did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Guest Post - Three Weeks

1

See, that's why you're the math professor.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 4:12 AM
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Oh, shucks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 4:39 AM
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I heard this morning that the UK campaign features scare tactics about the NHS turning into American-style healthcare.

Which, I'd think you'd be happy to finally be rid of the death panels, sheesh.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 7:19 AM
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The discourse about Labour antisemitism here (oh, I finally moved to the big smoke) is very strange. Everyone accepts that it's the case, but people mostly don't talk about specific incidents of antisemitism or indeed even of particular people much. Nor does there seem to be an acceptance that it's something that's broadly an issue in British society or at least the upper crust of it. But there's no discussion about what makes Labour antisemitism particularly different and bad. Which is just a surreal way to deal with an issue and smacks of bad faith, especially when claims of Islamophobia and Boris just saying on-the-face-of-it racist stuff gets ignored. Attempts to show it's a broader issue get accused of being both-sides-ism.

Or maybe my senses are dull due to American politicians being able to get away with not being very good liars, I dunno.

And it's a pity because this is clearly a real problem that is really hurting people, but it's just being used to score political points without actually trying to address the real issues. Discussions by British Jews on Twitter of all opinions have been helpful--especially going over the history of the institution of chief rabbi, which isn't a thing in America and seems to be different here from anywhere else in Europe, and also is representative of only a minority of British Jews--but it still seems very strange.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 10:05 AM
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So if it all goes down the tubes we know who to blame.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 10:26 AM
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According to my hastily scribbled orientation notes, the head of government here is Mr. Bean, so I'm sure I won't do any worse.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 10:33 AM
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It's a lady, and her name is Ms. Turbean, thank you very much.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 10:53 AM
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The UK is technically a constitutional monarchy. Was the divine right of kings ever truly repudiated? If not, then it's technically a theocracy. In that case, we know who to blame.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 10:57 AM
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8: Divine Right hasn't been seriously argued about a British monarch since the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

Everyone accepts that it's the case, but people mostly don't talk about specific incidents of antisemitism or indeed even of particular people much.

Most of the antisemitism news stories are about people at the top of the Labour Party who haven't been taking antisemitism seriously, rather than the much less famous people lower down who have been openly antisemitic. Hence specific incidents receive less attention than in the days of high-ranking antisemites like Ken Livingstone.
I have heard from people in a position to know that Corbyn lets loose some fairly blistering comments on the Jews in private, but I have not heard these myself.

I am not aware of any particular reason why the upper crust should be more antisemitic than the lower, er, pie, and frankly I doubt it's true.

As for the both-sides-ism: if your immediate response to hearing stories about Labour antisemitism is "but the Tories have said bad things about Muslims" then you are not a serious person and you should get things thrown at you in a generally disapproving way.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 11:30 AM
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Meanwhile, 85% of British Jews tell pollsters that they believe Labour, and Corbyn himself, are antisemitic. As far as I know, they don't say the same about the Conservative party - even though, it being the upper-crustier party, one presumably would expect them to be even worse in this area. Nor have they said it about the Lib Dems or any other major party.
So there are a few options here:
85% of British Jews are just plain lying, because they support the Conservatives (which most of them actually do) and are cynically using antisemitism as a political tool;
85% of British Jews don't know what antisemitism is and are simply wrong;
Labour has a problem.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 11:41 AM
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Who is the Jared Kushner of the British left?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 11:52 AM
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British left waffles on Jared Kushner.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 11:57 AM
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On the upper-crust theory, I suppose that Corbyn is possibly the most upper-crust leader that Labour have had in some time (family wealth, grew up in a manor house, went to private school, brother called Piers) - much more so than Brown, the minister's son, Miliband, the refugee's son, Kinnock the miner's son or Tony Blair, whose father was the adopted child of a Glasgow shipyard worker and his wife.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 11:57 AM
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Who is the Jared Kushner of the British left?

Owen Jones.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 11:58 AM
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10: I didn't realize that UK Jews are mostly supporters of the Conservatives. That's so different from the U.S.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 12:00 PM
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I think the upper-crust theory comes from America, where there's more support for it if you think about country club admissions and how the Ivy League reacted when schools found out just how many extremely studious young men could come out of a the population of a single Russian village once that village got away from the Russians


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 12:00 PM
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Yeah, I should have looked for polling before. Mea culpa. I am not saying they're wrong or cynical, I'm trying to understand why. The abstractness of it is quite confusing--and again, very different from the US. Hardly any of the discussion is about X saying Y or doing Z. Saying that these are events from lower level people I guess makes more sense, but, especially if they're party officials, wouldn't it quickly percolate to the level of being a big deal?

On the other hand, it's surprising how little Corbyn is doing to resolve this.

And 15 is also one of my priors. Doing some further research, it does seem like (well, the Jewish Chronicle claims) Labour used to be more heavily supported by British Jews, followed by a period of increased heterogeneity in voting patterns, followed by a further decrease in the Labour share over the last decade.

I said the upper crust thing because I assumed this was an issue with party elites, and thus wanted to limit my claims (hence "or at least"). Apologies for any offense caused by assuming ill intent on the part of the British ruling class. Although it's quite easy to find evidence of that, which makes the lack of worry about antisemitism in the Conservative party so confusing.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 12:23 PM
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Well, they only admitted one, and then the rest were nested inside.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 12:24 PM
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18 to 16, and that was me.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 12:24 PM
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15: they're generally better-off than the average, so natural Conservative voters, and the Conservative party isn't a particularly religious party in the way that the Republicans are. We never had university quotas for Jews over here - well, not once the requirement to be a member of the Church of England to go to Oxbridge got lifted in the early 19th century, which I guess was a quota for all non-Anglicans of "zero".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 12:24 PM
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The abstractness of it is quite confusing--and again, very different from the US. Hardly any of the discussion is about X saying Y or doing Z.

Look at it this way: there are antisemites in Britain. We all know this.

There are antisemites in every British political party. We all know this, too.

So "local Labour official says antisemitic thing" is not, in itself, terribly shocking to anyone, and that's why it doesn't register in the news. It's sad and worrying, and obviously we'd rather it didn't happen, but that's about it; same as "Labour councillor corruptly gives contract to brother-in-law" or "Labour constituency chair arrested for drunken assault". Makes the local news, and that's probably it.

What is new and shocking is the growing sense that, when something like that does happen, the response of the people further up the party -from whom we _do_ expect better - is to defend the offender, or to badmouth the people who bring the accusation, or to drag their heels about dealing with the complaint. _That_ is what British Jews have a problem with. Because even if Corbyn isn't an antisemite, it looks like he is making the Labour Party into a place where antisemites can feel safe. And once that happens it may rapidly become a party with a lot of antisemites in it who are quite happy being openly antisemitic.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 12:34 PM
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20 written before I read 17. I suppose you might also have a situation where, when a lot of British Jews were refugees from far-right governments (Russia, Germany) or close descendants thereof, they would be likely to be Labour. And then that memory gets further into the past, and they get more heterogenous - basically, start to vote more like British Gentiles of similar income and situation. And then you start getting some worrying stuff happening on the British left: the Stop the War Coalition (prop. J Corbyn) had some very nasty associates; Ken Livingstone starts shooting his mouth off about kapos, George Galloway gets terribly fond of lots of anti-semitic governments. I can understand moving away from Labour under those conditions.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 12:40 PM
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21/22: thanks, that's a much more helpful an explanation! Although I would then expect more holding Corbyn to rectify specific acts by other party officials, but your words make a lot of sense. That he's being blasé about it isn't good, of course, and if he were a more skilled politician he could figure out how to make his party a safer place and make political hay over it.

And I didn't realize that Galloway was a long-standing Labour MP, once upon a time. He's been a fringe wing nut since I've been old enough to pay attention to politics.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 12:56 PM
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there is a cat hindering me from typing.

but ... variously. I don't think the issue of anti-Semitism in Labour can be understood without Israel/Palestine. That is what has made anti-imperialists like Corbyn completely blind to the effects of their beliefs on British Jews. They see themselves as entirely on the side of the Good -- ie the Palestinians -- and so, self-evidently, opposed to the Bad, ie Hitler, Blair, and others of history's greatest monsters. Since anti-Semitism is bad (see Hitler) they cannot themselves be anti-Semites and neither can their comrades in the anti-Zionist struggle, such the PFLP. This is further complicated by the existence, by now, of sizeable Kashmiri Muslim political machines in large Labour cities (think Irish-Americans before the Kennedy presidency) who of course have fewer inhibitions about anti-semitism than Europeans for whom the Holocaust was an event of global moral significance.

Upper class anti-semitism is another matter. There was a lot of it, well into living memory: my (Jewish) friend Angela Lambert was at one stage married into the aristocracy and could pass for one born there. She was asked by her neighbour at a dinner party whether she'd think it worse for her daughter to marry "a negro or a jew". See also Evelyn Waugh, passim. I bet Corbyn inherited a chunk of that.

As a general sentiment, anti-semitism is far less widespread in England than fear and hatred of Muslims. I've never had letters from members of the House of Lords denouncing Jewish plots for world domination, but I get regular ones denouncing the dangers of global Islam.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 1:01 PM
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I don't read letters, but on a local forum, I reported a guy for saying that the little circle-K thing on food indicated that the food company paid extortion money to a group of rabbis in order to be allowed to sell food (at all, not just to people keeping kosher).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 1:08 PM
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24 seems generally correct, with the important exception of 24.1 for which I have no evidence at all.

There was definitely a lot of upper-class British antisemitism back then, and there still is a fair amount. I was expressing doubt at the idea that it is an upper-class-only or mainly-upper-class issue.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 1:12 PM
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24 is also very good and fills in a lot of gaps. The antisemitic left is mostly marginalized in the US. Even when people protest for Palestine, care is taken to differentiate between the Israeli government, the Israeli people, and Jews as a whole. Usually. And admittedly that might not always have been true.

25: the fuck.

26: I got us off on the wrong foot by conflating the upper class and ruling class.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 1:22 PM
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So putting aside the Jewish Question... is Boris really going to win? And then, Brexit actually happens?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 2:44 PM
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there is a cat hindering me from typing.

aw, I want a cat to hinder me from typing.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 2:51 PM
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I bet a bear could do a better job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 3:17 PM
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30 to 28, and there's no doubt about it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 3:27 PM
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19 is good.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 7:46 PM
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Wasn't Corbyn a renegade backbencher who was elected Labour leader after the party changed its membership rules (resulting in a massive influx of new & younger members) and election rules? As I recall there were attempts to prevent these new members from voting in the leadership election, once it became clear how much more radical they were than the existing members.

From the very beginning Corbyn faced determined opposition from the Blair wing of the party, culminating in another leadership contest that he again won in 2016. The party then did better than expected in the 2017 general election (or at least better than the doom prophesied by the Blair wing of the party).

As I recall, the anti-semitism allegations seem to have started with his elevation to party leader. The Blair wing seems to have found identity-based attacks a convenient counter to his class-based attacks. For example, in addition to the anti-semitism line, back in 2016 there were attempts to paint him as a misogynist.

I am not commenting on the truth of any of these allegations - just the tactics.


Posted by: Nope | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 8:28 PM
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I am not commenting on the truth of any of these allegations - just the tactics.

Yeah, this is where we're at now. Truth and falsity are just tactics without any independent relevance.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 9:30 PM
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"As I recall, the anti-semitism allegations seem to have started with his elevation to party leader. The Blair wing seems to have found identity-based attacks a convenient counter to his class-based attacks."

So basically this is 10, option 1. The Jews are simply making it up. They're tools of Tony Blair. The Jewish MPs who left the party did so simply because they disagree on policy; they said it was because of anti semitism, but they were lying.


(You recall wrongly. The Ken Livingstone incident was years before Corbyn became leader.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-27-19 11:40 PM
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33: I don't know if there were attempts to stop young people voting though it would astonish me if there had been. It is of course entirely true that the majority of the parliamentary labour party (the overwhelming majority) thought Corbyn was a rather sick joke and wholly unfitted to be the leader of the party. The record shows for example, that he has actually voted against a Labour government more times than David Cameron. OK, he started earlier, but it's still a remarkable achievement.

So, under the old rules, he'd have had no chance, and it was on that understanding that 30MPs were found to endorse his candidacy and put him on the ballot paper. However, the old rules had been tested to destruction by the decline of the party's mass membership, which had left more and more power in the hands of the unions, whose members were more or less (increasingly less) affiliated to the party. The unions themselves were also shrinking and thus more jealous of the few powers left to them. This culminated in a scandal in Falkirk, the heart of the old, corrupt, Scottish Labour belt, in ?2013 when one of the biggest unions was caught too blatantly fiddling the selection process in favour of their candidate.

So Ed Miliband rejigged the process to give ordinary -- ie non-union, ideologically vaguely lefty -- members a bigger say and to make it much easier and cheaper to join. The Corbyn leadership campaign exploited this brilliantly, recruited hundreds of thousands of new people, and swept to victory.
But at the core, though, was a very tight group of very old-fashioned democratic centralists: Corbyn, Milne, Len McCluskey, Livingstone, McDonnell. I would count Galloway as a peripheral member of the group even though he had by this time been expelled from the party. The Momentum movement, which had first been founded by a 16-year-old was largely assimilated into the old Left under (Jewish) Jon Lansman, and together with the others, these came completely to control the central bodies of the Labour party.
Galloway, Milne, Corbyn, and Livingstone I would regard as people who have no strong objections to the destruction of the state of Israel. They would not flinch if someone said "Zionazis" in their presence. While it is possible to hold these views without being anti-Semitic, it's damn hard. I myself can see no way to abolish the state of Israel without killing a hell of a lot of Jews, which is why I am in some sense a Zionist.

Jewish MPs and Jews in England generally are very sensitive to such nuances as the human cost of anti-Zionism, however they may (most do) reject Netanyahu and his works. That Corbyn and still more Livingstone associated enthusiastically with anti-Semites was not a mainstream political problem so long as both men were fringe figures. It does matter now that one is leader of the Labour Party.

Yes, of course, there is an utterly shameless right-wing press machine in England which has exploited this for all it is worth. But that doesn't mean there is nothing there to exploit.

PS, Karie Murphy, the woman whose rigging of the selection process in Falkirk provoked the Miliband reforms, became Corbyn's chief of staff in opposition. A rebellion against her management style saw her exiled in September to take charge of the election efforts. We shall see with what success.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 1:12 AM
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I've typed enough but I'm in a mood of desperate procrastination because having spent Tuesday/Wednesday night in the A&E at addenbrookes because of a heart scare of my own I now have to return because my very aged mother has been taken there after a fall, hallucinating floridly.

two more points, one trivial: the trivial one is that much of the leadership clique of the corbynist party is indeed upper crust - Corbyn himself, the Wykehamist Milne, whose father ran the BBC and who got his start working for the Economist, Andrew Murray, etc.

Importantly. The cat's papers were examined last night and it was determined he was a Japanese immigrant without right of permanent residence, so he was humanely transferred to a holding lap from which he voluntarily repatriated himself to his own bed.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 1:20 AM
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36 was very helpful, again. A lot of leads to search for and learn more about.

While waiting to get our cat from the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (extraterritorially run by the City of London because history), we got to watch a cheerful documentary-style video following around the workers there that included a section on what happens when your pet doesn't have its papers in order. Fun stuff. They were absolutely great to us, though.

In other electoral news, this last minute Labour strategy change seems meaningful. As much as I've found the Lib Dem's strategy annoying, I'm worried if the polling is so bad for them.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 2:08 AM
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My mother seems in good heart. As for the "strategy change" story, I think this shows Labour are completely fucked. Low information voters don't trust Corbyn to get "a better deal". Why should they? He can't negotiate a better withdrawal agreement, which is all Johnson has agreed. There is no actual deal on the table to referend about and won't be for years. There might be a non-binding political declaration but that's hardly worth all the fuss. The only point of a second referendum is to annul the first.

It might, in theory, be held to allow the electorate a better informed choice but there is no sign that the voters want to be better informed. Otherwise "Get Brexit done" would be derided for the meaningless slogan that it is.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 2:46 AM
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Ah. confirmation. The Guardian report of Labour's strategy change is very loudly whistling past the graveyard.

||
An old, demented, man called Dennis is being very gently dissuaded by security from going home, and getting sat on the bed in the next booth in this assessment ward. He walks like a film zombie -- shuffling steps, neck forward, face upright. "I don't know what i'm doing. I don't know what I'm doing!" he says over and over, with panic rising in his voice. Now he is quietly sobbing and now the sobs have risen to heartbreaking volume. "They can't help me. I don't know what I'm doing."
|>


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 3:03 AM
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40: Yeah, sounds like it. Only caveat being that most of the polling predates the US/UK negotiation reveal, but it looks awful.

I'm glad your mother is in good spirits, and that your own health scare seems to be over. Places with a lot of dementia patients are so rough on everyone.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 3:14 AM
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The only thing that pulls Dennis out of his loop is being asked who his favourite footballer is: Ryan Giggs. That leaves him quiet for a few minutes. Then he's asked who his second favourite footballer is, and there is a long, ominous wait. Someone suggests David Beckham, and this is accepted. But within 15 minutes, he's trying to walk out again.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 3:20 AM
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"So Ed Miliband rejigged the process to give ordinary -- ie non-union, ideologically vaguely lefty -- members a bigger say and to make it much easier and cheaper to join. The Corbyn leadership campaign exploited this brilliantly, recruited hundreds of thousands of new people, and swept to victory. "

AFAIK the cost of membership didn't reduce in 2015, so you are presumably referring to the 'registered supporters', in which case Corbyn still won a majority even if they were excluded:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Labour_Party_leadership_election_(UK)#Result

The thing that did in Cooper et al, were Cooper et al.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 4:11 AM
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Plurality. Not a majority.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 4:59 AM
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ok.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 5:16 AM
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Is there any prospect of of Tory/Brexit/Labor splitting tossing some seats to the Lib Dems? Or just leaving Parliament hanging?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 7:13 AM
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||

At each paper, copy was filed to editors the night before the Nov. 24 elections assuming a strong victory for the establishment. This included predictions of increased majorities (with numbers left to be filled in as needed) for figures such as Junius Ho, whose vicious rhetoric against protesters has left him widely hated but whose comments regularly appear in the Global Times.

The misplaced confidence in Beijing's victory points to a worrying problem; at high levels within the CCP, officials believe their own propaganda about Hong Kong.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 7:16 AM
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46: yes, potentially... I'm sure one could find seats where the Brexit Party vote is bigger than the Lib Dem lead over the Conservatives. Hung Parliament is also very likely - second most likely outcome after a conservative victory.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 8:23 AM
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I wouldn't call a hung parliament very likely after the latest poll.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 8:40 AM
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Sorry to hear about your heart scare and maternal scare. Dennis may be sundowning. That was always the worst.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 8:57 AM
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There is a whole season of the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre docuepisodes on Netflix and its not bad if you are just need a break from this shitty world.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 9:12 AM
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49: true. More likely than any of the other outcomes but not the way to bet.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 10:03 AM
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More likely than any of the other outcomes but not the way to bet.
I'm having trouble with this sentence.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 10:06 AM
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I thought the latest poll was saying a clear Conservative majority was most likely? Two weeks, though.

51: Thanks, maybe I'll give that a look. They were wonderful people. Although I don't know how I'd handle the emotional whiplash from "aww, a scared chihuahua!" to getting shit on by a giant python to "by not letting my dog into the country you're sending it to the Iranian death squads" to boxes full of dead chameleons.

53: It makes sense if it's the plurality outcome (which I'm skeptical of) and assuming an appropriate betting system. The set of events where there's a hung parliament is more likely than any other interesting set, but it's still less than 50%.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 10:52 AM
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53 to 48 - more likely than all the other outcomes except a conservative victory.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 12:15 PM
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55: Ah, sorry, misread the scope of "other."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 12:26 PM
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No, my fault, it was badly phrased.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 2:21 PM
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The thing that did in Cooper et al, were Cooper et al.

There is an important sense in which this is true. I remember from the hustings period that Cooper (who I knew slightly in the 90s, liked and esteemed) was weighed down with the difficulties of the situation and the complexities of appealing to a coalition large enough to get elected by.

Corbyn, by contrast, talked as if there were no one in England to the right of Tony Blair. I mean this almost literally. Questions about how he would appeal to people who had voted for Blair but now voted Tory simply bounced off him. He didn't seem able to parse them, let alone answer them. Such people were beyond the event horizon.

And this was obviously a much more upbeat and appealing proposition than the worn anxiety of the candidates who had actually held some power and then lost it and couldn't really see how to get it back.

As I remember it, the decision that most discredited the old guard in the eyes of Labour members was a vote on cutting benefits in ?2014, in which the Miliband opposition abstained. [details likely inaccurate; it's been a long day]. The reasoning, of course, was not that they believed these cuts were right or just, but that they believed that they were popular, and that to be seen as the party of the scroungers would lose Labour the next election. The tragedy is that they may well have been right. If/when Corbyn is crushed, that will suggest they were. But at the same time, if being right sucked all the heart out of the party, that, too, made elections much harder to win.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 2:37 PM
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You can send Corbyn to the mythical Iowa diner.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-28-19 3:32 PM
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The best recent take on all this is David Runciman in the LRB . His line is that you can neither blame Corbyn for the failure of the Left nor expect him to succeed. The problem is systemic and if Corbyn, by some concatenation of improbabilities, does form the next government he won't be able to do any of the things he has promised. JC's whole schtick has been that he doesn't do Westminster politics, yet Westminster politics are how this country must be governed.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 2:32 AM
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As part of our general national inability to talk about competence, people are ignoring this: Corbyn simply will not be able to do most of the things he wants to do in government, either because the PLP won't back him or because he's ineffective.

I think you're having the same conversation in the US with reference to medical reform - doesn't matter what Bernie or whoever wants if he can't get it past the Senate.

And a prime minister without the loyal support of his party is even less of a God-king than a US president.

We didn't realise this before because our parties used to be pretty loyal and unified, except for a few irrelevant fringe weirdos like, well, Jeremy Corbyn. So it looked like the PM had tremendous power. But we now realise that this was like thinking Usain Bolt was a tremendously fast runner because we hadn't noticed that he'd been in a McLaren F1 all this time.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 3:04 AM
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wait what


Posted by: IOC | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 3:48 AM
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60:
If Parliament can't do it, we need a constitutional convention to establish a new set of ground rules.
What would that involve? (I get the real answer is [hollow laughter], but humor me here.)


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 5:57 AM
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I can't give you better than [Hollow laughter], I'm afraid. But if this were to happen, the only event sufficiently large to trigger it would be Scottish independence, which would mean tearing up a lot that has been part of the constitution since 1603.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 1:05 PM
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So, about this time next year?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 3:14 PM
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The best possible outcome for next year's elections in the US would be for Michael Bloomberg to run against and defeat AOC because then you could use the headline POST OCASIO CALVA.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 4:00 AM
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64. It rather went under the radar given all the other shit, but Johnson explicitly said that he would not grant Scotland another referendum on independence; which I think makes it more likely in the medium term.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 5:39 AM
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66: AOC is too young to run for president, because the Founding Fathers distrusted millennials even back then.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 9:29 AM
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