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It's "Whose Economy, Stupid?"

by Helen Mon Aug 3rd, 2015 at 03:58:51 PM EST

Owen Jones has had a good go at trying to describe why the zombie-followers of Blair are being rejected: Guardian - Owen Jones - Jeremy Corbyn's supporters aren't mad - they're fleeing a bankrupt New Labour

How have the Labour left, from arguably its lowest ebb in the party's history, apparently ended up on the brink of taking the leadership on a wave of support? If you listen to many self-described "centre-left" voices, it's because the Labour party has gone quite, quite mad. Cod psychology now abounds to describe the rise of Corbynism: narcissism, people wanting to show off how right-on they are on Facebook, mass delusion, an emotional spasm, and so on. Corbyn supporters are having a temper tantrum against the electorate, so this patronising narrative goes, they think voters have "false consciousness" on a grand scale. Some sort of mass psychological disorder has gripped one of the great parties of the left in the western world, and the only real debate is how it must be cured or eradicated. And the tragedy is this: the great "centre-left" condescenders are able to identify any factor for Corbyn's spectacular rise other than the culprit: their own political cause, or rather its implosion.

Some of these commentators huddle together on social media, competing over how snarky and belittling they can be towards those oh-so-childish/unhinged/ridiculous (delete as applicable) Corbynites, unable to understand that rare thing, the birth of a genuinely grassroots political movement. And that's the problem: this snarkiness is all some seem to have left. Much of the self-described "centre-left" - I'd say Blairism, but some embrace the label more than others - now lack a clear vision, or a set of policies, or even a coherent distinct set of values. They increasingly define themselves against what they regard as a deluded, childish left. They have created a vacuum and it has now been filled by the Corbyn left.

Their plight is quite straightforward....

However I want to make a stab at a slightly larger question : Why Corbyn, like Bernie Sanders in the US, is managing to attract such enthusiasm from all quarters of political opinion except the gate keepers and agenda setters of the professional commentariat.

Clinton famously had a sign on his desk that read "It's the economy, stupid!!". And he was right, but the follow-on question that always needs to be asked is "what economy?" or, more precisely, "whose economy?"


People don't vote for a balance of payments, a deficit or an exchange rate. They vote for their own personal economy, that gritty equation of what puts money in their pocket against what takes it out. That's cost of living, taxes and stuff. They might be a bit more generous at some points, but mostly they'll look to themselves and their own.

They certainly don't like politicians taking money from them just to give away to people are considered to be "undeserving". Both Labour and the Democrats have done awful jobs of talking about what benefits do, who they help. How most of that money goes to subsidizing poverty wages. But more than that, they have always talked about job-creation in the abstract, as if their mere presence in office waves a magic wand and all will enter into the land of jobs and wages.

Yes, it happens. But it's a remote thing. Conservatives talk about lowering taxes and getting government out of the way and jobs will appear. Its horseshit and demonstrably so, but say it often enough and people believe you. Its a cheap soundbite that's easy to understand.

Where are the cheap narratives on the left hand side of the fence? When Labour came into power after WWII they didn't say "a better future for all" and leave it at that. They said, we will build a national health service, we will provide work for all that want it, we will build homes fit for heroes, we will bring the national utilities into public ownership for the good of all. Specific programmes to right specific wrongs.

That's where Blair succeeded, initially. He had specific answers for problems and, to some extent, he did address them. Of course, there were other problems he created that finally did for him (not just Iraq). But, for a while, it worked.

Miliband failed because he his messaging was vague and contradictory eg his famously terrible stone of pledges. The individual items in the manifesto were good, but with Ed Balls promising austerity and with the shadow welfare secretary promising to be even more vicious than IDS in punishing the poor there was nothing that made any sense.

And that's the problem. This fabled centre-ground all those quisling social democrats talk about is simply another way of describing Clinton triangulation. But with the Tories rushing ever further to the right, the centre left end up chasing after them.

We know that survey after survey, in both the UK and US, show that the centre ground of the electorate is far to the left of the so-called centre of the political classes. But nobody has tried to address this in at least a generation. Now Corbyn and Sanders, as well as Syriza, Podemos and others, are calling time on the cozy conservative consensus and brazenly saying "We Can fix this!!!". They are winning converts, not just from the disenfrachised, but from many who recognise in their promises echoes of the needs that they have tried and failed to find elsewhere on the political spectrum.

Politics could get very interesting in the next few years

Display:
I was just about to reply to this comment on the OT and encourage you to diary it.
It's a good read, full of truth.
The left has to shed its turncoats and reclaim its grip on the Overton window then haul ass away from the status quo as vigorously as possible.
Reading Varoufakis' last post on his blog I come to the same conclusion. Triangulation didn't work. You can't find a spoon long enough, and Blair is a living example of what can happen when you sell yourself completely and utterly to the dark side and cap it all with sickening denial.
Won't get fooled again...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Aug 4th, 2015 at 06:31:06 AM EST
Culled from Facebook, so stolen in its entirety

`I see you, Jeremy Corbyn.
I see your snowy beard and your regal silver hair. I see your cardigans and your flat cap, your linen shirts, your open collars. I see the corduroy and the elbow patches. You look like a geography teacher on a Yoga retreat, Jeremy Corbyn, and half the time I'm expecting you to crack out some bongos and a spliff the length and girth of a donkey's cock.

But I like that about you, Jeremy Corbyn. I like the fact that at some point some greased weasel in a Savile Row suit probably asked you to put some more thought into your image. I like the fact you clearly told him to fuck off, because you're quite happy dressing like a model train enthusiast who only shops in Oxfam.

I see the steel that your facade hides, Jeremy Corbyn. I see Krishnan Guru-Murthy try to take you down, even though he's a grown man who still gels his hair like a teenager expecting to finger a girl in a nineties cinema. I see the anger flash in your eyes as you refuse to be drawn into the pointless circus, the maelstrom of media bullshit they're all flinging out to muddy the waters.

I see they weren't expecting it, Jeremy Corbyn, when a little integrity actually resonates with people. I see Andy Burnham's confused little Ken-doll face as he looks at the polls. It's almost as if Labour supporters quite like the idea of not plunging thousands of children into poverty, isn't it, Jeremy Corbyn? It's almost as if not everyone wants cuts piled on cuts served up by a bunch of snivelling cunts in tuxedos. It's almost as if fawning in their shadow doesn't constitute an opposition.

It's almost as if you seem human, Jeremy Corbyn, even if you probably are too idealistic. It's almost as if you might actually give a shit. It's almost as if you're doing this because you actually want to help people rather than fill your pockets with caviar and blood money.

It's almost as if you could win, Jeremy Corbyn. It's such a shame, isn't it?

Such a shame that you'll always be too busy, too tired, too perpetually on edge.

Such a shame that your holy task is the only thing you can truly commit to.

I see you, Jeremy Corbyn, trudging through the grass of the cemetery. I hear the chirping of crickets in the night air and the shriek of a distant fox. I see your breath in the cold void, your flat cap barely lit by the gas lamp bobbing up and down in your hand.

I see the duffel bag in your other hand, Jeremy Corbyn. I see the wooden handle protruding from it. I see the crypt, the gargoyles overseeing its marble corners wrapped in ivy, their grotesque faces mocking and taunting you as the sickly yellow light from your lantern casts long shadows on their features.

I see you push the heavy iron door, Jeremy Corbyn, and I hear the metal shriek. I see you step on the roughly-cut stone steps of the crypt. I hear water dripping from the walls as your descend the spiral staircase, the glow of your lamp bobbing like a firefly in the abyss.

I see your feet touch the sodden earth at the bottom of the staircase, Jeremy Corbyn. I see you hang your lamp on a rusty hook on the wall. I see the high roof of the cave, the stalactites dripping groundwater onto the lichen-covered ground.

I see the crude wooden cross in the churned earth, Jeremy Corbyn. I smell the sweet scent of decay. I see you check your watch. It's five minutes to midnight, isn't it, Jeremy Corbyn?

I see you place the duffel bag down on the ground. I see you pull the wooden shaft free and I see its perfectly sharpened point. I see you aim it at a spot in the earth just in front of that wooden cross, your body taut, coiled like a snake ready to pounce.

I hear your watch beep once as the clock strikes midnight, Jeremy Corbyn.

I hear you gasp as a withered hand punches through the muck, clawing to get out, dragging itself free. I see the frizzy orange hair, the dessicated head, the empty eye sockets. I see the fanged mouth hissing, spitting dirt. I see a second hand burst free, reaching for you, frantically pedalling the air.

I see you brace yourself, Jeremy Corbyn. Not yet.

I see the torso burst from the earth, Jeremy Corbyn. I see the faded blue of the mouldering old blouse. I see the pearl necklace.

I see you lunge, Jeremy Corbyn. I see the point of your spear crash through the monster's ribs, splintering them like wet twigs. I hear the inhuman roar, nasal and high-pitched. I feel the ground shake as the beast screams, smoke pouring from its rotten mouth.

I see it slump, Jeremy Corbyn, the skeletal fingers twitching and drumming on the earth. I hear you breathing heavily as you pull your weapon free.

This is your real duty, isn't it, Jeremy Corbyn? In the day, you do all you can to keep cruelty out of power. But at night - every night - you're here. All because she's too evil to stay where she belongs. All because every night, she tries to claw her way out of Hell. All because this lady's not for burning.

Every night, Jeremy Corbyn.

Well, almost every night. Charlotte Church does every other Wednesday, just so you can have a nap and a spliff.

I see you, Jeremy Corbyn.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 5th, 2015 at 11:14:05 AM EST
Nice.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Aug 5th, 2015 at 04:12:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I must admit I feel a disconnect: I'm too jaded and too focused on longer-term calculations to share such supporter enthusiasm, but recognise it as major factor.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:36:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Damn whoever wrote that has a graphic imagination, delightfully gothic, though the genre is not much to my taste some shituations demand some grue.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Aug 5th, 2015 at 04:15:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigmar Gabriel and the Labour Party - Why the SPD has to move left - Tagesspiegel
Radical socialist Jeremy Corbyn could become Labour party chief. In 1997 Labour already showed the trend for the SPD. And in fact the SPD has to stop trying to curry favours with the CDU.

... Blair created a new image for his stale union party and announced a "New Britain" alongside "New Labour". The SPD was never as cool but there are parallels in ascent and descent.

Neither Blair nor Schröder became icons of their parties - there was too much Hartz IV or support for the Iraq war, too much admiration for questionable potentates. Like the SPD Labour has arrived at under 30%. There is even a kind of Linkspartei, only it's called the Scottish National Party.

... Even Oskar Lafontaine looks like a rightwinger compared to Jeremy Corbyn, 66, backbencher, avowed socialist... Corbyn leads with more than 20%... Especially young people... Blair is shocked...

Gabriel has possibly led the SPD into a dead end

In Germany the Linkspartei has established itself. SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel has made the conclusion to make his party into a second workers wing of the CDU. It's questionable whether that will work. With 42 bis 43 percent the CDU could govern alone. ...

2013 Gabriel led the SPD per party vote to the side of the CDU, possibly into a dead end. If the SPD becomes an opposition party with 25% in 2017 he will have to resign as chief. There are a lot of indications that the SPD will move left like Labour that it won't want Schröder epigones like Olaf Scholz or Frank-Walter Steinmeier. A Labour chief Corbyn wouldn't lead his party back to No 10. He simply overshoots too much. But his success stands for a socialdemocratic rebirth, for an attempt to end the alignment to the once dominant neoliberal zeitgeist. In fact the financial crisis of 2008 has shifted the quadrants of the party system to the left not only in Britain.

It seems out of touch for the misplaced economics minister Gabriel to try to gain points as a "comrade of the bosses". It's not about clumsy capitalism bashing. But it's a self deception of the Schröder-Blair generation that only ever more liberalisation will lead to a better standard of living for everybody. The development of wealth has been decoupled from the real economy since the 90s... For the social democrats it means that the promise of prosperity through work has lost credibility.

The SPD can't pretend to be not on the left

Of all people, Peer Steinbrück showed his party the way when he recommended a doubling of the estate tax. Gabriel on the other hand does without tax policy. He believes that the minimum wage is enough. ... SPD cannot only be about redistribution rhetoric. It has to be a party of growth. But it can't pretend to be not on the left. Elections are won in the middle. But they are also won by motivating people to vote because they see an alternative.

It's a riddle why Gabriel is afraid of more left-wing politics which would be politics for the middle class. Presumably he is still caught up in the logic of the Schröder years. The left wing was seen as a danger to chances at government by the Agenda2010 wing. The voters were also skeptical. But the middle has shifted to the left in the meantime. The chancellor had already recognized that when she moved away from the market radical Leipzig program. Gabriel still seems to cling to old patterns.



Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Thu Aug 6th, 2015 at 04:42:11 PM EST
Would be nice if the SPD found its Corbyn, but I think the current SPD elite is (still) not as disconnected from the (remaining) party base as the Bliarite Labour elite. Thjough, if Gabriel marches further right in the next two years, it might happen.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:33:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bliarite.  Excellent.
by rifek on Mon Aug 24th, 2015 at 11:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
epochepoque:
It's not about clumsy capitalism bashing. But it's a self deception of the Schröder-Blair generation that only ever more liberalisation will lead to a better standard of living for everybody.

Embodied in the French PS by the Hollande-Valls-Macron generation (although you'd be hard pressed to find any strong opinion in Hollande). Sadly, no Corbyn in view...

by Bernard on Sat Aug 29th, 2015 at 04:05:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Melanchton any help?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Aug 30th, 2015 at 06:51:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mélenchon? He's pretty much blown as a leader of the left. He's a poor communicator. Too much framing things in terms of the history of the Republic (which most people don't relate to), too much time and energy wasted in picking fights with politicians and journalists, too much ego. He comes across as a member of the elite. Too late now for him to claw back the lost ground.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sun Aug 30th, 2015 at 11:08:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who is or could be the leader of the French Left?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 04:32:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two pols have the charisma, but are to be ruled out for different reasons. Dany Cohn-Bendit is too economic-liberal, and anyway has retired from active politics. José Bové is perceived as a sectorial (agriculture) unionist.

For reasons stated here by Bernard and myself, Mélenchon and Montebourg don't have the makings.

<scans the horizon> No one else in sight, unless I'm mistaken.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 08:19:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it's any consolation, there was nobody in sight until Corbyn popped his head up

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 02:31:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They's claim that he would be unelectable. And at least it wouldn't be as ridiculous as hearing the same argument from Miliband supporters is.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Aug 30th, 2015 at 06:57:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wasn't Montebourg supposed to be this?
by IM on Sun Aug 30th, 2015 at 01:18:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not Montebourg, nor Mélenchon: one is busy mostly outside of politics, cultivating his ego (he's always been a poseur), and the other is picking up fights with journalists and Germany at large.
by Bernard on Sun Aug 30th, 2015 at 03:40:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course the previous weekend Varoufakis was at the Fête de le Rose invited by Montebourg and met with Mélenchon.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 04:35:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Varoufakis for leader of the French left!

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 05:31:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He has a connection to Paris Match; that is a start.
by IM on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 05:36:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My take on the surrender of the Syriza government can be summed up with: "Gondolin has fallen, on to the next fight". If Corbyn wins, that could be the next fight. But it won't get interesting before Corbyn survives until the elections without an intra-party Blairite coup. But by then, austerity in Greece is likely to produce some dramatic "results" than may also influence the domestic situation in Britain, one way or another.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 03:36:12 AM EST
The Greek situation is likely to have an impact on the UK referendum on EU membership as early as next year.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 04:55:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there any evidence for this from the polls?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:02:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just anecdotal evidence of despairing pro-EU brits.

Just look at the following recent piece by an FT editorial writer: Democracy at the heart of fight for Greece (Martin Sandbu, August 9, 2015)

The biggest question raised by Syriza's election victory last January was not about Greece. It was whether any national population that has adopted the euro can meaningfully express a democratic choice.

This is a test case of the euro itself. If monetary union and democracy are incompatible, even the euro's most committed friends need to choose the latter. Fortunately, they are not incompatible. But European policy is premised on the opposite view. Without a change in approach, it must lead to failure

...

It is the expression of this particular preference -- keep the euro, but with different policies -- that the eurozone political elite has done everything it can to prevent. Is this justified? There are three interpretations: one disingenuous; one charitable; and one cynical. All are deeply troubling for any democrat.



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:35:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and we could get the paradox situation where disillusioned hard-left voters give a victory to Eurosceptic Tories which in turn reinforces their government's position to continue with the domestic austerity drive.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:29:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Gondolin has fallen, on to the next fight".

Fleeing to the mouths of Sirion and hoping for the arrival of the Valar?

by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:29:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt, despite the huffing and puffing, that Corbyn will face an outright mutiny. Several prominent Blairites will refuse to serve in his cabinet, but I doubt that any, with the exception of Yvette Cooper, will be missed.

Any who do stand up and make trouble may face issues with their constituency parties (most of which back Corbyn). Just as the rules of the election, with the ability of anybody to pay £3 and vote, were set by the Blairites believing it was a way to protect themselves from the left, the rules that allow constituency associations to de-select MPs were created by the right wing of the party. And now it may come back to bite them.

Of course, I could well be wrong. The fury of the Establishment is intense. It's not that they think Corbyn is unelectable, although most of them do, the thing they fear most is that they're wrong and that he is. Like Blair, the elites would rather vote Tory than vote for somebody who would disrupt their gravy trains.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 04:23:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn has never aspired toe leadership, I doubt he has the management skills to run a group of people who agree with him. the idea of running a group of rivals will appall him.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 04:31:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corby has indicated that he is in favour of the EU, but tbh, I don't think its an issue that he's given much attention to.

I think his instincts are for building bridges internationally, but his positions may alter as he looks at the reality of the situation. It's the Rumsfeldt thing, you cast your vote for the institution you have, not the one you'd want.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 04:29:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeremy Corbyn shrugs off coup risk in Labour leadership battle | Politics | The Guardian

Jeremy Corbyn has brushed aside suggestions that he would face an internal coup to depose him if he became Labour leader, saying he would follow the example of Abraham Lincoln who acted as a unifying figure after the American civil war.

Established party figures, led by Neil Kinnock and Peter Mandelson, have warned of the "dangers" of a Corbyn victory. Corbyn, in Leeds at the launch of an economic plan to rejuvenate the north of England, said: "Plots and double plots and sub-plots and plotting - it's fascinating. I think Abraham Lincoln made a point. At the end of the American civil war he said, `with malice toward none and charity towards all' we will go forward, I am sure that is the right way to do things."

Up to eight members of the shadow cabinet, led by the shadow chancellor, Chris Leslie, have said they would decline to serve on the frontbench under Corbyn. Kinnock suggested over the weekend that Corbyn, the MP for Islington North, was more suitable to serve as "chair of a discussion group who can preside over two years or more of fascinating debate".

The above got my attention, as those who read my review of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln would have guessed. But, I'm curious: does Corbyn have Lincoln's alpha-male-handling skills in him? (I don't know much about him.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:28:53 AM EST
Reconstruction failed..

And it is not sure that Lincoln's planned reconstruction would have fared better.

by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:57:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the umpteenth time, you completely miss the point of a comment you react to.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 07:44:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, not at all:

 I think Abraham Lincoln made a point. At the end of the American civil war he said, `with malice toward none and charity towards all' we will go forward, I am sure that is the right way to do things."

It is quite plausible that this attitude as wrong and Lincoln, like his successors, would have been much to soft on the south.

And cuod you cease you endless personal attacks?

by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 08:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In case you really didn't miss the point of Corbyn's comment, at least, then you are saying that Corbyn shouldn't aim for a post-election truce with the New Labour elite, but aim for their complete annihilation, lest they sabotage the reconstruction of Labour like the Southern elite sabotaged Reconstruction. You certainly missed the point of my comment though, which was about Lincoln's application of the same principle within his own party (after his surprise selection as candidate), made a success because Lincoln possessed certain political skills his successors didn't.

And no, I won't stop pointing out when you don't engage in proper debate and have an abysmal attitude that is getting quite annoying. This is not the first, fifth or hundredth example of you debating something completely different from what I wrote.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 04:58:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
" then you are saying that Corbyn shouldn't aim for a post-election truce with the New Labour elite,"

Oh he should. I just doubt it will work.

"You certainly missed the point of my comment though, which was about Lincoln's application of the same principle within his own Party"

But that was not the point of the Lincoln speech. More important, Lincoln was supposed to be the candidate of the moderate wing of the republicans. And indeed most of his coalition management troubles came from so called radical republicans.

And regarding the south, Lincolns willingness to compromise hadn't worked from the start of the civil war. I really doubt it would have worked better in post war era (His power over the republicans would have avoided the impeachment, though).

 "  And no, I won't stop pointing out when you don't engage in proper debate and have an abysmal attitude that is getting quite annoying"

The problem is, you always claim to misunderstood and can' stand to be contradicted in anything.

by IM on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 07:36:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The piece was lost long before the war was won, and I doubt Lincoln nor anyone else could have done that.  As Union armies occupied Rebel territory, it became apparent the antebellum elite would be left in place.  It had to find its own way to stay in power, but the Union wasn't going to force them out, carpetbagger and scallawag fairytails by Moonlight and Magnolias morons notwithstanding.  The Union had neither the strategy nor the will to do anything beyond reuniting the country and ending slavery.  Stevens and the Radical Republicans were able to push their agenda for awhile, but it never took root, not in the target states of the South (of course), and not even in the Republican Party, which wrote off the South and the freed slaves the minute it was certain the Midwest could deliver elections regardless.
by rifek on Mon Aug 24th, 2015 at 11:56:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This post rings well with my thoughts,
Its strange, I put down Will Huttons 'The state we're in' some 18 years ago. After 46 pages. I just thought it pointless, no ones going to vote for that. I could not forget sitting in a room in 94 full of 20 somethings urging on the tories in the 94 election and watching the tutor look ever more depressed as the evening moved on.
To me it summed up how badly the people get politics. They voted for a party that had just led them into two recessions(81/83 and 90/94) and the gave them poll tax.
So today i have finished the book, after New Labour. The books, last chapter of what should be done, and what new labour did tie up in some ways. I have also read a heck of lot of history since 97.  Taking in the last 900 years of the UK (not to mention most of Europe).
I can only hope Corbyn if he gets the chance AND holds a hand out to Nigel Farage, Green Party and Lib Dems. To ask, shall we continue with the electoral reform the Tories have stalled for 100 years. Labour Have just reaped the reward of doing nothing about this. Where they are now is what they deserve. I'd vote green by the way (right wingish old style radical liberal green), to shade my comments.
Something has to be done to improve the UK. I read all the time, and oft hear 'it was easier in my day'. But I do not see two and two put together, that those in power/establishment want:
  • an extemely powerful executive (to non UK folks, think KING like)
  • no distinct checks and balances (none)
  • specifically a weak legal check, second chamber, ability to vet things(we have a had many quango bonfires)
  • no continuity in policy (slow purposeful actions that people can plan to over 10+ years)
  • no social movement/up down social ladder.
  • huge debts(mainly hidden via PFI), but providing high ROI
  • The house lords being used as reward system.
  • centralised power, one mistake goes everywhere.
--so on

Basically, items that will if turned around provide benefits.
To me, knowing the UK today and that of the 1890's, i see the same issues. Not much change, a lot more voters, but voters who really have not paid interest in their long term interest. Hey ho, its English(sorry welsh/scots) to muddle on, make most the of it while the rain does not fall.

Thus, a break with blairite politics is at least a step in the right direction for the labour. Blair epitomises Tory establishment and what Labour did wrong.

I can only hope (haha), that the labour decide another 5 years working together is what they should do. They deserved scotland shooting them, they will deserve the electoral boundary changes the tories make, and for not helping the lib dems in the last parliament, they now have a greater share of the electoral vote and they do not have power. If they had supported the Lib dems(and destroyed them by not doing so), they would be laughing now. But the establishment group in the party won.
Corbyn in theory will bring in the labour voters who voted green. Even perhaps gain a scottish seat. I will like to see how scotland pans out. The Irish had block power in the 1870's/1880's but the tories never let them go.
enough, of me. I agree with Helens comments :)

by alexc on Fri Aug 21st, 2015 at 02:10:37 PM EST
Well, there are plenty of Lib Dems who need a place to go as St. Nick has made quite sure they have no party.
by rifek on Mon Aug 24th, 2015 at 11:39:31 PM EST
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