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Thread: Does the UK Labour Party have an antisemitism problem?

  1. #181
    Sticks and stones take a toll on me but they aren't your strongest weaponry
    You can take your shots but you'd best prepare, I can see smoke rising in the air
    Every move has a counteract, to turn the tides with a planned attack
    You push me down and the rest will rise but first I'm singing a battle cry

  2. #182
    Cont.

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    Last edited by Steely Glint; 07-28-2020 at 11:44 PM.
    Sticks and stones take a toll on me but they aren't your strongest weaponry
    You can take your shots but you'd best prepare, I can see smoke rising in the air
    Every move has a counteract, to turn the tides with a planned attack
    You push me down and the rest will rise but first I'm singing a battle cry

  3. #183
    Thought you might like this, Steely:

    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  4. #184
    I don't like it or agree with it but there are a lot of people online (not me) arguing that household transmission is happening more within certain communities and that Eid may be related to the decision.

    I don't agree personally but it may or may not be a coincidence that banning family gatherings in increasingly infected communities came in directly before Eid.

    I've got Sky News on right now, they're currently presenting from outside a Bradford Mosque, so this probably should be discussed more in the COVID thread than this. Its about COVID.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  5. #185
    He denies that this has anything to do with Eid (in his mind), but a bigger issue is that a Tory MP can hardly be said to have any credibility when he specifically accuses BAME people specifically—and Muslims in particular—of not taking the pandemic seriously.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  6. #186
    Why?

    I agree I don't think it's right but the data does indicate it could be a major issue. In Leicester people blamed the government for issuing its warnings in English as a reason Leicester was badly effected. I have BAME friends who are saying the same things and saying that family gatherings with 30 family members in a living room is more common in the community which is a factor.

    I'm not convinced but should it not be brought up ever even if it might be true?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  7. #187
    What data are you referring too?

    I'll try and find it but when Leicester went into lockdown I saw an article, I think from the Leicester Mercury, showing that the demographic of recent cases was largely in line with the national trend i.e. there was no evidence that the increase in cases were BAME.

  8. #188
    As I said, I don't believe this and I've been arguing against it online.

    Not just Leicester but the list of cities where incidence is currently higher which have gone into lockdown all correspond with cities with higher proportions of BAME communities.

    But I think correlation does not equal causation.

    This is the current "heatmap" of where infections are in the UK per 100,000 population, from Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 data.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  9. #189
    Thanks. I can't find that article I mentioned

  10. #190
    Y'know, communities of color in the US have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. And yet most of the rhetoric (outside of assholes) has focused on reasons for the disproportionate impact (including genetic, the higher proportion in essential jobs, the higher proportion who live or travel in circumstances where social distancing is difficult, the uneven provision of healthcare, and well-founded historic distrust of public health officials) rather than blaming minority communities and their practices for higher infection rates.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  11. #191
    Indeed. I agree with that Wiggin.

    The virus is nearly eliminated here now apart from a few communities. I don't like the idea of blaming anyone at all, but trying to identify why some communities have the virus when the rest don't is a worthy exercise. Once you understand that you can look to adjust distancing rules to reflect that, but it shouldn't be blaming people.

    From where we are large multigenerational homes and large family gatherings seems to be a massive factor. I saw a SAGE scientist (independent scientist) being asked earlier why people could gather in pubs but not homes and the answer was the evidence they have is that the virus isn't spreading in pubs and that the community with the virus is catching it in homes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  12. #192
    Steely, I suspect this is likely to be our last back and forth on the topic, but thanks for your thoughtful reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    What I mean by neoliberalism is the political consensus which was established by Thatcher and Reagan which governs with the following principles:


    • Deregulate markets, in the belief that government regulation makes business less efficient, and that the market will self-correct when it needs to
    • privatize everything, in the belief that the market is intrinsically more efficient than government
    • demolish """reform""" the welfare state, in the belief that access to benefits encourages people to be lazy and not seek work
    • cut back labour rights and diminish the power of unions, in the belief that doing this encourages job growth by encouraging employers to take on more staff in the knowledge that they can get rid of them easily if they don’t work out.


    In the interests of brevity, I won't go into why (if anyone wants to have it out with me, do a quote reply and I will explain) but needless to say I would describe the above as, in broad terms, a massive pile of abhorrent trash that doesn't do what it says it does and that needs to fuck off into the dustbin of history with immediate effect.

    In light of that, framing this as being a dispute about open vs closed markets or trade liberalism and globalization or some other bullshit is to miss the point of the objections massively.

    No one gives a fuck about markets, because no one other than a very small number of people will ever see the supposed benefits. It's about capital; who owns it and where the wealth our economy generates actually goes. It's called 'capitalism', not 'marketism'.
    You know, I'm happy you provided a definition, because that's not at all how I view neoliberalism. In particular, my framing overlaps with yours wrt market deregulation and privatization (though perhaps not in the extremes you portray), but also includes trade liberalization and globalization explicitly - after all, the term has gained a lot of currency around the ratification of NAFTA, and more broadly it's heavily associated with the Chicago School.

    What I don't think it explicitly is connected with is a destruction of the welfare state and reduction of labor rights. True, things like the EITC in the US were influenced by neoliberalist theory (and, all things being equal, I think the EITC is one of the best tools in the US government for reducing poverty), but other more punitive cuts to welfare enacted especially in the 90s were not explicitly tied to neoliberalist theory. Similarly, it is true that many elements of neoliberalism push for a more flexible labor force - which is one of the things that really sets the US apart - and that sometimes this involves reducing the power of entrenched unions, especially in the public sector. But I'm not sure it qualifies as opposed to unions in principle.

    Regardless, this may be a semantic distinction. Other than strongly arguing with your exclusion of trade liberalization, I'm willing to work with your definition.

    For this reason, the kind of leaders I think people like you and Loki would like to vote for (and which Randblade has somehow convinced himself that Johnson is), these sort of vaguely technocratic, centerist figures who are socially liberal (but not too socially liberal) but still really like free markets and open trade just don't exist any more and probably won't exist again. It's a dead topic. No one cares. You might as well go on about whigs vs tories (the original ones).

    Corbyn/Sanders and Trump/Brexit[Johnson] are each in their own way a direct consequence of an ideology that has done nothing but fail for 20 years. Thus, when I see people being all ‘if only we could get back to sensible leaders and not have to choose between these extremists’ it just makes me laugh, bitterly. The dumbassary of these ‘sensible leaders’ is what brought us to this sorry state to begin with.
    I really disagree. In the broad sweep of history, I think that things have gotten better over time for most people, and that most of that improvement is due to the efforts of 'sensible leaders'. People who were flawed and who worked in relatively small increments, not revolutionaries (with some notable exceptions). I am deeply optimistic about the future and the ability of our increasing understanding of the world and society (and ethics) to allow for more and more people to live just, fulfilling, meaningful, and healthy lives. We have very serious problems now, agreed, and the arc of history is hardly monotonic. But overall I'd take a Barack Obama or George H. W. Bush (or a Cameron or Blair) over a Corbyn or a Johnson any day.

    I have no doubt that the current inflection point in Western (and more specifically Anglo) politics reflects a confluence of factors that expose flaws in our current policy architecture. What I question is that someone like Corbyn, or Johnson, or Trump, or any other reactionary populist, is going to be an effective fix.

    You say people who critique the status quo have no ideas about how to address these problems. Well, let me introduce you to... the platform Sanders and Corbyn ran their respective election campaigns on? They aren't particularly radical. It's not complicated. You simply take all that stuff I mentioned above and stop doing it. The world doesn’t have to be governed exclusively with the interests of capital in mind. It’s not common sense, and it’s not some not pre-ordained, brute fact in the world. It is, in fact, quite urgent that we stop doing that.
    I am not an expert on Corbyn's positions (mostly I was more aware of his mismanagement of the party), but a few things that come to mind that were, frankly, unhelpful: proposing to print money to fund infrastructure investment, renationalizing a bunch of industries at exorbitant cost, his thinly veiled euroskepticism, pulling out of NATO... none of these are going to solve jack shit other than make some people feel better.

    Similarly, Bernie Sanders' positions (with which I am far more familiar) include some rather radical changes, and not ones I think would be helpful: Politicizing the Fed, opposing TARP, opposing free trade, a 90% maximum tax bracket, taxing overseas profits immediately without switching to a territorial system, legislating giving 20% of a company to employee ownership, reinforcing Buy American provisions in legislation, a federal jobs guarantee... and a whole host of other policies that while I didn't really disagree with them (e.g. single payer healthcare), he didn't provide a realistic plan for how to pay for them.

    About Corbyn, you say he is an ‘antisemite, conspiratorial, uncompromising, an open admirer of brutal dictators and murderous terrorists’. Briefly; I have never seen any convincing evidence of him being, personally, an anti-semite. I asked Randblade to provide some multiple times and he came up very short. Conspiratorial? I said back in 2016 that that year was turning me into a conspiracy theorist and I wasn’t joking. It is extremely hard to explain the current state of the world without being at least a bit conspiratorial. Uncompromising? Good. Wild how it’s always the left that’s supposed to compromise and the right never, ever moves an inch on anything and constantly gets its way. Sick of compromising with these little fuckers. Look and where it’s left us.

    An open admirer of brutal dictators and murderous terrorists? Dude, wait till you find out about the entirety of post-war US/UK foreign policy. The west fucking loves brutal dictators and murderous terrorists. Sure, Corbyn sat at a table with some shitbag from Hamas or something. I don’t love it, but it’s not like he sold them a bunch of advanced weapons or used the country's intelligence apparatus to overthrow a democratically elected government to put one of them in power.

    These are not true critiques, these are excuses. For example, there have been MP's making anti-semitic remarks in the Labour party since the Blair years and probably long before, just as basically any given form of bigotry has always been able to find a home in the Tory party so long as it's not spoken openly on the front benches*, yet suddenly it's a massive issue when Corbyn is prime minster?

    * you hit upon the reason for this in your earlier interjection between me and Randblade.
    Let's take this one by one:
    1. An antisemite or not? I don't know what he believes in his heart of hearts. But he has been willing on so many occasions to share platforms and defend people who are antisemitic that it's hard to come to a different conclusion. Whether it's defending a vile antisemitic caricature in a mural, attending events organized by and featuring Holocaust deniers, openly saying that Jewish Brits are outsiders who don't understand English irony, his ongoing whitewash and excusing of antisemitic incidents in the party he led (including dragging his feet on action against wrongdoers who were his political allies)... after a while it gets pretty hard to continue to claim ignorance. If I were a Jew living in the UK I wouldn't want to vote for him on the possibility that he was an antisemite, let alone the certainty that he associates with and defends them.

    2. Conspiratorial. Well, at least you agree with me that he is. Whether or not you think it's justified is up to you.

    3. Uncompromising. I don't think that people get things done without compromising. Ideological purity might make you fell self-righteous but it doesn't do squat. I won't go into the question of 'who compromises more' because, frankly, I don't really care. What I care is that Corbyn was shown to be incapable of governing his own party due to his inflexibility and ideological rigidity, let alone run a functioning government.

    4. An admirer of dictators and terrorists - actually I think this matters. Your 'both sidesism' aside (it may be unacceptable for others as well as Corbyn), I think there's a distinction. The US (and UK) have gotten into bed with all sorts of unsavory types over the centuries - this is pretty much required in realpolitik. What is important, though, is whether one heaps undiluted praise on these folks, arguing that their methods are ideal.


    I think that the UK and Labour Party would be much better served by a different leader. I'm sorry if you think I'm picking on Corbyn, but I think he was a poor choice and is deeply unsuited to run your country. (For the record, that doesn't mean that I think Johnson is any better suited to do so - but you took issue with my characterization of Corbyn.)
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  13. #193
    In my last post, I forgot to mention aggressively cutting taxes for rich people and corporations as part of my definition of neo-liberalism. Neo-liberals love that shit.

    Anyone remember trickle-down economics? What a load of bullshit that turned out to be.

    Anyway.

    I did a point by point reply, then saw it was a thousand miles too long and cut a bunch of stuff out of this but it's still too long. The key points, the basic structure of my argument, is the following:


    • Neo-liberalism is awful
    • Dismissing the policies of Sanders or Corbyn because they're 'not credible' or 'too extreme' without further elaboration is a result of the unexamined internalising the premises and assumptions that underlie neo-liberal economic and political theory. But almost all of them are wrong.
    • When policies based on said political theory end up failing, or having horrendous consequences, as they have done repeatedly (because the theory is, as I said, wrong) this is never seen as cause to re-examine the thinking that lead to those decision in the first place.
    • Therefore, attempts to resolve the current political and economic crisis by people incapable imagining a world not based on neo-liberal principles (seriously, we can't even take the 'neo' off and go back to regular old liberalism, that's a step too far for these fucking people) is simply going to result in the old problem reasserting themselves, like some kind of tiresome morality play.
    • Attempts to discredit the policies of Corbyn and Sanders based on personal flaws, dubious comments or unsavoury connections are hypocritical at best, given the sheer breadth and scope of the absolute, unmitigated scumbaggary that makes up the mainstream political class right now, which we're somehow supposed to just accept because something something sensible polices? If I were an American, I'd have to hold my nose, get out there and vote for goddamn Joe Biden in November. Joe Biden.


    Here are the parts of the point-by-point I did which are actually good and substantive:

    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin
    I really disagree. In the broad sweep of history, I think that things have gotten better over time for most people, and that most of that improvement is due to the efforts of 'sensible leaders'. People who were flawed and who worked in relatively small increments, not revolutionaries (with some notable exceptions). I am deeply optimistic about the future and the ability of our increasing understanding of the world and society (and ethics) to allow for more and more people to live just, fulfilling, meaningful, and healthy lives.
    What Sanders and Corbyn were offering was making changes in relatively small increments. Did you have the same idea that some of their more deluded supports had and think they were going to somehow overthrow capitalism? Attack and dethrone god?

    I have no doubt that the current inflection point in Western (and more specifically Anglo) politics reflects a confluence of factors that expose flaws in our current policy architecture. What I question is that someone like Corbyn, or Johnson, or Trump, or any other reactionary populist, is going to be an effective fix.
    You'd rather go with the same people who created those flaws in the first place? What's that saying about the definition of madness?

    proposing to print money to fund infrastructure investment
    As opposed to printing money to bail out the stock market, something we've done twice now inside the past 20 years? Once due to the stock markets deep personal stupidity, and the other time because we didn't want to take basic safety precautions in the face of a devastating global pandemic in case the precautions that needed to be taken to save lives *checks notes* ... upset the stock market?

    At least if we print money to fund infrastructure development you end up with a bunch of infrastructure, afterwards instead of this vague sense of embarrassment.

    renationalizing a bunch of industries at exorbitant cost
    Those industries should never have been privatized in the first place.

    If you want to talk about ‘exorbitant costs’ you can talk about the cost we’ve paid as consumers because those services now, as a rule, cost more than they did under public ownership, because despite the ostensible purpose of the exercise being to allow market forces to create a cheaper and more efficient service, there’s no real competition in any of them (except the Energy Market to a bit), and while costs have generally been cut this has been more than offset by profits the new companies take.


    • Energy: 10-20% more expensive than they would have been without privatisation: https://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/277...12-E-Indon.pdf (Page 4), and this is with a price cap under the Ofgem regulator. The energy sector is probably the one of these with the most actual competition, since after prices went hog-crazy for a bit there was a drive to encourage people to switch tariffs/companies and to make it easier to do so.
    • Rail: Increase of 20% in fares since 1995. (British Rail was privatised in stages between 1994 and 1997), https://fullfact.org/economy/how-much-does-government-subsidise-railways despite fare rising being capped to the RPI since 2014.
    • Water. For some reason, they just straight up created a bunch of regional monopolies with zero choice for consumers to change their water provider. 40% rise in prices since privatisation, most of which happened in the early years: https://fullfact.org/economy/water-bills-privatisation/. Water prices are regulated by Ofwat and have fallen in recent years (still way above what they were under the old system), but there are still concerns about under investment by the water companies https://iea.org.uk/wp-content/upload...book361pdf.pdf


    Also, if we’re talking ‘exorbitant costs’, the government still subsidizes every one of the above industries to one extent or another. In the case of rail, the government now subsidizes the rail industry 3x more than it did when it was just British Rail (same source as above). Then there was that time Railtrack (the company that was created to maintain the rail infrastructure) had to be renationalised in 2001 because it was shit.

    There’s more that could be gone into. There are structural reasons why privatising these entities was a bad idea, it’s not just that the Tory government of the period did a noticeably bad job at it. For example, it doesn’t really make sense to take an organisation like British Rail and break it up it’s various functions into lots of different smaller companies (quasi-monopolies, really) because it just causes a bunch of logistical issues, and there are persistent criticisms about these companies prioritising profits over investments in their area of responsibility which… like, they’re capitalists, what did you think they were going to do? But this post is going to be long enough as it is.

    Long story short, the whole thing has turned out to be nothing more than a massive fucking scam, and it’s not renationalising them that is ‘mad’, it’s keeping them in private hands.

    none of these are going to solve jack shit other than make some people feel better
    That would be a conclusion you’re going to need to actually justify.

    3. Uncompromising. I don't think that people get things done without compromising.
    Let’s unpack that.

    Why wouldn’t people get anything done without compromising? Well, that would be because the other side has some kind of red line they aren’t prepared to cross and unless you move to meet them then whatever deal you’re working on is going to fall through.

    So... it’s almost like not being prepared to compromise on some things is actually good in achieving your goals, and a vital part of negotiation?

    Also, generally you start with the hardest version of your position possible then compromise only when the other side has also given something up, you don’t do it months before hand, when you’re establishing your basic policy positions. That’s just stupid that is.

    Biden has already taken single payer healthcare off the table and he hasn’t even won the election yet. He's also taken any kind of substantive reform of the police off the table. Because militarizing the police and giving them carte blanche to do basically whatever they want has worked out so well.

    That was an incredibly sensible and thoughtful piece of policy.

    What I care is that Corbyn was shown to be incapable of governing his own party due to his inflexibility and ideological rigidity, let alone run a functioning government.
    That and Blairites in the party were actively working to undermine him and sabotage his leadership, including working to divert election spending to Labour MPs on the party’s right during the general election, even though the seats were safe (i.e wasting resources)

    That isn’t a ‘conspiracy theory’ by the way. It’s from Labour’s leaked internal report, and we have texts to prove it.

    Really made me reevaluate the whole ‘Corbyn’s too inflexible and rigid to run a mainstream party’ thing, let me tell you.

    4. An admirer of dictators and terrorists - actually I think this matters. Your 'both sidesism' aside (it may be unacceptable for others as well as Corbyn), I think there's a distinction. The US (and UK) have gotten into bed with all sorts of unsavory types over the centuries - this is pretty much required in realpolitik. What is important, though, is whether one heaps undiluted praise on these folks, arguing that their methods are ideal.
    I think the idea that working with and supporting with awful dictators or terrorists because you want to make an oil pipeline or open a factory or something is good, but talking to them because you want to end an intractable ethnic conflict is bad is actually psychotic. Like, who comes up with this stuff?

    Also to clarify, this isn’t both-sideism. I am clearly and firmly stating that it is the actions of the British and American states that are worse.

    I will also make the same challenge to you I made to Randblade, which is to actually produce specific quotes of Corbyn saying dictators methods are ideal, so they can be discussed in the specifics.

    Meanwhile, to be going on with, here’s Thatcher on Pinochet:

    I'm also very much aware that it is you who brought democracy to Chile, you set up a constitution suitable for democracy, you put it into effect, elections were held, and then, in accordance with the result, you stepped down.
    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/304516.stm

    This was 1999, years after both were out of power so no miserable “realpolitik” excuses.

    Pinochet's government had over 27,000 people abducted and brutally tortured. And over 2000 executed for political reasons. Most of whom were, one assumes, also brutally tortured before being murdered.
    Last edited by Steely Glint; 08-07-2020 at 12:21 AM.
    Sticks and stones take a toll on me but they aren't your strongest weaponry
    You can take your shots but you'd best prepare, I can see smoke rising in the air
    Every move has a counteract, to turn the tides with a planned attack
    You push me down and the rest will rise but first I'm singing a battle cry

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