like the pundits, were looking very narrowly at a particular problem area for Labour, and one that still is, after the election. In Copeland and areas in the Midlands like Stoke, Walsall and Mansfield Brexit was still a major issue, and in these cases cost Labour seats. Given that all the leading Labour politicians that opposed Corbyn were ‘Remain’ supporters, it is difficult to see how any alternative Labour leadership would have prevented this.

Where people forgot to look was in other areas where the increased turnout, particularly of the young, benefitted Labour a lot. Given that council elections see very low turnouts, the local results effectively obscured a lot of what was to happen when Labour was really able to campaign properly.

The whole problem of Labour after 1997 was that they were generally less able to persuade people to come out and vote for them. Their success in 2005, for example, was largely due to a general feeling of malaise in politics and a split in the opposition vote, rather than any real enthusiasm for Blair’s government. Many people wrote off the hundreds of thousands of members that have joined Labour since 2015 as nerds, do-gooders or ‘clicktivists’, but now it is clear that Corbyn and mild social democracy do have some resonance with wider sections of voters.

170

nastywoman 06.11.17 at 3:27 pm

@155
‘You were right about Trump, we’ve all given you that, but it doesn’t mean you can just patronise everybody’

I always thought – that to be ‘right’ about Trump totally disqualifies anybody -(male or female) – as anybody can play a cynic – but to believe in such ‘a win’ for everything disgusting and despicable – what type of a so called ‘human’ believes in such… may I call it ‘inhuman trash’?

171

nastywoman 06.11.17 at 3:38 pm

@166
‘maybe I was just a stopped clock that’s right…twice a day’.

When I was 12 -(in words ‘twelve’) – years old and very much believed that the world and the majority of the people are ‘evil’ – I predicted that one day an ‘evil idiot’ would ‘rule’ America – and as I now was ‘right’ and even far earlier and faar more ‘right’ than you and the commenter who goes bay the name of ‘kidneystone’ – I from now on will be always faaar more ‘right than anybody who didn’t predict anything at least one century ago.

Okay – Everybody?

172

Dipper 06.11.17 at 4:31 pm

I voted Conservative to keep out Corbyn because I don’t like him, really really don’t like many people in his circle, and whilst I agree with some of his policies the scale of the spending and clear deficiencies in his tax-raising plans would lead to a ballooning deficit, financial crisis, and a tax-raising assault on any assets they can find.

But here we are. The basic rules when your side has a bad experience in an adversarial contest are to accept the result and respect the opposition, so well done Labour and Corbyn on an outstanding performance.

The conservatives face many problems, but I suspect the parliamentary party will unite and assert themselves so in the short run they will carry on. The long term problems though are very difficult. The Conservatives have not generated enough growth to fund public services and those reliant on them, so the list of people who are struggling whilst waiting for some pick-up in the economy is growing; young people burdened down by tuition feed debt and who cannot afford a house, anyone who works in the public sector, anyone who relies on the NHS. In the absence of growth this list is likely to grow bigger and more unhappy.

If the Tories now try and change tack to address these specific issues, e.g. some deal on student debt, raising taxes to spend more money on the NHS, they risk simply validating the Corbyn view of the state of the UK and endorsing his solutions in which case at the next election the population will vote for the real deal. So they have to find a different tack and at the moment it is not clear what that is.

One ray of hope is that if they can keep going then in two years Corbyn will be 70. He may be seen to be too old. Another ray of hope is that for Labour to win the next election they have to be united and not do anything stupid. That has not always been something that Labour have been good at doing.

Despite the fact that May won and Labour lost, politically we all now live in a Corbyn world. How each party copes with interpreting that is going to shape politics over the next few years.

173

Layman 06.11.17 at 6:04 pm

@ Daragh, before the election, you thought Corbyn was the leader of a personality cult and unable to lead Labour to a decent electoral performance. After the election, you think Corbyn is the leader of a personality cult and unable to lead Labour to a decent electoral performance. Where exactly does the crow come in?

174

Val 06.11.17 at 7:23 pm

engels – just adding to my rather cryptic comment @ 154, it seems to have escaped your notice that I live 16000 kms away from England in Australia.

Also I used to be a Labor party adviser (in Australia!) but that was only for a short time in the 90s. I’ve been a Greens supporter for many years, the involvement with Labor was actually a blip in that, mainly because we had a particularly terrible right wing Premier here in Victoria in the 90s.

I read the Guardian but it’s the Australian version. It carries quite a lot of British news, especially at a time like this, but it’s predominantly about Australia. I’m certainly not familiar with the ins and outs of British Labour infighting, and I don’t know which British columnist is on whose side, let alone have ‘faves’ in the way you suggest.

If you want to educate people on the detail of British Labour infights, fine, it’s probably a good time to do it now. But don’t sneer at us because we don’t know it already!

175

Val 06.11.17 at 7:52 pm

Also re Corbyn – I admit I never liked the look of him that much. He seemed a bit self righteous and he wasn’t able to control his party (though that may not have been his fault, in fairness I’ll admit that now). This campaign has shown that he can campaign well on things he believes in, and apparently he ran a very positive campaign, which is great.

(When I say “apparently”, I mean that’s what I’ve read since, I didn’t actually see any of it, again because 16000 kms away etc)

However it also seems to highlight again that Corbyn didn’t campaign well on Remain. I suspect people like engels will claim that’s because he was against the European neoliberals etc, but to me it means he betrayed the broader vision – which was always there – of a peaceful Europe. He could have stood for the values of peace and solidarity, and he didn’t.

176

anon/portly 06.11.17 at 9:03 pm

110 That Thomas Edsall link [Kidneystones in 45] posted is a good one.

I disagree. Paragraph 3:

Equally disturbing, winning back former party loyalists who switched to Trump will be tough: these white voters’ views on immigration and race are in direct conflict with fundamental Democratic tenets.

I at least find it somewhat perplexing that Democrats should be worried about the racial views of Obama voters.

Paragraph 5:

A consistent theme is that the focus on white defections from the Democratic Party masks an even more threatening trend: declining turnout among key elements of the so-called Rising American Electorate — minority, young and single voters. Turnout among African-Americans, for example, fell by 7 points, from 66.6 percent in 2012 to 59.6 percent in 2016.

Is black turnout down a few points with Clinton replacing Obama part of a “disturbing trend,” or is just inevitable? We should expect black voters to be as excited about Clinton as Obama?

All of these various “think-pieces” on the 2016 election that Kidneystones has linked to make some good points, but really the null hypothesis for why the Democrats lost is “Hillary Clinton.” (Kidneystones habitually elides this in finding virtues in both Trump and Sanders that may or may not exist or even matter). Obviously it’s difficult for the people writing or being quoted in these pieces to bring this up, but it does sort of seep in here and there, for example when Edsall adduces the following quote from Priorities USA:

Just 30% [of voters who lean Dem but didn’t vote in 2016] describe themselves as very favorable to Clinton, far lower than the 72% who describe themselves as very favorable to Barack Obama.

Later Edsall recounts two parts of an e-mail exchange with another (“Global Strategies”) guy (bolding is mine):

…when you do focus groups with Obama-Trump voters, the conversation always starts about the economy, jobs leaving, towns and places that are no longer as vibrant as they used to be.

So it may be that within economically distressed communities, the individuals who found Trump appealing (or who left Obama for Trump) were the ones where the cultural and racial piece was a strong part of the reason why they went in that direction. So I guess my take is that it’s probably not economics alone that did it.

So the “conversation starts” with concerns about jobs and the economy, exactly what you’d expect after a deep U-shaped recession. If I were in Edsall’s shoes I’d follow up with questions about why (or why on Earth, really) they think Trump’s approach will be better, and questions about to what extent voter attitudes towards Clinton and Trump meant that policies and issues didn’t even matter, but instead he has the guy musing pointlessly (“I guess”) if soothingly about WWC racism….

The DailyKos thing Pavel A links to in (currently) 168 is really very good….

177

Daragh 06.11.17 at 9:10 pm

Faustusnotes @163

“Daragh, I think you need to keep eating the crow. The local election results don’t tell us anything about the party’s performance nationally because of low turnout and lack of broadcast media interest.”

I think if you look back to prior elections, performance during the local elections provided a pretty good proxy for subsequent general election performance. More to the point, the May 2017 results were the latest in a series of poor results, broken by June 2017. And this is one of my main problems with Corbynism generally – all of the failures were ascribed to Blairite wreckers and assorted saboteurs. Now that we’ve had a moderately successful election – in which Corbyn was absent from the campaigning literature and disavowed by many MPs by all accounts – the glory is all to JC. Again – Corbyn deserves real credit in mobilising voter groups that the political establishment had broadly written off. But I’m also curious as to how much of Labour’s vote was ‘despite Corbyn’, how much of that would stick with Labour in the result of a) a competent Tory campaign b) an election where ‘Prime Minister Corbyn’ is a plausible result. I suspect we may find out pretty soon, sadly enough.

Layman @173

“@ Daragh, before the election, you thought Corbyn was the leader of a personality cult and unable to lead Labour to a decent electoral performance. After the election, you think Corbyn is the leader of a personality cult and unable to lead Labour to a decent electoral performance. Where exactly does the crow come in?”

The Corbyn wing of Labour is currently demanding full credit for a performance that equals Gordon Brown in 2010 and calling it a victory. To be clear, I thought he’d do much worse, and will eat crow over that. But he still lost. By contrast, Emmanuel Macron, who was received by many commentators here as a neoliberal disaster who would do nothing but serve as the mid-wife of fascism, is on the cusp of an overwhelming victory in the French National Assembly elections. Maybe Macron’s clear and overwhelming victory should provide a model for future progressive politics, rather than the guy who came close, but ultimately failed, to win an election when facing one of the most disastrous Tory campaigns in recorded history.

Oh, and FWIW and in the interests of intellectual consistency – I’m as horrified by May putting Arlene Foster in the cockpit of government as I am with Corbyn’s past dalliances with SF/PIRA.

178

F. Foundling 06.11.17 at 9:33 pm

J-D @ 153
>would that have made the point you were trying to make … ?

‘SJW’ may be used by some people (sometimes including me) as a shorthand for certain negative tendencies in contemporary left-wing ‘identity politics’, and it may be used by others (rightists) as a slur for *all* left-wing positions (including my positions) in the sphere of ‘identity politics’, but I don’t think anyone uses it to refer to movements unrelated to ‘identity politics’, which were the majority of those that basil mentioned. And, as I said, the negative tendencies in question tend to be inversely proportional to emphasis on what those movements stand for.

basil @ 105

>For me, white, straight, male are just a set of adjectives and social assignations defining an apex predator, a destroyer of worlds. … If whiteness is a system of privileges, WWC is defined explicitly by the denied access to those privileges.

So it’s not that we hate white straight males, it’s just that we’re going to use the words ‘white, straight, male’ as a metaphor for everything evil, but white straight males shouldn’t take it personally. Can’t see how *that* could possibly go wrong! Try it with some other (sets of) identities and consider the glorious effect.

179

J-D 06.11.17 at 10:18 pm

Val

Making the target of criticism clearly identifiable makes it easier for the critic to be proved wrong; conversely, making the target completely unidentifiable makes it almost impossible for the critic to be proved wrong. So identifying kidneystones’s targets might make life easier for other people, but it would not make life easier for kidneystones, and that’s why you should not expect kidneystones to do so.

180

Ben Philliskirk 06.12.17 at 7:37 am

Daragh @177

‘The Corbyn wing of Labour is currently demanding full credit for a performance that equals Gordon Brown in 2010 and calling it a victory. ‘

Labour vote 2010: 29%
Labour vote 2017: 40%

They don’t equal each other, even if the number of seats do. This basic dishonesty is the hallmark of your approach to Corbyn’s Labour.

181

Continental 06.12.17 at 9:26 am

The 2016 election subthread is tiring but let me point out it’s the Hillary-haters who started it (33 etc.)

176: “really the null hypothesis for why the Democrats lost is “Hillary Clinton.””

I think you need to check your study design ;.) I submit the null hypothesis should be that the election outcome was determined by economic and political fundamentals. After all, the Republicans were at a natural advantage after 8 years of a Democratic presidency, and it has rarely happened in US history that a party won a third White House term. Allan Lichtman based his prediction – the only one that turned out correct – precisely on such fundamentals, completely disregarding the specifics of the candidates and the campaigns. Clinton performed way better than should have been expected given these fundamentals, but still she gets all the blame. Most observers, myself included, expected Clinton to win because we just couldn’t believe that Republicans would unite around such a terrible candidate. We were wrong – they did, and they are still fairly united around what most agree is a dangerous, abysmally incompetent president.

Re the Edsall article: anon is correct that the decline in Black turnout was to be expected. 2016 turnout still matches or exceeds all pre-Obama values. But the heart of his article is the claim that 7 to 9 million Obama voters switched to Trump. I think this is implausible. Obama bested Romney by 5 million votes, Clinton bested Trump by “only” 3 million so Trump improved the Republican margin by 2 million votes (while almost 8 million more votes were cast). Since we know that a significant number of Obama voters stayed home or voted third party, it is clear that if there was indeed massive vote-switching, it would have had to go both ways. I find that implausible but it’s not impossible. What I find interesting though is that nobody ever talks about millions of Romney voters switching to Clinton – while the opposite gets huge attention. That makes me suspicious of the whole theory.

182

gastro george 06.12.17 at 10:15 am

Daragh @ 177

Regarding why Labour did as well as they did, IMHO the thing to look at are the polls over time. The uptick in Labour popularity coincides exactly and dramatically with the start of the campaign, when different regulations over media coverage start. This enabled Labour to present Corbyn directly to the electorate, mainly through TV, radio and social, as opposed to the very mediated communication that went before.

I’ve no idea how you could explain that uptick from campaign literature (which almost nobody reads) or MPs campaigning without mentioning Corbyn.

Who would have thought that life-long campaigner Corbyn would be good at campaigning? Who would have thought that half a million new members, mostly young, could mobilise young voters?

183

Continental 06.12.17 at 12:34 pm

“Last year’s triumph for Brexit has often been paired with the rise of Donald Trump as evidence of a populist surge. But most of those joining in with the ecstasies of English nationalist self-assertion were imposters. Brexit is an elite project dressed up in rough attire. When its Oxbridge-educated champions coined the appealing slogan “Take back control,” they cleverly neglected to add that they really meant control by and for the elite.”

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/06/10/britain-the-end-of-a-fantasy/

184

Katsue 06.12.17 at 1:39 pm

@177

From what I’ve read, the argument that Macron is monstrous/the midwife of fascism/a right-wing hack hinges on his past performance and expected performance in government, e.g. his promise to cut public sector jobs, not his ability to win elections.

As for the result not being a victory for Corbyn, the fact is that Theresa May still being Prime Minister by 2020 is far less likely than it appeared to be before the election campaign. This is a victory, even if not a total one.

185

engels 06.12.17 at 4:29 pm

Eat your book Daragh.

186

Z 06.12.17 at 6:41 pm

But he still lost. By contrast, Emmanuel Macron, who was received by many commentators here as a neoliberal disaster who would do nothing but serve as the mid-wife of fascism, is on the cusp of an overwhelming victory in the French National Assembly elections.

Macron is on the verge of an overwhelming, epoch-making victory in the French National Assembly, that is true. However:

-Size of the electorate UK: about 47 millions.
-Size of the electorate France: about 47 millions.
-Number of votes received by Corbyn’s Labour: about 12,8 millions.
-Number of votes received by Macron’s LREM party and his allies : about 6,5 millions.

Again, not denying that Macron’s party will score a historic victory, just putting things in perspective.

187

Dipper 06.12.17 at 7:20 pm

@ continental 183

I’m sick of this kind of garbage from on-lookers. I don’t comment on his country, why does he feel he has the right to make snarky comments about mine?

188

Daragh 06.12.17 at 7:47 pm

Ben @180

Seats are the traditional metric by which these are measured, but lets take a look at how the other side did shall we?

Conservative Vote 2010 – 36%
Conservative Vote 2017 – 42.4%

True – the gap has narrowed considerably. But Gordon Brown was coming off of the financial crisis two years of chronically unstable government, open speculation about his leadership and going for a fourth term in government against an electorate that wanted change (not least because of that financial crisis). His holding Cameron to a minority – even if aided by the Lib Dem not-quite-surge – was a pretty strong achievement in itself.

And in this particular election, the Conservatives were coming off of seven years of austerity, and ran what was widely regarded as possibly the worst ever modern general election campaign, during which Theresa May managed to utterly destroy her political credibility through a series of unforced errors.

And yet they still won their highest share of the vote since 1983.

I won’t respond in kind by accusing you of dishonesty. And I should emphasise – I’m astonished that Labour got such a high share of the vote, and I think Corbyn’s mobilising capabilities – heretofore undetected in a major national campaign – have a lot to do with that. But he was up against a very soft target. I’m not sure an alternative Labour candidate would have won outright, but I do think that there was simply too much opposition to a Corbyn premiership for him to.

gastro george- @182

I’m afraid that’s just incorrect. See here. Polls didn’t start to really move until late May – after the manifesto launch. There were also local elections in which Labour was trounced. Again – I’m not arguing ‘Corbyn didn’t win, May lost’. That’s too simple and ignores Corbyn’s ability to mobilise turnout, which was a big factor, one I hadn’t considered because he had failed to demonstrate it before – in the referendum, in two sets of locals, in Copeland. Why that is so is an argument for another day. But I do think that the implosion of Theresa May was necessary for this result to have occurred and, at the risk of repeating myself, still wasn’t enough for Labour to win an outright victory.

189

J-D 06.12.17 at 9:40 pm

F. Foundling

… I don’t think anyone uses it to refer to movements unrelated to ‘identity politics’, which were the majority of those that basil mentioned …

You seem very confident of that. I don’t know what your confidence is based on. I was able to find one example of somebody using the term ‘SJWs’ to refer to the Stop the War Coalition without much difficulty:
http://www.westmonster.com/radical-lefties-vow-to-shut-down-london-if-trump-visits/

190

engels 06.13.17 at 12:50 am

Macron will enjoy a historic success in demoralising and disengaging the electorate, depoliticising its justified anger and hence putting the lid back on the pressure cooker for a few more years. Blairites would be proud!

191

engels 06.13.17 at 1:10 am

@ continental 183 I’m sick of this kind of garbage from on-lookers.

I’m a British citizen and I endorse #183.

192

faustusnotes 06.13.17 at 1:10 am

Daragh, what do you mean by a “soft target”? May’s share of the vote is better than Thatcher’s in 1983 or 1987 and only a little down on 1979, and she hasn’t won government for the conservatives alone. Corbyn’s share equals Blair in 2001. He won back parts of Scotland that previous labour leaderships thought lost, and started to win back heartland seats that Milliband and Brown lost.

You need to accept that Corbyn isn’t just a personality cult and he is doing something right. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense.

193

Pavel A 06.13.17 at 1:46 am

@187
I would think that a citizen of an imperialist nation, that routinely involves itself in the affairs of other nations and is happy to kill civilians in ginned up wars, should probably show less feigned outrage when confronted with mild international criticism.

@Val
SJW is a contested term. Defend it and wear it proudly or the alt-right will own it and everything else (see also: milk). Social justice is economic justice. Economic justice is social justice. Everything else is just nonsense.

194

Dipper 06.13.17 at 6:26 am

@ engels – 191

As a British citizen you are entitled to your opinion about the country, but the writer is not.

Why is it that intellectuals from all corners feel free to come and give the English working class a good kicking at every opportunity? To portray the WWC as bovine racist idiots, and then justify their dreadful outcomes in life because they are bovine racist idiots?

And then to add insult to injury he (and others) talks about Corbynism being anti-establishment and anti-elites. Thats the expensively prep-school educated Corbyn, Seamus Milne, son of the former Director General of the BBC and expensively educated at Winchester. Emily Thornberry, privately educated daughter of a former assistant Director General of the UN. On what planet are the people running the Corbyn project remotely “anti-establishment”? This isn’t anti-establishment, it is two parts of the establishment arguing about who gets the rights to screw the working class.

195

Dipper 06.13.17 at 6:43 am

and whilst we are on the subject, the notion that the post-Good Friday Agreement DUP and the pre-Good Friday Agreement IRA are somehow equivalent should send shivers down the spine of all democrats. If blowing people up in pubs is just as legitimate a political activity as voting then we are on a dark road. How long before Prime Minister Corbyn, who can notably never bring himself to condemn a specific terrorist attack except in tones that indicate we are all equally guilty, is sitting down with ISIS to discuss a political settlement, and suggesting that perhaps women might think about covering themselves up bit more to avoid offending decent muslims, and perhaps it would be better if the likes of Ariana Grande didn’t give concerts in our country?

196

Peter T 06.13.17 at 10:23 am

I’d see Labour’s recovery as not due to Corbyn’s personality, nor to the manifesto alone, but to the appeal of a leftist manifesto coupled with a leader who could be believed to deliver it. Blair could talk about greater equality, could even deliver portions of it, but it was always hard to think he believed in it.

197

casmilus 06.13.17 at 12:08 pm

@187

Dipper, later this year Liza McKenzie’s book about the lives of the worse-off left-behind struggling to survive in London will be published. It will contain material about how they were keen to vote Leave as a boot up the arse to an establishment that had either forgotten them or considered shows like “Benefits Street” as telling everything there is to know. They understood perfectly well it wouldn’t make their lives better, but they felt desperate.

After hearing McKenzie talk about these people, I am very happy to acknowledge that not all Leavers are smug Thames Valley dwellers who think they’re hard up because they waste most of £150,000 per year on status symbols. Unfortunately, the Leadsomites are the ones who are loudest in defining what the referendum was about. I have never seen a ConservativeHome article discussing the voters that McKenzie met, though there are plenty casting them as parasites who need to lose whatever support they currently get.

Let us know how your preferred model of Brexit – if you even have one – is going to do something for these people. Since Leave only scraped over the line at 52% it can’t afford to be ungrateful.

198

casmilus 06.13.17 at 12:12 pm

@187

Shorter version: you don’t know your country.

199

Layman 06.13.17 at 3:51 pm

Dipper: “As a British citizen you are entitled to your opinion about the country, but the writer is not.”

This is an important point, one I say is too important to leave short. You cannot know another country as well as its own citizens, so you’re not entitled to any opinion about that country. Similarly, you cannot know any city you don’t currently live in as well as do its own residents, so you can have no meaningful opinion about any city you don’t live in. Furthermore, you can’t know every other barrio, borough, or neighborhood of your city as well as do its residents, so no opinions about them, please. You cannot know your neighbor as well as he/she knows himself, so, you know, you ought to just shut up about everything.

200

engels 06.13.17 at 4:29 pm

Why is it that intellectuals from all corners feel free to come and give the English working class a good kicking at every opportunity? To portray the WWC as bovine racist idiots, and then justify their dreadful outcomes in life because they are bovine racist idiots?

Liberals do this because it provides yet another way of legitimising inequality; leftists (if they deserve the name) don’t.

201

Dipper 06.13.17 at 4:42 pm

@casmilus

It is about immigration.

Straightforwardly free movement of people has created a situation where workers are in plentiful supply. Hence the price has fallen. The massive additional costs of importing millions of workers has not been transferred to employers and been dumped on the state which has failed to keep up. So, wages down, availability of housing down, housing cost up, and pressure on public services up.

I would do two things; I would limit non-skilled immigration to about zero. Make non-skilled workers a scarce resource. this will drive wages up, and encourage increases in productivity and improvement in skills. I would also build a new city because we need one. somewhere in southern England but not in touching distance of London, so based round either Oxford or Cambridge. A kind of reward for voting to remain in the EU. The increase in housing should take the pressure off housing costs elsewhere.

One immediate thing is given the number of nurses coming into the UK has crashed due to the introduction of the English Language test, I’d start investing in a number of them to become nurses and other trained medical staff.

202

engels 06.13.17 at 5:07 pm

In case anyone’s stupid enough to believe Dipper’s ‘voice of the nation’ BS:

Working people were more likely to vote Lab than Con – retired people were the only group that backed the Tories

203

engels 06.13.17 at 5:43 pm

Novakant—sorry missed your earlier query—if you watch Corbyn’s interview on Marr (on iPlayer) he spends a bit of time explaining how a Labour’s Brexit would differ from the Tories.

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Orange Watch 06.13.17 at 7:48 pm

Dipper@193:

Standpoint epistemology much?

205

Ben Philliskirk 06.13.17 at 7:59 pm

casmilus @ 196

Dipper is so concerned about the welfare of the ‘white working-class’ that he vents his anger at Labour for having the temerity to want to spend money improving the services they depend on and trying to provide them with a higher minimum wage and more housing.

He also believes that a ‘hard brexit’ is desirable but mild social democracy is not only utopian, but disastrous. Don’t expect any coherence from his arguments.

206

J-D 06.13.17 at 9:35 pm

Dipper

I don’t comment on his country, why does he feel he has the right to make snarky comments about mine?

I don’t know. Maybe, as an American, he thinks that’s a right protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Or maybe he’s thinking of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and/or Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Or maybe he has some other idea. Why do you feel you have the right to make comments about a political party which is not yours?

207

Val 06.13.17 at 11:16 pm

I’m aware that several people responded to my challenge about defining what you mean by “identity politics” or “SJWs”, but the conversation has moved on and it seems a bit off-topic to reply at length. However I will try to give a brief response and maybe we can all keep the discussion in mind if the issue comes up again.

Seems to me there are several functions of the term “identity politics”(as illustrated in the links above partic from engels).

One is labelling diverse social movements, such as feminism or Black Lives Matter, under one term. I guess it’s probably done for convenience but I don’t think it’s very useful in these kinds of discussions – eg Black Lives Matter aren’t proclaiming their “identity”, they are protesting about police violence and discrimination against African Americans or other people of colour.

Another meaning, mentioned in engels’ first link, is that what were originally protest movements (say back in the 60s or 70s) went from asserting people’s rights, as individuals in a liberal human rights paradigm, to equal or fair treatment, to asserting their positive identity as blacks or women etc, as in “black is beautiful’. I think this is important but I don’t think “identity politics” is a good term – it’s more like diversity, or standpoint theory, where having people with differing life experiences contributing to debates is recognised as something of value.

In this sense of course the contribution of educated white men is equally allowable with anyone else’s. The problem is a) they still tend to dominate public conversations, and b) they often still tend to talk as if they represent everyone (the ‘rational man’ or ‘everyman’ perspective).

The other usage/s are of course where the term is used in a pejorative sense, as it quite often is here. I think that is definitely something that people should try to avoid, as it at the least verges on racism and sexism.

“SJWs” seems to be just a term coined by the far right or ‘alt right’, and I can’t see any real justification for it.

208

Faustusnotes 06.14.17 at 12:13 am

Dipper I feel I can rock up here and talk about the wwc and how racist they are because I grew up among them and I am very familiar with it. What’s your excuse for not knowing this shit?

209

Continental 06.14.17 at 6:23 am

Dipper’s tirades aren’t really worth a response, but let’s point out that the quote in 183 isn’t about the “working class” at all. It attacks “Oxbridge-educated champions” of nationalism.

210

Collin Street 06.14.17 at 8:56 am

You cannot know your neighbor as well as he/she knows himself

Actually… as I’ve set out a couple of times, this is false. It’s actually easier to understand other people than it is to understand yourself, for the simple reason that your relationship to other people is the same as your relationship to other other people: they’re both outside you, and can easily be compared. Understanding yourself, though… you either need to be able to see yourself from the outside or other people from the inside, before you can do that sort of comparison.

[see also dunning-kruger: this is another aspect of the same problem]

[I’m pretty damned sure my friends know me, my strengths and weaknesses, better than I do myself. That’s half the reason to have friends, even.]

211

Continental 06.14.17 at 10:33 am

And Fintan O’Toole is of course Irish. Of course no English person ever commented on Irish politics, let alone meddled in it, or voiced any kind of judgment about Irish people.

Nuff said, Dipper’s comments are blatant trolling.

212

Continental 06.14.17 at 10:34 am

Val 207: Good points. Labeling Black Lives Matter as “identity politics”, rather than a protest movement against police violence, is and always was an intentional smear. There are few contexts in which one can meaningfully employ the term “identity politics” as an analytical category. In most cases it is just a pejorative directed at disadvantaged groups, signaling that “minority” concerns (including those of women) should take a backseat to the much more important issues of the “majority” (which turns out to be defined as white males, who are in fact a minority but who cares).

213

Dipper 06.14.17 at 11:14 am

CT’s policy of once-a-day comment approval means I get a whole bucket-load of joy in one go. So here goes:

Faustusnotes has met some wwc and they were racist, so they are all racist. It really shouldn’t be necessary for me to expand on the clear shortcomings and frankly danger of this position but I do further down

Ben Philliskirk @ 205 kind of makes my point. Labour are giving the working class the crumbs off their table. Under Corbyn, working class people aren’t free to create their own stories, determine their own outcomes, they will get what the expensively educated elite deem is appropriate for them.

Fintan O’Toole’s NY times column. Yes of course he is free to say whatever he thinks. Just wish he had said something less cliched. The UK stopped doing Irish jokes decades ago, about time he stopped the reverse. The reality on the ground is always richer and deeper than headline grabbing generalisations and character. The antidote to insultingly dim characterisations is not more of the same but works like this.

http://www.oapen.org/search?identifier=607920;keyword=loud%20and%20proud

As for Brexit I would like the electors of the UK to be able to vote in a government that makes laws and conducts policy for them. The conversations about which flavour of Brexit we get are all a bit moot unless the EU shift from their position of a choice between EU membership with no vote and more fees, or complete exit and isolation. Just to bang on about this, the EU is mandating to us that we have to build and provide at our own cost the infrastructure of a medium sized European Nation in a generation in order to house the people fleeing their own economic ineptitude. I think this goes way beyond what any kind of formal relationship between two peaceful countries should look like and goes into the kind of settlement that normally occurs after a state has been defeated in war. I have the numbers, I’ve worked through them, so please don’t just say “that’s rubbish” but come back with your own.

And finally, Corbyn. A weak and vain man with a Stalinist organisation behind him. He isn’t trying to make us like Sweden or Germany, he is trying to make us like Cuba or Venezuela. Just look at his organisation; it only allows in friends and family. No open recruitment there. And only the best most expensive education for the children of the Vanguard. They are a controlling dynasty in the making. A Corbyn government, for the few not the many.

We know exactly how these regimes operate. It isn’t wealth they dislike, it is wealth that hasn’t paid its bribes to the rulers. The rule of law soon gets ripped up and replaced with intimidation and persecution. Just look how people like Prof Tim Hunt and Germaine Greer have been treated by groups of Momentum style activists. If this is what they are like out of power, just imagine what will happen if they get into power. Even the slogan “for the many not the few” states that individuals who have broken no laws will be the target of government attacks.

We can see it above all over. The identification of people you disagree with as being wrongdoers with bad attitudes; bad people, whose opinions make them less worthy, who have removed their right to the protection of the law through their own attitudes and thoughts. Then its just a small step to persecution, removal from jobs, show trials. It starts with Philip Green, then moves onto the likes of Lord Alan Sugar for his wealth and anti-Corbyn tweets, then perhaps J K Rowling for not praising her Momentum overlords enough.

So watch what you say, good people of CT, or you will be on a list.

214

engels 06.14.17 at 11:18 am

I feel I can rock up here and talk about the wwc and how racist they are because I grew up among them

…because apostates from a particular group never have distorted opinions about it

215

engels 06.14.17 at 11:20 am

The problem is a) they still tend to dominate public conversations, and b) they often still tend to talk as if they represent everyone (the ‘rational man’ or ‘everyman’ perspective).

Yes and educated white women do this too. You are Dipper are kinda the poster people for this sort of mindset imho.

216

engels 06.14.17 at 1:59 pm

The other usage/s are of course where the term is used in a pejorative sense,

The point of the links is that there are several pejorative senses, sone of them are looney-Right, others seem to be sincere and legitimate left-wing academic and political lines of critique. If you think they’re wrong it might be more productive to engage with the substance of their arguments rather than trying to police what words everyone uses.

217

Dipper 06.14.17 at 2:03 pm

@ Continental. So you think the quote in183 isn’t about the working class. But it is, because it says it as all about someone else. The working class must be denied a voice, a view. Written out of existence

Can I just point out, CT’ers, that we’ve had a shock result, and I haven’t heard one Tory in public or in private say that the stupid people did not realise what they voted for, that it was the Russians and their dark big data arts, or that voters were conned by lies in the Guardian. Just acceptance of the vote at straight value.

So remember that, folks, when Seamus Milne starts telling you how you voted. The Tories respect your vote when you vote against them. Labour (and the EU) will decide when your vote counts, and when it doesn’t.

218

Dipper 06.14.17 at 2:45 pm

… and as if by magic, up pops John McDonnell in the New Statseman. “If we now focus on who our real political enemies and opponents are, just think what we can achieve.” A Police State which locks up political opponents, I think, is what you can achieve.

219

Orange Watch 06.14.17 at 7:42 pm

Val@207:

You miss one common usage of “identity politics”, though in a sweeping sense your first definition comes close. It’s a style of political rhetoric which enshrines demographic group membership as the most important fact about any citizen, and prioritizes dealing with issues according to these identifiers rather than any other grouping schema. Specifically, it tends to devalue class as a politically meaningful idea – a rich, college-educated Congresswoman or the son of a rich black CEO is viewed as an oppressed minority because of demographic identifiers. Intersectionalism was intended to offset this to some degree, but proponents of more problematic identity politics have shown a marked willingness to view intersectionalism as being about overlapping even more demographic identifiers while continuing to ignore class identity.

When leftists talk derisively about mainstream American Democratic Party (or other liberals) commitment to identity politics, this is often the sense of the term they use. In my experience. It frequently manifests as well-heeled white academics, politicians, and professionals “speaking up for” marginalized groups, but so long as they “recognize” (in a rhetorical sense which changes very little and often merits the label of virtue signalling) their privilege (often while simultaneously recognizing demographic identity that “offsets” it) they can and do continue to dominate their conversations, to their decided advantage.

“SJWs” seems to be just a term coined by the far right or ‘alt right’, and I can’t see any real justification for it.

Over the last 5 years or so, I saw this term spring up in marginal conversations, spread, and finally become mainstream. It’s entirely a creation of online rightwing forums, and it does essentially mean “someone to my left who I despise for wrongthink”. There’s a very overwrought cliche that the term evokes and I assume is what the left-of-center users are referring to with the term, but it’s not a useful one as it conflates the problematic aspects of their behavior with their political alignment, and generally perpetuates and normalizes a particularly nasty (but from a rightwing perspective, very useful) political caricature.

220

Dipper 06.14.17 at 8:30 pm

@ Layman 199

So its an important point. Fair enough. Of course anyone is free to comment on what ever they feel like commenting on. He says “we know that many of them did so because they were reassured by Boris Johnson’s promise that, when it came to Europe, Britain could “have its cake and eat it.””. It is a racist presumption to think you know someone else’s business better than they do due to your superior intelligence, and to presume how people make their minds up. Just imagine if Fintan O’Toole had told Black Lives Matter that there aspirations were delusional, that they were fools, and they should just accept their situation. That is what he has just done to the English voters.

221

faustusnotes 06.15.17 at 2:13 am

No Dipper, it’s only a racist presumption if you do it on the base of race. No one in the Remain camp has been telling white people anything on the basis of race. They have just been pointing out that what is best for Britain is to stay in the EU. You might be familiar with the difference between “British” and “white”, it’s something that kippers like you go on about all the time. But of course you kippers think that telling people they can’t say “nigger” is the real racism, so it doesn’t surprise me that you don’t understand what racism actually is.

222

J-D 06.15.17 at 2:49 am

Dipper

… and as if by magic, up pops John McDonnell in the New Statseman. “If we now focus on who our real political enemies and opponents are, just think what we can achieve.” A Police State which locks up political opponents, I think, is what you can achieve.

It is true that you cannot lock up your political opponents without focussing on who they are; but it is equally true that you cannot defeat, or surrender to, or forgive, or convert, or deceive, or praise, or condemn, or contemn your political opponents without focussing on who they are. The idea that John McDonnell desires specifically to lock up his political opponents does not come from the text of the New Statesman article (the one you’re quoting from), so it must come from some prior evaluation of John McDonnell on your part.

Now here you’ve got a reader who knows almost nothing about John McDonnell and so has little or no idea what could be the basis for your evaluation of him. I read your comment in which you appear to be pointing to the New Statesman article as validating your evaluation of John McDonnell, and then I read the article itself and found that, taken by itself, without reference to your other background information about (or perceptions of) John McDonnell, it does nothing to validate your evaluation. So the effect on me is one of mystification. Did you want to mystify me?

There may be lots of other people reading this who share your background information about, and perceptions and evaluation of, John McDonnell, and who therefore will share your reading that the New Statesman article validates your judgement. But I doubt it.

223

Val 06.15.17 at 3:56 am

Orangewatch @ 211
But you are referring to the use of the term in a pejorative sense, to denigrate people, which is what I suggested people should not do. The usage you are referring to is handily vague, so it can be used to cover up sexism and give it a cloak of respectability.

I don’t know if you know anything about Australian politics, but if you had seen the crap Julia Gillard was subjected to, from the left as well as the right, you might have more idea of how this works. I know only too well – I was actually someone who had worked with Julia Gillard, but when I tried to tell some of these guys who bagged her that what they were saying about her was wrong, I was told “you’re only saying that because she is a woman’ (in other words, ‘identity politics’, in your terms).

So when they defended their preferred male candidate, Kevin Rudd, they were supposedly being objective, but when I defended Julia Gillard on the grounds that I actually knew the things they were saying were incorrect, I was indulging in ‘identity politics’! Perhaps you can see why I don’t have much time for this stuff.

224

Continental 06.15.17 at 5:53 am

Still in moderation? Huh?

225

J-D 06.15.17 at 10:58 am

Orange Watch

In your analysis of the concept of ‘identity politics’ you use the terms ‘demographic group membership’ and ‘demographic identifiers’ in a way that suggest you don’t consider the descriptions ‘rich’ and ‘college educated’ to be identifiers of demographic groups. Why not? it seems to me that they are. Are you using a definition of ‘demographic group’ and ‘demographic identifier’ that restricts them to referring only to gender and race and, if so, why?

It seems to me that the people who are most likely to decry the politicisation of issues of gender and race, and therefore most likely to use the description ‘identity politics’ as a pejorative, are also the people who are most likely to decry the politicisation of socioeconomic differences, although they will find different pejorative terms for that, like ‘class warfare’ and ‘the politics of envy’. The political defenders of wealth, power, and privilege (who won’t, naturally, describe themselves as such) are likely to be resistant to any identification of politically significant group divisions, because that’s the first step to the recognition of all kinds of social inequality, which is in turn the first step to the resolve to do something to reduce it. The people who attack (from the outside) the Democrats (or, outside the US, labour parties, or socialist parties) for abandoning their traditional bases in favour of the new-fangled trendy causes of ‘identity politics’ (or whatever other slurs they prefer) will attack them with equal vigour whenever they do assert themselves on behalf of those traditional bases against the wealthy, powerful, and privileged; those criticisms are opportunistic, not sincere.

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Layman 06.15.17 at 11:45 am

Dipper: “It is a racist presumption to think you know someone else’s business better than they do due to your superior intelligence, and to presume how people make their minds up…”

This is like shooting fish in a barrel. You see, you just right there made a presumption about how someone made his mind up, attributing it to racism, which means – according to your syllogism! – that you’re being racist. So of course your syllogism is nonsense, as I hope you’ll agree.

To the broader point, while generalizing to individuals is dangerous, it is possible to learn about the various opinions present in large populations of individuals. According to opinion polls taken at the time of the Brexit vote, it seems certain there were some people who believed that the UK could both prohibit free movement and continue to enjoy free trade with the EU; and it seems certain there are such people today. If they were not encouraged to believe this by someone, how do you imagine they arrived at this extraordinary idea?

227

engels 06.15.17 at 11:56 am

#214 is a good comment

228

Chris Bertram 06.15.17 at 12:06 pm

@Dipper

“Can I just point out, CT’ers, that we’ve had a shock result, and I haven’t heard one Tory in public or in private say that the stupid people did not realise what they voted for, that it was the Russians and their dark big data arts, or that voters were conned by lies in the Guardian. Just acceptance of the vote at straight value.”

You can’t have been looking at Tory twitter then

229

Val 06.15.17 at 12:10 pm

engels @ 227
Are you now reduced to praising your own comments? Well at least you’ve got one admirer.

230

Val 06.15.17 at 12:14 pm

@ 216 you tell me I talk too much, @ 217 you tell me I haven’t engaged with everything.

As I said, good you’ve got yourself to cheer yourself.

231

engels 06.15.17 at 12:22 pm

Er #219

232

novakant 06.15.17 at 12:44 pm

engels @203

I appreciate that Corbyn proposed to take a less combative position in the Brexit negotiations, but he is obviously evading all the hard questions and Marr is right to say that as far as policy is concerned there is little difference between Labour and Tories.

There are two obvious reasons for this:

– a third of Labour voters and al lot more of the Labour constituencies voted leave

– freedom of movement and single market access are inextricably linked

The EU will never relent on the latter point, it would mean giving up a fundamental and defining principle, and everybody knows it, so all of Corbyn’s talk about tariff free access is wishful thinking and he knows it. The UK also doesn’t have any real leverage in these talks at all, the best they can do is try their hand at damage control. I wish someone would have the guts to tell the UK citizens the truth about Brexit and prepare them for the consequences instead of putting fingers in their ears and singing lalala…

233

Continental 06.15.17 at 12:59 pm

engels 06.14.17 at 11:20 am: “Yes and educated white women do this too.”

Wrong, women of whatever skin color and education do NOT dominate any important public conversations. That is an empirical fact and has been studied extensively.

Dipper continues his blatant trolling and CTers continue to feed him. What else is new.

Btw is it a rule that comments are approved once a day? That’s not a bad concept but I wasn’t aware of it. Is there a specific time of day for this?

234

Katsue 06.15.17 at 1:06 pm

To bring the discussion of identity politics back to the UK election for a moment, I suggest that anybody confused about Jeremy Corbyn’s views on the matter take a few seconds to look at his Twitter page and scroll down to his tweets of June 11. The idea that a vote for Jeremy Corbyn is in some way a rejection of identity politics doesn’t seem to have any basis in reality to me.

235

Katsue 06.15.17 at 1:35 pm

P.S. Imagine thinking that an Irish person has no right to comment on Brexit. The days of the 26 counties having an essentially colonial economy dependent on the export of agricultural raw materials to Britain may be gone, but there’s no question that Brexit will profoundly affect the Irish economy and political situation.

236

Orange Watch 06.15.17 at 2:23 pm

Val
It’s rather problematic that you’re willing to question the motivation (in a painfully broad, sweeping sense – basically any criticism whatever would fall under this rubric) of anyone who speaks critically of a woman in favor of a man – yet you seem unwilling to entertain the idea that both camps are entirely capable of opportunism and masking their political motives. This makes it rather hard for your blanket dismissal to be taken as offered; it appears that you don’t “have time for this stuff” because you grant your judgement a measure of objectivity you refuse to contemplate in others. If we want to complain about rhetoric masking shoddy reasoning in a cloak of respectability, there’s no reason to assume that “people like them” will do it but “people like you” won’t. In practice, both camps engage in this sort of chicanery; legitimate criticism is dismissed as privileged bigotry, and privileged bigotry is masked as legitimate criticism. Your objection to the latter while taking the very idea of the former as a personal affront leaves a rather poor impression of your willingness to engage others on even terms. I am aware that there are no level playing fields, but it is exceedingly problematic to call for equality while simultaneously affording yourself a position of privilege. Either you’re against hierarchy or you’re for it; being against it when it doesn’t benefit you doesn’t make you against it, just opportunistic.

J-D
It’s a poor choice of words, but I don’t have a better one that’s concise. Nor do I mean to limit it to strictly race and gender, as it is not used in that way; sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion/irreligion also fall into this. I suppose “inherent” or “immutable” demographic identities might get closer to the mark – though the scare quotes are necessary because religion is not inherent or immutable even if it gets treated as such, and as much as it’s mainstream liberal gospel that genetics are destiny IRT the other two listed that has not really been shown conclusively, even if some correlation has been found and loudly overstated (although it seems quite likely that they’re still inherent even if not “hardwired”). By contrast, education and income levels are far less fixed, certainly according to the prevailing narratives, and aren’t the same kind of demographic identity markers.

I’d strongly question your assertion that those in power refuse to acknowledge group divisions, BTW. Divide and rule is as effective – and as practiced – as it ever has been. The group divisions that are avoided are the ones that clearly place rulers on one side and ruled on the other – and those are the groupings you referred to such as income and education. If you can convince your constituents that you’re just like them but done good, and that their children will be like you even if they’re not, then you can get them to turn on others who are like them but not like you if you can valorize other grouping criteria – which is something we predictably see. I’m somewhat at a loss as to how this sort of thing should be viewed as sincere rather than opportunistic, however.

237

bruce wilder 06.15.17 at 5:20 pm

Layman: it seems certain there were some people who believed that the UK could both prohibit free movement and continue to enjoy free trade with the EU; and it seems certain there are such people today. If they were not encouraged to believe this by someone, how do you imagine they arrived at this extraordinary idea?

novakant: freedom of movement and single market access are inextricably linked

There’s a label for the political dogma that there is no alternative, but Val says we shouldn’t use labels, so I guess I won’t use it. Ordinarily, I would think politics is how we collectively choose whether to link, say, “freedom of movement” and “tariffs” but what do I know?

The EU in the early 1990s embarked on an evolution premised on the desirability of enshrining the four freedoms of free movement of capital, people, goods and services within the EU. To achieve this neoliberal ideal, they set about politically disabling national governments in these domains. (Britain stands out as one of countries whose government was least disabled, because of various concessions and exceptions; this may be an interesting detail for the way the politics evolved. Britain was also among the least integrated into the politics of Brussels institutions, not participating much in the party groupings and so on, sending a lot UKIP members to the European Parliament, etc.)

The various aspects of the plan for implementing the four freedoms had varying degrees of popular support in Europe’s nation-states, not necessarily proportioned in any consistent way to reasonable anticipation of economic consequences. Time has passed, consequences have been realized even if the policy cause-and-effect is disputed among experts and not necessarily widely understood in the politically-aware populace of various states. (File these observations under, politics is chaotic.)

I personally do not have a committed view on the inherent desirability of Brexit. I am far away and disinterested. I do think it is inevitable that some re-configuration of the EU’s policy and political governance architecture take place. It is too big, too undemocratic, and has left the national governments too little scope. Of course, the four freedoms doctrine is on the chopping block; it doesn’t work — at least it doesn’t work for everyone and creates serious problems for a lot of people.

The neoliberal social democratic left has pretty much collapsed across western Europe since roughly 2010 and some kind of realignment is taking place now, which is necessary if it is not to be the case that there is no left left, going forward. (The LibDem gambit of opposing Brexit did not seem to help them, for what little that’s worth as a data point.)

We will see, I suppose, how Brexit plays out, qua opportunity to reform the European project. I expect it to become part of a general escalation of pressure on the EU for a general reform. It seems quite possible from this vantage point, that Brexit will be swallowed up by the coming paroxysms of France, Italy, or Spain.

What I do not quite understand is what anyone gets out of clinging to the doctrine of there is no alternative, expressed as an insistence that failure to govern migration is linked by logical entailment to failure to govern capital (aka “free trade”), and this is a good thing (from a leftish point 0f view).

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engels 06.15.17 at 5:24 pm

Wrong, women of whatever skin color and education do NOT dominate any important public conversations. That is an empirical fact and has been studied extensively.

I don’t think so. What about conversations within feminism for one thing? If you have ‘extensive empirical evidence’ that WoC and less educated women aren’t marginalised compared to educated white feminists I’d like to see it…

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engels 06.15.17 at 7:19 pm

Wrong, women of whatever skin color and education do NOT dominate any important public conversations.

Also, not the claim I was making, but if you think there’s ‘extensive empirical evidence’ that elite white women tend to be marginalised in American national politics/policy-making by eg black, working class or uneducated men it would be nice if you could point us in its general direction

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gastro george 06.15.17 at 8:25 pm

Dipper @195

“and whilst we are on the subject, the notion that the post-Good Friday Agreement DUP and the pre-Good Friday Agreement IRA are somehow equivalent should send shivers down the spine of all democrats. If blowing people up in pubs is just as legitimate a political activity as voting then we are on a dark road.”

A perfect example of the futility of entering into an argument with you because so often you’re arguing while in ignorance, using false equivalencies or just in bad faith.

From the above, the DUP and the IRA are not comparable. You should be comparing the DUP and Sinn Fein, and the UVF/UDA with the IRA. Further, in this case it would be more sensible to compare contemporaneous organisations rather than across time, especially when sea-change political agreements like the GFA change those organisations.

So, in that light, you will notice that Sinn Fein is also currently a democratic organisation with significant votes both north and south of the border.

If you knew anything about NI history, you would also know that the UVF/UDA have a long history of killing civilians. You might say “not on the mainland”, but I don’t think it does your argument much good to introduce a hierarchy of death importance.

You may recall that I’ve already informed you that the DUP actually voted against the GFA (yes, they used to exist before it …) but were quite happy to use its provisions to take power in the north.

Further, the UVF/UDA have never fully decommissioned their weapons, unlike the mainstream IRA. Yes there are a still a few IRA ultras remaining, but they are a marginal group these days. Currently the loyalist terrorists are responsible for many more deaths in NI than any IRA remnant, mainly due to internal power struggles and feuds. Only a couple of months ago the UDA killed a rival in a supermarket car park in front of his 3-yr-old child. The next day DUP leader Arlene Foster met with the head of the UDA.

I’d fisk some more of your posts but really it’s a waste of breath.

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Continental 06.15.17 at 8:43 pm

Orange Watch 06.15.17 at 2:23 pm: I’m not interested in getting deeper into that debate but I have to point out that it’s absolutely wrong to claim that education divides the rulers from the ruled. There is a loose correlation of course between power and education but there are plenty of highly educated people who aren’t ruling anybody, have no political or economic power whatsoever, and often have low incomes and suffer economic precarity. Just as it is silly to claim that all white men belong to the ruling class, so it is silly to identify educated people with the establishment or the ruling class.

This education equals class thesis was btw one of the most important but little debated ingredients of Murray/Herrnstein’s The Bell Curve. Ellen Willis wrote one of the best takedowns of this BS – and its near universal acceptance by the punditry – I have read and I wish the essay were somewhere on the web (where is the internet when we need it) so we wouldn’t have to redebate this nonsense all the time. The article was reprinted in The Bell Curve Debate, which you may find in a good library.

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J-D 06.15.17 at 8:54 pm

Orange Watch

It’s a poor choice of words, but I don’t have a better one that’s concise. Nor do I mean to limit it to strictly race and gender, as it is not used in that way; sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion/irreligion also fall into this. I suppose “inherent” or “immutable” demographic identities might get closer to the mark – though the scare quotes are necessary because religion is not inherent or immutable even if it gets treated as such, and as much as it’s mainstream liberal gospel that genetics are destiny IRT the other two listed that has not really been shown conclusively, even if some correlation has been found and loudly overstated (although it seems quite likely that they’re still inherent even if not “hardwired”). By contrast, education and income levels are far less fixed, certainly according to the prevailing narratives, and aren’t the same kind of demographic identity markers.

More concisely: ‘there’s a difference between inherent/immutable identities and other ones, although the inherent/immutable ones aren’t inherent/immutable; but they’re still not the same, because they’re different’.
If you can’t find a good choice of words to express your ideas, it is predictable that people will find your case unpersuasive.

I’d strongly question your assertion that those in power refuse to acknowledge group divisions, BTW. Divide and rule is as effective – and as practiced – as it ever has been. The group divisions that are avoided are the ones that clearly place rulers on one side and ruled on the other – and those are the groupings you referred to such as income and education. If you can convince your constituents that you’re just like them but done good, and that their children will be like you even if they’re not, then you can get them to turn on others who are like them but not like you if you can valorize other grouping criteria – which is something we predictably see. I’m somewhat at a loss as to how this sort of thing should be viewed as sincere rather than opportunistic, however.

If the wealthy, the powerful, and the privileged convince the poor, the disempowered, and the unprivileged that ‘I’m just like you but done good, and your children can be like me too’, or attempt to do so, then which are the grouping criteria you suppose they’re still valorising?

If the defenders of wealth, power, and privilege are running a scam, don’t buy into their story.

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Val 06.15.17 at 10:01 pm

Orangewatch@ 236

If your read my comment again, you may notice that I said ‘I worked with Julia Gillard’. In other words, I was talking about someone I knew, the people I was talking to were making quite wild claims about someone they had never met.

You made a generalisation about “identity politics” as a “style of political rhetoric”, which “enshrines membership of a demographic class” as the most important fact about people, and “tends to devalue class”.

“Political rhetoric” can’t do those things. You are presumably talking about certain people who have said or done certain things. So give examples.

Where are your examples of people who have been elected simply because of “membership of a demographic class”? I think you may find something rather surprising!

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Kiwanda 06.16.17 at 12:22 am

J-D::

It seems to me that the people who are most likely to decry the politicisation of issues of gender and race, and therefore most likely to use the description ‘identity politics’ as a pejorative, are also the people who are most likely to decry the politicisation of socioeconomic differences,

“Most likely”, maybe, who knows, but there are critiques of identitarianism “from the left” due exactly to its disregard for socioeconomic differences. For example, Adolph Reed, Jr. does so in the context of discussion of police violence, and of “transracialism”; he feels that:

…antiracist politics is in fact the left wing of neoliberalism in that its sole metric of social justice is opposition to disparity in the distribution of goods and bads in the society, an ideal that naturalizes the outcomes of capitalist market forces so long as they are equitable along racial (and other identitarian) lines. As I and my colleague Walter Benn Michaels have insisted repeatedly over the last decade, the burden of that ideal of social justice is that the society would be fair if 1% of the population controlled 90% of the resources so long as the dominant 1% were 13% black, 17% Latino, 50% female, 4% or whatever LGBTQ, etc.

Possibly more obscure, Will Shetterly may have created the term “social justice warrior” (although he says: “I don’t like “social justice warrior” as a name, but that’s what the internet calls the angry identitarians who love to mob, threaten, and dox in the name of social justice.” But he also critiques identitarianism for neglect of class and socioeconomic disparities.

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J-D 06.16.17 at 4:13 am

Dipper

And finally, Corbyn. A weak and vain man with a Stalinist organisation behind him. He isn’t trying to make us like Sweden or Germany, he is trying to make us like Cuba or Venezuela. Just look at his organisation; it only allows in friends and family. No open recruitment there. And only the best most expensive education for the children of the Vanguard. They are a controlling dynasty in the making. A Corbyn government, for the few not the many.

When I read that, the thought crossed my mind that Jeremy Corbyn might be the sort of person who deliberately refrains from having children; so I checked; and when I did so, I discovered that he and his second wife had three children, and that one of reasons their marriage broke up was that he was opposed to having their oldest child attend a grammar school, because he is opposed to selective education. That’s a fact that does not fit with the story you’re telling. By itself it’s a fact of limited significance, but I can’t help wondering to what extent your opinions generally are underpinned by this kind of unconcern for facts.

… The identification of people you disagree with as being wrongdoers with bad attitudes; bad people, whose opinions make them less worthy …

That kind of behaviour upsets me. I struggle not to be like that. People who model a different kind of behaviour are worth knowing about. You aren’t one of them.

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faustusnotes 06.16.17 at 4:52 am

Today we discover that Deontay Wilder, a fantastically wealthy heavyweight boxer, was pulled over by the police for a “window tint violation” and his car searched, whereupon he was charged with possession of cannabis. In a telling revelation about his personal lifestyle, his excuse is that the cannabis wasn’t his – he had been out of town, and when he returned he drove his rolls royce home, then switched to the illegally window-tinted cadillac (from amongst his “extensive collection” of cars!) to run some errands. Apparently someone else had been using his car while he was away, and had carelessly left the cannabis there for the police to find.

In case you can’t tell from the name, Deontay Wilder is a black man. A fantastically wealthy black man, yet still not protected from having his car pulled over on a “window tint violation.” This is why we need “identity politics” that is about more than just socioeconomic disparities – because as multiple black sportspeople have been trying to tell you over the past two years, Kiwanda, no amount of money can protect you from racial profiling and racialized violence in America.

This might be why the BLM movement appeared after the occupy movement, not directly as a response to it. Because white kids can occupy buildings and block businesses and the police won’t kill them, but black kids get shot simply for walking down the street. Until you understand the drivers of that phenomenon and accept that it has almost nothing to do with socioeconomic difference, all your bleating about identity politics and class is just hot air.

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Orange Watch 06.16.17 at 4:53 am

J-D

‘there’s a difference between inherent/immutable identities and other ones, although the inherent/immutable ones aren’t inherent/immutable; but they’re still not the same, because they’re different’.

Very kind of you to do your very best to substitute an incoherent, confused garble that willfully ignores who advocates what in the place of what I wrote, and engaging with that in its stead. Duly noted. I’m not convinced it’s worth trying to unpack that given the sterling good faith that produced it.

If the wealthy, the powerful, and the privileged convince the poor, the disempowered, and the unprivileged that ‘I’m just like you but done good, and your children can be like me too’, or attempt to do so, then which are the grouping criteria you suppose they’re still valorising?

Cultural ones held by popular wisdom to be immutable rather than economic ones that are held to be exceedingly fluid. I.e., not the ones you appear to be suggesting they are, though since you don’t show your work in favor of seeming cryptic and clever I can’t say for certain.

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Orange Watch 06.16.17 at 5:15 am

Val:

You made a generalisation about “identity politics” as a “style of political rhetoric”, which “enshrines membership of a demographic class” as the most important fact about people, and “tends to devalue class”.

And you made a generalization based on vague-yet-authoritative invocation of personal experience which seems superficially specific because you name a name, but you don’t actually detail details. Not to mention that you’re doing the painfully standpoint thing of treating individual personal anecdotes as conclusive evidence of how things are everywhere, always.

Where are your examples of people who have been elected simply because of “membership of a demographic class”? I think you may find something rather surprising!

Hmm, so should I swap out my thesis for your characterization of my thesis? Tempting, but no. I did not argue that e.g. “pol X got elected because they’re black/a woman/gay/etc.”, but thank you very much for offering me a simpler alternative argument to use if my own thoughts were too complicated for me, even if your motives in doing so are more than a little suspect. Kiwanda@243 points to what I have been referring to – more eloquently than I did myself, I might add.

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Val 06.16.17 at 5:50 am

Orange Watch

So if I tell you my personal experience it’s
a) not specific enough, and at the same time
b) useless anyway because it’s only an anecdote

But if I point you towards statistical evidence that if anyone is actually over-represented in politics on the basis of “membership of a demographic class”, it’s actually white men, you are not interested.

So life experience isn’t going to convince you, and statistical evidence isn’t going to convince you. And then you point me towards Kiwanda quoting someone who said:

“As I and my colleague Walter Benn Michaels have insisted repeatedly over the last decade, the burden of that ideal of social justice is that the society would be fair if 1% of the population controlled 90% of the resources so long as the dominant 1% were 13% black, 17% Latino, 50% female, 4% or whatever LGBTQ, etc. “

I think what you and engels (and the person Kiwanda quoted) are talking about is some hypothetical people who are on the far right of politics, believe in hierarchy and are happy with gross economic inequality, but also believe in equal representation of women and people of colour all the way up the hierarchy.

Ok, possibly such people do exist – I don’t know, I don’t mix in far right wing circles. My observation suggests that most right wingers don’t really care that much about gender and racial equality.

But if you and engels are trying to say that believing in fair treatment for women or people of colour overlaps 100% with believing in hierarchies and supporting gross economic inequality, then you are pretty obviously talking nonsense, I’d say.

So if you are not talking nonsense, what are you saying?

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J-D 06.16.17 at 6:06 am

Kiwanda
I did not assert that there are no people making that kind of argument, and explicit demonstration that there are some does not, I think, invalidate my position.

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Continental 06.16.17 at 7:05 am

engels 06.15.17 at 7:19 pm: If you ask me to provide evidence for a claim I haven’t made, here’s me polite answer: go [*] yourself read what was actually said.

[*]: withheld in the interest of polite conversation

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Continental 06.16.17 at 7:38 am

engels 06.15.17 at 5:24 pm: That power dynamics exist within feminist dicourse (as in every other discourse) is well known and recognized by most feminists. But those feminist discourses if we are realistic aren’t all that powerful and politically consequential (they are important of course – my word choice was admitteldy clumsy). It’s worth pointing out that even public discourse (in the politically consequential sense) about women, about women’s issues (such as reporductive rights), about feminism (as opposed to the feminist discourse), political discourse that heavily or even primarily affects women – these kinds of discourse are very definitely male-dominated (e.g. http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/05/politics/senate-republican-health-care-men/index.html (*)). Yes there are spaces in society where women can talk to each other without being interrupted by a man, but they aren’t very plentiful. Empricial fact.

(*) Here’s a fitting quote from that article about exclusively male GOP senators writing health care legislation: “We have no interest in playing the games of identity politics, that’s not what this is about; it’s about getting a job done”. Could have been said by some commenters on this thread.

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Continental 06.16.17 at 8:00 am

Follow-up: As everybody hopefully noticed, the 13 GOP Senators tasked with taking health care away from millions of low-income Americans in general and defunding women’s health services in particular are not just all men, they are all rich white men. That the pundits commented on the sexist exclusion but not on the class exclusion is perhaps telling. People don’t even expect low-income people to have a say in politics. But please don’t blame “identity” politics for class warfare. Blame the class warriers for class warfare and acknolwledge that they are not exclusively but mostly white men, elected not exclusively but mostly by white men.

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Mario 06.16.17 at 8:21 am

Here’s possibly a definition of SJWs we may be able to live with (from Will Shetterly, see here (found following the link provided by Kiwanda).

The greatest difference between the original practitioners of social justice and the people who get called SJWs now is the first group believed in treating everyone with love and respect; the second believes, as all bullies do, in hurting their targets so badly that what they perceive as the social contract will never be broken again.

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Chris "merian" W. 06.16.17 at 8:30 am

Like too many, this discussion would benefit so much from dialling down the scorn. And a bonfire of straw men.

The internet calls SJW anyone who dares to take a position against specific incidences of racism or sexism (etc.), especially those who themselves are female and/or non-white. To affirm it needs any more sinister behavior than this to run a good chance to be affixed with the moniker is a lie.

To characterize the so-called SJW as considering that “demographic group membership as the most important fact about any citizen” is a gross mischaracterization.

No doubt some of those so-called SJW would benefit in their political thinking by studying some aspects of class-based analysis. And no doubt one or the other of them could care less about helping the white male racists, even in cases when some of their grievances aren’t baseless. Yet to merely affirm the anti-identitarians’ superiority in economic matters doesn’t make it so. Myself, I’m a universalist at heart, but not willing to bend reality to my ideological preferences. Racism exists. Hegemony, colonialism etc. etc. all are a thing. History leaves traces. I’ve learnt more about then intricacies of economic inequality of those who could offer a look through the lens of, say, the history of housing and educational segregation (in the US), the history of state management of migrant worker families (in France or Germany), or an account of gendered labor participation over time than from those who want me to pretend that group affiliation is irrelevant and I should just talk about class and economic oppression. (Oh, and then there’s who gets shot and who gets jailed, which the anti-identitarians don’t seem to be interested in either.)

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lurker 06.16.17 at 9:59 am

@246, faustusnotes
To quote the noted Mexican journalist Al Giordano, you don’t have to be an actual white dude to be a white dude. And conversely, you can be the first black president or whatever without being actually black.
Really existing identity politics is all about using demographics as a weapon against your opponents regardless of anybody’s actual demographic status.

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Dipper 06.16.17 at 10:01 am

@ J-D

Yes Corbyn has children. One of them, Sebastian, is John McDonnell’s chief of staff. Laura Murray, daughter of the chief of staff of UNITE is on the staff. That’s what I mean by nepotism – a close group of people who give jobs to each other’s children.

Corbyn is against selective education, but Diane Abbott sent her son to public school, and Dame Shami Chakrabarti sends her son to the same expensive public school that Nigel Farage went to. So they are against it for you or I, but not for themselves. One of the worrying features of the Corbynite clique is this constant transgressing in private of the rules they lay down for others in public.

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Dipper 06.16.17 at 10:09 am

So, firstly John McDonnell calls for insurrection to overthrow the government, and then Corbyn calls for the state to seize private property.

How clear does it have to be? how loud do they have to shout before you hear it?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/15/john-mcdonnell-calls-one-million-protesters-take-streets-bid/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40285994

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Chris Bertram 06.16.17 at 11:17 am

Dipper “Corbyn calls for the state to seize private property.”

The state seizes private property all the time, it is called compulsory purchase in the UK and “eminent domain” in the US. Without it, the railways would not have been built.

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basil 06.16.17 at 11:21 am

Katsue,
That’s the struggle. How does one pay attention to the violence, exclusion and injustice brought about by, and conducted through the logic of white supremacy, without falling into the liberal’s paternalistic reinforcement of the white straight male as the highest ideal? In a week in which Dianne Abbott is savaged as they were, can Corbyn be colour-blind? Can he fail to ignore the collusion of the entirety of British mainstream media in the campaign against Abbott?

If you are about liberation how do you stand up with, and for, those racialised and therefore made vulnerable to abuse by white supremacy while eschewing the temptation to bask in your generosity, to centre whiteness? How do you create a world of sharing and inclusion, rather than performing the liberal assertion of tolerance, ‘the white man’s burden’, of ‘separate but equal’?

We need a new language that offers clarity given liberalism’s recuperation of radical aims.

@Kiwanda
Thank you for the Adolph Reed Jr. The liberal attitude is to pretend to love racialised people, but never to read them. I’ve tried repeatedly tried to offer the names of radical racialised scholars here, and always hope CT will inveigle one into posting here. Much of their work roundly rejects the premises of liberals who claim to speak for them. That, I suppose, is expressly why the inherently racist liberal project ignores them.

Yes, there is a practice of weaponising identities in order to advance a conservative politics that stymies liberation and material progress for the oppressed many. Every emancipatory project works under the pall of liberal hegemony. Still, it should be possible to call out the hypocrisy of the Julia Gillard/ HRC / BHO Defense League without giving up on the radical aspiration that liberalism recuperates through them. One can refuse to accept spurious claims of feminism and antiracism, environmental justice and peace, while staying true to the demand that those gendered as women, or minoritised through being named black or brown are included and valued in all public life.

As I’ve typed out here before the primary fault-line on political Twitter and Facebook is racialised people gendered as women denouncing the fake solidarity of liberalism’s ‘white women’. These manoeuvres already give us a campaign for Atos Cooper to take over from Corbyn.

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basil 06.16.17 at 11:33 am

Dipper,
Pardon the question, but what’s your name reference? Liverpool or India? I can’t tell. Incongruous either way.

Thank you @lurker. I’ve tried to stake out that position myself.

Hopefully everyone remembers Obama calling protesters against police violence ‘thugs’, lecturing racialised communities about missing fathers, and telling Africa to take responsibility for its impoverishment and under-development. Even setting aside their necking with Branson or the gruesome terrific Tuesdays, this makes clear that a new understanding of language to describe the master class is necessary.

262

Dipper 06.16.17 at 11:47 am

@ Chris Bertram – compulsory purchase

from Wikipedia “Compensation rights usually include the value of the property, costs of acquiring and moving to a new property, and sometimes additional payments.” and “If one objects to the issuing of a CPO, one may appeal to the High Court.”

Corbyn (and Harriet Harman) were pretty clear that property was to be “requisitioned”. No mention of any legal process of challenge or mention of compensation.

Corbyn had a clear choice here. He could have called for owners of empty properties to voluntarily house people. But he didn’t, he called for their properties to be requisitioned.

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Layman 06.16.17 at 11:47 am

gastro george: “I’d fisk some more of your posts but really it’s a waste of breath.”

Well I, for one, appreciate it. Fisk away, with my thanks!

264

Chris Bertram 06.16.17 at 11:56 am

@Dipper: ah yes, Corbyn has made a statement (rather than worked out a full policy) so let’s interpret it in a way that is wildly at variance with legal and constitutional principles rather than assuming that it would be carried out in the normal manner.

265

engels 06.16.17 at 12:29 pm

You said

Wrong, women of whatever skin color and education do NOT dominate any important public conversations. That is an empirical fact and has been studied extensively.

I asked for evidence white women don’t dominate public conversations about feminism.

Your reply: telling me to go fuck myself, then changing your thesis (and asserting that feminism isn’t consequential). And the only empirics we have is a CNN story about the Tepublicans. Good job there’a no word for liberalish Americans who try to win arguments on the internet by being aggressive…

But if you and engels are trying to say that believing in fair treatment for women or people of colour overlaps 100% with believing in hierarchies and supporting gross economic inequality, then you are pretty obviously talking nonsense, I’d say.

Yes and if you really think that the US government has been infiltrated by giant seven-legged martian fish I must politely inform you that you are mistaken. Good day!

266

dsquared 06.16.17 at 12:38 pm

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empty_Dwelling_Management_Orders

People screamed about communism when they came in but I notice the sky has not fallen in. If someone takes an idea related to a temporary urgent problem, and assumes it refers to the permanent acquisition of an asset, it looks a bit unthinking

267

Harry 06.16.17 at 12:43 pm

The government has promised to house everyone within the locale. Unless there are sufficient vacancies at hotels, that may require requisitioning some flats. So JC is only articulating a likely implication of the government promise (in the unlikely event that they keep it). Anyway, I’m sure most owners of those flats are decent people who will be enthusiastic about temporarily giving up their unused space to people who’ve suffered a great trauma and are in great need through no fault of their own. Most rich people aren’t bastards.

We spent every Sunday of our childhoods watching films about the home front, no? Nothing sinister about requisitioning.

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engels 06.16.17 at 12:48 pm

I’m sure most owners of those flats are decent people

Not exactly
https://www.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/fire-worlds-laudromat/

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Faustusnotes 06.16.17 at 12:57 pm

Lurker, actually existing identity politics is about white people oppressing blacks people in the name of constructed racial categories. “SJWs” and all the rest of the supposedly awful identity politics of the modern left is a reaction against that. when people target you for your race, you fight back on racial terms. And then the dudebros of the socialist movement tell you you’re being silly, and the reason even rich black people get harassed by the police is all reallly about class.

Go tell Deontay wilder or the BLM supporting NFL players or the rich soccer players who get monkey taunts that it’s all really about class. I’m sure that they’ll believe you!

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engels 06.16.17 at 1:00 pm

271

Dipper 06.16.17 at 1:10 pm

basil.

In bird-watching parlance, to dip is to go and see a rare bird and fail to see it. Also a Dipper is a bird that spends most of its active time under water occasionally surfacing to breathe. Both explanations seem somehow appropriate.

272

Dipper 06.16.17 at 1:17 pm

Folks, the persecution starts with people who are pretty unarguably worth persecuting and with very few people willing to defend them. But then the line starts to shift, and more and more people find themselves over the line in the world of the persecuted not the persecutors. So check your posts, CTers, start removing anything that might cause Seamus Milne’s commissars to take notice. Be careful about standing up for unpopular causes. And note, no matter how much you cheer now, eventually it will be you who is having your property taken and your voting rights removed, all for very good reasons, just temporarily, and in the interests of the common good.

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Dipper 06.16.17 at 1:27 pm

@ engels.

Whilst it is early days there seems enough evidence to suggest that in some way the regulations were not sufficiently tight to prevent the disaster we have seen, and also evidence that the regulations were a matter of dispute on which the government were at best slow to act.

Ultimately the safety of citizens, and hence the regulations and inspections which enforce that safety, sit with government. It is pretty hard to see how they can walk away from this and the lack of response from government has been dreadful. Personally I find Jeremy Corbyn’s opportunistic behaviour round the fire pretty sick-making, as if merely voting him in as Prime Minister will ensure safety for us all, but championing Theresa May as a viable PM is becoming an increasingly difficult task.

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Collin Street 06.16.17 at 1:28 pm

And then the dudebros of the socialist movement tell you you’re being silly, and the reason even rich black people get harassed by the police is all reallly about class.

Well, it is. “Class” is fundamentally a closely-related label to “ethnicity”, it’s all about culture and cultural acceptance. There’s no conceptual problem about calling BLM a “class dispute”.

[the relationship between class and wealth is backwards: people are rich because they are upper-class, have superior access to the levers of power and superior ability to acquire wealth.]

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basil 06.16.17 at 2:04 pm

engels,
Do you know of this project? – https://architectsforsocialhousing.wordpress.com/

Dipper,
Thank you.

276

Layman 06.16.17 at 2:10 pm

Dipper: “He could have called for owners of empty properties to voluntarily house people.”

…because relying on the haves to voluntarily help the have-nots has such a good track record.

277

Chris Bertram 06.16.17 at 2:24 pm

@ Dipper “eventually it will be you who is having your property taken and your voting rights removed, all for very good reasons, just temporarily, and in the interests of the common good.”

EU citizens in the UK will shortly lose their voting rights in local elections, thanks to changes supported by Dipper “in the interests of the common good”. Really hard to take this, “First they came for the absentee oligarchs …” stuff seriously.

278

Layman 06.16.17 at 2:27 pm

basil: “Hopefully everyone remembers Obama calling protesters against police violence ‘thugs’…”

Hopefully everybody has the intellect to to reject this claim for the lie that it is. If you think he said that the protestors were thugs, produce the entire quote, please.

279

Dipper 06.16.17 at 2:51 pm

@ Chris Bertram

The question of who votes in the UK elections will be a matter for the UK parliament. You can always get the Labour Party to propose a bill or amendment to include the rights of EU citizens, and for that matter non-EU citizens, to vote in local elections. It might get quite a lot of support from all sorts of people.

I raised the issue of sequestration of property partly because my other social media threads lit up at that point. You may not take this stuff seriously, but there are a lot of people out there who are checking their passports, working out what their red line is, and wondering where they can go.

280

Faustusnotes 06.16.17 at 2:52 pm

I love it when conservatives like dipper whine about people politicizing tragedy. 100 people are dead because the tories refused to tighten building standards and spent years acting in a coroners report and cut funding to social housing. The tories rejected a labour bill to strengthen building standards and we have video of bojo telling someone to “get stuffed” when they complained about cuts to fire services. They’ve been politicizing poor people for years but it’s Corbyn who is “sick making” because he actually bothered to go an dmert those horrible yucky poor people and tell them he would do what he’s always done – look after their interests.

This is the Tory version of hurricane Katrina, but dipper thinks the real issue is that Corbyn cares. It makes him sick to contemplate someone standing up for a poor community and 100 ordinary people who just died in a horrific fire.

You keep focusing on that dipper. Then everyone will know what a good person you are.

281

lurker 06.16.17 at 3:01 pm

@269, faustusnotes
Actually existing identity politics is about (mostly white) centrists using race and other identities to attack the left and oppose concrete improvements to the lifes of the bottom 80% of the population. Not leftist, at all. E.g. the argument that even if we had single payer, there’d still be racism, so why bother, implying that getting single payer and action against racism are somehow in conflict. It’s all about opposing the left, never about doing anything for the people who get weaponized.

282

john c. halasz 06.16.17 at 3:03 pm

283

Chris Bertram 06.16.17 at 3:22 pm

“but there are a lot of people out there who are checking their passports, working out what their red line is, and wondering where they can go.”

Hang on, I thought you just “took back control” and now you want to go already? Unfortunately one consequence of taking back control is that your options about where to go will reduce. Are you writing these comments for a bet?

284

casmilus 06.16.17 at 3:50 pm

285

Anonymous2 06.16.17 at 3:51 pm

‘So, firstly John McDonnell calls for insurrection to overthrow the government’

A march is hardly an insurrection.

286

john c. halasz 06.16.17 at 3:56 pm

Odd. The link I provided leads to a denial that Wikipedia contains any article on Adolph L. Reed Jr. yet copy and paste the name into their search box and there it is. The article is just a stub though. Reed made his bones in his early academic career with a critical biography of W.E.B. Dubois and has since taught at a number of elite U.S. universities. But he has also been a long time political activist of left/Marxian leanings. When he met Obama in the mid-1990’s when teaching at Northwestern, he sized him up perfectly and,er, prophetically.

287

engels 06.16.17 at 4:19 pm

Majority of Brits disagree with ‘Voice of England’ Dipper:
https://mobile.twitter.com/YouGov/status/875746994379255808

288

engels 06.16.17 at 4:38 pm

289

Dipper 06.16.17 at 5:08 pm

@ Faustusnotes

Oppositions have to walk a fine line at times like this between proper holding to account of the government and exploiting the disaster. There isn’t a lot of evidence that one party or another party is particularly better at avoiding disasters, so making promises about how much better you will do is a real hostage to fortune. Corbyn, as usual, is charging way across this line. He is making promises that will come back to haunt him should he ever get into power.

Corbyn’s response to this and the London Bridge attack is more police, more firemen, despite the fact that in neither case is there evidence that more numbers would have changed anything. Let us not forget more nurses, more teachers, more council workers, whilst at the same time suspending freedom of movement (with which I agree), and this at a time when we have practically full employment. So where are these workers coming from?

This is all to be funded from tax rises which at best will simply take money out of worker’s pockets, and at worst be significantly tax negative as businesses move somewhere else. So once the fall out from that economic disaster has hit, do you think things will be safer? Or less safe? Will he really have looked after the workers’ interests at that point?

If you don’t think Corbyn’s economic policies will be disastrous, just remember that before all the above, Corbyn’s first act will be to write the Dipper family a cheque for just over £100,000, equal to about 3 x the median national wage, for nothing. And the same for millions like me.

290

Guy Harris 06.16.17 at 5:32 pm

john c. halasz:

The link I provided leads to a denial that Wikipedia contains any article on Adolph L. Reed Jr. yet copy and paste the name into their search box and there it is.

The link lacked the trailing “.” in “Jr.”; the “.” was there in your post, but wasn’t in the URL, perhaps because whatever engine turns Crooked Timber posts into HTML thought the “.” was a period at the end of a sentence rather than part of the link. The error was “Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name.”, which is technically true – it has an article named “Adolph L. Reed Jr.”, but not one named “Adolph L. Reed Jr” (without the trailing “.”).

The Wikipedia search isn’t as exact, and will find the page even without the final “.”.

Here’s the Wikipedia article on Reed.

291

J-D 06.16.17 at 11:14 pm

Orange Watch

‘there’s a difference between inherent/immutable identities and other ones, although the inherent/immutable ones aren’t inherent/immutable; but they’re still not the same, because they’re different’.

Very kind of you to do your very best to substitute an incoherent, confused garble that willfully ignores who advocates what in the place of what I wrote, and engaging with that in its stead. Duly noted. I’m not convinced it’s worth trying to unpack that given the sterling good faith that produced it.

If you have decided that I am not in good faith, an assurance of mine that I am is not likely to have much effect. I admit that I was being ironical (which I don’t think is synonymous with bad faith), and I accept that sarcasm is a predictable response to irony.

What I wrote was an attempt to illustrate the meaning that was suggested to me by the words you chose to use. If you intended to convey to me a different meaning, you have not succeeded in doing so. Maybe there’s a different choice of words that would do the trick.

If the wealthy, the powerful, and the privileged convince the poor, the disempowered, and the unprivileged that ‘I’m just like you but done good, and your children can be like me too’, or attempt to do so, then which are the grouping criteria you suppose they’re still valorising?

Cultural ones held by popular wisdom to be immutable rather than economic ones that are held to be exceedingly fluid. I.e., not the ones you appear to be suggesting they are, though since you don’t show your work in favor of seeming cryptic and clever I can’t say for certain.

I was not making a cryptic suggestion about which grouping criteria the wealthy/powerful/privileged are valorising, because I was making no suggestion that they were valorising any grouping criteria. As far as I understood, you were suggesting that there were grouping criteria they valorise, but it’s still not clear to me which ones.

292

Faustusnotes 06.16.17 at 11:39 pm

No dipper, that wasn’t Corbyn’s first response. in fact his response has been consistent with the legislative agenda he was pushing a year ago, and five years ago, to improve the safety of social housing. I guess that’s just too horrific for you to contemplate, isn’t it? You prefer a “bonfire of regulations.” Well your party got their bonfire, how are they enjoying the heat?

293

J-D 06.17.17 at 1:55 am

Dipper wrote

Yes Corbyn has children. One of them, Sebastian, is John McDonnell’s chief of staff. Laura Murray, daughter of the chief of staff of UNITE is on the staff. That’s what I mean by nepotism – a close group of people who give jobs to each other’s children.

That’s one thing if it occurs against a background in which it’s rare for politicians to give jobs on their staff to people they know (or their children), and another thing if it occurs against a background in which it’s common for politicians to do that. So which is it?

— and also wrote

… John McDonnell calls for insurrection to overthrow the government …

John McDonnell apparently thinks that if a million people protest in the street it will bring down the government. It won’t. If John McDonnell genuinely believes that, he’s a fantasist, and it’s worrying for the Labour Party if that kind of fantasist has an important position in the party. It’s not an indicator of what’s actually likely to happen.

— and also wrote

Folks, the persecution starts with people who are pretty unarguably worth persecuting and with very few people willing to defend them.

The use of the present tense (‘starts’) makes it unclear whether this is intended to be a reference to a persecution which has already started or to a persecution which Dipper is forecasting will start, or is likely to start, or may start in the future. Which is it?

— and also wrote

I raised the issue of sequestration of property partly because my other social media threads lit up at that point. You may not take this stuff seriously, but there are a lot of people out there who are checking their passports, working out what their red line is, and wondering where they can go.

The fact that people are taking some prospect seriously does not demonstrate that there is any significant likelihood of its coming to pass. Sometimes people’s fears are sensible and sometimes they are silly.

294

Val 06.17.17 at 2:48 am

I just want to note, in case anyone is still participating in this thread, that I do have some more thoughts on the identity politics issue and have read what people said or linked, but don’t want to discuss it any more now – it’s just going too far off topic, especially with the horrific situation following the Grenfell tower fire.

I can’t begin to imagine what will happen in British politics now, but hope that at least this will contribute to the end of the horrific politics of gross inequality, and Austerity, and the kind of cost cutting that was clearly involved in this tragedy.

295

J-D 06.17.17 at 4:53 am

basil

Yes, there is a practice of weaponising identities in order to advance a conservative politics that stymies liberation and material progress for the oppressed many.

I have no personal experience of that, so I would appreciate it if you could direct my attention to some specific examples so that I can get a clearer idea of what you mean.

296

engels 06.17.17 at 10:41 am

“This is about the welfare state. For your middle-class viewers, this is about whether the welfare state is just schools and hospitals or whether it’s about having a safety net.”

297

novakant 06.17.17 at 12:47 pm

Bruce Wilder:

Regarding the four freedoms I wasn’t making a normative, i.e. that the EU will certainly not give up on them during Brexit negotiations as that would mean giving up on one of th core principles of the EU. This goes without saying as has been made clear to delusional or simply mendacious Brexiters repeatedly, cf. e.g Merkel’s recent comments.

You say you are far away and disinterested: I urge you to acknowledge that there are millions of people whose lives will be directly and immediately affected by Brexit, and not in a good way – not to speak of the whole UK which will very likely turn into a second rate economy.

Also, Maastricht was signed 25 years ago, an overwhelming majority of young people voted against Brexit and have a positive view of the EU – they are the future, the 60+ Brexit voters will all be gone soon and notions of national greatness with them.

Finally I keep hearing that national governments are more democratic and responsive to their citizen’s needs, but I have yet to see any evidence for that: e.g. the UK is neither very democratic at all, nor have successive Labour or Tory governments championed citizen’s rights – these had to be upheld in many cases by EU intstitutions against the will of despotic governments. In fact, UK govenrments have proven themselves to be simply not very competent at governing, just look at the destruction of the state and infrastructure since Thatcher, not to mention the current clownshow.

God help us once we leave the EU.

298

novakant 06.17.17 at 12:49 pm

Sorry, the first sentence should read:

“Regarding the four freedoms I wasn’t making a normative, but a descriptive statement, i.e. that the EU will certainly not …”

299

Dipper 06.17.17 at 2:07 pm

@ J-D. “Sometimes people’s fears are sensible and sometimes they are silly.”

Well that’s the point of the red line. To identify the point where it stops being a silly fear and become a sensible one, but still be one from which you can escape, not one you cannot.

300

J-D 06.17.17 at 8:14 pm

Dipper
Well — just for example — the point where the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer says something silly is not the point where it becomes sensible to fear bloody revolution.

301

J-D 06.17.17 at 10:34 pm

lurker

Actually existing identity politics is about (mostly white) centrists using race and other identities to attack the left and oppose concrete improvements to the lifes of the bottom 80% of the population. Not leftist, at all. E.g. the argument that even if we had single payer, there’d still be racism, so why bother, implying that getting single payer and action against racism are somehow in conflict. It’s all about opposing the left, never about doing anything for the people who get weaponized.

I have no personal experience of that, so I would appreciate it if you could direct my attention to some specific examples so that I can get a clearer idea of what you mean.

For example, I’m contrasting two hypothetical scenarios in my mind. In one of them, African-American organisations are perceiving labour unions as natural allies, with different specific priorities but with generally compatible agendas, and are encouraging collaborative activities. In the contrasting scenario, African-American organisations are perceiving the agendas and activities of labour unions as incompatible with their own priorities, and discouraging involvement with them. Which of these is a fairer picture of what’s happening?

302

Continental 06.18.17 at 4:59 pm

“E.g. the argument that even if we had single payer, there’d still be racism, so why bother”

Nobody ever offered that argument. This attack is just heart-breakingly silly. The whole thread I have to say is full of not just BS but literally sickening drivel. To think that this is the level of debate at a left-leaning site makes me despair.

303

Katsue 06.19.17 at 1:05 pm

@302

I believe you are technically correct. Hillary Clinton did, however, state that breaking up the big banks would not end racism. And she and her allies oppose single payer.

Given the Wells Fargo foreclosure scandal, the link between big banks and racism is as clear as the link between America’s scandalous “health care” system and racism.

304

J-D 06.20.17 at 2:57 am

Katsue
It’s true that there are connections between the way big banks in the US behave and racism. It’s also true, despite the existence of those connections, that breaking up the big banks would not end racism. Did Hillary Clinton cite this fact as an argument against breaking up the big banks? and do African-American people argue against breaking up the big banks on the grounds that it won’t end racism? Do African-American people argue against single-payer healthcare on the grounds that it won’t end racism?

305

Katsue 06.20.17 at 11:57 am

@J-D

Of course it was an argument against breaking up the big banks. Why else would she have said it?

As for the opinions of African-Americans on banks and healthcare, you are bringing a pure strawman into the debate. lurker in his post referred to “(mostly white) centrists”, not African-Americans.

306

J-D 06.20.17 at 3:42 pm

Katsue

Of course it was an argument against breaking up the big banks. Why else would she have said it?

That depends on the context in which she said it. What was the context in which she said it?

As for the opinions of African-Americans on banks and healthcare, you are bringing a pure strawman into the debate. lurker in his post referred to “(mostly white) centrists”, not African-Americans.

lurker wrote

Actually existing identity politics is about (mostly white) centrists using race and other identities …

It is not clear to me what the correct way to interpret that is. It could be interpreted to mean that lurker is using a (not explicitly stated) definition of ‘identity politics’ by which the actions of people who are not white are excluded by definition; or it could be interpreted to mean that lurker is using a (not explicitly stated) definition of ‘identity politics’ by which is happens to be the fact, empirically, at the moment, that people who are not white do not engage in ‘identity politics’. Is your interpretation the first of these, or the second, or something else again?

In any case, it seems to me to be relevant to a discussion of ‘identity politics’ to consider what African-Americans are in fact doing now, whether or not those actions fall within the definition of ‘identity politics’ that lurker had in mind.

307

Continental 06.20.17 at 5:12 pm

Public service by Dr. Google:

““Not everything is about an economic theory, right?” Clinton said, kicking off a long, interactive riff with the crowd at a union hall this afternoon.
“If we broke up the big banks tomorrow—*and I will if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will* —would that end racism?” “No!” the audience yelled back.

She said this – live – in the context of the primary campaign. She’s accusing Sanders of neglecting all other political issues in favor of economic populist rhetoric. And many people seemed to agree with her. They were clearly not saying, we want a president who does nothing about the big banks as long as there’s racism. They were saying, we want a president who does more than talk about breaking up the banks.

So no, no substance there. You are getting the argument backward.

308

Layman 06.20.17 at 6:12 pm

Katsura: “Of course it was an argument against breaking up the big banks. Why else would she have said it?”

To illustrate that there were more issues than just the question of breaking up the big banks. Isn’t that the case? Yes, it is. Can you point to her actually arguing ‘one should not break up big banks because that won’t end racism’? No, I didn’t think so.

309

engels 06.20.17 at 8:25 pm

Over 170 years after Engels, Britain is still a country that murders its poor
https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/engels-britain-murders-poor-grenfell-tower

310

Dipper 06.20.17 at 9:49 pm

@ engels – 308

I guess it is inevitable that people will make political capital out of this fire, and individuals who make decisions that clearly compromise safety should be held to account, but the stats show up until last year there had been an overall decline in deaths due to fire over the period of austerity. https://www.statista.com/statistics/291135/fire-fatalities-in-england.

311

J-D 06.21.17 at 12:37 am

Dipper
It is not clear to me whether you are suggesting that austerity has caused a decline in the rate of deaths from fire; correlation is not enough to establish causation. I am not suggesting that austerity caused (or partly caused) the deaths in the Grenfell Tower; but it is a possibility, and a possibility fully compatible with the statistical pattern you have noted.

312

Dipper 06.21.17 at 10:42 am

J-D. I am not suggesting that austerity has caused a decline in deaths due to fire. But Aditya Chakrabortty in the linked Guardian article stated “The victims of Grenfell Tower didn’t just die. Austerity, outsourcing and deregulation killed them” and I’m just pointing out that deaths due to fire over the period of Austerity have gone down, not up. I think it is irresponsible journalism to make such a statement when 30 seconds googling shows that is not consistent with the facts.

313

Continental 06.21.17 at 11:42 am

Another lamentable attempt at using identity politics to distract from economic injustice:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/opinion/london-tower-grenfell-fire.html

Indeed, Britain’s racial politics are the key to understanding the Grenfell Tower fire. It’s difficult to imagine this disaster — caused by a huge dereliction of duty and refusal to listen to residents’ concerns — befalling a community of white Britons.

314

J-D 06.21.17 at 9:37 pm

Dipper
You have not made out a case which justifies that conclusion. If the statistical trend is relevant to a point in Aditya Chakraborty’s article, it would have been irresponsible not to check it; but if it’s not relevant, then there’s not the same reason to check it. You have not so far made out a case that it’s relevant.

315

Faustusnotes 06.22.17 at 12:03 am

Dipper, you can’t draw a conclusion about fires a decline from 2009 if you start the trend at 2009 – that’s transparently stupid. Also there’s a big uptick at the end. Do try harder!

316

Pavel A 06.22.17 at 2:13 am

@313

Really? Are there really never any differences between how poor whites and poor PoCs are treated? Can you really not come up with any examples off the top of your head where groups within a class were treated in radically different fashion based on non-economic categories? Because if you can’t find any, google is there to help!

But just to get you started:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

If you’re making the argument that applying idpol in this context is inaccurate, because it’s a clearer case of classpol, then I could maybe appreciate that. However, sweeping statements that idpol is always there to steal focus from the *true* issue of the day is getting to be pretty intellectually lazy and repetitive on CT.

317

Pavel A 06.22.17 at 2:44 am

@281

“Not leftist, at all. E.g. the argument that even if we had single payer, there’d still be racism, so why bother”

This is a strawman argument. idpol argues that in many cases, historically “universal” programs were designed in such a way as to benefit whites exclusively. I strongly urge you to read The Case for Reparations (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/) to see how a variety of policies, ostensibly meant to help the poor secure financial stability in the form of property, were selectively targeted to help only a single racial category (guess which one!). No serious proponent of idpol argues against single payer or economic justice, they argue against the blindness of previous (and apparently current) generations of socialists who’d like to ignore the racial and gender dimension that permeates every single social interaction. As for idpol people being white liberals exclusively, I’d like to introduce you to BLM. I’m sure you’ve heard of them at least once or twice.

@313

Sorry, I think I meant my previous comment and general ire to be directed @281 (edit button, where art thou?)

318

gastro george 06.22.17 at 7:44 am

@Dipper – according to your logic, healthcare expenditure in the 20th century was a waste of time as cancer rates were always rising.

319

Dipper 06.22.17 at 12:44 pm

@ J-D

We seem to live on different planets. Aditya Chakraborty’s article clearly claims that Austerity killed the victims of Grenfell Tower. If Austerity was a cause of fires we would expect to see a rise in deaths due to fire over the period of Austerity, and in fact we see a fall, not a rise. If that evidence does not convince you that Chakrobarty’s claim is without basis, then perhaps you could state what evidence would convince you.

The Guardian in particular just seems to be completely collapsing as a newspaper. It has spent a year or so having a total nervous breakdown after the EU referendum, and now it sniffs an opportunity to restore its place as calling the shots politically it is just saying anything about anybody to make its claim without regard to evidence, history, or logic. A disgrace to journalism.

320

Katsue 06.22.17 at 1:06 pm

@308

Uh, that very quote is the one where she said that the big banks shouldn’t be broken up because there is such a thing as racism. While her argument is nonsensical on its face, that is the argument she’s making.

I mean, you are aware that Hillary Clinton is against breaking up big banks and against providing healthcare to all US citizens, right? And that her comments should all be evaluated in that context?

321

Dipper 06.22.17 at 1:07 pm

… and then I go onto Continental’s NYTimes link … and it is from a Guardian writer.

Firstly, for those wondering what a flat in Grenfell Tower looked like, here’s one: https://www.openrent.co.uk/property-to-rent/london/2-bed-flat-grenfell-tower-w11/168071

It doesn’t look like poverty to me, particularly not at just under £2K per month when a similar flat round my way inhabited by young professionals is £1K per month . This in no way excuses the failures round the fire, but to start going on about poverty and race seems a bit much based on this evidence.

And then this from the article: ” Poverty rates are lowest among the white population — at about 20 percent — while 50 percent of people of African descent live in poverty.” So the fact that there are many white people who are not living in poverty somehow makes those white people who are living in poverty less important. This blatantly discriminatory comment is so clearly inappropriate that I find myself unusually in agreement with Continental.

322

gastro george 06.22.17 at 8:11 pm

Dipper @316 – “If Austerity was a cause of fires we would expect to see a rise in deaths due to fire over the period of Austerity, and in fact we see a fall”

Still persisting … let’s try and break it down a little. Because that’s where causation and correlation can usually be separated.

Firstly, austerity is not a direct cause of fires, it’s an abstract political theory. However, when applied to create actual policies, the cost saving could be a direct cause of fires. Specifically, I’m sure the review of the Grenfell fire will concentrate on whether flammable panels were used as cost saving measures. Equally it will also look into whether regulations covering fire safety were relaxed. Further, whether cost savings in local government prevented the enforcement of those regulations. All those, if they occurred, would have specifically been driven by austerity. In that sense, if proven correct, then austerity would have led to the Grenfell fire.

However, policies driven by austerity are not the *only* cause of fires. There will be other factors involved, such as the use of more fire-retardent materials, fire alarms, sprinklers, which would reduce the number of deaths across the same time frame, and these factors may generally have not been influenced by austerity.

So any attempt to dismiss austerity as a contributory factor to the Grenfell fire by pointing to the gross number of deaths from fire during the period of austerity is meaningless.

323

Dipper 06.22.17 at 9:47 pm

@ gastro george – 322 – oh come on this is desperate stuff. You reasonably put a list of facts that may have been involved and point out what the investigation may find, but Aditya Chakraborty doesn’t do any ifs or buts, he is straight in with a diagnosis based on nothing. I can get better analysis in my local on a Friday night.

All this grandstanding from leftish commentators is nauseating. Of course the fire should never have happened, and ultimately all this ends up on the desk of the Prime Minister who has overall responsibility for safety and inspection standards, but none of these commentators have done any research, they aren’t doing any analysis, they are not bringing you anything new, they are just using a tragedy to parade their adolescent prejudices as if they now have some special added value.

324

J-D 06.22.17 at 10:01 pm

Dipper

Where some kind of phenomenon is caused by multiple factors, one cannot predict that a change in one of those factors will affect the frequency with which that kind of phenomenon occurs.

If building fires were caused by recent austerity policies and only by recent austerity policies, then there would have been no building fires before those policies were first adopted. That’s obviously not the case. But nobody is asserting that building fires are caused only by recent austerity policies. Some people are asserting that this particular fire was caused partly by recent austerity policies. This assertion may be true or it may be false, but it is not conclusively proved false by the statistical trend you have remarked on.

325

J-D 06.22.17 at 10:03 pm

Katsue

Uh, that very quote is the one where she said that the big banks shouldn’t be broken up …

That statement is false. She did not say ‘the big banks shouldn’t be broken up’.

326

Val 06.22.17 at 10:36 pm

Katsue
“I mean, you are aware that Hillary Clinton is against breaking up big banks and against providing healthcare to all US citizens, right? And that her comments should all be evaluated in that context?”

Dear god what is wrong with you people? Do you know nothing about the history of attempts to introduce universal healthcare in America? Or do you just make things up to suit your argument?

327

gastro george 06.23.17 at 4:44 am

Serious journalist: Talks to people from Grenfell, determines their income and status.

Dipper: Look, a pretty picture. This *proves* they’re not poor.

328

J-D 06.23.17 at 6:41 pm

Dipper

And then this from the article: ” Poverty rates are lowest among the white population — at about 20 percent — while 50 percent of people of African descent live in poverty.” So the fact that there are many white people who are not living in poverty somehow makes those white people who are living in poverty less important. This blatantly discriminatory comment is so clearly inappropriate that I find myself unusually in agreement with Continental.

If the statement is true, it’s not clear to me how reporting the fact can be discriminatory. There seems to be a step in your reasoning that you’ve left out of your comment, which obscures what you’re getting at.

329

Dipper 06.23.17 at 9:53 pm

@gastro george.

“Dipper: Look, a pretty picture. This *proves* they’re not poor.”

Well of course many of them are are poor. They have come here as migrants or refugees from their former countries in many cases with nothing apart from what they stand up in. Are you suggesting that anyone who can make it here gets the national median wage automatically on arrival? Living in the borough of Kensington they get more spent on their children’s education than just about anywhere else in the country, a flat the market rent for which is £2K per month, and free healthcare. That seems like a good deal. Given that lots of other properties now seem to have the same cladding it doesn’t seem to be the case that they were singled out for sub-standard housing either, as it seems this tragic fire could have occurred in any of a large number of similar blocks.

330

Dipper 06.24.17 at 8:31 am

@J-D – 328

We hear this a lot. Statistics of people vs colour vs “white” people.

How you decide to divide the population up is significant. Pointing out that people of colour are less likely to appear on TV/ in management/have large houses/ etc than white people hides the fact that much of the “white” allocation is taken by a small subgroup. The analysis of social injustice along lines of racial or ethnicity implicitly accepts injustices within ethnicities which for the UK white population is about 90% of the population. So it isn’t really an attempt to correct injustice, it is more an attempt to prevent widespread injustices being addressed.

All that is needed now is just for me to check that the writer of this nonsense is another one of those privately educated london-based well connected Guardian writer. South Wales, grew up in single parent unemployed family, in care as a teenager. Oh well, there goes that generalisation.

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